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Old September 26th, 2011, 05:48 AM   #1
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LANC remote

Now that the LANC function is enabled would it be possible to use it for remote start/stop of recording? I'm thinking a pan bar mounted zoom demand like those from Beebob that connect to LANC and have a record button.
Steve
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Old September 28th, 2011, 11:53 AM   #2
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Re: LANC remote

Steve P. - Yes, a LANC enabled remote can be used, but must be paired with a LANC enabled camera. The LANC controller cannot be used solely with the Ki Pro Mini to arm recording. We provide detailed information about this topic in the Ki Pro Mini operation manual, available online here:
http://www.aja.com/pdf/AJA_Ki_Pro_Mini_Manual_v2.6.pdf

The section related to the LANC control is found on page 37 of the manual:
"If arm recording using LANC, you must have a LANC enabled device connected. A LANC controller can be connected to the Ki Pro Mini and then looped out to the camera; hitting record on the LANC controller will cause both the camera and the Ki Pro Mini to begin recording. Important: you cannot simply have a LANC controller only connected to Ki Pro Mini and use it to arm recording; you need a LANC enabled Sony or Canon camera in the signal chain. The camera is the essential element because it contains the LANC (or Control-L) protocol; if only a camera is used, it can be connected to Ki Pro Mini directly and if the camera begins recording, the Ki Pro Mini will also begin recording."

Hope this information is helpful,
Jon Thorn
Senior Product Manager
AJA Video Systems, Inc.
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Old September 28th, 2011, 05:23 PM   #3
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Re: LANC remote

Got it, thanks. That is a shame though, any other way to trigger the unit with a remote release without a tape in the camera?
Steve
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Old September 28th, 2011, 06:13 PM   #4
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Re: LANC remote

Steve P. - Ki Pro Mini has several ways to arm recordings:
1) Via the Ki Pro Mini physical record button; no media required in the camera.
2) Via incrementing timecode (record run timecode required) and the Arm Recording CONFIG parameter; this requires media in the camera.
3) Via SDI ancillary start/stop commands from certain cameras via the Camera Data CONFIG parameter; this requires media in the camera and a supported camera like the RED One, the RED Epic or the Canon XF series SDI-enabled cameras. More cameras may become available in future firmware updates as more companies collaborate with us on their start/stop commands; these start/stop commands in SDI ancillary data are not a standard however, such as a SMPTE recommended practice, so it differs from manufacturer to manufacturer.
4) Via the LANC connection and the Arm Recording CONFIG parameter as noted earlier in this thread; this requires media in the camera.
5) Via the web UI Transport page using the ethernet/LAN connection to communicate and control the Ki Pro Mini; no media required in the camera.

Hope this information is helpful,
Jon Thorn
Senior Product Manager
AJA Video Systems, Inc.
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Old September 29th, 2011, 08:23 AM   #5
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Re: LANC remote

We are considering purchasing 5 mini's to enable us to record from 5 Replay XD1080 cameras. We would like to be able to hit record on one unit which will trigger the other 4 at the same time. Can this be achieved with the Mini?
Second question and I am sorry for going off topic with your thread, Can I jamb sync timecode on all 5 of these units to a bank of motion capture cameras reliably?
Last question, is it possible to run 50 feet of HDMI cable from the cameras and still get a top notch image recorded? we will be recording 1080P30

Thank you,
Larry
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Old September 29th, 2011, 11:45 AM   #6
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Re: LANC remote

Larry K. - As a general rule, probably a good idea to start a new thread since this is off topic based on the original posting. Having said that, I have a "play it where it lands" attitude towards questions, so I'll go ahead and answer it here!

First, I checked the specs on the Replay XD1080 cameras and they might be using a "shorthand" for the frame rate numbers... or they might not; it lists things in "whole numbers" as opposed to what might be the actual frame rate. As an example, it might be outputting 720p 60 or it might actually be, more accurately, 720p 59.94. Broadcast devices tend to output frame rates like 29.97 or 59.94 while non-broadcast devices will often output "whole number" frame rates. I can't say for sure as I don't have this particular camera on hand at AJA. If the camera is actually producing "whole numbers" then the Ki Pro Mini (with version 2.5 or later firmware) would support 720p 60 from the formats/frame rates listed for the Replay XD1080. The Ki Pro Mini supports up to 1080p 29.97, but not 1080p 30, so if that is what it is actually outputting, that would not be supported.

In order to operate a number of Ki Pro Mini units, you might consider looking at the Gang Recording feature. The Gang Recording feature is available via the web UI and is explained in detail in the user manual on pages 47-49. The manual is available online at the following URL:
http://www.aja.com/pdf/AJA_Ki_Pro_Mini_Manual_v2.6.pdf

Essentially, one computer and the web UI, an ethernet switch and different IP addresses assigned to the Ki Pro Minis would allow for remote, simultaneous record start and stop.

AJA doesn't support "jam sync" timecode in the purest sense; jam syncing allows you to connect a timecode source, then disconnect it. As an alternative, we recommend that people use a dedicated timecode generator as a timecode source that stays connected. As a timecode generator, you could use something like an Horita VLR-100, and a timecode distribution amplifier, like a Compu-Video Systems DA, to feed all of the Ki Pro recorders. This method has proven to be quite reliable.

A 50 ft. HDMI cable run is possible as it's within the specs for an HDMI signal, but should only be attempted with high quality cables rated for such a distance. As a generalization, HD-SDI is a better signal conduit for long cable runs, again, when used with properly rated cable. HD-SDI also provides a locking connector compared to HDMI. HDMI to SDI converters are available from AJA and other vendors.

At the very least, I would suggest visiting your local AJA authorized reseller to test a Replay XD1080 camera with the Ki Pro Mini running the latest firmware, because, as noted, we don't have one of these cameras on hand at AJA. This will help you determine the actual frame rate output of the camera as the Ki Pro Mini has an autodetect format/frame rate capability. If the camera is outputting 1080p 29.97, then that should be fine as that is a supported format/frame rate. BUT if it is actually outputting 1080p 30, then that format isn't supported. Alternately, you could use 720p 60 if it is outputting "whole number" frame rates.

Your AJA authorized reseller may also be able to help you with selecting the best cables and accessories for your project... which certainly sounds interesting based on the equipment selected so far!

Hope this is helpful information,
Jon Thorn
Senior Product Manager
AJA Video Systems, Inc.
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Old September 29th, 2011, 05:29 PM   #7
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Re: LANC remote

Thanks for answering my question even though it's in the wrong place. I will check with Replay to ensure the output is 29.97 as we really need the resolution to enable a bit of overhead to push in on the eyes at times in post. I agree that the HDMI is a bit dodgy and won't suggest it but I'm trying to give the producers a number of options, then list my preferences. With regards to the timecode, I didn't use the right terminology to describe what I need. The Mini's can all be tethered to the other cameras. I am told there will be up to 200 of them running for full motion capture. These cameras will all be linked and timecode will be synced. Can we just plug the mini's in to the loop, leave them connected and achieve synced timecode? The company that provided this service in the past was able to do this with the cameras that they used however they are standard def and that is why I'm involved to give them an HD option. I will have to differ the ethernet option to someone else as I am not knowledgable in this area at all. The shoot will be in England at Pinewood studios so I don't even know what may be available in country with regards to internet connections etc. and I don't even know if I will be there on the day at this time. That reminds me I had better renew my passport just incase. Regarding finding a unit to test with, we are getting a camera to test but I don't think there are any Ki Pro Mini's in Edmonton Alberta Canada. Most suppliers here wait for an order before they bring anything in unfortunately. Thanks again for helping me with this.

Larry
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Old September 30th, 2011, 12:19 PM   #8
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Re: LANC remote

Larry K. - In Edmonton, I know of at least two AJA authorized resellers:

Applied Electronics Ltd.
11442 Winterburn Rd. (215 St.)
Edmonton, AB T5S 2Y3 CA
Applied Electronics Limited | Audio Visual & Broadcast Systems Canada
Ph: 780-462-8275
Fax: 780-462-8238

And

Matrix Video Communications
17430 106a Avenue
Edmonton, AB T5S 1E6 CA
Welcome to Matrix Video - Video Communications Corp
Ph: 780-489-8787
Fax: 780-489-4496

It might be worth contacting them to review the Ki Pro Mini with the Replay XD1080 camera as well as discussing your overall workflow with them.

Hope this is helpful,
Jon Thorn
Senior Product Manager
AJA Video Systems, Inc.
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Old January 19th, 2012, 05:18 AM   #9
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Re: LANC remote

Hello Jon Thorn

I understand to get the LANC to work for the Ki Pro Mini it first has to loop out of the camera. Has there been any development in a cable from the remote port on the Sony PMW-F3 to the LANC port on the Ki Pro Mini?

I hope you can help
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Old January 19th, 2012, 11:31 AM   #10
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Re: LANC remote

Matthew T. - To the best of my knowledge, there isn't any LANC connector (or Sony Control L port as it might alternately be referred to) on the Sony PMW-F3. The remote connector port on the Sony PMW-F3 is an 8-pin connector that is designed for use with Sony specific remote control units like the RM and RCP series controllers. Since the connector differs, it is quite likely that the protocol differs as those Sony remote control units don't appear to use LANC/Control L for their commands. I am not aware of any 8-pin to LANC adapters, sorry. You could try contacting Varizoom to see if such a thing is possible; they produce both LANC controllers as well as 8-pin controllers for Sony cameras.

Hope this information is helpful,
Jon Thorn
Senior Product Manager
AJA Video Systems, Inc.
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Old January 19th, 2012, 12:29 PM   #11
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Re: LANC remote

Thanks Jon, I will contact Varizoom.
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Old January 26th, 2012, 11:10 AM   #12
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Re: LANC remote

Hello Jon

I contacted Varizoom and below is his response

"When it comes to the PMW-F3, the camera utilizes an 8pin connection, as the cameras were originally designed through a partnership with a lens company that utilizes such connections. They don't utilize the standard LANC system seen on most other Sony and Canon systems. This applies to all cameras in the "PMW" line, including systems like the PMW-EX3.

Unfortunately, you can not convert the simple single signal system of the LANC into an 8pin system, as there is no way to filter out the individual functions and put them to different pins. This is possible only when converting from 8pin to another type of 8pin, or in some cases to a 12pin (since often 12pin units only actually utilize 8 of the pins).

This means that while you can connect the control up to the Ki Pro Mini, you would have no method to route it out to the camera, as the camera itself would have no way to communicate with it.

Wish I had better news, but that's how it works. If you need something that can interact with our zoom controls (or any LANC) while still going through the system on the Ki Pro Mini, you would have to get a camera with the LANC system"

Christian Richardson
Varizoom Service Manager

My question now is could AJA's new firmware update for the Ki Pro Mini enable one of the LANC to be used with a start stop device.
It seems odd that the Sony F3 which is used with the Ki Pro all the time can not have a remote start stop. This would be essential when running on free running timecode doing a "run & gun" shoot.

I hope you can help
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Old January 26th, 2012, 12:35 PM   #13
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Re: LANC remote

Matthew T. - LANC commands to the Ki Pro Mini require that a LANC enabled camera is involved; a LANC controller cannot solely be used to trigger Ki Pro Mini.

The Ki Pro Mini can be put into record through several methods:
1) Button depression of the record button
2) web UI depression of the record button on the transport page
3) Incrementing timecode via the LTC or SDI inputs when Arm Recording is set to TC/REC KEY
4) LANC command when a LANC enabled camera is used and Arm Recording is set to LANC/REC KEY
5) Camera Data selections for select cameras from Canon and RED that supply start/stop commands in ancillary data

At this time, the Sony PMW-F3 start/stop commands have not been made available to us nor are publicly published (to the best of my knowledge). To be clear, none of the start/stop commands from the various camera manufacturers are designed to a common specification such as a SMPTE standard. Protocols like LANC and RP188 are designed to common, published specifications. AJA hopes to add more start/stop commands via ancillary data in future firmware updates as we continue to work with the various camera manufacturers.

Hope this information is helpful,
Jon Thorn
Senior Product Manager
AJA Video Systems, Inc.
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