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  1. Member
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    So I just made the discovery that several of you probably already know - Sony's NTSC Digital8 camcorders have no trouble with digital PAL but can't play an analog PAL 8mm tape. I hear that the PAL models will play analog NTSC or PAL 8mm tape, so does anyone know if it's possible to "convert" my NTSC model so it can play the analog PAL tapes? I'm thinking it might be possible if I changed some resistors on the Hi8/8 mechanism control chip to those of the PAL model.

    Has anyone ever done this successfully?

    The camcorder is from 2000 so the warranty is long gone, and Sony doesn't make it anymore.
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    I don't think it would work Also why destroy a good camera?
    Buy a used PAL Hi8 camera from Ebay or similar
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  3. Member
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    Originally Posted by davexnet View Post
    I don't think it would work Also why destroy a good camera?
    Buy a used PAL Hi8 camera from Ebay or similar
    I could put the old resistors back if it didn't work.

    What else do you think I would need to do? There aren't too many differences between the NTSC/PAL models outside of the camera portion, and very few "intersect" with the path taken by Hi8/8.

    I've been studying the service manual and everything Hi8/8 seems to trace back to that mechanism control chip, with those resistors determining its system...
    Last edited by MiniDVLover; 23rd Oct 2018 at 16:07. Reason: Adding further information.
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  4. It really comes down to whether you're more interested in watching the tapes or having a challenging electronics project.

    If it's the former, take davexnet's advice. if it's the latter, knock yourself out.
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  5. Member
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    Originally Posted by smrpix View Post
    It really comes down to whether you're more interested in watching the tapes or having a challenging electronics project.

    If it's the former, take davexnet's advice. if it's the latter, knock yourself out.
    I'm an electrical engineering student so I will knock myself out and let y'all know if it works (and what works)!
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  6. yes Sony is the best
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  7. Member
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    Originally Posted by jhon91 View Post
    yes Sony is the best
    Agreed!
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  8. Member
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    So... swapping the resistors didn't work. There is a timing capacitor that I could swap as well, but I'm worried that I may have to swap an IC. Has anyone ever tried this? Is there an RM-95 hack that will make the unit behave like a PAL unit in terms of analog tape playback? It is a TRV520, by the way.
    Last edited by MiniDVLover; 2nd Nov 2018 at 19:12.
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  9. I'm a former Sony engineer back in 90's and 2k's, the TRV 520 was the last project that I've worked with.
    This were previous models from the 520's:


    Here is where we set and adjust the color system, you can see the lanc cable connected on the right side.


    Let's clear something out right away, NTSC and PAL only apply to analog signals as you already noticed. This cameras depend on processors to work, it is impossible to change the color system just swapping resistors or doing such things. To swap the color system you only need two simple things:

    1. You need to swap the main board processor
    2. Reprogram them

    Some models require replacement of the Y/C processor, video processor/decoder, video DSP converter as well among other things related with timing.
    Sorry to inform that there is no lanc codes you could use with the modified version of the RM-95 to make this work for you.

    It's much easier to buy a PAL camera or even better, contract a service that could convert all your tapes to digital, it might cost even less.

    If you are willing to learn with it, this is a waste of time. With the RM-95 you have limited access to the camera, if I remember right you don't have access to pages 3, 4, 5 and 6. if you swap the main processor you need a programmed EEPROM to go along with it, otherwise the camera will stop working or not work at all. There are security traps inside the camera, if you start to mess with the pages and change a data without previous initialization, you'll lost the camera forever because "kinuta" (the main processor) will blank the EEPROM, the camera won't even start. It will require a special "jig" and software to fix it, nobody has this anymore.

    This was one of the "programming station" related with playback and recording PAL, PAL-M, NTSC, etc:


    Well, good luck.
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    Gotcha. In the TRV520, the Y/C processor does not have a different part number in the PAL model, however, an IC labeled the "D/A Converter (EVR)" does. There is another EEPROM IC that does as well.

    Well, I guess I'm looking for a 520E on eBay!

    Is it true that the PAL D8 models that can play back analog tapes (such as the 520E) have the ability to play NTSC analog tapes as well? Are they sent through FireWire as NTSC? And there's no way to replicate that on the NTSC D8 models (PAL 8mm playback)? That's all I need - I don't need it to work with a PAL-based TV.
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  11. Yes, the "E" model can play NTSC analog tapes, the IEEE1394 output will be NTSC-50. Due to technologies limitations, NTSC models can not play analog PAL tapes.
    Still, get a professional to do that for you, it's much cheaper than buy a new camera with a technology that is dead.

    520E Manual
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  12. Member
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    Okay, so now that I've replaced the board in my TRV520 with that of a 520E, and have been able to digitize analog NTSC and PAL tapes, now I need to find a way to record NTSC D8. With my NTSC MiniDV camera, I can play a PAL tape to my computer, and the computer will treat the unit as a full PAL unit, so it will have no trouble sending a PAL signal to it. But the TRV520("E") is different. Even if I play an NTSC tape, and immediately click "go" in Enosoft, the computer doesn't send anything to the camera. I need to find a way to control what system the computer sees its FireWire devices as. Any ideas?
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  13. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
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    you don't want 50htz ntsc. it really needs to be 60 fields/s. maybe swap boards in the 520 back to ntsc.
    --
    "a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
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  14. I've already told the guy to get a camera for that. You can swap bords for a while until you waste the flat cables.

    Get a camera for each system or get something else to record what you need. At the time I had a Sony GVD800 for that.
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    What I really need is a way to "lock" the software into thinking that there is an NTSC camera connected.
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  16. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
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    pal60 was a format, ntsc50 not so much. don't think that's going to fly with any capture software.
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  17. Originally Posted by MiniDVLover View Post
    What I really need is a way to "lock" the software into thinking that there is an NTSC camera connected.
    You are aware that the main processor control that, right?
    Unless you find a way to access the pages from 3 up to 7 and know exactly what to change, what page to go to, confirm the change without triggering the watchdog, this change will not happen.

    If you have the required skill set and time, all you have to do is to dump the software from the main processor (some how, maybe by decapping it), decrypt and understand how the processor store information inside the EEPROM. To make your life easy, near the battery connector there is a port with a female connector inside used to program the main processor, once the main processor is fully programed, it happens a data exchange back and forth from this port to the LANC one and vice-versa. Just to let you know if you ever get this far and find out that is something missing or the data is incomplete.

    Good luck.
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    Originally Posted by amaipaipai View Post
    Originally Posted by MiniDVLover View Post
    What I really need is a way to "lock" the software into thinking that there is an NTSC camera connected.
    You are aware that the main processor control that, right?
    Unless you find a way to access the pages from 3 up to 7 and know exactly what to change, what page to go to, confirm the change without triggering the watchdog, this change will not happen.

    If you have the required skill set and time, all you have to do is to dump the software from the main processor (some how, maybe by decapping it), decrypt and understand how the processor store information inside the EEPROM. To make your life easy, near the battery connector there is a port with a female connector inside used to program the main processor, once the main processor is fully programed, it happens a data exchange back and forth from this port to the LANC one and vice-versa. Just to let you know if you ever get this far and find out that is something missing or the data is incomplete.

    Good luck.
    I mean the capture software on my computer, not the software on the camera. I've messed with that enough. I need my computer to send out an NTSC DV signal to the camera. Maybe I should make a whole new post for this. But the capture software on my computer refuses to send NTSC DV to my 520("E") because it's now a PAL unit - that's what I need to do. I can send NTSC DV data from another camera to the 520 without a problem, and the 520 will display it correctly.
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