Update – January 2014: Wow, 3 years later this is still one of the most popular posts on this blog! I’ve had some questions about using this with the EVI-HD1, which has only RS-232 DIN ports. Theoretically, it should work, but you might need to alter some pinouts in the breakout box, and I would highly recommend using shielded/grounded cable, as RS-232 is an unbalanced signal. A reader is going to give it a try, and if it’s successful, I’ll update the post with some pictures.
Update – October 2021: It blows my mind that nearly 11 years later, this is still one of the most frequently visited posts on the site…
Now, back to our regularly scheduled blog post!
We recently acquired a few more of Sony’s excellent EVI-D70 cameras for use in our chapel for streaming weddings, funerals, and other events in our smaller worship space.
When we remodeled the space a few years back, it was originally designed with these cameras in mind. The original intent was to provide some additional angles for videographers to use, but the idea never really took off. Due to lack of use, the cameras originally installed were re-purposed for Resurrection Online in the main sanctuary. Things have come full circle now, and the ability to stream services and events from this space is being requested. As a result, we acquired some more cameras, and are in the process of updating the camera system in that room.
The original design used an AMX touchscreen/joystick controller and a custom integration over RS-232, with each camera homerun to the control rack. There were numerous difficulties with the cameras randomly freezing up and not responding to controls, requiring someone to get on a ladder and power-cycle the unit.
As part of the updated system, we’ve ditched the AMX controller and are using Sony’s RM-BR300 control unit which is designed for this particular camera. We also have user familiarity, since we already have one of these controllers in our main sanctuary for the BRC-H700 remote camera mounted on the catwalks (aka, the “SkyCam”). The controller can do Sony’s VISCA protocol over RS-232 (via a Mini-DIN) or RS-422 (via a Phoenix connector).
This is where it got sticky. We have an 8-conductor homerun cable from each camera position, but the Sony controller is designed to daisy-chain the VISCA ports. Each camera has two RS-232 Mini-DIN ports (one in, one out). Fortunately, both RS-422 and RS-232 in this application only require four wires, so we can loop out and back on the same cable.
Due to the annoyance factor of having to re-terminate Mini-DIN connectors, I opted for the RS-422 port which uses a Phoenix screw terminal (Part # 1840434 in case you need to order one – Sony wants an obscene amount of money for them, they’re dramatically cheaper at an electronics supplier like Mouser). RS-422 also has the advantage of much longer signal path due to its balanced signal. Since we’re also adding a new location, I wanted to be able to wire it up with standard Category 6 twisted-pair cabling. This cable also has eight conductors, making it ideal for the task. In terms of flexibility, RJ-45 is king in the twisted-pair world, so I had do design a means of daisy-chaining my VISCA ports via ordinary patch cords.
At first, I was a little baffled by the wiring of VISCA, since the RM-BR300 connector pinout is exactly backwards from that of the one on the cameras, and the documentation provided is a little confusing. Fortunately, the Sony POSC was quick to help and they e-mailed me a wiring diagram for this specific application (and were kind enough to allow me to post it. I translated that into two main components, a breakout box and a standard cable, that would work on either the controller or the cameras.
To make the cable, I simply took a patch cord off the shelf, lopped one end off, and terminated it on the Phoenix connector:
The wiring is as follows:
Now, you’ll notice my wiring diagram shows the orange pair on the first two, and the picture shows green. This is because I found out (after much frustration of tracing signals) that the patch cord I grabbed happened to be wired for 568A rather than the more common 568B. Simply swap orange and green if this is the case.
Once I got the cables sorted out, I then replicated Sony’s wiring diagram with a handful of data jacks. The connections go like this:
I used bits I had on the shelf, but I would recommend using a different jack color for the control input so you don’t get it confused. Once I got it wired up, this is what I had (I colored the control jack black with a Sharpie):
Even if this install only has three cameras, I wired it up for five, to fill a six-way biscuit box that I had on the shelf (these are Lucent/Avaya components):
.. and put the lid on it with some labels:
As for the hookup, set the DIP switches on the bottom of the controller and the cameras to use RS-422 and either 9600 or 38400 bps, and hook them up. Note that they must be in sequence, or the whole chain will be broken if you skip a slot. Plug a camera into #1, it will be #1 on the controller after they self-enumerate on startup, in order of closest to farthest on the chain. Connecting a camera will cause the controller to re-initialize.
I used a biscuit box, but you could also use a modular patch panel to do the same thing. I hope to use a second category 6 run with an S-Video termination on it (2 pairs) and power (other 2 pairs) so that the whole system can run off a standard 2-cable pull.
Great info. I’m trying to do something similar with two BRC-300 and two EVI-D30’s. I have to use RS-232 because of the D30’s and not sure the controller can handle different types of cameras at the same time.
The controller manual says that it will disable RS-232 if it detects anything on the 422 line. So, no, you can’t do both. 422 can go a lot farther though.
You should be able to do something similar with RS-232, since on VISCA, only 4 wires are used there as well.
What did you do with the Ground? or do you rely on the power for the grounding??
Tying to earth ground at each camera location – although it worked quite well on the test bench without it. That works better on RS-422 than RS-232 because of 422’s balanced signals.
I’d like to do 422 and get away from the mini-din 8 connectors, but if I want incorporate the older EVI-D30s, which don’t do 422 and only have a mini-din connection, I’m stuck. Right now I’m trying to figure out if the controller can run RS-232 with two different types of cameras. Where did you find your biscuit box?
Yes, the controller will run mixed cameras on RS-232, as long as the mode switch (rotary one on the back) is in Auto mode (position A).
The biscuit box I had was a lucent/avaya box, but any vendor will work. Equivalent boxes:
Systimax (formerly Lucent/Avaya, this is the one I used)
There are other manufacturers, but those are the major ones.
I’m trying to do the same think w/a D30 camera with no Phoenix connector. I cannot see the diagrams above, so my question is….Using 568B, which cat5 conductors terminate with the R, G, B and Black of the visca wire?
Having some technical difficulties with the images on the blog, apparently. I’m not familiar with the VISCA wire itself – is that the RS-232 Mini-DIN?
Great info, thanks. The part number on the Phoenix connector is typoed… 184034 should be 1840434. But it almost doesn’t matter as nobody carries them. I improvised by ordering a 6 and 3 position connector from Digikey ( they stock those), and glueing them together. 1840379 and 1840305.
Mouser stocks them:
http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Phoenix-Contact/1840434/?qs=5Spfce2jDh79Ycia9DrbBA%3d%3d, page 1684 of their catalog if the link doesn’t work. Thanks for the catch on the typo. I’ll update the post.
What are you using for ground
Hi! This is a great idea and we want to try it.
On the EVI-D70’s, do you know if you can access an on-screen menu to set colors and white balance?
I don’t know if the camera has an onscreen menu, but those functions can be controlled via the serial ports.
Hoping you or anyone on here has some advice. I have 4 EVI-D100 and a RM-BR300. All of them are brand new. I bought a VISCA cable (RS-232 Mini-DIN) and connected the BR300 directly to the VISCA “in” port on the D100. I clicked the power & reset buttons to auto detect the camera but no matter what I do I cannot get the camera to respond to anything. I’ve fiddled with it for two days and I can’t seem to get any kind of signal. I have read the manual and flipped the dip switches to the correct settings but all to no avail. Any advice or help?
It’s possible you have a bad cable, If it doesn’t work at 38400bps try linking it up at 9600bps on both ends, and see if that works. If that doesn’t work, you should be able to make yourself a direct RS422 cable using the phoenix connectors and a bit of scrap Cat5 wire.
Ian thanks for the quick reply. I tried both baud rates on the BR300 but I couldn’t figure out how to change it on the camera. I’m ordering another cable to see if that does anything. Now if that does not work, can RS422 be converted to RS232? Unlike the D70, the D100 only has RS232 ports on the back.
I’m not familiar with the D30, but on the D70, there is a really tiny set of dip switches on the bottom for switching between baud rates and protocol, as well as image flip.
May also be worth a call to Sony, their support for this stuff is actually pretty good.
Great thank you for your help.
so, my church believes in getting away in buying china crap, and they will not buy the RM-br300, i have came across a controller that they want, here is the link :http://amzn.com/B005ZXDVSU do you think this controller will work for its cheep price?
I doubt it will work with the Sony cameras – it appears to be set up to control security PTZ cameras. You might be able to get it to work with some extensive programming, but I wouldn’t count on it.
We are also considering the same controller or equal ones. There are plenty to be found on the internet. Did you/they bought this controller? Were you able to get it up and running?
If it supports RS-422, it should technically work, but what you’ll save on an actual VISCA controller you’ll end up spending on someone to program it.
So a controller that can handle VISCA, like http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/667527150/Keyboard_Joystick_Controller_For_PTZ_Camera.html or http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/625507373/camera_controller_video_conference_equipment_visca.html would do the job without additional programming?
Have you done a biscuit box yet for the s-video and power? I am very interested in seeing what you came up with!
so how are you running the svideo and power?
look for the Telemetrics CP-ITV controller or Telesoft software
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Do you know if this controller will work with the
EVI-H100S PTZ Camera?
As far as I know, yes. Sony’s pretty good about making it work with all their PTZ gear.
For anyone else that finds this thread, I just connected 2 EVI-H100S cameras to a RM-BR300 controller tonight. Works flawlessly!
Hi…as you have done, I have tried but I could not build the cable to work for a H100S (rs422)
I was looking at the Avue controller to run the Sony H100s.
How tough is it to program visca protocol into the controller.
Have you figured out how to do this with the Sony BRC-Z330 HD cameras? They have a different RS 422 pin-out than the SD cameras do.
I just picked up 3 Sony EVI-D30 cameras and am using a Telemetrics CP-ITV-D100 controller. When I purchased the controller the person who I purchased them from made me an extendable cable Visca DIM8 to CAT5 then used a DB9 to RJ45 adapter. Now the only issue I have is this. I would also like it to be POE. Do you know how this is done and if there is a wiring diagram explaining how it is done?
how about detailing your extended cable? I am trying to integrate a PTZ controller that has RS-232 and RS-422 outputs but the cameras (3 of them) are of EVI-D30 flavor, NO 9 pin VISCA connector, only Mini-DIN 8 IN/OUT connectors. Help, thanks David
Thanks for an awesome much needed post.
Please do let us know about the HD1 connections. I have a setup with 2 x HD1 and 1 x BRC300 and want to use the RM-BR300 controller with it. All the Cameras have home runs and I don’t have the option to run another wire to the cameras. We were using Telemetrics CP-ITV-D100 controller but it doesn’t have the option to turn ON/OFF so we wanted to move to Sony RM-BR300 or Vaddio ProductionView controller. The perfect replacement would have been the ProductionView since it has seperate ports for each camera but the price point was really high so we decided to get a RM-BR300 instead.
Looking forward to the solution.
For people who are looking for a biscuit box, maybe there is something cheaper out there. 🙂
This is very informative. One question I have is what about the ground pin #5. Grounding is not required?
I read somewhere that grounding is needed to not having issue with image quality. Another question I have is how do you connect at the camera Phoenix connector? the same as your wiring above for all cameras (or use the Sony connection layout?). This posting is very helpful, I have 1 camera works, now I am trying to get the remaining cameras connected (only 3 cameras for now). Thanks for your post.
I forgot to ask about S-video termination and power, were you successful in doing that? Sony power end is a little different from standard CCTV, did you manage to make it work. Thanks again.
Will the wiring shown here work with my RCC1000 Camera Controller?
Just built one of these boxes, although I have a question.
Will be using a rs422 to fiber converter for one camera, but the connection is a 9pin dsub.
Do you have wiring diagram for rj45 to dsub for use with the box?
Thanks in advance!
I have the RMBR300 controler, 2 x BRC300 and 1 x EVI D70. I’ve made a similar setup as the biscuit box. The BRC’s work perfectly. The D70 only has pan, tilt and zoom control. I can’t seem to control the exposure or focus. It seems like it’s stuck in full auto, or something like that. can anyone shed any light on this?
thanks in advance.
Help!!! Can someone sell please me this box or tell me where I can purchase one? I need one asap!
Help!!! Can someone please sell me one of these boxes, or tell me where I can purchase one? I need one asap!
Question: I’ve looked at your blog, but all the pictures are missing. Would you please repost or add them and let me know once they are online? I’d love to be able to wire up the cameras for my own church. Thanks!
I don’t understand to connect the camera 2.
For the first camera (camera 1), I connected :
1 -> 3
2 -> 6
3 -> 1
6 -> 2
I still 2 pairs (4,5,7,8). With this pairs, when I connected an other RJ45 with (camera 2) :
4 -> 6 (second RJ)
5 -> 3 (second RJ)
7 -> 1 (second RJ)
8 -> 2 (second RJ)
But, when I tried to control my cameras, I can control the camera 1, but not camera 2.
I don’t understand how have you connected the RJ’s (blurred photo).
Can you help me ?
Thanks you in advance
I have been doing a project for another set up recently, a good size budget helped , but even so the solution we ended up delivering to the client was fantastic.
We found that the RM controller is sloppy and not good enough , so we had a demo of the Telemetrics RCCP-1 using their DS-4 protocol interface for 3rd Party PTZ cameras , ( not only the Sony ) .
So it allows a home run set up of as many as 16 cameras on the controller and will switch video on the camera selection too using ethernet connection to the router and set up in the controller was easy .
then we used 4 x DS-4 units to create an IP address for the VISCA connected cameras , the DS-4 has an IP address of 10.0.1.200 and each RS 9pin to VISCA connection is given a port number . so it ends up 10.0.1.200:3001 for camera 1 and 3002 for camera 2 and so on… the other DS-4 units have a different IP address 10.0.1201 .. then : / etc.
The RCCP-1 is amazing it has hard button shot recalls and a small though screen in the middle to give more that way , but the real nice feature is that it has an RCP GUI to adjust Iris and MB etc in real time for the selected camera.
Thanks you for posting your wiring diagram for the biscuit box. I am in the process of building one as I am sending you this.
I’m hopping you can help me a little further, I have 3 evi d70 cameras which I intend to control using your biscuit box method for recording amateur shows and plays at our local village hall, however the evi d70 commander software program I want to use requires a 9 pin rs422 serial connection to a laptop. Do you know if a serial connector in place of a rj45 on the controler lead will work and if so would you have any ides of the pin layout.
As long as the TX/RX signals line up right, the connector shouldn’t matter.
Thank you thank you thank you. I just purchased some BRC 300 s and well I am going to make the cables with Phoenix connectors to go in and out. Still need to figure out the wire diagram for that but I will also make a box like yours for more cameras. If you have any suggestions I am all ears. Could not get the connectors from Mouser even though everyone said the same thing. Found them on Amazon. Thank God. Have you tried siamese cables sdi with power? I will let you know how it works out. Thanks again for all this great info.
I want to do live with a PTZ camera on my computer I would like to know is it possible
Sure, as long as you have control over the PTZ and a way to capture the video into your computer.
I’m having a bit of an issue. Using a BRC-z700 and BR rm300. the wiring diagram above shows pin 1 on the phoenix connector as orange stripe. but the picture above it shows brown in pin 1. This is not the 528 a vs. b issue. Is the picture flipped horizontally? I couldn’t get it to work either way.
After reading this article I now have these cameras! I cannot afford one of the Sony keyboards just so expensive! Does the controller I but have to support visca? Or is the rs-422 the important bit? The reason I ask is I’ve bought a controller and the only protocol it didn’t have is visca. Where can I get that ethernet box thing you have?
RS422 is only the layer 2 protocol – VISCA is at a higher layer and defines the specific commands used to control the devices. RS-422 deals only with the signaling (You can run VISCA on RS-232 as well as over IP).
The box itself doesn’t do ethernet, it’s just a layer 1 (wiring) breakout to build the daisy chain inside.
I just connected 2 BRC‑H900and I do not understand why anyone would do the “daisy chain” non-sense.
Its just RS-422,just parallel them.
I have no problem.
Much of VISCA has gone to running over IP now (as it is an application-layer protocol which will run over several data-link layer protocols, such as RS422, RS432, and over IP/Ethernet).
We’d just tried doing a quick and dirty parallel configuration (per http://www.ti.com/lit/an/slla070d/slla070d.pdf, Figure 19) at our place where we manually addressed the cameras on separate data lines. On the plus side, simply splitting the first five lines of the controller output into two actually worked as far as basic controls (pan/tilt/zoom).
However, for some very strange reason, power on/off did NOT work. Cameras were unresponsive to a power off command until we isolated communication from one line to the other (via a 4PDT toggle switch I had optioned to short out with jumpers during normal operation).
Is this an explainable problem in parallel mode of RS-422? I couldn’t come up with any reasonable ideas except that maybe from a power command the cameras try to draw more power during shutdown, and combined, this was more than the controller was able to deliver?
Helping out my church who have a RM-BR300 controller. They’re using an older SD camera and just purchased a EVI-H100S. Haven’t installed the new camera yet, will do so shortly.
I read above (and on the Sony website) where the EVI-H100s model of camera is compatible with the RM-BR300. We’ll be connecting via RS422, as the old camera we have is RS422 controlled.
Question is: What the heck does “D70” mean on the bottom switches of the camera? I think it relates to a camera model number? But my camera is the EVI-H100s. Manual still refers to a “D70” dipswitch (#1 switch). Should that be set to on for my new camera? I realize switch #2 should be on for 422, but I’m really confused about the first “D70” switch.
What are they referring to?
Hi Ian, I haave 3 AIDA Cameras and a HUddleCamHD HC Joystick. The cameras are serial model and the Joystick is a Serial model. The Cameras has a RS232 in and out also has a RS422. this is the same with Joystick. I wish to connect this via a D-link through Ethernet Cat5, please advice. Do you think this will work, thanks
hello I have a controller (sony RM-BR300), a camera (sony BRC-H700) and another (sony Sony SRG-360SHE), the first one I control it by an adapter cable from VISCA 442 to rj45; I tried to connect the second jumper as instructed in manual but it does not work.
I have a question. We have a Sony RM-BR300 and a Sony EVI-HD1 that I was hoping to connect to it but the cable run is about 200ft, which I think is a little far for RS-232C. I currently have a shielded Extron DTP twisted pair cable running to the location terminated as T-568B. So my question is am I wrong about it being to far for RS-232 or should I try and run RS-422 for distance and use a RS-232C converter at the camera end? Will the second option work reliably? I haven’t had to use an RS-422 to RS-232C converter before.
You might have better luck doing RS232 over IP, although 200 feet is nothing for RS232. Depending on bitrate, 232 can go thousands of feet. If you’re using shielded cable, 200 feet should be easy for 232 to handle (heck, you can run gigabit ethernet at that distance) – although the proper test would be to put a 232 console on the far end and check the quality of the data.
OK, great! I originally thought it could run for several hundred feet but some of what I was reading was saying 100ft (30m) was the max and a little farther if it’s shielded.
I don’t have an RS232 console available so I’ll just have to thoroughly test the devices I guess. Thanks!
I’ve heard of running RS232 for a couple thousand feet over barbed wire… Granted, it was only 300bps, but it worked.
So, I can;t seem to get an answer to this from either Sony or Panasonic. Would it be possible to connect an EVI-H100 to a Panasonic RP60 controller using RS422? Do you think it would work well?
I have 3 (sometimes 5) BRC-H700 and am tired of daisy chaining the 8-pin din for the RS232 port. I purchased VISCA Extendable Daisy Chain Camera Control Cable for Sony EVI/BRC/SRG Series RS232 from Wirenest. Does your system work with my configuration.
If so, do you sell your wired setup?
Hi- I have a SONY MRBR-300 camera controller which connects to the keyboard with a Visca RS422 9 pin adapter like the image at the top of the page. However, I can’t seem to find someone who carries these. Any suggestions?
University of Oregon
School of Music and Dance
Those are known as “Phoenix connectors”, and should be readily available from any good electronics supply house.
we just purchased a Sony SRG-300H camera to add to our setup of BRS-200 controller and BRC-300 camera. We are using RS-422 control wiring.
The problem that we are having is that we need to use exposure comp, works fine on the BRC-300 camera but not on the new one SRG-300H.
What happens is when I turn the knob on the BRS-200 for exposure comp is just defaults to -7 and stays there, so then i have to go into the setup adjust back to zero and turn exposure comp off.
im trying to connect the rm-ip10 with multiple brc h800 using visca rs-422 but im not getting the wiring part
i tried using the diagram but i think im doing something wrong, is there a way someone can show me a pic of how im suppose to wire and connect them by any chance?
really appreciate the help
This topic is not dead ! (yet… 😉 )
Based on your schemes I finally managed to make a version of your box based on our hardware. We have 3 camera’s Sony BRC-Z330, an ATEM television studio 4K, which can control them, and a Huddlecam HD hc-joy-g3 which can control them better. I should be able to make it work now with almost any controller supporting VISCA on standard cat5 cabling. Biggest problem was figuring out the connections, because BRC-Z330 pinout is opposite to your cams. Anybody interested in my schemes and pictures, just ask. Kind regards, Kris.
I’m interested in schemes and pictures! Thanks
I am also interested in your schematics and pics for the adjustment you made with your cameras and controlling over the ATEM.
Thanks so much.