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ATEM 1 M/E Switcher: death after power outage

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Eric van Engelen
ATEM 1 M/E Switcher: death after power outage
on Jul 4, 2011 at 6:17:28 pm

Last week we got our brand new ATEM 1 M/E switcher (and panel). On first hand it looked and worked great, and I was really excited to get to work with this nice piece of equipment.
But, last Thursday we had a power-outage, causing the shut-down of the whole production flight-pack. When power was back up, the switcher didn't boot any more and was nothing more then a brick.
All the electronic components in the flypack are protected with fuses, power-distributors etc. Of course, it has been sent back to the supplier immediately.

Know I wonder what would have happened when we where in the middle of a broadcast. Is it normal for Blackmagic Design-equipment to break down when the power is disrupted?


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Bob Zelin
Re: ATEM 1 M/E Switcher: death after power outage
on Jul 5, 2011 at 8:31:48 pm

It is normal, expected, and required for YOU to provide a large UPS, like an APC Smart UPS 1500 RM2U on all of your production shoots. This way, when you have a power outage, you keep your equipment running, and prevent bad power hits like the one you took. Every professional rig uses a UPS - you should too. This is your fault.

I am especially hyper-sensitive about this subject, because my main business is disk drive storage arrays, and shared storage enviornments. If you are in the middle of using your drives, and you take a power hit, or shut down while in use, you can have all the RAID5/RAID6 in the world - you have just corrupted your data. Owning a drive array, means that you MUST own a UPS for that drive array.

This applies to ALL computer based equipment, and this certainly applies to the ATEM, and every other product on the market that is computer based, or drive based. You cannot expect ANY manufacturer to have their own "surge suppression" or UPS built into their product.

May I suggest -
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/681135-REG/APC_SMX1500RM2U_Smart_UPS_...

this wil run EVERYTHING in your production rack, from the ATEM, to your PC's and MACs to your cameras, recorders, etc. And it will run them for 20 minutes, while power havoc breaks loose on your production.

Bob Zelin



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Eric van Engelen
Re: ATEM 1 M/E Switcher: death after power outage
on Jul 6, 2011 at 10:14:08 am

Sorry, I explained the situation not detailed enough:
Don't worry about the UPS, it was already in order.
The Switcher was still a brick, when the power turned back on!

So it just stopped working after the power-outage.
Which is strange, cause the only way of shutting the switcher down is by pulling the plug. There's no on/off-button.


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Gerbrand Oudenaarden
Re: ATEM 1 M/E Switcher: death after power outage
on Jul 21, 2011 at 6:46:44 am

Hi Bob,

I've also been looking at various UPSes for our new ATEM 2 ME flypack.

I own a 3000 KVA 2U high APC UPS, but it makes too much noise. The clicking of the internal relays when it starts or stops charging, and the fans that run continuously but sometimes speed up make the unit sound like a vacuum cleaner. Our flypacks are often used in theaters and conference venues and these sounds would not be acceptible there.

Of course, for a rack with servers this sound is not an issue, but for a mobile studio it is. Can you comment on the sound the mentioned APC Smart UPS produces?

Apart from that, I do feel that a dedicated piece of equipment should be able to handle a power outage. The ATEM doesn't have disk drives, neither does the switcher itself run on Windows.

best,
Gerbrand


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