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Old July 19th, 2007, 12:34 PM   #196
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No, I mean, you have a 16Gb flash card. You capture to flash and then store in the external disk.
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Old July 19th, 2007, 01:27 PM   #197
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Embedded computers

I have been keeping an eye on this thread for a while, you have made some real progress!

In regards to the miniPC options, I have been doing some research into embedded solutions for some time now and would like to share.

My first thought when contemplating building a portable PC to record HD with was to use PC/104+ modules, but the cost of decent PC/104+ CPU boards (1 GHz and up) was near or over $1000 USD, so it looked unlikely. The upside is that everything I would need could be added to the "stack", such as hardware RAID and FireWire and even Framegrabbers... and the boards are only 90mm x 96mm.

Another option, as someone else mentioned, are the 3.5" SBC based systems. I personally felt that this was slightly too big for my purposes, as I am trying to build the computer into the final camera. The size of 3.5" boards are actually approximately 102mm x 156mm (or the size of a 3.5" disk drive). Prices on these are not too bad, you can find decent 1.8 GHz systems for under $700 USD.

Next. and maybe the most accessible to end-users, are the new Pico-ITX boards from VIA that should be shipping by the end of this month. There is no word on price officially, but some estimate it at $350 to $450 USD. These are 72mm x 100mm and have a LVDS/DVI and a duaghter board with additional TV out. Downside, 1 Ghz processor (enough???), only one SATA and no GigE.

http://www.via.com.tw/en/products/ma...erboard_id=472

The last option, and the one that I am attempting, is to use a system called COMexpress or sometimes called ETXexpress. These systems provide great flexibility in the design, with fast processors and lots of memory (some up to 4 gig) in 95mm x 125mm. The downside, the CPU modules have only the chips and electronics... no connectors! They require a "carrier board" that holds all of the connectors (and some supporting electronics). The CPU modules do offer a lot though... Gige, USB, TV out, duel SDVO, up to 4 SATA (some offer on-board RAID), and it runs with a PCIexpress bus including support for a PEG slot. The Kontron ETXexpress-PM (without CPU) can be had for around $330 USD... plus the cost of building the carrier board.

http://www.congatec.com/b945.html?&L...k%28this%29%3B
http://us.kontron.com/index.php?id=82&cat=460

I have started designing a carrier board, but I am very BAD when it come to electronics and it does not seem like it will be a simple task, but I am going to try anyway. Kontron does have a design guide here http://us.kontron.com/downloads/whit...Guide_v1.4.pdf if any are interested.

Some places that I have found that sell these embedded systems are:
http://www.wdlsystems.com/index.shtml
http://store.orbitmicro.com/commerce...tegory_id=1018
http://www.eplatformpro.com/us/
http://www.emacinc.com/home.htm

Sorry for the long post.

Jose, what do you feel are the minimum requirements for capturing? Have you tried capturing to any other system? You are using a 2.4 GHz Core 2 Quad with 2 gigs of ram, correct?
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Old July 19th, 2007, 01:49 PM   #198
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Hi Seth. Thanks for all the info.

Yes, I'm using a Core2Quad. In fact it has 4Gb of RAM but Windows only sees 2 of them. OSX sees the four though.

I also have a Centrino solo laptop, 2Ghz and 1Gb RAM DDR2. I can capture with it too. No problem. 1Ghz... I don't know. I'd say 1,5Ghz and 512Mb RAM is the minimum, but I can't really say without testing.
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Old July 19th, 2007, 06:49 PM   #199
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Hey, just wanted to drop some ideas, hoping it helps:
I was thinking that a Pc-dependant camera could get unpractical. And thought that there is maybe the possibility of transmitting wireless data, to a pc, and capture in the pc (not having to mount the pc on the tripod, or camera to capture. There is an article about something similar here
http://www.worldscreen.org/download/index.html
In a home-made solution... Would it be possible to get the info through the USB output, into the router ( http://mobileoffice.about.com/od/lap...ketrouters.htm ), and send it wireless to the pc?

Maybe this is useful to someone
http://www.dcinema.fraunhofer.de/messen/nab07_e.html

If I am just saying things that are not possible, just ignore me, je =)
Cheers!!
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Old July 20th, 2007, 04:25 AM   #200
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embeded pc

Design of a multilayered com express carrier board is I think to big for DIY guys, and size of those boards are in the end same as 3.5" embeded pc. Best one I have found is the one i have posted already. It cost 270 with shipping to Croatia. Here is link http://www.spectra.de/ (find in 3.5" LS 371 )
It has all you need for this purpose. It has mini PCI so you can add SATA raid 0,1, or more Glan, or firewire or more USB. It even has component 1080p out onboard. All connections that you dont realy need are on pin headers. Only what is missing is PCIe.
If you want expansion functionality you have to go to mini ITX or 5.25" size boards (find in www.spectra.de find in 5.25" EBC 500)
Next option is PICMIG
http://www.millertech.com/mb-sbc/sbc/picmg/P4.htm
Those are even bigger embeded pc but carrier boards can be realy small.
Minimum chipset type for our purpose is Intel 915. Best are 945/965. All those chipsets on those boards are for laptops but they have enough speed and power to handle bayer recording to sata disks.

All those stuff are industrial grade computers made at very tight tollerances.
Camera size of SI2K or JVC HD100 are exelent sizes, and those boards fits to those size.
Dont get me wrong. I have none of those boards. This is what I have found on searching on internet and various dv related boards in a last year period.
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Old July 20th, 2007, 05:12 AM   #201
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Ok, let's say I get myself a LS-371 3.5" board. What do I need to have the whole basic computer running? I supose I need a core2duo processor, a sata disk, a ram board and a LCD. That's all?

How much can everything cost? Cause if that's all, we have our own computer independent camera.

We'd still have to talk to someone to program some tool to control everything, even later encoding. The camera could send the clips to other computer via usb, lan or firewire. We could even add a small dvd burner so when you finish shooting you can select the files you want and you get your master dvd.

If that's all we're done! We put everything inside a metal box, we paint it matte black... We have our standalone 2K camera!
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Old July 20th, 2007, 06:25 AM   #202
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I don't want to interrupt or be off-topic but what about first concentrating on the imaging element? The capture and workflow solutions may be solved fairly easier and with a broader possibilities I guess.

For DIY guys like me watching this thread by daily basis I'm really hopeful about a fairly easy 2K solution with standart parts and open source software. But if we could handle the 35mm-like picture for a price of an HDV camcorder or less, that would open a new route to independent filmmaking. That's why we are here, right? ;)

Sorry for my English btw.

orkan.
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Old July 20th, 2007, 07:03 AM   #203
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What's the problem with the imaging parts? We already have the board and the sensor. The images wer'e getting look very nice and have nothing to do with standard hdv. In fact, they look more cinematic than any pro camera I've ever seen (appart from RED and SI-2K). We just need the adaptor to get shallow DOF, but we already know how to do it.

Also people at Omnivision sent me another board a couple of days ago. I'll post some clips from this new sensor when it gets here. In fact, I'll post clips from both cameras shooting the same scene so we can decide which one's better.

If you read the thread we've made some huge improvements since the micron board arrived. At first we couldn't even get to full HD and framerate always depended on many different aspects. Now we've got full 2K at fixed 24fps. We have in-camera full controls including white balance, shutter, exposure, gain... What else can we do with the imaging part?

I thought we were discussing the capture and workflow hardware because we already knew the micron board can do what we want. I know this may be going too fast to really notice we're actually solving problems and taking the next natural step, but we're doing it.

Now, of course, if you think we're forgetting something about the sensor, please feel free to point it out, cause that's why we're here :)
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Old July 20th, 2007, 07:39 AM   #204
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embeded pc

For system disk I would prefer PATA flash disk module, and separate SATA disk for video. This SATA disk I like to be 2.5". Seagate has those at 7200 rpm. This are for laptops so they are designed for mobile computing, this is imortant for data safe. (you can make this also like removable disk but I dont like that, It is better to download clips thru Glan, or even record thru Glan on some portable server http://www.intel.com/design/servers/storage/ss4000-E/). You also need some input device like programable numeric pad, so you can easy enable recording and change camera parameters. There is also everlasting problem of cooling and powering. Hausing has to be cnc made of aluminum in big heat sink style or incorporated with big aluminum sink that can cool procesor down even without of fan or very, very quiet one. Powering. Best is like Red, sony V-mount, but this is very expensive even if you go with swit v-mount li-on.
http://www.swit-battery.com/swit2006...roductlist.asp
They also have Vmount plates and chargers.
Other options are making plastic or aluminum case for 10 AA NiMh batteries, so you will have enough power for hour or so for pc, 35 adapter, camera board and LCD. You will also need a separate 12v power supply so you can run without batteries and to charge them. LCD: chepaest good enough solution is Inovatec
http://www.mp3playerstore.com/stuff_...l/IN-700VG.htm
It has vga input and analog video inputs.
There is another issue to deal with LS-371: It has only one memory slot and this slot is laptop kind. Biggest afordable ram chips for those are 1Gb in size, 2Gb are expencive and rare. How much all this cost? It depends on where you live and where you buy. The biggest issue of price is to put all this on the table and tryout different configurations with minimum what you need, and with minimum power and heat. This will give you final price. Program to control everything is probably www.norpix.com stremapix. Contact them, they are very responsive, and they will give you acess to their software so you can try it. They have as Jason Rodriguez say very good software for cinematografy use even if it is not quite for this purpose. Their software also record audio in sinc with your video. BTW audio is aslo an issue to deal with, for pro use onboard audio is no good and double system is for me waist of time even if this is normal in cinematography. I would use this box because it has all you need in pro audio for video world http://www.presonus.com/firebox.html. Another issue: Firewire, so you need mini PCI FW add on card for LS-371.
All this is optional. You have to start with only basic things to see proff of concept. You are on a good way. Here is also somethin that you will need at the end.
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Old July 20th, 2007, 07:49 AM   #205
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Thanks Igor... By the way, where do you get all those custom made parts? Cause as you say, well need a case and things like that followfocus, maybe a DIY matte box...
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Old July 20th, 2007, 09:04 AM   #206
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Those are pre production samples, proof of concept. I have made those, and there is a lot more stuff that I will offer comercialy very soon. Pm me if you are intersted. I have offer that you probably can't resist.
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Old July 20th, 2007, 09:42 AM   #207
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Just PMed you. By the way, I'm definitely buying that LCD!
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Old July 20th, 2007, 12:15 PM   #208
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Inovatec

http://www.cinevate.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=246
Interesting dicusion about it.
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Old July 20th, 2007, 12:32 PM   #209
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Hard Disk Drives

Igor,

Thanks for all of the great info. I would agree that the multilayer COMexpress carrier board is too much for a DIYer... I'll let you know if it works :)

I aggree that the best HDD choice would be the Seagate Momentus 7200.2 (not the 7200.1)... it has their new "G-Force" sensor to protect the HDD from drops or bumps. Why are you apposed to removable disks? I would think, for filmmaking, it would be preferable to be able to swap out a drive quickly instead of needing to download all of the data... just as long as eSATA connectors are used, because the normal SATA connectors are only rated for a small amount of connects-disconnects and could be damaged.
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Old July 20th, 2007, 12:34 PM   #210
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I agree. External HDDs provide a much easier workflow. You shoot, unplug, plug to the computer and that's all.
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