Thread: The SDI issues

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  1. #121  
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    It is my understanding that Dana is correct.
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  2. #122  
    Senior Member Blair S. Paulsen's Avatar
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    Found this on B&H:

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...late_with.html

    V-mount plate with 6x power distro that includes a short run battery - lithium free BTW - as a Hot Swap Buffer. Something like this, only lighter duty since the Komodo and a small monitor need less juice. I'd also limit the regulated power taps to 3, rather than 6. Size and cost should be matched to the Komodo form factor/user profile.

    Ultimately, I'm searching for a way to keep any electrical issues away from the SDI port/board. Putting a galvanic isolator, or anything else for that matter, in the signal path could inhibit getting a stable UHD signal to the display. When 12g was first introduced I was surprised. There had already been issues with the 1.5g SDI to 3g SDI transition, 12g on BNC/coax seemed ambitious. Since signal integrity and electrical isolation are both goals, I'd absolutely want high spec 12g SDI cables.

    Cheers - #19
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  3. #123  
    Senior Member Robert Hofmeyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Lubensky View Post
    Yes, it does go anywhere, if there's a minus already connected somewhere in the system, and the SDI cable is the bridge - like you have a battery running the camera already, and connecting a power source to the monitor - or vice-versa
    But a circuit will not be formed, so I'm failing to see how power will flow from the positive of the aux battery via the SDI to the negative of the main battery. Where does the power go from there? How is a circuit formed?
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  4. #124  
    Senior Member Christoffer Glans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael fetner View Post
    What would be the benefit from using the 3G Isolator for 200$ Vs the 12G Isolator for 500$? Does the 12G one allow your monitor to have a higher resolution or something?

    I just purchased the 3G isolator last week - before I knew there was a 12G one. Curious what the resolution difference would be, or what the perk would be for double the price
    And it works? Are you working with a monitor that has an onboard battery separate from the camera battery? Do you keep that connected while changing batteries?


    Quote Originally Posted by Dana Neibert View Post
    While all the videos/write-ups are correct in showing how to avoid this mishap, they make it seem more complicated than it really is and everyone freaks out trying to remember the order of operations to prevent frying the SDI controller—like the guy in a movie trying to defuse a bomb.

    The way I remember is that no SDI cable should be connected while connecting or disconnecting power. That act of connecting or disconnecting power is what creates the dangerous situation. Once, power is established, you can connect or disconnect SDI cables all you want as they are not the the culprits in frying the system.
    The problem is not that it's complicated, the problem is that it introduces an impractical waste of time when having two battery components on the camera. On a normal film set, you are running the camera constantly, you never shut it off, which means you need to change batteries often. If you, as I mentioned before, shoot something where the last shot might be getting that sunset just at the rim of the horizon, or the child actor starting to lose interest and patience, you really can't be bothered with cable management, disconnecting the SDI, then change the batteries, then connect the SDI, start everything up etc. You need to get that freakin shot or you'll miss it. This is why tech engineers will never be able to convince creative people on time-consuming processes. This is why people demand shorter startup times of their cameras. It's not that they think the startup or cable management is booooring, it's because it can make or break a shoot, it could be the difference of getting a memorable shot for their movie, a performance that was surprisingly good and elevate the work to another level. When tech gets in the way of creativity, it's not a good tool for the job. So the tools must be better and follow the needs of the creative person, not the other way around.

    Not to mention wearing out the connection by constantly connecting and disconnect it.

    There has to be a solution where the SDI cable is constantly connected, regardless of changing batteries or whatever. If the demand is to follow the procedures at the connection and disconnection of the SDI cable, that is fine, that happens around twice a day on a set. But the cable should be able to sit attached while turning the camera and monitor on and off, changing batteries etc. I mean, just think of all the times when batteries run out by mistake on a camera. There are so many situations where things can't be followed like they do in the lab of the camera manufacturer. Film sets are messy, they are chaotic and the tech should be shielded from that as much as possible.

    So far the only thing I've seen is the isolator being a viable solution. But it's unconfirmed and as long as Red doesn't confirm anything we're left hoping our cameras won't be fried.
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  5. #125  
    Senior Member Christoffer Glans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blair S. Paulsen View Post
    Ultimately, I'm searching for a way to keep any electrical issues away from the SDI port/board. Putting a galvanic isolator, or anything else for that matter, in the signal path could inhibit getting a stable UHD signal to the display. When 12g was first introduced I was surprised. There had already been issues with the 1.5g SDI to 3g SDI transition, 12g on BNC/coax seemed ambitious. Since signal integrity and electrical isolation are both goals, I'd absolutely want high spec 12g SDI cables.
    Are you using longer cables for 4K signal recording? I think the galvanic isolators might be a good solution for on-camera monitors. Shorter cables and the isolator shouldn't produce problems. I believe that a longer cable can introduce issues for that. You also have the 12G version of the isolator, a pretty hefty price at $500, but better than repairing at Red, if it works that is. I'm wondering if the isolator for HD signals works with 12G cables. If I were to put a right angle connector to the camera, then the isolator, then a 12G cable to a monitor using its own batteries. That should be a rock-solid defense against damage, right? If not that, why aren't there any breaker box-type adapters? Wouldn't it make sense to have something that breaks the signal if any high current gets introduced?

    If not Red, are there any other experts on SDI technology that knows if these galvanic isolators are good insurance against damage? Or if they're just a waste of money?
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  6. #126  
    Senior Member Robert Hofmeyr's Avatar
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    I got some feedback from Red support, but I'm afraid it seems to just add to the confusion. They keep referring to powering off the camera and monitor when adjusting or removing the SDI, but don't mention disconnecting the SDI to change a battery. Red's answers in bold:

    1. When you refer to "the power source for SDI accessories" does this include monitors being powered by their own battery?
    Yes, please power off the monitor when adjusting or removing the SDI even if the monitor is on battery power.

    2. In the warning in the manual you seem to be referring to any battery powering the camera or monitor. Is this the case?
    Yes

    3. Must I follow this order of operation when changing a BP-9 on the back of the Komodo, when there is a second BP-9 powering the camera?
    BP Battery or Direct DC in, the KOMODO should be powered off when adjusting or removing the SDI.

    4. There seems to be some confusion over whether this is a ground loop issue (eg the camera and monitor have the same power source and you plug in a d-tap to power the monitor and the positive makes contact first) or a differential grounding issue (eg the camera and monitor have different power sources, with different ground voltages). Please clarify what the issue is so I can do my best to avoid it.
    Yes, this may cause a grounding loop. When possible, avoid using P-Tap (also known as D-Tap) cables to power accessories. These cables are not shielded and may damage your camera.
    Last edited by Robert Hofmeyr; 04-24-2021 at 05:21 AM.
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  7. #127  
    Senior Member Christoffer Glans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Hofmeyr View Post
    They keep referring to powering off the camera and monitor when adjusting or removing the SDI, but don't mention disconnecting the SDI to change a battery.
    It seems like they just read from a manual of answers to these questions and not really answering the questions you asked... sigh
    So no luck there I guess. We just have to hope we get some answers in here then. It's like they see these posts but they just ignore them or something, and I don't understand why. Maybe Red's switching policies, no longer present on these forums as before and just focusing on a more closed group somewhere where they keep the discussions going. Can't really blame them if that is the case. Seeing just how the lower price of Komodo introduced a lot of amateurs to becoming Red owners, it also introduced a tsunami och idiot questions that just produce a deafening white noise throughout the Red community. So maybe they bailed this place because they don't have time to care for the mass and instead focus on a more closed group of testers and their technical issues.

    But that's just speculation of course, we don't know anything, it might just be the covid situation, but I'm thinking that would increase presence online since most of us work from home nowadays. I just want to know some solutions to this, more of a deep dive, not some re-telling of the manual's vague description that really isn't what we are asking about. It's like the computer support where the only answer you get is to "restart the computer" like that's not the first thing anyone has ever done before contacting support.

    Just want to know a simple yes or no from Red about the galvanic isolators. Do they work? Do they prevent damage when the procedures can't be followed or don't get followed due to the situation of filming? If yes, GOOD then we have a solution to this entire thread, if no, then we have to continue figuring stuff out.
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  8. #128  
    Senior Member Robert Hofmeyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christoffer Glans View Post
    It seems like they just read from a manual of answers to these questions and not really answering the questions you asked... sigh
    So no luck there I guess. We just have to hope we get some answers in here then. It's like they see these posts but they just ignore them or something, and I don't understand why. Maybe Red's switching policies, no longer present on these forums as before and just focusing on a more closed group somewhere where they keep the discussions going. Can't really blame them if that is the case. Seeing just how the lower price of Komodo introduced a lot of amateurs to becoming Red owners, it also introduced a tsunami och idiot questions that just produce a deafening white noise throughout the Red community. So maybe they bailed this place because they don't have time to care for the mass and instead focus on a more closed group of testers and their technical issues.

    But that's just speculation of course, we don't know anything, it might just be the covid situation, but I'm thinking that would increase presence online since most of us work from home nowadays. I just want to know some solutions to this, more of a deep dive, not some re-telling of the manual's vague description that really isn't what we are asking about. It's like the computer support where the only answer you get is to "restart the computer" like that's not the first thing anyone has ever done before contacting support.

    Just want to know a simple yes or no from Red about the galvanic isolators. Do they work? Do they prevent damage when the procedures can't be followed or don't get followed due to the situation of filming? If yes, GOOD then we have a solution to this entire thread, if no, then we have to continue figuring stuff out.
    I agree. It would be great to get some proper feedback that we know is correct. I'm currently just listening to whoever sounds the most convincing online :). And if my (admittedly very rough) estimates below are even close to correct, then this is a more serious problem than it has been on other cameras.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Hofmeyr View Post
    Yeah, I've seen that this happens on other cameras. But I think on Komodo it is more serious because it only has SDI out (I guess wifi or the link adapter count as video outputs, but neither seems to be rock solid). Also, there seem to be a large number of people with this problem. I'd estimate I've seen about 10 people commenting on the Komodo Users facebook group about SDI issues with their cameras, and I've only been following the group closely for a few weeks. Assuming for every post I've happened to see there are 4 that I missed (or that didn't post here or on FB), that's 50 out of around 10000 cameras in the wild (estimated from my very recently shipped serial number). That's a 1 in 200 failure rate, which does not seem too bad until you take into account that the average age of all the Komodos in use is probably around 2 months.

    Disclaimer: obviously these are VERY rough estimates and only Red knows the exact number of cases of this issue. I would love to hear more from them about this - what exactly causes the failure? Do we need to worry if powering a monitor from its own battery? Do we need to worry when swapping a dead BP-9 while the other BP-9 is running the camera? What about when attaching/detaching the camera power cable with batteries inserted? I work in remote locations, so I need reliable equipment. For now, I'm going to follow the recommended order of operation as best I can, but it is a real worry.
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  9. #129  
    Those replies from Red are contradicting them selves, so yes cant really be from a person that knows what they are talking about.

    I'm sure this will be sorted on the next gen of cameras. As for komodo / LF gen I think it is what it is, in other words a lot of SDI boards will fry.
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  10. #130  
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    It seems to me that Red Technical Support's guidence went beyond what is stated on page 141 in the Komodo operations manual. This is not helpful and certainly adds to confusion. This is a problem known to Red and needs to be addressed in writing by either a manual revision or an alert bulletin emailed to Komodo owners immediately.
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