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Ki Pro Mini Troubles

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Matt Bucy
Ki Pro Mini Troubles
on Jan 25, 2012 at 3:57:41 pm

I'm wondering if anyone else is experiencing the kinds of problems I'm having with a Ki Pro Mini.

Here's my setup: Sony F3 HD-SDI out to Ki Pro Mini in. Recording ProResHQ and ProRes standard to SanDisk extreme 90MB/s cards (four different cards, different batch numbers, two are 64G and two are 32G). KPM HD-SDI out to monitor. Depending on the shoot, I record using TC trigger from F3 or with the record button on KPM. No difference in symptoms, which are:

1. Mounting media often freezes KPM. Requires reboot. Usually first boot of the day, strangely.
2. Frequent kicking out of record. I'd say 5% of takes fail. The kickout usually occurs in the first five seconds, but not always. Because the KPM shows errors only for a few seconds, I'm never quite sure what happened--I only see that it's not recording when I "cut" is called and the panel has gone back to its default state.
3. Occasionally, when dropped frames occur, have to reboot (KPM front panel unresponsive, stuck in Record mode, but TC not updating).
4. Low Bat power downs when battery is fully charged (battery also runs F3 and a 7" monitor). F3 reports voltage at 14+ volts. Battery is an Anton Bauer LI 120AH. Plenty of juice and F3 and monitor work fine with it.
5. Some clips are left in an un-playable state. The data appears to be there but the file appears not have been closed properly.
6. Recording kick out occurs in both ProResHQ and ProRes standard.
7. Intermittently unresponsive front panel when reviewing footage. Stop button doesn't stop playback. Play button doesn't respond when fast forwarding or rewinding. If you press the buttons a few times it usually responds, but sometimes freezes and requires reboot.

These symptoms have occurred on TWO different KPMs, identically. Which slot is used makes no difference. My thought is that it must be the cards, but four different cards from different batches? Or could it be the firmware? The cards successfully sustain high data rates when attached to my laptop and report more than adequate bandwidth with the AJA testing app.

When it works, I love what the KPM does, but not a day on set goes by that I don't also curse it because it fouls a take, holds up a shoot and makes producers and directors nervous. I have to keep an eye on it always because I never know when it's going to drop a take. Frustrating to say the least.

Recommendations appreciated. Thanks.

Matt Bucy
DIrector of Photography

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