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Old August 30th, 2014, 01:30 PM   #1
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Welp, I have no choice but to replace my brand new Scout monitor.

Soooo, right out of the gate I have to replace my Scout monitor because of compatibility issues regarding the conversion. See link here for the drama, Super stumped - conversion question

So, I'm in the market for a basic HD-SDI monitor to fly. It will live on the sled since I have other monitor for other projects. Has anyone successfully replaced their Scout monitor, i.e. Lemo power?

Thanks in advance.
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Old August 31st, 2014, 09:15 AM   #2
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Re: Welp, I have no choice but to replace my brand new Scout monitor.

Stephen, have you spoken to the Steadicam folks about this issue? It doesn't sound like a compatibility issue, it sounds like your monitor's HD-SDI input isn't working properly. Out of the variables you mentioned it seems like you'd want to try feeding it another SDI source to make completely sure it has nothing to do with your signal path, but assuming that, it seems like it should go to the factory to be looked at. Surely cheaper than replacing the monitor, unless it is a significant repair. What is the history of the Scout, did you buy used?
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Old August 31st, 2014, 11:38 AM   #3
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Re: Welp, I have no choice but to replace my brand new Scout monitor.

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Originally Posted by Charles Papert View Post
Stephen, have you spoken to the Steadicam folks about this issue? It doesn't sound like a compatibility issue, it sounds like your monitor's HD-SDI input isn't working properly. Out of the variables you mentioned it seems like you'd want to try feeding it another SDI source to make completely sure it has nothing to do with your signal path, but assuming that, it seems like it should go to the factory to be looked at. Surely cheaper than replacing the monitor, unless it is a significant repair. What is the history of the Scout, did you buy used?
Hey Charles. Yes, we tested another Steadicam monitor, three Atomos converters. And the conclusion from Steadicam is that the monitor on the Scout can not handle the 3G-SDI signal converted out of the Atomos. It took a month of testing and Steadicam's engineers. Steadicam has been great in trying to figure out what's going on, so now we just have to figure out a solution for a more robust monitor. Oh, and the Scout is brand new. I seemed to have found that one crazy anomaly... My only other alternative was to sell my XF300 and get the 305, but I was thinking a new monitor is possibly a better investment, less of a financial hit.
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Old August 31st, 2014, 06:13 PM   #4
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Re: Welp, I have no choice but to replace my brand new Scout monitor.

Wow, bizarre. Have you gotten an indication of what format the Atomos convertor puts out that the Scout monitor can't read?

I would think that of all of the links in the chain, the cheapest to replace would be the Atomos convertor, since that seems to be creating the anomaly...you could use a Blackmagic, for instance.
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Old August 31st, 2014, 07:36 PM   #5
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Re: Welp, I have no choice but to replace my brand new Scout monitor.

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Originally Posted by Charles Papert View Post
Wow, bizarre. Have you gotten an indication of what format the Atomos convertor puts out that the Scout monitor can't read?

I would think that of all of the links in the chain, the cheapest to replace would be the Atomos convertor, since that seems to be creating the anomaly...you could use a Blackmagic, for instance.
Thanks Charles. Steadicam told me it's the 3G-SDI signal. That's as much as I know because it's a tad above my head.

The Atomos is the way I was going to bridge the gap, and since it runs off of Sony L batteries and is a very small unit, I plan to Velcro it to the sled somehow. I use my Steadicam in more than 75% of my video work, so we're still hacking at a solution.
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Old August 31st, 2014, 08:54 PM   #6
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Re: Welp, I have no choice but to replace my brand new Scout monitor.

Gotcha.

The Atomos is indeed a small unit. However, it's not like the BM boxes are massive, can also be velcroed and you obviously have payload to spare with that camera on the Scout. As far as power, it's far preferable to run everything on a Steadicam off the single battery (much less to think about), so I would personally recommend a system where you are powering the HDMI convertor and the camera off the 3 pin Lemo on the top stage (will require a breakout, but that's handy to have anyway--I'd suggest a Lemo to female P-tap, then a stock 4-jack P-tap splitter). Getting the stepdown cable from the XF camera to P-tap may have to be a custom job, but it's a good investment if you'll have the camera for a while. All the work would be on the front end and then you'd have a much easier experience at work from that point on, plus you'd have a couple of ports available to power other accessories as needed.

Since I'm a tinkerer, I always look at this sort of project as a challenge of sorts! I'd see a great solution being a machined box that would fit between the dovetail plate and the camera that would contain the SDI converter, power distribution and voltage conversion for the camera. Ideally it would have the various connectors on front and back (HDMI, power in and out etc) but could also be kept simple and have cables run through "rat holes" (not the worst idea with that vulnerable HDMI connector). One added bonus with this is that it would raise the gimbal on your rig since you are flying such a light camera and are presumably seeing a lot of post between top stage and gimbal, which is not ideal.

If you are hellbent on the monitor replacement route, the guys at Steadicam will send you a good direction I'm sure. I haven't seen the monitor they are using on the Scout, but generally they spec an anti-reflective coating on their monitors which improves visibility over most standard monitors, something you would definitely appreciate outside. Vertical viewing angle is another important attribute as you will be viewing the monitor with much greater variance than would be the case with conventional operating.
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