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Tom Visser

Ambient releases Clockit Timecode app for iPhone / iPad

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It's free, works with their wireless timecode receivers (or any LTC timecode source).  Looks good as a display for numbers on a cart, scripty, or other non-frame accurate timecode needs (I'm sure the software is solid, but limitation of latency of iPad screen refresh rate?  Need to test...). There are some slate applications out there that charge a lot of money for this feature.

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I notice it's very limited in what it can do, plus it has no help file or anything like that. Just connect a valid TC source, and it shows you the number, TC level, TC rate, and user bits:

medium.jpg?1287609500

Haven't tested it yet to see how good, bad, or accurate it is. I would be worried more about the wear and tear on the connector going into the iPad/iPhone, since that's not exactly a heavy-duty jack. I'm very skeptical about using an iPhone or iPad in lieu of a real slate in a high-pressure production environment. But this would certainly work to at least momentarily check timecode jams and stuff like that, plus the price is right (free).

--Marc W.

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I've tested this and LTCReader. The advantage of LTCReader is that it carries on running using the iphone/ipod/ipad internal clock when the timecode source is removed, whereas Clockit Timecode app does not.

By taking stills of the two displays 744T (to timecode slate - frames on LCD display on the 744T itself are too blurry even with a fast shutter speed ) vs iphone/ipod -

The latency on my 3GS iphone is about 5/6 frames (ie. LTCReader is 5/6 frames behind)

The latency on my 4G ipod (A4) is about 3/4 frames

A frame is dropped in LTCReader when unplugging the timecode source.

After 8 hours the discrepancy was- LTCReader was 10 frames behind when running on the internal clock of the ipod.

The author of LTCReader says -

.........of course there is a small delay between the

measurement and the displayed  timecode, which depends on the iphone

version (e.g. speed etc).

I plan an  update to have an adjustable offset to help with this  issue.

rolf-dieter klein

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"After 8 hours the discrepancy was LTCReader was 10 frames behind when running on the internal clock of the ipod."

I had very different results with LTC reader when I was using it on my iphone 3G. It could be anything up to two seconds out of sync, behind or ahead of correct sync! Even within one hour it could be around a second out. Obviously it was fine if you had a live rx attached to the phone. 

I had a cable made to feed the iphone LTC, with a small variable attenuator inside a XLRf to change the level. It's accessible via a tiny hole in the XLR chasis, and worked very well.

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Just being able to use the phone as a quick reader (hardwired etc) is very cool.  I don't expect the phone's clock to be accurate enough to be able to be jam synced to the standard of the TC gear we use all the time. 

phil p

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In a pinch, I suppose this is a good option, but as we have discussed before our slates are often dropped or knocked over or fall off the back-side of a set wall (why do they always put them there!!??) or crushed in a dolly.  I think getting a producer to replace/repair a broken slate would be much easier than having them replace an iPad or iPhone.

Robert

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Anybody get this to work? I've tried feeding TC from my 744 into my I-pod but have yet to make it work. Is there a special cable I might need?

Scott......

Are you running it on an iPod Touch running iOS 3.0 or higher? The App Store states that it runs on the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad with iOS 3.0 or higher. As for the cable that may be needed, I don't know what sort of interconnect cable is necessary (or how it should be wired to connect to a SD 744T).

-  Jeff Wexler

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I have a 3rd gen touch updated to 4.2. TC out of 744 to xlr then xlr to stereo 1/8th plug. Like a comtek input cable. Can only think maybe cable only wired to one side of 1/8th plug. Might need mono plug?

Scott....

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yes, a funky special cable is needed.  mic input on iPod/Pad/Phone uses tip ring ring sleeve.

minijack4pin.gif

1 Tip Left audio

2 Ring Right audio

3 Ring Common/Ground

4 Sleeve Microphone

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So where might one find such plug and/or cable other than cutting up a set of apple buds? Any company offering such cable for sale yet? Or is it a do it yourself thing?

Scott.......

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" where might one find such plug and/or cable "

I have seen them

Cell phone stores and real electronics stores.  Maybe even some of the better stocked shacks...

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So where might one find such plug and/or cable other than cutting up a set of apple buds?

Man, that's a tough connector to find -- 4-conductor 1/8" mini-phone. I found one after a lengthy Google search:

http://www.mouser.com/Search/ProductDetail.aspx?qs=sGAEpiMZZMukzO2buB5fm%252btMyV14Sz%252bgr3eOZAI%252bnQU%3d

Very cheap -- under $2 apiece in quantities of 10.

iPhone break-out cable info at this link:

http://benttronics.blogspot.com/2009/05/audio-breakout-cable-for-ipodiphone.html

--Marc W.

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Here is an interesting little historical tidbit: when SONY came out with the original Walkman (around 1978) it had a unique and proprietary connector --- an 1/8" tip, ring and sleeve (stereo) connector. There were none others on the market, certainly not available as a raw connector anywhere. The Walkman also came with SONY headphones with this stereo connector on it and no one else was even making lightweight stereo headphones of any sort. Prior to the Walkman, all portable devices (like the transistor radio) had mono connection only. When the Walkman became a big success (who knew?) all the other manufacturers got on board and the 1/8" stereo mini connector became the industry standard (oh, joy).

-  Jeff Wexler

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minijack4pin.gif

1 Tip Left audio

2 Ring Right audio

3 Ring Common/Ground

4 Sleeve Microphone

Was able to find a pre-made cable and plug at Best Buy for 8 bucks. Using the 3rd and 4th wire, was able to connect an XLR onto it and walla. It works. Probable could use a resistor in there, but is working fine so far. As the picture shows, about 1/2 frame off. Might have to check with a higher shutter speed on the camera. Oh, thanks for all the info, it helped me get it done.

Scott.

post-165-130815091267_thumb.jpg

post-165-130815091271_thumb.jpg

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The wiring diagrams are freely available on our homepage. http://download.ambient.de/Ambient%20products/clockit/iTC_WiringDiagramm.pdf

If you want to buy them, you can get them from all our distributors.

We decided that the display only shows a timecode when it gets one. As you said before the offset can't be foreseen so showing a wrong value was never an option.

The latency you see on the brilliant picture is the display latency of your Iphone. We are working on more script options where the TC is of course always scripted correctly independent of the display offset.

Cheers

Timo K

Ambient Recording

P.S. Please keep in mind that your Iphone input is always a Mic In and not a Line In! So make sure to use a Mic Level Out or use a Pad cable...

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