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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 May 22nd, 2009, 08:04 AM   #16
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Barry,

just to be sure, do all SSD's come with USB as well as SATA connections? I'm finding little documentation on some drives I've looked at - massivley fast ingest time - wow!

thanks

Paul
Hi Paul, the actual SSD is typically packaged exactly the same as any 2.5 inch SATA drive. So it is the case that provides the USB and/or eSATA2 ports as well as power input either by the USB bus or a standard 2.1mm power plug. Some of the newest SSD's now provide an option that also includes the case.

I had to look for a while to find the Rocketfish case because I also wanted the eSATA port for off-loading purposes. Cheers!
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Old May 22nd, 2009, 08:20 AM   #17
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This sounds really good news. I hope someone is able to offer a 'kit' with all the bits ready assembled / soldered for the less technically minded like myself. I would hate to blow my cam up because I may have soldered the wrong wires to the wrong bits.

Well done to the pioneers of this method, lets hope its available to the masses at a sensible price in the near future.

Stuart
Stuart, I have no plans to make this into a revenue generating enterprise. For my part, I love to pioneer-learn-innovate, so all my research, engineering and development is public domain and free to use. All the pieces are off the shelf and use industry standards - nothing is proprietary.

In truth, Sony has provided the EX camera with an industry standard PCI ExpressBus and firmware for limited USB data transfers but no firmware/interface to provide open eSATA-II data transfers. Sony also offers the USB ExpressCard and cable in their 60GB harddrive package but no option to purchase the former as an individual item. An EX firmware upgrade to support open SATA data transfer is highly desirable now the SSD's are in the mainstream. Red One already offers this option.

I would also invite Convergent Design to offer an eSATA-2 port rather than the Compact Flash card sas an option on their FlashXDR and NanoFlash devices at which point, I for one would surely buy their product. This kind of innovation adds tremendous value to products that are already very good at what they do--and they clearly have the potential to be even better and more desirable for videographers.

So for any enterprising individuals/companies, please do provide a package or some options so that our entire EX community can benefit. I am confident that there are other combinations of SSD/Case/Power that can also offer a good price-performance balance. Cheers!

Last edited by Barry J. Anwender; May 22nd, 2009 at 08:54 AM.
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Old May 22nd, 2009, 09:16 AM   #18
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Please let us know how your tests go, I'm currently using two Seagate drives, but am very keen on the lower consumption/higher reliability of the SSD's - I'm often shooting 6 hours with 3 EX1's so for me its a great way forward without breaking the bank.

I also ran some tests on 12v supply for 5 volt USB drives using 7805's and some other low dropout regulators, but wow, did they dissipate some heat delivering 400mA !! at least the SSD is a lot lower in power needs, and as you say, the Dolgin has good heatsink abilities too.

thanks

Paul
Yes, it is possible to put a 5V regulator in the EX-V adapter, as Paul noted it has to be a switching kind as at the currents over 100 ma efficiency becomes a serious concideration. We could come up with a solution quickly as we already have a regulator board used in another product (7.2V DC converter). What about the 5V connector? Is a SATA power plug going to do? USB? If somebody takes a picture or provide a link, would be great.
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Old May 22nd, 2009, 10:22 AM   #19
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Alex,

Looking at the RocketFish enclosure it has both a 5 pin connector, which is industry standard USB, and a power socket, although there's no indication of its size.

A USB female, power only, would be good as well as a "Roca" plug, although the size is questionable, it rather depends on common sizes used.

Completely agree regarding switched mode regulator to make losses a minimum, and battery life a maximum in the field.

Cable length is also important, not too short from the battery unit to the drive and to the camera adapter.. after my tests, I found it helped to be able to attach the drive and power unit onto the tripod with high power velcro, rather than having everything hanging onto the camera body!

Paul
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Old May 22nd, 2009, 11:51 AM   #20
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Paul, it looks like they use a mini USB, so if we cut the left part of the cable off http://www.molex.com/pdm_docs/sd/688060020_sd.pdf and have the right part (mini USB 5 pin plug) coming out of the EX-V adapter, it should work. Right?
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Old May 22nd, 2009, 11:56 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Paul Newman View Post
Alex,
Looking at the RocketFish enclosure it has both a 5 pin connector, which is industry standard USB, and a power socket, although there's no indication of its size.

A USB female, power only, would be good as well as a "Roca" plug, although the size is questionable, it rather depends on common sizes used.
Paul
The Rocketfish enclosure requires a standard 2.1mm power adaptor. Typically 2.5 inch drive cases are either mini USB bus powered or of the 2.1 mm power adaptor variety. I have not yet found any cases were the SATA power terminals are externally available. Hope this helps.

Alex, good news to hear that a 5 volt switching regulator can be made available. Cheers!

Update: The folks over on the other forum also pointed out this European case which is the same configuration as the Rocketfish:

http://www.raidsonic.de/en/pages/pro..._objectID=4806

And with a second glance, I happened to notice this case only support SATA-1 (1.5Gb/s). So be cautioned if your expecting SATA-2 data transfer speeds. The Rocketfish case and all the new SSD's support SATA-2 (3.0Gb/s).

Last edited by Barry J. Anwender; May 23rd, 2009 at 12:30 AM.
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Old May 22nd, 2009, 03:46 PM   #22
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As I said on the other forum, I'm looking for someone to solder USB cable to Express34 adapter. I tried one myself on an old Sonnet card and coldn't get it to work. I was not cut out either to be a surgeon or solderer. The case, etc, I have no problem assembling myself.

As far as power, I have a ton of Tekkeon MP3450 batteries and was planning on testing with that once I get a working adapter.

Found the Corsair SSD at Newegg.com for $299.

Ned
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Old May 22nd, 2009, 04:24 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Barry J. Anwender View Post
The Rocketfish enclosure requires a standard 2.1mm power adaptor. Typically 2.5 inch drive cases are either mini USB bus powered or of the 2.1 mm power adaptor variety. I have not yet found any cases were the SATA power terminals are externally available. Hope this helps.

Alex, good news to hear that a 5 volt switching regulator can be made available. Cheers!

Update: The folks over on the other forum also pointed out this European case which is the same configuration as the Rocketfish:

External Cases
I quickly made a 5V adapter today; only had parts for one adapter, with a 2.1mm plug DC output. I also ordered a mini USB cable, so in a few days will be able to offer a USB version. As it is not an "official" product yet, I put together a quick and dirty PayPal order page at EX-V5V adapter
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Last edited by Alex Dolgin; May 22nd, 2009 at 06:51 PM.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 01:36 AM   #24
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I think the majority of potential users have a problem "manufacturing" the modified express card adapter, not only in terms of soldering skills, but confidence - no one wants to damage their camera.

We really need someone to make these cards, and cheaply too, there's nothing inside them!

Mine was made with a damaged Kensington, pretty tricky, I cut off the socket leaving the pins to solder to and added a new "card" made from plastic and epoxy resin to embed the cable - works fine but a bit of a hassle as I couldn't find the "easier to convert" cards in Europe.

Oh, nice one Alex, just the ticket, cool running efficient and enough power to run a pair of drives -

Paul
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 10:20 AM   #25
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Well, for those of us who bought a phu-60k, it's nice to know we now have an option to spend less than $500 ($300 corsair + $100 dolgin adapter ) to get 5 hours of recording using the express card cable that came with the phu unit.

It still would be nice to have a card/cable with a longer reach, as Paul suggested, to get the drive off the camera. I found that the added weight of the phu, given the already unforgiving hand-held ergonomics of the ex3 , was the straw that made it just too unwieldy for handheld (great for interviews on a tripod, though).

Maybe using the drive with the vf or dm shoulder mounts would be the ticket.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 10:48 AM   #26
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As I said on the other forum, I'm looking for someone to solder USB cable to Express34 adapter. I tried one myself on an old Sonnet card and coldn't get it to work. I was not cut out either to be a surgeon or solderer. The case, etc, I have no problem assembling myself.
Ned
Ned, I have to agree. My first prototype connector took me several hours with a magnifying glass and soldering iron to get proper connections. However, on my second go for the final SSD cable I left the molex connector on the ExpressCard daughterboard so that the USB wires are more easily attached to the molex pins. To accomplish this, I used my larger soldering gun to apply heat to the back off the motherboard, enough so that with a little pressure the duaghterboard molex connector lifted away. So no heat was applied to the daughterboard or its molex connector, thus it comes away without any damage whatsoever. This makes the task much easier. See the attached pictures.

I have also included the pinout details so that the USB cable can more easily be soldered to the molex pins without having to fiddle under a magnifying glass. You may also find it easier to solder the Black USB wire and its Sheath to the otherside of the daughterboard where its ground plane has lots of space and an exposed ground point to solder to. Make sure to use an Ohm Meter to check for continuity and no shorts - do keep your shorts on though:-) This may still be a bit of a challenge for people with big fingers and a few thumbs ;-)

P.S. The Sonnet, Sandisk and Delkin ExpressCard adaptors have this daughterboard arrangement. Cheers!
Attached Thumbnails
EX3 & Working Solid State Drive (SSD)-accessing-daughterboard.jpg   EX3 & Working Solid State Drive (SSD)-exposed-molex-pin-wiring-detail.jpg  


Last edited by Barry J. Anwender; May 23rd, 2009 at 01:42 PM.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 11:01 AM   #27
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Well, for those of us who bought a phu-60k, it's nice to know we now have an option to spend less than $500 ($300 corsair + $100 dolgin adapter ) to get 5 hours of recording using the express card cable that came with the phu unit.
Mike the PHU-60K is $1200 plus taxes in Canada. Morever, it remains a harddrive with moving parts and eventual mechanical failure as well suffer from painfully slow USB off-loading transfers. Those who do have this unit however, have a ready made ExpressCard adaptor with the required USB cable. That may be some consolation.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 12:26 PM   #28
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this really cool box
PRODIMEX eShop | Votre magasin online
has a e-sata conector and a docking station so you just need to slide it in the rack for the transfer.
add a SSD inside the case, and you got the perfect tool.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 03:05 PM   #29
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That may be some consolation.
I probably didn't make the point clearly, but yes, Barry, it is consolation (altho I'm happy with the phu for interviews), knowing that a much better solution is available for not too much money.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 08:34 PM   #30
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SSD off-loading to Raid-0 Array

I've discovered some more real-world surprises in my everyday use of this SSD.

1) SATA-2 Off-loading 5.1 hrs of video to the MacPro desktop = 20 minutes
2) SATA-2 Off-loading 5.1 hrs of video to the MacPro Raid-0 = 14 minutes !!!
3) USB Off-loading 5.1 hrs of video to either desktop/Raid-0 = 40 minutes

So the SSD can off-load 5.1 hrs of video faster than one hour of video on a SDHC card. Even a USB transfer from the SSD is three faster than the same amount of video stored on SDHC cards. A huge time-saver for tapeless workflows using SSD's.

In all of this, I have also completed an actual time measurement for the Sony BP-U30 battery to power the SSD. The battery ran continuously for 7 hours and 20 minutes before depletion. So a BP-U60 battery has more than enough juice to record over 10 hours of video onto two SSD units.

And finally the Rocketfish SSD case is capable of USB bus-powering without an external 5 volt supply. The SATA port however does require the external 5 volt supply.
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