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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon XL2 / XL1S / XL1 and GL2 / XM2 / GL1 / XM1.


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Old July 25th, 2006, 12:14 PM   #1
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Speaking of pins and needles

So, I recently got my Anton Bauer set up complete. I got a Gold Mount plate for the XL1 and a Titan Twin charger on ebay. Then last month, a couple of Hytron 50's to actualy power the rig from B&H.

Not too long after I start using the A/B set up, I get weird things happening. I'll turn on the camera and then the camera turns on and off three times as the display in the battery's info window changes. It does this every time the battery display changes.

I went to Abel Cine Tech and tried a new plate, the QRXL-1-2. No problem. I bought the new one, no problems anymore. We think that it was a faulty voltage regulator in the A/B plate. I'll send the plate to Anton Bauer and see what's wrong with it. I'll follow up about that. I thought I was being so clever getting a used gold mount. The charger is great it was practically new.

The question now: Is the main fuse weakened? Well, I'm not going to wait around and see, so I'm off to Jersey to the Canon repair facility and have them replace the main fuse. Oy vey! Four day shoot with the XL2 starts Saturday. It's bad form to have the camera die on set, in front of the client.

I'll let you know if anything else occurs.
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Old July 26th, 2006, 01:16 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Sasahara
The question now: Is the main fuse weakened?
Mark, can a fuse be weakened? I always thought a fuse would either hold or blow (at least fuses of the 21st century). Forgive my stupid question, but I'm not an "electrician".
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Old July 26th, 2006, 08:24 AM   #3
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Rainer, the first time the fuse blew, Canon said that plugging and unplugging the FU-1000 viewfinder while the power was on weakened the fuse which is why it popped for no apparent reason, during a shoot. Yes, you would think that it would either hold, or it would blow. According to Canon, that's not the case.

I have a shoot coming up, so I want to be sure that the camera is working. It's worth it to me to replace the main fuse, just in case. I don't want to take any chances. Lucky for me, I live close enough to be able to drive there. It's tight, but it should be ready on Friday, my shoot is Saturday. I'm asking for a rush if needed. Canon tries to get repairs done in three or four days.
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Old July 26th, 2006, 09:30 AM   #4
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Hey Mark. mind posting a picture of your setup? Would love ot see it.

Also, what did you pay for the AB stuff if I can ask?
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Old July 26th, 2006, 09:57 AM   #5
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when I get a chance next week, I'll take a picture. Right now the thing is at Canon.

I think I paid about $1200 for everything, Titan Twin charger, 2x Hytron 50's, Gold Mount Plate for the XL2. I got the charger on ebay, so I think I saved about $75.00 off retail. The gold Mount I got on ebay will likely end up costing me more, because I'm sending it back to A/B for repair, but when I got it, I saved about $40 off retail. This is one of the rare times that buying used gear has bitten me in the ass. I'm usually pretty good about not paying too much and not getting broken gear.

As I pointed out in another thread, the Anton Bauer system will power a lot of different gear, my monitors, lights and my cameras. This will all be able to migrate from one peice of gear to the next and one generation to the next, since the Gold Mount is industry standard. The initial outlay is high, but the return on investment is great.
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Old July 26th, 2006, 08:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainer Hoffmann
Mark, can a fuse be weakened? I always thought a fuse would either hold or blow (at least fuses of the 21st century). Forgive my stupid question, but I'm not an "electrician".
Hi Rainer. If it's a conventional wire fuse, then yes it can be weakened. What causes a fuse to blow is overheating to the point that the wire melts or is evaporated. If you pass a high current through a good fuse and make it overheat, but stop just short of it actually blowing, it could be weakened and might fail in the future due to a not-so-high current or even a mechanical knock.

Based on the number of reports of the XL2 fuses blowing, it seems to be underrated for the job, especially when the FU1000 EVF is fitted. Canon should select a more suitable fuse, one with either a higher current rating or a slower response time. Of course, it's a trade-off between providing adequate protection and avoiding nuisance fuse blows. but I thought by now they should have sufficient field data to improve this situation. If the existing fuse type is really the best for the job, then it should be made easier to replace so that users are not caught out during an important shoot.

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Old July 26th, 2006, 09:18 PM   #7
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I concur wholeheartedly.

Thanks Richard. I'll see if I can talk to the actual person fixing my XL2 and pass that along.

I'll be going to canon on Friday, so I'll try and post something then.
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Old July 27th, 2006, 12:55 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Richard Hunter
Hi Rainer. If it's a conventional wire fuse, then yes it can be weakened.
Richard, your explanation is reasonable. But I would have thought that in the 21st century...

If Canon had at least made the fuse a LRU (Line Replaceable Unit, a term used in the aircraft industry) I would just carry around a dozen of them in my pocket. But a 10 day trip to the repair shop (it takes that long over here in Germany!) is just not acceptable.
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Old July 30th, 2006, 05:32 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Rainer Hoffmann
Richard, your explanation is reasonable. But I would have thought that in the 21st century...
Hi Rainer. Well, Moore's law doesn't replace Ohm's law. :)

Wire fuses are still used a lot, because they are cheap and effective and their characteristics are well understood.

There are thermal protection devices available as well that are sold as "resettable fuses". They go high impedance when there is an overcurrent, and thereby limit the current to a safe level. They are very convenient in that they automatically reset when the fault is removed, however they are a bit slower to react than wire fuses, so there is a greater risk that your equipment will be damaged before the protection device can trip.

In the case of the XL2 which has to supply current to external devices (like the EVF or lens), it would have been better if Canon had split the protection circuitry and used resettable fuses for the EVF and lens supplies and a wire fuse for the internal circuitry (if possible). The camera would still be useless for shooting if there was a fault on the EVF cable (for example) but it would recover when the fault was removed.

As you say, a user-replaceable fuse would have been a lot more acceptable than one that is buried inside and needs 10 days to replace.

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Old August 7th, 2006, 10:21 AM   #10
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Disappointment

Sorry it took me so long to get back, I'm working on a show that has me very busy.

The shoot went off without a hitch, but I was paranoid the whole time.

The camera did shut off by itself, once, for no reason. Scary.

Canon was great, the folks there are nice and know their stuff. A board inside the camera had some burn marks on it and it was replaced. I'm glad I live close enough to drive to the repair facility. The repair cost $260. The multi day shoot defrayed the cost.

I have to say I'm disappointed with this camera. I don't feel that I can trust it fully and I have to really baby it. I'd like to get a second body, as a back up, but I'd also like to put that money towards a new camera. I've really had it with this camera and the other prosumer cams. That's the problem with prosumer cameras, they're just not meant for this life.

I really like that the XL2 is 16x9 native and the picture looks great, but I just don't feel that I can fully rely on the camera in the field. I can't concentrate 100% on the shots, like with other cameras, I always have to be mindful of the XL2. The tool should disappear so that I can concentrate on the shots and telling the story.

Someone please hire me to shoot a feature on FILM.
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Old August 8th, 2006, 03:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Sasahara
A board inside the camera had some burn marks on it and it was replaced.
Mark, did the Canon guys tell you what caused the burn marks? Could the FU-1000 be the reason?

I still haven't got my FU-1000 back from Canon (the connecting cord will be replaced) so I have no further information on the FU-1000 issue.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Sasahara
Someone please hire me to shoot a feature on FILM.
Well, you could always reactivate your good old Super 8 camera, provided you find some (fresh) Kodachrome 40. Having said that, I recently watched some Super 8 footage of the early seventies and frankly, the jerky pictures are no match to the XL2 footage. Or are you talking about 35mm ... ;-)
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Old August 8th, 2006, 09:28 AM   #12
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The burn marks were from the faulty voltage regulator, or what ever it was. Every time I turned on the camera, it would turn on and off three times in rapid succession. I think that when the Hytron's display changes, the voltage also changes. With a properly functioning Gold Mount, this would not affect the camera because any fluctuation in voltage is stabilized and a constant 7.2 volts is outpu.

The rapid on and off must have been more than the camera could handle. Though the camera was still working, I was worried that the fuse would pop, or something else like that. So I took it to Canon to have them look at it as preventive maintenance. I told them to replace the master fuse. I don't want to take any chances. They turned it around very quickly too.

The Anton Bauer mount that I was using had a defect. I bought it on ebay, but didn't use it until I bought batteries nearly a year later. I'm pissed off at the guy who sold it to me. He said that it was fine, but it was damaged. Scumbag lied, but I had no whay to check it. I didn't have any batteries to test. I'll send it to Anton Bauer and get it repaired.

The FU-1000 had nothing to do with it.

Yes, 35mm. The 8mm cameras I have are antiques and are for show. They probably don't even function. 8mm Kodachrome will no longer be processed by Kodak after the end this month.

I have praise and high marks for the Canon service people.

I have no faith in the Goddam camera, though. I've really had it with prosumer crap.
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