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Kona3 RS422 interrupts

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Joseph Owens
Kona3 RS422 interrupts
on Dec 14, 2010 at 6:15:17 pm

I have a really consistent interruption concerning RS422 control of external drives from the Kona3.
99 times out of 100, and this is a measured value, not an estimate, Log and Capture and Edit to Tape come up "No communication". Nothing solves the situation, and I mean nothing -- not re-installs, not jiggling the cables (and they only go into the sockets one way), not upgrades, not restarting FCP, not restarting the modules, nada. The only thing that restores machine control is a total system shutdown and reboot.

Not what I call professional performance.

Anyone with insight or a rewrite of the code?

jPo

You mean "Old Ben"? Ben Kenobi?


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Kona3 RS422 interrupts
on Dec 14, 2010 at 7:06:56 pm

What device?

Are you sure you have the proper deck control setting selected?


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Tom Bucknall
Re: Kona3 RS422 interrupts
on Dec 14, 2010 at 8:50:16 pm

I don't know if this will help but it might be worth a shot.

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1942


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Chad Brewer
Re: Kona3 RS422 interrupts
on Dec 15, 2010 at 3:36:49 am

Joseph,
I've dealt with some similar RS422 issues with one of our Kona3 cards on an older MacPro. What vintage is your MacPro, what version of Kona drivers are you running, and like Jeremy said, what decks (I assume you meant decks when you said external drives) are you looking to control?
If your issue is similar to one of our edit stations, I MAY have a simple solution to the problem from my what I've encountered, but I can't say without knowing what you have at hand.

Chad Brewer
Senior Tape Operator/Engineer
TeleVersions


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Bob Zelin
Re: Kona3 RS422 interrupts
on Dec 15, 2010 at 11:37:09 pm

You write -
I have a really consistent interruption concerning RS422 control of external drives from the Kona3.

You mean RS422 control of external VTR's, correct ?
You have not mentioned what VTR you are trying to control ! Is it a Sony Digi Beta, or a Sony UVW-1400 ? Is it a Sony HVR-15M2U with a Convergent Design Firewire to RS 422 adaptor. Is it a Panasonic
AJ-SD455 DVCPro VTR ? Every one of these can cause different issues !

OK, so lets make believe that you have a Sony UVW-1800 VTR, and you get "no communication". It could be the following (this has nothing to do with "bad code") -

1) your AJA K3 box (do you own one ? ) is defective, or your cables between your K3 box and the Kona 3 card are defective.

2) if you do NOT own a K3 box, the Kona 3 breakout cable that came with the board is defective

3) the Kona 3 itself is defective

4) have you trashed both your FCP preferences, AND your AJA Kona 3 preferences ?

http://www.bobzelin.com/how-to-delete-aja-kona-preferences

NOW, MOST IMPORTANT - STOP using Final Cut Pro for these tests. Download the free AJA VTR XChange from the AJA website, and use AJA VTR XChange to control your VTR. If VTR XChange works, but FCP gives you "no communications", then it's FCP (probably the preferences need to be trashed, or your system drive is corrupt). If AJA VTR XChange DOES NOT work, then try what I suggested above.

Bob Zelin



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Joseph Owens
Re: Kona3 RS422 interrupts
on Dec 20, 2010 at 7:58:41 pm

Thanks for the insights. I've been away on remote for a few days.

Decks in the system: Sony: SRW5500, DVWA500, PVW2800, UVW1800 and DSR45.

They all exhibit the same behaviour. I am running FCP7.0.2. Kona control panel8.0 nondesktop version (FCP crashes almost incessantly with the desktop version), Kona3, firmware updated on a MacPro 3,1 2.8GHz Dual-Quad Xeon running Snow Leopard 10.6.4.

All direct RS-422 via a K3-breakout box (which AJA seems to have some serious build problems with)... I don't have to jiggle any wires or re-seat any connectors. It is always a complete system shutdown that fixes the loss of communication. VTRXchange: same behaviour, but even if it worked, I require the Edit-to-Tape module (worst edit controller in the space-time continuum) for its Closed Caption insertion.

As I'm typing out all this stuff, I'm realizing what a ridiculous house of cards built on sand this really is.

jPo

You mean "Old Ben"? Ben Kenobi?


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Kona3 RS422 interrupts
on Dec 20, 2010 at 9:20:42 pm

[Joseph Owens] "All direct RS-422 via a K3-breakout box (which AJA seems to have some serious build problems with)... I don't have to jiggle any wires or re-seat any connectors. It is always a complete system shutdown that fixes the loss of communication. "

At what point to do you hook all these decks up to the Kona? When the ETT window is open?


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Joseph Owens
Re: Kona3 RS422 interrupts
on Dec 20, 2010 at 9:45:55 pm

Usually the SRW5500 is my default machine and its left connected almost permanently. I try not to "hot" plug any control interfaces, and at first, I thought this was the issue. But not. Having the machine warm before starting FCP, coldstart, hot swap, restart FCP, makes no difference. It has to be a complete hardware shutdown and restart, and sometimes the machine will disappear after a successful mastering pass and the next tape in will require a shut down before I can address the VTR again, which means setting up every last detail all over again.

I still can't believe that its the "Capture/Input" setting that determines the output of the Kona when you use Edit to Tape.

jPo

You mean "Old Ben"? Ben Kenobi?


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Kona3 RS422 interrupts
on Dec 20, 2010 at 9:59:49 pm

[Joseph Owens] "I still can't believe that its the "Capture/Input" setting that determines the output of the Kona when you use Edit to Tape."

The reason is, when you go to Edit To Tape, the Kona is actually looking at the video input from the deck (so in essence it is going to capture mode). At this point, the Kona also references incoming video as it does for every capture so genlock doesn't help here.

This would allow you to cue the material on the tape itself. If the Kona was just in output mode, there's no way to see what's coming from the tape deck in the ETT window if you didn't have a monitor (I know, silly proposition, but it's true). As soon as you hit Edit to tape, FCP Switched the Kona to output mode and then genlock comes in to play.

For SR decks, it's best if the Kona matches the settings of the SR deck before opening that feedback loop. The SR decks can freak out if they see something like the mess that FCP can put out when opening ETT.

If none of that works or makes sense, I'd call AJA and get a new card. That kind of trouble seems like a hardware problem.

Jeremy


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Joseph Owens
Re: Kona3 RS422 interrupts
on Dec 21, 2010 at 5:10:46 pm

No, this has more of the feel of a Snow Leopard problem, since that is when this all started really coming apart consistently.

Also, there is no SDI-in loop from the SR deck output, so the Kona isn't seeing anything. Its running free/slaved to FCP/ETT/Control Panel. I do not use the internal Kona monitoring as it would essentially be a feed-back loop. I monitor everything externally through actual scopes and actual monitors. If any of the preview lockup stuff were true, the system restart would also fail, because nothing has been changed, connected, disconnected, re-routed or anything.

I am not a basement enthusiast, I've been delivering network tapes for nearly thirty years. The last five years have been almost pure and undiluted hell with this Apple garbage, and over the past six months has descended into being utterly unacceptable. Put "Fisher-Price" on the package, and I'd believe it.

jPo

You mean "Old Ben"? Ben Kenobi?


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Kona3 RS422 interrupts
on Dec 21, 2010 at 5:16:09 pm

You should try feeding your kona stable black/video when opening ETT.

If your deck is not in EE, then you should be able to
close the loop.

Have you contacted AJA and tried a new card?


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Doug Beal
Re: Kona3 RS422 interrupts
on Dec 21, 2010 at 8:03:41 pm

We have no issues patching 422 control to any of the decks in house, hot patching 422 has never been an issue going back thru nonlinear days. I've seen issues with Kona controllers when someone has gone in to the Network pane in system preferences and attempted to connect Kona Serial, I've seen issues when the HDCam (SR and vanilla) is improperly configured as to which downconvert or off-tape signal is being sent down the 422 line, but that's frame rate servo issues. None of our Apple/FCP/AJA stations nor HP/DS/AJA stations drop 422 connections. The only time I've seen issues is when the appropriate machine are not patched, the tape is record inhibited or my most occuring error "local" (I need a remote for my remote)
If you've been doing this for that long the you can look at the "capture setting" during output as the old "preview switcher" from linear switcher days.
Sounds like a call to AJA is in order

Doug Beal
Editor / Engineer
Rock Creative Images
Nashville TN


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Bob Zelin
Re: Kona3 RS422 interrupts
on Dec 22, 2010 at 1:24:19 am

Boy Doug, what's the problem. You've been doing this for 30 years - never saw a dead CMX port, never saw a dead AVID port ? This is NOT an OS-X 10.6.x issue, and even though Apple makes me sick, this is not their problem. AJA will be thrilled to send you a replacement card, or K3 box, or breakout cables. If you already have the original breakout cable that came with your Kona 3 (not the K3 box), there is a RS422 connector on it, so you can see quickly if the problem is your K3, K3 breakout cables, or the Kona 3 itself - this will save you some time.

Troubleshooting, and equipment failure is part of being in this business and owning equipment. Don't tell me that "you never had any problems with any thing you ever owned in the last 30 years", because that will prove to this forum that you have been working as a house painter, instead of this business. Equipment aggrivation is what our industry is all about. No ulcer - you ain't a pro.

Bob Zelin



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Doug Beal
Re: Kona3 RS422 interrupts
on Dec 22, 2010 at 6:26:43 pm

Bob
My reply was to Joseph having the problem
I don't have "those" problems
I have some problems but not the kind this wonderful forum seeks to address.
All the best in the new year.

Doug Beal
Editor / Engineer
Rock Creative Images
Nashville TN


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Jason Higgins
Re: Kona3 RS422 interrupts
on Dec 28, 2010 at 12:54:20 am

Hi all,

I'm currently experiencing the exact same issues with deck control. I'm using a Mac Pro 2 X 3GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon with 8 GB RAM and a Kona 3. I'm running FCP 7.0.3 on OS X 10.6.5. This installation of Snow Leopard is about two weeks old.

We have four Final Cut rigs here. Three of which are running Leopard with FCP 7 and Kona 3's and are working as well as can be expected. The machine exhibiting the problem with deck control is a test machine to verify the functionality of Snow Leopard. It was previously running FCP 6 on OS X 10.4.11 and we didn't have any problem connecting to any deck in our tape room before upgrading to Snow Leopard.

I would have to disagree that this problem is hardware related other then possibly how Snow Leopard communicates with the hardware via it's drivers. While this is likely what is going on when we have perfectly good hardware that worked well under previous versions of OS X and after an upgrade begins behaving strangely, we are lead to believe that we should buy new hardware to solve the problem. Now I'm aware that the this PC is a few years old but for a lot of the work that we do here it performs as well as our 8 core or 12 core machines. I'm sure that Apple would like everyone to buy a new computer every time they release a new os. That way they wouldn't have to support legacy hardware but this just isn't feasible for most consumers. Weather the blame for this current problem lies with Apple or AJA, I couldn't say but I am tired of dealing with this crap.

Sorry about the rant, but there it is.


Jason Higgins
Editor
Point.360 West


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Kona3 RS422 interrupts
on Dec 28, 2010 at 1:52:07 am

What version of Kona drivers and have you contacted AJA about it?


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Jason Higgins
Re: Kona3 RS422 interrupts
on Dec 28, 2010 at 2:41:10 am

Hi Jeremy,

I'm using Kona driver version 8.0 NDD. I have not contacted AJA concerning this issue yet. I usually spend a little time troubleshooting and researching a problem before I call tech support. Also I'm on a swing shift and I literally walked into this problem when I came to work today. If I haven't found a solution before I come to work tomorrow I'll probably give AJA a call.

One odd thing about this is we did use the system for over a ween without issue. (At least not this issue.) Then I come in today and FCP is losing communication with the deck. It's really a new adventure every day.


Jason


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Joseph Owens
Re: Kona3 RS422 interrupts
on Dec 31, 2010 at 7:48:47 pm

I thought it might be a prefs issue and did the old superstitious mantra "trash prefs". I was also starting to get random crashes with various plugins, specifically the AJA Kona Plugin for FCP.

No dice, plus I got to reset all my preferences, trims, offsets, paths, default directories, and so on.

I can't see how this cannot be a system problem, since resetting the system fixes it (at least temporarily).

jPo

You mean "Old Ben"? Ben Kenobi?


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