Sony EVI-D70 Camera Movements Jerky & Sticking

Conversations around originating a webcast for conference, including cameras and mixers.
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Sony EVI-D70 Camera Movements Jerky & Sticking

Postby JackBuckeye » Wed May 23, 2012 6:17 pm

As a stake we purchased a Sony EVI-D70 Camera from the Church Store and have tried to use it twice. Each time we experience a problem with the camera sticking or with it jerking when we try to aim it. Has anyone else had this problem? What are my options? Can I return the camera? Can I have it repaired? I need to have this problem resolved well before November of this year. This was an expensive camera. I would have expected it to perform flawlessly for what we paid for it.ImageImage

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Postby sammythesm » Thu May 24, 2012 5:50 am

Are you controlling the camera via the remote control or via the RS232 or RS422 interface?

If you are using the remote, make sure you have line of sight to the camera and that you are in close proximity. The remote is just a basic infared remote - like your TV - and if it doesn't have good line of sight, chances are it will 'obey' the command being sent to it in a herky jerky manner.

If you are using one of the control interfaces, make sure you are correctly connected and that your wires don't have any shorts in them.

If all else fails, contact Sony - I'm sure the camera (new) has a warranty and you can RMA it and replace it.

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Postby Mikerowaved » Thu May 24, 2012 9:52 am

We borrowed an EVI-D70 and used it for one stake conference webcast and found a similar "jerky" movement using the IR control, especially when zoomed in. The pan/tilt IS proportional to the amount of zoom dialed in. In other words, the pans/tilt motors run slower the more it's zoomed in. However (IMO), the pan/tilt speed is not slow enough when zoomed in, making it jerky and easy to overshoot your target, even with a single tap on the remote. We didn't use the serial interface, so maybe that has the ability for a finer control, I don't know.

Our solution was to setup and use the available presets. We had one set on the podium, one on the conductor and one zoomed back to take in the choir. Occasionally a rather tall speaker would require a manual tap on the remote to tilt the camera up and the best way we learned to do that was to zoom out a bit, then tap the up button, then zoom back in. That minimized the jerkiness and avoided overshooting his height.

Also, we found the range of the IR to be a disappointing 20 feet or so. I would think it should do at least twice that, so make sure you are close enough to avoid those kinds of control problems.

Maybe others can add their experiences, but from what you are describing, yours is most likely working just like ours did.
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Postby MerrillDL » Thu May 24, 2012 11:37 am

The jerking sounds like using the IR Remote and making camera movements while zoomed in (head shot at pulpit). If the camera is 40' or more feet away, it will be difficult to control using the IR Remote while zoomed in.

If the camera is really sticking, you would see it pause and then jerk forward at any zoom level. If it appears smooth when zoomed out, then I would say it is the motor control and the limitations of the command instructions coming from the remote.

Using the RS-232 interface using the "D70 Commander" software allows for fine motor adjustments from a laptop or desktop computer. I successfully controlled my D70 camera for Stake Conference using this software (search this forum for the free software) to control the camera. My solution is; Mini-DIN8 (round) connector (camera end), CAT6 cable terminated in the Satellite Cabinet at an RJ45 plate. From there, RJ45 to RS232 and then an RS232 to USB Adapter to my laptop. My laptop doesn't have an RS-232 port. The RS-232 Adapter was ~$11 dollars at Amazon. I needed to install the driver software and configure the Adapter and force it to COM1. I know it sounds a bit clunky, but it works quite well.

There is a lot of discussion on how far you can run an RS-232 cable with some saying 25-50' is max. However, the criteria is the capacitance of the wire and the RS-232 spec. The old wires for RS-232 were high capacitance and limited the distance. I calculated that using CAT5 or CAT6, you can easily have an RS232 run over 500'.

Lastly, when using the presets with the D70 Commander, changing to a different preset, the camera is muted during camera movement.

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Postby ggllbb » Thu May 24, 2012 1:25 pm

Another possible solution that eliminates the cable length and the serial to USB issues is to use a serial to Ethernet adapter. Especially if you are running CAT5 or CAT6 cable. For work, I use 'NET232' adapters from 'GridConnect' (about $100) with very good success. Or they even have a serial to WIFI adapter ('Wi232' about $200) that would eliminate the cable completely. You just need a driver on your computer (for example from LanTronix) that allows you to assign a IP address to a serial port.

For my work, I am even able to access the serial control/maintenance ports on our devices in the facility from home or anywhere else. If anyone is interested in this type of solution, I would be happy to assist.

DISCLAIMER: I have not tried this with the Sony EVI-D70. However, I am very confident it would work if the camera uses standard RS232 serial port protocol.

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Mechanical Problem with Sony EVi-D70 Camera

Postby JackBuckeye » Thu May 24, 2012 3:00 pm

One of our Techs reports that is not so much jerky as it is that the motorized gears are not moving the camera, perhaps a purely mechanical issue, not an electronic one. I tried calling the Church Store from which we purchased the camera and the person answering the phone was unaware that they sold cameras to units and could not help me. (?) Anyone know why? Rather than disassemble the camera ourselves and damage something, I suppose that we could have Sony repair it. Has anyone else sent a camera out to be repaired?

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