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Author Topic: Hey Doug! Phase One Repair Costs  (Read 8655 times)
jonstewart
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« on: June 30, 2010, 06:43:22 AM »
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Update: I've heard the repair is only going to cost about €2500 now, presumably after an inspection, rather than the higher quoted (estimated) price.

Hi all,
Can anyone suggest why repairing the firewire on my P45 should cost €4000+VAT? Even if you replace a interface board inside the back, it surely shouldn't cost this much. I'm also a little suspicious since the original costing was about €1200+VAT.

I apparently put the firewire cable in the wrong way around (the socket isn't as 'one way' as you might like), so don't laugh!

(Fortunately, my insurance covers accidental, so that works out a lot cheaper than Phase Warranty)

Comments / advice / 'fun-poking' welcome   -especially from P1 dealers!
Jon
« Last Edit: June 30, 2010, 04:51:21 PM by jonstewart » Logged

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BenNorton
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« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2010, 08:29:41 AM »
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Quote from: jonstewart
Hi all,
Can anyone suggest why repairing the firewire on my P45 should cost €4000+VAT? Even if you replace a interface board inside the back, it surely shouldn't cost this much. I'm also a little suspicious since the original costing was about €1200+VAT.

I apparently put the firewire cable in the wrong way around (the socket isn't as 'one way' as you might like), so don't laugh!

(Fortunately, my insurance covers accidental, so that works out a lot cheaper than Phase Warranty)

Comments / advice / 'fun-poking' welcome   -especially from P1 dealers!
Jon


I may be talking rubbish in regards to a Phase repair but i know that when the firewire board goes on a Leaf back, they swap out the entire ebox, not just the firewire board.
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Doug Peterson
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« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2010, 08:36:25 AM »
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Quote from: jonstewart
Can anyone suggest why repairing the firewire on my P45 should cost €4000+VAT? Even if you replace a interface board inside the back, it surely shouldn't cost this much. I'm also a little suspicious since the original costing was about €1200+VAT.

I apparently put the firewire cable in the wrong way around (the socket isn't as 'one way' as you might like), so don't laugh!

1) It must be done in a clean room environment and by a very skilled technician
2) The cost of the part placed in your back is not super expensive (though not cheap either) however the cumulative cost of keeping stock of repair parts for nearly every back ever made is expensive since many of these parts must be stocked in-quantity before the subcontractor discontinues that part and may sit on the shelf for years
3) Return international shipping with insurance is included
4) After any non-external repair they will need to reassemble, fully test, and recalibrate the back

In three years I have handled a shockingly small number of repairs for our customers. Phase One backs are constructed very well and have no moving parts so nearly all the repairs I've handled have involved significant drops onto very hard surfaces or full-submersion in water. Ironically because of the basic laws of economics the small number of repairs pushes the price up since the overhead of the clean room etc is not split up over a massive number of repairs.

With the above in mind we strongly encourage our customers to stay under warranty which can be extended a year at a time indefinitely. The price of an in-warranty extension varies by model and whether you want to enroll in the loaner-program but is generally US$700-US$1000. Though to be clear, forcing the backwards insertion of a FW cable would not have been covered under warranty - nor sticking a cucumber into the battery slot.

Doug Peterson
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« Last Edit: June 30, 2010, 08:37:21 AM by dougpetersonci » Logged

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jonstewart
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« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2010, 08:55:21 AM »
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@Ben. Thanks, that may be the case here too!

@Doug: Thanks for the reply. I see your points, but still bemused at the cost, even when you take in the points you have made.

As regards 'forced insertion'; it wasn't really; as I say, there's a looseness about the firewire socket on mine so you don't need to force it in. In fairness though, I was in a dark studio at the time, and it's the first time in, what, 4 years that's happened!

I agree that with no moving parts these backs are very reliable. Indeed, even with this fault everything else works fine, so they have some degree of tolerance. If things like this are not covered in warranty - extended or otherwise- then the warranty is useless, with the exception of if you are paying for a loaner, but I suspect that if you are doing any great level of work, you may well have a second back anyway.

I would recommend good insurance. Mine is about 15% more than 1 years extended Phase One warranty, but covers ALL my equipment against theft, accidental, loss etc, UK & Europe, as well as Public Liability (£2m), Employers Liability, Professional Indemnity.

So, just a point of interest there for any thinking about buying backs.

Now Doug, you don't think I be stupid enough to try and put a cucumber in the battery slot??? But I have to say, it does run well on pickled gherkins! Anyway, I guess I'll have a perfectly working and calibrated back when it returns.

Cheers & Thanks
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UlfKrentz
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« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2010, 10:44:16 AM »
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Quote from: jonstewart
Hi all,
Can anyone suggest why repairing the firewire on my P45 should cost €4000+VAT? Even if you replace a interface board inside the back, it surely shouldn't cost this much. I'm also a little suspicious since the original costing was about €1200+VAT.

I apparently put the firewire cable in the wrong way around (the socket isn't as 'one way' as you might like), so don't laugh!

(Fortunately, my insurance covers accidental, so that works out a lot cheaper than Phase Warranty)

Comments / advice / 'fun-poking' welcome   -especially from P1 dealers!
Jon

Hi Jon,

plugging in the FW Plug backwards will invert the polarity of the power supply. Although the back should have a sort of protection against that it might be there is a lot of destruction in the electronics, not only on the FW interface board. I still feel it´s a lot of money, but there is no other way to get your back in working order. Congrats, you have an insurance that is covering this case!

BTW I have to second it, this can happen very easy, we had the same thing happen with a leaf backs FW400 port years ago, the plug was also not forced in place. We were lucky to always use a passive repeater - it worked like a fuse, just blown away, everything else was fine, so after getting breath again this was just a 50€ experience.

Cheers, Ulf
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UlfKrentz
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« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2010, 11:50:22 AM »
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Quote from: Yelhsa
Hi Jon & Ulf
Are you talking about shooting to a laptop or desktop computer here ?
Or would it not matter.

I still have my Phase One repeater, which I bought for the H20 back many years ago, but stopped using it once the P series came along.
But hearing of your €4000 repair bill Jon, has got me thinking: maybe I should use it more.

Hi Yelhsa,

we had the back connected to a desktop computer which is probably capable of sending out more power but I´m sure a laptop will also be able to seriously damage a back if it is plugged in backwards. The computer might be damaged as well. I´m not saying a repeater will help in any case but I am sure we would have suffered worse if that thing wouldn´t have been in between. We are always using the repeater to get a longer cable, but this time it was very helpful acting like a fuse.

Cheers, Ulf
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Doug Peterson
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« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2010, 12:15:46 PM »
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Quote from: UlfKrentz
BTW I have to second it, this can happen very easy, we had the same thing happen with a leaf backs FW400 port years ago, the plug was also not forced in place. We were lucky to always use a passive repeater - it worked like a fuse, just blown away, everything else was fine, so after getting breath again this was just a 50€ experience.

This was significantly easier to do physically with the Leaf backs which used FW400 than with the P1 backs. Just a nuance of the physical design of the chassis and included cables. With a Phase One back you have to try pretty hard to get the supplied FW cable in backwards far enough for the contacts to make a connection and hurt the back. Not saying you have to be stupid or anything - just not something we see happen very often; in fact I've not seen one amongst our customers in three years (probably Phase has seen a few during that time - just not customers of my dealership). A dark studio in a rushed environment and maybe a bit of extra coffee in the morning? :-)

Also, some of the early mac towers with FW400 (early G5 and earlier) had FW400 ports with pretty weak casing and a relatively loose fit and so it took less effort to insert the cable backwards at the computer-end of the connection.

Did this happen to you at the computer-port of the digital-back port?

Doug Peterson
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« Last Edit: June 30, 2010, 12:17:58 PM by dougpetersonci » Logged

DOUG PETERSON (dep@digitaltransitions.com), Digital Transitions
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« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2010, 01:08:07 PM »
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Quote from: dougpetersonci
Snip

Did this happen to you at the computer-port of the digital-back port?

Snip

Just look in the part that you quoted  

It was on the backs end, it was FW400 and a Leaf Valeo back using ordinary FW400 cable. The casing is better with the Aptus backs now.

Cheers, Ulf
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bcooter
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« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2010, 01:18:23 PM »
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Quote from: John-S
All Leaf Aptus backs come with a right angled firewire cord. A monkey couldn't even insert that thing wrong. A wise choice indeed.  -------snip------
I have never been able to insert a FW400 cable wrongly into any computer device. It just physically won't happen. So what in the Phase design goes against that?


I agree.  You can't use the Leaf Cable and insert the firewire cord in the wrong way . . . not possible.

Going from Leaf to Phase it was kind of a shock (no pun intended) how loose the Phase firewire connector is and the only way to get a real secure connection is to buy one of those Granite Digital cables and do the hillbilly trim method of cut, try, cut, try until you get a secure connection, though it is the rubber surround of the cable that keeps it in the back, not the actual socket itself, so it would be very easy to put it in backwards and think you have a secure connection.

In fact I'm positive that every issue I've had with Phase comes from the firewire connector.  The first "official" 30 ft. cable I bought from CI would fall out if you turned the camera upwards (Doug now says they have a new one so maybe).

Anyway . . .

4 k for a board repair, holy moly man, you can yank your finger off on the tailgate of a ford F150 and get it stitched back on cheaper than that and even Cooterville's local hospital has a clean room.

BC
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AlDoori
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« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2010, 02:18:54 PM »
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Quote
plugging in the FW Plug backwards will invert the polarity of the power supply. Although the back should have a sort of protection against that it might be there is a lot of destruction in the electronics, not only on the FW interface board.
if this is true,  this is how a friend of mine damaged the electronics of 2 aptus 22 backs in 2 minutes, using a generic fire wire..

i can not imagine how the cable can invert polarity, but it looks like it is not a bad idea to use the original cable everytime.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2010, 02:38:52 AM by AlDoori » Logged
Steve Hendrix
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« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2010, 03:34:37 PM »
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Quote from: bcooter
I agree.  You can't use the Leaf Cable and insert the firewire cord in the wrong way . . . not possible.

Going from Leaf to Phase it was kind of a shock (no pun intended) how loose the Phase firewire connector is and the only way to get a real secure connection is to buy one of those Granite Digital cables and do the hillbilly trim method of cut, try, cut, try until you get a secure connection, though it is the rubber surround of the cable that keeps it in the back, not the actual socket itself, so it would be very easy to put it in backwards and think you have a secure connection.

In fact I'm positive that every issue I've had with Phase comes from the firewire connector.  The first "official" 30 ft. cable I bought from CI would fall out if you turned the camera upwards (Doug now says they have a new one so maybe).

Anyway . . .

4 k for a board repair, holy moly man, you can yank your finger off on the tailgate of a ford F150 and get it stitched back on cheaper than that and even Cooterville's local hospital has a clean room.

BC


I agree - the angle cable is very helpful.

Unfortunately it is not foolproof. I work with some schools that have somehow managed to insert it so that the port itself was pushed in, or probably they used the opposite end and kept on pushing.

You can't insert a FW400 cable backwards, but you don't have to - it can just make contact in the right (or wrong) way and short the board.

If there's a way to break something, we will find it. It would be nice if it was more difficult though.


Steve Hendrix
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jonstewart
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« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2010, 04:09:22 PM »
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Quote from: Yelhsa
Hi Jon & Ulf
Are you talking about shooting to a laptop or desktop computer here ?
Or would it not matter.

I still have my Phase One repeater, which I bought for the H20 back many years ago, but stopped using it once the P series came along.
But hearing of your €4000 repair bill Jon, has got me thinking: maybe I should use it more.

Hi Ashley,

It was plugged into a 15" 2009 MBP; I think it was just one of those unique coincidences that I had the powered end plugged in first for some reason, which is normally not the case, and accidentally inserted it wrong way around.

@Ulf: Since everything else is working on the back, the damage was not total! Thank goodness. Glad I'm not the only one who finds the fw 'not quite one way'.
@Doug: I didn't use a lot of force like you seem to be implying.

Now, does this 'passive repeater' work with the P45, and where do I get one (or two, actually)?

Thanks to all for the constructive chat and comments.

UPDATE: I've had word that the actual cost will be about €2500, rather than the original estimated price. That seems more reasonable.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2010, 04:53:23 PM by jonstewart » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2010, 08:03:28 PM »
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That is tons of money. In the last two years Leaf had to replace E box on my backs 3 times. Fortunately I never had to pay for the service. I can assure anybody that damaging firewire port is easier that one may think. You work like a dog on a leash one extra step during the heat of shoot and you either pull the computer from the table or ( if the comp is secured ) you just rip off the fire wire.
Now that I shoot D3X to card I keep catching myself still working 15' circle and telling my assistant to check if I am in focus.
Andre
« Last Edit: June 30, 2010, 08:10:11 PM by AndreNapier » Logged
jonstewart
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« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2010, 03:21:50 AM »
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Quote from: AndreNapier
Now that I shoot D3X to card I keep catching myself still working 15' circle and telling my assistant to check if I am in focus.
Andre

Very amusing Andre!

@Yelhsa: The thing that bothered me was the generally secretive nature of how P1 price repairs. There's all sorts of second hand information on their forums and elsewhere, and you'd think it might be beneficial to publish some 'guidelines' even if conditional and approximate.
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« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2010, 03:47:10 AM »
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Quote from: Yelhsa
The internal battery in my 6 year old back needs replaced - as it doesn't save the 'date & time' anymore, once unplugged or the external battery is removed. But when they quoted 2,500€ to replace it last year - I said it was fine - I can live with it  

Hi Yelhsa,

You are very generous, they would probably also change your watch battery for that price - of course with very skilled technicians in a clean environment  
What is that battery made of or where is it placed, right under the sensor which has to be soldered out? Hard to believe and it doesn´t look reasonable to me.

Cheers, Ulf
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Mr. Rib
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« Reply #15 on: July 01, 2010, 04:12:13 AM »
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I can second that. 2500 euro is their initial service fee if P1 has to open your digiback. That's what I've been told when I asked my dealer. It can probably go up well beyond that sum though.  And in my case it was a broken live preview feature in P45+ (while firewire communication works fine, it's such a strange world).

Quote from: Yelhsa
Phase One sell them with a battery attached - which supplies the power, to boost the signal.
Lasts about 4 hours, from what I can remember - but like I said before, it's been a while since I used it.




That's their standard service charge - and has been now for a number of years.
So I was surprised when you said 4,000.

The internal battery in my 6 year old back needs replaced - as it doesn't save the 'date & time' anymore, once unplugged or the external battery is removed. But when they quoted 2,500€ to replace it last year - I said it was fine - I can live with it  
« Last Edit: July 01, 2010, 04:19:29 AM by Mr. Rib » Logged
jonstewart
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« Reply #16 on: July 01, 2010, 04:41:35 AM »
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Agree. But as Doug pointed out, what happened to mine wouldn't have been covered by the warranty, nor any accidental, I suspect, and I would reiterate that the only deficit in using insurance to cover the repairs is that you won't be getting a loaner (although, it could be argued that paying for hire of a replacement would be cheaper than compensation for failing to fulfil a contract in a timely fashion).

I think their warranty is too expensive when you consider the cost of insurance, where the insurance covers accidental damage.

Thanks for the info on the repeaters, btw; I must start looking for one.

@Mr Rib: Since the Danes have had it about 3 days, I'm assuming this is a post inspection price -- ie the final one! Hope!
« Last Edit: July 01, 2010, 04:43:41 AM by jonstewart » Logged

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ced
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« Reply #17 on: July 01, 2010, 05:20:23 AM »
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Thank goodness these "accidents" happen as it keeps the wheels of industry turning...
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jonstewart
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« Reply #18 on: July 01, 2010, 06:00:30 AM »
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@CED: Are sales that  bad!  
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Jon Stewart

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ziocan
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« Reply #19 on: July 01, 2010, 11:12:17 AM »
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Quote from: Yelhsa
The internal battery in my 6 year old back needs replaced - as it doesn't save the 'date & time' anymore, once unplugged or the external battery is removed. But when they quoted 2,500€ to replace it last year - I said it was fine - I can live with it  
I have the same problem with mine and will stay like that.
2500 euros for replacing the battery is insane.
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