XL2 VF pin out diagram for a custom LCD? at DVinfo.net

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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old November 29th, 2004, 12:26 PM   #1
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XL2 VF pin out diagram for a custom LCD?

Okay. I am thinking of creating a custom LCD setup for my XL2 and I am wondering if there is any way to get the PIN OUT specs for the Viewfinder socket? What I am wondering is if it is possible to wire up a 3.5" LCD to that unit if I knew what pins corresponded to the LCD. I am assuming Canon used a standard LCD and that all pin outs are standard. I would be building a complete unit to replace the entire viewfinder assembly. But it all starts with learning the compatibility of the Pin outs.

Is there anyplace to find this information? I know someone figured it out for the XL1 pin outs.

While I love the camera I would really like to have a larger LCD screen in place of the current one. I am thinking 3.5" as I had absolutely no problems seeing if I was in focus on the DVX. At the same time it would still be small enough to fit on the end of a "new viewfinder assembly" and possibly fold in.

By the way....I have a degree in electronics but I have never worked with LCDs before except to unhook them and replace them. But recent research has lead me to believe that they are pretty standard. IF there is anyone who knows about this or has done this please jumo in and enlighten me!

I could easily just buy a "7 16x9 LCD and mount it on the back or on the accessory shoe but I'd like to have it as the main LCD so I can use the camera exactly as I do now. But with a better LCD.

Thanks all!
Marty

EDIT:I know I could probably get the technical manual form Canon but at this time I want to find out what I can for free as I am trying to determine if this is even possible before I begin investing in it.
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Old November 29th, 2004, 01:57 PM   #2
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Re: XL2 VF pin out diagram for a custom LCD?

<<<-- I know I could probably get the technical manual form Canon -->>>

Marty, sorry I have no answer to your question, but, where can you get a technical manual? That's one of things I definitely would like to have.
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Old November 29th, 2004, 03:07 PM   #3
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Re: Re: XL2 VF pin out diagram for a custom LCD?

<<<-- Originally posted by Lauri Kettunen : <<<-- I know I could probably get the technical manual form Canon -->>>

Marty, sorry I have no answer to your question, but, where can you get a technical manual? That's one of things I definitely would like to have. -->>>

Maybe the XL2 is different but with most electronic manufacturers they will allow you to purchase the "service manual" which is intended for their repair facilities to use. It usually shows schematics, drawings of assembly and even contains inforamtion on troubleshooting. I am not 100% sure if canon offers this but I know Panasonic does. IT cost like $75 or something. I needed it to repair the mic connector on a DVX that had fallen and cracked.

Anyway it is just a thought.

I have recently thought of an issue with my plan. Is it possible that the XL2 LCD has the actually circuitry in it that switches to 16x9 letterbox mode? Because that would ruin my plan altogether as I was counting on the internal circuit to do this so I could just use a 4x3 LCD. All of the 16x9 LCDs are too big to use on the viewfinder type mount.
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Old November 30th, 2004, 11:21 AM   #4
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technical manual

I doubt Canon will sell the technical manuals for the XL series cameras. They have no authorized repair facilities other than their own in Irvine, CA and somwhere on the East Coast. By providing Technical manuals, they would essentially be giving permission for people to engage in "home repairs". That would invalidate the warranty and open them up to many litigious people.

As far as a larger LCD goes, there are plenty of vendors that make monitors. 3.5" monitors seem pretty worthless, IMHO. Get a standard 5", plug it into the video out on the camera and be done with it.
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Old November 30th, 2004, 12:05 PM   #5
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Canon USA guarded their XL1 / XL1S service manuals rather zealously. I know of exactly two people outside the CUSA family who have actually managed to obtain an XL1 service manual. I don't know of anyone ever getting an XL1S service manual. I would imagine XL2 service manuals are even harder to come by.

The multi-function color LCD EVF connector cable itself should be a replacement part which you could order, potentially. Not certain about this, but maybe you can get it. As I've said in other thread on this subject, I'd love to see someone come up with a custom 16:9 LCD viewfinder for the XL2 that's maybe about 4" in size. It would sell!
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Old November 30th, 2004, 12:55 PM   #6
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Chris....that is my point. While there are many fine 5"-7" LCD's out there they are a little too big to be using when doing handheld work. On a tripod they would be great. Something that could somehow go in place of the viewfinder would be ideal for me. But hearing of the "holy Grail" like secrecy of XL2 service manuals this is starting to seem like a pipe dream.

David.....if you can point me to a 16x9 5" LCD please do. IF you are forced to utilize the video out of the XL2 there is no electronic letterboxing of the 16x9 footage so a 16x9 LCD or a 4x3 with a 16x9 switch is necessary. From the VF output it letterboxes automatically...hence my interest in that output.
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Old December 1st, 2004, 06:09 AM   #7
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If you are a business that would plan on selling accessories for
the XL2 like this "new LCD screen" I can't imagine Canon would
not make the needed specs available to you (at a cost), wouldn't
you think Chris?
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Old December 1st, 2004, 08:28 AM   #8
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Sorry, I'm not touching that one!
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Old December 1st, 2004, 10:57 AM   #9
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Well I'm not in a business that manufactures camera parts or anything. But I am interested in a better LCD to "replace" the existing one and at this stage I was just trying to get an idea of what can or can't be done. I mainly wanted to create something to make myself happier....but if I go through all of the trouble to design and manufacture it I thought I might consider going "public" with it. Only on a very small scale. But at this point I am just trying to determine if it is even possible to hook an LCD to the output for the VF.
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Old May 11th, 2005, 03:15 PM   #10
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XL-series Service Manuals

I *almost* got an XL-1 service manual a few years ago, but my contact dropped off the face of the planet and never came through. I e-mailed Canon today and asked for the XL-2 service manual part number, and they said that they don't make the service manual available "to the public". So, I e-mailed them again and told them that I want to create accessories for the XL-2 and asked if they had any type of developer program. I'll let you all know what I find out.

Now, on a somewhat related note, I'm not the litigiuous type - if I spilled hot coffee on my lap while driving, I wouldn't sue the fast food place :-) but I have often wondered if Canon's refusal to make the service manuals for it's XL-series cameras somehow is an unlawful restriction on allowing the owner to get their camera serviced at the service center of their choice, rather than just at a Canon facility. I have toyed with the idea of taking this issue to the next level with Canon if my research turns up any US law that says that I am allowed to service (or have serviced) my camera by someone other than Canon, and that Canon is legally obligated to provide service information. I'm not sure if I want to play Perry Mason yet; I'll first try to use some internal contacts at Canon if I can.

Oh, the first thing I want to do is to adapt this great monochrome CRT viewfinder from a JVC broadcast camera to the XL-2.

mike
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Last edited by Michael Bender; May 11th, 2005 at 03:17 PM. Reason: spelling corrections
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Old May 11th, 2005, 03:22 PM   #11
 
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Mike, if it comes down to paying an attorney or buying more video gear, I'd opt for the gear. Save your money, 'cause such law suit could buy an entire studio. ;o)

Jay
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Old May 11th, 2005, 03:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Gladwell
Mike, if it comes down to paying an attorney or buying more video gear, I'd opt for the gear. Save your money, 'cause such law suit could buy an entire studio. ;o)

Jay
I would use some pro-bono lawyers that like to go after corporations :-). Anyway, it's more of a pipe-dream than reality at this point.

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Old May 11th, 2005, 03:49 PM   #13
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Canon's response

Here's a snippet of my recent e-mail thread with Canon (sorry about
the formatting, HTML runs everything together and I don't know the
tags to use to keep the format intact):

M: Can you give me the part number for the XL-2 service manual?

C: I apologize, but we do not offer service manuals to the public.
We do not have a "part number" for this item. We regret this
inconvenience.

M: I would like to develop accessories for the XL-2. Does Canon
have any type of developer program for third-party developers?

C: At this time, Canon does not offer a developer program for
camcorder accessories.

M: Since the XL-series of cameras is advertised as being "open"
and you even now offer an SDK for the XL-2, how do I as a
developer get the necessary technical information about the
XL-2 in order that I can develop my accessories?

For example, I would like to develop an alternative viewfinder
but I need the information on the viewfinder connectors that
are on the XL-2. Is this information available via an NDA?

C: You may be able to acquire the information you need from
the Canon Factory Service Center. Here is their contact
information:

Canon Factory Service Center
100 Jamesburg Road
Jamesburg, NJ 08831
Telephone Number: (732) 521-7007

So, it's off to call the factory service center I guess.

mike
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Old July 31st, 2005, 12:56 AM   #14
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Mike,

Did you ever get an answer about the pin configuration?

I have a 7" widescreen BNC LCD that I'd like to hook up to the viewfinder port so I can get the zeebra bars and discard the viewfinder weight.

Thanks,

Kelly
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Old July 31st, 2005, 02:22 AM   #15
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Nope, I broke down and bought the B&W viewfinder ($1500, ouch!) but I
love it - it's the only way to go. I can't believe that I lived with the color
LCD viewfinders on my XL-1 and XL-2 for as long as I did.

Good luck, if I find out anything or manage to have some time to hack at
the VF interface, I'll post it here.

mike
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