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Frequently Asked Questions

How does a controller interpret the Status Sense and Edit Preset Sense returned bits : "Insert" and "Assemble". Actually I always return them at 0 and everything seems to work well, but maybe I should store those bits when given by the Edit Preset command and give them back when requested. In a DAW Insert or Assemble have no real meaning, for me Edit On or Record does the same, but maybe a controller assumes something else.

You should set the Insert flag to indicate an insert edit, insert gives a clean in and a clean out and always requires formatted media.
An Assemble edit will edit on all tracks simultaneously and reformat the media, this gives a clean in but a dirty out. and requires formatted media up to the in point.
A crash record gives a dirty in and a dirty out and does not require formatted media.
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We've come across the old problem again in mastering DVD's. The film scanning is done from a 24 fps film, spun up to 25 fps, we get the original soundtracks on DA-88 which don't match since they are the original speed of 24 fps.
I'm sure you have the tools to solve this for us. Could you tell me which box to get from you and how it works. (I can hardly imagine that you solved the pitch as well on 6 tracks AC-3.

We have a new product, the Timecode Gearbox (TG-1) this can accept timecode at any standard and rate and output timecode at any standard and rate. The Input and Output ratios availabe are as follows:-
23.97 : 24 : 24.97 : 25 : 29.97 : 30

24-25 DVD Set-Up:

Input timecode standard : EBU (25) (This is automatic)
Input ratio : 24
Output Timecode Standard : EBU (25)
Output Ratio : 25

To use with the SR-4

  1. Connect the timecode output from the SR-4 to the input of the TG-1
  2. Connect the output of the TG-1 to the timecode input of the DA-88
  3. Ensure that you select Chase type =0 for the DA-88 on the SR-4 (This is the normal setting)
  4. Use as normal.

AC-3 Verification

We are currently designing a AC-3 synchroniser, this will enable you to playback a AC-3 file and slave a video machine to the data stream by taking the timecode information from the AC-3 data stream. If there is a similar problem on AC-3 files we could incorporate this within the TG-1 gearbox.
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To check the cable and the A input on the SR-24 conect as follows:-
1) Select serial port A as an input
2) Select Port B as Master
3) Connect the Tx-Rx invert cable between port A and port D
4) Select port D, you should then be able to control the machine connected to port B from Port D. If not check the cable and toggle the port A selction Key.
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We have three products as follows:-
1) FC-1 will convert biphase to timecode which can then be used to lock a D88
2) SS-1 as FC-1 but with RS422 output to slave a video machine
3) BS-1 will accept a timecode and lock a projector
The question is which do you wish to use as a master, the projector or the D88. The most normal is to use the projector as the master. The FC-1 will then accept the biphase output from the projector and generate timecode. The timecode may then be used to lock one or more D88's.
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There are two controlling devices on the system the Desk or Pro-tools which are connected to port A and the MR controller. The selected master machine is always controlled from the desk, the MRcontroller may be switched to any machine on the system including the currently selected master. When two different commands are recieved at the same time the last processed will be the command sent to the machine.

We can also supply a six port controller this allows for two input ports, and 3 master ports, if added to the system that you have there it would allow the pro-tools and the desk to control the system without the need for re-patching.
To put this another way, the Sony protocol allows for the control of one machine only, to controll more than one machine one machine is designated as the Master. All commands from the RS422 input are routed to the master, status and position requests from the RS422 input are answered with the Master status and position. There are three exceptions to this:-
1) Record status is global, if any machine on the system is in record then the Record and Edit bits will be set.
2) Lock status is global, the lock bit will only be set once all machines are locked to the master.
3) Record Commands are global, the record or edit commands will be sent to any record enabled machine.
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I looked at the software this morning, you were correct on the latest version of software the XTAL LED will flash, I have modified the software
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There are three possibilities:-
1) the reference selection on the Power Supply PCB is incorrect
2) the PLL on the timecode generator is not working correctly
3) The timecode generator frame rate is different to the reference frame rate
PSU PCB (right hand side from front of unit) You can check the reference selection on the PSU at Pin 6 of U7, this is a monostable with a period of approx 25mS you should have an 30Hz signal at this point. If you do not find this signal check backwards through the circuit as follows
reference selector o/p pin 14 of U1
decoded video reference pin 7 of U3
video reference input pin 2 of U3
Timecode Reader Generator (Lower PCB on left hand side)
Assuming that the reference signal is present then it is connected via pin 23b on the edge connector to the timecode reader generator board
You can trace the reference at the following points on the Reader/Generator card
U27 pin 11
U21 pin 15
The timecode generator PLL may be checked with at pin 1 of U22, when working correctly this should be high (+5v) with very narrow pulses at the frame edge. Adjust VR-3 if incorrect
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The 37 way connector on the back of the VS-1 has both an Audio Trigger input and a contact closure input. Both may be used in real time to trigger an real time, the contact closure may also be used to capture an event to the internal list.
See sections 10.56, 10.562 and 12.11, 12.13, 12.14 of the manual

As the trigger input is an opto coupler you will need to link pins 23 & 24 connecting the opto(+) common to the internal +5v to use this with a switch.

For your information the latest protools 5.1.1 and 5.2 will allow you to control the protools by RS422 and use our SR-4, SR-24 or SR-32 ADR systems.
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In response to your question
Drop frame code
In drop frame code frames 0 & 1 of every minute except for modulo 10 minutes do not exist.
i.e. 00:01:59:29 is followed by 00:02:00:02
but 00:09:59:29 is followed by 00:10:00:00
The algorithm that I use is as follows:
Hours := fpd Div 107892
frames := fpd MOD 107892
min_tens := frames Div 17982
frames := frames MOD 17982
min_units := frames Div 1798
frames := frames MOD 1798
seconds := frames Div 30
frames := frames MOD 30
// extra drop frame check,
IF (mins_units <> 0) AND (seconds = 0) THEN frames:= frames+2
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How do I get Record-On and Record Off outputs from an SR-4 GP Port
  1. The Record GP output, (pin 17) is active high whenever the SR shows a record tally
  2. GP outputs 4,5,6 are user selectable for different functions see section 7.29 of the manual
  3. Set up GP outputs for Record on, and record off,
    Set-up, Unit, Generic, Menu 29:- GP Outputs 4,5,6
    Select 1= rec
  4. Record ON is found on pin 6 and is Active High
  5. Record OFF is found on pin 19 and is Active High
    If there is no machine producing a Record tally then a Virtual Record tally may be generated as follows
       Set-up, Unit, record, menu 06: Virtual record Tally
       Select 1 to enable
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1) When connected do you see A500 in the display when selected, if so then it will be set correctly
2) If you see $XXXX where XXXX are four hex digits then you will need to tell the system the number of record tracks the A500 has.
Set-up | Interface | Record | Menu 34 Record tracks
Set to 2= 8
3) You then need to set the record track arming keys to point to the A500
  1. Select MB51 key groups (use the lowest key in the group of three to the right of the track arming keys)
  2. select the A500
  3. check the machine number: Recall followed by the machine key
  4. Chose four keys for the track enables
  5. Specify each track in turn, I will assume that it is machine number 7 for this
Track 1 Type in 00:00:07:01 followed by [SHIFT], followed by [STORE] followed by the key for track 1
The display should show Mcn:Trk 00:00:07:01
Track 2 Type in 00:00:07:02 followed by [SHIFT], followed by [STORE] followed by the key for track 2
The display should show Mcn:Trk 00:00:07:02
Track 3 Type in 00:00:07:03 followed by [SHIFT], followed by [STORE] followed by the key for track 3
The display should show Mcn:Trk 00:00:07:03
Track 4 Type in 00:00:07:04 followed by [SHIFT], followed by [STORE] followed by the key for track 4
The display should show Mcn:Trk 00:00:07:04

You can check the assigned machine and track for any track arming key using [Recall] followed by the key
The Track arming should remain until you hard reset the system
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You can enable the reinforce track arming command to do this
  1. Select the DA-98 on the system
  2. Enter the menu [Setup]
  3. Select the Renforce menu
    Root | IFACE | Record |.. Menu 38:- Command Reinforce
  4. Select 2= Track Arm
This will send a Track arm command approximately once per second to the selected machine, provided that the panel does not lose the track arming then this should solve the problem.

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  1. Track arming will be remembered provided that the Menu Setup | Root | Unit | Generic | Menu ??: Macro protection Is set to 1= Keyboard
  2. If you change the machine type on a port then the setup will return to the default setup.
  3. If you allways want to be able to layback to video machines then you can set
    Setup | Root | Unit | generic | record | Menu 14?: Default Analogue & Video ready as you require.

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To Record enable

  1. ensure that the system is in stop
  2. depress the record key and hold depressed
  3. The system will then display the currently record enabled machines by illuminating the leds in the machine keys
  4. Whilst holding the record key depressed use the machine keys to record enable/disable each machine.
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Running from a remote source of code (eg. the pro-Tools Timecode output.)
To use the pro-tools timecode output connect the timecode from the protools to the rerader input on the GPI port (pins 1, 14, 2)
By selecting the Reader as master (If the reader macro is not fitted then assign one of the Macro keys to Macro 113) the main timecode output will follow the Pro-Tools timecode.

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To record on all tracks at the same time you have to use assemble mode on the DA-60, I have now updated the SR24 Record keys to be the same as the SR-4 and tell you this information!

The keys should be labelled as follows Record 5(Video), Record 6(Assemble), Record 8(Crash).
The video and Assemble keys are defined by the sonny protocol and we are responsible for Crash!
To record on the timecode track as well as the two audio tracks enable track 6 (Assemble)

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To crash record on a Video machine you will have to first enter the set-up to remove the protection on the video
Set-up | Root | Iface | Record | Menu 41:- Analog & Video Rec Rdy
Set this to 3=Asmb (Note: This may not be Menu 41 on your system but a lower number)
Then Enable track 8 (crash record) as above
To send a crash record command, from stop hold the record key depressed and then depress the play key.

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To control the selected machine instead of the Master Machine you have to select this in the Menu as follows:

Setup|Root|Record|Menu 10: External Commands & Track Arming
setting this to 2 or 3 will send commands to the currently selected machine

Port E may be configured as an Input or Output in Software:

Setup|Root|Generic|Menu 27: Serial E Type Port E is connected as an input and requires a TX-RX Invert cable as described in section T5.04
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For further information on any of our products please contact:
CB Electronics
Tel: +44 (0)118 9320345 or Fax: +44 (0)118 9320346
or Email Support
Mail Loddonside, Lands End House
Beggars Hill Road
Berks RG10 0UD

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