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Capturing Time Code data into FM


BrettSch
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I need to capture time code information into a FM database running on a Macintosh. The data would be available via a serial cable connected to a Digital Audio Tape (DAT) deck. The idea would be to capture the starting and ending time code for each take during a recording session. After the session, the data would be exported to a computerized editing system (Avid) and used to cue up the DAT for digitizing. Any ideas on how to set up the FM database for capturing time code?

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Depending upon how the capture would be triggered, the implementation should not be too difficult. You will need information on the serial interface for the DAT tape deck (connector information, protocol, and baud rate), a cable, and a serial plug-in for FM. Implementation depends upon whether you are using a new or old Mac. Older Macs have serial ports built-in. Newer Macs will require either 1) a gPort card to replace the modem (G4 & G4 Cube), 2) A USB to Serial Adapter or 3) a serial PCI card. If you are using a new Mac, the serial plug-in used should be checked for compatibility for with the type of serial interface used. The cable will probably have to be custom. If you or one of your techs is used to building serial cables, this is no big deal. If not, finding a combination of cables and adapters can be tricky.

I've interfaced FM to several proprietary devices (serial barcode printers, etc.) using both old and new macs. Probably the hardest part for people without an electronics background is the cable and RS232 interface.

-bd

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LiveOak,

I work with brett - The mac would have serial port. The cable has been made for Sony protocol RS422 which allows TC to pass. I just started using the Troi-Serial_Plugin 2.00 .

The problems are not with the connection between devices but just how to setup a script to capture an instance of information passing through the serial port. The trigger would be a button on a form that would capture a start point of Timecode and then fill a field with the captured information.

Any info would help.

Steve

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Sounds like you've done the hard part. How to write the script depends upon 1) how the timecode generator works (i.e. how the handshake works) and 2) correctly using the External() functions implemented by the serial plug-in to implement this protocol. For instance, does the TCG continuously send out time codes and how often or does the user send a serial request to the TCG and receive a response? If you have someone there fairly experienced in FM, it is just a matter of combining these two elements in a single script.

Since this involves some debugging (and maybe adding a serial monitor to observe the communications) which requires the actual hardware, it is a little hard to hand you a final solution without either being hands-on or having already implemented a solution with exactly the same hardware as you have.

If you give me an idea of why you are having trouble (hardware won't play, lack of FM experience, etc.), maybe I can help you further.

-bd

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  • 3 weeks later...

I am trying to get a solution for this as well. Is there a firewire cable with an adaptor that splits all of the stuff fire wire has in it? One of these cables, I've been told, can be used to control a non-digital deck, like beta decks. If so, does anybody know what it's called and where it can be bought?

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