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Old November 25th, 2008, 04:42 PM   #1
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New Firmware 0.0.179 Ready

New Flash XDR Firmware and an updated manual are ready for download. The new firmware adds/fixes the following:

1) 720p50/60 support at 50/100 Mbps
2) Fixed Phantom Power Control
3) Save all menu settings (thru power-down)
4) Embedded Time-Code transferred to QuickTime files
5) Fixed some QT playback issues.

We plan the next firmware update (in about 1 week) to include the following:
1) Add LTC time-code input selection
2) Display time-code on LCD panel
3) Add start-trigger selection: start button, remote switch or incrementing time-code.
4) Resolve CF card read issue with MAC Leopard OS

Following this release, our primary development focus will be MXF support, which is still scheduled in the next 2 weeks.
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Old November 26th, 2008, 05:26 AM   #2
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Updating firmware warning......

Can I suggest that your "Firmware Update procedure for Flash XDR" document has the warning "While updating, the unit can not lose power. If the power is interupted, the unit will be inoperable" in BOLD UPPER CASE at the top of the document as well being very prominant on your FLASH XDR FIRMWARE UPDATES page Convergent Design, experts in HDMI, SD, HD, and HDV......

One of our customers has already fallen by the wayside by trying to update using exhausted batteries that failed to survive the 4~5 minutes of time required to erase and re-program.

The obvious question now is, does the Flash XDR have to be returned to the factory as it now refuses to "boot" when power up ?

Best regards
Paul Rogers
Polecam Engineering Service
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Old November 26th, 2008, 05:44 AM   #3
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Firmware update to include CF re-format

Is it not possible for the firmware upgrade process to include an automatic re-format of the CF disk used. This would then negate the need to re-format in a MAC or PC as the CF card would be immediatly available for XDR use.

Regards

Paul Rogers
Polecam Engineering Services
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Old November 26th, 2008, 05:56 AM   #4
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Dear Paul,

I like both of your suggestions.

The warning is clear in the update instructions, but an extra warning is appropriate.

Mike will need to answer your question about whether it has to be returned to the factory or not. Mike and I have disucssed this and we do plan on improving this, but I do not know whether it has been done or not.

The safest way in my opinion, at this time, is to use a well charged battery when updating the unit. Alternatively, one can use the supplied power supply, but this is not perfect if there is a power interruption during the five minutes.

Yes, we may be able to remove the "update file" from the CF card at some time during the process, either by simply deleting the file, or reformatting the card, as you have suggested, which I think is a better idea.
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Old November 26th, 2008, 10:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Rogers View Post
Is it not possible for the firmware upgrade process to include an automatic re-format of the CF disk used. This would then negate the need to re-format in a MAC or PC as the CF card would be immediatly available for XDR use.

Regards

Paul Rogers
Polecam Engineering Services
Hi Paul-
I will ask Tommy, our webmaster to add a warning (in red letters) to the update page to caution users to always connect the Flash XDR to a very reliable (and long-lasting) power source during updates. As Dan mentioned, the Update Procedure note does warn users that the unit will become inoperable if the power is interrupted during the update procedure. Also this note indicates that the update will require about 5 minutes to complete.

However, an extra warning is always a good idea.

The Flash XDR can be repaired, but it will have to be sent back to the factory to be re-flashed.

We could add an option to format the CF card immediately after an update, but I would not make this automatic as some users will want to update several boxes with one card.
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Old November 27th, 2008, 03:08 AM   #6
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If there was a battery monitor then you would know the condition of the battery before upgrade
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Old November 27th, 2008, 07:15 AM   #7
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The battery is external to the XDR. Power is supplied to the XDR via a standard 4-pin XLR power connection. This design allows for a wide variety of battery solutions. Most of these external battery supply solutions have their own meters.

If you are using a battery system that does not have it's own meter, and you haven't recently charged, then simply use the AC power supply that comes with the XDR.

As far as notification that the unit will become unusable if power is lost during the firmware reprogramming process, it is stated in the manual and in the read me instructions that comes with each firmware version download. That is 2 different places that this warning is supplied.
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Old November 27th, 2008, 07:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Thursby View Post
If there was a battery monitor then you would know the condition of the battery before upgrade
Hi Jonathan-
As an additional note to John Richard's reply, there is no practical way we could monitor the battery level on the XDR. Since we allow a very wide range of input voltages (6.5 to 20V), building a battery monitor becomes an impossible task, since there is no way to know if a given battery is near the drop out point.

If we had restricted the XDR to a single battery, then a battery monitor would have been possible. But we think most users want the latitude to use a wide range of different batteries.
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Old November 28th, 2008, 07:05 PM   #9
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How about a menu option which comes up after flashing which gives you the option to format the card?

Jeff Silverman
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Old November 30th, 2008, 11:42 PM   #10
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Perhaps the best place to make the choice is before starting, rather than after finishing.

I would image one would like to check out the new update before deciding whether to delete the "update file". Maybe the firmware, when it checks any inserted card, could offer to delete the "update file" (or format the card, if that's preferable), rather than just performing the update.

Just a thought.

Bill S

ps I am SO ready to buy a nano. :)
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 03:00 AM   #11
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Dear Jeff and Billy,

We will be meeting with our engineers this morning to dicuss your suggestions.

I am certain that we can improve this.

Thank you for your suggestions.
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