Anycast

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Some notes on using the Anycast AWS-G500. There are a few such systems in use at the University, though the system as been around for around 10 years or so. We used this in 2005 for the BA Festival of Science webcasts, and subsequently bought a system at the University.

1 BRC-300 cameras[edit]

Cameras do not work on S-Video or accept control signals while the fibre-optic module is plugged in.

We have replaced a power supply with a generic (multi-connector) laptop power supply, which seems to work.

When the cameras are powered on, they go into standby. The cameras do not have an on/off switch, and the remote control is needed to do this. However, they can be switched on/off from the RMBR control board, see manual.

1.1 BRC-300 with RMBR controller[edit]

On the RMBR, most functions are intuitive.

  • Key combination for recognising the cameras.
  • Setting a preset (which does include the WB / exposure set on the camera as well)
  • Mode to access camera settings (such as exposure/gain, while balance, inverting the joystick control)

2 RGB[edit]

Input analog RGB signals from a computer or other source. The following image size and frequency combinations are supported.

  • XGA(1,024×768)60Hz,70Hz,75Hz
  • SXGA (1,280 × 1,024) 60 Hz, 75 Hz
  • WXGA (1,280 × 768) 60 Hz

3 PGM recording[edit]

  • "PGM-HDD" - You can do PGM recording on the external HDD (via i.Link connector), but you loose FW on that input.
  • "PGM-DV" - You can use one of the DV in/out slots to give a DV stream with PGM out, but it has to be different from slot assigned to PGM-HDD recording.

The Anycast only has S-Video / VGA out, but not a dedicated FW out (which has always struck me as slightly strange).

To see the drive space available, an input on that slot needs to be selected (as opposed to "not assigned"), otherwise the information isn't displayed.

4 HDDs[edit]

E.g. a 2 TB drive works (at least sometimes, see below). It seems to be the case that the drives are not always recognised, e.g. for formatting. Repairing the file system (ext3), and/or formatting the drives, using a linux system (Raspberry Pi) got the drives recognised after some experimentation, and they could then be formatted again by the Anycast. The formatting was stuck on 85% for long time (5-10 mins), but it did complete, and the drives are usable.

The drives can be switched on while the Anycast is running, and are recognised. The file manager has an option to unmount the drives prior to removal.

Addendum: This quite intermittent, and the drives finally were not recognised (despite clean file systems). Maybe the 2TB is too large? Bjoern 22:18, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

5 PGM out via DV[edit]

The Anycast "crashed" quite a few times, where switching buttons became unresponsive. Initially I thought this was an issue with one of the VGA connectors, but in the end it may have been the PGM to DV out, directly connected to a computer that did it. On reflection, it may have been better to into the tape deck via S-Video, and then out from the tape deck to a laptop (to live stream, and/or to encode to mp4).

6 Memory stick[edit]

The Anycast wasn't able to format an 8GB memory stick.