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Canatrans - Panatape issue


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#1 brooksrobinson

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 11:38 PM

I?m working on a show and was wondering if anyone else has experienced the same issues. My Canatrans is causing fits with my assistants Panatape. In regular (high) mode, I?m flying my Canatrans on top of the second dovetail plate. The Canatrans is set at ½ watt of power. The Panatape bracket with the tubes is mounted to the same dovetail plate as the Canatrans - above the camera. The Panatape ?brain? is attached to the mattebox via velcro. The channel selected on the transmitter doesn?t seem to matter. The Panatape works perfectly until the Canatrans is plugged in, and then promptly stops giving accurate readings.

The only way we?ve been able to get around this is by mounting the Canatrans to the back of the magazine. This clears up the problem, but I?d rather have the transmitter sit directly above the post as opposed to riding at the back of the mag?any thoughts? I don?t know if any of this has an effect, but I am using a Panavision XL on my XCS sled along with a Preston in addition to the Canatrans.

Thanks in advance for any insight into this matter.

Brooks Robinson
brooksontheroad@pacbell.net
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#2 Alfeo Dixon SOC

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 05:25 AM

My Canatrans is causing fits with my assistants Panatape. In regular (high) mode, I?m flying my Canatrans on top of the second dovetail plate. The Canatrans is set at ½ watt of power. The Panatape bracket with the tubes is mounted to the same dovetail plate as the Canatrans - above the camera. The Panatape ?brain? is attached to the mattebox via velcro. The channel selected on the transmitter doesn?t seem to matter. The Panatape works perfectly until the Canatrans is plugged in, and then promptly stops giving accurate readings.


Just a very quick stab at this... could it be a grounding issue? try to keep them in the same approximate while powered, but do not have them attached to the same metal object (i.e. unscrew them make sure neither have metal to metal touching the plate.) Also try powering from two different sources not on the same circuitry.

-Alfeo "Hmmmmm" Dixon
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#3 brooksrobinson

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 03:49 PM

Alfeo,

The transmitter seems to cause the same issues with the Panatape even when it isn't on the same dovetail plate. If the Canatrans is being held (in my hand lets say) in the same general proximity to the Panatape and not on the dovetail plate, the Panatape still has the same problems. I don't think it is a power problem because they both work fine (powered up the same way) when the Canatrans is mounted on the back of the magazine. Has anyone else experienced this? Thanks for the help.

Brooks Robinson
brookontheroad@pacbell.net
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#4 Matt Petrosky

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 05:58 PM

Hey Brooks,

Not that this will solve your problem, but the Panatapes are notorious for having major grounding issues. The assistants on the show I did this spring continually sent Panatape units back and fourth to Panavision because of grounding issues. Ever opened one up? They are old technology and a mess of electronics inside, the Cinetape and Canatrans are modernized, with better/proper grounding. Try a Modulus with your setup, I bet you have the same issues, RF interfering with the electronics of the Panatape.

So either your ACs find a nice restored Panatape, switch to a Cinetape or Sniper, or you accommodate them by moving your transmitter. As we all know, it pays to keep the ACs comfortable and happy.

Cheers,
Matt
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#5 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 07:02 PM

Brooks,

I just did a show with a LWII, Panatape & Canatrans. Canatrans was mounted to a small plate that clips onto the top dovetail. Panatape was attached to a modified PAM (Jerry Hill's Preston motor bracket) a few inches in front of the dovetail (anchored to Hill's Panabracket). This put the two units very close together but not affixed to the same plate. We went through a number of guns because of issues but these old units seemed to have problems with or without the Canatrans in proximity. In the end, we had a unit that worked fine with the Canatrans, but I suspect not all units are created equal. I'd add that it was annoying to have spent $1200 on the Preston HU3 to Panatape interface only to discover that all the units we could get our hands on were too old to have the interface connector.

Good luck.
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#6 Steve Fracol SOC

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 01:57 AM

Brooks,

I just finished a movie in Santa Fe with an XL. I was flying a similar set up as you, XL with Canatrans on top of the low mode bracket, brain on matte box, etc. and most often set to 1/2 or 1/4 watt on the Canatrans. Only major difference was I was using an Ultra 2. We had some problems with our Panatape but not right away. The assistants sent it back to Panavision and got another one in and we were able to finish the show with the second one without any issues. So our case though similar to yours...did not seem to be related to the Canatrans. We did not get a report back regarding the tape sent in for service...so I do not know why the 2nd worked but the first one did not.

Hope this helps but I doubt it?only seems to make this more confusing. Very interesting however! Eager to see if anyone else has had issues.

Steve Fracol
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#7 brooksrobinson

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 03:15 AM

Thanks for the replies so far. We have four Panatape's on my show. We have tried them all on my rig and all have had issues when placed near the Canatrans (on the dovetail plate or velcroed to the motor side of the body). The only solution that consistantly works seems to be to place the transmitter at the back of the mag. This solves the problem. I was just wondering if anyone else had encountered this and what their solution was. I was hoping not to have to fly the Canatrans behind the mag, but I guess I'll continue to do that if that is the only answer. By the way, the Canatrans has been set at 1/2 watt the whole show. Thanks for any help.

Brooks Robinson
brooksontheroad@pacbell.net
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#8 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 03:49 AM

Brooks,
What have the Canatrans people said? They may have some info that would help. You'd think if this was a common problem that they might have a fix. You've probably already gone that route, so just a thought....
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#9 Lawrence Karman

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 11:41 AM

Try a test powering the Cantrans from a separate power supply and hold it near where you would wish to mount it. This will tell you if it is a grounding issue. More than likely it is a shielding problem within the Panatape box. My assistant has had problems before with interference and has Panavision has added thin copper insulation around the whole interior of the Pantape box. (Which was light weight plastic) This seemed to help.
You could also try extending the antenna only to the back of the mag or some place where you might be interference free.

We've had Panatape boxes come with the proper Lemo connector for the Preston Panatape interface cable only to discover that the connector was not actually wired up in the inside. I hate the PITA crutch.
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#10 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 08:14 PM

"We've had Panatape boxes come with the proper Lemo connector for the Preston Panatape interface cable only to discover that the connector was not actually wired up in the inside. I hate the PITA crutch."

Doc,

We too had one with the Lemo but discovered it did nothing..... And I thought it was an odd fluke.....
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#11 brooksrobinson

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 03:28 AM

Thanks to all who have responded. Emery at Canatrans mentioned possible shielding issues with the Panatape and suggested that the transmitter be placed as far away as possible from the Panatape. This is my first big feature since getting the Canatrans, and the first time I've had any issues with interference between a transmitter and Panatape. My other transmitters have never caused a problem. Thankfully, placing the Canatrans on the back of the mag seems to be working fine in the short-term, I just don't like wearing it there, and would love a long-term fix to the problem. Thanks for all of your comments...please keep them coming if you have any ideas.

Brooks Robinson
brooksontheroad@pacbell.net

PS The Preston Panatape cable that allows the HU3 to show distance on the hand unit display is terrific. Just make sure your assistant has the Panatape box with the lemo connector.
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