Jump to content



Photo

Decimator 2 went down!


  • Please log in to reply
30 replies to this topic

#1 Osvaldo Silvera SOC

Osvaldo Silvera SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 674 posts
  • Miami, FL

Posted 21 January 2012 - 06:21 AM

Hi folks. Today while working a Music Video ( 3 Alexa's) During one of the battery swap outs ( AUX and Camera, on a 3 Battery sled). The camera started right up, but the Monitor didn't show any image, I swapped BNC, and nothing, then I noticed the Decimator power light was not on. I swapped Decimator power cables ( Pro connector sled) and nothing, then I plugged in the 110 Volt power adapter that comes with it.... Nothing!...
Even thought it's plugged into a 12 volt connector, and the Unit boasts working +5V to 24V, could putting on two hot off the charger Dionic HC's have spiked the voltage? Could it have been the sudden surge of power? If so, It's weird, cause it's been working exactly the same way since the day I bought it over a year ago.....



Any thoughts? Any user swapable fuses inside? or anywhere I can send it to where they will look at it FAST!!

And... What other downconverters are there for downconverting signals like the one on the Alexa, that works like the Decimator...

Ozzie
  • 0

#2 Richard James Lewis

Richard James Lewis

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 397 posts
  • London, UK

Posted 21 January 2012 - 09:43 AM

I'm now on my third Decimator. They all went gradually tho. I've spoken to many video assist who have had the same issue. Initially the power will become intermittent. You have to plug then unplug, hopefully it lights back up, then eventually it goes completely. I'm thinking of putting some kind of resistor in the cable incase its a voltage spike thing doing it. Doesn't mirror your problem, but just saying that there are issues with these things.

RJL


Hi folks. Today while working a Music Video ( 3 Alexa's) During one of the battery swap outs ( AUX and Camera, on a 3 Battery sled). The camera started right up, but the Monitor didn't show any image, I swapped BNC, and nothing, then I noticed the Decimator power light was not on. I swapped Decimator power cables ( Pro connector sled) and nothing, then I plugged in the 110 Volt power adapter that comes with it.... Nothing!...
Even thought it's plugged into a 12 volt connector, and the Unit boasts working +5V to 24V, could putting on two hot off the charger Dionic HC's have spiked the voltage? Could it have been the sudden surge of power? If so, It's weird, cause it's been working exactly the same way since the day I bought it over a year ago.....



Any thoughts? Any user swapable fuses inside? or anywhere I can send it to where they will look at it FAST!!

And... What other downconverters are there for downconverting signals like the one on the Alexa, that works like the Decimator...

Ozzie


  • 0

#3 Anthony Graham

Anthony Graham

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 69 posts
  • UK

Posted 21 January 2012 - 01:25 PM

Not had mine die yet.......

When it does I will have sniff around to see what is dying in them. Intermittent seems to be a connector issue. It could also be down to the power regulator dying due to heat etc. Unless anybody in the UK has a dead one lying around for me to play with?

For alternatives I will probably go over to the blackmagic design series of convetors when mine dies. They offer a rugged version which though a little heavier will probably stand up better to knocks and bumps. They are close in price to the decimator units too unlike the aja.

Ant
  • 0

#4 Charles Papert

Charles Papert

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 2224 posts
  • Los Angeles

Posted 21 January 2012 - 02:11 PM

Ozzie (and others who have experienced):

There is a fusible link inside the Decimator. Contact Perry at TECADS (tecads.com) who is the US distributor, he will take care of getting you an RMA. While you are at it, describe your situation to him and see if he has any ideas.

Chas
  • 0

#5 Pedro Guimaraes SOC

Pedro Guimaraes SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 204 posts
  • Hollywood, CA

Posted 23 January 2012 - 07:21 PM

Im on my 2nd decimator2 in the last 6 months......both happened while flying Alexa's in 24v mode on my pro.

The specs on the power input of the decimator list 28v max......I've notice when batt's are full I see 29-31v on the alexa power readout.

so.......not sure what the solution is.

Just did an alexa job this weekend.....lower rate....so I opted to power the camera from a battery mounted on camera to avoid any decimator burnouts...more top heavy and longer post but I avoided any issues....

I got production to pay for both my burnouts....but just about had it with my monitor anyway. Just saving up for a cinetronic....go hd...

I hear from another op who has gone thru 5 decimators in 2011
  • 0

#6 Charles Papert

Charles Papert

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 2224 posts
  • Los Angeles

Posted 23 January 2012 - 07:36 PM

OK guys, Ozzie's unit is on its way to being repaired. We are looking into these issues. What will be helpful is to note whether the units are blowing fuses or literally blowing up.

If the cables are made properly, there should be no way that a 24v signal is getting fed into the Decimator. Ozzie tested his cable and it checked out fine. No matter how hot a single 14.4v battery is, it's not going to hit 24 volts. We need to figure out what is happening with the Steadicams that is causing this.

What we are examining now is the possibility that the connector has a wider OD than the plug is expecting. If anyone who has had issues can check the provided AC adaptor against their cables to see if there is a discrepancy (2.5mm OD vs 2.1 for the AC adaptor), this will help.

Hopefully the guy who went through 5 Decimators has been in touch with Perry about this. He strives to be as responsive as possible on these kind of issues.

On another note: I had considered making a caddy that would screw down over one end of the Decimator that would provide a 4-pin Lemo jack with power/composite video, and a secondary fuse or breaker. Out of curiousity, how much would you guys be interested in something like this and how much (realistically) would you pay for that kind of functionality?
  • 0

#7 Osvaldo Silvera SOC

Osvaldo Silvera SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 674 posts
  • Miami, FL

Posted 23 January 2012 - 07:52 PM

First of all, Thank you Charles for the Perry contact, they responded to my email almost immediately and got me all the information I needed, The unit will be there on Wednesday and they will try to turn it around asap. They are also checking the cables to be sure and will quote me accordingly if they need new tips, although I'm assured they are indeed 2.1mm.
I have secured a Decimator 1 with a P Tap cable to use for any work coming up until I get my unit back.

As for the Caddy

That would be a great idea Charles, So a small caddy which would basically install onto the composite signal out and the DC in...with a breaker on it. Price wise?.... I don't know, I'd be in for $50-$60. What would something like this do to the size of the unit?
And being that the day is coming where SD monitors go the way of the CRT and all monitors are HD, I don't know how many units would be sold... But yet again, Having the safety of a breaker type fuse on a unit that is prone to blowing when a voltage spike or other unknown cause renders it null, would be a welcome accessory/addition to the D2
Ozzie

PS, if the unit works at 9V, maybe one of these are in order to prevent any voltage spikes..
http://www.ebay.com/...#ht_2762wt_1319
  • 0

#8 Richard James Lewis

Richard James Lewis

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 397 posts
  • London, UK

Posted 23 January 2012 - 08:27 PM

Charles.

I'm usually powering the Decimator off the P tap on the battery plate of which ever camera I am using with an onboard battery.

I used to have an MK-V sled so was dubious about powering anything digital off the rig with my own batteries, this has changed since I switched to pro / xcs, but these issues occurred with the old sled.

I'd occasionally power the decimator off the rig if for some reason no Power tap was available, or if it was being used for something else, but it wasn't under these circumstances that I had issues with my previous Decimators.

As for cables I cut off the one from the power adaptor and re ended it with an XLR, and then i have an XLR to P tap connector, so the jack going into the downconverter is the factory connector.

RJL
  • 0

#9 Benjamin Treplin

Benjamin Treplin

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 298 posts
  • Berlin - Germany

Posted 24 January 2012 - 05:54 AM

Could be a potential difference?
If I recall it correctly the PRO has (powering a 24V camera) the third battery dedicated for all video acc.
The camera has a GND level from the two batts making 24V and the decimator has it's own from the single 14,4 batt.
Both, camera and decimator, are connected via a BNC which connects the GND of both battery circuits.
It is possible that during operation and battery change, caused by the load and voltage differences, power travels over the BNC shield and blows the Decimator.
The Alexa accepts 10,5 to 34 Volt at any power input.
My suggestion is to run the Alexa with 14,4V over the BAT connector and wire all batteries parallel to have one GND level for all components on the sled.
  • 0

#10 Lawrence Karman

Lawrence Karman

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 897 posts

Posted 24 January 2012 - 11:06 AM

Osvaldo, did you pull your breakers when doing the battery swap? I always do and have never experienced any Decimator issues (although I don't use it that often). I power it usually off the PRO camera power 3 pin connector using the 12v pins.

Pedro, perhaps a picture of you in the rig with the burned out Decimator on the camera would help me see which connector you are using to power it. There's no reason to try and power it off a 24v connector
  • 0

#11 Osvaldo Silvera SOC

Osvaldo Silvera SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 674 posts
  • Miami, FL

Posted 26 January 2012 - 03:26 AM

Lawrence, sorry I did not reply sooner. I don't remember if at the moment the Decimator stopped coming up if I pulled the breakers or not, I do most of the time when swapping batteries, but I have done it without pulling the breakers before. I tallied up the hours on the Decimator 2 since I got it in May 2010 from AGE and it's over 700 ON hours, so it worked flawlessly for quite a while.

I also run the Decimator from one of the 3 pin Pro CAM PWR connector on the top stage using the 12 volt pins. and I have another cable I use which connects to the 2 pin Aux connector, both wired for 12 volts.
What Benjamin mentioned with the ground of the BNC's being common with the power ground has me thinking. I will do a thorough check to make sure there are no stray ground filaments of wire lurking around in the top or bottom stage. Very interesting point he brought up. I will check some of this stuff out in the next couple of weeks.

Ozzie
  • 0

#12 Tommy Stork

Tommy Stork

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 97 posts
  • Ventura, CA

Posted 03 February 2012 - 02:27 AM

My Decimator 2 just went down on the first day of of a two day video shoot. I've had it a few months and I have never been able to get the thing to work properly. From day one, I've had to remove the Decimator power and plug it back in, in order to see an image. I also started leaving my monitor on because every time I would put it in standby and come back and turn it on, the image would be gone and I'd have to start problem solving. This time though it just took a dump. After talking with many operators and assistants it seems this piece of gear is a piece of sh@#.
  • 0

#13 Charles Papert

Charles Papert

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 2224 posts
  • Los Angeles

Posted 03 February 2012 - 04:05 AM

Tommy, I don't work for the company but I sell the products and I can tell you that there are plenty of people who are happy with them. That said, I've heard this complaint before (I never experienced it myself). I think there's something rig-related going on and it would be nice to get to the bottom of it.


Guys, if you have experienced that issue, please chime in and indicate what rig you are using and what output you are powering from (i.e. on PRO or XCS rigs, the 4-pin power/video lemo or the 3 pin hermaphrodite power connector...on Tiffen rigs, the Hirose etc)
  • 0

#14 richard bellon

richard bellon

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 131 posts

Posted 03 February 2012 - 04:42 AM

i power mine off my sled with 12v
and no problems at all!
  • 0

#15 Carl Wiedemann

Carl Wiedemann

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 49 posts
  • Chicago, IL

Posted 03 February 2012 - 11:37 AM

I've used a Decimator 1 for over two years. I've never had a problem running it off a single battery sled (typically using a 14.4 volt Hytron 140). I plan on picking up a Decimator 2 shortly. Excuse the thread highjack, but does anybody know if the Decimator 2 can send a signal from the HDMI out and the composite out simultaneously? The product info' seems to infer this capability.
  • 0




Boland Communications

Paralinx LLC

SkyDreams

Wireless Video Systems

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Omnishot Systems

Varizoom Follow Focus

IDX

BOXX

PLC - Bartech

Betz Tools for Stabilizers

Ritter Battery

PLC Electronics Solutions

Teradek

GPI Pro Systems

rebotnix Technologies

Engineered Cinema Solutions