QED Engineering Rack

Overview

The Engineering Rack provides full control for the four onboard camera channels and monitoring for other sources and system controls.

Camera Channels
The rack is designed around the popular Sony HXC-100 camera system. Four HXCU-100 CCUs are permanently mounted in the rack and all facilities are provided. Industry standard Lemo 4M connectors are provided on the rear of the rack for triax connection to the camera heads.

For the camera operators, independent Production and Engineering communications circuits are provided, and a custom QED tally system allows fully configurable red and green tallies to be routed to the cameras as required. All camera channels are provided with two Production Audio channels, the levels of which can be set by each individual camera operator as preferred.

All audio output links are provided in the patchbays, allowing the cameras' XLR audio channels to be linked to the sound department if required. This can be a huge time saver if audio is required from a remote camera location, by providing a pair of audio paths down each camera triax rather than laying in additional audio cables.

Four channels of return video are available to each camera - two HD-SDI and two composite video. The two HD-SDI returns for each camera are assignable via the rack's matrix, allowing each operator to have their own preferred return feeds. Access to the composite video returns are via the rear patchbay should they be required. A system-wide 'prompter' composite video input is also provided should a teleprompting feed be required at or near any camera position.

Camera Control
Four Sony RCP-1500 Remote Control Panels are provided on an angled, pull-out drawer. These provide all standard controls over the camera channels. A custom QED touchdown interface allows switching of the main engineering monitor from the joystick touchdown or preview buttons on the RCPs as would be expected plus an option for momentary or latched monitor switching operation to the engineer's preference.

Monitoring
A TVLogic Grade 1 17" engineering monitor is provided. This may be switched using the RCP touchdown controller, or via the adjacent matrix control panel as preferred. Standard waveform monitors and a Vectorscope are in-built for signal analysis, however for more critical applications a BlackMagic Ultrascope is also built into the rack to provide full broadcast 'scopes and monitoring on an external computer connected via USB3. A further six 5" monitors are provided via a pair of TVLogic PRM-503s, primarily for source monitoring of the cameras, but any source can be assigned to any monitor via the matrix.

Communications
An RTS Zeus IIILE digital communications matrix features in the Engineering rack. This fully programmable matrix provides comms support for the cameras, keypanels in all HD PPU racks as well as external keypanels and devices, including support for two channels of two-wire comms. The Zeus III allows maximum flexibility and straightforward integration into other comms systems - for example, links to a two-wire 'show' ring to allow communications between PPU operators and a show caller. The panel to the rear has been designed for ease of connection to comms panels; connections to other RTS keypanels is via standard Cat5 cable and breakouts have been provided on the panel to permit easy connection of IEM wireless systems for presenter earpieces. One port has been specifically wired to interface with HME wireless talkback systems in order to provide seamless integration of wireless comms into the PPU system. Two channels of Programme Audio are also injected into the comms system, allowing each operator to set their own level of programme audio as desired.

Control
Two rack-mounted Apple Mac minis are provided. These are set up to boot to either Mac OSX or Windows. The Windows environment provides all control software across the HD PPU racks, permitting set-up of the BlackMagic matrices, RTS comms, Lynx Technik frames, etc. Outputs from these Mac minis are switched via a KVM to the engineering monitor and a mouse and keyboard are provided in a pull-out tray below the RCPs.

All devices supporting Ethernet control are cabled via Ethernet hubs in their respective racks and a single Cat5 link between each rack is all that is required to achieve full control from a single point. Of course control from an external laptop is also possible if preferred.

'Second Head' outputs from the Mac minis are provided via DVI connectors on the patchbay, which would permit their use as graphics sources into the vision mixer if required, and the usual graphics software (Keynote, PowerPoint, etc) is provided to support this. Stereo balanced audio outputs from the Mac minis are also provided.

Audio
As the Engineering Rack contains the RTS comms matrix it also contains DAs for programme audio. Internally programme audio is distributed to the camera channels and into the comms system, and four pairs of outputs are provided to distribute the programme audio feeds further - for example, into the Ingest Rack.

Engineering Rack contents

1 x Lynx Technik Series 5000 frame
1 x RTS Zeus IIILE 16-port intercom matrix
2 x 1Tb 2.3Ghz quad core Apple Mac Minis
1 x Aten 8-port dual-link KVM switcher
2 x TV Logic PRM-503 3-way 5" LCD monitors
1 x TV Logic XVM-175 17" Grade 1 LCD monitor
1 x RTS KP12-CLD intercom keypanel
1 x Blackmagic Design 40x40 SDI matrix
1 x Blackmagic Design Master Control panel
4 x Sony RCP-1500 remote control panels
1 x Apple Mac keyboard and mouse
4 x Sony HXCU-100 CCUs
1 x QED Tally distribution system
1 x APC Smart-UPS 1500VA

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