Tips for using the A-51

Getting the DVE's Attention

When the A-51 is first powered up, it is necessary to transfer control to the remote panel. Do this by pressing the "Acquire" button (lower left) and press the "A", "B" and "Combiner" buttons (they should have been flashing). Now press the "Acquire" button again and you should see the flashing lights go steady. You can now use the A-51.

One other important thing is to make sure that the EIC has patched the A-51 Diagnostics to a nearby monitor because the DVE is going to be real tough to use without it!

Loading Effects from Disk

Start by highlighting the Combiner, "A" and "B" channel buttons (or else you'll only load part of your effects). Next, press the "Disk" button. Select "Read" with the leftmost softkey. You should get one or more directories displayed. Select the one that you want and press the "List" softkey (note, an A-53 disk should read but may take a long time to list). Once the effects are listed you will press the following keys:

For example, if you wanted to load effect number 4 from the disk but put it into the DVE as effect 2, you would press the following keys:

Prior to your hitting "Enter", notice that the display will read:

Feeling pretty good about this? Now to make things quicker for you, you can copy a range of effects from the disk in one shot like this:

So if you wanted to load effects 1 through 12 from the disk but put them starting at 11 in the DVE (maybe you want to save something the last TD had in there which is not a bad idea) you would hit these keys:

Prior to your hitting "Enter", be sure that the display reads:

Note that the first use of the "To" button has changed to "Thru". That's how we know that we are not going to copy disk effect 1 to disk effect 12 (and accidentally replace it).

Saving Effects to Disk

To save an effect from the DVE to disk, be sure that the disk in the drive has already been "Read" and a directory has been selected (as in the above section). Also, be sure that the Combiner, "A" and "B" channel buttons are highlighted. The syntax is very similar to loading an effect but in reverse:

Likewise you can save a range of effects to disk:

Be careful of overwriting disk effects! Periodically I make an extra DVE effects disk and under the "Disk" menu you have the facility for formatting a new disk. Warning! The disk drive may want low density disks. If so (and you don't have one) tape over the left square hole in a high density disk (not the "write protect" hole).

Recalling an Effect

To recall an effect to the workspace, press the Effect button, type the number of the desired effect and press enter:

Be sure that you have highlighted the Combiner, "A" and "B" channel buttons before recalling an effect or you might not get the whole thing.

Storing an Effect from the Workspace

If you've modified an effect (or built a new one such as a clock or double box or whatever) you can store it for later recall. First, be sure that you have highlighted the Combiner, "A" and "B" channel buttons before storing your effect or you might not get all of it back!

Store your effect by using these buttons:

For example, to store your effect to effect #5 (and overwrite anything there) use the following:

Note that this does NOT save your effect to disk, just to the effects space.

Using Shortcuts

Although the Joystick can (and is) used for most adjustment of the many parameters available, sometimes it is too imprecise and it would be a lot easier to just type in a number for that parameter. For example, when adjusting keyframe durations the joystick changes the number too quickly to (easily) select the one that you want. Shortcuts, however, allow you to directly enter a number as a new parameter value.

Select the function that you wish to change and then press the "7", "8" or "9" key (whichever corresponds to the joystick axis that you want to change manually) then type in the desired value followed by the "Enter" key. That's it!

General Functions

This is a quick and dirty "how to do what you want" chart. It's not going to cover everything but should get you through the most common binds. Remember to delegate the proper channel buttons (Combiner, A,B) to be sure that your operations are affecting the correct channels!

Function How/Where Notes
Clearing the Workspace
(AKA "Start Over")
Delete All Enter Deletes all keyframes and restores all channels to defaults.
Resizing, Aspect, Skew, ... Function 1
Cropping Function 2
Joystick initially adjusts upper and left edges. Press {Crop} again to adjust right and lower edges.
Borders Function 2
Joystick adjusts lum, sat and hue of border. Fader bar adjusts width. If the border seems lopsided try a little cropping.
Insert a key frame Insert Enter
Delete a key frame Delete Enter Deletes current keyframe. Can also delete a different keyframe: Delete <kf#> Enter    or a range of keyframes: Delete <kf#> To <kf#> Enter
Change keyframe duration Time {Kdur} Joystick adjusts duration (better to use "7" shortcut). Once the new duration is selected, use Modify Enter to make the change.
Create strobe effect Time {Strobe} Joystick adjusts frame delay. Press "Freeze" button to begin strobing.