Start/Stop cable for Panasonic Varicam LT

Discussion in 'MōVI XL' started by Eric Perry, Sep 26, 2017.

  1. Eric Perry

    Eric Perry New Member

    Sep 26, 2017
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    Hi guys,

    I'm putting together a proposal to purchase the Movi XL for my company, but I've hit a roadblock. Everything just aligns with our needs, but there just isn't a solution for starting and stopping the camera's record function. Our production house uses Panasonic Varicam LT with a Fujinon XK20-200 with the ENG style Digital Drive.

    I've done some research, and I can't find a plug and play solution, so I was hoping I could get some guidance on either a solution, or how to make one.

    I went through the Movi XL manual, and I was able to find the pin layouts for the TSU (Tilt Stage Unit), but I don't know how to make ends meat out of the pin descriptions, or even which connector I should be chasing down. (Do I focus on the CAMBUS or the LANC bus or something else?)

    Here's the Manual to the Movi XL:

    I've also done some research on the Varicam LT, and found that you can utilize the DC OUT/RS terminal to start stop the camera with essentially a N/O (normally off) push button switch. You would need to utilize 2 of the 4 pins to initiate the start/stop function.

    Here's a link to that description:

    I inquired with Free Fly Systems, and here's the response that I got:
    "· Until companies like Panasonic, Sony, etc., open up their communication protocol like RED Digital camera has, there will not be any direct communication with a Panasonic LT camera.
    · Freefly does not manufacture or provide technical support for third party camera bodies, in regards to the creation of custom power or communication cables.
    · If you wish to make your own cables, the connection/PIN specs for each port on the TSU of the MoVI Pro, can be found in the MoVI Pro user manual. If you do decide to go that route, you do so at your own risk."

    When Contacting Panasonic, here's the response I got:
    We do not sell a remote Start /stop cable but it’s very simple to make yourself.
    Here’s a few suppliers that carry the connector.
    You will also need A Normally Open Momentarily Closed Push Button Switch, (one with the correct mount). Something like this:
    Depending upon how you want to mount it you may need to fabricate a bracket.
    For $150. I can build a cable with mounting bracket for you.

    I have no problem making a connector, but I have a few requirements. I want to utilize the MoVI controller to activate camera recording. I don't want to run a cable to a switch that is bootstrapped to the system. Is there a way to create a way to trigger the Start/stop switch via the HR10A-7R-4SC (73) connector on the varicam LT utilizing one of the ports on the TSU of the MoVI XL? I guess the question could be, does the TSU function like a push button switch, or will it send a current in some way? If it can work like a push button utilizing the start/stop function on the Movie Controller, what port do I use, and which pins?

    Please let me know what you guys think, and any help would be appreciated. Since I don't have the unit in my hands, I can't really test my theories. I'm hoping this one thing can be ironed out, otherwise my whole proposal is scrapped.

    Alexander Sommer likes this.
  2. Scott Ellison

    Scott Ellison New Member

    Feb 14, 2019
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    Hey Eric, did you ever figure this out? I worked with Panasonic to get the pin out for the Lens/Grip terminal on the front of the LT that offers lots of different controls for the camera, including start/stop. This was just for the purpose of using a Preston Micro Force and not a Movi, but maybe the information could be used to interface with Movi, too.

    In any case, I'm planning to pair a VariCam LT with a Movi setup and am wondering how it did or didn't work out. Also, did you get the simple start/stop cable you proposed here?
  3. Oli Harris

    Oli Harris New Member

    Aug 8, 2017
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    maybe the RS 3pin (power,run,ground) plug will work, use the Arri cable from Movi.
    I think I can recall this from Preston days
    good luck
  4. Eric Bergez

    Eric Bergez New Member

    Jul 17, 2018
    Likes Received:
    Eric, I too am interested if you solved this problem with the Varicam LT. Oli's suggestion seems like an option.

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