J9 and J10 on the Telex ADAM System

To use J9 and J10 for two additional connections for AZEdit or CLP sessions, it is first necessary to enable them for AZEdit or CLP and set the Baud rate.  In the Communications Setup page, the ADVANCED command button expands the dialog box to provide additional options to configure J9 and J10.  The complication with this stems from the need to first establish an on-line connection with the frame via J1 using an RS-232/null-modem connection. This is the only condition that allows the ADVANCED command button to appear in the communications setup screen. I have seen this before, but this morning I ran into it again and forgot that this was the case. I wasted a few minutes making sense of it all. Connecting via Ethernet will not allow the ADVANCED command button to appear.  Further, even when connected via J9 or J10, the ADVANCED button does not appear.

Does anyone out there use these connections on a regular basis?  Are there any other caveats which need to be understood? 

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Telecast TR6442i Initial Review

I received a pair of TR6442i units late yesterday   I say late to emphasis that I still arrived home in time for dinner as these units are ridiculously simple to use.  No menus, no PC to setup, just some clearly identified toggle switches to set the proper modes.

There are a few gotcha’s that were explained to me prior to the setup of the units which did save me time.  One point to note is that the single ST fiber, and the need for bi-directional information, requires a matching set, a “-15” and a “-13” in the model number for the light wave-length to cross-over properly.

The other point  is to really pay attention to the wiring of the RJ-45 connector on the rear-panel.  They are exactly as they say.  On a previous blog post, I spoke of the 568B v s. USOC and how the mingling of the two can wreck havoc on an otherwise fine day.  USOC is an RJ11/12 convention from years back.  RJ45 and 568B are also a common standard in data networks.  The Telex ADAM System (specifically the Zeus-III) mixes the two by wiring RJ45 connectors with the USOC pin-out.  If you don’t know this, the 6442 may appear to need “special’ cables, possibly inferring that Telecast made a design error.  They are not special as much as they are specific.  I have accommodated the RJ45/USOC issue with cables in my rental inventory so this was easy…just place the correct adapter on the ADAM XCP-32-DB9 and an RJ12 cable at the KP32 end and it worked without any issues.

As I mentioned to the factory guys at NAB, the plan of inserting an RJ11 into an RJ45 connector is not terribly cool…while it will mostly work, it is not “what was intended” so be careful to get the RJ12 centered.

I have not yet tried it as a 2-wire interface in the field, but when I demo’ed it at NBA in 2012 it worked very well.

This is a preliminary report..more to follow.


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USOC vs 568B Wiring

USOC vs. 568B

Since the early years of matrix intercoms systems, the McCurdy brand saw broad acceptance at the major broadcast networks in The United States.  It is 2012 in London and I am working with an engineer that refers to the Telex ADAM key-panels as “the McCurdy”. Telex purchased the McCurdy intercom product line and in 1996, when the ADAM DSP/TDM product first appeared in the U.S, it was bound to a McCurdy 9500 controller frame.  The software application was called CSEdit, a DOS program.

McCurdy featured the RJ-12 connector using the USOC (Universal Service Ordering

Code)  wiring convention.  Three unshielded twisted pairs: Audio talk (+/-), audio listen (+/-) and RS-485 data (+/-).

Enter computers and Ethernet.  The now ubiquitous RJ-45 connector used in Ethernet data networks is everywhere.  Intercom system which appeared on the market in later years featured the RJ-45 connector with the 568B wiring convention.  This convention established a data-rate and pair usage that is quite different from the RJ-11/12 (USOC) standard. (disclaimer: this blog entry is not intended to be a tutorial on the FCC 47 Part 68.  This is a pretty deep subject of nearly 160 pages)

Problems occur when the two wiring standards become intermingled.  The DC-continuity can actually line-up pin-for-pin sometimes, but it is the “splitting of pairs” that wrecks havoc with proper noise immunity and data integrity.  The twisting of the pairs may seem to some as insignificant, but it is a very critical element in the elimination of crosstalk and to the rejection of outside noise interference.

Since backward compatibility is a large part of the recipe for manufacturers to maintain customer loyalty, Telex developed the 1-RU, 32-port intercom system which they have named the “Zeus-III” with,  RJ-45 connectors but still wired to the USOC standard.  This allows an RJ-12 connector to plug into the Zeus using possibly pre-existing cables and key-panels.   One other ADAM System product from Telex features an RJ-45; this is the KP-32-CLD.  In an effort to remain compatible, the CLD is delivered from the factory as USOC but with internal jumpers it can be configured for 568B.

The problem is that Telex has not yet embraced the 568B as a complete option and the co-mingling of the two conventions, even within their own product line, is becoming a big problem.

1             Telex does not make any product that comes standard wired as 568B

2             That product uses an RJ-45 connector.

3             The use of an RJ-45 connector, in today’s world, that is not 568B is a problem waiting to happen

4             Since Telex is not presenting a solution in this area, other end-users and integrators are solving it with yet more incompatible schemes only adding to the confusion.

In conclusion, I would like to see Telex approach this situation proactively and establish a standard. Even if the standard is not yet ready, let the industry know that the situation is being addressed.

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Making my own cables

While working as a Communications Engineer on most TV Mobile Units, it seems that I end up having to make my own UTP cables for use with external key-panels (Unless the panels use Coax, of course). I have tired of having to spend my high-dollar, limited time making cables that should already be made and tested…I don’t see the audio department sitting down and soldering XLR cables…or the utilities making SMPTE or Coax…no fun.

And further, as the TV compounds grow ever more elaborate with power and what not, the UTP can’t stand-up to the interference. This can cause key-panels to have un-reliable operation which can lead to hours of trouble-shooting and worse, lost opportunity to use the key-panels when they are most necessary. When I managed TV trucks with matrix intercom systems back in the mid 1990’s, I built D-SUB-9 cables with Belden 8777, shielded 3-Pair cable. I had 100′ quad harnesses and lots of singles.

I want the Mobile TV facility providers to grow their capability to efficiently and consistently deliver a fully resolved solution. I do not see any reason that stands against this situation.

I would love to hear any comments on this subject.

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Thoughts on the Telex ADAM system

I really wish the ADAM system would report back the Headset and Mic-Mute state of a KP to the AZEdit software.  I can sort of cheat the Headset condition by using a UPL to trigger an un-used LED on the KP32 and then observe the LED indication on the KP page.  This does not help me on the MIC-MUTE issue.  I could have really used it a few minutes ago.

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Glensound and Telex Combined for a new Sports Commentary Unit

Glensound has “coined” the term “COIN” as the name of their newest product line, starting with the GT-013. COIN is a conjunction of COmmentary and INtercom, a hybrid device that combines the features of a commentator unit with an integrated ADAM DKP-4 Intercom Panel. For Dual-Ear applications, there is a LOCAL Input XLR-3F which is intended for the headphones with an L/BOTH/R switch. There is an RJ-45 INTERCOM connection configured to connect to an ADAM system, which is also a mono signal. I also do not see individual left/right ear volume controls or a balance control. I would like to see an internal block-diagram to better understand the signal routing capabilities.

This is a new concept on the market.

Any thoughts on the subject?

Check it out at http://www.glensound.com.uk

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Radiocom TR-825 exterior finish failure

A brand new Telex (Radiocom) TR-825 can have its exterior finish scrapped off with my fingernail. A piece of paper-tape or P-Touch label will remove the finish. I don’t know if it is technically a paint, powder-coat or what. This has been a problem with these units from early on. Maybe they should just sell them un-finished. I understand the case material is magnesium. It is very strong and light, but maybe difficult to paint.

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