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VCR Installation and Problems


Return-Path: <>
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 16:14:18 -0700
From: "Pierre Gervais" <>
Subject: Re: system upgrade
Content-Disposition: inline

Hi John,

>>> Ariel <> 11/20 11:42 AM >>>
Hello Pierre,

1. Are you able to control the VCR at all (using the Capture program)?

ans: not at all
2. Are you certain that there is a video signal from the VCR?
   If so, can you see the video picture on the screen?
ans: I am sure there is a video signal ie. I can see a picture in the

3. Also check the CAPTURE, VIDEO SOURCE option and make certain that you
have the correct video input (Composite or SVHS / PAL or NTSC).

ans: it is set at SVHS

4. Check the VCR, OPTIONS and make certain the you have the correct
Port selected (COM1 or COM2).
ans: checked that it was set on COM1

5. Make certain that the Serial port being used is "enabled" in the
Computer Setup.

ans: Serial port enabled with no apparent conflicts

Let me know your results! Have a great weekend!

ans; Have a good weekend yourself.
bye for now

Return-Path: <>
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 10:58:16 -0700
From: "Pierre Gervais" <>
Subject: Re: system upgrade
Content-Disposition: inline

Hi John,
I now have access to APAS on the computer now that I have input the key.
However, in the capture program I get the message problem connecting to VCR
even though I have set the VCR option to the AG-6750. What do you suggest?


The 6750 VCR has not been implemented in CAP. We don't even have one to work
with & it should be removed from the list. I'm sorry about any confusion, I
thought you knew that. I suggest the customer use Realcap as it is quite east
to capture without VCR control.

Best, Jeremy

In a message dated 11/20/98 7:10:11 PM Eastern Standard Time, writes:

I have been working with Pierre Gervais at University of Alberta to try and
get his Panasonic 6750 VCR working with the Capture program. It appears
that he has everything set correctly but the computer is not recognizing
the VCR. I have tried everything that I can think of.

I know that we have not even seen these VCRs in quite some time (much less
tested them). Do you have any ideas or anything else to try?

When opening the Capture module, he gets the message: "PROBLEM CONNECTING

From: "Jan Brond" <>

To: "Al Finch" <>

Cc: "Gideon Ariel" <>

Subject: Problem with the jitter!

Date: Mon, 28 Dec 1998 21:25:26 -0800

X-MSMail-Priority: Normal

X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V4.72.3110.3

Hi Al! About your problem with the jitter on the video image I am suprised that you have more jitter on one frame grapper compared to another. Normally the jitter is caused by the VCR not the frame grapper. The procedure used in the "old" video capturing is step one image, pause VCR and then capture the image. Pause on VCR equipment is normally better if you use a video with as many video heads as possible. Todays standard is 4 video heads. All though this can give pretty good still images it does not remove the jitter completly. The new way of the capturing is by streaming the video directly to the harddrive, wich off course removes the situation of putting the VCR into pause mode. This gives the absolute best quality pictures you can imagen (I know you have properbly heared that from Gideon but here it is again). The only thing you have to do is to have the new Capture (or the old realcap) program and a Iomega Jaz Buz. The new Capture program has both the stepping video capturing and the video streaming combined (The realcap has only streaming video). The new version of the Capture is ready very soon. Until then the RealCap can be used. The Iomega Jaz Buz is an investment of approximatly 200 USD. It can be purchased direcly from Iomega through their homepage. If you want to upgrade you video capture card I will be happy to assist in the installation and help make it work with the APAS system. I really recommend an upgrade for you system, I am sure you will be truly amazed with the result. Hope to hear from you! Jan


Hello Leonard,

I am writing to inform you that your APAS order has been shipped by United
Parcel Service.  Everything has been included into one computer box.  You
should receive it by the middle of next week.

The tracking number is:  T169 066 266 0 for your reference.

I faxed the invoice to Ralph Madison in the Purchasing Department on May

The Hardware for the Serial Interface has been included.  You will need to
install this on your Panasonic AG-7350 VCR using the steps below.

1.  Remove the 4 screws holding the 34 pin controller on the back of the VCR.
2.  Disconnect the connector to the 34 pin controller.  This will connect
to the new Serial controller.
3.  Connect the 3 seperate connectors to the new Serial Controller.  You
might have to "fish" theother two connectros out from inside the VCR.
Sometimes they are located under the top cover of the VCR but you should be
able to get to them through the opening in the back.  Also be careful
because the metal opening is sharp! It can cut fingers and/or wires!
4.  Use the four screws removed in Step #1 to attach the Serial Connector
to the VCR.
5.  The switch setting on the Serial Control should be left in the default

NOTE:  You will need a standard 25pin (male) to 9pin (female) Serial Cable.
 The 25 pin side connects to the RS-232 IN connector on the back of the VCR
while the 9 pin connector connects to either COM1 or COM2 on the back of
the computer.

Please do what you can to expedite the payment and feel free to contact me
for any additional information.  Payment should be sent to our San Diego
address.  Also not that effective June 12, 1999 the area code for the San
Diego office changes from 619 to 858.


John Probe

Ariel Dynamics, Inc.
4891 Ronson Court
Suite F
San Diego, California  92111  USA
(858) 874-2547 Tel
(858) 874-2549 Fax
Web Site:  /

Dear Antonio,
I received you note about your difficulty about using the Panasonic
7350 VCR with your new Ariel APAS system. Does your new system have
the Iomega buz director capture card? I have just installed a card in
my desktop system, in addition to having the traditional APAS system
with the Panasonic 7350 VCR with the shuttle remote and the the p34
or RS232 serial computer control for the VCR used to step the VCR
frame by frame through the videotape.If you new system has the buz
capture card then what you are going to do is use the streaming of
the video and capture the segment that you desire. From your
description this is what is perplexing as you have to view the image
in the little viewer box on the computer which has a delay and then
you have to use the trimmer function to edit the exact segment that
you want to digitize. I am doing it similarly at my home with my HI8
camcorder. In the lab what I have done to make the viewing easier
because of the delay, is to use the BNC connector similar to the
connectors on a Kistler forceplate amplifier and connect an extra
monitor to the video output jack. Your 7350 VCR has RCA outputs,
S video and the BNC jacks in the back of the unit.
You could select any of them for the monitor but you probably want to
save the S video output to go to the Iomega break out box coming from
the capture board, because this output has the best analog resolution
from this great VCR. To utilize the complete resolution available
by this VCR you should have taped the movement using a SVHS recorder
and used SVHS tape. If you don't have a SVHS recorder but have a
Hi8 camcorder than you still need to use SVHS tape when you down
load the format , in order to take adavance of the resolution. Please
take these comments as just general information because I don't have
any idea about your knowledge about videography and sometimes simple
informational items are not communicated or are skipped in a
discussion, as I experience with my students daily. By connecting
this extra monitor or TV in parallel, you are now able to see real
time the video that is being streamed into the buz capture card.
You'll still need to probably trim the video startup and end segments
a little but you'll be very close to the exact segment that you
desire to digitize. This way you can use the shuttle on the 7350 to
easily locate your video segment and then capture it. Remember that
after you find the segment, when you are ready to capture the segment
that the VCR takes a little time to take the slack out of the tape in
the playing heads and then reach the proper tape transport speed for
an accurate time base. 
I hope you find my comments/suggestions helpful and please feel free
to call me at 812-237-3927 (office) or home 812-299-9485 (home) or
The new APAS system works great.
Good Luck,
Al Finch
Director Biomechanics Lab
Physical Education Dept
Indiana State University

Hello John - again!!,
Problem solved!!!
Once you asked the question if we were connected to COM1 we realised that we should have had the VCR Interface set to COM2. Since changing this option the computer is talking to the computer and we are able to capture.
Sorry to have caused you this trouble and thank you very much for your help.

Jennifer Manning
Scientific Officer - Biomechanics
Performance Enhancement Centre
Queensland Academy of Sport
Ph: 07 3404 3239 Fax: 07 3404 3205

>>> Ariel <> 08/24/99 09:29am >>>
Hello Jennifer,

Thank you for the information.  This helps to rule out many  possibilites.
It sounds like the system is trying to communicate with the VCR but is not
able to do so. 

Are you certain that the VCR is connected to COM1?

Are you certain that COM1 is active and operational? 

Have you tried another COM port?

Do you still have the original APAS software on the computer?  If so, is it
operational for image capture?


John Probe

At 09:20 AM 8/24/99 +1000, you wrote:
>Hello John,
>I have answered your questions and hope this helps in determining where
our problem may lie.
>Thank you for your message.  Our records indicate that you did not purchase
>the VCR from Ariel Dynamics, so we do not have a list of the original
>1.  What type (make and model) of VCR are you using? 
>We are using a Panasonic AG7350 VCR. None of the original settings of this
VCR have been altered since its purchase.
>2.  Does it have the Serial Interface module?
>Yes it does have a Serial Interface Module.
>3.  Have you checked all the settings under the following menus?
>The following settings are used:
>Model: AG7350
>VCR Interface: COM1
>Time Format: Count
>The following settings are used:
>Video Compression Method: Intel Indeo [TM] RAW Video
>Size: 320X240
>The following settings are used (except selections for brightness etc):
>Input Source: S-Video (Y/C)
>In put Type: PAL Detected
>4.  Please provide exact details as to what happens when you attempt to
>control the VCR from the Computer.  Any error message?  If so, please list
>There are no error meassges given. The computer/video does not respond to
clicking on any of the video controlling buttons. For example when you
press play, there is a delay before the play button becomes depressed and
none of the other buttons (eg pause or stop) do not become highlighted.
>5.  Our records also show that you are using one of the original Intel
>frame grabbing boards.  It is possible that this will not work with the
>latest software.
>I hope this makes things a little clearer for you. I appreciate your help.
>Thank you
>Jennifer Manning
>Scientific Officer - Biomechanics
>Performance Enhancement Centre
>Queensland Academy of Sport
>Ph: 07 3404 3239 Fax: 07 3404 3205

Hello John,

I will provide answers below each of your questions.

At 01:53 PM 8/30/99 -0700, you wrote:
>Hi John,
>1) I am trying to capture PAL video on the main APAS computer received from
>you. I had be collecting NSTC
>video using our Panasonic 6300 VCR with composite input. SO all I changed was
>the VCR (it's also a
>Panasonic but plays all video formats) using the same single connection cable
>as with the NTSC input
>(in both cases its composite input). There is some flickering of the APAS
>monitor screen when I fast forward
>or rewind the PAL video, so I know some signal is getting through but NO
>picture. AS I said in my previous
>E-mail, I have been using the Panasonic PAL VCR with our PEAK system for a
>months (same composite
>output from the VCR) and it is working fine.
Answer 1a.
If you were getting NTSC video and only changed the VCR, there is no
logical reason that you should not be seeing the PAL video also (after
changing the VIDEO SOURCE menu to PAL).  The only think I can think of here
is that you make cerain there is a good video signal being played bby the
VCR.  If the VCR has two video outputs, you can simultaneously connect one
to a PAL monitor and the other to the APAS frame grabber.  If it only has a
single video output, then maybe you could use a "T" connector and split the
signal (one to the monitor and one to the APAS).

>My other concern was in the
>SOURCE dialog box where it asks
>for type of VCR and the default Panasonic (5370??) is listed with only 2
>options for the VCR. I'll
>try once more but I spent over an hour yesterday trying everything I could
>think of with no success in getting a picture.
Answer 1b.
These settings only deal with "computer controlled VCRs" where the software
controls the VCR.  In your case, you are capturing video in real time and
"manually" controlling the VCR so these settings are not involved in your
capture process.

>2) I tried digitizing this morning. In the sequence setup it asks number of
>points (the help screen says specifically
>that this number does NOT include the fixed point) so I entered one (1) for
>the center of the barbell plates. When I
>went through VIEW and began digitizing I digitized 77 fixed point positions
>and then the program would not let me
>digitize the plate centers?? I suspect the problem was in SEQUENCE setup. I
>entered one point, called it plate center,
>and for "connect" I entered none. When I clicked OK I got a message "problem
>connecting points". Well - there are no
>points to connect and I entered none in the connect input sequence box.
Answer 2
You are correct.  If you wish to digitize a single point (plate center) you
should enter 1 for the # POINTS field.  This means that for each of your 77
images, you will be digitizing 2 points (fixed point and plate center).  At
this point, the easiest method would be to name the plate center with the
default names.  For example, use the L.1 and leave the TYPE set to SYSTEM
(instead of USER DEFINED).

When the first image is displayed, you will see at the bottom of the window
to digitize the FIXED POINT. After you digitize this, the field will change
and expect you to digitize the point labeled as L1.  Then select ADVANCE
and digitize Fixed Point and then L1.  Then select ADVANCE and digitize
Fixed Point and L1 etc. etc. etc.

It sounds like you digitized 77 fixed points and then tried to digitize the
plate centers.

I hope this information helps.  Maybe you can call me (at 858-874-2547) and
I could walk you through the steps on the telephone.  I don't think this
would take very long. and would be happy to help in this manner.

Let me know your thoughts on this!


John Probe

>I hope things improve fast - I've spent many hours with this and have yet to
>get results for a single trial - one point 2D analysis!
>Getting Frustrated,
>John Garhammer
>Long Beach State
>Gideon Ariel wrote:
>> Hello John,
>> It sounds like you are doing everything correctly.  Do you still have the
>> SVHS cable connected at the same time as the composite?  If you read the
>> BUZ literature, you are not supposed to do this.  Only one set (Composite
>> or S-Video) should be connected at any single time.
>> What is the make and model number of the PAL VCR?  If it is not listed as
>> one of the APAS options, you should probably set the VCR control to NONE
>> (instead of COM1, COM2 or P34).
>> Are you attempting to grab on the APAS computer you purchsed from Ariel?
>> Or, on one of the NT machines?  If this is the case, the BUZ does not work
>> with NT software.
>> Please let me know your results.
>> Sincerely,
>> John
>> At 05:35 PM 8/29/99 -0700, you wrote:
>> >8-29-99
>> >
>> >Hi John,
>> >
>> >I have successfully capture several NTSC video clips to use for practice
>> >in digitizing with APAS.
>> >However, I cannot get a picture when I change to composite input from my
>> >PAL VCR. I have been using
>> >I have double and triple checked that I have chosen PAL input for all
>> >the capture settings menus.
>> >What about the VCR type question - have it at the default Panasonic
>> >model setting. Do I need
>> >to add a VCR type for the PAL input?? Anything else I may have
>> >forgotten??
>> >
>> >John Garhammer
>> >Long Beach State

Hi Gideon,

Here is a copy of the message I sent to Paul.


Hi Paul,

We have tried everything that we can think of to duplicate the problem that
you are reporting with the video capture.  We need to know the exact steps
and software settings that you are using.

1.  Are you using the Serial Interface (Computer Control) with the
Panasonic 7350 VCR?

2.  Do you get the same problem with Step and Streaming capture?

Using the Capture module, please check the following settings (or let us
know the settings that you are using)

Select VCR and OPTIONS
VCR Interface:  None
Time Format:  Count
Model: 7350

Capture Format:  Motion JPEG
Image Size:  720 x 480
Select the Compress button & use 76 Kb/Frame

Video Standard:  NTSC
Video Input:  S-Video

General Tab
Capture Mode:  Streaming
Format:  NTSC
Temporary file Allocation:  e\capure.avi
Allocation Size:  25 MB

Stream Tab
Capture Time:  5 seconds
Delay Time:  1000 ms
MJPEG Order:  Normal

Select, FILE. NEW and give it a new name

Start the VCR playing

Select the GO icon to start image capture
Select OK to save to the specified file name.

Now try this file to see if you are experiencing the same problem.

Please let us know your results.


John Probe


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