Chasing the Intermittent Torn Screen Bug

MarvinD's picture

About 6 months ago, the ancient pan/tilt monitor began intermittently tearing its image and the Windows Media Encoder would stop encoding causing a cascading meltdown of the entire webcast and archive. This would occur on average of once per month.

We ordered a new monitor thinking the old one's flyback was shorting, sending electrical spikes throughout the system. We even went so far as to rewire the power supply feeding the webcast equipment.

Then, of course, it happened again. Now I am beginning to think it is a bad balun or power connection to the pan/tilt camera causing an intermittant signal to the Windows Media Encoder. The Windows Media Encoder must decide that its input is just too unstable to encode and shuts down.

I think I may have come up with a test to see if this logic is correct. I am going to put a PostIt™ note on the pan-tilt monitor that says, "If this monitor acts up, immediately switch the webcast over to the wide view camera, if it is not using it already!". Then I can do some simulations with the operators so they can be ready at a moment's notice.

Theoretically, if they can salvage the encoder session, we are closer to tracking down the problem. I circled the problem area in the schematic below:

torn screen schematic