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RadoStefanov

Ambient ACN-LS users?

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Yes, if you have some lockits working in Ambient Clockit Network, it's a very nice solution.

The good thing is that it works as a normal lockit (without genlock function), so it can transmit Continiuous Jam also. When in slave, it survives a whole production day with four alkalines. But even power loss is no problem, because when in slave mode, it immediately syncs to your Continuos Jam after battery change.

For a special purpose I made a test without sound gear. The lockit slate stayed in sync with a PDW 700 (with internal TC) for about two hours under all conditions (battery change on camera, power save on camera, cache rec on camera ...)

One thing: There is a sensor regulating the LED's brightness which doesn't work very well in my opinion. I got used to adjust brightness manually.

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I've been using them a couple weeks now. Love them.

Four AA nimh solidly last a 14 plus hour day. Haven't tried to get two days out of them, but probably would not last.

When used with the Master Lockit, they are continuously jammed throughout the day.

They get painfully bright. Haven't needed more than 60% brightness.

 

Bud

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I have been using it for about a year now without any issues (apart from one time, when we were shooting at 29,97DF... never understood why), and many camera assistants I've worked with love it.

You can last for about a day and a half using 4 Powerex NiMH batteries, but I would suggest a battery change after each day.

And from my experience, yes, it holds its timecode during battery change.

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Hey, I just checked it. LS buffered TC for about 25 seconds until it quit. If you manage to change batteries in that time, it works.

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Mine holds code for much longer than 25 seconds, no problems changing a battery, probably even have a cup of tea as well and code would still be held.

Ive found in some low low light sets, the display is too bright on lowest setting and i have put a strip of ND over readout.

Also when backlit, the perspex is too transparent and therefore needs a backing. And on my too do list is to design a foot for it, so AC's can put it down without laying it down awkwardly

Now I'm feeling picky, but while I'm at it, the bloop light doesnt dim when the readout is dimmed, so its always blindingly bright. Im sure a firmware upgrade could fix that if It ever gets mentioned to the right person. 

Edited by soundpod
clarity

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I've had two in service for a year and a half now.  They have held up well and have produced very accurate timecode which i have consistently had compliments from post about.  

Using a Clockit controller to tune from my Nagra's crystal i can easily maintain perfect Sync within 1/3 to 1/4 frame accuracy during the entire production day without jam between all timecode devices.

I agree they are sometimes way too bright on their settings.  ND gel works but is a work around. 

I've hot glued a couple of rubber bumpers to the slates so they can stand up. 

Latest firmware update enables user bits to propagate via ACN to all receiving devices ie for a film break roll change.

I wish the wooden sticks were affordable. 

 

Eric

Edited by Eric Lamontagne

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I will stick with denecke.
The ambient have a lot of options but too many downsides. The main being battery life. I put 4 panasonic pros from the charger at 12pm and by 7:30pm it was blinking to change battery. . I did not find a way to disable the autolight sensor. It was fine indoors but was acting out outdoors. it would go from bright to invisible for no reason. The good: it did not drift over 7:30 hours. I like the clap light visual que. But at the end of the day the battery life is a real deal breaker.

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I think your battery indicator was on the wrong setting. You can change the battery chemistry to match your batteries. I easily go a day on rechargeables.

You can also put the light brightness onto manual setting, and adjust it with the jog wheel.

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Don't own one, but got to work with one last year for a show. If you're into the ACN, it's a logical buy.

Pros:

- It's the easiest slate to do one handed claps by far.

- You can remove the timecode portion and use it as a timecode display on your bag.

- One of the most superior TCXOs in the business.

- It will auto rotate timecode display for tail slate.

Cons:

- For an advanced timecode and metadata system, it lacks a second LCD panel for custom metadata / info like scene and take IMO. Denecke and TCB got it right in this department I think.

Batteries lasted the whole day when I used them if I can remember correctly.

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I think your battery indicator was on the wrong setting. You can change the battery chemistry to match your batteries. I easily go a day on rechargeables.

You can also put the light brightness onto manual setting, and adjust it with the jog wheel.

I did that but nothing happened.

 

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I've also never need to change batteries on my Ambient slate. It has no trouble going the whole day (probably 15 hours would the longest) on a single charge.

This notwithstanding the fact that the 2nd ACs are always playing it with between takes, showing off to the rest of the crew how it flips the display when inverted for tail slating. They don't ever seem to tire of that.

 

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no, only when another lockit in your ACN transmits one

Not true. They have an internal battery which holds TC for at least 10 minutes. 

Rado, you must have been on the wrong battery chemistry in the SYS menu setting.

Also, their battery telemetry is extremely accurate. I monitor all the slates and lockits via the Tonmeister App connected to my Master Lockit. You can choose the battery chemistry (Alkaline, Lithium, or NiMH) and all are amazingly precise. The slates stay on for about 10-20 minutes past the 0% indicator, which I find very helpful. Full use of the battery scale makes the entire scale more accurate and meaningful. I can only imagine having slates that are exactly frame accurate all day, from start to finish, is a huge asset to our telecine (Dailies) technicians. So far the feedback is "It works!".

As Eric stated, NiMH rechargeables easily last a long day. After 14 hours, the slates typically indicate 30% charge or better. Last few days in the Georgian summer heat, the NiMH have reported better than advertised voltage. The slates therefore indicate Ext Power or periodically fluctuate 40% up or down. I blame the heat index of 112, and an uncharacteristically high voltage from the cells.

 

And the display rotating to the correct orientation when they hit tailsticks is super cool.

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Hi all,

Just some clarifications. Supercaps always charge slowly, thus turning the slate on and testing it after a few minutes won't show you the backup time you'll get when your slate was running for some time. The charging circuitry is disabled when the slate is switched off to prevent for permanent power consumption. So by the time your charged batteries need to be replaced, the supercap should easily hold the TC for 10 minutes and more. The advertised 14 minutes are no marketing data but measured time if you leave the supercap the time to be fully charged.

As Bud, Sarcanon, and Eric stated 4 NiMh batteries should easily hold up for an entire shooting day even when it takes 14 hours or more.

Cheers

Timo

 

Mine holds code for much longer than 25 seconds, no problems changing a battery, probably even have a cup of tea as well and code would still be held.

Ive found in some low low light sets, the display is too bright on lowest setting and i have put a strip of ND over readout.

Also when backlit, the perspex is too transparent and therefore needs a backing. And on my too do list is to design a foot for it, so AC's can put it down without laying it down awkwardly

Now I'm feeling picky, but while I'm at it, the bloop light doesnt dim when the readout is dimmed, so its always blindingly bright. Im sure a firmware upgrade could fix that if It ever gets mentioned to the right person. 

Hi Soundpod,

the bloop light dimming was just put on our list! Thanks so much for the input.

Kind Regards

Timo

Edited by TimoK

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Btw. it is recommended to always keep the slate firmware up to date. For example the mentioned light sensor steps were retuned and more steps were implemented.

Kindly

Timo

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- For an advanced timecode and metadata system, it lacks a second LCD panel for custom metadata / info like scene and take IMO. Denecke and TCB got it right in this department I think.

 

I actually think that this is where Denecke and TCB got it wrong. I have 2nd AC'd features before and started in the camera department and I would not have been comfortable if another department was responsible for putting scene/take on the slate. That's part of the 2nd's job. Also white board real estate can be pretty precious sometimes and another LCD panel leaves no options. I think a TC panel and manual everything else is the way to go as far as a slate is concerned. 

Would love to demo and ACN-LS as I plan on setting up an ACN system when I have the job for it. 

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I actually think that this is where Denecke and TCB got it wrong. I have 2nd AC'd features before and started in the camera department and I would not have been comfortable if another department was responsible for putting scene/take on the slate. That's part of the 2nd's job. Also white board real estate can be pretty precious sometimes and another LCD panel leaves no options. I think a TC panel and manual everything else is the way to go as far as a slate is concerned. 

Would love to demo and ACN-LS as I plan on setting up an ACN system when I have the job for it. 

i disagree. I think the script sup should always be in charge of scene and take, and everyone should follow. Less room for error.

The benefit of the second screen is not just for scene and take though, you literally can have anything in it, in any order, scrolling through at any desired speed.

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