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Solitaire Film Recorders (MGI)... does anyone still have these up and running?

Solitaire Cine II MGI

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#1 Patrick Beveridge

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Posted 01 December 2015 - 04:27 PM

Hello there,

 

This is a shot in the dark! 

 

I've got a Solitaire Cine II and an 8XP in working order, but I need some maintenance software for the former.

 

Could anyone suggest a lead?

 

Many thanks,

 

 

Patrick

 

Film archivist


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#2 Chris Markov

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 07:56 AM

Hi there.

I just got my Solitaire 16, i dont have i lead but just wanted to say hi.
Maybe we can pool resources...

Regards
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#3 Patrick Beveridge

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Posted 14 April 2016 - 12:42 PM

Hi Chris,

 

Sorry to reply so late, and many thanks for your reply.  

 

The maintenance software wasn't necessary in the end, I found out from an ex MGI software engineer, as these image recorders have internal settings in their non-volatile memory. I've got mine working okay now, but still can't open a dlx files with my driver.  I am using a GPIB interface which is a bit slow. 

 

What kind of driver do you have?


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#4 Chris Markov

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Posted 14 April 2016 - 03:05 PM

Hi Patrick.

Im pretty new to the whole thing, so right now im using rasterplus for mac over scsi, which came with the recorder.
Im looking for a software which has a cmd line interface, though.

What were you trying to fix, adjust?
Do you have lut files for film stock?

Regards
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#5 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 14 April 2016 - 04:16 PM

DCS in LA who build our film scanners had a windows 2000 based software suite for the Solitaire recorders and we had a Solitaire running years ago.

 

I can see about digging up the software and ask Rennie about it, they are not in the film recorder business anymore so maybe that app can become shareware under  GNU license or something.


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#6 Patrick Beveridge

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Posted 14 April 2016 - 05:47 PM

Hi Chris,

 

The problem was hardware settings, which was leading to images being out of focus. I had to remove the cover, turn a potentiometer screw/dial, and look at a spot of light on the glass under a microscope. When I bought my Solitaires the seller gave me some manuals, but they were only in part useful as the software proved impossible to track down. 

 

 

Unfortunately, Rasterplus doesn't open dpx or cineon files either, but you've done well to get a SCSI interface, as it is much faster.

 

I don't have LUT's for individual films, but definitely would like to get some. Let's hope there are some still  'out there' we can locate ...


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#7 Chris Markov

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Posted 15 April 2016 - 11:38 AM

Ok. I haven't looked under the cover of mine yet. Im afraid i'll mess up something.

Rasterplus supports 16bit png at least, i will see if i can tell the difference to 8bit.

Im setting up a webpage dedicated to solitaire film recorders and putting up my manuals and files.
It will be ready in a few days.

I dont even know which format (.extension?) the lut files are, so that would help.

My big project is getting a bulk film module, which seems hard to come outside the us.
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#8 Patrick Beveridge

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Posted 16 April 2016 - 07:15 AM

Hi Chris, 

 

It seems like you know more than me about the software to run this kit.

 

 

It would be great to get some manuals online. I have one for all the 500 Pre Diagnostic Tests and one for the Cine v but that's it. I've got a 4 x 5 camera for the 8xp, but I'm based in London. There's this link for camerashttps://bioskoplab.f...a_mod_guide.pdf

 

The engineer who helped me fix my machine was Dave Ray of Altsystems, but I'm not sure if he has LUT software. 

 

Keep me filled in on the webpage, sounds interesting


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#9 John Salim

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Posted 16 April 2016 - 10:19 AM

Hi Patrick,

Good to hear you've got a film recorder to play with. Will you use it for cine ?

 

I bought an Imapro QCR-45 a few years ago off eBay ( as a dead machine 'for parts' ) basically as a project to see if we could get it working.

Between me and my ex-boss, friend Gary, we eventually got it going. The machine was made in 1997 and originally ran from DOS.

 

There were so many things wrong with it, it took almost a year to get going. Now it's used as part of my photographic services.

 

The two main problems were, the software ( ....how did you guess ? ) and focus.

The original software was corrupt and proved impossible to find. This was 'fixed' by installing Windows 95 and Photoshop 4.

LUT's ( actually 'corrected' image files ) were created by print and process / trial and error. Filmouts on average take 7 minutes per image to open and print....... very slow !!!

 

The focus issue was fixed by adjusting the CRT's HT power supply ( marked 'f' ) until the line being drawn on the tube's face was sharp using a loupe.

 

It will record to 35mm, 120 and 5"x4" sheet film..... stills only.

 

The lab I worked for in the early 1990's had a Solitaire recorder but not sure which model. I do remember the resolution wasn't the best though.... maybe 2k ?

 

 

Good luck with yours  :rolleyes:

John S


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#10 Patrick Beveridge

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Posted 17 April 2016 - 04:43 AM

Hi John,

 

It sounds like you've been on that journey before me, and it also seems of me a case of going back in time. I'm using Windows 2000 and a software called QPR. 

 

Form the start I wanted to get the Cine II working for cine film, particularly 16mm. However, I'm going to try to present the stills and cine together in a cottage enterprise venture.

 

I still don't understand the software / driver for doing  35mm Academy format, as most digital intermediate footage is stored in dpx files or cineons.

 

An interpositive in dpx would have to be output to camera negative with a Solitaire, as the internegative stock has too low ASA. People have suggested I just need to convert the dpx/cineon to some other file the QPR driver can open like a Tiff, Psd or Jpeg. However, is the low contrast (log values..?) of the inter positive lost in conversion when it becomes a Tiff (which would thenbe exposed on the camera negative). 

 

 

If anyone could help enlighten me, I'd really appreciate it… 


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