4 Replies Latest reply on Jan 1, 2010 3:38 AM by Powered by Design

    Why are Time Code Slate boards so expensive ?

    Powered by Design Level 4

           It seems like there could be some boards that look good but are not so expensive.




      my girlfriend got me a $10 one off amazon but a nice digital one would be nice.


      If not to use but to have.


      I like that one from china vision that is a clock but cant find it here.




      Any ideas anyone ?


      I of course would use Premiere with it.  lol


      Thanks:  Glenn

        • 1. Re: Why are Time Code Slate boards so expensive ?
          Chuck A. McIntyre Level 3

          Just a comment:


          I could not believe what they are asking for the Dencke TS-3... $1449.95!!!

          One can also opt for the 5 year protection plan for $459.98. Right!!!

          • 2. Re: Why are Time Code Slate boards so expensive ?
            the_wine_snob Level 9

            Wow! The digital units are cool, but... ! I got by for years with the old style - camera tape and a Sharpie®, instead of the chalk. Seems back in '75 I paid about the same as that Chinese "clock." Still have that old dude, but have not seen it in years - gotta' go looking in Hunt's Archive of Archaic Cine Stuff.



            • 3. Re: Why are Time Code Slate boards so expensive ?
              Level 4

              I think it in part has to do with the slates being sync'd with camera and sound.  I've seen it done but don't know anything about it...


              I know that when someone drops the slate ( 3rd assistant camera sometimes ) there are sometimes very concerned looks directed at the slate, as if it might be sick or dying...whereas the non-digital slate can be used as a defensive weapon without any cause for concern.


              This is some stuff some guy wrote about sync and the digital slate...




              Until modern audio recorders support the 23.976 frame rate all we can do is "Cross Jam." What is really important here is that the jam sync occurs on the "00" frame. The zero frame is the start of the second (real time or not). All Denecke products have always done this so there is no problem there. If your recorder jams on the zero frame, i.e. Nagra IV-STC, then you can cross jam directly without having to use one of our boxes. HHB and PD-4 owners can cross jam using the Denecke Syncbox, SB-T, or GR-1. Simply feed the 23.976 TC out of the HD Camera and into the Syncbox, SB-T, or GR-1 set to 29.97 Non Drop and jam sync them as usual. Then simply take the 29.97 code over to your recorder (set to 29.97 Non Drop) and jam sync or external feed the recorder with the Syncbox,Ê SB-T, or GR-1. The Time Code Slate is handled in the same fashion. Set it to 29.97 and jam it either from the camera or the cross-jammed Syncbox or GR-1. Treat this as a 29.97 video shoot. Keep in mind that this procedure only works for Free Run / Time of Day shoots. Be aware that if the camera is powered down for a battery change, etc. then the camera code will not be concurrent when powered back up. In this case you will need to re-jam everything. As always, communication is very important between the camera and sound departments!

              An alternate method and the simplest way for Free Run shoots is to feed external time code and Tri-Level sync to the HD camera. This is useful in multi-camera shoots. Jam sync a SB-T set at 23.976 (Sony F900) to your recorder set at 29.97 ND.Ê Attach the SB-T to the camera and feed it the SB-T time code and Tri-Level sync. When external sync is fed to HD cameras, this sync becomes the master reference for the camera and must be extremely stable.Ê When using an SB-T, you don't have to worry about the camera being powered down. Jam sync your time code slate to your recorder at 29.97ND and slate as usual.Ê A software upgrade is available for all the Denecke Products (TCXO preferred for high stability) to enable the generation of 23.976 fps. The catch is that HD cameras want to see Tri-Level Sync + Time Code for absolute frame accuracy. When feeding external time code only, without Tri-Level sync reference, the camera will generate several green frames when the time code drifts against the camera's internal Tri-Level.Ê Also note that faulty or misconnected cables can also cause the green frame(s) issue.

              Another option is to ignore the 23.976 on the camera completely. Run your audio recorder with Time of Day (29.97fps) and jam sync your slate as usual. You can take the output of a Syncbox that has been jammed to your recorder (29.97fps) and feed it into track 2 of the HD camera that can be used in editorial as a backup. The audio will stay at 29.970 fps when it is transferred.Ê Also, you don't have to worry about the camera being powered down. Just make sure to communicate with post so they don't get mixed up with the time code on the HD camera audio track!

              Record/Run time code is a bit more complicated. The 23.976 TC can be sent via RF or hard wired to the SB-T or GR-1 (set to 29.97ND).Ê It is necessary to re-jam at the start of each take since the time code clock is stopped when the camera isn't running film. The re-jam process is automatic with a SB-T or a GR-1 in Jam Continuous mode (JC). The SB-T and GR-1 lock on to the next valid (00) frame anytime there is a break in the time code clock (camera stoped).




              Sounds complicated



              • 4. Re: Why are Time Code Slate boards so expensive ?
                Powered by Design Level 4

                I guess I know they are a complex piece of timing.


                Its just so expensive for everything.


                I just want one that looks cool but doesnt cost allot.


                I guess im going to have to make it myself.   lol




                ENjoy:  GLenn