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#1 GerardSava

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Posted 27 December 2004 - 03:12 PM

It is the common experience of Ultra owners (or any other sled) to have to radically recalibrate the digital level when in low mode? Poking around with the tiny phillips head screwdriver has damn near stripped the life out of the plastic adjustment pot. Does the XCS level maintain the same zero-value level indication when it goes down under as well? I'd love to know before I switch the pot out for a big fat red knob with a do not touch label on it. If it is just that the Ultra level is crap, I'll buy a different one.
Thanks,
Gerard
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#2 JobScholtze

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Posted 27 December 2004 - 03:41 PM

I am glad i don't have that problem with the FBX
Just push a button and the level is back on track.
Good Luck
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#3 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 27 December 2004 - 06:59 PM

Gerard,

I keep a bubble level attached under my top-stage, so I tend to re-calibrate the XCS level when I build at the beginning of a job. (Well, I suppose I should say that I check it because it rarely needs attention.) To zero it though, you simply hit a zero button. For low mode, just change the sweep and you are in business (a very easy task).
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#4 WillArnot

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Posted 29 December 2004 - 12:50 AM

Hey Gerard,
Thanks for your message the other day. Happy Holidays to you and all that...

As Alec mentioned, you do have to flip the 'sweep' from R to L to L to R when you are either low or high. As far as I know there is a manual switch for that located next to the phillips head trim pot adjuster on the Ultra.

On my Master I used to also have to re-trim the pot each time between lo & hi mode after I had flipped the 'sweep' polarity switch. I don't believe they changed the level technology much if at all between the Master and the Ultra. And for all the talk of no-tools adjusting, re-trimming the digital level with a jewelers screwdriver on a tiny plastic trim pot that would inevitably strip out as you say, was one big "except when you....." to the no-tools thing.

So no. I think what you have is standard Ultra fare. By now they may have made that Phillips head a small knob that you can just do with your finger tips. This is certainly a quick and easy solution. I had to replace that trim pot finally, and that soldering job was no fun, although just managable.

The integrated XCS level in my Ultimate is really the cat's meow as Alec said. I find that my presets hold for months at a time. I know Larry uses Greg's XCS level on his Ultra. Those days of flipping hurriedly to low mode putting the rig back on ready for the shot, power up the monitor then... groan... forgot to reset the level ... groan.... are now long gone. The same thing still happens if I'm rushing, it's just that all the groans are gone now b/c I just hit a button for the low mode preset, and still have to flip the sweep as well, but that's lickety split.

Hope you are well. Off to UK then Alps for some ski fun. Back mid Jan.

Best,
Will
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#5 joe mcnally

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Posted 29 December 2004 - 07:13 AM

My Ultra has an external knob to easily adjusts the horizon. I am sure it would be a breeze to retofit to an older model.
Hi to lo in seconds superb.
Joe mc
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#6 Jerry Holway

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Posted 31 December 2004 - 02:46 PM

[quote name='WillArnot' date='Dec 28 2004, 09:50 PM']
And for all the talk of no-tools adjusting, re-trimming the digital level with a jewelers screwdriver on a tiny plastic trim pot that would inevitably strip out as you say, was one big "except when you....." to the no-tools thing.

So no. I think what you have is standard Ultra fare. By now they may have made that Phillips head a small knob that you can just do with your finger tips.

To all - FYI

The three original prototype Ultra's had the no-tools finger-trimming pot, but somehow the first CP production models had the old screwdriver type pots. When I found out about it, they were changed. So the "standard Ultra fare" is and has been "no-tools" for several years, which, as Joe pointed out, is the way to go for all things Steadicam.

BTW, it also took awhile to get the low mode bracket safety pin to be no-tools, but that's the way everything is being made now.

Jerry
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