Not sure if you remember this question from back in July, but I finally made and have tested my version of the Hi-pod. I borrowed heavily from your jib crane and other videos to create a FrugalPod.
I used your pulley system from the jib and mounted it vertically on a extension pole used for painting. I then inserted that pole into a piece of PVC pipe connected to a dolly for stability and mobility. For the bottom "bearing" I rested the pole on a furniture slider that rotates on a felt furniture pad that is stuck to the bottom of the dolly. I used a 7" portable TV for my monitor and connected a LANC remote control for the camera control.
Although I'm not using this for filmmaking, I thought your audience might be interested. I've attached a few pictures.
Thanks for creating and updating your site. The information is very helpful.
Scott sez: Whether or not the FrugalPod has filmmaking applications (the retail version is used for covering football games), I admire Alan's ingenuity for creating his own version. I know how much time and money goes into one of these builds and Alan deserves a lot of credit for making a DIY rig with few (if any) predecessors.
Here's some video footage from this rig: http://vimeo.com/channels/ljtproductions#32648898