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Old June 16th, 2010, 09:31 AM   #1
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big trouble with the HDX900

I bought the nanoflash last week to use with my HDX900 but am having big problems. 75 percent of the time it works fine, but one time out of four after a few minutes of recording it flashes "intermittent source", stops the recording, and starts a new one leaving a three or four second gap. The CD people say they are working on this and hope to have a firmware solution in few weeks, but until then I am left with a very expensive paper weight. Has anyone else had this problem ?
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Old June 16th, 2010, 03:39 PM   #2
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Hi Mark-
Could you call me at 720-221-3861? We have an HDX900 in house, but have not been able to replicate the problem. We need your camera settings.

Thanks-
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Old June 16th, 2010, 08:38 PM   #3
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Cable?

HDX-900 should work fine, have you tried another cable?
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Old June 17th, 2010, 05:46 PM   #4
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It now seems that it only happens at 720, not 1080. Interesting....
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Old June 17th, 2010, 08:25 PM   #5
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Hi Mark-
Thanks again for your help debugging the firmware. We are hot on the trail for a fix to the intermittent source. Yes, it does appear to be a 720p only issue.

Best-
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Old June 18th, 2010, 02:37 AM   #6
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Is this with the production firmware.. ? 1.5.126

Thanks
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Old June 18th, 2010, 05:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Probyn View Post
Is this with the production firmware.. ? 1.5.126

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Hi Robin-
Yes, this is a problem with 1.5.126. We are expecting a beta post early next week with the corrected firmware.

Best-
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Old June 18th, 2010, 07:27 PM   #8
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Hi Mike

I also have a HDX900.. luckily I,ve always used the nano with 1080i setting.I have since installed 1.5.249 thinking it was a new production level firmware.

Are the next updates you mention going to be for 1.5.126.. or for 1.5.249.. or will they be separate up dates for each.. getting confused :)
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Old June 18th, 2010, 07:54 PM   #9
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Dear Robin,

1.5.126 is the Production Level firmware.

1.5.249 was released as a Public Beta with the "Not for Production Use" label.
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Old June 19th, 2010, 07:55 AM   #10
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Dan, I think you should have a day off. I have followed your tireless replies to all the postings over the last 10 days and cannot think of another company that supplies such a service. BTW my Nano is working well up to expectations.
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Old June 19th, 2010, 08:35 AM   #11
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Dear Bruce,

Thank you very much.

I will be traveling to a trade show on Monday, that will be a more restful day for me.

The rest of our staff are the ones that deserve all of the credit.

Our engineers who found this "Needle in the Haystack", "Intermittent Source Problem", are due all of the credit.

We really look forward to posting our next firmware release. We will be posting it as soon as it passes all of our internal tests.

Also our manufacturing staff built special heat chambers for extended testing of all of the nanoFlashes.

We typically test 48 nanoFlashes at a time, for a period of days, constantly recording, with the internal temperature of the nanoFlashes cycling between 30 degrees C and 70 to 80 degrees C.

This very thorough testing has allowed us to catch units that may have failed in the field. Since the nanoFlashes are each recording hundreds of files, each of which are individually checked, we are catching any nanoFlashes with marginal parts.

This heat cyclying program has also been a fantastic test bed for our new firmware. Having the firmware run continously for days on 48 or so nanoFlashes, under extreme conditions, has allowed us to catch and fix very elusive firmware bugs.

Up until this weekend, our video source for our heat cycling/major testing program has been a 1080 signal.

On Wednesday, we realized that almost all of the "Intermittent Source" problems were when recording in 720p. Of course, this may be wrong, but it certainly was our perception. This realization helped us track down and fix the problem.

So, at this moment, we are recording 720p to a nice number of nanoFlashes, testing our latest firmware.

We wish to publicly thank Camera Department, in Toronto, for loaning us a Panasonic HDX900 camera so we could find and fix this problem.

Our "Intermittent Source" error message can be caused, by a bad cable, an out of spec cable, electromagnetic interferrence, a camera that "glitches" when it goes into record or at other times, a bad (out of spec) HD-SDI signal, or by just turning off the camera while the nanoFlash is recording. And it can, and was, sometimes caused by a nanoFlash problem.

As part of our efforts to get to the bottom of this, we will be implementing a display on the nanoFlash that shows the number of CRC (cyclic redundancy check) errors that we are getting on the incoming signal.

This will be very nice for our users, as it will allow each nanoFlash user to detect if there is a problem with their cable, camera, connection, or if they are in an electrically noisy environment that is causing problems with the HD-SDI signal.

This new feature will also instill confidence when we indicate that no errors are occurring, as well as allow the user to take corrective action, such as replacing a cable if errors start to occur.
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Last edited by Dan Keaton; June 19th, 2010 at 10:15 AM. Reason: Our CRC Error count display will be implemented in a future release
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Old June 19th, 2010, 09:23 AM   #12
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Another great thing about Dan is that he always tells it like it is, with all of the details that really help you to understand what is going on.

I have learned a lot about encoding etc... from speaking with Dan.

He is a great representative for the company.
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Old June 19th, 2010, 10:17 AM   #13
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Dear Tim,

Thank you very much. Comments like yours are very rewarding.
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Old June 19th, 2010, 10:30 AM   #14
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What About Differing Camera Specs ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Keaton View Post
Dear Bruce,
Our "Intermittent Source" error message can be caused, by a bad cable, an out of spec cable, electromagnetic interferrence, a camera that "glitches" when it goes into record or at other times, a bad (out of spec) HD-SDI signal, or by just turning off the camera while the nanoFlash is recording. And it can, and was, sometimes caused by a nanoFlash problem.

As part of our efforts to get to the bottom of this, we have implemented a display on the nanoFlash that shows the number of CRC (cyclic redundancy check) errors that we are getting on the incoming signal.

This will be very nice for our users, as it will allow each nanoFlash user to detect if there is a problem with their cable, camera, connection, or if they are in an electrically noisy environment that is causing problems with the HD-SDI signal.

This new feature will also instill confidence when we indicate that no errors are occurring, as well as allow the user to take corrective action, such as replacing a cable if errors start to occur.
....Hi Dan: I was wondering about this specific issue myself just the other day when reading over, logging, and taking notes at how many varying problems there has been overall with the Nano (and XDR) not going into record, or going out of sync during record, etc with whatever cameras used on the other end posted on this forum. In my opinion, close to 40 % of Nano record, or losing sync malfunctions *could be* identified as being the result of the variance in camera TC Regeneration and HD-SDI signal output specifications from one manufacturer to another. * My observations are NOT very scientific, however, as they are based on reading over the history of problems posted on this forum. I have been taking note of the amount of problems by camera manufacturer, with Canon producing the least overall malfunctions with the Flash XDR & Nano Flash, while Panasonic cameras seem to be producing the greatest amount of errors overall with the Nano Flash specifically. One of the reasons I think my results are not scientific, is not all users of the XDR & Nano post their problems on this forum, therefore, the forum isn't indicative of absolute performance stability, or lack thereof.

60 % of all malfunctions are Convergent Design firmware in nature. (This is based on folks downloading and installing latest firmware, then posting problems they had with it on this forum).

** Let the reader understand: Only folks who have a problem with the XDR or Nano are posting, while others who are not experiencing any difficulties are not posting here. I think it's important to make this point as well.

***( My personal end user experience shooting with the Flash XDR since purchasing it last Summer):
95 % Great. I use my XDR @ 50 Mbps. MXF for 100 % of any commercial jobs I'm shooting, and I have had Zero malfunctions with my unit on the job ! I use my XDR in what I will refer to as *Black Box* mode.
By this statement I mean I record, then dump straight into NLE - Nothing fancy, such as, Time Lapse shooting, Over/Under cranking, Wireless Jam-Sync shooting (Yet, but I will do shortly). My difficulties have come from using what I refer to as the "fancy features," such as time lapse shooting for visual effects on my personal web series Please Stand By. In the beginning time lapse file size was messed up and header closing was not being performed properly, but all is well with this feature now. I have yet to use the Record Buffer feature to capture lightning, but will try this out this Summer. We are moving into the short severe thunderstorm - Tornado season in Canada, so we'll see how that works. I know Alister (Forgot last name sorry) over in the UK has used this feature quite successfully.
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Old June 19th, 2010, 11:50 AM   #15
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Dear Friends,

Our testing this weekend indicates that we have the intermittent source problem solved.

We used two cameras, both set to 720p, to a two large groups of nanoFlashes.

We had zero "Intermittent Source" errors. Each and every nanoFlash involved in the test was checked within the last 30 minutes.

Dear Mark:

We do not attribute this problem to be caused by the camera.

As far as I remember, we have only one camera related problem.

The original Varicam, the "F" model, would put out a clean HD-SDI signal, then when the camera went into record, would put out a glitch on the HD-SDI signal, causing us to have to re-sync to the signal.

The Varicam "H" model does not have this problem.

We have thoroughly tested the HDX900, a very popular camera for use with the nanoFlash, and did not detect any problems.


Summary, we still have many nanoFlash users that have never experienced this problem.

We still feel that almost all of these problems were reported when recording 720p and then only when certain circumstances existed.

In any case, we currently believe, based on our thorough testing, this problem has been solved.
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