There are few things as frustrating as losing a shooting day, but one thing that’s far worse is losing a shooting day because of damage to an expensive camera!
A number of our RED KOMODO users have reported a troubling voltage sensitivity issue on 12G-SDI outputs that could damage the electronics of RED KOMODO compact, global-shutter digital cinema cameras. These ports are inherently vulnerable to harm from any stray voltage.
This sensitivity issue is detailed by RED on their support site, where they state:
“Under certain circumstances, it is possible for the SDI circuitry to incur damage when connected to an accessory and powered without using shielded cables. RED recommends only using high quality, shielded BNC cables that are rated for 12G-SDI signals and only using shielded power cables for powering SDI accessories.”
SDI equipment that is improperly grounded or shielded can allow static electricity or other uncontrolled current to cross over into the camera’s sophisticated electronics through the 12G port, or to damage the port itself. This is the kind of mayhem that can interrupt a shoot and blow a hole in your budget.
Fortunately, we have a solution: The Freakshow HD MSX2-L Reclocking Distribution Amplifier. These ultra-compact reclocking DAs have isolated inputs and outputs, solving the issue and providing an additional 2-pin LEMO-powered 12G-SDI output. For further protection, the MSX2-L DA has a chipset with built-in static protection.
Shaped like a simple splitter and taking up roughly the same room in your setup, this multi-function powerhouse has a tiny footprint, reduces signal dropout, and allows longer cable runs. The MSX2-L uses a small 2-pin LEMO power configuration, which keeps operation simple and safe, providing additional protection, utility, and value. When used with properly shielded cables, the MSX2-L will provide excellent protection to even the most vulnerable 12G ports.
To make the most of this protection, crews should use high-quality BNC cables and only shielded power cables with KOMODO cameras, and use the same power source for the camera and DA. Because of the MSX2-L’s ultra-compact case, you’ll be able to keep the BNC cable from the DA plugged into the camera at all times, avoiding any opportunity for stray voltage to enter the port. However, if you do remove the DA cable, do so only after removing power from the DA. When reattaching it, reverse the order, making sure to attach the BNC before connecting power to your MSX2-L DA. RED’s article on SDI output protection has additional recommendations that are well worth reviewing.
In addition to these protection abilities, the MSX2-L can extend a DCI 4K signal 246 to 1,740 feet depending on the quality of the cabling used. It’s also built with typical Freakshow HD robustness, able to handle tough environments with zero hassles.
The MSRP of the MSX2-L is just $369, more than a bargain to protect cameras costing thousands of dollars while providing excellent digital amplification.
Freakshow HD was founded over a decade ago as the leading video assist systems rental company in Los Angeles, providing its freelance operators and their clients with the most integrated and feature-rich video assist systems backed by unparalleled support. Since its inception, Freakshow HD has grown into a manufacturing powerhouse, leveraging its sixty years of combined experience to create robust, cost-efficient, and cutting-edge solutions for anyone in need of the highest-spec video distribution, amplification, and switching tools. Freakshow HD LLC is based in Hollywood, California, U.S.A., and their clients are in the film/broadcast, aerospace, and defense industries.