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09-30-2023, 10:13 PM
aramkolt aramkolt is online now
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Hello all,

I am pretty sure my AIW 9000 Pro has gone bad and I'll attempt a recap of it to see if that brings it back, but I'm also going to pick up a spare AIW card or two in case I have issues again. My 9000 Pro didn't last long (probably less than 10 hours of use and was new in box), really suspect bad caps, but can't say for sure if it's that until I recap it which is going to take a while for parts to arrive and to actually do it since there are a lot of SMT caps on there.

Question is whether there are strong reasons to go with another 9000 Pro vs the 9200 SE/LE in a capture-only PC where the most you'd do is capture VHS and maybe play back some of the captured clips to verify they captured correctly. If cost was equal and I wasn't worried about caps going bad, I'd probably go with the 9000 Pro spec wise, but I don't know if the spec bumps give any actual advantage when only capturing VHS.

Full specs of both are here:
https://www.gpuzoo.com/GPU-ATI/All-I...n_9200_SE.html
https://www.gpuzoo.com/GPU-ATI/All-I..._9000_PRO.html

Advantages of the 9000 Pro:

DVI instead of VGA Port - I'll use a VGA monitor anyway, but DVI is easy to convert to VGA and HDMI
128 bit memory lane width vs 64 bit- not sure if this matters for video capture/basic playback
7.20 GB/s memory bandwidth vs 2.66 GB/s memory bandwidth - also not sure if matters for capture PC

Advantages of the 9200SE:

Cost - about 1/2 to 1/3 the price - an eBay seller has many of these for $25 shipped or even less if you buy multiple:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/134310655636
Fewer SMT capacitors that can go bad - only about 10 vs about 30 on the 9000 Pro
No fan by default (has better heatsink) - I have a separate fan in the case pointed at the graphics slot anyway
128MB of video memory vs 64MB on the 9000 Pro

Both require the same breakout cables which I already have and aren't hard to find (purple/domino cables).

Any advice or any known issues with either the 9000 Pro or 9200 SE that would make one worth avoiding for including for reasons possibly not listed above?

-- merged --

Received the AIW 9200 SE's and I haven't noticed any perceivable difference when it comes to actual capture/graphics performance despite the lower specs when it comes to capture/playback, though I need to do some more testing.

I was very happy that the capture PC was able to recognize the 9200 without having to mess with new drivers that could have broken the previously working 9000 setup with MMC. At first boot, it said driver wasn't installed, but then after letting it sit a bit and rebooting, it worked fine with the existing AIW 9000 drivers, so seems those the 9200 is a good backup card indeed if your 9000 goes bad.
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  #2  
10-10-2023, 04:39 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is online now
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The biggest difference between the AIW AGP 9x00 cards is the shielding, which can lead to noise patterning (from electrical interference) in the captures. I always forget which models have which issues, it's been discussed in the forum over the past 20 years.

But PSUs and motherboard also determine this. It's mostly budget boards, and older 2000s boards, that are the problem. Though not always. Sometimes "quality" parts are in reality just overpriced parts. I don't recall any complaints about the final AGP Asrock boards, but you'll want to research, as I may have forgotten.

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  #3  
10-10-2023, 06:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
The biggest difference between the AIW AGP 9x00 cards is the shielding, which can lead to noise patterning (from electrical interference) in the captures. I always forget which models have which issues, it's been discussed in the forum over the past 20 years.
Is the 9200!!
I bought one, in bulk version, new unused with cables and drivers more than ten years ago for few , but it shown electrical/radio interference on video capture immediately.
I don't know if all AIW 9200 cards have this issue.

Maybe one day I'll try a recap, because it's a real shame to waste a new card.
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  #4  
10-11-2023, 12:34 AM
aramkolt aramkolt is online now
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Ah, I hadn't really known of this being a possible issue. I did find this post that has a sample video showing the sort of noise in question if a specific card were to have it: https://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/vid...rence-ati.html

Also found this post about a potential fix for the 9600, 9700, 9800 which apparently had RF choke coils just on the opposite side of the board as the Theater 200 chip also with a potential mod to get rid of the interference:
https://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/vid...aiw-cards.html

So sounds like the 9200 and 9000 shouldn't have the issue, but I'll report back if I see anything. I've done a few captures with the 9000 and haven't seen anything like that so far. The 9200 is newer and less complicated in terms of surface mount components, so I can't imagine it would be worse. the 9600+ cards do have a lot more components on them including those RF chokes so that kind of makes sense why they could have that issue specifically.

I will say that the Theater 200 chip gets fairly warm during normal operation - about 135F with good case ventilation and a relatively high airflow fan pointing in the area. That is just about too hot to be able to touch. Since they didn't put a heatsink on it from the factory, I'm sure it's meant to take that, but it also doesn't surprise me that surrounding caps could go bad over time if the PC case wasn't well ventillated. I'm going to throw a heatsink on there and see if that brings it down significantly (guessing it will).

Kind of interesting when the GPU with the heatsink on it doesn't even get above 100F, so the Theater chip seems have a much worse time of dissipating heat than the GPU which granted does have a heatsink, but I'm sure the Theater 200 chip also draws a lot less power than the GPU.

Thermal cameras are kind of fun, but also kind of scary when you realize just how hot certain components get inside everyday devices. I've seen VCRs get up to 155F on ICs that are just passively cooled and it's really no wonder why caps in those areas like to die. Good news is it can point to what areas should be recapped and which areas likely do not need replacement.
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  #5  
10-11-2023, 01:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aramkolt View Post
Thermal cameras are kind of fun,
Which one do you have? Like it? I'm considering getting one of these for myself.

One of my favorite toys is a Radio Shack decibel meter. It's shocking how loud things can get, and you don't pay attention. You start to regret this when tinnitus and/or hearing loss creeps in years later. Something as simple as a washing machine can get to 80db. If you do a day (3-5 hours) of chores -- wash clothes, mow lawn, run local errand in car, etc -- you just damaged your hearing by a %. (Tip, wear these when working.)

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  #6  
10-11-2023, 04:41 PM
aramkolt aramkolt is online now
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I've got this one: https://www.amazon.com/TOPDON-TC004-Resolution-Recording-Supported/dp/B0BRK4SGD2 If you consider it, don't forget to check the box for the $80 coupon which brings it down pretty significantly as a percentage of price. The other I've tried a long time ago was the "FLIR One" which plugs into your phone, but the annoyance with that is that the battery within it dies pretty quickly. The standalone models you almost never have to charge and you can let them run for hours if you need, even taking videos of thermal changes stored to the SD card, so pretty easy to retrieve images later. Main advantage of the FLIR is that it has a regular camera as well that sort of superimposes outlines on the thermal image which gives sort of a pseudo effect of what seems to be higher resolution on the thermal camera.

Other thing to keep in mind with thermal cameras is that they can vary a bit in terms of measured temps depending on distance from the object, but it's all about relativity to what else in in the picture really and that should be pretty consistent regardless of distances.

Attached is a pic of the front display board of one of my recapped AG1980's with the Topdon - when those go bad, the display will get very dim and it can also cause some referred audio buzzing in the main power supply area believe it or not (even if there's nothing wrong with the power supply) - you'll see it is no wonder why the LCD display area caps always die with time - Just replace those with 105C caps and they'll probably stay good forever, but the originals were all 85C. Granted 165F is 73C, but I don't like it getting that close to the rated temperature tolerance personally. Thermal images can also be a bit misleading in that the caps themselves probably aren't getting that hot, some of it is thermal reflections off of the surface of the cap since it is smooth/shiny. I believe what actually gets hot in the area is a diode between the two caps. Interesting nonetheless, eh?


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