P2 PORTABLE MEGA DUMP! (advice needed)

Posted by: stoli

P2 PORTABLE MEGA DUMP! (advice needed) - 02/27/08 04:35 PM

I recently took out a 8k loan and purchased a panasonic hvx200. after buying some additional accessories i have about 1k left. but i still don't have a way to dump the 2 16gb P2 cards in the field. my options are really expensive and aren't satisfactory solutions.


panasonic offers a 60gb p2 store for 1500, so that equates to 60 min of hd.

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they also have a hard drive version that holds 100gb for $2k=100 minutes.

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also you need a laptop to be able to view them, and the new laptops that can run fcs2 do not have a pcmcia reader to read the P2's, so you still need the p2 card reader. and then you need an external raid which will cost 1000's to finally dump them. so now you have 3 items a bunch of cables and 1000's spent. so here's what i'm looking to build my own mega P2 store, an external fan cooled raid utilizing 6 750 gb 7200rpm SATA's powered by laptop batteries, and multiple pcmcia readers housed in a very tough and shock absorbent flight case. my goal is to stream line the process and suck the data off those cards and onto a raid as fast as possible, as well as have no need for ac power, put it all in one box.

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actually i want to keep the laptop separate but room in the container to store it would be nice as well. i know just enough to be dangerous, so i need some advice from the gurus.

1. can i build an external raid that will be compatible with my g5 and a intel mac book pro?

2. how many laptop batteries would i need to power the raid for let say 12 hrs? how could i power them on and off? what would be the cheapest(within reason) way to go about this?

3. where could i find some really silent fans for cheap?

4. any suggestions about mounting them and making it really shock absorbent?

5. what would be the best way to connect the mac book pro to the p2 store, firewire or ethernet, or maybe some other way?

6. would i have to put a processor in the box as well to control the raid or should i keep it brainless and just hook it up to the macbook pro?

7. how could i best configure this?

all advice, suggestions, and comment is welcome and thanks in advance

ps. i want to make this look professional as i will be renting out my gear for extra cash
Posted by: whitlock

Re: P2 PORTABLE MEGA DUMP! (advice needed) - 02/27/08 05:13 PM

Yeah, P2 cards are freaking insane. I was looking at getting the same camera for my office, though due to the whole P2 card storage issues I decided we could deal with miniDV tapes and lower quality.

As for going after a decent portable solution, you might as well lug around a tower dedicated for storage. As long as the laptop sees the additional storage as NAS, it should be compatible.
Posted by: stoli

Re: P2 PORTABLE MEGA DUMP! (advice needed) - 02/27/08 06:00 PM

i'd like to not have to drag around as many separate pieces of hardware, less cables and not have to rely on the availability of ac outlets. for instance, shooting out doors.
Posted by: whitlock

Re: P2 PORTABLE MEGA DUMP! (advice needed) - 02/27/08 06:17 PM

Originally Posted By: "stoli"
i'd like to not have to drag around as many separate pieces of hardware, less cables and not have to rely on the availability of ac outlets. for instance, shooting out doors.


Yeah, I hear you. I'd actually suggest posting this up on probably a dedicated forum for digital video since I think you'd get more answers and possibly a good solution. It's those damn P2 cards and storage capacity.

Something I'm waiting for is a Panasonic AG-HMC150, which may be something that would interest you. The write speeds to SD are concerning, but this may be a better fit for you in the long run. Unfortunately without reviews and any real data on this camera I can't really say if it's going to do a trick.
Posted by: stoli

Re: P2 PORTABLE MEGA DUMP! (advice needed) - 02/27/08 07:06 PM

i don't the p2 format becoming obsolete for a few years. by that time hopefully he red will be a option for me. until then the prices will probably come down due to the 64 gb p2 card comes out this year as well as the competition from sony's new sxs card based ex-1 camcorder. and even when we're all using a red then we'll still need a good portable storage unit. i'm sure if i can make this happen then when the time comes i can mod it for red media storage. if i build a high quality unit, i could probably sell modified versions of them for the major formats. and i don't see mac laptops offering multiple terabyte storage for a while.
Posted by: oojacoboo

Re: P2 PORTABLE MEGA DUMP! (advice needed) - 02/27/08 08:04 PM

Quote:

1. can i build an external raid that will be compatible with my g5 and a intel mac book pro?

2. how many laptop batteries would i need to power the raid for let say 12 hrs? how could i power them on and off? what would be the cheapest(within reason) way to go about this?

3. where could i find some really silent fans for cheap?

4. any suggestions about mounting them and making it really shock absorbent?

5. what would be the best way to connect the mac book pro to the p2 store, firewire or ethernet, or maybe some other way?

6. would i have to put a processor in the box as well to control the raid or should i keep it brainless and just hook it up to the macbook pro?

7. how could i best configure this?


1. Yes, with no issues.
2. I am not sure about laptop batteries. I would try and go another route, and you would need to do some calculations to make sure you have enough power, but I would go with a car battery and a converter of some sort and power everything up.

I would go with something like this...

http://www.macgurus.com/productpages/sata/satakits.php

Although, you are going to have to find a way to tap into an sata connector on the laptop, or find some way to get that. I couldn't locate a firewire option.

Honestly, you are probably going to be best off just making the entire thing a system. Maybe you can add a small screen to the case with plexiglass over it and a trackpad to control it.
Posted by: oojacoboo

Re: P2 PORTABLE MEGA DUMP! (advice needed) - 02/27/08 08:17 PM

check this out...

http://www.macgurus.com/productpages/firewire/BurlyMultiDriveFWFixed.php

You could buy some car batteries and possibly take an old power backup unit and use that interface with the car batteries, then hook this bad boy up with a FW800 out to your laptop and you'd be set. Just power the thing up and down with use...

Might wanna consider some wheels for carrying it around :P
Posted by: stoli

Re: P2 PORTABLE MEGA DUMP! (advice needed) - 02/27/08 08:30 PM

so i'd really need car batterieS, plural? and there are a lot of other fire wire external raids like the ones from cal digit. but they still cost a lot compared to the fact that you can get a seagate 500 gb sata for a little over $100. plus were back to getting a laptop, P2 store, and RAID. it might just be i don't know enough to see why i can't make my magic mega p2 store.
Posted by: oojacoboo

Re: P2 PORTABLE MEGA DUMP! (advice needed) - 02/27/08 08:41 PM

not sure I am following you here.....

I don't know, but I would think having at least 1 deep cycle marine battery would be a good idea. Honestly, I would get 2 to be on the safe side.

What are you talking about with a 500GB sata?
Posted by: stoli

Re: P2 PORTABLE MEGA DUMP! (advice needed) - 02/27/08 09:33 PM

sorry, i meant 750 gb hard drives (my g5 is full of 500gb seagates). i've been surfing forums and product pages, and brain storming all day, little fried. i guess i'm going to have to do some more research before i can even ask the right questions.
here are some things i found that could be modded into my franken p2 store

1tb nas
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822204059#spec

macbook express card to sata
http://www.barefeats.com/hard71.html
Posted by: oojacoboo

Re: P2 PORTABLE MEGA DUMP! (advice needed) - 02/27/08 10:26 PM

I saw that you said 6 750gb drives...

1TB NAS won't do you any good if you are looking to do 6 drives. If you are doing 6, you need them to all be connected to the same controller so you can RAID them together...

That macbook express sata card looks promising. There are quite a few 6 and 8 disk raid controllers and kits avail with esata out...
Posted by: stoli

Re: P2 PORTABLE MEGA DUMP! (advice needed) - 02/27/08 10:45 PM

Originally Posted By: "oojacoboo"
1TB NAS won't do you any good if you are looking to do 6 drives. If you are doing 6, you need them to all be connected to the same controller so you can RAID them together.


it's not as much the number of the drives but 6 750gbs seemed the most cost efficient. you can buy 2 for the price of 1tb drive.

there's a lot to consider, i might have to forgo the battery for a long extension cord unless i might find a electric vehicle battery that works.
Posted by: stoli

Re: P2 PORTABLE MEGA DUMP! (advice needed) - 02/28/08 01:17 AM

this might be a stupid question. are internal desktop hard drives ac or dc?

i was looking at electric car batteries, thinking what the hell, they run cars?

http://www.foxxpower.com/Foxx%20Power%20Specs.pdf

the biggest problem i found in what i originally envisioned is that cheap internal hard drives consume so much power compared to expensive small capacity laptop drives.

http://www.seagate.com/docs/pdf/datasheet/disc/ds_barracuda_7200_11.pdf

http://www.seagate.com/docs/pdf/datasheet/disc/ds_momentus_7200_2.pdf
Posted by: stoli

Re: P2 PORTABLE MEGA DUMP! (advice needed) - 02/28/08 01:30 AM

another thing to consider is whether to make this a nas or a das. just trying to make the most efficient configuration possible.

another realization, i wasn't thinking about the fact that a gig a minute of for footage only means 16.666 mb/s. i mistakenly was looking for something that did 1gb/s throughput. that makes things easier. usb 2.0 pcmcia readers are cheap!
Posted by: stoli

Re: P2 PORTABLE MEGA DUMP! (advice needed) - 02/28/08 01:48 AM

i found usb 2.0 card readers for 60 a piece

http://www.onsale.com/shop/detail.aspx?dpno=640277&store=onsale&source=bwbfroogle

i wish i could find one that was pcmcia card reader to firewire 800, because p2 cards can transfer at 640 mb/s. even better if i could daisy chain several readers and have it connect to the macbooks ethernet. that way you could dump then in a few minutes and then shoot again.

to pull this all off might need several mods. anyone know the possibility of modding pcmcia readers to handle the full throughput to a mbp?
Posted by: stoli

Re: P2 PORTABLE MEGA DUMP! (advice needed) - 02/28/08 02:09 AM

update!

http://www.shopaddonics.com/itemdesc.asp?ic=AE4UDDSA

http://www.shopaddonics.com/items.asp?Cc=PMR&Bc=

these might be the important pieces to the setup. i may go over my humble budget but it'll be 1000's less, if not 10k less. if i can some how power the cheap internal drives with a electric car battery i'm in.
Posted by: stoli

Re: P2 PORTABLE MEGA DUMP! (advice needed) - 02/28/08 02:35 AM

someone is thinking like me

http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=166269
Posted by: stoli

Re: P2 PORTABLE MEGA DUMP! (advice needed) - 02/28/08 04:12 AM

after finding these, i'm wondering if i could mod the mbp to have and extra express card slot, maybe lose the optical drive?


http://www.duel-systems.com/products/adapters.aspx


http://www.addonics.com/products/host_controller/adexc34-2e.asp
Posted by: whitlock

Re: P2 PORTABLE MEGA DUMP! (advice needed) - 02/29/08 08:05 AM

Eh, I'm not aware of any methods to use the interface for the optical drive for a PCMCIA or ExpressCard slot yet. You will probably want the optical drive in case you need to import CD's or DVD's on the fly.

You could try doing the external RAID route, though having to use the camera to import at near real time OR using a bulky reader which doesn't record enough seems like two more hurdles to go through.

IF P2 (here I'm not sure) dumps the video as a raw file for later editing in a hurry so you just have to have a small spare to write to while swapping out cards, then that may be doable.

Please let me know how those import times are regardless. I'd appreciate it.
Posted by: stoli

Re: P2 PORTABLE MEGA DUMP! (advice needed) - 02/29/08 12:43 PM

Originally Posted By: "whitlock"
You could try doing the external RAID route, though having to use the camera to import at near real time OR using a bulky reader which doesn't record enough seems like two more hurdles to go through.


there are obvious existing solutions, but i don't have $10k, and feel like there is a diy solution, they price this stuff like they're selling to the military.


Originally Posted By: "whitlock"
IF P2 (here I'm not sure) dumps the video as a raw file for later editing in a hurry so you just have to have a small spare to write to while swapping out cards, then that may be doable.


it outputs a low compression codec file that is supported by final cut studio. the goal is dump it as fast as possible so you can reformat them before you need to switch them, you can switch cards while recording.
Posted by: stoli

Re: P2 PORTABLE MEGA DUMP! (advice needed) - 02/29/08 01:01 PM

from looking through the forums, it seems there are a lot of people looking for something similar, one of the issuses though is there is a big gap between the camera techies and the computer techies. and most filmmakers just either find the money to buy the "proper" equipment, or they don't. and if you have the money to test out multiple options and start modding you'd prolly just buy it out right and not monkey with it. i'm going to have some long talks with one of my more experienced camera friends and see what i can find out. if i can figure out a cheaper efficient mod, then i'll be the big man in town. i intend to use these cameras even when they become "obselete".
Posted by: Waragainstsleep

Re: P2 PORTABLE MEGA DUMP! (advice needed) - 02/29/08 02:29 PM

There are eSATA Express34 cards available cheaply which support port multipliers like this one:
http://www.shopaddonics.com/itemdesc.asp?ic=AD5ESAPM%2DE&eq=&Tp=

That gives you five SATA drives which you can mount in a box of your choice. Power for five molex connectors and the above multiplier shouldn't be too complicated. Its all DC.
Posted by: stoli

Re: P2 PORTABLE MEGA DUMP! (advice needed) - 04/05/08 04:52 PM

anybody know where to find drivers for pcmcia slots for modern macs?