Originally Posted by coolrda
I'm interested in a vertical Cineslide(is it possible), GG. Been thinking of this for six months then I saw one somewhere. Love the symmetry.
Not sure what you saw. But, no the CineSlide cannot be oriented vertically if that's what you mean. The motor is intentionally minimized in size and only has enough torque to accellerate (and decellerate(brake)) the 10lb+ lens horizontally. It would take a huge motor to lift that much weight and hold it under the power of the motor alone.
In order to go vertical there are only a couple of conventional ways to drive it. Neither work very well for this application IMO. A belt driven device would need a big motor or the thing being lifted would have to be counterweighted. Big motors are power hungry and ugly, counterweighting is not very practical in this case due to aesthetics and headroom. Constant tension springs have short life cycles so they are out for reliability reasons. And unless they were very large, they don't have nearly enough pull to offset the weight of a 10+ lb lens anyway. Next are screw drives. Screw driven mechanisims are what put me in business becasue of the long term issues the other manufacturer was having. My first year of sales, several years ago, probably went 25% to replacing those devices where they had failed out of warranty. And those were the ones running in the easy direction (horizontal). Still replacing them.
In the end there's only 3 directions to go with a lens, sideways, vertical, or away (swing out). We could easliy design a device to go in any direction. I chose the direction that fits the most installation scenarios, keeps the device small, light and compact, but still allows for a quick move (aspect change in 1 sec). And allows for a reliable design tested and documented to a 30 year life under normal use (actually double that with no wear evident but I'm being conservative lest I invoke some bad Karma
). The other movement directions had interference issues in the majority of the installations I encountered. Whether it was a port wall issue for swing out designs, or headroom problems for ceiling mounts. Add to that lowered ceilings, projectors that require the unit be no higher than the top of the screen, and theaters with risers (effective lowered ceilings), and the headroom issues are compunded. Installers occasionally whine about how tall the CineSlide is and it's only 3" thick (including the motor).
So while I could
make another device, the problem with selling such a device is they all have microprocessors in them (for IR, RS232, and motor controllers). And even little bity motors like the one on the Cineslide (1.3"^3) are EMI (electromagnetic interference) BOMBS. Very hard to contain. If it has a microprocessor, even a little one, it has to pass FCC EMI regulations(and CE for europe and most of the rest of the world). The lab tests for that start at $14,000. If you fail the test (easy to do), you go try to fix whatever is bleeding EMI, come back and plunk down another suitcase of $$ and the lab is happy to test it again for you. Not a fun process. One of the most stressful weeks of my life. If I so much as change a capacitor in the CineSlide it voids it's certifications and it has to be retested. The certification documentation is an extensive report, a good 3-4" thick. They record every component down to the resistor part number, photograph every circuit board in high resolution closeups, document every part. Sometimes people think that having a FCC approved power supply covers it. It does not. That helps becasue otherwise they have to be tested independently (and then you get into UL and TUV safety certifications). No, the whole thing has to be tested as used in the home, including the power supply, and any cabling that *could* be used (RS232, RJ45, triggers, etc.). All in place at the time of the test. The power supply wires alone are like great big EMI antenna. The RS232 and triggers, even though they are opto-isolated, act the same way. Huge PITA to get compliant. And expensive.
But, it's against the law to sell non compliant devices, and the fines for selling a non FCC certified device (the FCC calls the "unintentional radiators" under part 15 of the FCC rules), are astronomical. If it had meant a slap on the hand or ticket for $1000, I might have considered trying to "cheat" with the CineSldie and taken my chances. But the fines in the USA are more like thousands, per day, per device sold, to people caught selling them
. They get surprisingly serious about it. Bankrupt in a day scenarios were not worth the risk.
So the point is, even if I could make a different device, I wouldn't. At a few hundred per year, the market is just too small. It takes a long time to break even on that FCC/CE certification. But not having it is not an option, in the US at least. It's a major stumbling block to import or design a masking system. I can do it easily myself, I can import a nice one easily, but the payback on the regulatory certifications weighs heavy against either in a small market product.
Sorry, probably more than you wanted to know