Jump to content

ABBloch

Members
  • Content count

    20
  • Joined

  • Last visited

About ABBloch

  • Rank
    Member

Profile Information

  • Location
    NYS
  • Interested in Sound for Picture
    Yes
  • About
    Sound Mixer
    Boom Op
    Digital Artist
    Game Artist

Recent Profile Visitors

204 profile views
  1. ABBloch

    NEW: Timecode Systems | UltraSync One

    If you want to split hairs over who authored what part of the sceneario, Phillip came up with the crane, I added unsync'ed, and you added powered-off. So, the final version of it was yours, which is what I'd meant by "envisioned". Make sense? OK, that series of events tracks. But technically, somebody would still have forgotten, the camera op. Have we found our retiree? I think we've sufficiently beaten this part of our discussion to death by now, so I'm happy to move on from it, if you are. That is a cool idea. I'm going to suggest it to Timecode Systems. As it is now, you could power the USO off the camera via a D-Tap to USB adapter. You still wouldn't be able to turn it on or off remotely, though, unfortunately. I'm wondering if TCS could make it work just with a firmware update, or if it would require a hardware change. I bow to your superior non-butterfingers-ness, good sir. Before I went wireless, I preferred using coiled TC cables, which had no trouble stretching from the side of the bag to the camera. The habit probably got left over from before I owned any sync boxes at all. I'd jam the camera itself, directly from the bag, back then. I like that feature. It may be overkill on the USO, since the cables do lock on, but still, you can never have too many safety nets. I'm going to suggest this to TCS, as well. Agreed.
  2. ABBloch

    NEW: Timecode Systems | UltraSync One

    Are we really gonna debate this one? OK, wow. Here goes. It isn't? What IS it about, then? You envisioned a scenario in which the box is not on, and camera is not easily accessible, right? What do you imagine, other than forgetting, could cause that circumstance? The only other cause I can think of would be a dead battery. But that can't be what you were thinking, or you would not have asked the question of how to turn it on. If the battery were dead, turning it on wouldn't be an option, obviously. So, if it's not about forgetting, and not about power failure, then what? I've found it's helpful in EVERY scenario, but do go on. That's the situation I suggested, yes. It doesn't happen often, of course, but it's not impossible. Someone taps you on the shoulder, you turn to talk to them, the camera guy takes off, jam doesn't happen. You might ask, if a distraction like that can prevent a jam, couldn't it also prevent a power up? Well, nothing's impossible, but it's highly unlikely. Turning it on happens in the same motion as taking it out of the case and handing to the camera guy. It's all one motion. You might also ask, why not jam it before handing it off? If you're carting, then you probably would. But if you're bagging and booming, it's often easier to jam after the box is already on the camera. One less thing to hold. Well, luck has nothing to do with it, but yes, I feel pretty good about the fact that I no longer need to jam anything at all, ever. Everything syncs up automatically, without my having to lift a finger. I'm not sure how that could be seen as a bad thing in any way. I challenge you to go wireless for a week, and then try to go back. You'll feel like you're in the stone age. Not I.
  3. ABBloch

    NEW: Timecode Systems | UltraSync One

    Well, if someone's so far gone that they can't remember to turn things on, I'm not sure what to tell them. Perhaps retirement? To answer your question as asked, no, you can't remotely turn the USO's on (or off). Good food for thought. Yes, there's no question the airwaves are getting more and more crowded, and available whitespace for radio mics continues to be squeezed more and more. However, the good news is that most non-mic gadgets that are made with film sets in mind don't tend to operate in the same frequency ranges as wireless mics do. So, barring the occasional trick of physics (wave theory is complicated), interference from such things isn't much of an issue. TCS devices operate between 865.05 and 923.2 MHz. The majority of (unlicensed) wireless mics in the US operate between 520 and 694 MHz (with much of the 600's range soon to be deprecated). There are also some much higher frequencies that have recently been allowed for unlicensed operation, but those are relatively small ranges, sprinkled across the spectrum, and there aren't (yet?) a whole lot of devices that utilize them. I work a lot in the Great Lakes region, which is the toughest area in the country for radio. The lakes are magnetic (especially Lake Erie), and they scramble frequencies like a giant blender. I'm pretty sure if it works on the lakes, it'll work just about anywhere. (BTW, on a side note, nobody ever believes me about the lake issues until they experience them first hand. Fairly recently, an AD laughed at me when I tried to warn him of the potential problem. A few days later, he was tearing his hair out, as there was crosstalk across all the walkie channels. "What do we do??? This is a disaster!" Nobody was thrilled when I said the walkies were all going to have to be reprogrammed. Making radio work in this area is a fine art.)
  4. ABBloch

    NEW: Timecode Systems | UltraSync One

    Oh, there's plenty that can go wrong. You're telling me you've never lost sync on set? There's never been a time when you've had to re-jam? Really? I really don't think that's what I've been doing. I thought I'd made my intentions clear, in the first paragraph of my first post in this thread. For whatever reason, people who do not own the device keep suggesting imaginary problems that either don't exist or are so trivial that they might as well not exist. Nearly every time I've replied here, it's been simply to correct that sort of misinformation. Since I do own the device and use it every single day, I'm in a position to present experience, rather than imagination. After Drpro pointed out a very real potential problem (based on experience), I thanked him for it, and agreed that it's something worth keeping an eye on. Perhaps you missed that? I've also stated several times that I'm often one to write about problems with gear in great detail, and that if I had encountered any issues with either the Untrasync One or :Wave, I'd be writing up a storm about them. But since I haven't, I'm not. It's that simple. Look, I have no agenda here. I don't own any stock in Timecode Systems. I have no reason to care what anyone else chooses to use or not. I simply saw an opportunity to help by sharing a little first hand knowledge. That's it, and that's all. Anything you might be reading into it beyond that is a product of your own imagination. No need to be sarcastic. You appear to be implying a sentiment that was never there. Best not to do that. I never disputed that, and neither did anyone else. OF COURSE there are tons of good TC boxes on the market. That was never in question. The topic of this thread, however, happens to be just one specific box, not all of them. If the title were "General Discussion of Timecode Sync Boxes," or "Let's Compare and Contrast Various Timecode Sync Boxes," anything else along those lines, then I'd probably have mentioned things I like and don't like about all kinds of others. But since the actual title is "NEW: Timecode Systems | UltraSync One," I've limited my comments to that, with very few exceptions. If that's the case, then you'd probably love the newer Tentacle units. Great. Enjoy. Me, I don't really see the point in the mic, for what I do. On 95% of my jobs, I'll have wireless hops on the cameras, so the audio they're getting is as close a match to mine as possible. The other 5% are DSLR shoots, in which the camera's onboard mic grabs the scratch, and timecode isn't even used. I've thought about purchasing a Tentacle, just for those shoots, but every time I've asked the powers that be if they'd want to use timecode in post, the answer has been no. So, I haven't bothered. If the need ever materializes, I'll do it, of course. But until then, it wouldn't be a sensible investment.
  5. ABBloch

    NEW: Timecode Systems | UltraSync One

    I think you missed the point of the story, Phillip. Yes, we're all aware that a physical jam sync is a viable option. That's how we all did it for years and years and years, before wireless sync was a thing. The issue you seem to be envisioning is not the one I was talking about, nor one that would ever actually happen. Perhaps I was less than clear on that. Let me explain. You appear to be under the impression that USO boxes do not maintain sync if they lose communication with the master. That's not the case. In fact, quite the opposite, they're among the most reliable TC boxes on the market. Even without a wireless connection, an Ultrasync One will drift no more than one frame per 24 hours of continuous use (and battery life is about 40 hours). With the wireless, they'll drift zero frames until the batteries die, since every device will be in constantly updated sync the entire time. The reason those cameras had initially been out of sync that day was because the camera guys happened to have finished setting up, a few minutes before I did. They walked out before I'd turned my master transmitter on, so nothing had yet had the opportunity to sync up. (In the non-wireless world, this would be the equivalent of their having walked away before you'd had the chance to jam.) Had they been a minute or two later, everything would have sync'ed before they'd left the building, and the question never would have come up. The point of the story was just to illustrate that no physical connection was necessary to right the situation. Once the master was in radio range, everything sync'ed up automatically, instantly. Consider it an automated self-jam, over the air, if you will. You mentioned the scenario of the camera being up a crane. Let's explore that for a moment. Imagine your camera crew gets ahead of itself, and they send the camera up before you've had a chance to jam. Since you need to connect physically, the camera now has to come back down. Nobody's gonna be happy about that. But with wireless sync, it's a non-issue. There's no such thing as taking time out to jam. Everything syncs itself automatically, and then stays in sync at all times. The camera could be 500 feet in the air, and you'll still be able to sync it, without even so much as standing on your tippy toes. In my experience, their customer service is excellent. I'm sure they'll take care of you. Hmm, that's definitely something to keep an eye on. Thanks for sharing this info. Try my gaff tape pouch solution. It works really well. Given what you said about the lack of weather sealing around the buttons, I think I'll be revising my design, to put clear plastic on the front, instead of just holes. It'll be an easy mod.
  6. ABBloch

    NEW: Timecode Systems | UltraSync One

    You're right that not all adhesives will stick to that micro-textured surface very well. Some just peel right off. The heavy duty stuff sticks pretty well. Just give it some pressure, and a few minutes to set. That said, I like my pouch solution better. I made them out of gaff tape, in about five minutes. It's really easy. Here's how: Wrap a couple pieces tightly around the device, sticky side out, so that the tape does not stick to the device, only to itself. Then do a second layer, sticky side in. No adhesive should be exposed at this point. Again, the tape is only sticking to itself, not to the device. The device will be able to slide in and out of the pouch freely (but not loosely). Cut out some holes in the front of the pouch, to expose the screen and buttons. Cover the back of the pouch with velcro. I've done this for all manner of devices, over the years. It's an easy way to keep stuff protected, for almost no expense. If you do it right, it looks very professional. Most people won't even realize it's just tape. I've never experienced this, no. It sounds like maybe the particular unit you used was defective or damaged. Sorry to hear that that was your first experience with it. I get what you mean now, but really, that extra few inches of cable doesn't add any clutter to speak of, in my experience. As I said, if you're coiling the cable, you just coil it one more time, and if you're snaking it, you just snake it a little bit further. Until and unless a camera op ever complains about it, I can't see it as cause for concern. As I said, I've gotten nothing but 100% positive feedback from camera guys, so far, so I'm pretty sure it's all good.
  7. ABBloch

    NEW: Timecode Systems | UltraSync One

    Well, that makes a heck of a lot more sense now. They do indeed use Panasonic cameras. Thanks for the info.
  8. ABBloch

    NEW: Timecode Systems | UltraSync One

    Yeah, it's crazy. As I said, I have no idea what their reason or their reasoning is for all that up and down sampling. Sometimes you just have do as you're told, and accept that the rest isn't your problem.
  9. ABBloch

    NEW: Timecode Systems | UltraSync One

    They explained their post pipeline to me once. It's a bit of Rube Goldberg machine. Apparently, their picture edit process, for reasons that I don't pretend to understand, requires an FPS of 59.94. So, they shoot at 29.97, and then upsample in post. Their output needs to be at 23.976, so then they downsample, and it all lines up. Their production staff is fully aware that this is a confusing PITA, with a considerable chance of error on set, but they have no power to change it. That post pipeline is there to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. Reality TV is just wonky like that sometimes. A lot of these shows tend to use ancient cameras and unusual post pipelines. I never encounter stuff like this in narrative TV or film. Reality is it's own animal. Good question. You've jumped beyond my knowledge. I'm afraid I don't know a whole lot about how their wireless technology works; I just know that it does. There are several wireless settings to choose from, including different channels and types. It's all referred to as "wifi" in the menus, but it's possible they're using more than just that. I just went with the defaults settings for this. They worked, so there was no reason to mess with them. When I get a chance, I'll do a little research on what all the various settings mean, but it's not a pressing issue, so it might be a while. If you're curious in the mean time, maybe download the manual, and see what you think. It sounds like you know more about the technologies involved than I do.
  10. ABBloch

    NEW: Timecode Systems | UltraSync One

    Yes, you're right; I messed up on my price analysis. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I'd inadvertently looked at the price of the set of two QBit XL's, instead of the single unit. Gotham has the single available for $239. I've edited my earlier post, to remove the error. Velcro is the most common way. There are two designated spots on the back of each unit, for attaching rectangles of self-adhesive velcro, without covering up any labeling. I've also used bongos or gear ties, for setups on which Velcro wasn't the most practical solution. On a side note, I'm not a huge fan of putting adhesive on gear, so I ended up making a couple of nice form-fitting pouches, with Velcro on the back, and cutouts in the front front for the screens and buttons. It's totally unnecessary, but that's just me. I like to keep my gear clean. Yes. You can set the brightness via the phone app, or with the buttons directly on the unit. Anything in the upper 50% is easy to read outdoors. I'm not following you on this one. Can you please explain? If by "soft", you mean the texture, then yes, it does feel soft to the touch, due to the micro-texture rubberized coating. But that material is not actually soft for real; it just feels that way. It's pretty tough stuff, the same type of material that a lot of phone cases are made of. My current and previous phone cases have it, in fact. Neither the cases, nor the phones, have ever been damaged, despite numerous drops on concrete and asphalt, skids across floors, etc. I'm pretty sure if the stuff can protect a large 6-8 ounce phone that gets dropped all the time, it can also do so for a little 1.5 ounce box that spends most of its life either in a case or securely mounted to a camera. On the "wobbly" part, you've lost me, I'm afraid. The Ultrasync boxes are quite solidly built, no wobble or flex or anything else along those lines about them. Heh, perhaps. The app actually works very well. It just can take a minute or so to find all the devices on the network. That's a slight annoyance, but hardly a showstopper. Given that it's the only thing I've found to complain about, I think I'm doing OK. You've lost me again. The adapter cable simply extends from the connector, the same way any other cable extends from the connector of any other device in existence. If that constitutes "increasing the size", then so does every other cable. If you started with a larger box, the problem would be even worse, would it not? Of course, total cable length does increase by few inches with an adapter as opposed to without. But that doesn't change anything of significance. If you're coiling the cable anyway, then just coil it one more time. If you're snaking it around, so you don't have to coil it, then just snake it a very tiny bit further. Practically speaking, there is zero discernible difference. They're around $45 each. There's no shortage of similar cables available form other manufacturers, if you simply must have them, but you want to price shop first. You can also make your own, obviously. Coax ends are pretty simple to attach. For me, though, as I said, the simplest solution is also the most inexpensive. A couple bucks worth of barrels, and done. I'll repeat that I just don't get why this a thing for anyone. I use these boxes and cables every day, and it's such a non-issue, I never ever would have thought about it in a million years, had people here not brought it up. But to each his own. If you really want a right-angle cable, there are other manufacturers that make them. Markertek has a large assortment. Just search for "din 1.0/2.3 cable" on their site. Alternatively, you could also simply replace either or both ends of the Timecode Systems cables. Right-angle ends are just a few bucks. But as far as I'm concerned, this is why God gave us right-angle adapters. I prefer to have the option of right angle or straight, at all times. With a straight cable, you can always go right-angle, but with a right-angle cable, you can never go straight. ...And you've lost me again. Sorry, but I really don't understand what you mean by this. If you mean you're adding the length of the connector to the height of the box, then wouldn't you also have to add the length of the right-angle connector to the width or depth of the box? Considering there are an infinite number of angles at which the box might be mounted to all manner of different cameras, I fail to see how either the right-angle or the straight could be an automatic winner, in this regard. In any case, the bottom line is I've been using these for months now, and the problems you seem to be imagining have just never manifested in reality. I hope that information is helpful.
  11. ABBloch

    NEW: Timecode Systems | UltraSync One

    Nah, it's not heated. It's been a useful exchange of information. I think we've all remained in a good mood, throughout. I see your point on minimizing potential failure points, but in 10 years on the job, I've never once had a barrel fail. It's just a hunk of metal, after all, not much opportunity for mechanical strain. I've got a bag of them in my kit. If one were to fail, it would hardly be a big deal, but as I said, it's never happened. Cables do sometimes go bad, of course, but I've never seen or heard of any statistically significant difference in failure rate when utilizing barrels than when not. I can't remember the last time a TC cable failed on me. If anyone does want to spend the money, Timecode Systems has a full assortment of Ultrasync cables available now. But I'll repeat one more time, they're completely unnecessary.
  12. ABBloch

    Tascam HS-P82 Knob Problem

    I'm pleased to report. the 0.89 mm hex wrench did the job. Man, that thing is tiny. I dropped it and had to go hunting for it, twice. I've tightened up all the other knobs. I feel so much better now. Thanks for the help and suggestions, everyone who replied.
  13. ABBloch

    NEW: Timecode Systems | UltraSync One

    Interesting. My stuff tends to be pretty evenly divided between 23.976, 24, and 29.97. I've also got one series that cross jams. Camera needs 29.97, while sound has to be 23.976. That one's annoying, but it's also one where the system really shines. I set the :Wave as the master, at 23.976, and set my mixer to ignore incoming FPS data while respecting incoming timecode. The mixer takes FPS from its project settings. It beats the hell out of resetting every device manually. For all my other shows, the mixer is the master, and everything else syncs up automatically, as soon as I tell the mixer what's what. Ah, sounds like you're a cart based mixer. That would seem to explain many of the differences in our approaches. I used to be a cart guy myself. A few years ago, I transitioned to a one-man-band, and I've never looked back. On most of my gigs, I'm bagging it, and I'm booming. I really love utilizing my full skill set in this way. When I'm on union shows, it's one or the other job, of course 'cause them's the rules, and that's fine. But most of my shows are non-union, so I do it all on them. This is why the ability to adjust as many things as possible, right from the bag, is so important to me, as well as why I like to have screens on everything. I'm not always in a position where I can see a monitor. Different tools for different needs. My mistake. Thanks for the correction. I'd thought they were made in Europe, for some reason. Not sure where I got that notion. I've edited my earlier post, to remove the mistake. Just two. And they were only peripheral things. It happens to the best of us. That's why we have discussions, to learn from each other. At $40-150 per cable, vs. a dollar or less per barrel, I'm totally OK with the barrels. If there were anything to be gained, performance wise, from buying new cables, I'd do it. But there isn't, so it doesn't make sense to me.
  14. ABBloch

    NEW: Timecode Systems | UltraSync One

    You raise some fair points, but I disagree with many of them. Allow me to respond to each. Apologies in advance if this turns out to be a lengthy reply, but I'm enjoying this discussion of our differing points of view. Fair enough. But as I said, the dimensions are a little different. It's not a 1:1 comparison. So, yeah, you COULD fit a BNC on the Ultrasync One, if you stretched the box to be a little thicker, and if you ripped out some of the elctronics. To each his own. If you're after simplicity of the device itself, then yeah, you've definitely got it. I'd be curious to know, though, what headaches you've actually encountered, or suspect you might encounter, with the Ultrasync or similar systems. I've had none. (If I had, I'd be vocal about them.) For me, the lack of features on something like the QBit is what creates headaches, for several reasons: There's just too much margin for error for my comfort, when devices can't communicate with each other. If you're on a multicamera shoot, and you fail to notice one of the dials is set wrong, you're hosed. So don't fail to notice, right? Well, there's also the "intern effect". Even after you've set everything correctly, some idiot can come along, and start messing with things like exposed dials. That doesn't happen often, of course, but it does happen. I've seen it a few times in my career. They always think they're being funny. (This is where summary executions really should be legal.) If you do find you need to make an adjustment, you need to physically approach camera. There's not always opportunity for that on a busy set, at least not without rustling a few feathers on occasion. In the other thread on this topic, I shared a story that illustrates this point well. I'll re-tell it here, quickly. I was on a reality TV shoot last week, two cameras. Staging was in a metal barn/machine shop, and set was in the building nextdoor. On day one, I got the usual, "Wow, these are so cool!" exclamations from the camera crew, upon seeing the Unltrasyncs. (I'm used to that, by now.) On the morning of day two, as I was still setting up, the DP came rushing in, to inform me the two cameras (in the other building) were out of sync with each other. I said, "No worries. The wifi just can't make it through these metal walls. As soon as I walk in there, they'll sync right up. You'll see." A few minutes later, the guy's eyes about popped out of his head, when my promise came true. "That's AMAZING!" he said. I just smiled and nodded. To me, that's the epitome of "done... works perfect... no headaches...", as you put it. I didn't have to touch either unit at all. The only thing I had to do was set foot in the building, and the sync happened automatically. Just to be clear, the phone app isn't actually needed. It's just a handy tool to have. You can forego it if you want, and the system will still work just fine. You'll just have to push buttons on the units themselves is all. The same settings are available, either way. I'm a display junky. For me it's the only way to feel comfortable that everything is working as it should. A blind system MIGHT be doing the job perfectly, or it might have failed 2 seconds after I set it up. Unless I can easily verify it a hundred times a day, I get nervous. I like my security blankets. If monitor isn't visible from where I need to stand, then the screen on the Ultrasync probably is. If neither is visible, then I whip out the phone. I do like that QBit stuff is all US made. I'm not sure where TImecode Systems products are made (I think the company started in the UK), but the people at their US headquarters are great, which is important. I'm sure I don't need to tell you, those are bigger, more than 3 times the weight. No wireless sync or remote control capability, so I wouldn't want them at this point. They've got the dial you like, though, so I can see why you bought them. Looks like I may have been incorrect on the current pricing. I'll double check, and correct my earlier post if I need to. But yeah, it really is amazing how affordable these things have gotten, isn't it? It wasn't long ago at all that it was a grand or more, per box. There's not a lot of call for it these days, agreed. But I'm always in the camp that it's better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. I would have bought the Ultrasyncs and the :Wave with or without genlock. All the other features are what sold me. How many times do I need to keep repeating this? No new cables are needed. None. Nada. Zip. Zero. Goosegg. Average of 1 and negative 1. Zilch. IQ of Trump. Nix. Null. Naught. Zot. Nil. Nothingness. DId I miss any? The unit comes with two short mini-coax to BNC adapter cables. Throw a barrel in the BNC end, and every BNC cable in the universe will work. As I said before, I still use all my pre-existing BNC to 5-pin, BNC to 4-pin, and BNC to BNC cables. They all work perfectly with the Ultrasyncs. I've said it umpteen times now; I just don't get why this cabling thing is even a thing. It's a complete non-issue. Looks like I was mistaken. Thanks for the correction. I'll edit my earlier post. I'd thought the price of the Qbit XL was $448. I didn't realize I was looking at the set of two. I see Gotham has the single unit priced at $239.
  15. ABBloch

    NEW: Timecode Systems | UltraSync One

    I'll repeat that it's difficult to know what you're really talking about, without having seen and handled the device in person. The QBit XL you've got pictured is 15% thicker than the Ultrasync One. It's a small difference, but it's enough to preclude the larger jack from fitting on the thinner unit. And to be fair, it's also not exactly an apples to apples comparison. The QBit barely has any features, compared to the Ultrasync. It doesn't do genlock, it has no screen, no wireless sync, no remote control. The lack of features translates to a simpler set of internal electronics, which presumably also frees up some room for the larger jack. Really, the QBit's only significant selling points are that it's small and light. In total volume, it is 4% smaller than the Ultrasync, so technically it wins, ever so slightly, in that regard. But it's also 6% heavier, so I'd call it a wash. If the extreme lack of comparable features is worth it to you, in order to have that BNC connector, then go for it. As for me, the feature set is why I bought this system. The connector type didn't factor into that decision at all. I really don't understand why the shape of the jacks is such a sticking point for some people, especially considering that the unit comes with excellent adapters. It's trivial, as far as I'm concerned.
×