DCS 100 - DSU/SCSI nightmare

Discuss older Nikon-based Kodak digital SLRs, including DCS 100, DCS 200, NC2000, DCS 400/600/700-series, etc. Ask questions, post general comments, anecdotes, reviews and user tips.
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DCS 100 - DSU/SCSI nightmare

Post by Webmaster » Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:20 pm

This thread was originally entitled "Kodak DSU/DCS power nightmare", but I'll change the subject as needed, to reflect the latest development (below). For future reference, I've decided to document the entire process of configuring a fully working DCS system. The ultimate goal is to capture photos with the DCS and transfer files from the DSU to a PC. Feel free to post comments and tips as we proceed. I have a feeling I'll need all the help I can get.

It's been a couple of years since I last tried my Kodak DCS. Back then I was able to power up the Digital Storage Unit (DSU) and take a few photos. Regrettably, I was unable to connect the DSU to my computer to retrieve any files (SCSI issues, described in another thread).

This time, I was determined to make everything work, but I soon ran into other issues. The three batteries that came with my kit (model VB30H, 12V-2300 mAH) have seen better days. They're able to power up the DSU for a few minutes, but will not let me take any photos (the camera is powered by the DSU only). The DSU will simply display a "LOW BATT" error. Apparently you can still get these (or similar) batteries, but I'd prefer to make everything work with what I've got.

And, lucky me, I have the original DSU power adapter. Unfortunately, it doesn't work. The two lights (BATT CHG and POWER) don't even light up, and the adapter makes a pulsating, high-pitched noise (in lack of a better description). Whatever it is, it's not working.

Image

And the part that goes into the DSU isn't exactly a standard plug (at least not in my neighborhood):

Image

So instead of messing with my SCSI setup (which I'm sure will also be a nightmare) I'm now stuck with other parts that won't cooperate. The original DCS has got to be one of the most masochistic cameras ever made. What were they thinking!?

I'll bring everything to a smarter friend which hopefully may be able to help. Meanwhile - any suggestions?

Jarle
Last edited by Webmaster on Sun Oct 26, 2008 8:17 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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Re: Kodak DSU/DCS power nightmare

Post by Webmaster » Mon Oct 20, 2008 5:40 pm

Webmaster wrote:And, lucky me, I have the original DSU power adapter. Unfortunately, it doesn't work.
Problem solved! My friend located and soldered a loose cable inside the DSU plug.

Using the AC adapter, the DSU will now power up and trigger the camera! With a proper power supply I can finally spend some time trying to figure out how to transfer some DCS photos to the PC. Wonder if I can make it work using an old Windows 2000 computer, or if I'll have to downgrade..?

To be continued...

Jarle

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Kodak DCS - downgrading computer

Post by Webmaster » Tue Oct 21, 2008 2:59 pm

As expected, the DCS driver didn't work with Photostyler 1.1 running on a Windows 2000 system. Got the good, old "Cannot locate the SCSI host adapter" error message.

But - I made a little progress. Opening Device Manager and clicking on SCSI and RAID controllers > Scan for hardware changes, the system found a new piece of hardware:

"Kodak PROFESSIONAL DCS SCSI Processor Device".

Image

Amazing! It then asked for drivers (which doesn't exist), so I had to give up. But at least I got confirmation that the various parts (DSU, SCSI card and SCSI cable) are all alive..

Next step: Downgrade computer to Windows 98, install Adaptec SCSI drivers, Aldus Photostyler, Kodak software and try again. If that doesn't work, I'll downgrade further. Haven't decided if I want to try Win 95 first, or go straight to hell.. Sorry, Windows 3.1.

To be continued..

Jarle

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SCSI/ASPI - help!

Post by Webmaster » Wed Oct 22, 2008 3:59 pm

I've installed Win 98 (Second Edition) and the SCSI card shows up as working in Device manager, but I still get the "Cannot locate the SCSI host adapter" error message from Photostyler/DCS import module.

In an old post, Ross_Alford wrote: "To get the WIn 98 machine talking to the DCS200, I had to downgrade its ASPI layer from version 2.7.1 (available from Adaptec's web site, the most recent version) to version 2.6 (also available from Adaptec; the last version that works with Windows 95, according to them). With version 2.7.1 installed I kept getting a message saying that the ASPI layer was not initialized, even though the aspicheck utility said it was fine, and other ASPI-dependent things were working."

I can't find a version 2.6 anywhere. Typo? Any suggestions? I have an Adaptec AHA-2940 SCSI card.

I'd really like to avoid having to install yet another OS..

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SCSI/ASPI - help!

Post by Webmaster » Wed Oct 22, 2008 9:13 pm

UPDATE: I decided to install Windows 95 after all. Formatted the disk and did a clean Win 95 install. Haven't installed any extra SCSI/ASPI software. According to device manager "No driver files are required or have been located for this device". Device status: "This device is working properly".

DCS import still doesn't work. "Cannot locate the SCSI host adapter". What am I missing?

Image

I've downloaded the Aspi version checker (ASPICHK.EXE) dated Dec, 1999 and ASPI layer version 4.60 (1021) (ASPI32.EXE) dated Nov 1999, but haven't tried these yet. UPDATE: I later tried these, but it didn't make any difference, as the DSU isn't detected by the SCSI card. Read more below.

Jarle
Last edited by Webmaster on Fri Oct 24, 2008 5:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Brian Sweeney » Thu Oct 23, 2008 8:34 pm

Jarle,
I'm also using the Adaptec 2940 under WIN95B for my DCS200ir.

I'll power it up and take a look.


That Nikon E3 has me completely spoiled taking the PCCIA cards and working with my SB-29 ringlight. It gets the use. Taking pictures of my cameras.

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Post by Webmaster » Thu Oct 23, 2008 9:02 pm

Brian Sweeney wrote:I'm also using the Adaptec 2940 under WIN95B for my DCS200ir. I'll power it up and take a look.
Thanks Brian.

Another piece of information (I should have tried this before): Using the SCSI Select utility (accessed at boot time) you can scan the SCSI Bus and report the SCSI devices attached. This is a hardware level inquiry and the device must be seen at this level, before the Operating System can pick it up.

Surprisingly, the DSU doesn't show up in the SCSI Select utility. This is described in the following FAQ:

http://ask.adaptec.com/Scripts/adaptec_ ... _faqid=160

I've tried changing various settings as suggested, but it doesn't make any difference. I'm beginning to wonder if it's a hardware issue after all, but like I mentioned before I did get a connection (kind of), when Win 2000 came up with a "Kodak PROFESSIONAL DCS SCSI Processor Device" - i.e. the DSU. And I haven't changed any hardware since then. Strange.

Jarle

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DSU / AHA-2940 incompatible?

Post by Webmaster » Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:26 pm

I've tried everything (that I can think of), and I'm beginning to wonder if the DSU is simply incompatible with my Adaptec AHA-2940 SCSI card.

To rule out a faulty SCSI cable or other hardware issues, I hooked up a NC2000e camera, which was immediately found and correctly listed by the SCSI select utility. I can't rule out a problem with the DSU itself, but I will probably never know for sure (unless I can make it work).

There's also the "Cannot locate the SCSI host adapter" error message from the DCS import module, indicating that the old software doesn't recognize the SCSI host adapter (could be a driver/software issue, but that doesn't really change anything).

I don't know what more I can do, using my current hardware. I could install Win 3.1, but that wouldn't change the fact that the DSU isn't seen by the SCSI select utility.

Again, according to Adaptec's knowledge base: "This is a hardware level inquiry and the device must be seen at this level, before the Operating System can pick it up".

But if the DSU is incompatible with my particular SCSI card, that leaves another big, unanswered question: Why was the DSU (i.e. "Kodak PROFESSIONAL DCS SCSI Processor Device") detected by the device manager in Windows 2000? An intermittent problem, perhaps? A loose cable somewhere? I have no idea.

Needless to say, I'd be interested in any tips and ideas you may have. Feel free to post here or send me an e-mail.

Jarle

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DSU detected by Windows XP

Post by Webmaster » Fri Oct 24, 2008 6:04 pm

If the DSU was detected by Windows 2000, why wouldn't XP do the same? So I tried again - and it worked! Too bad there isn't any software for this beast. At least I'm once again convinced that all the hardware is still alive. Maybe one of these days..

Image

Image

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KODAK Digital Camera System Driver

Post by Webmaster » Fri Oct 24, 2008 6:30 pm

For future reference, here's some info from the original DCS driver disk (this is just a small part of readme.txt):

KODAK Digital Camera System Driver
Version 1.4
DOS README.TXT
8/9/93


PERFORMANCE INFORMATION - AT BUS
--------------------------------

RAM
8 MB of RAM is suggested in your PC.

INTERNAL HARD DISK SIZE
The camera driver will work with a 20 MB hard disk in
your PC but a larger one is recommended (80 MB - 200 MB).

SCSI HOST ADAPTER
Future Domain TMC-1660

SENSOR RESOLUTION (1280 X 1024 pixels)

COLOR ACQUIRE TIME
80486 33 MHz, approximately 30 seconds
-------------------------------------------

Did you notice? SCSI host adapter: Future Domain TMC-1660.

Maybe that's the solution I'm looking for? Anyone have a spare TMC-1660?

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Photostyler import problem

Post by Webmaster » Sun Oct 26, 2008 5:35 am

During an email exchange with Brian regarding my SCSI issues, he mentioned that he had problems making his DCS200 work with Photostyler, the Windows program that came with the first DCS cameras. But the DCS 200 TWAIN driver will work with Photoshop 3.0 and 4.0.

If the DCS 200 TWAIN driver doesn't work with Photostyler, isn't it possible that there could be a similar problem with the original DCS driver?

As a last attempt I will now try Photoshop 3.0 in combination with the DCS200 TWAIN driver. A different camera, but there's still a chance that it will work with the DSU. I doubt it, but it's worth a try. (If you're wondering why I don't install the original DCS 100 driver under Photoshop 3.0 - you can't. It's Photostyler specific).

And, by the way, I discovered that the DCS200 TWAIN driver (which is impossible to find anywhere else) had already been posted here:

viewtopic.php?t=227

Jarle

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DCS200 TWAIN driver didn't work

Post by Webmaster » Sun Oct 26, 2008 8:16 pm

As expected, the DCS200 TWAIN driver didn't work with the DSU:

Image

This past week, I've rebooted the old DCS dedicated PC at least a hundred times - maybe more. No kidding. I've installed serveral different Windows version, various drivers and moved my only working diskette drive from one PC to another (unfortunately, the first Win 95 version doesn't have any USB support). But then, as I was about to give up, I tried one last reboot.

And then... This:

Image

For the very first time, the DSU was seen by the SCSI select utility! I took some quick photos to make sure I remembered all the current settings, and then rebooted one more time. But the DSU was gone. Tried several more times - still gone. Seems like there's an intermittent problem. From what I understand, SCSI issues are typically caused by bad cables, so my next move will probably be to try another SCSI cable.

For future reference, I had changed the following 3 options in the AHA-2940 SCSI select utility when it found the DSU:

SCSI Parity Checking: Disabled (default is enabled)
Initiate Sync Negotiation: No (default is yes)
Maximum Sync Transfer Rate: 5.0 (default is 8.0)

As seen here (under SCSI Device #1):

Image

Since the DSU was only seen this one time, I can't be sure that these settings makes any difference, but at least it seemed to work. Maybe there's hope after all?

Jarle

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Re: DCS 100 - DSU finally seen by SCSI select utility (once)

Post by Stan Disbrow » Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:21 pm

Hi,

Sounds like a SCSI termination issue to me.

All SCSI subsystems require termination on each end of the cables. There are two cable directions - one usually internal to the machine case and one external.

Logically, the adapter card always sits in the *middle* of the two cable directions.

This simple fact is what usually trips folks up. Most folks think of the adapter as being on one end of the cable.....

And, practically, this is often true. SCSI is usually used either with *only* the internal or external cable. There is a passive (resistive) terminator on the card to terminate the SCSI cable when the card happens to be at one end of the line.

Then, there is either in in-line terminator at the last device on the internal SCSI cable, or said device has a terminator on it's own PC board. Only the last device gets a terminator. Often when things are torn down and reused, those terminators get lost. Myself, I always used in-line terminators so I didn't have to worry about where it got lost to. All devices have none, and so I avoided the trap. ;)

Now, if you have an external SCSI device, then there needs to be a terminator used on (or inside) it, or one an in-line unit used right at the device input connector.

My old Kodak 460 could be used with an in-line terminator or one could select the terminator inside the 460 by setting the SCSI ID to 'PC' (I think) instead of a SCSI address number. If you used the SCSI address number, then the 460 would not use it's internal SCSI terminator and one had to use an in-line one instead. Talk about a good way to get tripped up!

You might well be fighting this. If there is no termination inside the DSU, then the hi-speed SCSI signals will bounce up and down the line and, more often then not, be screwed up such that the device 'comes and goes' as far as the adapter seeing it.....

On top of all this, there is another termination issue. If you do have an internal teminator in the DSU, and one on the hard disk I see in that list *and* the card 'end termination' still plugged into the SCSI adapter - then you have three terminations as opposed to two and that extra one will load down the line too much and, again, things will be flaky.

The whole temination on each end of the line was the strength of the SCSI concept. It allowed for very high speeds over a very long length - 2 meters - which then allowed for a lot of storage devices to be attached (49 in total). That made for a nice server setup. However, you do need *two* terminators - one at each end of the total cabling - and *only* two. If you have less or more than *two* of the fool things, then the bus becomes so unstable as to be useless.

It was the common screwing up of the termination that killed off the SCSI bus.

Later!

Stan
Amateur Photographer
Professional Electronics Development Engineer

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Re: DCS 100 - DSU finally seen by SCSI select utility (once)

Post by Webmaster » Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:46 pm

Stan Disbrow wrote:On top of all this, there is another termination issue. If you do have an internal teminator in the DSU, and one on the hard disk I see in that list *and* the card 'end termination' still plugged into the SCSI adapter - then you have three terminations as opposed to two and that extra one will load down the line too much and, again, things will be flaky.
Thanks Stan,

Not sure which hard disk you're referring to, though. There's only two SCSI pieces in my setup: The DSU (ID #1) and the AHA-2940 SCSI card itself (ID #7). According to the instruction manual, the DSU is a non-terminated SCSI device. But as far as I can tell, there's no way terminate it. In other SCSI devices I've seen, you could terminate them by using a termination adapter (or whatever it's called) or using a separate setting, like the one you described for the DCS 460. So I'm confused. Everyone keeps saying that you need to terminate both ends - but there's no way to terminate the DSU. What am I missing here?

You'll find the instruction manual online if you want to take a look: ftp://ftp.kodak.com/web/service/manuals ... sCh6_9.pdf (7 MB PDF) - see chapter 7, and page 7-5 to 7-9 in particular for SCSI setup instructions.

And here's some info from the AHA-2940 manual:

SCSI Terminators
To ensure reliable communication, the SCSI bus must be properly terminated. Termination is controlled by a set of electrical resistors, called terminators. Terminators
must be placed (or enabled) at the two extreme ends of the SCSI bus. All devices that lie between the ends must have their terminators removed (or disabled).

Terminating the AHA-2940
Termination on the AHA-2940 itself is controlled by software commands via the SCSISelect utility. The default setting is Automatic, which works like this:

- If the AHA-2940 detects that a cable is connected to either its internal or external SCSI connector, then it enables its terminators (the AHA-2940 is at the end of the SCSI bus).

- If the AHA-2940 detects that a cable is connected to both its internal and external SCSI connector, then it disables its terminators (the AHA-2940 lies between the ends of the SCSI bus).

In my case, only the external connector is being used - by the DSU cable. Assuming everything is working correctly, the AHA-2940 should automatically enable its terminator.

Jarle

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Re: DCS 100 - DSU SCSI termination problem?

Post by Stan Disbrow » Wed Oct 29, 2008 1:51 pm

Hi,

Yes, it needs to be terminated. If does not have a switchabe termination inside it, then you have to use an external one.

What the teminator does is place a resistor on each of the signal lines. This prevents the signals from bouncing back down the line. If the signals bounce, then they interfere with the next set of signals, causing mass confusion.

All the DSU documentation is telling you is that it has no internal temination method so you either have to add an external one if it's the last device on the line, or have something downstream from the DSU that is terminated......

What connector does the DSU use for the SCSI?

There are two standards for this era SCSI: a 50-pin and a 25-pin. The 50 pin is the differential drive style, where each signal has it's own Plus and Minus lines in twisted pairs. The 25-pin is the common-mode drive style, where each signal has only a Plus line referenced to a common ground.

That's all technical, of course. Most things non-computer in nature tended to use the 25-pin. My Kodak 460 did. Also, the original Apple Macintosh systems used the 25-pin as well, even though those are computers. However all the IBM stuff used the 50-pin.

The terminator I used with the 460 was a short connector block with two 25-pin D-shell connectors on each end. Inside was a set of terminating resistors. It's that simple. The thing was sold as a Mac external SCSI terminator. It didn't come with the 460, and I don't think Kodak offered one either.

All I had to do was plug the 25-pin SCSI cable into the terminator block, and then the block into the camera and all was well. Without the terminator, things didn't work well at all. As I say, the usual SCSI issue.

The 460 differed in that it was operated via Photoshop as if you were at the camera. You could change some of the camera settings and fire the 460 from the computer. Each image was taken and sent via the SCSI bus straight into Photoshop.

I'd expect that the DSU does not let you operate the camera via SCSI, but probably only lets you see the contents of it's internal drive as if it were a disk drive on the PC. That's a simpler method of operating. The 460 was more advanced, so it offered the remote operating mode. One didn't need the SCSI to simply transfer images, as one would pull the PCMCIA card out and insert it into the PC and transfer that way.

Anyway, I think all you need to do is pick up a Mac SCSI terminator and plug it in between the DSU and the SCSI cable.

Later!

Stan
Amateur Photographer
Professional Electronics Development Engineer

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