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 MX2 - merlin cable frustration 
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Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2011 7:46 am
Posts: 12
Post MX2 - merlin cable frustration
Hi guys.

Well i´m going nuts and need your help. Yesterday i got my stage zero dolly and mx2 engine controller, previously I received my Merlin Head and have tested it with the hand control and no problem there. I had made 2 cables in advance and it go a bit tricky because the leads on the RJ12 cable where reversed in compare to the image from the instructions on DP´s website. On the image the little clip is facing the camera and the black is on the left and yellow on the right side, in my case it was the other way around but i figured that does not matter as long as i soiled the far right lead to the 2 joined conductors (pin and ring) and the far left to the ground (sleeve). I had the cable tested by a pro today and it turns out to be OK and measures 220 ohm through Tip/ Ring and on the far right pin.
I noticed that the merlin HC has 6 pin plug so I assume that the ones in use by the MX2 are pin 2 and 5..?

my MX2 is running firmware 0.833 and as far as I understand the Merlin Maps should be preloaded. Can anybody confirm this?

Now to the frustrating part. I set the whole thing up and wanted to get it to run via MX2 engine controller. And everything works accept the Merlin, every time I try to do something with it, I get stuck in that menu and have to do a power cycle. And yes, I have enabled the scope under settings. If I try to do manual move I get stuck. If I try to start the track sequence and push UP and go into the scope settings and pan over to where to enter inputs to the scope and hit either UP or DOWN, everything stops, like its frozen.

please give my some of your wisdom....!! :geek:

btw... I´m on a Mac running Lion, so if anybody has a instructions on how to upload firmware onto the MX2 via osx I would be pleased.. can't find any usable info about it on the web.


Sat Sep 10, 2011 7:46 am
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Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2009 7:55 am
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Location: UK
Post Re: MX2 - merlin cable frustration
Sorry if this sounds dull but are you powering up the Merlin before turning on the MX2, if you do not it will freeze as per your problem description.

I also had an initial problem with the Merlin, the lead stereo plug was not making contact with the MX2 , I think the tip contact was the wrong length,
I know they should probably be a standard length but changing it solved my problem.
MikeA.

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Sun Sep 11, 2011 12:43 am
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Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2011 7:46 am
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Post Re: MX2 - merlin cable frustration
I read about the power up situation and have tried every combination possible regarding that so I can rule that out. But your comment on the 2,5" plug sounds a bit interesting and I am going to look closer into it... I will let you guys know as soon as i have tried making a new cable...


Sun Sep 11, 2011 2:48 am
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Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2011 7:46 am
Posts: 12
Post Re: MX2 - merlin cable frustration
Hi guys..

finally I solved the mystery :-)

The comment from MikeA got me focusing on the 2.5" plug more then anything else and there i found the fault. The thing is that the plug i bought at a local electronic store is flat at the bottom of the pin and most retail cables like the one that came with the kit to control my Canon have a small pedestal around the pin. The MX2 EXT port also sit slightly deepened in the box and are not in level with the box cover. This was causing the problem, the cable was simply not going all the way in and therefor no signal, after pulling the cover off everything worked like a charm...
And thats how you waist a whole weekend ;)

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Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:47 am
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Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2011 7:46 am
Posts: 12
Post Re: MX2 - merlin cable frustration
What frustrates me the most is the fact that the plug that DB shows in their instructions on the website it absolutely like the one i bought and was causing this fault... so if you happen to follow them at this moment you should make a note of this.

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Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:57 am
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Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2011 3:29 pm
Posts: 19
Post Re: MX2 - merlin cable frustration
Hi
I am looking to get a similar set up, I have ordered already the mx2 and would like to get the merlin,
could you please let me know where you got yours? and how is it going controlling with the mx2 during time-lapse shooting?
thanks


Wed Oct 12, 2011 1:27 pm
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Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2011 7:46 am
Posts: 12
Post Re: MX2 - merlin cable frustration
Hi,
I bought mine at TLPro.uk, that is the uk distributer for Dynamic Perception. You should expect that it will take you about 3-6 tries to get it right if you are using the Merlin as well as the dolly because during these tests you learn what speed and angle movements you can expect from the input you feed the MX2. The hardest part is to figure out how fast and how many degrees you should work with if you have a fixed timeframe... like if you want to do 12 hours (sunset, sunrise) and you want the camera to have turned 180 deg. so it captures both in dead center of the lens, and you want the dolly to have traveled the whole distance in the meantime.
But ones you have tackled that it will get easier. But my advice is that ones you programmed the MX2 you should not alter the input because speed and angle changes will come out as ugly pumps in playback. I have tried to step up or step down (little by little) but still it looked crappy during playback. So ones you start you should stick with it! Watch the movement and put markers on your dolly to see what happens in the beginning and try to estimate if this is what you want. The tilt (up and down) movements are often useless when shooting for a extreme long time, lets say your merlin is turning at its slowest and you want a 90+ deg turn then your only choice is to have the tilt at its lowest input but that will still give you the same amount of degrees and will end up pointing the camera straight up or even upside down :(

best of luck to you
Runi.


Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:01 pm
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Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2011 3:29 pm
Posts: 19
Post Re: MX2 - merlin cable frustration
Thanks for your reply I ended buying the emotimo,
seemed the easiest solution and it did exactly what I wanted
I´ll let you know how it goes once I get it
http://emotimo.com/
regards


Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:07 pm
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Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:00 am
Posts: 4
Post Re: MX2 - merlin cable frustration
Hey Everyone,

I've tried to work my Orion Telerack with my MX2 with several different cables and it still didn't work so i
bought the Melin Kit now available on the DP website and the MX2 continues to freeze when i try to use the scope function.

Has anyone got any suggestions why this is happening and what i can do.

Thanks

Tim


Thu Nov 10, 2011 5:52 pm
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Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2010 7:26 pm
Posts: 274
Location: Roswell, NM
Post Re: MX2 - merlin cable frustration
tcook wrote:
Hey Everyone,

I've tried to work my Orion Telerack with my MX2 with several different cables and it still didn't work so i
bought the Melin Kit now available on the DP website and the MX2 continues to freeze when i try to use the scope function.

Has anyone got any suggestions why this is happening and what i can do.

Thanks

Tim


Hey Tim,

sorry to hear your Merlin Troubles. First things first... check the merlin by itself using the supplied hand controller. Plug it in and turn on the unit and the top left speed button #1 should light. If so, press the # 3 speed button and try moving the mount left and right then up and down. All should move as expected.

Next, check your MX2 settings. Enure scope is "on or enabled" under setup and that ramping and lead in and out are at 0 under both axis 1 and 2 (motor 1 & 2). The Merlin won't work under the current or previous firmwares with ramping and such. Also make sure your MX2 is set to Interleave and not pulse and that under axis 1 it is set to fixed SMS.

Now, ensure everything is powered off. Connect the Merlin to the MX2 (ensure the cable is plugged into the far left port marked "HC" on the merlin as you face it). It's very important that you plug the merlin cable into ext 0 on the MX2 (this is input 1 in the setup menu and this input needs to be set to disabled). Once you have reached this point, power on the Merlin first then the MX2 - this power up order is very important! If you power up the MX2 first it will lock up.

So now, power up the MX2. When the top menu display's, menu thru to manual control and then down past Axis 1 and 2 to scope and select scope. Now try moving the mount left and right be pressing the left or right button once and releasing. If it moves in the desired direction press the same button again to stop it. Try the same for up and down, should work the same. IF this works then things are off to a good start. If not then there is a cummunication problem with the merlin and the MX2.

If the manual control worked then exit out of there and got back to the top menu. With nothing selected or flashing press the up button to go to the scope control settings and then press the "right" button to get to the left/right distance setting and change it's value to something high like 10 (degrees). Press the "left" button to go back to the "off" setting and with it flashing press enter to change it to "on" and see what happens. It should move in the direction you had it on (L for left and R for right) and for the distance you set (10 degrees?). The scope should move the set # of degrees and then stop and pause (for what ever delay you have set under the camera menu) then move and stop and so on. If it does then things are good. Try the same for up and down and do both together.

Does it work as described? If not, exactly what does it do (or not do)??

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Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:34 pm
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