Einstein 640

Started Dec 25, 2012 | Discussions
Sailor Blue
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Re: Cyber Transmitter just failed
In reply to Jack A. Zucker, Jan 10, 2013

Jack A. Zucker wrote:

Christopher D Mann wrote:

That Really stinks. I have been playing around with the Mini TT1 and have found that when I change SS it seems to jump off Chanel's so I will call LPA when I get home and see if they can help. They have been very helpful with answering my questions so far.

They sent out a replacement yesterday and I also ordered a backup. I have a cyber commander also so when the CST went bad, I put the cyber in the hotshoe but it really cramped my style because I use the commander for metering as well as setting power. This was one case where having an L358 came in handy.

No manufacturer can guarantee 100% freedom from problems with their products.

The way PCB takes care of customers like you Jack is one of the big reasons they have such a good reputation for standing behind their products.

Glad to hear your problem has been resolved.

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Jack A. Zucker
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Re: Cyber Transmitter just failed
In reply to Sailor Blue, Jan 10, 2013

Sailor Blue wrote:

Jack A. Zucker wrote:

Christopher D Mann wrote:

That Really stinks. I have been playing around with the Mini TT1 and have found that when I change SS it seems to jump off Chanel's so I will call LPA when I get home and see if they can help. They have been very helpful with answering my questions so far.

They sent out a replacement yesterday and I also ordered a backup. I have a cyber commander also so when the CST went bad, I put the cyber in the hotshoe but it really cramped my style because I use the commander for metering as well as setting power. This was one case where having an L358 came in handy.

No manufacturer can guarantee 100% freedom from problems with their products.

The way PCB takes care of customers like you Jack is one of the big reasons they have such a good reputation for standing behind their products.

Agreed. I made the mistake of switching to elinchrom after I had a few problems with the AB stuff and it was a HUGE mistake. Extremely unreliable but worse, the customer service and support was truly horrid. Paul Buff's support is amazing.

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pursang
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Re: Cyber Transmitter just failed
In reply to Jack A. Zucker, Jan 10, 2013

Agreed. I made the mistake of switching to elinchrom after I had a few problems with the AB stuff and it was a HUGE mistake. Extremely unreliable but worse, the customer service and support was truly horrid. Paul Buff's support is amazing.

I cannot tell you how difficult it has been working with other firm's customer service departments. I believe most should be remained to "Sale Prevention Units." In my own experience, interacting with PCB is like having a friend in the biz.

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Jack A. Zucker
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Re: Cyber Transmitter just failed
In reply to pursang, Jan 10, 2013

pursang wrote:

Agreed. I made the mistake of switching to elinchrom after I had a few problems with the AB stuff and it was a HUGE mistake. Extremely unreliable but worse, the customer service and support was truly horrid. Paul Buff's support is amazing.

I cannot tell you how difficult it has been working with other firm's customer service departments. I believe most should be remained to "Sale Prevention Units." In my own experience, interacting with PCB is like having a friend in the biz.

Agreed. I wouldn't recommend elinchrom to anyone after that experience. As someone said earlier, no product is perfect but when you have a problem buff takes care of you. I got my replacement transmitter in 2 days. It took 5 weeks and 6 weeks respectively to get my 3 month old flash unit repaired when dealing with elinchrom. I asked elinchrom if they could send me a replacement and send the defective unit back but they ignored my request. Buff sent me out a new unit right away.

I also contacted Scott Kelby since he's pushing the elinchrom line and I described the issues I was having but apparently he's too big to be concerned with anything but his endorsement deals.

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bills_pix
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Re: Cyber Transmitter just failed
In reply to Jack A. Zucker, Jan 12, 2013

Just wanted to give a big thanks to the customer service people at Buff.  I have 3 Einsteins which are about 20 months, 12 months, and 2 months old.  I noticed the ready chirp was significantly louder and the gripper fingers much stiffer on the newest unit which I prefer.

Well, I sent in the 2 older units for an update and they sent me 2 brand new Einstein lights.  So basically it cost me $22 in shipping to them to get my 2 older lights updated.  I can't really think of any other company that would do this for no charge.

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GMack
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Re: Cyber Transmitter just failed
In reply to pursang, Jan 12, 2013

pursang wrote:

Agreed. I made the mistake of switching to elinchrom after I had a few problems with the AB stuff and it was a HUGE mistake. Extremely unreliable but worse, the customer service and support was truly horrid. Paul Buff's support is amazing.

I cannot tell you how difficult it has been working with other firm's customer service departments. I believe most should be remained to "Sale Prevention Units." In my own experience, interacting with PCB is like having a friend in the biz.

Ditto for PCB support.

I had a couple of issues with some 20 year old White Lightnings and they fixed them up for $50 each including parts which seemed very reasonable incl. return shipping.  They knew on the phone the issue and the exact price so I stuffed a check in it with them and they came back in about 2 weeks.

Then the little grey pushbutton fell off the CyberCommander and was almost impossible to do anything with it short of a toothpick.  Emailed them and got two little buttons in the mail in a couple of days for free.  Little bit of JB Weld on a toothpick and it is up working again.  Didn't have to mail them off, wait for an estimate, etc.

Their service is really stellar compared to many out there today.

Mack

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pursang
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Re: Cyber Transmitter just failed
In reply to bills_pix, Jan 13, 2013

bills_pix wrote:

Just wanted to give a big thanks to the customer service people at Buff. I have 3 Einsteins which are about 20 months, 12 months, and 2 months old. I noticed the ready chirp was significantly louder and the gripper fingers much stiffer on the newest unit which I prefer.

Well, I sent in the 2 older units for an update and they sent me 2 brand new Einstein lights. So basically it cost me $22 in shipping to them to get my 2 older lights updated. I can't really think of any other company that would do this for no charge.

-- hide signature --

'There is only one success - to be able to spend your life your own way.' -- Christopher Morley

I had this exact experience with four Einsteins. Simply wanted the holding fingers updated and got four new lights. I wrote to find if it was a mistake and Lori simply said enjoy the new lights, we've made many improvements. Even my favorite retailers like Amazon and Costco are second in terms of customer service compared to my experience with PCB. Mom and Pop old school values with brilliant performance. An honorable company in the new millinium. How rare and how fortunate for all of us.

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Timzee
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Einstein 640 + CyberSync questions
In reply to Christopher D Mann, Feb 3, 2013

As I'm starting to look at options for a new studio, I'm finding some great info in this thread about the Einstein and related PCB accessories. To be sure I understand how it all works, I've a few questions:

The CyberSync trigger vs. the Cyber Commander: To start, if you have more than one Einstein E640, do I understand correctly that one could benefit from using both of these?  The CyberSync Trigger on camera to fire the E640s and the Cyber Commander off camera to view and adjust the E640s paramaters?

Can the CyberSync Receiver Plus be used to control our existing Alien Bee 800s & 1600?

If using the Cyber Commander, do I understand correctly that although our older Bees woud work with the CyberSync Receiver, the Einstein E640s would display more information?

Willing to spend the $$$ for an optimum system but at the same time want to make sure whether just adding elements to what we have now would be a good option.

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pursang
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Re: Einstein 640 + CyberSync questions
In reply to Timzee, Feb 3, 2013

Timzee wrote:

As I'm starting to look at options for a new studio, I'm finding some great info in this thread about the Einstein and related PCB accessories. To be sure I understand how it all works, I've a few questions:

The CyberSync trigger vs. the Cyber Commander: To start, if you have more than one Einstein E640, do I understand correctly that one could benefit from using both of these? The CyberSync Trigger on camera to fire the E640s and the Cyber Commander off camera to view and adjust the E640s paramaters?

Can the CyberSync Receiver Plus be used to control our existing Alien Bee 800s & 1600?

If using the Cyber Commander, do I understand correctly that although our older Bees woud work with the CyberSync Receiver, the Einstein E640s would display more information?

Willing to spend the $$$ for an optimum system but at the same time want to make sure whether just adding elements to what we have now would be a good option.

Hi Timzee,

I only speak about equipment I've owned and used extensively, so  I cannot answer your questions about anything other than Einsteins and Paul's Cyber gear: http://www.paulcbuff.com/cybersync.php

I use his CyberCommander to control all of my lights. The only things you cannot control from the remote are the frequency setting and the channel. Makes sense that you can't control those. I use his CyberSync Transceiver in each Einstein. On top of my camera I use his CyberSync™ Trigger Transmitter because it's much smaller than placing the CyberCommander on top of my camera.

By having a CST in each Einstein I am able to control each unit individually or in groups. You can control up to 16 Einsteins from the Commander. I wear the Commander on a lanyard around my neck so it's always close at hand. I have not ever used his Bee line so I cannot speak to that. I do know that being able to control all of the functions except for those I sighted above is a real time and profanity saver. Since my studio sessions are always shot in Union shops and people are often flown out from cities around the US for the shoot, my clients appreciate the efficiency using a remote for lighting control offers. If the Art Director wants something different in terms of lighting or mood, I can often adjust it right from my position. Of course when Paul develops remote control light stands then I'll be all set! I have voice activated light stands now, they're called assistants!

Best of luck.

Mark

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Timzee
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Re: Einstein 640 + CyberSync questions
In reply to pursang, Feb 4, 2013

Hi Timzee,

I only speak about equipment I've owned and used extensively, so I cannot answer your questions about anything other than Einsteins and Paul's Cyber gear: http://www.paulcbuff.com/cybersync.php

I use his CyberCommander to control all of my lights. The only things you cannot control from the remote are the frequency setting and the channel. Makes sense that you can't control those. I use his CyberSync Transceiver in each Einstein. On top of my camera I use his CyberSync™ Trigger Transmitter because it's much smaller than placing the CyberCommander on top of my camera.

By having a CST in each Einstein I am able to control each unit individually or in groups. You can control up to 16 Einsteins from the Commander. I wear the Commander on a lanyard around my neck so it's always close at hand. I have not ever used his Bee line so I cannot speak to that. I do know that being able to control all of the functions except for those I sighted above is a real time and profanity saver. Since my studio sessions are always shot in Union shops and people are often flown out from cities around the US for the shoot, my clients appreciate the efficiency using a remote for lighting control offers. If the Art Director wants something different in terms of lighting or mood, I can often adjust it right from my position. Of course when Paul develops remote control light stands then I'll be all set! I have voice activated light stands now, they're called assistants!

Best of luck.

Mark

Hi Mark,

Thank you very much for the description of your system. Very helpful We'll be going over all of our options this month and I think the Einstein system and accessories will be high on the list.

Tim

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Michael Fryd
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Re: Einstein 640 + CyberSync questions
In reply to Timzee, Feb 4, 2013

Timzee wrote:

As I'm starting to look at options for a new studio, I'm finding some great info in this thread about the Einstein and related PCB accessories. To be sure I understand how it all works, I've a few questions:

The CyberSync trigger vs. the Cyber Commander: To start, if you have more than one Einstein E640, do I understand correctly that one could benefit from using both of these? The CyberSync Trigger on camera to fire the E640s and the Cyber Commander off camera to view and adjust the E640s paramaters?

Yes.

Can the CyberSync Receiver Plus be used to control our existing Alien Bee 800s & 1600?

Yes.

If using the Cyber Commander, do I understand correctly that although our older Bees woud work with the CyberSync Receiver, the Einstein E640s would display more information?

Sort of.  The Einsteins talk back to the CyberCommander.  The CyberCommander can query all the Einsteins within range and add them to the setup.  Bees connected to CSR(B)+ receivers have to be manually entered into the CyberCommander's configuration.  Once everything is programmed in, the same information is displayed for both Bees and Einsteins.

Willing to spend the $$$ for an optimum system but at the same time want to make sure whether just adding elements to what we have now would be a good option.

The CSR+ and CSRB+ receivers allow you to adjust power levels of the Bees from a CyberCommander.  You can adjust main power, modeling light power, and turn the modeling light on/off.

There receivers come with a sort telephone style cable that plugs into the remote control jack on the Bee.  If you want to be able to remotely disable lights, you will also need a dummy 1/8" plug inserted into the sync input on the Bee.

When setting up your CyberCommander you need to manually tell it what model Bee you have, and which modeling light you are using (60W, 100W or 150W).

Certain remote functions available with the Einstein, do not work with the Bee.  These include:

  • Remote power-up/power-down
  • Switching between action mode and constant color mode
  • remote enable/disable of optical slave trigger

If you are dedicating the receiver to be used with a Bee, I recommend the AC version over the battery version.  The AC version connects inline with the Bee's power cord.  You already have power for the Bee, so no extra wiring is needed.  With the Battery version you need to change the batteries every once in a while.

Be aware that the CSR+ ad CSRB+ receivers are not as elegant as the Einstein's receiver.  The CSR+/CSRB+ receivers are bigger, and dangle off the Bee connected by a telephone cable (and possibly a power cable)

They do work as advertised.  Once you have the system set up, It's as easy to control a Bee as an Einstein.

I do recommend that you place large labels on each receiver with their channel number.  This makes it easy to keep track of which light is which.

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Timzee
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Re: Einstein 640 + CyberSync questions
In reply to Michael Fryd, Feb 5, 2013

Michael Fryd wrote:

Sort of. The Einsteins talk back to the CyberCommander. The CyberCommander can query all the Einsteins within range and add them to the setup. Bees connected to CSR(B)+ receivers have to be manually entered into the CyberCommander's configuration. Once everything is programmed in, the same information is displayed for both Bees and Einsteins.

Got it. Manually entering the receivers would not seem to be that big an issue.

The CSR+ and CSRB+ receivers allow you to adjust power levels of the Bees from a CyberCommander. You can adjust main power, modeling light power, and turn the modeling light on/off.

There receivers come with a sort telephone style cable that plugs into the remote control jack on the Bee. If you want to be able to remotely disable lights, you will also need a dummy 1/8" plug inserted into the sync input on the Bee.

When setting up your CyberCommander you need to manually tell it what model Bee you have, and which modeling light you are using (60W, 100W or 150W).

Certain remote functions available with the Einstein, do not work with the Bee. These include:

  • Remote power-up/power-down
  • Switching between action mode and constant color mode
  • remote enable/disable of optical slave trigger

Thanks much for the detailed explanation! Exactly what I wanted to know.

If you are dedicating the receiver to be used with a Bee, I recommend the AC version over the battery version. The AC version connects inline with the Bee's power cord. You already have power for the Bee, so no extra wiring is needed. With the Battery version you need to change the batteries every once in a while.

We do have a Vagabond II portable power supply. I see on their site that this unit is being phased out, apparently in favor of their newer lithium models. I had been thinking of going wireless with one light, but your point that we would already have power to the other Bees makes sense. We're also looking at a track/rail type system for the lights so that might make the wireless route w/ battery less practical.

Be aware that the CSR+ ad CSRB+ receivers are not as elegant as the Einstein's receiver. The CSR+/CSRB+ receivers are bigger, and dangle off the Bee connected by a telephone cable (and possibly a power cable)

Right, but FAR more elegant than the spaghetti like concoction of phone wires we tried to set up with their LG4X remote. Pretty much retired that after the first couple of uses.

They do work as advertised. Once you have the system set up, It's as easy to control a Bee as an Einstein.

I do recommend that you place large labels on each receiver with their channel number. This makes it easy to keep track of which light is which.

Thanks again Michael for explaining everything so thoroughly! I think it makes sense to go with the Cyber devices then if things progress well, perhaps phase out the Bees for the Einsteins over time as things develop.

Tim

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Michael Fryd
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Re: Einstein 640 + CyberSync questions
In reply to Timzee, Feb 5, 2013

Timzee wrote:

...

If you are dedicating the receiver to be used with a Bee, I recommend the AC version over the battery version. The AC version connects inline with the Bee's power cord. You already have power for the Bee, so no extra wiring is needed. With the Battery version you need to change the batteries every once in a while.

We do have a Vagabond II portable power supply. I see on their site that this unit is being phased out, apparently in favor of their newer lithium models. I had been thinking of going wireless with one light, but your point that we would already have power to the other Bees makes sense. We're also looking at a track/rail type system for the lights so that might make the wireless route w/ battery less practical.

Even with the Vagabond, it is providing AC power to the Bee.  The CSR+ shouldn't be enough of an additional load to cause an issue.

The advantage of the battery version is in a situation where you are using it as a "trigger-only" for a battery powered non-Bee light.

Be aware that the CSR+ ad CSRB+ receivers are not as elegant as the Einstein's receiver. The CSR+/CSRB+ receivers are bigger, and dangle off the Bee connected by a telephone cable (and possibly a power cable)

Right, but FAR more elegant than the spaghetti like concoction of phone wires we tried to set up with their LG4X remote. Pretty much retired that after the first couple of uses.

I actually find the LG4X easier to use than the CyberCommander.  My studio is wired with Cat-5 jacks next to all the power outlets.   I taped the phone cord for the remote to the power cord for the Bee.  I had one bundle of cables from the LG4X to two adjacent Cat-5 jacks.  I even had splitters in the wiring closet that allowed me to have multiple Bees off each LG4X channel.  This eliminated phone cords for the remote running all over the studio.  I do understand that most studios don't have Cat-5 jacks by every outlet.

If the Einsteins had the remote jack, I would still be using my LG4X.   I like having an easy accessible switch for turning the modeling lights off/on.  I also like having dedicated mechanical sliders for each channel.

Yes, the CyberCommander does more, but the LG4X does enough, and it's very easy to use.

They do work as advertised. Once you have the system set up, It's as easy to control a Bee as an Einstein.

I do recommend that you place large labels on each receiver with their channel number. This makes it easy to keep track of which light is which.

Thanks again Michael for explaining everything so thoroughly! I think it makes sense to go with the Cyber devices then if things progress well, perhaps phase out the Bees for the Einsteins over time as things develop.

Tim

You're welcome.

I agree, it makes sense to go with the Cyber remotes and phase in EInsteins to replace the Bees.  That's what I am doing.

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