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'[EE] Writing two CF cards at once.. .Temp killing '
2006\05\14@055705 by Robert Rolf

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Russell McMahon wrote:

> Old camera was a Minolta 7Hi "prosumer" 5 MP. Very nice camera. Now
> dead after 200,000+ photos.

You don't shoot much, do you...

> Brands that failed were mixed and quality
> in most cases. Included a Kingston 256 MB (London, very hot weather -
> totally unreadable by any means I've tried). Another 512 MB in Taiwan
> in hot but not so hot as London was evening weather. And a second 512
> MB failed within minutes adding weight to the camera related
> suspicions.

Yep.
Card electronics slow down with heat (higher resistances)
and so the timing was probably too fast to reliably write the flash.
Definitely correctable in firmware. Might also have been a
design flaw in the card (RC timer changing too much with temperature).

> Camera gets very hot under extended shooting which cannot
> help.

NOPE! Next to static, heat is a big killer of electronics.
How about a copper heat plate to draw heat out of the CF card area?

> Of these one was able to be reformatted and another appeared
> dead-dead. On trying it in several cameras, USB download, USB-card
> reader, CF adaptor ... it was dead. BUT on trying it in my new 7D DSLR
> recentlyish it would display in the camera sometimes (nice to see
> photos I thought were lost) but won't download (:-( ).

Even if the card was left in the camera? Suggests a directory structure
problem since the camera is likely sequentially accessing the directory,
while Winblows is trying to get the whole directory at once before
pulling down the files. You might want to try using a DOS window
(so that the card mounts as a drive letter) and using the XCOPY command
to pull the images off one by one.

> - When viewed
> as a drive via USB the file names are scrambled and there are many
> rubbish directories and no tool I have will touch it BUT camera can
> read it in camera.

This suggests that the card has some disconnected data leads that
'make' when inserted into the camera, which may be changing the forces on
the pins. You might try squeezing the card gently, or bending is slightly
when inserted into an external reader to see if you can make it more
readable. If flexing causes changes in the data, you can probably fix
it with a shotgunning solder job (reheat all connections).

If its an internal chip bonding issue, freeze spray sometimes works
(it did for me on a dead hard drive).

> ie card is probably logically scrambled but OK.

If the camera can read it, it's likely not logically scrambled.

> I
> have had very occasional other failure which was soft formattable
> recoverable.

Suggesting corruption of the FAT or directory by incomplete writes.
Hot flash takes more energy to write. The card may well have been
writing in temperatures well past it's specifications.
You should look at Sandisk Extreme III cards.

http://www.sandisk.com/Products/Catalog(1024)-SanDisk_Extreme_III_CompactFlash.aspx
# Built to perform in the most extreme environments and temperatures—from
-13º F to 185º F
-25º C to 85º C

I'll bet they hold up in your camera.

Also try reading the flakey CF card after you freeze it very cold.

>  I think I've had one other 512 MB failure with all frames
> lost but reformat recoverable.

Those frames were probably recoverable with a low level card editing tool
since the writes are sequential, and you just have to search for the JPG
header (JFIF...) to find the start of each image. The image recovery
tools basically do a low level read and then try to reconstruct a
valid FAT structure by looking for recognizable stuff (like the headers).

> My new camera has USB on-the-fly download to PC capability. (Minolta
> maxxum 7D DSLR, 7 MP).
>
> Note that the very top cameras have two card slots (usually different
> media types) that can be run either sequentially OR written
> redundantly in parallel. The latter facility suggests that the pros
> also expect some failures (or that the design engineers hold CF
> company shares :-) ).

Or they were sensible and figured that as long as they had two
media slots then might as well offer the user the option of using both.

The big problem I am finding in researching this, is no one seems to
make JUST the card connectors. So far all I find are complete card 'kits'
and connectors with guides. Obviously there is no room for guides inside
a CF cavity.

> I will ask further about CF loss in action. However, having been burnt
> enough so far I can't assume all will be well in crucial shoots in
> future. Download to PC on the fly may turn out to be the way to go for
> critical stuff, with auto background file copy to an external drive
> incrementally. Wedding or other photographer wearing a laptop PC in a
> backpack (plus extra battery capacity) would be a sight to see :-). As

Not to mention a pain in the back.
With a long telephoto lens on the camera, you might get mistaken
for a ghostbuster (movie characters who used backpack powered ray
guns to snag ghosts).

> I sometimes wear a 3 or 4 lens quick access bag at my waist and a belt
> bag at the back with a ?5? AH 6V SLA therein and quick change cable
> the step to wearable laptop may also be feasible :-). Almost. My 2 x
> Librettos are not quite up to the task. A Linux box with dual drives
> would do but camera software is not compatible.

Not yet anyway.

> This is a 'hobby' btw - not my 'day job'.

Some hobby.
I'd hate to see what you needed if you went 'pro'.

> far, have every frame that i have not purposefully deleted. All online
> on this LAN too fwiw.

How big is the hard drive they're on? Redundantly I expect.

Good like pulling images of the partially dead card.

Robert

2006\05\14@102108 by Ling SM

picon face
>>Old camera was a Minolta 7Hi "prosumer" 5 MP. Very nice camera. Now
>>dead after 200,000+ photos.

How many insertion have the card cycled through?  Do you think it is the
interconnect, contact-wear, or weaken solder joints at the connectors.

I am savaging a few of my MP3 players due to weaken solder joints at the
audio connector and SD connector.  The tiny parts just could not take
the mechanical abuses in the players I have.

Is this CF to IDE converter useful to you:

<http://gigata.com/pk-int/product_info.php?cPath=2_38&products_id=304&osCsid=7431d76b0e0539869a98e06ac363adee>

If the link breaks, search for CF to IDE converter from the main page.

Cheers, Ling SM

2006\05\14@165604 by Peter Todd

picon face
On Sun, May 14, 2006 at 10:18:38PM +0800, Ling SM wrote:
> >>Old camera was a Minolta 7Hi "prosumer" 5 MP. Very nice camera. Now
> >>dead after 200,000+ photos.
>
> How many insertion have the card cycled through?  Do you think it is the
> interconnect, contact-wear, or weaken solder joints at the connectors.

For reference I got a free, dead, USB key from the print shop at my
school. It had been cycled so many times that the connector even felt
loose. One touch of the soldering iron to the connector leads and it was
working perfectly again.

It had probably been plugged and unplugged dozens of times a day for
about 2 or 3 years.

--
spam_OUTpeteTakeThisOuTspampetertodd.ca http://www.petertodd.ca

2006\05\14@171311 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 04:56 PM 5/14/2006 -0400, you wrote:
>On Sun, May 14, 2006 at 10:18:38PM +0800, Ling SM wrote:
> > >>Old camera was a Minolta 7Hi "prosumer" 5 MP. Very nice camera. Now
> > >>dead after 200,000+ photos.
> >
> > How many insertion have the card cycled through?  Do you think it is the
> > interconnect, contact-wear, or weaken solder joints at the connectors.
>
>For reference I got a free, dead, USB key from the print shop at my
>school. It had been cycled so many times that the connector even felt
>loose. One touch of the soldering iron to the connector leads and it was
>working perfectly again.
>
>It had probably been plugged and unplugged dozens of times a day for
>about 2 or 3 years.

The CF connectors look to be a *lot* more fragile than USB connectors. I've
had one fail already (just on a reader, thank goodness).

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
.....speffKILLspamspam@spam@interlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com
->>Test equipment, parts OLED displys http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZspeff


2006\05\14@184725 by Russell McMahon

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flavicon
face
> Is this CF to IDE converter useful to you:
>
> <http://gigata.com/pk-int/product_info.php?cPath=2_38&products_id=304&osCsid=7431d76b0e0539869a98e06ac363adee>

Yes. Doesn't solve the immediate requirement of redundancy but looks
extremely interesting.

The implementation appears flawed mechanically for general use, BUT
the fact that someone has done it so simply is of great interest. What
one wants is a flexible cable immediately after the CF body. Adaptors
in the reverse direction are of course very common. Certainly worth
looking at.



       Russell McMahon

2006\05\14@210525 by Stephen R Phillips

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--- Russell McMahon <apptechspamKILLspamparadise.net.nz> wrote:

> > Is this CF to IDE converter useful to you:
> >
> >
>
<gigata.com/pk-int/product_info.php?cPath=2_38&products_id=304&osCsid=7431d76b0e0539869a98e06ac363adee>
{Quote hidden}

Wouldn't SD cards be preferable? They support the MMC standard by
default, have a simple interface (SPI) and mirrored redundancy is
fairly easy with a SPI port.

Just a thought :D besides they are small cheap and use little power.

Stephen R. Phillips was here
Please be advised what was said may be absolutely wrong, and hereby this disclaimer follows.  I reserve the right to be wrong and admit it in front of the entire world.

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2006\05\14@214605 by Russell McMahon

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face
> Wouldn't SD cards be preferable? They support the MMC standard by
> default, have a simple interface (SPI) and mirrored redundancy is
> fairly easy with a SPI port.

The reason that CF predominates in the professional and higher
performance camera market is probably its interface speed due to the
parallel interface. No doubt serial interfaces can be made suitably
fast (cf eg 'Firewire', USB2, SIDE) but CF does very well at present.

Also, if one has a camera that writes to a CF card already then it's
liable to be simpler to stick with that if possible.

Also, if the camera is CF and a 2:1 head can be added or not as
required the same cards can be used in either mode. I anticipated a
dual head being external to the camera but attached - probably
underneath as other accessories such as vertical grips and extra
battery cases are.



       Russell McMahon

2006\05\15@101131 by Russell McMahon

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flavicon
face
   > I discovered this site

       http://www.datarescue.com/photorescue/index.htm

(link from someone here or Googled ?) and it looks like it's going to
recover the 357 images from my crawling-wounded 512 MB which died 'in
the hat of the night' in Taiwan.

__________________

Yee Ha !!!!!!!!!!!!

Card was a Sandisk 512 MB
Recovery was superb.
Software does exactly waht it claims to in this case.

It's now labouring over a very dead kingston 256 MB that died in the
UK 3 years ago.
Nothing else has been able to read it at all.
Locks up cameras and card readers in the past.

In the 7D via USB the software is now successfully downloading
hundreds of photos.
Many of these were recorded at 1.2MP resolution (must have been low on
space that day) so I'm recovering far nmore images than I expected.
Many are of Edinburgh during the festival - I was sad to have lost
those.


Ha - Coventry Cathedral too.
& York Minster.
I have some of these but not all.
Must have downloaded part of the card before the failure.
And  a few from Ypres in Belgium.
Ah - these are in a "found" folder. Probably deleted shots still on
the card and not yet overwritten - that explains why I've seen thos
ones.

Still, 80+ new images otherwise lost.

Buy it now ;-)


       RM


2006\05\15@124151 by Stephen R Phillips

picon face


--- Russell McMahon <.....apptechKILLspamspam.....paradise.net.nz> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Ahh that explains SD is not possible then.  Not that it's technically
impossible just that the SD consortium refuses to let anyone know the
details of the SD interface unless you pay a license fee.  It seems to
be about money instead of a standard. Part of the fee is because of the
encryption which has patents likely so the fee pays for the patent
issues my guess.  I don't think they should have tied the Secure Part
to the Interface part but they did.  Sometimes the forest and trees
issues people have make things difficult ;)

Stephen

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