Jul 13 2010

Digital Camera Cables

First generation digital cameras had two main parts. One is a camera head and the second is the processing electronics with power supply. More of the camera system was in the camera head with the development in technology. Still the PSU and the camera control unit were joined by a multi core cable, which had typically 37 conductors. These valve cameras used a ‘wire per function’ with only a restricted account of doubling up of the controls, possibly a dc function and an ac function would share the same wire.

With the arrival of new HD cameras, the first 3 tube ones used 3 monochrome cables to get the basic number of circuits, they could be considered as three cameras in the one box. Later on more practical cameras used cables with even more cores.

The next generation of color cameras took a step back and used the previous monochrome cables. This is because they could do it, the arrival of integrated circuits meant the multiplexing of controls was much easier and the digital control of the systems was possible. In this manner a single circuit may possibly carry a digital word containing the data value for a particular function to be stored in the camera and its address, a different control function.

Triax cables

Next came triax cables, which were much simpler and lighter. It is similar to the coaxial cable but with an additional overall screen. These much expanded digital control systems were developed from the previous generation cameras that used the monochrome cables.

Optical fiber cables

Today’s High definition digital cameras use a cable based on optical fibers. This has a connector that looks very much like a triax one; therefore it is loosely called ‘fiber triax’. It has two single mode fibers, two power conductors and two for signaling.

Optical fiber cables are light in weight, which is its main advantage. But it does not suffer the disadvantage that contamination of the fiber connectors will stop the camera working, thorough cleanliness is essential. Fiber is required for HD digital cameras if any distance is required because triax is unable to handle the stupendous bandwidth involved.

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