Multipin camera connectors – fiddle at your peril

It may seem tempting to roll your own multi-way
camera cable to plug onto that big fat multiway connector on your studio camera
or camcorder, but beware…

If you have ever explored the cost of buying proper
multiway camera multicores you will know that they are EXTORTIONATE. The keen
VLOBLIVE techie may think (as I did) “aha, I don’t need all those cores and all
those video signals, I just need power and video. I’ll make my own DIY camera
cable instead and save
megabucks”.

Well, you can think that,
but the reality is far less appealing. There are several reasons why this is a
bad idea.

1. The connectors themselves
are extortionate too!

2. There is no standard
for how to wire the connectors

3. It is VERY
VERY easy to get things wrong and blow up your camera – I got the power and gnd
reversed and fried the camera power (yes, I would have thought in a camera that
cost thousands of pounds new they would have put in reverse polarity protection,
but apparently not!)

4. Even if you get the
connectors wired, your mission is doomed, as, unless you also have a matching
camera control unit (which also has a big multiway connector), you can’t tell
the camera to start sending signals down the cable. The CCU talks to the camera
and tells it to use the multiway connector. Otherwise most of the signals on the
connector are dead. At least that is the conclusion of hours of headscratching
on my part.

Oh well. Nice
try.

Dave

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