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First shoot

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  • First shoot

    I've had it for about a week, but had to clear up some other jobs. Going to use it tomorrow (weather permitting)
    Attached Files
    The Other Rick

  • #2
    Re: First shoot

    Good job Rick and let us know how you do. Remember there is a bunch of knowledge here if you need some tips.

    Mark
    "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

    I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: First shoot

      then I can finish paying for this:
      Attached Files
      The Other Rick

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: First shoot

        Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
        Good job Rick and let us know how you do. Remember there is a bunch of knowledge here if you need some tips.

        Mark
        Believe me, I know where to come with my questions, and there will be questions. Been spending too much money this week, but for things that will make me more.
        The Other Rick

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: First shoot

          OK, so your system is using what looks like an ARCHOS 605 and a DVR adaptor (or something similar) to capture video...

          But who makes the LCD monitor / interface box clamped to the top of the SeeSnake? Don't see that as an option anywhere on the RIDGID site...

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: First shoot

            Congratz on the new camera. Let us know how everything works out.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: First shoot

              Originally posted by Vance G View Post
              OK, so your system is using what looks like an ARCHOS 605 and a DVR adaptor (or something similar) to capture video...

              But who makes the LCD monitor / interface box clamped to the top of the SeeSnake? Don't see that as an option anywhere on the RIDGID site...
              Its a Gvision series 2000, came with the set-up. I didn't get a chance to do the video today some emergency calls came in, so, maybe tomorrow, can't wait to use it.
              The Other Rick

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: First shoot

                OK, Rick, and thanks.

                If you get the time, I would be very interested in a shot of the back of the display & DVR - I would like to see how the thing is jacked together.

                I am doing something very similar myself, but with the demise of the PowerPack, am looking for alternatives.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: First shoot

                  Rick-

                  Belay that last post, I found it:

                  http://www.eplsolutions.net/products.html

                  It's a third-party device - that's why it doesn't show up on the RIDGID site.

                  Interesting. Wish it ran off 12VDC directly. And their directions for toggling the FlexMitter on and off further confirm that you can do that manually without the microcontroller in the PowerPack. I'll need to revisit that when I have time.

                  Kinda pricey too, considering what it is.

                  One thing you'll need to be aware of is that the ARCHOS has a copy-protection circuit built in to keep piracy of commercial content down. Occasionally, it will barf on the incoming video and erroneously switch protected mode ON. Mine will do it when you have a large, sudden scene change (as in from very dark to very bright). Only does it every now and then. You can tell when it happens - the video segment will increment by 1 (from VID0000 to VID0001 for example) without you doing anything, and there will be a (P) in the upper left of the screen next to the elapsed time (NOT the system time) counter. You can download the full manual for the 605 from the ARCHOS website where they explain this more.

                  Reason why this matters: you can't do anything with the video other than watch it on the ARCHOS. If you copy it to your PC, and try to play it back, you'll get a screen like the one I attached. You won't be able to burn it to a DVD or do anything else with it.

                  You just need to watch out for this to happen (not very often) and when it does, STOP recording and START it again.

                  It's a real pisser when you create a copy protected video that you REALLY need. Then you have to aim a camcorder at the ARCHOS while it plays back and record it all over again. Video looks worse this way.

                  Other than that, you'll like the ARCHOS. Neat little device. The 704/705's I have can be attached to the customer's flat screen TV with its I/O cable - inspections look pretty cool on a 52" screen. You should be able to do the same thing from the jacks on the back of the DVR station - you'll just need to take the Gvision unit off the reel and haul it into the living room.

                  Be sure to change the recording bitrate to the max. (2500Kb/sec) for best video. And fiddle with the contrast/brightness/etc. to suit yourself. The defaults are kinda set up for "regular" TV, which pipeline video definitely ISN'T.
                  Attached Files

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: First shoot

                    Originally posted by Vance G View Post
                    Rick-

                    Belay that last post, I found it:

                    http://www.eplsolutions.net/products.html

                    It's a third-party device - that's why it doesn't show up on the RIDGID site.

                    Interesting. Wish it ran off 12VDC directly. And their directions for toggling the FlexMitter on and off further confirm that you can do that manually without the microcontroller in the PowerPack. I'll need to revisit that when I have time.

                    Kinda pricey too, considering what it is.

                    One thing you'll need to be aware of is that the ARCHOS has a copy-protection circuit built in to keep piracy of commercial content down. Occasionally, it will barf on the incoming video and erroneously switch protected mode ON. Mine will do it when you have a large, sudden scene change (as in from very dark to very bright). Only does it every now and then. You can tell when it happens - the video segment will increment by 1 (from VID0000 to VID0001 for example) without you doing anything, and there will be a (P) in the upper left of the screen next to the elapsed time (NOT the system time) counter. You can download the full manual for the 605 from the ARCHOS website where they explain this more.

                    Reason why this matters: you can't do anything with the video other than watch it on the ARCHOS. If you copy it to your PC, and try to play it back, you'll get a screen like the one I attached. You won't be able to burn it to a DVD or do anything else with it.

                    You just need to watch out for this to happen (not very often) and when it does, STOP recording and START it again.

                    It's a real pisser when you create a copy protected video that you REALLY need. Then you have to aim a camcorder at the ARCHOS while it plays back and record it all over again. Video looks worse this way.

                    Other than that, you'll like the ARCHOS. Neat little device. The 704/705's I have can be attached to the customer's flat screen TV with its I/O cable - inspections look pretty cool on a 52" screen. You should be able to do the same thing from the jacks on the back of the DVR station - you'll just need to take the Gvision unit off the reel and haul it into the living room.

                    Be sure to change the recording bitrate to the max. (2500Kb/sec) for best video. And fiddle with the contrast/brightness/etc. to suit yourself. The defaults are kinda set up for "regular" TV, which pipeline video definitely ISN'T.
                    This concerns me because I want to burn a dvd for the homeowner. I thought I could just take the Archos to my laptop and burn a copy. I chose this over the ridgid monitor because I was worried that the cd tray could be damaged by dirt, I hope I didn't make the wrong choice.
                    The Other Rick

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: First shoot

                      Rick:

                      Don't despair. You didn't make a bad choice. Recording in the field to a dedicated digital video recorder that uses a hard disk rather than using a optical disk (DVD) recorder is a much better way to go. Optical media doesn't "do the outdoors" very well. Dust, etc. cause problems. I take my ARCHOS devices down into the bottom of trenches, manholes, etc. all the time. I can't imagine wrestling with blank DVD's in places like that.

                      The issue, which is completely ignored by the manual for your GVision unit, is that ARCHOS DVR's record to MPEG4 video format, which is not the format used by DVD-Video. The "unsupported" directions for burning the file to an optical disk do just that - copy the file. You can't play it on a DVD player unless it supports playback of MPEG4 (not all do). Actually making a DVD that will play on most all DVD players requires video editing software, a MPEG2 encoder, a DVD authoring package and disc burning software.

                      To view MPEG4 video on a PC if it complains that you're trying to play an unsupported video format (try it first), download & install xVid:
                      http://www.xvid.org/
                      rather than DivX as suggested by the GVision manual. Less chance of getting adware on your machine.

                      Here's what I do to make DVD's from ARCHOS video clips:

                      1. Record the inspection to one or more video clips. I often STOP the ARCHOS rather than PAUSE it if I'm going to be spending some minutes away locating the camera head so I wind up with multiple clips.

                      2. Use the free video editor VirtualDub:
                      http://www.virtualdub.org/
                      to append all the video clips in order to create one long clip.

                      3. Use the not free MPEG2 encoder TMPGEnc:
                      http://www.pegasys-inc.com/en/index.html
                      to create MPEG2 files that are compatible with DVD authoring software.

                      4. Use the also not free DVD Author from the same site to assemble the MPEG2 files + add titles and or indexes to the files.

                      5. Use Nero to burn the files to create a DVD-Video compliant disc.

                      Now, I know this seems like a lot to do. But after you learn the software, it's no big deal. There is probably software that is simpler to use, but I put a premium on video quality, and for me that means a "hands-on" procedure. You always sacrifice quality when you embrace simplicity. When you take the time to tweak, you can really make a difference.

                      I have never had a customer who minded waiting a couple days to get his disc. I give them one disc free, and I'm sure that helps. Discs can be had for 19 cents +/- and I can do the above procedure in my sleep, so I don't mind giving one away. I always include company info on the disc itself, the same printed on the disc, a business card, and a flyer in the mailer. I figure it's worth it for the advertising.

                      If you found a big problem during the inspection, you have already located & marked it and the customer is going to want to get started digging ASAP. Having a DVD "in hand" doesn't really make a difference at that point. Besides, you risk embarrassing yourself trying to burn DVD's at the site - you can make mistakes with the software which makes you look dumb while you're cursing & swearing trying to fix it. Far better to do it at the shop with nobody watching.

                      Additionally, off-line encoding allows you to use two-pass MPEG2 compression which will be highly optimized for the bitrate - you can't do this in real-time recording directly to a DVD. The video will look better.

                      Anyway, I am sure your eyes have glazed over by now. I know it's a lot to absorb. You just need to capture some video with your setup and start manipulating it. I learned how just by doing (and making lots of mistakes - just make sure you don't deliver those "mistakes" to your customers) and I have never really stopped learning - I continue to pick up little tricks here & there.

                      If I were you, I would try this:
                      Get in touch with the GVision folks and tell them you need to make DVD's out of the video you record with their unit and see if they recommend anything. You certainly aren't going to be the first to ask them. EVERYONE wants to burn to DVD as a final product. See what they will do for you. You spent $3K with them - they at least owe you some guidelines, IMO.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: First shoot

                        Another advantage to the Archos is you can carry it inside the home and show the customer before you leave. Remember also many customers would rather have the file in MPEG format for their computer rather than a DVD for their TV.

                        As a marketing thing you could buy a bunch of the Store-it thumb drives with your name and number on them and leave them with the owner. They could download the file and keep the thumb drive to carry in their pocket.

                        Mark
                        "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                        I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: First shoot

                          Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
                          As a marketing thing you could buy a bunch of the Store-it thumb drives with your name and number on them and leave them with the owner. They could download the file and keep the thumb drive to carry in their pocket.

                          Mark
                          This is what I've been doing lately. Bought a bunch of 2 gig thumb drives at Staples for like $7 a piece

                          Good idea putting the company info on it

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: First shoot

                            Thumb drive idea is a good one. You can get imprinted ones from the guys who make your pens & mugs with your co. info on them. You guys are a lot more willing to spend $$ on media than I am.

                            Just a couple pitfalls to remember:

                            Rarely, when you plug a USB thumb drive into a PC, it will crash to a blue screen. You don't want to be responsible for this...

                            Some PC's won't be able to play MPEG4 video without a CODEC download (XVid or DivX). Installing CODEC's, while generally trouble free, can once in a great while screw up a PC, especially if the guy is using it for video editing and has a lot of specific video-related software installed.

                            You WILL be blamed and have to become tech-support for your customer's PC if something like the above happens. Make sure you have a "insert at your own risk" explanation for customer use of the thumb drive.

                            I've yet to see a DVD-Video disc screw over a PC. It either works, or, just doesn't...if they don't have WinDVD or something installed to play it with.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: First shoot

                              I know this is an old thread, but since it touched base on the GVision 2000, I figured this is a good of a place to post.

                              I just got my hands on a GVision 2000 to try out for a while. So far my first impressions is its a decent designed unit and if the manufacture this product keeps advancing this unit, it can be much much better.

                              As for using thumb drives and not having the right players or codex installed. they makers of GVision has provided a Player on the thumb drives they sell. So you can plug and play the video file on a mac or PC and not have to worry if you have the right player. So far my fear is the Anchros being used as the DVR its not nearly as tough as the monitor that GVision makes. So in other employee hands I fear they may break it.

                              The other thing that is missing is a way to add text to your videos or do a report using the GVision. I guess the LT1000 has spoiled me a little.

                              So Mr. Rick how do you like your Ridgid with your GVision? I did notice on the unit I have it has a button on the back you can press once to turn on/off the fleximitter, and if you press it again it will set the LEDs to Medium, and one more time it will set it to low. If you press it again it will go back to default high LED output.
                              Ron Hasil Lic #058-160417
                              A-Archer Sewer & Plumbing specializing in:
                              Tankless Water Heaters | Drain and Sewer Cleaning
                              Sump and Ejector Pumps | Backflow RPZ Testing

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