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Archive 2012 · PCB cyber commander with alien bees?
  
 
jzucker
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · PCB cyber commander with alien bees?


Am I reading correctly that the cyber commander can be used not only with einstein but with Alien Bees using the CyberSync Receiver Plus and that you can then remotely control power settings with the commander? If so, what is the granularity of power setting you can control?

I know it's .1 stop with the einstein.

I find the website very confusing...



Jul 01, 2012 at 01:00 AM
jjasef
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · PCB cyber commander with alien bees?


You can surely control the Alien Bees with the CC with the setup you just mentioned above. I'm not sure of the granularity of the power setting you can control but I was able to go through all the power settings easily.

It works as advertised though--control modeling light [on/off, increase/decrease intensity], control individual lights or fire all, etc.

I honestly don't use it but now that I have 1 Einstein in addition to my 3 ABs, I think I may take it out and use it again.

Hope this helps!

JJ



Jul 01, 2012 at 03:07 AM
jzucker
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · PCB cyber commander with alien bees?


thanks JJ!


Jul 01, 2012 at 03:17 AM
hondageek
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · PCB cyber commander with alien bees?


I've got tens of thousands of photos under my belt using a CC with both AB and Einsteins. The CC can control the ABs in equally small increments as the Einsteins. The main difference is that you have to hunt a bit up and down to get it at the desired power level sometimes. Example: with the Einsteins if you want to go up 3/10 of a stop, you click the power up button 3 times (usually). With the ABs, if you want to go up 3/10 you click up 3 times, meter and see no change, click up again a couple of times, meter and see you went too far, click down a couple of times and you'll eventually get where you want to be. The technology of the AB power supply doesn't lend its self to being accurate to the 1/10 stop increments of the CC anyway. From pop to pop they vary a few tenths. The Einsteins are pretty consistent.

I thought you were done with the AB stuff due to the modifier mount system?



Jul 01, 2012 at 03:45 AM
jzucker
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · PCB cyber commander with alien bees?


hondageek wrote:
I thought you were done with the AB stuff due to the modifier mount system?


The more pressing problem is that I have a mix of photogenic and buff lights. It's becoming too difficult and time consuming during sessions to figure out what modifiers are for what lights so I've sold the photogenics and the most economical way to move forward is to live with the AB warts and standardize on one mount.

However, I have to admit i'm agonizing and wondering if I should just bite the bullet and swap them all out for elinchroms?



Jul 01, 2012 at 11:55 AM
jzucker
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · PCB cyber commander with alien bees?


is the user interface on the cybercommander as bad as what some folks are saying?


Jul 01, 2012 at 11:58 AM
ravisrajan
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · PCB cyber commander with alien bees?


jzucker wrote:
is the user interface on the cybercommander as bad as what some folks are saying?


I recently got Cyber commander with my Einstein, I do not see any issue with user interface but it is little cumbersome to use. Once I got the feel on how to use this CC, now I am comfortable in navigating and setting mu both Einstein power level, modeling light, turn on/off etc., without any issue.



Jul 01, 2012 at 12:38 PM
jzucker
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · PCB cyber commander with alien bees?


is it still cumbersome or just while learning?


Jul 01, 2012 at 12:47 PM
hondageek
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · PCB cyber commander with alien bees?


The CC UI isn't that bad. It does take a day or so to be able to rip through the menus without a bit of fumbling though. The only thing I would like to see changed would be to have the unused channels not be displayed when you cycle through the channels to get from an individual channel to a group. That's a pretty small gripe.

Setting up the CC to use AB lights takes a couple of clicks to spec each light. You merely tell the CC that it's an AB> the wattage> the modeling light wattage> and you're done. It takes about 5 seconds per light. The Einsteins set up automatically.

The CC UI may not be perfect, but there's nothing else out there that can come close to what it can do. All that for really cheap money.



Jul 01, 2012 at 01:21 PM
ravisrajan
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · PCB cyber commander with alien bees?


jzucker wrote:
is it still cumbersome or just while learning?

To me it is still cumbersome to navigate between left and right joystick to select various options. I wish next version of CC will have some user defineable shotcuts.



Jul 01, 2012 at 04:23 PM
 

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jzucker
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · PCB cyber commander with alien bees?


can you see the UI in bright sunlight?


Jul 01, 2012 at 04:55 PM
jzucker
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · PCB cyber commander with alien bees?


and how quickly/easy is it to select a particular light and adjust the power of it? That is something that is very simple and quick with elinchrom


Jul 01, 2012 at 04:57 PM
jzucker
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · PCB cyber commander with alien bees?


bit the bullet and ordered (2) einsteins, cyber commander, (2) cyber transceivers, and (2) cybersync transceiver pluses. Looking forward to having a single mount for all my modifiers.


Jul 01, 2012 at 05:31 PM
kenyee
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · PCB cyber commander with alien bees?


The CC is pretty easy to use as long as you were able to set your old VHS clock w/o reading the manual (i.e., have some UI instinct).
I figured out how to use it by playing w/o instead of reading the manual. There are some points where I wish you moved the stick up/down instead of left/right or vice versa and wish you could change the name of setups/lights using an old arcade key input paradigm, but that's about it for me.

If you were using only AB/WL (not Einstein), the RP JrX IMHO were easier to use. The AB/WL use analog power control, so spinning the knobs on the JrX is quick and intuitive.

The CC screen like most LCDs is hard to see in direct sunlight...no more than your DSLR or phone because that's LCD too (aka, stick a Zacuto on it or shade it if you need to use it)..




Jul 01, 2012 at 11:01 PM
BrianO
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · PCB cyber commander with alien bees?


kenyee wrote:
The CC is pretty easy to use as long as you were able to set your old VHS clock w/o reading the manual...


I'd be in trouble, then. My VCR has been flashing "12:00" since August 23, 1977.



Jul 02, 2012 at 12:26 AM
hondageek
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · PCB cyber commander with alien bees?


Adjusting individual lights is cake. The left joystick moves left/right to select the channel, then up/down to adjust power. Push in on the right joystick to meter. You can meter the individual channels by selecting them with the left stick, just make sure you have the optical slaves in each light so only one light fires. You can meter the entire setup by selecting "studio" instead of an individual channel.

Yes, you can read it outdoors easily.



Jul 02, 2012 at 12:36 AM
RDKirk
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · PCB cyber commander with alien bees?


jzucker wrote:
is the user interface on the cybercommander as bad as what some folks are saying?


There are lots of options, and that's what makes it confusing. If you try to create a saved configuration for every likely lighting setup you might use, yeah, that would be complicated.

I use up to six lights. I programmed them all into one set-up with the role of the light identified by channel. For instance, channel 1 is main light (modeling light on, no track), channel 2 is fill light (modeling light off), channel 3 is hair light (modeling on, no track), channels 4 and 5 are accent lights with identical settings, channel six is backlight.

I plug lights in as I need them. If I'm only using a main and a fill, I plug lights into channels 1 and 2. If I'm using a main and a single accent light, I'd plug lights into channels 1 and 4. CC doesn't care if the other channels are unoccupied.

In use, I just switch to the live channel, thumb up or down as needed, and take the picture. Integrating a flash meter into the unit was a stroke of genius.

The only grip I have with the CC is that the indicator bars are too small for my middle aged eyes, but I have less trouble seeing it than the menu on my camera. It needs an adaptive indicator that expands the image appropriately for the number of lights it's set up for. The old Buff Radio Remote 1 was large, but you could manipulate the buttons with gloves on and see the settings from across the room.



Jul 02, 2012 at 12:42 AM
jzucker
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · PCB cyber commander with alien bees?


hondageek wrote:
Adjusting individual lights is cake. The left joystick moves left/right to select the channel, then up/down to adjust power. Push in on the right joystick to meter. You can meter the individual channels by selecting them with the left stick, just make sure you have the optical slaves in each light so only one light fires. You can meter the entire setup by selecting "studio" instead of an individual channel.

Yes, you can read it outdoors easily.


optical slaves? I thought the whole point of the system was RF communication? Or did you mean optical slave turned off? I would think the optical slave would be disabled when the the receiver is plugged in?



Jul 02, 2012 at 12:52 AM
kenyee
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · PCB cyber commander with alien bees?


hondageek probably meant "make sure the optical slaves in each light are turned off". When the CC senses the Einsteins via "open studio", that's the default.

Also helps to put big stickers on each light w/ freq label so you don't have to look at the back of it...



Jul 02, 2012 at 12:58 AM
jzucker
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · PCB cyber commander with alien bees?


kenyee wrote:
hondageek probably meant "make sure the optical slaves in each light are turned off". When the CC senses the Einsteins via "open studio", that's the default.

Also helps to put big stickers on each light w/ freq label so you don't have to look at the back of it...


yeah, we label all our lights - currently with a channel ID but will be switching to freq. Do the optical slaves in the AB lights get turned off automatically when the RJ11 cords are plugged into them? If not, that's going to be a problem since I'll be shooting with 2 einsteins and up to 3 AB lights.



Jul 02, 2012 at 01:06 AM
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