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Smoking Video Tap


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#1 James Madrid

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Posted 30 November 2006 - 11:11 AM

I was on a shoot the other day using an SRII with a J-bar type video tap (I believe it was a Jurgens video tap). I set up the camera as usual by powering the video tap and the on-board monitor from the camera and running a BNC cable to the larger monitor for the director. This worked for about five minutes before both monitors lost picture and the camera itself lost power as well. I then went about the systematic process of changing batteries and changing cables until I could get the camera to start and stop again. I then removed the on-board monitor figuring it was drawing too much power and killing my batteries which I fugured must not have been fully charged.

Again, everything seemed fine for about five minutes before the director's monitor lost picture again. It was at this point that I noticed a little bit of smoke emanating from the video tap. I then pulled the cable that was powering the video tap from the camera itself and instead ran it straight into it's own battery pack.

Unfortunately, this didn't solve the problem as there was still no image on the monitor and the video tap was still generating a small amount of smoke. Figuring that the tap must have been fried, I just pulled power from it completely and we went about shooting that day sans video monitors.

We sent the camera back to the rental house that had installed the video tap to get it fixed but I was just curious if anyone on the forum had ever had such similar problems or knew why this happened. I'm guessing that I shouldn't have been running the video tap off of the camera in the first place but I had used similar SRII's with the same video tap and had always powered it off the camera without ever having any problems of this nature.

Any insights would be much appreciated. Thanks.
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#2 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 30 November 2006 - 04:37 PM

Sounds like a short somewhere....probably in a cable. I've never heard of someone having to power a tap off of a different battery than the camera, so you didn't do anything wrong.
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#3 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 30 November 2006 - 08:50 PM

Unfortunately, this didn't solve the problem as there was still no image on the monitor and the video tap was still generating a small amount of smoke. Figuring that the tap must have been fried, I just pulled power from it completely and we went about shooting that day sans video monitors.


Electronics techs will never admit that modern video equipment depends on "Magic Smoke", if it gets out the equipment stops working until the components that leaked out the magic smoke are replaced.... :P

Seriously you had a major failure on the video Camera. that runs the tap. The cable may have been bad/wrong, or it may have just been a random failure. when you get smoke coming out of electonics about all you can do is to quickly pull the plug and wait for the electronics specalist to figure out what went wrong and if it is worth trying to fix.
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