Tango TED in the news – Broadcast Film & Video

The new TED (Tango Electronic Drive) was featured in the latest (August and October 2018) issues of Broadcast Film & Video.

Tango with Ted – Part 1

Prosup develops the Tango Electronic Drive (TED) for their Tango Roller

The legendary Tango Roller is known for its smooth, vibration-free operation on endlessly extendible track segments. Furthermore, the standard head mounts allow for use of any fluid head, may it be 75,100 or 150mm or even Mitchell mount heads. Cameramen came to appreciate the prospects of using their own, familiar – often expensive – piece of gear instead of a pre-given camera head of a slider manufacturer. Since its first appearance in 2013 Tango users came to cherish their compact slider unit in its pelicase.

It is however this community that has been demanding for some time an electric drive unit for their existing Tango Rollers.
Due to Prosups quality demands one wanted to go a unique way. While all other manufacturers work with belts or cables; Prosup chose the precision of a metal gear rack for their new Tango Electronic Drive called TED. A gear rack requires utmost precision in manufacturing and it soon became clear that this could not be bought in but had to be manufactured in house. The gear rack should obviously also fit all existing Tango units so that it could be retrofitted to the many units in the field. Also, it should be able to cope with all possible extension segments of the Tango track and the transition of the gear rack needed to be as smooth as the Tango track itself. If successful, a ground-breaking approach in slider engineering.

Tango with Ted – Part 2

Prosup develops the Tango Electronic Drive (TED) for their Tango Roller

Besides mounting the unique gear rack movement control, the Tango Roller will be modified to accept the motor and the drive unit. All this works off the 100mm bowl which needs to be swapped if you want to use your existing Tango Roller. The 24V BLDC 60W brushless motor can easily move 15kg of camera load at top speed. Due to the super precise gear rack the slowest speed can hardly be seen.

To power the unit standard V mount batteries (10.8V – 30V) can be used. The control of the TED is done with the multi-functional DynaStick which is linked via cable to the main unit – optional RF control can be fitted as well. Speed, acceleration, deceleration, end stops and shot boxes can be set from the hand set. Besides the end stops a maximum of 4 positions can be stored and repeated.

An input for a foot pedal or an external joystick is also built in. For the electronic part of this development Prosup allied with Dynamic Mounts International (DMI), the designer of the DynaStick control. This way customized solutions are also possible whether it is a connection to the camera, BLE position data outputs etc.

Needless to say, that the motor drive unit of the TED can be disengaged as well, so that you can use your Tango manually. The retrofit kit also supplies you with new end stoppers with cut outs for the gear rack as obviously you should still be able to extend your Tango endlessly – consequently also the guiding gear racks need to match seamlessly. Yet another reason why Prosup could not buy in gear racks but decided to design their own, utmost precise toothing.

Tango with Ted – Part 3

Prosup and Dynamic Mounts joined forces for the TED’s Dynastick

For the electronic part of the Tango Electronic Drive (TED) it dawned on Prosup / CaSu that only the best designers were able to build an electronic drive which would be unsurpassed in accuracy and precision and would thereby meet the high Tango Roller standards.

Thus, Dynamic Mounts International (DMI) – known for their award-winning Libra III and Mega III remote heads were chosen as a partner. Within a short period of time DMI in their Shepperton Studios’ facility designed the DynaStick control. Now known as “the brain” of TED, it comes in a handy size and communicates with the compact drive unit via a 10m cable (RS-485) or RF (433MHz or 868MHz or 2.4GHz). Also, you can unplug this stick and the drive will keep its end stops – useful for changing batteries on the DynaStick.

Further, the stick displays active end stops both on the LCD and with LEDs. Acceleration and braking ramps can be separately adjusted and there are 4 available “1-touch” motor position memories (shot-boxes). The motor will drive to the selected position with user-selected ramp-up, ramp-down and speed settings. Those can either be done with dial wheel (1-9) or the speed pot. An input for a foot pedal or an external joystick is also built in.

Next to the joystick’s speed control dial there is a little silver lever switching the stick either “Off”, “On” or in the “programming mode”. Planned additions are Time-lapse capability with shutter trigger and Bluetooth connectivity.