The Connector Dilemma

First 35mm Camera

Although the SV7510 Instant Printer was no longer in the lineup, EPD was still pursuing the other Still Video products. In 1986, there was the SV9600 Transceiver (sent images over phone lines), the SV7500 SVF Multidisk Recorder, the SV6500 Color Thermal Printer, the SV5035 Slide to Video Carousel Device and a single disk SVF player by an OEM. A major problem I saw as a systems person, was that each of the four Kodak devices was using a different RGB connector than the others. Andy asked me to do a connector survey and report back. He also asked me to come up with a good image for the cover of the report, something that would catch attention. An instruction which I thought was a bit unusual but I did as I was told.

I was asked to make a recommendation for the connector to be standardized on, based on the findings of my survey. This was not well received by the various project managers, because it meant some of them would have to change the back panel configuration of their product to accommodate different connectors. I picked an excellent solution, or so I thought. One cable with a 6 pin DIN connector, instead of using four cables with BNC connectors. However, we ended up going with the EIAJ 8 pin, because the SV7500 already had a plastic housing designed for those connectors. Retooling would have been cost prohibitive. When it came time to have the cables made, they picked the cheapest place they could find to manufacture them. They were horrible, constantly breaking or not working because the soldering was crappy. As a result, many blamed the connector we selected, not the cable manufacturer, or worse, our products in general.

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