It's a perfect time to show off some new products that are about to come out, and to talk about some of the new directions we're pursuing to help facilitate your creativity in new and unique ways.
One of the themes you'll notice in these new products is that of modularity. Not modularity in the sense of "one big box you can turn around into one or two functions," but modularity in the sense that parts can be combined, re-combined, and replaced easily. We're focusing not just on re-usable components, but re-usability across multiple lines - the ability to migrate forward from any platform to another, future capability by buying only the parts you really need. Let's talk about the first of these.
The first new product will be a quick-change motor system for Stage One and Stage Zero sliders. The new Quick Change System will be an upgrade component, and will allow you to swap out one motor for another in 10 seconds flat by simply loosening the motor clamp handle, sliding one motor out, and then another in. No need to worry about aligning motors, fiddling with screws, bolts, or belts. You can even, with the Stage One, switch instantaneously between motorized and hand-held operation without even having to remove the belt.
Along with this new upgrade, we'll be offering an entirely new series of motors. These motors are quieter and more efficient than our previous motors and will also come in multiple speeds from 1 RPM to 40 RPM allowing for extremely slow to extremely fast slider operation. Imagine going from continuous timelapse to real-time video speeds in 10 seconds? In addition, these motors will all come with a new design locking DC jack mechanism which will appear on all of our new electronics. No more worries about motor cables being pulled out.
These motors can be attached directly to the Stage One without the Quick Change System, but the QCS is required for Stage Zero owners.
Take a look at the new Quick Change System on the Stage One cart:
The Quick Change System will be a complete upgrade from the existing drive-train package, and will retail for approximately $150. Each motor will be priced the same as our existing individual motors, at $65 each, or $99 with additional drive train components as a complete package.
Now, not a day goes by that we don't get asked about a budget motion solution for real-time video shooters that don't want to do timelapse most of the time, or want a video-first, timelapse-second solution. We took a look around the market, and found that while there were a number of "budget" or "basic" controllers out there, they were quite pricey and lacked some basic features that you'd want out of this kind of controller. So, we scratched our heads and got to work on a new controller designed primarily for video shooters first.
Say hello to the DMC Motion Controller. It's designed for real-time control (but can be used for basic continuous timelapse work, with an external intervalometer), and uses a joystick as the primary input. It will retail for around $175. Here are some of the key features:
Let's take a sneak peek at the DMC, note that colors and case/components design is likely to change between now and release:
Of course, one of the things we get asked the most about are rotary motion solutions. We are working very hard on these, both to make them truly modular, but also very capable, and very affordable. Along this line, we'd like to show a sneak peak of the first in a series of products for modular motion control.
Our new budget-series motion blocks will allow you to use any of our new series DC motors, or any of the stepper motors we will be coming out with (for use with our Motion Control System in development). These are tough-as nails, rugged 3"x3" blocks designed not just to move on a budget, but to move real weight on a budget. They can support up to 20lb loads moving at up to 1,500 RPM. Their special 1:1 gearing allows you to use any of our range of motors directly with the performance you'd expect from that motor. Again, they feature quick disconnects to let you swap out the motor in 10-seconds flat for the correct unit for your application.
You'll note a special hole-pattern using 1/4"-20 and 3/8"-16 tapped holes on four sides of the block, and the same pattern repeated on the output wheel (not shown, but the center shaft will be tapped 3/8"-16 as well). This is a new pattern we will be using all over the place and on numerous accessories, to allow you to mix and match in new and unique ways.
A ready-to-run 2-axis DC-motor based setup of these are expected to be priced well below most medium-duty pan/tilt solutions currently on the market.
After these are released, we will also be releasing our high-performance motion block series, which will be perfectly suited for high-resolution motion control work, but we'll talk about those in a bit - let's have a little early preview of the new budget blocks:
Of course, we've been talking about MoCoBus and our Motion Control system for some time now, and we'd like to give a quick update in how these products will work into the picture. Firstly, we're making great progress on our software control interface, which we believe will be a unique and refreshing take on motion control GUIs, the beta phase has been on-going, and nearly all core functionality is completed and tested, and we've now begun the final stage of the first release which is focused on look-and-feel and presentation.
At the heart of our new motion control system will be smart motors which will have our nanoMoCo controllers built-in directly. These smart motors will come in a variety of native gear ratios and will be able to connect up to any system sporting our Quick Change System. Additionally, we will have a high performance motion block with a 90:1 self-braking gear train for very accurate, repeatable moves. Combinations will make available accuracy at up to 5.5 million points per revolution.
Remember how we talked about re-usability and upgrade capabilities? Through a special plug-in upgrade device, the DMC will also be able to be a real-time, configurable controller for the smart motors on MoCoBus, working in conjunction with a computer or tablet. We are also working on a firmware for the MX2 to allow it to provide basic control capabilities for MoCoBus, and we'll have some new announcements on the controller front around the end of the year as well!
As always, we'd love to hear from you, and your feedback is much appreciated!