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Red Epic failed to see timecode


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Hey all,

 

First for everything but I ran into a situation a few weeks ago where for the life of me could not jam the Red Epic.  We tried two different sync boxes and two different cables.  One of the cables was the 3 coloured BNC deal (yes we used the yellow one for timecode sync) and one was made by a reputable company that deals with Location Audio Products.  Nothing. No green light on the TC .

 

Someone else been running into this?  The guy who owned the camera just shrugged and said he had just updated the software..

 

B

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There are some issues with the latest (post Dragon) firmware in regards to timecode jamming. I have been told that if you go back to a 4.x firmware and incrementally update to the latest version, it can fix the issue -- but that I'm not 100% sure that will work.

 

EDIT- I'll expand a bit-

 

One of my customers experienced this with his Dragon and worked for several days with Red troubleshooting at their Hollywood location. Apparently, it doesn't happen to every Epic/Scarlet, but all Dragons are affected. The techs at Red were the ones to use the rollback and incremental update to make the Epic and Scarlet work, but I'm not sure of any specific workflow. Dragon, however, is still having the issue, because it can't run the older firmware. I don't know when a official fix will be available.

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I had issues on my last epic job with TC jam, couldn't get it to see ext TC, worked out that it needed a much higher level signal, was using a zaxcom ERX and had to increase the TC output level much more than any other camera I've worked with. Once that was sorted it was ok.

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I worked on a job the other day with two red ones and one epic. One of the ones and the epic took code with no problem. The other red one just didn't want to take code regardless of the ERX setting. Aftet i gave up the AC fooled around with it for 15 minutes - he finally got it to accept the TC. When I asked him how he did he get it to work his reply was "man I have no f-ing idea"

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I worked on a job the other day with two red ones and one epic. One of the ones and the epic took code with no problem. The other red one just didn't want to take code regardless of the ERX setting. Aftet i gave up the AC fooled around with it for 15 minutes - he finally got it to accept the TC. When I asked him how he did he get it to work his reply was "man I have no f-ing idea"

I had a similar issue with a red one when it finally jammed by itself after leaving the tc cable plugged in for some time. I say leave it there anyway it might just jam by itself eventually.

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Thanks guys.  I never had issues but the owner of the camera said he updated the software and all of us went.. Yup.  It was most likely the culprit.

 

Thanks for all your feedback.  I had a timecode slate so we slated and that was that.  

 

Have a great Friday everyone.

 

B

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I had a similar issue with a red one when it finally jammed by itself after leaving the tc cable plugged in for some time. I say leave it there anyway it might just jam by itself eventually.

 

I have seen them momentarily go stupid, then when we did a complete power cycle/reboot, the camera suddenly became aware of the external timecode and locked right to it with no problem. The 2-day Red Epic job I did the other day was with last year's software, no Dragon chip; the DP told me he's working so frequently, he hasn't had the time to lose the camera for a week for the upgrade!

 

Camera was flawless and had zero downtime. I'm embarrassed to say that we had one battery failure on a wireless and about a :20 second delay from me changing a take name, so we probably had 2 minutes downtime from Sound and zero seconds delay from the Camera department!   ???

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Do the RED owners ever stop and consider that maybe they should wait a bit before upgrading-see where the bugs are?

 

philp

In my experience no they don't and they never seem to know what the exact changes in the firmware are especially as it concerns timecode . I really enjoy when I do a 3 camera shoot with one client where each operator owns a Epic and they are always on different firmware setting and have different set ups...... 

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I have seen them momentarily go stupid, then when we did a complete power cycle/reboot, the camera suddenly became aware of the external timecode and locked right to it with no problem. The 2-day Red Epic job I did the other day was with last year's software, no Dragon chip; the DP told me he's working so frequently, he hasn't had the time to lose the camera for a week for the upgrade!

Camera was flawless and had zero downtime. I'm embarrassed to say that we had one battery failure on a wireless and about a :20 second delay from me changing a take name, so we probably had 2 minutes downtime from Sound and zero seconds delay from the Camera department! ???

I found that the epic got to a very good stable predictable state. I wish it would've just stayed that way. The new changes feel like we've gone back to the early epic days.

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  • 2 weeks later...

There are some issues with the latest (post Dragon) firmware in regards to timecode jamming. I have been told that if you go back to a 4.x firmware and incrementally update to the latest version, it can fix the issue -- but that I'm not 100% sure that will work.

 

EDIT- I'll expand a bit-

 

One of my customers experienced this with his Dragon and worked for several days with Red troubleshooting at their Hollywood location. Apparently, it doesn't happen to every Epic/Scarlet, but all Dragons are affected. The techs at Red were the ones to use the rollback and incremental update to make the Epic and Scarlet work, but I'm not sure of any specific workflow. Dragon, however, is still having the issue, because it can't run the older firmware. I don't know when a official fix will be available.

Hi Ryan!

 

That would have been Fury.  The issue, as protracted discussions with RED tech have revealed, is with the Dragon hardware, as regards 23.98, from several devices to Dragon (newly buildt or upgraded).  Dragon does take TC, for example, at 25, 25.97 and from 23.98 via Ambient Lockit.  Now the rollback firmware tests on Epic X, that were effective, on one occasion, involved the earliest 4.X camera firmware and then sequential upgrade to then current (three weeks ago or so) Epic X firmware.  

 

RED still working on this and they do realize that it is an important issue to address.  Alternatively, has anyone, with either the EpicX or Dragon TC issue, comfortably used alternate TC (25, 25.97)and then ,manipulated the synched files in post?

 

Thanking you very much

 

Fury

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there was one time I failed to jam the Epic by using the lemo 4pin connector. Then I realized that after years, one of my lemo 4 connector,after many many times plug in&out, the pin plate inside the connector is rotated,it plugged into the female on the camera,the pins were no longer proper connected as supposed. That could be one of the potential failure of jamming too. 

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I have found my tc plugged into the wrong port numerous times since there are two 4 pin lemos right next to each other.

+1 Last Week one of the two won't jam and that was the problem It is hard to plug those damn Lemo cables in with all the crap on the back of these cameras 

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  • 3 weeks later...

This is why I jam the boxes and hand them off (RED) or hand off slates/boxes to camera assistants to jam Alexa.

The sooner we stop taking responsibility for whether the camera accepts the time code, the sooner we can get back to recording good sound.

Robert

I agree completely. The unfortunate reality is that post will rarely, if ever, call camera and say "the picture won't sync with the sound." They will inevitably call us and say "the sound won't sync with the picture." I don't like the fact that we have to do a little on-set babysitting from time to time, but it's something I'm resigned to at this point. ("Babysitting" in this case is merely glancing at the monitor to check that TC is within a second of the slate).

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I agree completely. The unfortunate reality is that post will rarely, if ever, call camera and say "the picture won't sync with the sound." They will inevitably call us and say "the sound won't sync with the picture." I don't like the fact that we have to do a little on-set babysitting from time to time, but it's something I'm resigned to at this point. ("Babysitting" in this case is merely glancing at the monitor to check that TC is within a second of the slate).

I always get the first call. I tell whoever it is that calls that I only jam the TC boxes and hand them to camera. I ask if slate and recorder are in sync. They always are. I never get the call again.

It's just a matter of putting the responsibility where it needs to be. Camera time code is a camera issue. Slates and recorders are ours.

The only reason I take charge of the Lockits at all is because camera still uses disposable batteries, and it drives me nuts! The last show, the DIT used rechargeables. He owned the Lockits. In the morning and after lunch he brought them to me to jam. It was how he preferred it, since he felt it was his responsibility. A great professional DIT.

Robert

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Great point Robert. I was only thinking "wtf has timecode become the responsibility of the sound depart" at the early start of a long day, knowing well the AC didn't know how to setup the lockits.

 

That's a long tradition going back to the 1980s, when it was decided through the unions that because timecode is carried as an audio signal, and was generated by the sound recorder, it should be the responsibility of 695 (sound local). I think the truth was, the camera department was overwhelmed and just didn't want to be bothered. As digital cameras have taken over, now it's a much bigger job than it used to be. 

 

It's not that hard if you get a cooperative camera assistant who's hip to all the menus, and if you give them options on how and where to mount the timecode jam box. But that's a lotta IFs...

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