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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 February 21st, 2014, 09:22 AM   #1
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Si2k p+s technik body.

When the SI2K first was released in full-bodied configuration, the designers elected to use CRU Dataport25 PC docks and USB enclosures for removable storage. The USB version was chosen as it provided for three copy options, direct copy from the drive via the camera's own USB port, removal of the drive and copy from the drive via its own USB port and insertion o f the enclosure into a dock in a PC computer and copy from the enclosure via the computer's internal SATA path.

One of the two 3D recorders for the SI2K, the 1-Beyond Mini-Wrangler also uses the CRU Dataport25 system.

The CRU Dataport system has an internal plug and socket arrangement which has been been designed for and tested to more insertion and removal cycles than one would ever want for a camera digital magazine. It is robust and proven.

With the advent of the RED digital cinema cameras and the Cinedeck 3D recorder for the SI2K, an alternative arrangement of inserting non-enclosed SSD drives directly into a dock was adopted.

The SI2K P+S Technik full body motherboard was to have been revised to service two SATA drives and redundant provision was made on the backpane board so that subsequent technical advances could be taken advantage of. As events played out, this revision was not implemented as 2/3" Super16mm sensor cameras were supplanted by 35mm format types.

For the sake of the extra convenience of using SSDs without need to dismantle a Dataport25 enclosure to change out a SSD or buy new enclosures for each drive, I decided to investigate the Vantec EZSwap EVO removable rack.

Like the CRU Dataport25 PC dock and the non-USB enclosures, two drives can be docked at the same time. Unlike the Dataport25 enclosure, the two SSDs can be accessed separately. However only one can be used by the camera via its internal SATA channel. The other position for a SSD can be used as a dumb storage caddy for a spare drive. If the EVO removable dock is used the USB copy abillty from the camera body remains but the USB copy ability from the detached SSD is lost as there is no longer an enclosure around it with a USB port.

The Dataport25 dock is designed to tap power from a PC computer via the floppy drive connector which for now remains as legacy in many computers. The EZSwap EVO dock draws power via more modern SATA-style connectors. The internal wires of the SI2K need to be parted and reconnected to the correct pins on the supplied SATA-style wiring and connectors supplied with the EVO dock.

Unlike the Dataport25, the power and data sockets on the SSD are the connection which is made and broken by insertion and removal of the drive. How these will cope with many insertion and removal cycles I do not know. Beyond normal quality assurances no claim is made that I can find.

Thus far I have tried this dock on the SI2K P+S Technik body with two SSDs, Intel, which are reliable and OCZ Vertex 60Gb which are the only type of that brand which seem to work with the SI2K. The Intel SSDs insert cleanly. Except for the wiring, the dock physically exchanges for the CRU dock in the P+S body without difficulty.

The Vertex drives are a little baulky and more pressure is required on the small swing-open door to seat them home. The longevity of the dock may be adversely affected by the Vertex drives.

Last edited by Bob Hart; February 21st, 2014 at 10:02 AM. Reason: error
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