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Kona LHi & FCP - SDI capture troubleshooting

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Blas Kisic
Kona LHi & FCP - SDI capture troubleshooting
on Dec 31, 2011 at 6:01:52 am

I've searched for this issue, but I haven't found a similar problem, unfortunately.
Here's my setup:
MacPro running Snow Leopard, and 10GB RAM
FCP 7 (latest update)
Kona LHi
Sony DVW-A500 Digital Beta VTR, connected to Kona via SDI (both in and out)

We routinely capture 90-minute tapes into FCP, in 10-bit uncompressed, via the Log and Capture command. VTR control is done via RS422 cables.

Last week, without changing anything -as far as we know- the message "no communication" showed up at the bottom of the capture window. Eventually, we were able to capture, as SDI connection allows us to get the AV signal, but we weren't able to control the deck from FCP. Additionally, the timecode recorded in the captured footage was off - instead of starting at 01:00:00:00, it started at zero hours, and was actually off from the real TC (as shown in the VTR's display) by a couple of seconds and a random number of frames.

I've dumped the prefs, zapped PRAM and, finally, reinstalled the System software, to no avail. I believe there is (or was) some kind of corruption in the system, but now that it's squeaky clean I still get "no communication" between the Kona and the VTR.

Reading other threads I realized that I haven't checked the RS422 connection. That's planned for tomorrow. In the meantime, I need to figure out the unexplained software issues. Any help would be greatly appreciated. We'll need a working FCP system by Wednesday, in order to avoid going to another facility for layback.

Regards,
BK

Blague Studios
11417 Moorpark St
North Hollywood
CA 91602-2009
voice: (818) 769-5661
fax: (818) 769-5996
http://www.blague-studio.com


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Bob Zelin
Re: Kona LHi & FCP - SDI capture troubleshooting
on Jan 2, 2012 at 4:39:49 pm

1) stop using FCP for this troubleshooting.
2) download AJA VTR XChange (it's free)
3) if your DVW-A500 is in a machine room, physically carry it into the room where the Kona LHi is.
4) if you have a Kona LHi breakout box, stop using it for this test, and use the "octopus" cable that AJA gave you when you bought it (it came in the box with your Kona card

Plug in the 9 pin cable into Remote IN on your DVW-A500, and open up VTR XChange. Pop in a tape. You don't need to hook up any of the video cables. Can you control the VTR ? If you can, now Launch FCP and try to control the VTR. This will tell you if you have a bad card or a problem with FCP and it's settings.

If you don't have the AJA breakout cable, then you leave the possiblity that the AJA Kona Breakout box is defective, or the interconnect cables between the Kona and the breakout box.
If you lost the AJA breakout cable, and you must use the AJA Kona Breakout box for this test, and you don't have another 9 pin RS422 cable to test with, then you have added another variable into the equation of what may be wrong. Cabling is always the #1 thing that fails. And certainly if you are going into a RS422 patch bay, AB box, or router, and you say "but other machines are working fine, and even this was working fine just a couple of days ago" - this means NOTHING. You must isolate out your system, and call calbing to insure that it's a defective card. You can't even rely on FCP software - you should only use VTR XChange for this testing.

Bob Zelin



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Blas Kisic
Re: Kona LHi & FCP - SDI capture troubleshooting
on Jan 3, 2012 at 1:29:19 pm

Thanks, Bob.
Since video and audio are making their way into the system without a problem, it's most likely that the culprit is the RS422 cable. I'll try to isolate the cable issue today, and will report back.

Cheers,
BK

Blague Studios
11417 Moorpark St
North Hollywood
CA 91602-2009
voice: (818) 769-5661
fax: (818) 769-5996
http://www.blague-studio.com


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Blas Kisic
Re: Kona LHi & FCP - SDI capture troubleshooting
on Jan 11, 2012 at 5:22:44 pm

Just wanted to report back - we got a new octopus cable from AJA, which didn't work. We then had another one-hour troubleshooting session with AJA tech support and determined that the culprit was, actually, the card itself. We got a new card sent in, and everything seems to be working fine now.

Thanks!
BK

Blague Studios
11417 Moorpark St
North Hollywood
CA 91602-2009
voice: (818) 769-5661
fax: (818) 769-5996
http://www.blague-studio.com


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