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Q&A Using MECHA - Common issues with quick resolve.

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  • Q&A Using MECHA - Common issues with quick resolve.

    Q0) My issue is not listed here.
    A0) contact for support at mecha(at)
    The preferred language is English but you can write in other language, if you feel don't know English good enough for this purpose.

    Q1) MECHA seems to rotate more than 360 or less than 360 instead of exactly 360.
    A1) When MECHA is idle, enter these codes on each Controller according with the rotator used :E1, E2 or P1
    23131< to set E1 as preferred rotator
    23132< to set E2 as preferred rotator
    23121< to set P1 as preferred rotator

    Q2) When press [>] then [2] MECHA roates 90° then press [<] then [2] MECHA rotates -90° but do not ends up in the same position.
    A2) Enter in /config a backlash value (around 24-34) then [Apply]
    or execute the backlash compensation calibration procedure
    12321< for backlash compensation calibration.
    After the code is entered, MECHA will turn slowly to right, then power LED will start flashing.
    After that, is need to press [p] (power button) when you see/feel the MECHA starts moving very slightly to left
    You can use the viewfinder, LIVE view with zoom, other devices attached like a laser pointer, so on..
    or simply feel by hand when that small movement begins.
    At the end, the LEDs will show, say, ":24" where 24 is the new calibration factor, is around this value.
    You can repeat the code if you want to do it better or have more precise ways to determine the small movement.
    You can cancel the procedure with any other button when [p] flashing, or press power button right after it starts flashing to have no compensation at all or it will time-out in 5 minutes if no buttons are pressed.

    Q3) The rotator seems to have a play, it moves very easy by hand.
    A3) For E1 and E2, tighten this little screw just enough until the play is reduced, do not over-tighten:

    Click image for larger version  Name:	silver-screw.jpg Views:	2 Size:	30.8 KB ID:	33088

    Q4) MECHA seems to not be precise enough
    A4) Follow the steps A1, A2, A3, provided above, for increased precision use uStep without "+" like 16, 32, 64, 128, they have increased precision than 16+128, 16+64.. for current FW

    Q5) At powering up, MECHA moves a bit forward and back.
    A5)This is normal when the backlash compensation value is set, if it doesn't moves, then is a sign that the value is not set and is better to set it as described in (Q2). This is valid only for the E1 or E2 rotator.

    Q6) I don't like the Sound FX MECHA has at starting up.
    A6) That is not a Sound FX, is the sound caused by movement MECHA does for compensating the backlash for E1 and E2

    Here is a simplified and exaggerated representation of backlash.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	bkls_01_a.png Views:	0 Size:	36.1 KB ID:	33090

    To rotate your camera you need to touch it, unless you're Jedi or use MECHA.
    In the same way, the motor needs to be in touch with camera part to rotate it.

    So the ideal situations will be the follows
    Click image for larger version  Name:	bkls_02_a.png Views:	0 Size:	35.5 KB ID:	33091

    Click image for larger version  Name:	bkls_03_a.png Views:	0 Size:	35.2 KB ID:	33092

    The green arrow is the value of backlash compensation known by MECHA, so it knows, when the direction is changed, the extra movement needed, as big as the green arrow, to be able to rotate the camera.
    E.g. for 1 deg. of rotation, when the direction is changed, MECHA needs to rotate "green value" + 1 deg.
    For better precision, the green value is in steps of the motor.

    The initial movement made by MECHA at starting up is in order to exit from a possible situation with unknown "red arrows", situation which can be created by handling or mounting when moving the gear on field.

    Of course the camera part need to stay in place when motor is not moving, that is the purpose of the friction ring (Q3), so it should be tightened enough to not allow play even when pressing the MECHA's buttons, and the later is for:
    a) comfort, if MECHA has play when pressing the buttons, the movement in opposite direction will feel un-pleasant, like a jump
    b) prevent some camera movement when pressing the buttons of the camera itself.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	bkls_04_a.png Views:	0 Size:	19.6 KB ID:	33093

    About touch due gravity.

    If no friction ring is used for vertical uses of E1 and E2, the gravity will keep the motor in touch but still will allow some play at Zenith and Nadir, or even can cause some extra movement if the weight of the grip pulls the camera over the Zenith a bit.
    Is good to understand this first to see what solutions are suitable, one is to use Nadir at -85 instead of -90.
    If no friction ring is used for vertical applications, the backlash value can be set to 0 for that particular E1 or E2 rotator.

    to be continued..
    1. Mecha it possible.
    2. Mecha it easy.
    3. Mecha team up.

    4. ..

  • #2
    Q7) I'm using MECHA DAC with a wide angle lens and parts of controller are visible in frame.
    A7) If using MECHA with controller toward the lens, is easy to fix by using MECHA with the controller toward camera instead.

    Click image for larger version

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    1. Mecha it possible.
    2. Mecha it easy.
    3. Mecha team up.

    4. ..


    • #3
      Q8) I cannot update MECHA FW beyond C1E_01485.
      A8) As update from C1E_01485 to next C1E_02NNN (the 2nd generation of FW) is done with formatting of the internal storage, in order to double it, MECHA wants to be sure that you did a back-up of data first.
      However, if you did that and/or don't know to do that, or it seems that it didn't work as expected,
      please send a message to mecha(at),
      as there are ways to force the update remotely regardless of the back-up being done or not.
      1. Mecha it possible.
      2. Mecha it easy.
      3. Mecha team up.

      4. ..


      • #4
        Q9) I can force the rotator in one direction only, to cancel the backlash thus I can have then a loose friction ring. Right?
        A9) Wrong. Here is why. The backlash value needs to be as close as possible to the green arrow, when the direction is changed MECHA to compensate the best and to cancel the backlash.

        However, the friction ring has a purpose which helps in dealing with backlash regardless of the direction is changed or not.

        Beside the purpose of keeping MECHA steady when the motor is not moving, purpose mentioned earlier, the friction ring needs also to stop MECHA from keeping moving on its own when the the motor is slowing down before stop completely.

        For horizontal applications, with no gravity to work strongly against the movement, without or with loose friction ring, when the motor slows down, nothing but friction will slow down MECHA as the red arrows starts to grow in 1st uS after the motor starts to slow down, so the friction ring is responsible for main friction.

        E.g. with one direction only, MECHA needs to stop at 0, 5, 10, 15.. deg.
        with proper tension friction ring will be indeed 0, 5, 10, 15
        with no or a loose one instead, might be 0, 5.2, 11, 15.3.. that's because the friction from ring being low,
        three elements play a role in variations (but there are others, will not mention):

        a) the small component of gravity (rig not perfectly level) can play a role in variations, though the component is to weak to cancel the backlash, but can produce variations,
        b) friction from moving parts of gear, which varies, hence the variable noise you can hear.
        c) the rotation speed
        1. Mecha it possible.
        2. Mecha it easy.
        3. Mecha team up.

        4. ..


        • #5
          Q10) I read that with proper tightening and correct value for backlash compensation MECHA can have 0.1° or even better precision. I'm using a wide lens. Do I need such precision?
          A10) With a wide lens, the overlap allow good covering in panorama, however, having increased precision helps in better use of the stitching templates, regardless of focal length used.
          1. Mecha it possible.
          2. Mecha it easy.
          3. Mecha team up.

          4. ..


          • #6
            Q11) I want the best precision/repeatability my MECHA can offer, to use my stitching templates. What else can further improve that?
            Q11) For stitching template the repeatability is important, as exaggeration, a template with 0, 5.5, 11, 15.3 .. is good for 5° apart if MECHA always produces 0, 5.5, 11, 15.3 .. positions at every run.
            To understand what else can help, think in this way:
            At every 360° turn, the relevant internal moving parts (last two big gears, for E2) are in the same position.

            For E1 even if only the last gear is in the same position after 360°, having the same start will result in better repeatability

            Thus having the same start position for MECHA relative to tripod will help in canceling out any small variation from the perfections of those internal gears which can affect the use of the template.
            1. Mecha it possible.
            2. Mecha it easy.
            3. Mecha team up.

            4. ..


            • #7
              Q12) What's the difference between Custom Shots 50mm and 50mm2?
              A12) When enter at Custom Shots: 50mm
              MECHA will compute a shooting pattern for 50mm rectilinear lens 50 mm (FF equiv)
              using script in MSS format form which is easy to modify and adapt for your needs.

              Click image for larger version  Name:	50mm.png Views:	0 Size:	36.8 KB ID:	33129

              When enter 50mm2 instead
              MECHA will compute a shooting pattern for 50mm rectilinear lens 50 mm (FF equiv)
              using Repeat feature with a list of angles and positions for each repeeat, in this case the panorama is technically made of many panoramas repeated for each row.
              While it can be modified, is not as easy as for MSS, and because it uses the Repeat feature, the whole panorama cannot be repeated automatically.

              Click image for larger version  Name:	50mm2.png Views:	0 Size:	44.0 KB ID:	33130

              The coverage of the sphere is the same, regardless of mm or mm2 used.

              Q13) When to use 50mm and when to use 50mm2?
              A13) In the large majority of cases mm is recommended, as MSS is easier to understand and easy to modify.
              The mm2 way has some advantages in the case of panorama made from very large number of position for a panorama,
              in case of a 50mm lens, the number of positions is small and mm is the recommended way.

              For over 200 mm the mm2, MECHA will have better performance if the preset needs to be exported as MAP, or Template.
              For over 1000 mm MECHA will force the mm2 format in the FW current at the time of posting this.

              To sum this up, up to 200 mm the simplest and recommended way is mm format.

              As a note, the difference of performance will be reduced in future FW updates.

              1. Mecha it possible.
              2. Mecha it easy.
              3. Mecha team up.

              4. ..


              • #8
                Q14) Can I use my own computed shooting pattern with 85mm on FF?
                A14) Say, you use your favorite panoramic calculator and it says

                Pan = 8 degrees
                Tilt = 12 degrees
                Columns = 5
                Rows = 2
                Total number of Photos = 10

                When 85mm is entered at custom (like in Q12 above ),
                MECHA will compute a shooting pattern for a full sphere.
                You can edit the script produced by MECHA and adapt for your needs,

                Considering the pattern above, it says
                every shooting position is at 8 deg apart and there are two rows at 12 deg tilt apart,
                say, the rows will be at 6 deg and -6 deg of tilt.

                In MECHA this can be scripted as


                which means
                SL, Start Level
                6x5^8, at 6 deg tilt do 5 positions each at 8 deg apart one from the next
                -6x5^8 at -6 deg tilt do 5 positions each at 8 deg apart one from the next

                1. Mecha it possible.
                2. Mecha it easy.
                3. Mecha team up.

                4. ..


                • #9
                  Q15) I cannot connect with my smartphone to MECHA sometimes.
                  A15) As MECHA is on market for a while, its default Wi-Fi password may be easy to guess or find on Internet.
                  It is highly recommended to access
                  then at
                  SSID Password
                  change the current password with a new numeric password made of 8 numbers,
                  say, 32122127, (use own numbers this is just an example)
                  please note this on paper just in case you forget it.
                  then click/tap on [Apply], wait 5 seconds and turn OFF then ON MECHA
                  from then on the Wi-Fi password required to connect with the phone to MECHA will be
                  32122127, less chances to be known by others
                  Note that in the instructions or guidance about MECHA you'll still find references to 12345678 password,
                  you need to use 32122127 instead, when follow those instructions.

                  In case of DAC, you'll need to change the password after pairing with [1] and [2] buttons
                  You need to change it only in H-MECHA, by the same procedure described above.
                  However, if the new password doesn't work you can use the default one,
                  as is possible that you paired MECHAs again with [1] and [2] buttons, for whatever reason, and it reverted to default password in process,
                  then change the password to the new one.
                  1. Mecha it possible.
                  2. Mecha it easy.
                  3. Mecha team up.

                  4. ..


                  • #10
                    Q16) I updated MECHA after long time (or by mistake) then either:
                    a) I find out that my phone can handle the new features added.
                    b) So many changes and I don't have time to learn them.
                    c) Simply the oldest FW just works better for what I need.
                    d) I'm positive that the particular FW is what I'll ever need on my MECHAs, I'll never want to update from it.

                    I possible to revert to (or to keep indefinitely) the old FW?

                    Yes, is possible, please contact mecha(at)
                    There will be need for some proof of ownership of that MECHA then that particular MECHA can be taken out from update procedure,
                    or set that the next update procedure will bring an old FW and will stay there.
                    1. Mecha it possible.
                    2. Mecha it easy.
                    3. Mecha team up.

                    4. ..