Tally light system

Questions about ATEM Switchers, Camera Converter and everything live!
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disco_al

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  • Real Name: Alan Buckler

Tally light system

PostThu Aug 02, 2018 5:20 pm

We have recently upgraded our live High School TV Studio switcher from a Datavideo SE-800 to the Blackmagic ATEM Television Studio Pro HD.

I would like some assistance in order to get camera tally lights for our new setup.

In our old Tally light setup we did the following:
DATAVIDEO SE-800 - via RS232 cable to - RMC-140 (Tally/Preview Box) - to - TD-1 (on-camera tally light mounted to Panasonic cameras).

What are our options when it comes to getting on-camera tally lights with the ATEM Television Studio Pro HD?

We are using new Canon XA15 cameras. I am okay with buying new equipment (besides cameras) to get this to work. If we can still use the TD-1 on-camera tally lights that would be a plus.

I see that there is a unit we may need to purchase, the Blackmagic Design GPI & Tally Interface for ATEM Production Switchers (MFR # SWTALGPI8) but I am still unsure what we would need to purchase after buying this item in order to use on-camera tally lights.

If there is a way for the Blackmagic Design GPI & Tally Interface to communicate with the Datavideo RMC-140 (Tally/Preview Box) then that would be great.

Thank you all for any help you can give,
Alan
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Knut Bussian

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Re: Tally light system

PostThu Aug 02, 2018 6:11 pm

Hi Alan,

you could of course buy a BMD GPI and Tally interface and make some cables for it. Making cables is mandatory, since there are no ready made ones to buy afaik.

Or you could buy (for about the same price as one BMD interface) a wireless solution like Cerevo flextally. They have a set with four tally lights and a base station which is simply connected via ethernet cable to the Atem switcher.
Works like a breeze for us and pretty far, too! We get around 350 feet line of sight. Of course you woll need to charge the lights though. They last about 5-6 hours, depending on how long each one is in preview or program. Yes, they have green lights for preview and red for program. Furthermore, you can dim them.

Cheers,
Knut
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Thomas Seewald

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Re: Tally light system

PostFri Aug 03, 2018 2:18 pm

You can still use the TD1 modules and the cables. TD1 modules are some LEDs and some resistors - not more and not less. At Datavideo-Homepage you can find a circuit diagram for testing the modules (exactly for the actual model TD-3, which is compatible). Replace the switches with a relay output. The relais an be controlled by an Arduino, which read the ATEM state like a BM tally box, but also with green ligtht ;-) . Hey, you work at a high school. So you will find some guys, who can dot it as a DIY project. The material costs round about 100,- € (Arduino, Ethernet shield, 2 8-channel relais shields or one 16 channel relais shield, a box and some connectors and cables).The program code can be found on internet (or write me a PM - my ATEM-Datavideo-ITC100 adapter does exactly the same).

I‘m not sure, but maybe you can look to my post at german BM user group on facebook.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/BMD.GERMAN.ATEM.USERS

Edit: I also found an old manual with a TD1circuit at 5V. Im pretty sure, some resistors and transistors could do the same work as the relais and are much smaller and quiet....

Edit 2: I made a test. My TD-3 runs with approx 20 mA. So it is near to maximum power at Arduino output-pins. Maybe it is enough power, maybe an amplification would be necessary. I also don‘t know the maximum distance with 5V. I also tried a ULN 2803, but it switches to ground, but TD-unit has common ground....A circuit switching to +5V (or what ever) is needed. Sorry, my knowlege with electronic is basic, but there wil be a cheep and small solution.

Edit 3: with short cables, my TD-3 run directly with the Arduino. I set the resistors on a value, the TD-3 takes 15mA.
thos-berlin - Thomas S e e w a l d
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disco_al

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Re: Tally light system

PostTue Aug 07, 2018 5:57 pm

Thank you for the replies. I am hopeful of finding a solution 'out of the box'. Something like the Cerevo Flex Tally would be great.

Does anybody out there have any other suggestions of something similar to the Flex Tally? As in, an out-of-the-box tally solution for the ATEM Television Studio Pro HD?

Thanks again for any help,
Alan
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Adam Grunseth

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Re: Tally light system

PostWed Aug 08, 2018 5:36 am

As far as ready-to-go, out of the box solutions for tally lights for ATEM switchers, you might want to look at the Tally Box System from Skaarhoj.

Though, considering the tally hardware you already own, I really think the best option for you still might be the GPI & Tally Interface from Blackmagic. Yes, you would have to do a little bit of wiring, but it isn't all that complicated in the general scheme of things. Being a high school studio, it seems like you should have a large talent pool of students and teachers to utilize. Someone, I would think, should be confident enough when it comes to electronics to help you out.
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Thomas Seewald

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Re: Tally light system

PostThu Aug 09, 2018 1:23 pm

In the german ATEM facebook group, some people uses FlexiTally with success. But as I and Adam already wrote: You can use existing infrastructure and save money in using talents from your students and teachers. The needed ATEM library comes from Skaarhoj, he built for his needs, because his first ATEM-controller and additional units were Arduino based.

Using the BM GPI/Tally box (I think, only red light is supported) or the Skaarhoj version (I don‘t know, it it is already in stock Edit: it is: ETH-GPI) you only need an additional power supply (and some resistors and mini-jack sockets ) to use them for the old TD1 Tally lights.
thos-berlin - Thomas S e e w a l d
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disco_al

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Re: Tally light system

PostMon Aug 13, 2018 8:00 pm

I may not be able to purchase the Cerevo FlexTally system and so I am looking into the GPI & Tally box option (I am fine with only the Red light being supported). As you can probably tell, I am not confident in my own electrical abilities to know what I'm doing, but I am willing to both learn and find some local talent to assist. I therefore need to know what questions to ask my local helpers.

I am of course happy to purchase the BM GPI & Tally unit, but after that step I have no real idea how to go between this unit and the TD-1 tally lights. From what I've gathered so far, I cannot use JUST a custom cable to go from the BM Tally Unit to my existing Datavideo RMC-140 tally box. This RMC-140 has a power supply and has the necessary mini-jack sockets to connect to the TD-1 tally lights. The input however is a 9-pin RS-232, which is how it communicated to the Datavideo SE-800, BUT I don't think I can create a custom cable BY ITSELF to run from the BM Tally Unit to this unit. I think I need some kind of 'Arduino' or other (powered) control unit, and this unit will take the place of the RMC-140. I have no idea how to build this unit myself, and if I'm to approach someone with the challenge I'm unsure of what else they will need to know.

I plan to share this thread with whoever I find locally to assist me so they can see your responses.

Thanks for all of the advice so far, I really appreciate the help!
Alan
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Joseph Villegas

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Re: Tally light system

PostMon Aug 13, 2018 11:30 pm

Thomas Seewald wrote:In the german ATEM facebook group, some people uses FlexiTally with success. But as I and Adam already wrote: You can use existing infrastructure and save money in using talents from your students and teachers. The needed ATEM library comes from Skaarhoj, he built for his needs, because his first ATEM-controller and additional units were Arduino based.

Using the BM GPI/Tally box (I think, only red light is supported) or the Skaarhoj version (I don‘t know, it it is already in stock Edit: it is: ETH-GPI) you only need an additional power supply (and some resistors and mini-jack sockets ) to use them for the old TD1 Tally lights.


With the Cerevo Flex Tally, you don't need the BM GPI/Tally box

I mean, for the BM GPI/Tally box price, you can get the box and 4 wireless tally lights.

Sound interesting for me..

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