SSD with CFAST adapter random fails/frame drops with UM46

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Dan Smith

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URSA mini 4.6 Ef and Sigma 18-35 Art - IRIS CONTROL ISSUES

PostWed Jul 11, 2018 2:31 pm

Hi all

I've seen my issue around on the forums but the OP's never seem to find a solution. Just wondering if there is any new light on this issue?

I purchased a Sigma art 18-35 1.8 new in May 2018. Love it... but it doesnt seem to want to work properly on my UM46. The iris can be set upon turning on the camera but randomly after a few moments either the aperature index number disappears or 'jumps' causing the aperture to open or close (ruining a shot). Sometimes the aperture stays set and the index jumps to f10 (without physically changing) when I try to adjust it, it just comes up with an abritary range of 10-32 (the lens supports 1.8-16). its kinda unusable like this, professionally at least.

I've tried factory resetting the camera - this seems to work for a bit then it goes back to playing up.

It was recommended that I buy the Sigma USB dock to update the lens' firmware, but since I purchased it in May 2018 I would imagine this to be up to date. The URSA is on the latest firmware too (4.8?) So I doubt the firmware is the issue, esp when others seem to have been using this combination flawlessly since 2016.

I've tested the lens on a canon 550d and a sony a3600 - both older than my URSA - and it works flawlessly.

I have been using the Tom Antos-style cfast to SSD setup and this recently has been randomly dropping frames and freezing my camera too. I think its a long shot but could there be some correlation between SSD faults and the iris?

Thanks for listening!
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Dan Smith

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SSD with CFAST adapter random fails/frame drops with UM46

PostWed Jul 11, 2018 3:01 pm

Hi all

Having a weird issue, wondering if anyone can shed any light?

I've been using a cfast to SSD solution for about a year - similar to that which Tom Antos came up with a while back. Mine is based on a Samsung Evo 256GB.

Normally it works fine. I generally only shoot HD prores hq. Yesterday on a shoot I started getting the dropped frame warning. Since my camera is set to cut when it drops frames I was surprised that it seemed to still be trying to shoot despite the exclamation icon being displayed, before eventually freezing forcing me to cycle the power.

When I got home I tried to replicate the problem and couldn't - it worked fine. This morning its back to intermittent failing again. I do have a CFast card and I couldn't reproduce the error in this card.

I checked the cabling and even did a speed test on the disk on my Mac... all seems fine. I can't find a pattern in the fault it just seems random. I also used the camera with the mains adapter to rule out a battery issue - same problem, so not the batteries.

wondering if it could be:
- the SSD? never known one to fail and it seems to read and write on my mac fine
- The URSA - please dont let it be that!
- the fact that i've recently bought a new lens which is also giving me iris control issues (sigma art 1.8 18-35) I wonder if the iris 'glitch' is messing with the senstive internal recording system? seems like a long shot...

thanks for listening!
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Denny Smith

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Re: SSD with CFAST adapter random fails/frame drops with UM4

PostWed Jul 11, 2018 4:59 pm

You can fix the Sigma, by updating its FW, but you will need the lens dock to do this.
Cheers
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Denny Smith

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Re: URSA mini 4.6 Ef and Sigma 18-35 Art - IRIS CONTROL ISSU

PostWed Jul 11, 2018 5:04 pm

Denny Smith
SHA Productions
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Uli Plank

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Re: URSA mini 4.6 Ef and Sigma 18-35 Art - IRIS CONTROL ISSU

PostThu Jul 12, 2018 6:28 am

In which slot do you use the connector to the SSD? My camera was dropping frames in the front slot but never in the rear one.
Do you have any other lens to test for influence of the lens?
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robert Hart

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Re: SSD with CFAST adapter random fails/frame drops with UM4

PostThu Jul 12, 2018 9:11 am

My money would be on the SATA-style plug/socket if that is the style of connectors used on your SSD kit. I experienced a similar issue with disappearing recorder drives on a SI2K camera-recorder.

The SATA style of plug/socket used inside computers is vulnerable to injury and intermittent contact, a classic example of new kid-eager technical design which ignored older and established mechanical design principles. No manufacturer should ever dream of using them in a mobile-agile environment where disconnection and reconnection will be a common occurance.

My personal preference would be to leave the plugs permanently installed and to immobilise them and the cables from movement when bumped. Bends in SATA cables should not be achieved by trying to curve them as stress will be set up at the plug/sockets. They should be folded at one point at an angle then folded back on the same angle where a parallel offset is needed.

If you can get hold of a close-up loupe, have a really careful look at the corners of the plug and socket. If a thin corner is cracked as it may be by now, there remains no positive retention of contact between the conductive faces of the plug and socket contacts. Please take notice of folk who will have better knowledge than I.
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Dan Smith

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Re: SSD with CFAST adapter random fails/frame drops with UM4

PostThu Jul 12, 2018 4:16 pm

robert Hart wrote:My money would be on the SATA-style plug/socket if that is the style of connectors used on your SSD kit. I experienced a similar issue with disappearing recorder drives on a SI2K camera-recorder.

The SATA style of plug/socket used inside computers is vulnerable to injury and intermittent contact, a classic example of new kid-eager technical design which ignored older and established mechanical design principles. No manufacturer should ever dream of using them in a mobile-agile environment where disconnection and reconnection will be a common occurance.

My personal preference would be to leave the plugs permanently installed and to immobilise them and the cables from movement when bumped. Bends in SATA cables should not be achieved by trying to curve them as stress will be set up at the plug/sockets. They should be folded at one point at an angle then folded back on the same angle where a parallel offset is needed.

If you can get hold of a close-up loupe, have a really careful look at the corners of the plug and socket. If a thin corner is cracked as it may be by now, there remains no positive retention of contact between the conductive faces of the plug and socket contacts. Please take notice of folk who will have better knowledge than I.


Thanks for the tip. I think that makes total sense. TBF - the ssd is 'completly out in the open' its not even in a case. So I think I might upgrade my design robustness.
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Dan Smith

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Re: URSA mini 4.6 Ef and Sigma 18-35 Art - IRIS CONTROL ISSU

PostThu Jul 12, 2018 4:23 pm

Thanks for the response.

Actually I did change the card slots but it didnt seem to make a difference. I do have another sigma lens but the iris works fine on it, I just tested it and the SSD still drops frames/crashes when it's in use. I think the problem points to a connection issue - another forum member pointed out that these sata/esata connectors are not designed to work in the shooting environment - they probably have been pushed a bit past thier robustness limit! I will investigate/replace.

Re the sigma firmware update... I will try this, thanks. I just figured since the lens is so new, it would have the most up to date firmware out of the box. maybe its been on the stock shelf for a while?

Thanks all.
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Jamie LeJeune

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Re: SSD with CFAST adapter random fails/frame drops with UM4

PostThu Jul 12, 2018 7:22 pm

If you shoot as a hobby, fine to go with DIY SSD adaptor recording solutions. If it's for payed gigs, then I'd really recommend just getting some Cfast cards from the BMD supported list and not having to worry about dropped frames or other recording failures. It doesn't cost that much more and it's worth every penny.
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Tim Schumann

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Re: SSD with CFAST adapter random fails/frame drops with UM4

PostFri Jul 13, 2018 12:57 am

Yes as Jamie pointed out... a DIY CFast to SSD adapter compromises your record path. We would not recommend using it.
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Uli Plank

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Re: SSD with CFAST adapter random fails/frame drops with UM4

PostFri Jul 13, 2018 1:37 am

This works for me, but only if connected to the rear slot:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/8cg1pnb1w5ob99x/SSD_linke_Seite.jpg?dl=0

Drop me a PM if you need further info.
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Uli Plank

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Re: URSA mini 4.6 Ef and Sigma 18-35 Art - IRIS CONTROL ISSU

PostFri Jul 13, 2018 1:47 am

I needed to change the CFast to eSATA connector before it all worked out and I replaced the eSATA enclosure too.

An ICY Box enclosure didn't work without dropped frames, now I'm successfully using this one:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/8cg1pnb1w5ob99x/SSD_linke_Seite.jpg?dl=0

Which SSD do you have? It should be one that BM recommends for their own SSD drive. Might be easier to get theirs anyway instead of going through all the hazzle.
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carlomacchiavello

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Re: SSD with CFAST adapter random fails/frame drops with UM4

PostSat Jul 14, 2018 8:13 pm

first chain ring SSD
- most ssd of market are not good enought
- most ssd work fine for few minutes but not continuosly be cause cache are smaller and weak than declared
- most ssd are not good for uncompressed raw.

second chain ring adapter sata - cfast
- there are too much weak bad adapter sata3 cfast, test before to use for many others
- bad idea use cfast to sata, better cfast to Esata

third chain ring Box
- too much esata box has bad electronics or sata chipset, grab good adapter.

my experience is that
2x sandisk extreme Pro 480 (used from my bmpc4k)
2x cfast to esata adapter (strong cable, well builded)
2x startech esata adapter https://amzn.to/2JkyRTb

uncompressed raw 4.6k 60fps from start to fill all both SSD without fault.
single disk i can record 4.6k 3:1 60fps to fill 480gb of first ssd, then fill second ssd.
samsung evo 960 60fps is avaible only with raw4:1, 3:1 is too much and after 5-6 minutes of recording i miss frames.
guys cfast adapter could be a good things, but only if you buy quality products.
why choose adapter instead ssd recorder of BMD?
i pay since the same amount of ssd recorder for dual cfast setup (except disk), but i have choose like this because :
- i want to use both cfast slot to save on ssd uncompressed raw, ssd recorder could do.
- i want to have 6g out free to use videoassist 4k to record a backup 4k out
- i want to have ability to focus with va4k a real 4k signal and not a fhd signal from 3g viewfinder out.
- i want to be safe with ssd. put in and out ssd from ssd recorder stress a lot's sata connectors that could cause some problems, i instead only stress a box esata connectors, if something happened, i change box but i have safe data and ssd.
- i want to be easy to save and read data, i had a box that save with esata, and to read it i need only usb or esata cable to connect to my notebook (i have both on my Hp).

i hope in future BMD build a ssd recorder 2.0 where i can see:
- dual slot ssd for more recording time (like dual cfast and dual sd slot)
- ssd box like red mag, to protect ssd like a card and give me more flexibility to read it (could be a simple alluminium box with simple electronics, no more.
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Uli Plank

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Re: SSD with CFAST adapter random fails/frame drops with UM4

PostSun Jul 15, 2018 1:52 am

I can confirm most of these points from my own experience.

After some trial and error, I am using successfully a cable from Videotech in Russia ( videotechshop on Ebay). They are reliable and make them to measure, so you don't have it dangling around and with such high data rates the shorter the better anyway.

I'm also using an eSATA box from Startech, exactly the S251SMU33EP. It is cheap enough to have a few of them and keep the SSDs inside, just velcro the box to the battery. Take them off after shooting and connect them via USB-3 to your workstation.

I also did this for convenience and to keep the rear SDI free, I didn't really save money from all the experimentation over BM's solution.

The only difference here is that I never got it working reliably in the front slot. But I can record uncompressed 60 fps just fine by additionally having a CFast card in the front slot for those cases where I really need that.
Interestingly, BM's solution also uses the rear slot (internally), so there might be some difference between the slots.

P.S. I just checked the shop and he is currently selling the cables for reduced price. He is now offering complete solutions with a box too.
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