FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS




HARDWARE

The sliders' drives have quite diverse speeds. The X-MOTOR is the strongest one - it's the only drive that can work vertically, but it comes with the price of speed. It can go only 5 cm/s (c.a. 2 in/s). The STEPPER DRIVE is the most versatile - 0.4 m/s (c.a. 16 in/s) is enough for most applications. The fastest one - the SERVO DRIVE - is capable of really high speeds, up to 2 m/s (c.a. 6.5 ft/s), but is suitable only for long setups. It requires about 1m to accelerate to the full speed, so it cannot achieve its full speed on a slider shorter than 2 m.

The maximum sound level values in the table above might be misleading, as the speeds of the drives vary significantly. By analysing the chart you will find, that the SERVO DRIVE is the loudest, but only at its highest speed. The X-MOTOR is about 40 dB at 25-50 mm/s, where the STEPPER DRIVE is 34-36 dB, and the SERVO DRIVE is only 32dB. The STEPPER DRIVE is 40 dB above 300 mm/s, which is 6 times faster than X-MOTOR's max speed. And the SERVO DRIVE is 40 dB at about 800mm/s, 16 times faster than max speed of X-MOTOR and 2 times faster than max speed of the STEPPER DRIVE.

So, comparing "apples to apples" - the SERVO DRIVE is the quietest one.

Slidekamera's head mount enables you to mount the head on the slider securely and firmly even when the slider is placed upside down.

To attach the head to the slider, you have to:

  1. Insert three screws to the slider's cart. Do not tighten them, leave at least 12mm.
  2. Insert the head - make sure the screws fit the holes.
  3. Rotate the head clockwise to lock the base.
  4. Tighten the screws using 10mm wrench.

The same mount is used for ATLAS MODULAR, TITAN SLIDER and GIANT and INFINITY tripods, so you can easily swap remote heads between those devices.

head mount

LENS CONTROL SYSTEM with PDMOVIE motors

Yes, you will need additional rings for PDMOVIE drives, as the photographic lenses do not have cine-style lens gears, just rubber rings for manual zoom/focus. It's the same style of focus gear ring, as you use with a manual follow focus unit.

Any ring will be OK if it uses standard 0.8 mm pitch (which is 99% of the gears on the market).
Choose whatever you like. You can use a toothed rubber band, that is easy to mount, or classic ring, that will enlarge the diameter of your lens ring and therefore increase the precision of steering (useful, if you're using photographic primes with small diameter).

The Master Drive is designed to work with both wireless and wired signals. You have to switch it between the modes to use the desired one.
To do so, power the drive and press 8 times the drive's button (7 short, 1 long press). It will reboot, and you will notice that the notification icon on display has changed. Now you can work with the motor using the wired connection.
To revert to the wireless mode, use the same procedure.

Note, that you can use the motor's button to change its settings, but the wired/wireless option is not described on the list located on the drive's housing.

In traditional lenses, the focus ring rotates the glass inside the barrel directly. These lenses usually have longer focus throw, therefore are more precise in manual focusing. They typically have hard stops - it means that if you reach the infinity or minimal focus distance, you cannot rotate the ring any further.
Those lenses are recommended to use in motion control applications.

In many modern lenses (especially those designed for mirrorless systems) focus ring does not move the glass inside directly but controls the USM motor, that changes the focus. It makes the build of the lens easier, but controlling the focus with the focus ring is more challenging (especially on the longer end).
Usually, the focus-by-wire mechanism has a shorter focus throw.

Of course, it is possible to calibrate the PDMOVIE drives to work with that kind of lenses, but the movement might not be 100% accurate and repeatable. The accuracy depends not on the external lens motors, but the precision of the focus ring mechanism inside the lens.

Note, that some designs change the focus distance not only by the focus ring position but also by the speed of the rotation of that ring. That makes the handheld, manual focus pulls easier to make, but they are not repeatable, as a return to the same position of the ring does not guarantee to return the same focus distance.

If you don't know, what type of lens do you have, rotate the ring on the lens barrel. If it stops at the extreme positions and you cannot turn the ring any further, it's the manual lens with hard stops. If you can rotate the ring on and on, it's the electronic lens with a by-wire engine. Note, that there are lenses with both type of rings, e.g. electronic by-wire for focus ring and mechanical ring with hard-stops for zoom.

There are two ways to calibrate PDMOVIE drives: automatically and manually. You can calibrate the lenses with hard-stops in both ways. Focus-by-wire ones can be calibrated only in the manual mode.

AUTO
If you're using lenses with hard-stops, you can calibrate the drive automatically by long-pressing (holding) its button. The drive will run to the extreme positions to check it's working range during the calibration process.

MANUAL
In the manual mode, you will have to set the extreme positions (infinity and minimum focus distance) by hand.
Rotate the focus ring to one extreme position (doesn't matter, witch one you choose first), then to the second extreme position, and move the ring a little back to the direction of the first position.
The drive is calibrated and should rotate slowly to the position indicated by the controller. The motor is engaged, and you won't be able to turn the lens ring freely.

For using the lenses with the KAIROS controller, refer to the user manual: KAIROS manual:
https://slidekamera.com/uploads/instrukcje/KAIROS_2_en.pdf


SOFTWARE / FIRMWARE

If you want to update the firmware in your device, check if it's available on the download page:
https://slidekamera.com/firmware
If your device is on the list, download the software and follow on-screen instructions to connect and update your gear.