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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » Additional uses for the JNIOR (Page 1)

 
This topic comprises 3 pages: 1  2  3 
 
Author Topic: Additional uses for the JNIOR
Bruce Cloutier
Film Handler

Posts: 78
From: Gibsonia, PA, USA
Registered: Aug 2016


 - posted 01-03-2019 11:03 AM      Profile for Bruce Cloutier   Author's Homepage   Email Bruce Cloutier   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You know that the JNIOR can do a lot of things and it wasn't designed solely for the cinema market. We want to bring more value to this market (make the JNIOR do more for you) but need your input. I do not have the direct experience in operating a theater that all of you have but I can create products. For new applications I need to rely on all of you.

quote: Carsten Kurz
There are certainly more ways to use a JNIOR in cinemas in addition to the classic applications as light and curtain control. Not only the actual application is of interest, but also the means to apply user interaction. E.g. all servers enable automatic actions in playlists, but playlists are only active during an actual movie showing. So, one has to look closely at what happens when and what is useful for the operator. I am sure that cinema will have a good time with you sneaking in.

Bruce - ever thought of adding IR remote control as an expansion module?

Carsten, the IR control is an interesting idea and obviously something that we could easily do. I couldn't tell if you were thinking of an IR transmitter (so we can control other devices by simulating their remote control inputs) or a receiver (so we could respond to commands from some standard remote). Did you have a target application in mind?

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

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From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 01-03-2019 03:13 PM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I guess sending IR makes more sense, as control can nowadays be achieved more easily through networked smartphones/tablets.
Now that Oppos Blurayplayers are gone, being able to control such consumer devices could be handy.

- Carsten

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Bruce Cloutier
Film Handler

Posts: 78
From: Gibsonia, PA, USA
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 - posted 01-04-2019 06:51 AM      Profile for Bruce Cloutier   Author's Homepage   Email Bruce Cloutier   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The Oppo Bluerays are gone? Figures. That's what I have in my home system.

We would like to service more of the home and small theater market. Options for the JNIOR to interface somehow with these players and surround systems would help. We could do something along the lines of a "universal remote" as well. Just ideas.

We're making changes to allow us to be more responsive to custom requirements and low volume product implementations. By the end of February INTEG will have its own production line up and running where previously we relied upon contract manufacturing. This will allow us to go from design to delivery in around 4-6 weeks. With reliance on contract manufacturers the best we could do is 3-4 months and the smallest runs would have to be like 250. We're excited about this.

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Harold Hallikainen
Jedi Master Film Handler

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From: Denver, CO, USA
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 - posted 01-04-2019 09:47 AM      Profile for Harold Hallikainen   Author's Homepage   Email Harold Hallikainen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
IR control is interesting, but can't this equipment already be controlled by the SMS over HDMI?

Harold

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Tony Bandiera Jr
Film God

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From: Moreland Idaho
Registered: Apr 2004


 - posted 01-04-2019 10:17 AM      Profile for Tony Bandiera Jr   Email Tony Bandiera Jr   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Bruce Cloutier
We would like to service more of the home and small theater market. Options for the JNIOR to interface somehow with these players and surround systems would help. We could do something along the lines of a "universal remote" as well. Just ideas.
For this idea to fly, rather than having your company try to get the IR command files from all of the manufacturers, you need to take the route that AMX (and I presume Crestron) has done....AMX has a box called the "IRIS" which is a learning device.

You use the equipments' remote to program in each function (assigning it to a unique "channel" as you do so) that is saved as code that the AMX controller can translate and send to standard IR emmitters (simply an IR LED in a stick-on package) to place on the controlled equipment.

I have used it extensively and with very little practice can program a rather large full-function remote in a short period of time.

One great feature of this setup (which simplifies code writing and learning new remotes) is that the common functions' channel assignments can be saved to a template to save a lot of time in learning new remotes.

So far, I have never found a "universal" remote sold that can cover every function of all the gear I have encountered...the AMX IRIS and touchscreen/controller system makes that an easy task.

I would be happy to provide the services to help develop this concept with the JNIOR if you provide the equipment.

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

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From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
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 - posted 01-05-2019 07:15 AM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Oh wow, on a side note, I just opened an ancient issue of Cinema Technology Magazine, and found an image and description of a JNIOR in it - this issue is from september 2008, so, more than 10 years...

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- Carsten

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Bruce Cloutier
Film Handler

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From: Gibsonia, PA, USA
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 - posted 01-05-2019 08:18 AM      Profile for Bruce Cloutier   Author's Homepage   Email Bruce Cloutier   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
INTEG was formed in 1999 as a programming services company. The company had contracts to develop control systems software in the newspaper industry and to develop computer models and simulations for the steel industry. We also provided programming support to the transportation industry.

The control systems we developed relied heavily on Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) and some of you may be familiar with them. They are expensive and the companies that make them have learned to efficiently collect your money. INTEG needed an inexpensive controller and developed the JNIOR concept. This was sometime around 2001 or 2002.

The first units had combinations of I/O including built-in analog (10V) capabilities. The first prototypes became known as the JNIOR1 or JNIOR Series 1. Only a few were made. The product was redesigned for production as the JNIOR2 and only a couple of thousand were produced.

Kodak obtained the JNIOR2 for use as a low-cost controller with their pre-show systems. They eventually came to INTEG asking that we create a model with more relays and inputs dropping the analog I/O as this would best fit their needs. As a result the JNIOR3 or Series 3 Models 310, 312 and 314 were developed. This was around 2004 and it is when I became involved with INTEG. First INTEG contracted for my services but eventually as the product gained speed I took on ownership.

The Series 3, recognizable by the white background label (and green power LED), was in production from 2004 thru 2014 (10 years). The processor it employed was an 8051 variant with built-in Java Virtual Machine (JVM). The component manufacturer eventually notified us that they were no longer going to make the part.

As we have a commitment to this market and we were in the midst of the big conversion to digital cinema, we needed to replace the product with something. I decided to redesign the JNIOR from the bottom up around a new processor. The only design spec was that it be a drop-in replacement for the Series 3 (and perform much better). The Series 4 was born and these are current products for us. The only visible difference is the black background label and the blue power LED.

So when I created the first Model 410 prototype I installed the board in a 310 housing. So we could tell which was the new 410 I temporarily used the blue LED for the power light. Well Rick liked the blue and we stuck with it. The color blue was a hard thing to create in an LED. So it initially became somewhat of a novelty for everyone. We were no different. So we kept it.

Yeah, more than 10 years for the JNIOR. More like 15. But it is not old stuff. It is becoming a work-horse in a lot of industries.

In 2018 I became the sole owner of INTEG and we have been refocusing the company. INTEG is now a product company and I spun off what remained of the programming services activities. I still have the Hot Strip Mill Model (HSMM) which is used by every company producing steel around the globe. I need to find a home for that software asset.

In entering 2019 INTEG will begin producing the JNIOR with our own production line. We were reliant on contract manufacturing previously and that limited us in a number of ways. One issue had been our ability to bring new product to market. It both took months and the costs required that we had customers interested in quantity. Soon we will be able to create product and bring it to market in just a few weeks and produce as few of them initially as makes sense without undue cost. We are excited about this.

So now where do we go with it?

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

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From: Annapolis, MD
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 - posted 01-05-2019 01:58 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
How is the rackmount package coming? (or at least some form of finished installation package?

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Bruce Cloutier
Film Handler

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From: Gibsonia, PA, USA
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 - posted 01-05-2019 04:06 PM      Profile for Bruce Cloutier   Author's Homepage   Email Bruce Cloutier   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I know that we discussed the rack mounting. In working to make that happen I ran into the issues that I referred to in the prior post. So the first step to get that done, well, was to buy the company believe it or not. So I'm working on it. That and about 12 other configurations. Our production line should be up and running by the end of February. First we'll need to get all of our current products to run through there. And... then we'll see about rackmount or anything else different.

We'll be able to quickly run small quantities of custom boards for versions of the JNIOR (or anything else). It is PCB assembly equipment that we are bringing online. After that is in place I need to address the cost for enclosures and metal work. The sheet metal case for our LED dimmer is crazy expensive for some reason and it shouldn't be. Just the flat 2U plate that we use for the Control Panel is far too costly. Now we have tariffs. We don't like what we would have to charge for that rack-mounted JNIOR. I am pretty sure that you won't. Gotta work on it.

We are not passing these tariff costs through to you, our customers. We needed to take command of purchasing and production in order to get control over our costs and get it so we can absorb these tariffs.

We have never increased our pricing. That Model 310 in the photo that Carsten posted carried the exact same list price as does the 410 today. Even our approach to discounting has not changed in decades. So to keep it up, we have had to make changes.

Okay... enough blowing my horn. I doubt that any other company in this market will be as transparent and accessible as we are.

So I started this thread to prompt you all for ideas. To see what you want for the future of JNIOR or how INTEG might be able to play a better role. Steve previously suggested rackmounting to address the installation of the JNIOR. Got that on the list.

New product development aside, you probably don't fully realize what you can do with what you already have. Just as, I don't really know what it is you need.

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Bruce Cloutier
Film Handler

Posts: 78
From: Gibsonia, PA, USA
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 - posted 01-09-2019 10:32 AM      Profile for Bruce Cloutier   Author's Homepage   Email Bruce Cloutier   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
And there is silence and one can imagine the proverbial tumbleweed rolling past... [Smile]

For those of you who read but not post, you can look into jnior.com. There in the knowledge base there are a number of topics covering the JNIOR, what you can do and in some cases how to do it. If you want a peek into JNIOR applications perhaps beyond cinema, that site may be of interest.

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Harold Hallikainen
Jedi Master Film Handler

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From: Denver, CO, USA
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 - posted 01-09-2019 10:56 AM      Profile for Harold Hallikainen   Author's Homepage   Email Harold Hallikainen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Just curious... You said the device started as an 8051 variant with a Java virtual machine. I wonder what processor is now used? I THINK I MIGHT remember a processor that executed Java byte code directly, but that may be a faulty memory. Is the current device a CPU with a Java interpreter library or something like that?

Harold

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Bruce Cloutier
Film Handler

Posts: 78
From: Gibsonia, PA, USA
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 - posted 01-09-2019 11:37 AM      Profile for Bruce Cloutier   Author's Homepage   Email Bruce Cloutier   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The JNIOR Series 3 used/uses the Dallas/Maxim-IC DS80C400 processor. Basically this was an 8051 variant that booted up a built-in Java Virtual Machine. From the manufacturer this would run a single Java process. We hacked the thing to make it multi-tasking and created some inter-process communications. This allowed us the develop an application like CINEMA and still run other programs. Outside of the fixed firmware in the processor everything was done through Java.

The Series 4 currently is based upon the Renesas RX63N processor. Here we developed the JANOS operating system to mimic the environment that eventually existed on the JNIOR Series 3. Only, much better.

The Series 3 employed the DS80C400 processor which is an 8-bit processor that ran at 36 MHz and everything had to be in Java (including operating system tasks, network, etc).

The Series 4 employs the Renesas RX63N which is 32-bit running at 100 MHz where all of JANOS is implemented through an optimized C compiler.

The difference is more than a 200X improvement in performance. JANOS can execute one or more instances of our JVM (each running program is its own instance). So applications are still in Java but perform at a whole different level and can take on much more sophisticated tasks.

At the same time JANOS can manage the network, make secure connections, support a full-featured web server with PHP-like server-side scripting, support a websockets API, handle FTP, and Telnet command line tasks. All done at the lowest level not burdened by any JVM requirement.

So back in the 90's Sun Microsystems was pushing Java as a means to network enable everything. They made the JVM public and encouraged device manufacturers to create processors that can be used to embed the JVM in almost everything. The DS80C400 was part of a series of processors that Dallas Semiconductor introduces along those lines. Other component manufacturers had their own.

Obviously I like to boast about it and we need to sell more of them but... I am really here to help anyone with their JNIORs that they already have. I have to admit we do cringe when a Series 3 issue comes along. We are spoiled now with the Series 4.

Aside from offering support, many of you have JNIORs sitting there that can be easily used to do something additional.

For instance, you might have one doing not much more than flipping house lights. You can add an environmental sensor to it and track booth temperature and humidity. Perhaps issuing a warning email if things get out of hand and, well, you're shortening your bulb life or something. You could wire A/C power (not from the UPS) to an input to know when power to the building has gone down. I know, now I have the integrators cringing.

I am always fishing for ideas. A lot of people have done a lot of different things with a JNIOR. Some of that is just interesting.

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Sean McKinnon
Phenomenal Film Handler

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From: Peabody Massachusetts
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 - posted 01-09-2019 06:13 PM      Profile for Sean McKinnon   Author's Homepage   Email Sean McKinnon   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
A Q-Sys custom component for the JNIOR would be good imo. While the q-says devices all have relay and GPIO I sometimes have a need to control something that is in a different location than everything else and just send macro commands to the JNIOR over IP. I can program it by hand but who wants to do that! [Razz]

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Bruce Cloutier
Film Handler

Posts: 78
From: Gibsonia, PA, USA
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 - posted 01-10-2019 08:12 AM      Profile for Bruce Cloutier   Author's Homepage   Email Bruce Cloutier   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I see that we just got the Q-Sys CORE 110f in here on loan. I believe its so we can assist in creating that component. I'll inquire as to the plan.

The remote aspect of the JNIOR w.r.t. any server GPIO is a good point.

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Sean McKinnon
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From: Peabody Massachusetts
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 - posted 01-10-2019 09:36 AM      Profile for Sean McKinnon   Author's Homepage   Email Sean McKinnon   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
That's GREAT! I definitely have use cases for this such as placing a JNIOR back stage and connecting it to masking motors or placing it near an electrical panel to control exhaust fan relay's and other things like that.

I am working on the design phase of a project right now where we are planning to use the JNIOR as a masking controller.

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