Boosting SDI over long distances with BMD Micro Converters

Questions about ATEM Switchers, Camera Converter and everything live!
  • Author
  • Message
Offline

LiamHopley

  • Posts: 2
  • Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:43 am
  • Real Name: Liam Hopley

Boosting SDI over long distances with BMD Micro Converters

PostTue Apr 06, 2021 9:53 am

We have a client who requires our cameras to be around 400m away from our ATEM but we are not in a position to splash out for fibre. We are wondering whether it would be possible to 'boost' our 80m SDI cables using BMD SDI to HDMI 3G Micro Converters?

In theory, this should work as we have tested:
Camera > 80m SDI > Converter > 80m SDI > Converter > 80m SDI > ATEM
This works fine.

My question would be whether anyone has tried this with longer runs and more converters (say, 5xSDI cables/Converters). Is it stable?
Offline

Asgeir Hustad

  • Posts: 172
  • Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:13 am
  • Location: Norway

Re: Boosting SDI over long distances with BMD Micro Converte

PostTue Apr 06, 2021 4:04 pm

I'd ask around to rent a fibre solution, especially if this is a one-off project.

Your plan would work, but requires power at each converter location, will introduce a lot more delay to your signal (might not be an issue) and provides a lot more points of failure.
Offline
User avatar

David_Anderson

  • Posts: 321
  • Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:24 pm

Re: Boosting SDI over long distances with BMD Micro Converte

PostWed Apr 07, 2021 7:51 pm

My experience with the Micro Converters is they had issues with any SDI cable longer than 50' and aren't really designed as boosters and I have no clue if they would even function this way using the SDI through.

No matter what, trying to run SDI at 400m is likely to be problematic.

I agree with the previous poster that your best option is to rent a fiber solution. Depending on where you live there may be people here that can help you.

Best,

David
David Anderson
Leading Edge Multimedia
https://leadingedgemultimedia.com
(888) 336-LEMM
Offline

Howard Roll

  • Posts: 1225
  • Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 7:50 am

Re: Boosting SDI over long distances with BMD Micro Converte

PostWed Apr 07, 2021 8:17 pm

I don't know what a "booster" is, I reckon y'all are referrring to a re-clocker. The re-clocker in theses units should be good for 100m @3G. If the signal is only travelling 50' before pooping out I'd have a look at the cable or termination, something is wrong.

Good Luck
Offline
User avatar

David_Anderson

  • Posts: 321
  • Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:24 pm

Re: Boosting SDI over long distances with BMD Micro Converte

PostWed Apr 07, 2021 8:30 pm

The OP used the term "boost". The Micro Converters as far as I can tell aren't designed as amplifiers.

The micro converters seemed to work ok with cables to about 50'. The mini converters worked to about 200' with the same cable. No issues with bad cable or termination.

OP wants to go 400m. Some of the better amplifiers are only good for 100m. Fiber is the best solution and takes away many points of failure.

Best,

David

Howard Roll wrote:I don't know what a "booster" is, I reckon y'all are referrring to a re-clocker. The re-clocker in theses units should be good for 100m @3G. If the signal is only travelling 50' before pooping out I'd have a look at the cable or termination, something is wrong.

Good Luck
David Anderson
Leading Edge Multimedia
https://leadingedgemultimedia.com
(888) 336-LEMM
Offline

Asgeir Hustad

  • Posts: 172
  • Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:13 am
  • Location: Norway

Re: Boosting SDI over long distances with BMD Micro Converte

PostWed Apr 07, 2021 9:43 pm

David_Anderson wrote:My experience with the Micro Converters is they had issues with any SDI cable longer than 50' and aren't really designed as boosters and I have no clue if they would even function this way using the SDI through.


50 feet????

Then you're using bad quality SDI. 1694a is rated for at minimum 100 meters at 1080i, and a lot of gear quotes more than 100m at 1080p with that cable.

I'm regularly running 80m-110m runs at 1080i with 1694f (flexible variant of 1694a), have only had to do 50m at 1080p or higher so far.
Offline

Howard Roll

  • Posts: 1225
  • Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 7:50 am

Re: Boosting SDI over long distances with BMD Micro Converte

PostWed Apr 07, 2021 10:20 pm

David_Anderson wrote:The Micro Converters as far as I can tell aren't designed as amplifiers.


The 3G Micro converters have re-clockers, SDI doesn't use boosters or amplifiers per-se, a distribution amplifier is a re-clocker. They are used to reshape/reclock the square wave for re-transmission rather than boost or amplify in the analog sense.

Good Luck

time.png
time.png (84.23 KiB) Viewed 247 times
Offline
User avatar

David_Anderson

  • Posts: 321
  • Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:24 pm

Re: Boosting SDI over long distances with BMD Micro Converte

PostFri Apr 09, 2021 1:50 am

http://www.clarkwire.com/cableCD7506P.htm - this is the cable I use.

Maybe a bad batch? Exact same cable with Mini Converters worked out to 250' at 1080P 59.94. Maybe bad converters?

Either way my recommendation is the same, fiber is the best solution for a 400M run. I've never had good luck with long run SDI and I frequently have cable needs that exceed 400M. I run fiber for basically everything and only run SDI for connections to cameras at the end of the fiber.

Best,

David



Asgeir Hustad wrote:
David_Anderson wrote:My experience with the Micro Converters is they had issues with any SDI cable longer than 50' and aren't really designed as boosters and I have no clue if they would even function this way using the SDI through.


50 feet????

Then you're using bad quality SDI. 1694a is rated for at minimum 100 meters at 1080i, and a lot of gear quotes more than 100m at 1080p with that cable.

I'm regularly running 80m-110m runs at 1080i with 1694f (flexible variant of 1694a), have only had to do 50m at 1080p or higher so far.
David Anderson
Leading Edge Multimedia
https://leadingedgemultimedia.com
(888) 336-LEMM
Offline
User avatar

David_Anderson

  • Posts: 321
  • Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:24 pm

Re: Boosting SDI over long distances with BMD Micro Converte

PostFri Apr 09, 2021 1:58 am

Appreciate the clarification. I don't use SDI for long runs so it's never been something I've looked into. As I have already posted - for a 400m run I'd say fiber is going to be the undeniable winner. I'd look at renting the gear vs risking 5x5 cables/converters and power locations.

It's interesting that the Micros have re-clockers on the loop output which will allow them to work as the OP suggested.

Best,

David

Howard Roll wrote:
David_Anderson wrote:The Micro Converters as far as I can tell aren't designed as amplifiers.


The 3G Micro converters have re-clockers, SDI doesn't use boosters or amplifiers per-se, a distribution amplifier is a re-clocker. They are used to reshape/reclock the square wave for re-transmission rather than boost or amplify in the analog sense.

Good Luck

time.png
David Anderson
Leading Edge Multimedia
https://leadingedgemultimedia.com
(888) 336-LEMM
Offline
User avatar

David_Anderson

  • Posts: 321
  • Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:24 pm

Re: Boosting SDI over long distances with BMD Micro Converte

PostFri Apr 09, 2021 2:02 am

Wouldn't distance be dependent on the cable used? RG6, 59 or 11?

Best,

David

Howard Roll wrote:I don't know what a "booster" is, I reckon y'all are referrring to a re-clocker. The re-clocker in theses units should be good for 100m @3G. If the signal is only travelling 50' before pooping out I'd have a look at the cable or termination, something is wrong.

Good Luck
David Anderson
Leading Edge Multimedia
https://leadingedgemultimedia.com
(888) 336-LEMM
Offline

LiamHopley

  • Posts: 2
  • Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:43 am
  • Real Name: Liam Hopley

Re: Boosting SDI over long distances with BMD Micro Converte

PostFri Apr 09, 2021 7:43 am

Thanks all for the discussion. As I mentioned in my original post, fibre isn’t an option for us yet hence the question. We are going to do some real-world testing on Monday of 5 lengths of SDI at 85m with 4 micro converters (powered by usb battery packs) to reclock the signal. We’ll be testing across 6/7 hours so I should be able to report back after Monday!

(For those interested, we will be using a mixture of Belden 1694F and Image 1000 Stranded cable)
Offline

MambaFiber.com

  • Posts: 830
  • Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2013 5:26 pm
  • Location: SLC, UT

Re: Boosting SDI over long distances with BMD Micro Converte

PostFri Apr 09, 2021 3:45 pm

David_Anderson wrote:Wouldn't distance be dependent on the cable used? RG6, 59 or 11?

Maybe, if the cable was the only component involved. But there is a chip that transmits on one end, and a chip that receives on the other end. Some circuits do better than others, and I have many devices (non-BMD) that can far surpass the SDI on paper spec, and a few that don't even come close to meeting it. Don't forget your connectors-are they the correct flavor for this signal? Finally, just because cable is RG-whatever doesn't mean it does well with a digital signal at a given distance. And even if it does, crush the cable by stepping on it in the middle, or let the connector get snagged while you rolled it up last show and that number is suddenly 1/2 of what it was.

At the end of the day, I don't believe any published spec totally, marketing is-well marketing. Do your own tests with the actual gear and see where you get. If it works be happy, if not you'll need another plan. IMO 400m is really asking for trouble on copper.
Greg Bellotte - owner
MambaFiber.com
FaceBook.com/MambaFiber
Offline
User avatar

Xtreemtec

  • Posts: 4643
  • Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:48 am
  • Location: The Netherlands

Re: Boosting SDI over long distances with BMD Micro Converte

PostFri Apr 09, 2021 5:41 pm

Fiber is the only real good solution in these cases!!

That many cables and that lengths is just asking for trouble with that many points of failure....
Daniel Wittenaar .:: Xtreemtec Media Productions ::. -= www.xtreemtec.nl =-
4K OBV Trailer, ATEM TVS HD, 4M/E Broadcast Studio 4K, Constelation 8K, Hyperdeck Studio 12G, Ursa Broadcast 4K, 4K fiber converters with Sony Control

Return to Live Production

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Tim Polster and 29 guests