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Paralinx Ace - probably the best 300ft Range transmitter


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#1 Josh Park

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Posted 16 March 2016 - 01:48 AM

I've recently upgraded from my Paralinx Arrow+ unit to Paralinx Ace - primarily because I felt like Arrow+ was wearing out during my 1 year and a half of abuse and also I've started to realize I needed a transmitter that supports SDI more than anything.
 

paralinx-ace-479x600.jpg

 

Official Image of Paralinx Ace from the website

 

I've visited the Paralinx office in Burbank, CA - now under Creative Solutions Los Angeles (ever since the merger with Teradek) and had a chance to test the unit around. It claimed 300ft range and the best part about it was that it's reconnection time was drastically reduced due to it's newly designed firmware.
 
Indeed, the receiver reconnected as fast as 4 seconds after losing the signal. Power cycling by unplugging the barrel connector and plugging it in allowed me to search for signal in case if it gets lost.
 
I made the purchase that day - just under $3000 for 1 SDI transmitter + 2 SDI receivers with 6 power cables (2 comes with the kit), 3 mounting module, 2 battery plates, and 2 of 2-pin lemo cables.
 

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SDI Kit with SmallHD 702 and Wooden Camera's Director's Monitor Cage

 

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Two SDI Receivers, and a Transmitter. At the time, I only had bought one mounting accessory for the unit. I ended up buying 2 more later.

 
I took the unit out on my next job - a documentary shoot in China with me as a cameraman and a director. Director requested a hand-held monitor that is lightweight and daylight viewable. I built a handheld rig unit, using SmallHD 702 Monitor with Wooden Camera cage handle. At the time, I had an idea of powering both SmallHD and Paralinx Ace receiver unit from a single NP-F960 battery source, so I made a prototype of a camera battery wedge with a Ptap female embedded. It worked perfectly without much voltage fluctuation and still had a great range. Although a regular 6600mAh battery that would have powered Ace for at least 6 hours dropped drastically to about 3 hours since it was powering SmallHD 702 as well, but it didn't become much of a problem for us during a long run since the battery lasted good enough amount of time to work perfectly.

 

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General Assembly of the unit

 

 

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All the cables and batteries attached, ready to be used!

 

 

We shot on Arri Amira camera and the transmitter worked perfectly. However if there was one thing I should have noticed earlier is that the transmitter needed to be placed on top of the camera, not on a side. Because the right side of an Amira body had a flat surface, I placed a velcro tape and taped the transmitter flat to the side of the body, which somehow made the receiver to work only when positioned on the right side of the camera body. The director complained it wasn't transmitting properly on my left side, that's when I realized the problem and was able to reposition nicely to get the maximum transmitting range.

 

Another problem I ran into was it's mounting 1/4" thread. The whole body is solid plastic, but it's material is constructed of bendy plastic, which allows to absorb any impact nicely to keep the internal board intact, but doesn't do a good job exterior wise. Our trasmitter was mounted on a monitor arm, and during usage, the mounting point started to bend outward like the photo.

 

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As I've used, the plastic mounting point started to bend outwards. Paralinx rep examined and let me know there wasn't any internal damage, but I had to purchase an additional mounting aluminum bracket to prevent further damage.

 

The only way to prevent further damage is to either A. Stop using the mounting point, or B. purchase their mounting accessory. At the time, I only had purchased one of the mounting accessory, which was mounted on the receiver of the director's monitor. Once I returned to the states, I bought another one and that solved my problem. However it's a bit disappointing to know that I needed to buy something additional to resolve this bendy mounting point.

 

Overall, I'm very happy with Ace. The range is great, reconnection time is so short that the clients / directors barely notice or complain. It's got a jog lever on the side that allows me to control the settings without any other additional cables or remotes (like Arrow+), power runs at lower amperage and voltage than other competing units, and best of all, it's super light. I haven't done an extensive test side to side with it's competing brand such as Teradek Bolt 300 or 600, but judging from my experience with these, I'm already happy with the ease of use and reliability the unit provides.

 

Any questions or comments, I'm willing to answer!


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#2 brett.mayfield

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Posted 16 March 2016 - 04:26 PM

I am curious as to how you got power from the battery to the ACE on the directors cage. It this with the battery wedge you mentioned?

I also would be interested to know if the mounting accessory is ACE specific or would work with teradek sidekicks.

good write up, ive been fine-tuning my director monitor situation and I like what you have done here.

 

brett.


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#3 Josh Park

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Posted 16 March 2016 - 06:42 PM

I am curious as to how you got power from the battery to the ACE on the directors cage. It this with the battery wedge you mentioned?

I also would be interested to know if the mounting accessory is ACE specific or would work with teradek sidekicks.

good write up, ive been fine-tuning my director monitor situation and I like what you have done here.

 

brett.

 

Yes, the battery wedge is something I made with additional parts that's been lying around my house. The basic components were - a broken NP-F battery, a NP-F battery plate, and a Dtap Female plug purchased from Ebay. Took me a couple of days but I've finally assembled the whole thing together in a small form factor and been happy with it. I'm also in a process of making multiple versions of the adapter.

 

The mounting accessory is Paralinx Ace specific. 


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#4 bobbyarnold

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Posted 22 April 2016 - 01:06 PM

Josh,

 

I'm currently working on building that exact handheld monitor setup but with a SmallHD 701 monitor. I would love more info or even photos of the details of that great power solution you made. Its a Sony plate that passes through to the monitor right? I would appreciate any details you have. I would even be interested in getting something similar from you if you are making more or other versions. Thanks for the info.

 

Bobby - 1st AC - NYC


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#5 Michael Desiderio

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 07:25 AM

You can also just use a unit like http://www.bhphotovi...2,&A=details&Q= to power the ACE

 

No sketchy plate in between


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#6 Josh Park

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Posted 05 June 2016 - 06:02 PM

Josh,

 

I'm currently working on building that exact handheld monitor setup but with a SmallHD 701 monitor. I would love more info or even photos of the details of that great power solution you made. Its a Sony plate that passes through to the monitor right? I would appreciate any details you have. I would even be interested in getting something similar from you if you are making more or other versions. Thanks for the info.

 

Bobby - 1st AC - NYC

 

Bobby - 

Yup, that sony plate passes through to the monitor, powering both devices at the same time. Be aware of the short battery hours and you will have to replace the batteries every 2-3 hours, depending on your battery's capacity. The lightweight factor comes with a price.

 

 

You can also just use a unit like http://www.bhphotovi...2,&A=details&Q= to power the ACE

 

No sketchy plate in between

 

That's also another great way to power two devices from a single battery. I've made the plate to use cheaper batteries I had at home that had no external DC output.


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