Crude media remaining indicator for BMPCC

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Alastair Traill

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Crude media remaining indicator for BMPCC

PostTue Apr 08, 2014 12:59 am

One of the weaknesses of the BMPCC is that it is not easy to see how much free card space one has remaining. As it uses gigabits at a great rate this is even more important than usual. If I ever get to like my BMPCC I want to be able to use it remotely for natural history projects. This will make it even harder to determine how much recording space I have available.

I have just prototyped a system that can give me a better idea of what is going on. I hope that someone may suggest improvements. It is based on a domestic timer that I can start and stop in synchronization with a Prolanc remote. The Prolanc remote is a very compact LANC control. Its main function is to start and stop recording.

It is available as a complete unit or just as a circuit board. As I have a record for not completing projects I bought the complete unit although it would have made more sense to get a circuit board only. I have made a holder for the Prolanc that houses a crude switch. If I grip the combination between thumb and forefinger and squeeze I can activate both switches together. If the switches are in phase my clock starts when the recording starts and stops when the recording finishes. The clock can be used to count up or down. If you know how long your card lasts you can set the run-time on the clock and as well as giving the elapsed time it will beep when the set time has been reached.

At the moment there are a couple of weaknesses, firstly the timer only resolves to a second whereas the BMPCC resolves to the frame. Time will tell how important this is. The second and more important weakness is that it requires a fair degree of care to get both switches to work with every press. This could be solved by opening the Prolanc and replacing its switch with a double pole momentary contact switch. One pole would be used to stop/start recording and the other pole to stop/start the timer. That would reduce the care required when activating. I am told that the circuit board can be readily soldered as can the one in my timer.

Prolanc remote
_DSC0233.jpg (506.98 KiB) Viewed 730 times
Prototype remote plus timer
_DSC0239.jpg (223.46 KiB) Viewed 730 times

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