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Latest Innovations – Broadcast RF Fibre Extension System

Broadcast RF Fibre Base Unit

Latest Innovations – Broadcast RF Fibre Extension System

When engineering a wireless camera system the receive position in a venue is often not at the OB Compound and the HD-SDI from the wireless camera receiver has to be delivered, over cable or fibre, to the OB truck. This means the receiver is not under direct control of, or even observation by, the truck engineers. Also local mains power (and genlock) has to be provided for the receiver and possibly the receiver will require waterproofing.

An alternative to this scenario is to carry the received RF signals over fibre back to the receiver installed in the OB truck. The only items that then need to be rigged in the venue are the receive antennas and the waterproof fibre remote adaptor box. This can be powered via a SMPTE fibre (the same as a standard camera fibre cable) with the RF signals also being carried down this fibre cable. There are a few such systems commercially available but none provided all the facilities that Broadcast RF required.

Due to the difficulty of finding a commercial product that exactly fitted their needs Broadcast RF decided to design and develop their own system, in house.

The design brief included the following requirements:
●Ability to operate over +500m of SMPTE fibre cable.
●Option of using a single core of ST or E2000 fibre, with local battery or mains power.
●Ability to carry RS485 data from base unit to remote unit for the camera data transmitter.
●Ability to carry Ethernet connectivity for WiFi based camera control systems.
●The base unit should be 19” rack mount.
●The remote unit should be rugged and waterproof.

The Base Unit is 1U in height and half-width meaning 2 units can be mounted alongside each other in a standard 19” rack. The SMPTE connector can be moved to the rear panel of the unit if required. The Remote Unit is built into a standard waterproof case which doubles as a transit & carry case for the antennas, filters, down-converters, cables etc. A foamed cut-out is provided to carry these items securely. Cut-outs in the side of the remote unit allow for cable ingress and an internal cable guide and foam-rubber sealing strip ensure the cables are not trapped by the lid when closing yet retain the rainproof properties of the case.

The base unit front panel display provides monitoring of the optical signal strength and internal temperature of the base unit. Also available will be monitoring of the remote unit internal temperature and SMPTE, local dc battery or mains psu voltage.

The inbuilt RS485 data transport facility can be configured to suit various manufacturers (Videosys, Link & Gigawave) camera control systems and, if dc capable, the data transmitter can also be powered from the remote unit via the SMPTE fibre.

Broadcast RF have 30 pairs of these units and recently deployed 26 of them at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil where they were used, for both the radio-camera and helicopter camera reception, to great effect. At the same time 2 systems were deployed at the Wimbledon Championships as part of our venue wide roving camera coverage. The remaining 2 systems are in weekly use receiving Sky Sports Rugby League touchline cameras.


  • Copyright Broadcast RF 2013