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Old December 19th, 2009, 01:57 PM   #1
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Blinking TC Readout on Playback in the XDR

Hi Mike or Dan:
I have noticed that my TC readout now starts to blink off and on after remaining constant for the first couple of seconds during playback and I was wondering if this behaviour is a normal function for the XDR ? I don't remember this happening before. (??) I have the latest firmware installed. (ver 1.1.151 Dec 4 2009)

Also, I have noticed my XDR will now not always boot up normally when it is switched on from either battery source or wall current. Sometimes I have to switch the unit off and on again, then all is well.

In addition to this, I have noticed some strange playback behaviour I can't account for. Sometimes, playback runs afoul and I can hear strange crunching sounds in the audio. If I hit stop and play a couple of times, then this problem ceases. I notice this when using one of my Sandisk Extreme III 32 GB cards. I haven't noticed this effect with my Extreme IV card. Please advise.

Thanks,
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Old December 19th, 2009, 02:25 PM   #2
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Dear Mark,

Is all of this unusual behavior occuring only when you are using a certain CompactFlash card?

What bit-rate are you using for recording on your SanDisk Extreme III card?

Can you confirm that this does not happen with the faster SanDisk Extreme IV card.
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Old December 19th, 2009, 06:59 PM   #3
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What About My Extreme III CF Card ?

HI Dan:
Actually, this is a good question, and I wondered about this myself, but I'm confident my Sandisc Extreme III 32 GB CF card is good working order. It has seen very little use. Recordings were made @ Long GOP 180 and I Frame Intra @ 220 Mbps. The I -Frame 280 setting was too much for the Extreme III card to handle and the XDR indicated setting too high and automatically lowered the recording data rate to 220. (Cool feature !)

I can't currently test with my faster Extreme IV CF Card, since the card is full and I can't remove the files yet because they're in post right now.

BTW, what about the blinking on and off TC readout ? Is it supposed to blink on and off like that ? Please advise.
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Old December 19th, 2009, 07:41 PM   #4
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Dear Mark,

No, the TC is not supposed to blink on and off.

Is this occurring in record, or in playback, or just when idle?

I am assuming that you have a good timecode connection to the timecode out of your original XL H1.

With the SanDisk card in question, could you try 100 Mbps and see what happens?
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Old December 19th, 2009, 08:54 PM   #5
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Will Test at 100 Mbps

Hi Dan:
TC display blinks on and off in Playback and does not occur in idle. Yes, I use TC cable you sold me :-) I will test @ 100 Mbps to see if malfunction persists.
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Old December 20th, 2009, 07:51 AM   #6
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Dear Mark,

Based on everything you have said so far, it appears that there is a problem with that one SanDisk card.

After you perform the test at 100 Mbps, could you test with a different card.

I feel that we are having problems reading or writing to this card.
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Old December 20th, 2009, 08:16 AM   #7
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Are all Sandisk Cards Created equal ?

Hi Dan:
OK. The test will have to be much later today as I'm very busy over this weekend. I wonder if the data rate of 220 Mbps, although sufficient to use with some Sandisk Exreme III cards, may not work with other Sandisk Extreme III cards. In other words, are all Sandisk Extreme cards created equal ??
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Old December 20th, 2009, 08:34 AM   #8
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Dear Mark,

The maximum bit-rate that we support with the SanDisk Extreme III cards is 180 Mbps.

(Exception, if you are recording time-lapse, you may use 220 or 280 Mbps)
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Old December 20th, 2009, 02:22 PM   #9
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A Salient Point to Ponder

Hi Dan:
I strongly suspect you are correct with this. I know the Extreme III Sandisk cards used to do 220 Mbps just fine, but I know you folks dropped the speed limit in later firmware updates to be safe. The new auto set down adjustment you folks programmed into the 1.1.151 Dec. 4 release (Or was it the one before ?) auto senses if a Cf card has been set to too high a data rate, and then automatically sets it to the *Next* lowest setting. Can you make the auto sensing down set dynamic ? In other words, can you program the Nano and XDR to automatically sense an Extreme III card has been inserted, and when the system has been programmed to too high a setting on the card, then it auto sets it down to 180 instead of 220, but leaves 220 for the I-Frame Time Lapse Mode OK ?

Sincerely,

P.S. Do you have a beta of the Canon 24 F Jam Sync Fix I can test yet ? :-)
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Old December 20th, 2009, 03:03 PM   #10
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Dear Mark,

We try to detect each and every CompactFlash card. The trouble is that many manufacturers do not put enough info into the cards registers for us to do this successfully in all cases.

Thus, we publish the maximum bit-rates for various cards and expect users to abide by these speed limits. Those that exceed the speed limits put their projects at risk.

We have a very large First-In, First Out Buffer (FIFO).

As the incoming video and audio is processed, we load it to the FIFO. Then we write data from the FIFO to the CompactFlash cards.

If you have a very shot take, this FIFO can make it appear that we can write successfully to CompactFlash cards at a bit-rate greater than the speed limit.

If you do exceed the speed limit, then at some point in time the FIFO will get full. This causes a problem, and we downshift to a lower rate. We only downshift one bit-rate at a time.

If you card supports 180 Mbps, and you start off at 280 Mbps, we first downshift to 220 Mbps, then again to 180 Mbps if you record long enough.

As you have seen, if you exceed the speed limits you will have problems, including problems with playback.

We do allow slower speed cards to write at high bit-rates in time-lapse mode since the effective speed to the card is much less than the rated speed due to recording no more than 1 frame a second.

We are expecting to release a "Public Beta", not for production use, this week.

The following are the qualified and recommended CompactFlash cards for use with the nanoFlash and Flash XDR:

Brand Type Capacity Maximum Bit Rate

SanDisk Extreme III 32/16/8 180 Mbps
SanDisk Extreme IV 16 280 Mbps
SanDisk Extreme Pro64/32 280 Mbps
SanDisk Extreme 32 280 Mbps
Delkin UDMA 16 180 Mbps
PhotoFast 533x 64/32 220 Mbps
Lexar 300x 16/8 280 Mbps
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Old December 20th, 2009, 10:29 PM   #11
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Thank You Dan For The Approved Card List

Hi Dan:
Yeah, all my CF cards fall within your list. I have 2 x Sandisk Extreme III 32 GB, 1 x Sandisk Extreme III 8 GB, 1 x Sandisk Extreme IV 16 GB. I'm collecting up my extra shekels to purchase an extra 4 x 64 GB Sandisk Extreme Pro CF cards.
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