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FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  Do you build animated figures?
A.  No, we don't build animated figures
Q. Where does your company name came from?
A. In over twenty five years we have been in business, the second most commonly asked question is where our company name came from. Eli Gilderfluke was a cartoon character who appeared in railroading trade magazines in the middle of the 19th century. More or less a precursor of Rube Goldberg, he developed strange inventions for steam trains. These were things like a big scoop to catch the exhaust coming out of the smoke stack and feed it back into the engine’s firebox.
Q. I don't have a robot, so how can I use this stuff?
A. Well, our founder uses a Digital audio repeaters for a novel doorbell. Many folks use our controllers for Haunted attractions, museum exhibits, dancing fountains and interactive displays with movement sound and lighting all controlled from one little device. We even have a customer that uses our minibrick as a main controller for a greenhouse watering system. He added an audio repeater so that at the start of each watering cycle the tune "Singin' in the Rain" played. So, the things you can do with our products is as varied as your own creativity.
Q. Does your software run on a Mac?
A. Our PC•MACs Animation & Show Programming Systems were the first to run under Microsoft’s Windows. It is still the technological leader among Animation Programming Systems. The name has nothing to do with the MacOS computer operating system. the acronym stands for "PC (based) - Microprocessor Animation Control System". But it runs smoothly under the new "Parallels Desktop - Windows" for Intel based Macs.
Q. How do I set up a new computer with Gilderfluke software and hardware?
A. Install the software applications first, then any hardware drivers. All necessary software applications and hardware drivers can be found on our website or CD-ROM. Run each setup installer individually. You may need to reboot after installation.
Q. My MACs-License is plugged in, so why won't PC•MACs let me assign my com port for up to 16 channels of RealTime output?
A. Verify you have installed the most recent drivers for the MACs-License and that they are loaded before starting PC•MACs. Then Verify the correct "Interface Type" is selected by going to: Preferences/Hardware Setup/Hardware Interface.  "Hardwareless Programming" should be selected. Now choose a com port by going to: Preferences/Hardware Setup/Serial Port Interface. Then set the baud rate to 9600 and click OK.
Q. Where can I get the most recent drivers for the MACs-License (Dongle Key)?
A. Download it from www.keylok.com/support-center/downloads
Q. Do I need a computer to program a MiniBrick?
A. The two MiniBricks, 4 and 8, have pushbuttons that allow manual programming. The MiniBrick4 is primarily designed to be programmed by hand, while you get full functionality of the MiniBrick8 when you use PC•MACs to program and download to it.
Q. Do Gilderfluke products require certification?
A. Our equipment is all low voltage and low current. It doesn't require UL certification. The power supplies that powers our gear must be UL certified. All of our major products have been FCC and CE certified.
Q. How do I buy your products?
A. We'd love to help you find the best product for your application, so feel free to call or email GilderHQ in Burbank, California. Click here for contact info.
Q. Do you have dealer pricing?
A. Dealer pricing is available for qualified resellers and installers. Additional discounts are available for manufacturers and other large quantity users (Click here for a dealer application)
Q. Are there any known issues reading a 8GB SDHC memory card in a SD-10 or SD-25?
A. None at all. The SD-10 & SD-25 have always been able to read SDHC memory cards. Be sure to always use FAT32 as your file system when formatting.
Q. How much audio can I get on the SD secure digital memory card?
A. It depends on if you are using straight .WAV or encoded .MP3 files. one minute of 16-bit/44.1 kHz digital audio can weigh-in at 10 megabytes when uncompressed, as in a .WAV file. The same audio when encoded as an MP3 can shrink to around 1 megabyte.  A general formula for estimating compression sizes is (bit rate * track time) /138. That should get you a rough estimate of storage space in MB. A 128Mb Sd card should hold about 138 minutes of audio encoded at 128kbps.
Q. What flavors of MP3 and .wav files will work on the SD players?
A. Remember that .WAV files when 'ripped' from a CD are generally sampled at 44.1kHz and stored in 16-bit packages. There are software utilities that do this sampling at 48kHz and 24-bit packages. The Sd-xx players can play .WAV files longer than 1 second and sampled at up to 48kHz/24-bits. When you use an MP3 software to 'rip' an audio file from a CD you are encoding audio, it uses an algorithm to analyze a sound file, isolate its distinguishing characteristics, and build a reasonable likeness to the original in the form of a smaller file. The key factor to consider is 'bit rate', the average number of bits consumed by one second of audio. Bit rate is expressed in terms of Kbps, or kilobits per second (that's 1000 bits per second). The most common bit rate for MP3 audio is 128kbps, or 128,000 bits of audio data per second. A file encoded at 128kbps is generally considered CD quality and is safe to use as a benchmark rate. You may also find higher quality encoding at 160kbps, 192kbps and 320kbps. Additionally, you may have an option to encode with a CBR (constant bit rate) or VBR (variable bit rate). CBR has been around longer, and is supported by all MP3 players. It's the safe, reliable, consistent route to take when in doubt. Both methods are acceptable for playing on the Sd-xx players. Remember that files encoded faster than 128kbps may have little or no detectable improvement in sound quality. Another point to consider is ID3 Tags.
Q. How do I upgrade to the latest Alpha version of PC•MACs?
A. Go to the 'PREFERENCES' pull down menu and select 'Check for updates' or 'Automatically check for updates'.
Q. Which Gilderfluke products can be updated in the field?
A. Firmware updates can only be found on our website on our "Software/Drivers" page. Simply download and copy the appropriate file to your memory card.
Q. What are the .wav file requirements for minimizing the gap between the end of a 'seamless' loop?
A. File sample length should be a multiple of 32 bytes. The wav decoder (in SD-10, SD-25, & SD-50's) decodes linear wav in 32-sample packets (the decoder uses the mp3 audio output function), so the test tone will not be quite continuous. Now that you know this, you can adjust the sample length accordingly (instead of 44100 samples use 44096 and adjust the sine frequency).

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