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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » Warning! GDC Media Block Batteries...

Author Topic: Warning! GDC Media Block Batteries...
Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

Posts: 15885
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 05-22-2017 03:23 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Many GDC servers are going on 5 years old now and the media block batteries will need to be replaced to maintain the certificate. If the batteries are allowed to fail then the media block will have to be RA'd out. A big expense for those who do not have extended warranty, or just a day or two of downm time for those that do have extended warranty. Battery replacement time is also a perfect opportunity to inspect the inside of the servers, and the media block cooling fans and CPU fan.

There are several kinds of batteries used depending on if you have internal media block, G2 IMB or the G4 AR Media block which is also used in the SX-3000. If you specify to GDC the type server and serial number you have, they will send you the correct batteries. These batteries are included under both the the two upper tier extended warranty plans, but not under the firmware only plan.

On internal media block batteries, good ones should measure at 3.6 volts. GDC will provide a plug in battery holder to install that keeps the cert maintained while changing the onboard batteries.

On G2 IMB media blocks good batteries will also measure at 3.6 volts. You change one battery at a time on these. Accidentally removing both at the same time will cause the certificate to disappear.

On G-4 Media Blocks there are two styles of batteries used. SO they may ask you to pull yours to see which type. Normal and min. battery voltages are as follows... You can measure it on the bottom of the board under the battery holder. If replacing them, they are also replaced one at a time.

TL-2450 Rated VDC-3.6V Min DC-3.5V Life Span-3.5 Years

CR2354 Rated VDC-3V Min DC-2.9V Life Span-3.5 Years

If you suspect your G-2 server is getting to be either at 5 years, or your AR or SX-3000 is at 3 years then call GDC and they will supply you with the correct bulletin for your sever and or the batteries.

Shown in the picture is a internal media block having been prepared to replace it's batteries.


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Greg Routenburg
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 134
From: Toronto, ON, Canada
Registered: May 2003

 - posted 05-24-2017 12:44 PM      Profile for Greg Routenburg   Email Greg Routenburg   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Just received my batteries from GDC last week. The RMA process was super smooth, the delivery from DHL was not. GDC was very quick to send replacements though once DHL confirmed that they lost the shipment. Going to start installing them early next week along with some new ICP batteries. I had to laugh though. The packaging that they needed to ship them in because they are lithium batteries was a little nuts. I'll never understand how they don't have any trouble shipping circuit boards with batteries installed but as soon as the batteries are by themselves, it's all dangerous goods and special handling.

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Dave Macaulay
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1938
From: Toronto, Canada
Registered: Apr 2001

 - posted 05-24-2017 01:42 PM      Profile for Dave Macaulay   Email Dave Macaulay   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
There must be some new regulations just come into force. For some time we have not been able to get any coin cells (for ICP, IMB, etc) from Digikey or others, I'm not even sure they are all lithium. They tell us they're trying to get packaging that complies with something.

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Mark Gulbrandsen
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From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 05-24-2017 03:02 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
They have to be able to ship them some how...

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Harold Hallikainen
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 635
From: Denver, CO, USA
Registered: Aug 2009

 - posted 05-24-2017 05:00 PM      Profile for Harold Hallikainen   Author's Homepage   Email Harold Hallikainen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
These are pretty much restrictions on air shipments. Equipment with lithium cells is often allowed while loose cells are not.


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Leslie Hartmier
Film Handler

Posts: 96
From: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Registered: Jul 2012

 - posted 06-17-2017 09:56 PM      Profile for Leslie Hartmier   Email Leslie Hartmier   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I ordered mine from Battery World in Edmonton.

The Tadirans and the 2/3s were special order, but the rest were a pretty simple matter to acquire.

GDC even told me that it would be a pain to get the batteries from them, due to the cross-border restrictions, and that I should try to source them from closer to home.

Also, a tip: once you get around to figuring which AR IMB you are using, write it down beside the serial number. GDC cannot tell you if it is R8 or R9, and as Mark pointed out, they're different batteries.


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Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 6629
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000

 - posted 06-18-2017 11:38 AM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Both battery models are showing as readily available from several vendors on Ebay, so I can't see that getting hold of them would be a problem (unless warranty issues dictate that they have to be bought from GDC).

The one I had a bit of trouble getting hold of was the Dolby cat745 battery (CR2477N). At the time I needed one, I couldn't find any on Amazon and only one vendor on Ebay, who was charging $25 a battery. However, looking just now, I see that they are readily available from lots of places at an average of around $10, so maybe there was just a temporary supply problem last fall.

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Mark Gulbrandsen
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Posts: 15885
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 06-18-2017 12:18 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It's pretty easy to tell which IMB you have Leslie as there are really only two of them out there. The Gen 2's are all the black potted IMB's while the GEN 4 IMB's are all part of the AR series of servers and the SX-3000/SX-4000 servers.

The Gen 1 IMB's and media blocks were not potted and very few if any of those even exist today because they are not and can not be made DCI compliant. Not sure the Gen 3 IMB was ever released in North America, it is strictly in Asia.


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Barry Floyd
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1037
From: Lebanon, Tennessee, USA
Registered: Mar 2000

 - posted 06-20-2017 01:42 PM      Profile for Barry Floyd   Author's Homepage   Email Barry Floyd   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I just swapped out the batteries on my GDC SX2000AR IMB's last night. I ordered them through my dealer and they were shipped directly from GDC.

Since my board was the "R9" type, the accompanying instructions specifically stated to clip the retaining barbs off the battery holder to assist in replacing the batteries. Easy snip with a pair of pliers, but the rubber bumpers that go in between the stiffener bar and the batteries were not included with the replacement batteries.

The rubber bumpers are GDC P/N 104677-00. If you're going to replace yours soon, make sure to get those bumpers ordered ahead of time. I'll have to remove my IMB's and install them after the fact once they get here.

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

Posts: 15885
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 06-20-2017 02:00 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
WOW! I haven't run into that yet, and just yesterday I swapped out batteries in three of the very first SX-3000's to be installed in this country. They all had the rubber bumpers on the stiffener bar. I also have yet to run into any SX-3000's or 2000 AR's that have the coin type batteries on the IMB. But apparently those exist because they send me both types of batteries when I order them...


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