davedv

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About davedv

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    Los Angeles
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    Audio and Video

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  1. It's certainly possible that some of the DIN 1.0/2.3 connectors are better than others, but it's kind of difficult to determine which brand of connector is being used in a particular product (the female DIN jacks in particular all look fairly similar cosmetically). So I couldn't really say which brand is best. I actually think the bigger issue than the brand of the connector is how the connector is secured to the device frame or housing. Some of the Blackmagic products just have the DIN connectors soldered to the internal PCB, with no retaining nut that secures the connector to the device frame/housing. Blackmagic often does the same thing with their BNC connectors (which isn't great either), but with the smaller DIN connectors it's way to easy to separate them from the PCB if that's the only connection point. The UltraSync One seems to have the DIN connectors secured to the housing with nuts, which looks a little more robust. AJA does this with their products as well, and it's definitely better (only destroyed one connector attached this way, as opposed to several of the BMD ones). But the bigger issue is a basic physics problem. The DIN 1.0/2.3 connectors are small, thin, and stick out from the device. That gives a fair bit of leverage for something to bend or damage the connector. Especially if there is something like a cable hanging off the end that someone could accidentally yank or trip over. The plugs on the cable end have a push-pull locking mechanism, similar to a LEMO or Hirose connector. This works ok, although it's still not as secure as the BNC twist lock. I've broken the male DIN 1.0/2.3 connectors on the cable end as well, but at least those are cheaper to replace.
  2. I'm not a huge fan of those DIN 1.0/2.3 connectors for a slightly different reason: they are kind of flimsy. These connectors are sometimes used for SDI video signals in on products where space is a concern or where a high density of connectors is needed (for UHD quad link SDI video, this allows for cramming 4 of those connectors in a very small space). Some of the Blackmagic Design products use them. Let's just say I've broken a few of these DIN connectors, and overall I've found them to be far less robust than full-sized BNC. The connectors do look fairly well secured to the unit in the UltraSync One mockups, but I'd still prefer something different, like full-sized BNC or LEMO. Even 3.5mm, while it is not a locking connector, at least the jack is recessed so there is less chance of damage. There's actually a Mini-BNC connector size as well, which looks like a full-sized, but is about 40% smaller: http://www.amphenolrf.com/connectors/mini-bnc.html Even these Mini-BNC connectors more robust than the DIN connectors, although they are a bit larger and share the problem that they are kind of non-standard.
  3. The SyncBac Pro unit definitely looks interesting and it seems like they just started production of the units in early September. Just in time for the announcement of the new GoPro Hero 5! Just one small problem ... the GoPro 5 seems to lack the multi-pin expansion connector on the back like the earlier GoPro models have. Which means there's nothing for the SyncBac unit to plug in to. It looks like audio input via USB may still be an option for the GoPro 5, although they switched to a USB Type-C port (rather than the mini-USB port included on GoPro 4 and earlier). Which means that the original GoPro 3.5mm to micro USB adapter and the IndiPro XLR to USB adapter that started this thread, would not be directly compatible with the new GoPro Hero 5 models. It looks like GoPro will have an updated 3.5mm to USB Type-C adapter as an accessory for $50 though: http://shop.gopro.com/accessories-2/pro-3.5mm-mic-adapter/AAMIC-001.html
  4. Is this backwards compatible with the 400 series transmitters or does it only work with the newer wide bandwidth (LT, LMb, etc.) transmitters?
  5. Any word on pricing?
  6. Actually, I believe this number only takes into account delivery order and doesn't even consider the various streets one could take. So, say you have 3 packages to deliver to the following 3 locations: 1) Van Nuys, 2) Oxnard, and 3) Burbank You could go a ) Burbank, Oxnard, Van Nuys, or b ) Oxnard, Burbank, Van Nuys, or c ) Oxnard, Van Nuys, Burbank, or d ) ... you get the idea With 3 pacakges there are 6 possible routes. Now obviously some of these make way more sense than others, like © would probably be a much better bet than (a). But the problem is that the more delivery locations you add, the number of combinations grows exponentially, so it quickly gets out of control. So with 25 delivery locations you end up with 15 trillion trillion combinations of delivery order. And it becomes impossible to compute the best route, even if all you care about is minimizing the total distance traveled and the only thing you can vary is the delivery order. If you start taking into account different streets you can take between each location, traffic, road closures, time of day, etc. then things get even more complicated. And if you want to optimize for several different variables: delivery time, distance traveled, number of drivers, highway vs. surface street miles your head starts to hurt (and your computer starts to overheat). This is why UPS uses imperfect heuristics and human input rather than trying to calculate the best route directly. One of the biggest unsolved problems in theoretical computing is whether or not the traveling salesman problem (and other similar problems) can be solved efficiently. Basically is there a way to solve the problem with polynomial growth as the number of locations increases rather than the exponential explosion described in the article. Many people believe the answer is no, but no one has been able to prove it yet. But what makes this interesting is that here is a case where the theory actually has significant real-world implications. If there were an efficient way to compute an answer to the traveling salesman problem, it would save UPS a bundle of money and a bundle of time. Which for consumers would likely mean lower prices and faster delivery times. Anyway, something to think about the next time a package is delayed or the UPS guy doesn't show up until well into the evening ...
  7. My concern would be that from a business standpoint Apple is a very different company than they were back in 2000 when they introduced the G4 Cube. In 2000 Apple was basically a niche computer company (with about 4% of the PC market) selling mostly desktops and some laptops: http://gigapple.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/lapvsdesk_percentage.png?w=554&h=379 Now, Apple is much larger and much closer to being a mass market consumer electronics company. Most of their revenue these days comes from iPhones and iPads. Here's a graph of their revenue breakdown for the past 6 years: http://www.wingsofreason.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Apple-Revenues-Slopegraph2.png Desktops now only make up 3.7% of Apple's revenue, and I'm guessing most of that is from iMac and Mac Mini sales (actually that 3.7% was as of about a year ago, so it may be even lower now). The question is, how long will Apple stay committed to a small volume product like the Mac Pro that barely moves the revenue needle?
  8. Apple has been gradually moving away from internal expandability for sometime now. Used to be that you could replace or upgrade the memory in Mac laptops, now it's all soldered to the motherboard. You used to be able to get an internal (and replaceable) optical drive, now your only choice is an external one. Their laptops used to have a built in Ethernet port, now your only choice is a Thunderbolt Ethernet adapter. Here's an interesting article on this trend: http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/06/opinion-apple-retina-displa The new Mac Pro just seems like another step on the same path. I think this trend may have actually started with the original iPod which shipped with an internal battery that was not user replaceable and you had to send it into Apple and pay $99 to have the battery replaced. Some later iPod models had the battery soldered to the logic board or glued into the case, making it even more difficult to replace. The performance of pretty much all lithium batteries degrades over time, so Apple basically took a component that they knew would have to be replaced at some point during the life of the product and made it non-user serviceable. They did this banking on the fact that most people would either upgrade before the battery had to be replaced, or would be ok sending in the device and paying a battery replacement fee if they wanted to keep using it. Of course none of this seemed to end up hurting iPod sales any. Instead, it is one of the most successful consumer products ever. And history suggests that Apple learned from this experience.
  9. The new Mac Pro reminds me a little bit of the ill-fated Power Mac G4 Cube which was discontinued in less than a year: http://apple-history.com/g4cube Innovative design, and sure looks slick, but will enough people actually buy them? The desktop market is much less vibrant then it used to be as the focus has switched more to laptops and tablets. It is cool that it'll be assembled in the US though.
  10. Serial number of the one I got was 00111502 on the box and 111504 on the XLR end. Funny that the serial numbers don't even match. Also the blue paint job on the Sennheiser logo on the case is pretty shoddy, looks like it was hand painted on there. With all the trouble that clearly went into these counterfeits, you'd think they could at least get a decent paint job on the case. Other differences are that the contacts on the XLR connector appear to be gold plated, whereas they are silver on the genuine 416s I have. And the little set screw near the base that you loosen to take the mic apart is gold on the fake version, but black on the originals.