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Silicon Imaging SI-2K
2/3" 1080p IT-integrated 10-bit digital cinema w/direct-to-disk recording.


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Old January 2nd, 2011, 08:02 AM   #1
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Two monitors two control inputs?

Just out of idle curiosity, will things go flash and pfffttt if two touch screen monitors are plugged into USB ports.

There are those rare events when the camera is cuts but the director might just see something and want to button the camera on again and there is too little time to bark out the orders or the mere act of doing it will ruin the unfolding moment.

I use an in-car DVD monitor on the camera now, same monitor as P+S but different wiring. I am buying in the proper one as the camera will be off on a two-camera shoot and needs to identical with another for standardisation. The old monitor might end up being a split on a 2 metre short leash.

Any advice is appreciated.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 12:40 AM   #2
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Hi, Bob...................

If it isn't too much trouble, would you like to run that past us one more time?

I sort of lost the plot with the two USB ports. On what, exactly? To what, exactly?

If I wasn't lost enough, this cooked it entirely:

"The old monitor might end up being a split on a 2 metre short leash."

Er, what?

Regards,

Totally at a loss,

NZ
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Old January 5th, 2011, 08:38 AM   #3
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Chris.


The SI2K camera/recorder is essentially a XP computer, very much stripped down and the version of XP is called embedded XP. The C: drive is a CF card known as a turbo-industrial card which is higher spec than a stills-camera card. They are also apparently used in industrial robots.

A touch-screen monitor controls the camera/recorder. The display monitor P+S Technik chose to use on the camera is also apparently marketed for use in motor cars and tour buses as an in-car computer DVD player touchscreen display.

They modified the monitor to their more rigorous standard regarding quality and robustness of plugs and sockets, mount hardware. Their modified monitor attaches to the camera body with a Noga arm and has a metal breakout box on the back. Their price is a obviously a bit higher than the unmodified one. I was too cheap (broke) at the time to buy their version of the monitor.

It works just as well but there is a bunch of coiled up wiring attached, very awkward and messy.

The monitor, P+S modified or original, has three connections to camera/recorder, a power tap, USB connection for the commands and a VGA lead. The non-P+S modified version also has audio playback which is disabled on the P+S version.

I proposed to fit a proper P+S version of the monitor as the camera is to be used along with another on a feature production and needs to comply with a standard.

The monitor usually sits on top of the camera on a Noga Arm. Given I will have a second monitor and that sometimes, a split of the VGA is used to feed two monitors, Given that the camera/recorder has two USB ports, my query is whether two identical USB control devices, can both be connected.

Both would be competing for a common driver, but not both would be sending commands via the USB at the same time.

My question is basically, is it safe to experiment with two identical USB devices or whether hardware damage will be done. Corrupt software and operating system is easy enough to fix as there is an image on a USB stick which is used to repair a corrupted OS by reflashing the turbo-industrial card. The sting in the tail is that the USB ports must be operational for the reflashing to happen.

The monitors are not powered from USB ports but powered separately.

From what I can observe, the SI2K operates a stripped down version of Windows XP under Linux.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 06:09 PM   #4
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OK, that's cleared that up!

From my understanding of USB, the number of devices in a USB chain is limited to 127 devices (a downstream/ daisy chained hub counts as a device) on one ROOT hub.

I suspect your stripped down pc would only have one root hub, which leaves room for one heck of daisy chained devices if you wanted to go mad.

So, in short, the answer to your question is:

Barring bizarre design changes to the system, both those ports should work with an individual USB device (it matters not that they are identical devices, they will be assigned different ID's regardless) or even a string of daisy chained hubs/ devices if so desired.

Plug and play, Bob!


CS
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Old January 6th, 2011, 12:06 AM   #5
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If you hear the airconditioner clatter, soft red glow visible on your western horizon just about 7-00pm time, the kiwis start running after each other obsessively and the power goes down, you will know it went badly for me over here, or it could just simply be the airconditioner's normal operating state and it will be springtime.

All the best for the New Year.
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Old January 6th, 2011, 12:40 AM   #6
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Bob, trust me, I'm a Doctor...........

And if you believe that, you must believe all politicians are honest!

It'll be fine (he says, moving familly, pets and cherished possesions into the nuclear bunker under the house!).

I'll stay tuned for the emergency fall out warning.

It'll be cool, it's USB, it's bomb proof.

Whether it's Bob proof is another thing all together.

Keep well and a Happy New One to you and yours as well.


CS
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Old January 6th, 2011, 08:47 AM   #7
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Bob proof? It has been said I have the reversed Midas touch, that everything I touch turns to rust. - Unkind sods.

Still I had a win, or more correctly defined, a partial loss recovery today. We've been crying for rain over here. Climate change has fixed us properly, been going on since about 1987. Anyway, Perth has had its driest on record and guess what - Carnarvon got itself a Noah flood and the bananas and ground crops have gone west - literally out the north channel of the Gascoyne delta.

Some of the rain made it here. We will lose our winter rain but some of the summer pattern will move furthur south for us apparently. Yippee, happy joy-joy moment except I did not fly out into the yard starkers to celebrate. It would not be a good look from Peet Road.

Went in the room to switch the computer on, the one I have just bought for editing and the monitor started doing this green-red-white-blue thing, good for traffic lights but not much else. Then I saw it, the pool of water and all the swelled particle board.

So off goes the power and the monitor I thought was toast. I gave it a shake upside/down and sure enough it has been showering. Warranty now impossible I pulled it apart - worse than MyBook drives to tear down, took out every last thing out I could, sprayed everything out every which way with canned lens air with can upside/down to eject liquid gas.

Gave the circuit boards and their little microprocessors a metho bath to dissolve the remaining water, gave it another blast of lens spray. Let it all stand a good while to warm up and drive off any remaining moisture, stuck it all together and it worked, so far so good.

For what its worth, the brand is ACER, bottom-end price range, made in China. Guess the little guys in Donnguan are pretty good at what they do after all. Time to go buy a Lotto ticket - an improving trend.
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Old February 8th, 2011, 03:33 AM   #8
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Well. - Finally tried two monitors - two USB inputs to a P+S recorder unit and it is fine - just don't put two commands in at once from each monitor. No smoke, no fire, no dulling down of the house lights or chillers shutting down.

Not sure why one would want to command from two separate monitors except for the camera op to use a rear monitor for preview, roll and stop and the camera assistant to do all the other stuff from a side-facing monitor. At least it can happen without any apparent meltdowns - so far.
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Old February 9th, 2011, 09:29 PM   #9
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Good to hear...................

Was getting a tad sweaty in the fall out shelter!


CS
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