Sunday, 12 September 2004

Pulling this out of the cave that is my blog comments:

I've completed a real-use test of the Nikon D70 with the Seagate ST1 hard drive. I'm not a hardware tester, but I decided I'd just load it up and push it a bit and see what happened.

I shot 1365 pictures at full jpeg resolution, continuous fire mode for long sessions. This required the hard drive to run continuously for several minutes at a time. The camera showed 451 images left to go (free space remaining) when I reached the point where all 1365 images had been recorded.

At that point my camera's battery died - Now, before anyone goes off on a rant, it's important to note that it was not fully charged to start with (I had charged the camera battery a month before and used it some since then), and that I intentionally shot groups of of 100-300 continuous-fire images at a time in this test, with auto-focus on and the reflex mirror down in normal operating mode. Also, the LCD display on the back of the camera was not disabled, as I used it to view some of the images between the continuous-fire sessions (like watching a slow frame rate movie - that night be a fun project some other time, heheh). In other words, I was running it in full-battery-killer mode, on a partially charged battery.

With the Seagate drive in the Nikon D70 (in continuous-shot mode, recording in fine resolution JPEG mode at the largest image size setting: 3008x2000 pixels), the camera does its standard thing, buffering the first 9 shots with rapid fire of about 2 frames per second, then slowing down its frame rate to allow the media to store the data (about a frame per second). Time required to spin up the drive and display an image on the camera's screen when I push PLAY on the camera from a dead stop is right at two seconds.

Disk space used on the ST1 drive by the 1365 images: 3.15 GB (3,388,802,794 bytes)

Time required to copy all 3.15GB of files to my laptop hard drive using a Sandisk USB2 CF I/II card reader (as measured using the nifty stopwatch feature on the Rio Carbon, of course): 10 minutes, 1 second.

This Seagate drive is nice, and my surviving Rio Carbon is awesome, too. It seems plenty fast enough for me. Unfortunately I don't have a Sandisk 2 Ultra or similar to compare it to, but I have seen others comment its close to that speed. Anyone have more specific experience there?

Off-topic Rio Carbon thought of the day: If you're not an subscriber, your should become one and listen to "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents America (The Audiobook): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction." Freakin' hilarious. I listened to the whole thing on my Carbon while commuting. I have also downloaded "Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy Unabridged" (as read by Adams himself) and "Getting Things Done," which is also great stuff.

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Photography | Tech
Sunday, 12 September 2004 22:38:39 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Greg Hughes seagate st1 ( [Referral] [Referral] [Referral] [Referral] [Referral] [Referral] [Referral] [Referral] [Referral] [Referral] [Referral]

Tuesday, 14 September 2004 15:41:21 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Hi Greg- in my blog posting, the speed I was referring to was the write time- namely how fast it is for the photo to be saved. I don't have a DSLR or anything fancy, but I understand the hoopla about fast flash memory cards is all about how fast they can be written to, so you're not waiting on your next shot(s) while the internal buffer gets dumped. Any idea how that speed compares, even to your not-so-fancy CF card?
Tuesday, 14 September 2004 22:07:32 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Howdy, I read the second half of your article on the Rio Carbon, and it says you were successfully able to play music w/ the Rio, several other people (me included) have tried alternate CF cards in the rio to no sucess, AFAIK, it seems that flash cards under a certain size or type do not work, so far i have read that Sandisk 512 and 1GB CF cards do not work, as well as my own tests w/ Canon 16MB CF, PNY 128MB CF, and Lexar 256MB CF. I have read that 4GB Hitachi MD do work. I postulate that possibly only drives of a certain size (4GB+?) will work and the firmware detects this, or possibly that only microdrives will function in the device.. because i have not read otherwise, Please let me know what replacement CF card you are using in your Rio. Thanks! -Justin
jhaoATNOSPAMtamu dot edu
Wednesday, 15 September 2004 07:53:27 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
"Howdy, I read the second half of your article on the Rio Carbon, and it says you were successfully able to play music w/ the Rio"

I did not write that - I have not had a chance to try to use a solid state CF card in the Rio, so I am not sure what you are referring to. I purchased two Carbons at the same time, one of which I tore apart and the other I kept for use as an MP3 player. A number of people are reaesrching (trial and error style as well as logical guesses) how and if you could use a CF card in place of the hard drive. I have not had time to do that.

In the original post, a comment was written about using CF cards that will work as a "True IDE" device, and that might be interesting to research, but I am not sure how helpful it will prove to be.

Anyhow, keep in mind there are no guarantees, warantees or promises. If you tear apart $250 worth of hardware and it breaks, you've been warned. Chances are you'll end up with a bunch of useless parts and a small amount of meaningful life experience. If that's worth $250 to you, it's your choice. :)
Wednesday, 15 September 2004 12:58:35 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I went and tried this last nite. I also have a Nikon D70 and everything worked perfectly. I also have Sandisk Ultra II CF cards so I can comment on the speed comparison. Specs on microdrives seen to show around 3megs a second write/read speed, with Ultra II being 9megs a second. So you can generalize that an Ultra II should be about 3 times faster and my experience supports this. When reviewing photos on my Ultra II cards, I can cycle thru the photos with almost no lag between each photo, virtually instantaneous. With the microdrive there is a very obvious and to me, long, lag between displaying of each photo. But that was expected, I didn't get the microdrive for speed. I'm totally happy with it, just don't expect it to be fast like an Ultra II.

I also found a better way to take the Carbon apart. It seems Greg separated the front plastic part away from the circuit board/ metal backing. For me I separated the metal backing part away from the front plastic/ circuit board. Sorry if this is a bit cryptic, but basically, Greg's way has front plactic piece off, and the circuit board stuck to the metal back. The way I did it you can take off just the metal part, and the circuit board remains on the front plastic piece. This is way has several advantages. First, you don't have to deal with the front nav piece falling out. Secondly, you can access the microdrive directly, you don't need to unscrew anything on the circuit board to reach the drive because the drive is on the back side that I expose by opening from the back side. Hope this helps.
Friday, 24 September 2004 17:38:25 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
i also was not able to get a solid state cf to work... does anybody know which cf cards have true ide mode? I heard something about simple but have not tried...and I don't want a microdrive in the player because i want to use it for running....
Wednesday, 13 October 2004 13:57:23 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
all CF cards must support the true ide according to the spec ( i have failed with my sandisk ultra 2 512mb, im guessing there is some timing mechanism in the software of the device :/
Friday, 24 December 2004 16:52:13 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Wanted to find out if there is a way if you can tell if the drive is blocked. I could not get the ST1 to work with the D70, so I am not sure why, though I can format it from my computer just find and copy to it just fine as well.

Saturday, 22 January 2005 22:26:24 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Though I have seen that the Seagat ST1 is supposed to work with the D70, I have not had any luck myself. The card appears to work just fine in a Sony F828 Cybershot Pro with the 2.0 Firmware. I have been able to read and format it in different CFII card readers as well. I have not been able to get the card to work in the Nikon D70 itself though. It tries to format it, but then comes up the the CHA characters. The card is P/N 9AF212-999 AND Model ST650211CF, just in case this help determine what my problem could possibly be. It also states FW 3.04, which is possibly the firmware level of the card. Any help would be greatly appreicated. Nikon D70 Firmware A1.01/B1.03 If more information is needed, it can be supplied. If you have one that is working, could you let me know the firmware version of your camera and the information on the ST1 card itself.
Thursday, 24 March 2005 22:45:07 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I'm experiencing the same behavior ("CHA" in the D70 display) therefore I looked around for a solution. I found the following information on Nikon's support pages:

"There are two possible interfaces methods for these products, CF (Compact Flash) mode is what is needed for use in a digital camera. IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics) mode is what is required to operate in a PC using a card reader.

ALL solid state CF cards contain both the IDE interface and the CF interface, as they are required to work within a digital camera and a PC card reader environment.

However, the larger Microdrive products can contain both interfaces (all drives packaged for retail sale contain both) or in the case of music players and similar devices, only contain the IDE interface. This type of drive product cannot be used in a Digital Camera."

Does this mean that Rio (Seagate) has changed the newer drives to only support IDE and not CF? Has anyone gotten this to work with a new Rio drive?

Does anyone know of a workaround?

Seagate ST1 info:
P/N: 9AF212-001
Model: ST650211CF
Date: 05277
FW: 3.04

Nikon D70:
FW: A1.01, B1.02
Friday, 25 March 2005 01:14:47 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
FW: 3.04 is Rio's own firmware - they have disabled the CF II interface in the firmware. If anyone knows how to extract and re-flash the ST1 it should be possible to copy the firware from an earlier drive.

If anyone DOES find out, please let me know for I have the same problem!
Chris Millard
Monday, 24 April 2006 20:14:36 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Im about to buy a broken screen rio carbon, 2.5 gig, for 10 bucks lol a guy at school isnt as smart as me, is this just a normal compact flash card and will i be able to put it into my PDA and use it as an mp3 player as well?
Monday, 24 April 2006 20:18:28 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
David - it's probably a CF Type II hard drive card. CF cards are usually Type I, which is not as thick. If your PDA will take a Type II CF, you might be in luck. Depends on the drive and the PDA mostly, and the firware of the drive you get out of the Carbon.
Wednesday, 26 April 2006 11:31:48 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I just got the card outta the MP3, it says 2.5 GB, ST1 driver. i just put it into my comp and im formating it now, hope im doing the right thing, i should format it right?!?!
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