How I Broke my GL2 at DVinfo.net

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Canon GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon GL2, GL1 and PAL versions XM2, XM1.


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Old November 4th, 2003, 03:42 PM   #1
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How I Broke my GL2

I was stupid. Take heed.

I was shooting an interview in a close setting. Everything was set up and working fine until I tripped over one of the wires. The wire in question was the 20' cable from my mixer to the GL2, which means it was plugged in to the microphone jack. The cable had RCA plugs, so it was connected to an RCA to 1/8" phone plug, which in turn went into the camera.

The adapter plus the strain reliefs on the RCA cable created an assembly about 2" long. When I tripped over the cable, the stress on the cable worked the adapter assembly like a lever and damaged the cam's microphone connector. Thankfully, the camera otherwise operated perfectly. (The specific damage was the loss of the right channel from the external mic connector, so something must have been wrenched loose inside.)

To avoid stupidity, I could have:

a) fastened the cables to the tripod leg as a stress relief;
b) had the mixer closer so tripping on the wire wouldn't create a problem;
c) run the wires so I wouldn't trip on them;
d) used a right-angle adapter of some kind to eliminate any possible lever action;
e) all of the above.

Stupidly yours,
Will
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Old November 4th, 2003, 04:13 PM   #2
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Will,
Very sorry to hear of your trouble. But many thanks for recounting your accident and potential avoidance measures. It was big of you.

I've seen some creative solutions for this problem. Taping cable runs to the floor is common but can be a pain. I've seen folks use door mats to cover cable runs in high-traffic areas. That works pretty well as long as you tape the edges of the matt. Looping/taping cables to the tripod (low) can also prevent calamity.
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Old November 4th, 2003, 04:13 PM   #3
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Thanks, Will, for sharing this with us. Tripping over wires is common. A friend of mine didn't to his computer, after I warned him. The computer got crushed, and he had to get a new case for it.
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Old November 4th, 2003, 04:25 PM   #4
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Unfortunately, I was in a home (my brother's) and could not use tape. Also, I was somewhat constrained by the location of outlets and the need to spread the plugs around so my lights would not pop his circuit breakers. I even anticipated some of this; the 20' cable was purchased just before I went on the shoot! I usually put the mixer right under the tripod but knew I'd have to have it further away in this situation.

Ah, well.
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Old November 13th, 2003, 09:32 AM   #5
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A quick update.

My GL2 has been at Mack Camera for a week already. Progress to date: logged into system. The agent was unable to tell me when it would actually be seen by a technician, saying this was their busy time.

Quoted repair time is 4-6 weeks. Yuk.

After further consideration, reading some additional threads here, and given that it will be rare for me to mix more than two mics, another possible solution is an at-cam mixer like the Beachtek. I had thought about this when I bought my little Behringer mixer but felt the mixer was more flexible. I may be changing my mind.

Will
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Old November 13th, 2003, 01:51 PM   #6
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<<<-- Originally posted by Will Fastie : another possible solution is an at-cam mixer like the Beachtek. -->>>

I don't know about other models, but I have a Beachtek DXA-4 and it isn't really a "mixer". It has two volume controls, but they are the click-stop kind and seem to introduce noise when you turn them. In fact, I think the instruction manual even mentions that they aren't designed for live mixing as you shoot, they're just for setting a master level.
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Old November 13th, 2003, 03:40 PM   #7
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Boyd, you're right, I misspoke. I realize the BeachTek is just an XLR adapter but I had mixer on my mind.

Will
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Old November 21st, 2003, 11:15 AM   #8
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I haven't had any problem using my Studio 1 as a mixer. No problem with noise at all, and the faders don't click in place, although for run and gun this can be a problem too, because they can shift on you if you do a lot of running around.

Will, that is a terrible story. I've really worried about something like that happening myself. I have a shure XLR adapter I sometimes use that plugs right into the camera. I don't think I'll be using it like that anymore, at least not unless the mic is camera mounted.
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Old November 24th, 2003, 02:13 PM   #9
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Another quick repair update.

I called Mack today. The GL2 was sent to Canon to repair on Nov 11. I was not informed of this, which miffs me a bit. Quoted repair time is 4-6 weeks at Canon, then the GL2 goes back to Mack and then to me. Given the original time estimate, the total time might go as high as 8 weeks.


Will
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Old November 24th, 2003, 08:32 PM   #10
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We've all been there one way or another. I carry velcro cable ties in varying lengths. Every cable has one wrapped around it and i have spares stuck to the velcro patches on all of my equipoment bags. I'm very anal about strain relief especially into my camera. I have a mixer but I feed that into a beachtek that has been screwed into the tripod socket of the camera. The 1/8 right angled mini plug is also wrapped with a wide velcro wrapper.
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Old November 24th, 2003, 08:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
the total time might go as high as 8 weeks.
That's nothing! My friend's Pana was away for almost 3 months, then it came back still not right. Then off it went again, which was then sent to Japan: (via Pana Canada, Pana USA, Pana Japan) for almost 6 months!!!. When it came back, it was still broken!
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Old November 24th, 2003, 08:58 PM   #12
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Thanks for cheering me up, Frank!
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Old November 25th, 2003, 02:34 AM   #13
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Where do you find these alleged velcro cable ties?
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Old November 25th, 2003, 07:37 AM   #14
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Just about everywhere. I've found them at Home Depot, Lowes, my local electronics store, Best Buy, CompUSA...

Here's but one example, a roll of the stuff that you can cut to length: http://www.national-tech.com/popupspecs/30ct-07115.htm. Or just search for "velcro cable ties" in Google.

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Old November 25th, 2003, 07:42 AM   #15
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In Texas, get them locally at any Home Depot or Wal-Mart; or enter "velcro cable wraps" in Google and receive about 4,000 hits -- first couple pages gives fifteen online sources. Hope this helps,
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