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Preston HU3/MDR-3 - 3 Channel

  • MDR-3 (LR2)
  • Hand Unit 3 (G4 Blue Dot)
  • Digital Micro Force 3
  • (2) DM2 Motors
  • (1) DM1X Motor

The MDR-3 accepts commands from Preston Hand Units connected via the rugged G4 wireless link or Command cable, and controls up to four digital motors and camera run/stop functions for film and video cameras. Compatible with the full range of Preston digital motors, the MDR-3 automatically finds the span of the lens once each motor is plugged in, and each channel has its own three-level torque adjustment and direction switch to drive virtually any lens, no matter the conditions.

The dual Serial ports allow connection to the Light Ranger 2 and other distance measurement systems such as the CineTape and Sniper. The MDR-3 transmits that distance information wirelessly to the HU4, where it is displayed in large, clear numbers. Firmware updates can be loaded through either Serial port or the mini USB port.

The Analog port lets you plug a Micro Force or broadcast-style control directly into the MDR-3, controlling the motor of your choice as configured in the HU4 Mode menu.

The Serial and USB ports also enable real-time lens metadata retrieval, outputting either mapped lens positions or raw digital motor encoder counts. You can jam the internal clock of the MDR-3 through the T/C port, and this timestamp will appear in the metadata stream as well, making it easy to extract and utilize lens position information for post-production.

The Preston HU3 Hand Unit for FI+Z System gives focus pullers not only a robust and reliable unit but one whose controls equip the focus puller to smoothly translate the changing actors' positions on set to a precise movement of the focus knob. The iris slider uses a unique non contact technology to eliminate the opening required for a conventional sliding seal. The HU3 allows for programming camera speed and shutter angle. Power is provided via FM-50 Li-Ion batteries (not included).

Generation 4 (G4) transceivers address the challenges brought about by the proliferation of wireless devices using the 2.4 GHz wireless band. Their new architecture results in a greatly improved ability to reject interference from other devices operating in the same band as well as out of band interference. The improvement in performance is quite significant, typically 10x or better interference rejection than previous transceivers.

In addition, their lower power consumption doubles the operating time of the HU3 on battery power compared to its predecessor. The latest "Blue Dot" version of the transceiver adds channels 30 – 59. These new channels allow FI+Z units to operate in very close proximity (<1m) without interference.

The HU3 integrates its 30 channel, 2.4GHz wireless link into a new splash-resistant housing. Weather-sealed, tactile switches are used throughout. The integrated microwave antenna is protected from impact. The iris slider uses a unique non contact technology to eliminate the opening required for a conventional sliding seal. 

New software called "Lens Mapping" matches the focus distances of a lens to a set of five pre-printed Focus Marking Rings. These rings differ in their minimum focus distance from 9" (.35m) to 6' (2m). The on-board lens library holds data for 255 lenses: lens changes require only the few seconds to choose the lens from the library. Lens calibration is fast and doesn’t require connection to an external computer.

The primary references for the focus puller are the distance marks on the focus rings. The set of focus rings have large, easy to read, distance marks printed on a bright fluorescent background for excellent visibility under all lighting conditions. The rings are automatically illuminated in low light conditions by a pair of white LED's.

A bright OLED display shows camera, lens, and Hand Unit set-up status. Focus settings can be displayed digitally for Cooke i-Lenses, or any lens which has been calibrated to the unit. Multiple focus marks can be displayed in a new focus display mode called "show". This mode gives an easy to interpret bargraph representation the distance set by the focus knob and any focus marks entered by the user.

An integrated hand grip and molded focus knob grip imparts comfortable operation. The zoom bargraph shows both the zoom lens position as well as user set end limits. End limits are set with Set/ Reset tactile switches arranged in three groups. An LED in each group indicates when limits have been set.