EX1/3: How to record on USB-Hardrives!!! - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old April 30th, 2009, 11:29 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry J. Anwender View Post
I'm thinking it does from the connector specifications:

PCI ExpressCard: Pin 2 =usb d- Pin 3 =usb d+

USB Connector:
That's where I hesitate not knowing if 3 goes to 3, or is instead crossed to 2 like RS232 was.

Update:

The USB wires use standard color coding. D+ goes to D+ and D- goes to D-.

Last edited by Tom Roper; April 30th, 2009 at 02:01 PM.
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Old April 30th, 2009, 07:20 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Barry J. Anwender View Post
Can someone suggest a utility to formate the hard drive to VFAT32 for the 160GB capacity?
Partition Managers, such as the 7Tools Partition Manager should be able to format the 160GB HD as FAT32.
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Old May 1st, 2009, 05:59 AM   #18
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...progress

This is another great step, making recording even more affordable! Too long has Sony et all been trickle feeding the masses and holding back progress i.e. crippling the EX codec as Convergent Design has pointed out etc. Good on Red and others for their increasing influence and leveling the field to some extent.

Now we are even finding the traditional "over-priced" resellers under fire and the power of the internet and forums like this where you and I are exercising our rights of choice and even finding/hacking new solutions.

We are truly entering a new era and maybe the focus will be towards talent not what we can afford!
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Old May 1st, 2009, 08:06 PM   #19
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It Works!!!

I finished the mods to the ExpressCard reader very early this morning, then spent the rest of the day rounding up the adaptors to work with some smaller spare hard drives. The old Fujitsu 4200rpm, 40GB hard drive retired from my AppleTV formatted in the blink of an eye - much faster than my 16GB SanDisk Extreme III's.

So far only preliminary recording tests and it does indeed allow me to unplug the USB cord from the EX3 and move it over to the MacPro where clips appear and play as expected.

This is unbelievably simple to do. Mind you soldering the three wires into place on the ExpressCard daughterboard is like threading a needle that is 1m away from your eyes. Truly a test of patience but with rewarding results.

I have many more ideas to work out, such as seeing how over/under cranking works. If nothing else, but to verify my intuitions or prove them wrong about the EX USB throughput. Secondly, I am aiming for SSD drives for the final implementation of 168GB of glorious EX storage.

I have taken pictures along the process but do not know if they are of sufficient quality to post. If they turned out, I will share all. Deti - much thanks for your discovery :-)

Update:
1- Over cranking results: Same as SDHC cards. 720/24p set to 48fps with no media errors. I cycled the record button on/off several times all with overcranking 48fps as the hardrive filled up - no media errors. I also moved the harddrive around during this testing process as well as giving the drive a gentle tap during recording, again no "media errors". Anyway, no surprises because the 48fps USB limit has been previously verified by others in these forums.

2 - Camera Slot Recognition/Switching: The USB harddrive works in both the A and B slot of the camera. It also works with the USB harddrive in one slot and a SXS/KXS/MXR card in the second slot. It does not matter which slot combination. There is a caveat. The USB harddrive power must be cycled when it is moved to the other slot. Once the camera knows which slot the USB hard drive is in, then slot switching works like it is supposed to.

3 - USB Hard drive Recognition: The hard drive power needs to be cycled off and then on for the camera to recognized it's presence. Some extra circuity inside the hacked ExpressCard will be needed to send a proper CPUSB signal response to the camera's PCExpress Card bus on Pin-4. The CPUSB signal is toggled to indicate that there is presence/absence of a USB device. So more work to sort this out in order for the camera to automatically detect the USB hard drive without cycling it's power.

Total time spent about 8 hours.
Total cost was $7.00 for USB coupler.
Fujitsu Harddrive MHW2040AT (retired from Apple TV now at 320GB)
Rest came from my old parts box - excluding the EX3 of course :-)
Attached Thumbnails
EX1/3: How to record on USB-Hardrives!!!-expresscard-disassembled.jpg   EX1/3: How to record on USB-Hardrives!!!-expresscard-usb-cable.jpg  

EX1/3: How to record on USB-Hardrives!!!-usb-expresscard-assembled.jpg   EX1/3: How to record on USB-Hardrives!!!-usb-expresscard-camera.jpg  


Last edited by Barry J. Anwender; May 2nd, 2009 at 12:40 PM.
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 09:16 PM   #20
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WD Passport & EX3

My experimenting has progressed to an actual field configuration. The proof-of-concept revealed some issues around the EX3 recognizing the presence/absence of the external harddrive. So I decided to take another go with an simple store bought notebook drive that is USB powered and self contained. In this case:

Western Digital My Passport 250GB USB 2.0 powered
Modified the USB cord to supply 5 volts to the Passport unit

Surprise-surprise! The Western Digital Passport firmware and USB interface is very robust to initiate dialog with whatever it is connected to. The camera has no problems at all with recognizing the presence/absence of the Passport drive. Moreover, the slot switching between A/B also works just like it does with SXS/KXS/MXR memory cards. NO need to cycle the Passport power inorder to be recognized by the camera.

All work like one would expect it to. The camera formatted the Passport drive its maximum of 80GB or 308 minutes. I repeated all of the various recording tests at 720/24P and 48fps overcranking. The Passport drive is also quite immune to bumps, taps and movement. So it passes with "No media errors" and NO "Restore Media" requests. The Passport is also transparent for playback of clips in the camera's media mode.

All that remains now is to come up with a portable 5 volt supply to power the Passport and a simple mount on the back of the EX3. Then it should be ready for the field.

Total cost for the WD Passport & Modified ExpressCard =$125.00
Attached Thumbnails
EX1/3: How to record on USB-Hardrives!!!-wd-passport-drive-camera.jpg   EX1/3: How to record on USB-Hardrives!!!-wd-passport-ex3-status.jpg  

EX1/3: How to record on USB-Hardrives!!!-wd-passport-drive.jpg  

Last edited by Barry J. Anwender; May 3rd, 2009 at 09:20 AM.
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Old May 3rd, 2009, 03:45 AM   #21
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I think it will be a lot better with SSD drives. The small sized (64-128gig) and low performance are cheap, and no problem if you shake it.
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Old May 3rd, 2009, 07:30 PM   #22
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good on you Barry! This is very exciting...keep us posted of your progress please.
So does this mean you may not go with the solid state memory as the Passport drive is robust enough?
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Old May 4th, 2009, 03:01 AM   #23
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good on you Barry! This is very exciting...keep us posted of your progress please.
So does this mean you may not go with the solid state memory as the Passport drive is robust enough?
I really didn't expect the WD Passport drive to perform as well as it does. Sony's 60GB offering seems to be using a 1.5 inch harddrive with extra electronics to compensate for that drives marginal data transfer rates. However, the 2.5 inch Passport has no such issues and like the SDHC cards we are using, there is ample headroom (48fps overcranking) to record consistently without Media Errors. So at this time, I'd have to say the WD Passport drive will do for my purposes. How can one go wrong to get over 5hrs of recording for $100.

If harddrive reliability were to become a problem, then I'd spend a couple hundred more for a mirrored RAID-1 Laptop setup which are also small and dirt cheap.

All indications are that Solid State Drive prices are going to drop significantly within the year as more manufacturers have entered the marketplace. When that happens I'll switch technologies.

As you pointed out above, RED is on the ball with it's HD Camera storage vision. They actually offer a cable option to work with full speed SATA-II drives. In other words, they have already anticipated that it's customers will be using off-the-shelf harddrives and SSD's rather than proprietary memory cards. Here is one example:

http://jkkmobile.blogspot.com/2009/0...-fast-ssd.html

Sadly, Sony promised cheap SXS ExpressCard storage and that has not materialized. We live in hope! Cheers

Last edited by Barry J. Anwender; May 4th, 2009 at 12:11 PM.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 05:13 AM   #24
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Well done and interesting to see where this ends.
I have used a WD Passport Studio with FW800 for editing EX 1080p on my MacBook Pro recently and it really performs well in my opinion, good to see they are put to the test
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Old June 19th, 2009, 09:02 AM   #25
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Good work! Please-more!

I'm loving this experiment & I want a crack at it, too. I don't even have the EX camera, but I'm looking to pick one up & I think my friend'll enjoy a gift for his cam. What do I need-21IN1 Multimedia Reader/writer Expresscard, 1 male-female USB-2's split or 2 USBs-1 with a male end & the other w/at least 1 female end, and 80GB USB powered ext HD? Solder the ends of the one cable to the small end card of the Expresscard carcass & somehow power it all with the other USB and combine them? What wires get twisted together on the USBs to properly power the whole thing? I no engineer, but I can certainly appreciate what you guys are geeking out about. Any further details you could give so I can get one going would be excellent and much appreciated.
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Old June 19th, 2009, 09:07 AM   #26
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I'm loving this experiment & I want a crack at it, too. Any further details you could give so I can get one going would be excellent and much appreciated.
John, also have a look at this thread:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/sony-xdca...drive-ssd.html

and here for a commercial solution that was announced this week:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/sony-xdca...-recorder.html
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