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Old June 3rd, 2004, 11:38 AM   #31
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The articles I've seen have mostly talked about the standard in terms of speed (FW400) not in distance. The one article said that the bandwidth will be first come forst served.

Here is an article that talks about using the standard in a product. The distance given is >10m.
http://www.eetimes.com/story/OEG19990827S0032

There will likely be mush more about this as more companies rush to market.
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Old July 14th, 2004, 08:22 AM   #32
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I cannot understand why D2D drives are so expensive when it is possible to buy an Archos 500512 Video AV120 with Digital Video Recorder 100 Module that captures MPEG4 video for $259 . I would have thought that there is far more technology in the Archos than even the most complex D2D (nNovia or FS3 for example). If the demand is not big enough then the makers could only blame their pitiful marketing.
I think Shining Technology are having teething problems with their CitiDisk Pro and Beetle Analogue to Digital Converter because they have still not arrived in the UK.
How did you convert your USB mouse Daniel?
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Old July 14th, 2004, 05:51 PM   #33
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Hi Neil,

I agree with you about the price of these devices, especially since the ones I have tried out - the MCE Quickstream and Shining's CitiDisk - don't work like they should. They are in fact made cheaply, at least they look and feel that way. So there goes the craftsmanship reasoning for a high price. The FS3 is the only device, from the three that I have had my hands on, that could have the excuse of being expensive because of how it is built. But it is also significantly more expensive - so I don't know. I wish that the Citidisk and the Quickstream were cheaper, I would buy two if they were! that is if they also worked like the manufacturers have led us to believe they should.

Are you sure that there are no distributors for the CitiDisk in the UK? I found several here in Germany. Check Shining's web site, if you haven't already.

To answer your last question; I disassembled a Logitech two button wheel mouse and soldered a two pole wire to where the mouse click switch is for one of the mouse buttons. The other end of the wire has a small simple button switch which I hot glued to the handel of my XL1. Pushing the button jump circuits the mouse button making a click. I assigned a letter to the mouse click on that button with the Logitech mouse software and in turn gave that letter as short cut for BTV to trigger capturing.

Reading back it sound more complicated than it is. I didn't even damage the mouse with this modification.

I have to get around to putting some pictures on-line. Your interest will help motivate me to do that.

Thanks for asking
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Old July 19th, 2004, 06:43 AM   #34
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Bruce Yale says that the Quickstream, CitiDisk and Pyro DV Drive all use the same PCB (made by Shining), so it is deeply depressing that they all would have the same faults. I too want to use a D2D with an XL1, also an old Sony DXC3000 standalone (using an analogue to digital converter), so my choices are reduced to nNovia or FireStore FS3, both of which I cannot afford.
This review may be of some interest:
http://www.dvstuff.co.uk/pdf/dvdrive.pdf
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Old July 20th, 2004, 05:58 AM   #35
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Thanks Neil, for the review link. It sounded like who ever was doing the review, had had a CitiDisk sent to them from the manufacturer. It would be nice if Shining and MCE would retail the same product they send to reviewers.

Because you are posting here, and not under one of the headings that have more to do with the CitiDisk or other D2D topics, I assume you are contemplating a Frankenstore type solution.

I haven't been keeping up on how my Frankenstore has been getting along. sorry about that.

So I'll just note a few problems I have already had with this set up in the field. The most obvious one is the size. I shot footage for a project using an improvised harness, with the laptop hanging on my chest. I had some major back pain after two hours of shooting(It was almost like having a Betacam on my shoulder). There is also an issue with noise; the powerbook's fan went on after about ten minutes of capturing. It wasn't a major problem for me in that situation, but if it comes to close quarters shooting and quite situations that could be a problem. The third problem, which I will eventually solve, is the cable issue. I have to find a way to disconnect the three cables leading to the camera from the laptop with one plug. Without this, I found myself walking around with the camera in my hand all the time. Not good especially when I wanted to quickly adjust lights. Other than that, though, the system worked like I expected it to.
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Old July 22nd, 2004, 01:06 PM   #36
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Old September 13th, 2004, 12:02 PM   #37
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Your idea of carrying a laptop around to record is interesting. Some of the laptops these days are extremely small. I wonder if getting a laptop and the "dvrack" programme would be a viable option. Certainly the cost may be similar and you have a computer you can edit in the field.
You would need a good way of carrying the laptop around and also getting a cable that can securely stay fixed upon the camera and the computer would be a challenge too. Maybe some sort of vest at the front of the chest that allows you to open the laptop to see what you are recording could be useful.
I also wonder what would happen when you disconnect the cable from the camera and reconnect it again. If the dvrack programme goes into some sort of elaborate startup setting before you can start recording again it would be a pain.
Like I said on another thread, you're basically stuck with Nnovia or firestore. All the others have quality control issues at this stage.
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Old September 15th, 2004, 05:34 PM   #38
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Seems like one of the new pen/windows based PCs might have some application here. Or a home made sbc (single board computer) might be another. custom/homemade sbcs' were a popular way to store mp3 files until the ipod came along. Sounds like a ripe opportunity for an tech oriented enterprising individual.

You could even use linux and a free/open source capture/management app.


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Old November 7th, 2004, 10:05 AM   #39
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I think you have hit the nail on the head Joe! SBC's have got to be the answer. Please have a look at:
http://www.evalue-tech.com/evalueweb/products/specifications/ECm-5716.cfm
The only drawback with this SBC is the size. It is more like the Datavideo DV Bank than a CitiDisk! The PC/104 system is amazingly small, and there is no need for a fast cpu unless you intend to use the SBC for editing on location (which would be possible with the Evalue one. Please look at: http://bluechiptechnology.co.uk/product_group.php?group_id=3
This model would have to use the Ampro IE1394 Mini Module piggy backed on to it, but it would very small for a mini computer.
The Ampro site is:
http://www.ampro.com/html/mm_1394.html
The main problem is what we would need to be displayed on an LCD screen. If a touchscreen module was incorporated the whole OS desktop would be visible, and a matchstick could be used as a pointer. Please let me know your thoughts on this.
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Old November 7th, 2004, 11:17 AM   #40
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Hi Neil,

This isn't exactly what I had in mind when I started this thread - but it sounds like you know what you are talking about. It would be a dream come true for every Frankensteiner or machine cannibal out there. Imagine it!, we could glue our capture devices together into any shape or form we like. I really like what you are suggesting.

I just have one question for you... How much do you think it would cost to put together a device, using the components you are suggesting , that would perform the function that we are looking for. The recording of the DV stream coming out of a DV camera's Firewire jack, onto a HDD, in a wrapper that would be directly useable by a NLE system without the NLE system having to render it first? And how long would you need to build it?

Cheers,
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Old November 7th, 2004, 03:07 PM   #41
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I was looking around the Community (this community that is). And I found a very interesting thread which is way too technical for me, but is dealing with some related issues to those mentioned here, especially in this thread.

The topic is "Special Interest Areas > Alternative Imaging Methods > Home made camera designs?".

These guys are maniacs, and I feel like a pharmacist compared to the mad scientist in that thread - I wish I knew what they were talking about!

But there are a few things I could picked out of there discussion which may be of interest in this thread. Here are some links I stole from the "Home made camera designs?" people.

http://www.fase.co.jp/IEEE1394en/PC-CUBE/

http://www.alternaware.com/

If someone could bring these two things together, then maybe we could build a cheap D2D solution. It's too bad that the only mac-Cube around is the one that fit under or on your desk.
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Old November 9th, 2004, 09:06 AM   #42
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To answer your questions Daniel - My maximum budget for the D2D would be 600, but remember this device is not just a D2D, it's a mini-computer! Basic SBCs seem to go for 250 - 350. Firewire modules are about 90. The rest of the budget would be on a small LCD screen, power supply and enclosure. I would have to use Win XP Embedded (only 160mb) on either a flash card or 2.5" drive. I have not decided whether to have the video drive internally (IDE) or externally (firewire) mounted.
The capturing would be done by your favourite NLE software, so re-rendering does not occur, and you could even plug in a monitor to edit if you want!
A cheap way would be to raid an old laptop because they all use SBCs. The only trouble is finding out which ones have PC104-plus expansion sockets (PC104 does not work with firewire modules). If it all works, hopefully within two weeks of getting all the bits, I promise to do a Mac version!
That Cube thing looks like what I am doing except with a faster cpu. Shame it has to use mains power though, and why does it use a 3pin XLR for the 12v supply instead of the video industry standard 4pin? Do you know how much it costs?
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Old November 9th, 2004, 10:26 AM   #43
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I don't know how much the cube costs, I didn't even really read everything on the linked page, because I don't know enough to evaluate what's listed there, it's all too technical for me.

It looks like you didn't include the cost of the HDD.

I like the idea of raiding an old laptop - that was basically what I was trying to do at the start of this thread. I just don't have the technical knowhow to get rid of the stuff in the laptop that is not "needed" so that it would be small enough to mount on the camera or be carried on ones body. You seem to think that one only needs the SBC part of the computer for the capturing functionality. It sounds simple, I wonder why the manufacturers have been having so much trouble getting the things to work.

Strange about the power jack on the cube - maybe thats a standard in Japan. I've seen three pin XLR power used before. DEDO lights used to use them. Kind of dangerous if you are shooting with sound cables on set. I'd hate too see what happens when you plug a stereo mixer into a DEDO transformer.

I can't wait to see your first prototype.

Cheers,
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Old November 17th, 2004, 02:23 PM   #44
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<<<-- Originally posted by Neil Goodwill :

The main problem is what we would need to be displayed on an LCD screen. If a touchscreen module was incorporated the whole OS desktop would be visible, and a matchstick could be used as a pointer. Please let me know your thoughts on this.
-->>>

To give you guys a sneek peek at what I am building (actually I have it working, but I have dropped frame problems that I mentioned in a different thread).

I bought a "MIPI" (actually 3) on eBay really cheap.

You can see what they look like here:
http://www.ultim8pc.co.uk/index.asp?folder=main&filename=mipi&title=Freetech+Mipi+barebones

it weighs about the same as a laptop.

I am going to get a 7" Liliput VGA touchscreen LCD display for it:
http://www.bigbruin.com/reviews/lilliput/index.php

These two, plus a keyboard, mouse/trackball combo, and the external power supply and all cables all fit into a shuttle softcase/bag:

http://www.microdirect.co.uk/ProductInfo.aspx?ProductID=5977&GroupID=37


Pros (once I get the dropped frames issue worked out):

- Direct to disk recording
- Editing via NLE on the spot.
- CD/VCD/DVD burning on the spot (right now mine just has a regular CD drive it it. That will be upgraded eventually).
- Ability to use vectorscopes and waveform monitors in Premiere to calibrate the camera on site.
- Probably can use DVRack as well, only concern is the built-in video card. WIll try to use DVRack demo and see if it works
- Realtime review on the spot of video footage - no rewinding, dumping to PC, etc. necessary

basically all the same advantages that you get w/ a lap top.

Advantages OVER a laptop
- Price ( about 1/2 - 1/3 the price of an equivalent laptop in terms of CPU, etc. - obviously the monitor is not equivalent!)
- If the video display dies, it is easy and cheap to replace it
- Much easier upgrade path (simply replace the CPU, HDD, etc., and desktop components are cheaper than laptop components - besides, how many Celeron 1.7GHz laptops can be easioly upgraded to a P4 3GHz machine?)

CONS

- Portability is the big one. Just as easy to cart around as a laptop, but there is no battery option, hence you are tied to plugging into a wall AC outlet (if anyone knows a solution to this, let me know).
- heavier and less portable and less convenient than something like a FireStore, but so is a laptop. :-) I still think that the laptop option is superior to the FS solution for the same price!


Mine is so cheap because I got it for a steal on eBay. At first I was looking at Mini-ITX MB/Cases (lie a Travla C134 with the Epia M10000 MB). The problem is that the EPIA CPUs are 1.0GHz CPUs, but they are Pentium-calss chips. NOT Pentium II, III, or 4, but Pentium. That pretty much nixed the idea of using one of those, which is too bad, because you can get those VERY small. Some will fit in your car dash where a standard radio would go! THat is small!

There are MINI-ATX, and other Small Form Factor MBs out there that will take Pentium 4 class processors. You just have to google around for them. Lots of people are taking these small MBs and making very unique cases out of them (www.mini-itx.com), making car PCs out of them, etc.

A small case will run around $200, give or take up to $50. You gotta search around. To get an idea of what you can expect to find, check out this site:

http://www.sfftech.com/printdocs.cfm?aid=453

And of course you can build your own as well.

Anyway, there are a host of solutions out there, provided that you know what the pros and cons are of these solutions and are willing to accept their limitations (in exchange you get something far more versatile that a FS solution for 1/3 the cost or less).

Alex F
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Old November 22nd, 2004, 11:26 AM   #45
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The reason I did not include the drive price Daniel was because I seem to be able to pick up laptop drives on ebay for very small amounts.
In addition to the PC104plus option I am also into using car pc devices. I have just bought a Cappuccino TX3 on ebay:
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=1498&item=5733185660&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW
A very low price considering the cpu is included. Win XP Pro can be used, and I intend to install the video drive and lcd display into the space for the cd drive. If I do not manage to get it working as a d2d I can always use the TX3 in my car!
Another, but larger option is the MP SC1 barebone system at:
http://store.karpc.com/item-MP-SC1-Barebone--MC-MPSC1A
Only 138, and I could use a Socket 370 Celeron I took out of a desktop when upgrading.
I was being naive when I thought of using a matchstick for the touchscreen. It would have to be a stylus, and I am still having extreme difficulty in sourcing a 3.5" display and touchscreen. Does anyone know if a PDA display would work in this situation?
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