• Master and Slave Relationship - SyncBac PRO (HERO6)

    Timecode Systems products, including your SyncBac PRO unit, use a relationship to maintain highly accurate timecode settings. It is important that you understand how the master-slave relationship works, as you will need to set each SyncBac PRO in your RF network to run in either master mode (GP Master TX) or slave mode (RF Slave).

    Tip: If you use a Timecode Systems :pulse as the master, you can do much more than synchronise the timecode. With the free BLINK Hub app, you can remotely control and monitor your SyncBac PRO units and the HERO6™ Black cameras they are attached to (see Remote Control and Monitoring with :pulse).

    To synchronise the timecode of multiple Timecode Systems devices, you need to set up an RF network. An RF network is a group of devices that are all set to the same country/area and the same RF Channel. In the network, one device has to be set to run as the master, and the other devices have to be set to run as slaves.

    The master is the dominant device, and it can either:

    • Generate the timecode and pass it to all other connected devices
    • Receive and retransmit the timecode.

    The master sends its timecode data to the slaves (via radio). When the slaves receive the timecode, they change their own timecode settings to match.

    masterandslaves-syncbac.svg

    In the image shown, the SyncBac PRO units are set to run as slaves and the master is a Timecode Systems:pulse. In an RF network, your SyncBac PRO can run as a slave or as a master.

    Each slave communicates with the master regularly, to make sure they remain synchronised.

    masterandslavecontinuouscomms.svg

    If a slave is out of range of the master, it will free-run (see What if a Slave Cannot Find a Master?).

    Note: There should be no more than one master per RF network. 

    See also:

  • Master and Slaves - UltraSync ONE

    Master and Slaves

    To synchronise two or more Timecode Systems products, they need to be in the same network. In the network, one device has to be set to run as the master, and the other devices have to be set to run as slaves.

    The master is the dominant device, and it can either:

    • Generate the timecode and pass it to all other connected devices
    • Receive and retransmit the timecode.

    The master sends its timecode data to the slaves (via radio). When the slaves receive the timecode, they change their own timecode settings to match.

    The slaves communicate with the master regularly, to make sure they remain synchronised.

    In the image shown, the UltraSync ONE units are set to run as slaves and the master is a Timecode Systems:pulse. In an RF network, your UltraSync ONE can run as a slave or as a master, but in a BLINK network, it can only be used as a slave.

    If a slave is out of range of the master, it will free-run (see What if a Slave Cannot Find a Master?).

    The master and slave relationship is used in both the RF Network and the BLINK Network.

    See also:

  • Is Slave Communicating with Master? - UltraSync ONE

    How Can I Tell if a Slave is Communicating with a Master?

    You can tell when a slave is connected with a master by looking at its main screen display.

    An antenna icon flashes in the top-right corner when the slave and master are communicating. The number shown to the right of the antenna icon shows the signal strength (0-7 where 7 is the maximum signal strength).

     

    Signal strength and comms

    Note: The LED flashes green in time with the master when a connection is established and maintained.

  • Slave Cannot Find a Master - UltraSync ONE

    What if a Slave Cannot Find a Master?

    Sometimes, your UltraSync ONE may be out of range of its master. In this situation, your UltraSync ONE cannot receive timecode from the master and so uses its own internal timecode instead. This is called 'free running'.

    Typically, an UltraSync ONE will free run because the master is out of range.

    With master-slave connection failures, there are several different scenarios to consider:

    Slave Connection to Master Result
    Slave is trying to connect to a master for the first time, but cannot establish a connection. Slave free-runs using its own timecode.
    Slave was connected to an RF master, but has lost the connection. The RF master is an UltraSync ONE, SyncBac PRO, or minitrx+.

    Slave free-runs using its own timecode. It will continue to be synchronised with the master's timecode for approximately one day.

    The slave will connect with the first master device that comes into range and is using the same RF channel (as the slave).

    Slave turned on, connected to BLINK master, but lost connection. The BLINK master is a :pulse or :wave.

    Slave free-runs using its own timecode. It will continue to be synchronised with the master's timecode for approximately one day.

    The slave will only re-connect with its previous BLINK master. It will ignore any other masters that come into range. If you want the slave to connect to a different master, you will need to restart the slave.

    Example:UltraSync ONE Out or Range of Master

    Let's say you want to film a car chase scene involving two cars, Car A and Car B. The cars will take different routes through a city area and you will film the action using car-mounted cameras that are connected to UltraSync ONE units.

    Car A has its UltraSync ONE set to run in Master TX mode and use RF Channel 4.

    Car B has its UltraSync ONE set to run in RF Slave mode and use RF Channel 4.

    At the start, Car A and Car B are UltraSync ONEs are within range and so they synchronise.

    The chase begins and Car A speeds ahead. Car B is in pursuit and then veers off down a different street, as planned. At this point, the UltraSync ONE slave is out of range of the UltraSync ONE master.

    Unable to connect to the master, Car B's UltraSync ONE uses its own timecode. As it was recently synchronised with the master UltraSync ONE, the slave UltraSync ONE's timecode still matches the master's timecode.

    Towards the end of the scene, Car A and Car B come back together again, so the UltraSync ONEs are within range. The slave UltraSync ONE and master UltraSync ONE reconnect and are synchronised again.

  • Multiple Masters in the Same Network - UltraSync ONE

    Multiple Masters in the Same Network

    You should set up your Timecode Systems devices so that there is one master device per network (RF channel). This ensures that all of the slave devices synchronise with the same timecode data (the timecode of the master device).

    If you have multiple masters in the same network, each slave will connect to the first master that detects it. There is no guarantee that all of the slaves will connect to the same master, and so you could have slaves using the wrong timecode. To avoid this mistake, set the devices in your network to use the same unique channel.

    Example: Bad Network Configuration

    Let's say you have a network where all of the devices are set to use RF Channel 4. There is one :pulse master, and three UltraSync ONE slaves.

    The devices in the network are all turned off and you add a new UltraSync ONE to the network. It is set to run in Master TX mode. When the devices are turned back on, there are two masters in the network - the :pulse and the new UltraSync ONE.

    The slaves attempt to connect to the first master they find. Two of the slaves connect to the :pulse master first, and so synchronise with the :pulse. The other slave connects with the new UltraSync ONE first and so synchronises with that. As a result, the devices in the network are not synchronised to the same timecode.

  • RF Network - UltraSync ONE

    RF Network

    To synchronise two or more Timecode Systems products, you need to set them to operate in a network. There are two different types of network:

    • RF network
    • BLINK network.

    In this section, we are going to look at the RF Network. To learn about the BLINK network, see BLINK Network.

     

    What is an RF Network?

    An RF network is a group of Timecode Systems devices that are all set to communicate on the same radio frequency (RF channel). The devices in an RF network can synchronise with each other over distances of 200m* (with internal antenna), and they communicate using our proprietary RF protocol.

    *200m clear line of sight.

    RF Network

    In the network, one of the devices has to be set as a TX Master, and the others have to be set as RF slaves.

    The master sends the following data to the slaves via RF:

    • Timecode
    • Frames-Per-Second
    • User bits (metadata).

    When a slave receives this data, it updates its own internal settings to match, so that it is synchronised with the master.

    To learn more about the relationships between devices in an RF network, see Master and Slaves.

  • BLINK Network - UltraSync ONE

    BLINK Network

    To synchronise two or more Timecode Systems products, you need to set them to operate in a network. There are two different types of network:

    • RF network
    • BLINK network.

    In this section, we are going to look at the BLINK Network. To learn about the RF network, see RF Network.

     

    What is a BLINK Network?

    A BLINK network is an RF network with added remote control and remote monitoring functionality. The extra functionality is provided by the free BLINK Hub app.

    In a BLINK network, the master device has to be a :pulse or a :wave. In the following image, a :pulse is the master and it connects to BLINK Hub via wi-fi.

    Notice that the :pulse is the master and it communicates with the slaves via RF. The communications between the :pulse and the slaves is the same as a regular RF network, so the :pulse is acting as an RF master and BLINK network master.

    The BLINK Hub app communicates with the :pulse via wi-fi (it can communicate with :pulse units via wi-fi or Ethernet, and :wave units are wi-fi-only).

    The BLINK network master is a 'middle man' between the slave devices and the BLINK Hub app.

    You can install the BLINK hub app on a computer, tablet, or smartphone and use it for remote monitoring and control of some Timecode Systems products.

    To learn more about BLINK Hub, see Remote Settings using BLINK Hub .

  • Master TX - UltraSync ONE

    Master TX

    You can set your UltraSync ONE to run in Master TX mode, where it acts as a master in an What is an RF Network?. You should use the Master TX mode if:

    • You want to use your UltraSync ONE independently. Your UltraSync ONE will provide timecode to a connected device, but will not synchronise with other Timecode Systems products.
    • You have multiple Timecode Systems devices and you want them to synchronise with an UltraSync ONE.

    As the master, your UltraSync ONE will send its timecode, frames-per-second, and user bits to all of the slave devices (that are in range and communicating on the same RF channel).

    Note: If you want your UltraSync ONE to receive timecode from a device that is connected to the LTC port, use EXT LTC Input mode instead (see EXT LTC Input).

    The master UltraSync ONE also sends timecode data to any device that is connected to the LTC port.

    To set your UltraSync ONE to be a master in an RF network, see Master TX UltraSync ONE - Set Up.

    If you are unfamiliar with the concept of master and slaves, see Master and Slaves.

  • RF Slave - UltraSync ONE

    RF Slave

    If you want your UltraSync ONE to receive its timecode from another Timecode Systems device, set it to run in RF Slave mode. It will then try to connect with the master device in the network. If it is in range of the master, it will synchronise with the master's timecode (see RF Network).

    You should use the RF Slave mode if you want your UltraSync ONEs to synchronise with the timecode of the master device in the network.

    As a slave, your UltraSync ONE will receive its timecode from the master device, as long as the master is in range and is communicating on the same RF channel as your UltraSync ONE.

    The master sends the following data to the slaves via RF:

    • Timecode
    • Frames-Per-Second
    • User bits (metadata).

    When a slave receives this data, it updates its own internal settings to match, so that it is synchronised with the master.

    Note: If your slave cannot connect to a master, it runs in free mode (see Master and Slaves).

    To set your UltraSync ONE to be a master in an RF network, see Run UltraSync ONE as an RF Slave.

  • EXT LTC Input - UltraSync ONE

    EXT LTC Input

    You can set your UltraSync ONE to receive timecode from a device that is connected to the LTC port. The timecode can then be used by your UltraSync ONE, and passed on to other devices, including any slave UltraSync ONEs in the network.

    Receive timecode from external device via LTC

    Note: EXT LTC Input mode is a master mode. If you are unfamiliar with the concept of master and slaves, see Master and Slaves.

    There are two ways to use EXT LTC Input mode:

     

    EXT LTC Input, Output to RF Slaves

    The most common way to using EXT LTC Input mode is to set your UltraSync ONE to receive timecode from an external device, and then send it to slaves via RF.

    Receive timecode from external device and transmit to slaves

    In EXT LTC Input mode, your UltraSync ONE receives timecode, FPS, and user bits data from an external device that is connected to the LTC port. It also acts as a master in an RF network, and so sends the timecode, FPS, and user bits to any slave devices that are in range, using the same RF channel as the master.

    When a slave receives the data, it updates its own timecode and FPS settings to match. It may also update its user bits settings to match, but this depends on whether the slave is configured to use local user bits or can accept external user bits.

    To learn how to set up your UltraSync ONE to use EXT LTC Input mode in this way, see Set UltraSync ONE to use LTC as an Input.

     

    EXT LTC Input, Output to Wired Devices

    You can set your UltraSync ONE to use EXT LTC Input mode without using an RF network. This is useful if you cannot use radio communications, perhaps because of interference or restrictions on the use of radio in your filming environment.

    In this arrangement, you connect a UltraSync ONE to the external device, and manually jam it to the timecode signal (see Free Running and Jamming).

    Receive timecode to external device via LTC

    Free Running and Jamming

    Transmit timecode to external device via LTC

    To learn how to set your UltraSync ONE to use EXT LTC Input mode to work independently, with no RF network, see Set UltraSync ONE to use LTC as an Input and Send Timecode from a Standalone UltraSync ONE.

  • Free Run/Jam Ext - UltraSync ONE

    Free Running and Jamming

    Your UltraSync ONE has a Free Run/Jam-Ext mode, which has two different purposes. You should use this mode if you want to use your UltraSync ONE to:

    Note: To preserve battery life, RF is automatically disabled in Free Run/Jam-Ext mode, as it is not needed in a free running or external jamming workflow.

    Free Running - UltraSync ONE as a Standalone Device

    UltraSync ONEs are most commonly used in a network, where they will synchronise with a master device. But you do not have to use your UltraSync ONE in a network - if you prefer, you can use it as a standalone device.

    When a UltraSync ONE is used as standalone device, it is 'free running'. This means that the UltraSync ONE uses its own internal timecode settings and does not receive timecode from other devices. It can output its timecode to other devices via the SYNC or LTC ports, so that the other devices synchronise with the UltraSync ONE.

    Run UltraSync ONE as a standalone device

    To run your UltraSync ONE as a standalone device, you need to set it to run in Free Run/Jam-Ext mode (see Jam UltraSync ONE to a Signal).

    Jamming to an External Timecode Source

    If you want to use your UltraSync ONE in a third-party system instead of a Timecode Systems network, you will need to use jamming. This is because third-party systems do not recognise our proprietary RF protocol. Jamming uses a wired connection, and so our RF protocol is not used.

    The jamming workflow is:

    1. Connect the external device to your UltraSync ONE's LTC port.
    2. Set your UltraSync ONE to run in Free Run/Jam-Ext mode.
    3. Set your UltraSync ONE to jam to the external device's timecode signal.
    4. Disconnect your UltraSync ONE and the external device.
    5. Output the timecode to another device, if required.
    6. Re-jam at regular intervals (at least twice per day) to maintain synchronisation.

    So the first part of the workflow is to connect your UltraSync ONE to the timecode source, and then jam to its signal.

    Jam to an external device

    When your UltraSync ONE is jammed to the timecode signal, you can disconnect the UltraSync ONE and the external device.

    (For details on this part of the workflow, see Jam UltraSync ONE to a Signal).

    You can then use your UltraSync ONE to output the timecode to another device.

    Output timecode to device

    To output the timecode that originally came from the external device, you need to:

    1. Connect the UltraSync ONE to the device that will receive the timecode from your UltraSync ONE.
    2. Set your UltraSync ONE to run as a Master TX. It can then output the timecode via its LTC port or via its SYNC port (SYNC output has to be set to LTC for this).

    For more details, see Master TX UltraSync ONE - Set Up.

    To learn about using the SYNC port to output timecode, word clock, or genlock, see Set the SYNC Output.

  • Output via SYNC - UltraSync ONE

    Output via SYNC

    You can set your UltraSync ONE to output via its SYNC port.

    It can output the following signals:

    • Genlock
    • Word clock
    • Timecode (LTC)

    The SYNC output can be used in all of the UltraSync ONE's modes. But to use it, you need to set the Sync O/P Mode. You may also need to set the Sync O/P Level.

    To learn how to configure your UltraSync ONE for SYNC output, see Set the SYNC Output.