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COMPUTAR CS SERIES SWITCHER AND TELEMETRY CONTROLLERS

 

INTRO

Flexibility and ease of use are the key features of Chugai Boyeki Computar CS series modular switching and telemetry control system

 

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Chugai Boyeki have clearly put a great deal of effort into making their CS video switching and telemetry control system as simple to install and operate as possible. The designers have adopted a ‘zero redundancy’ strategy, which basically means a system can be upgraded and expanded, without having to replace components. This philosophy extends to making the telemetry system compatible with other manufacturer’s equipment, so that it can be easily incorporated into existing installations.

 

The centrepiece of the range is the CS switcher, available now in 4 and 8-way configurations; an 16-way switcher will be introduced shortly. The switcher is a stand-alone device; the CS8-2P that we’ve been looking at, can switch up to eight cameras, and it has two selectable monitor outputs. Dwell time is variable, between 1 and 60 seconds; it’s a universal setting, applied to all cameras in the sequence. The CS8-2P can be used with a variety of other dedicated modules, including the CS8S slave selector. This connects to the master unit by cable, terminated with a modular telephone plug RJ45 interface, or by a two-wire twisted pair, up to 400 metres long. The slave duplicates all of the switching and monitor control functions of the master switch, with the exception of dwell time adjustment.

 

Both master and slave switchers have sockets for a CS-TXP telemetry controller, again using modular telephone sockets for the interconnection. Functions available include pan/tilt, auto pan, focus, iris and zoom, plus four switched facilities (wash, wipe, lamp and aux). A third modular socket on the master switcher handles the alarm connections, to a CS-APCB alarm interface unit. The telemetry controllers communicate with CS-RXW control boxes at each camera location, using the coaxial cable carrying the video feed. The electronics and relays are housed inside cream-coloured weatherproof wall-box, measuring 240 x 240 x 80mm. The control box is mains-powered, with simple plug-in screw-terminal connections, for the camera ancillaries.

 

Switcher and telemetry control units all follow a common design theme. They’re, housed in discrete dark grey sloping consoles, with purple-coloured keys and LED indicators. The CS8.2P and CS8S master and slave switchers are 256mm wide and share the same control layout. On the top panel there’s a gently curved row of numbered buttons and indicators, one for each of the camera inputs. Below that there’s three buttons, for setting camera skip, monitor output selection and auto/manual sequence. On the rear of the master switcher there are ten BNC sockets, eight for the camera inputs, the other two carry the switched monitor outputs. Three modular telephone sockets handle connections for a slave switcher, telemetry controller and alarm interface module. Next to the 6 volt DC supply input socket is a small thumbwheel, for setting the dwell time. The only external difference between the slave and master switcher lies on the back panel, where there are just two modular sockets. 

 

A single modular socket on the back of the CS-TXP telemetry controller carries control signals and power. It is slightly smaller than the switcher at 180mm wide, though the height and depth of the consoles are the same. The top panel is dominated by a large circular pan/tilt control, it’s surrounded on three sides by pairs of buttons for the iris, zoom and focus controls. A row of buttons along the top are used to switch the various functions, select and program up to four camera positions.

 

INSTALLATION AND OPERATION

The simplicity of the system is carried through to the installation and operation procedures. There are very few preliminaries; camera inputs are included or excluded in the sequence by pressing and holding the ‘skip’ button, then pressing the relevant camera buttons, an LED indicator shows whether or not the inputs are enabled. Camera dwell time is set using the thumbwheel on the back. Monitor access, from the slave switcher, can be enabled or disabled by holding down the skip button, prior to powering up the unit. Pressing the auto button engages the sequencer, it can be frozen at any time, and returned to manual control by pressing a camera button. All settings are retained if there’s an interruption to the power supply, though the unit reverts to manual control.

 

Installing and programming the CS-TXP telemetry keypad is even easier; basic operation is largely self explanatory. Each connected camera can have up to four positions stored. The camera is moved to the required location, using the pan-tilt control, then the settings are stored by pressing and holding the set and preset buttons, then one of the numbered buttons. The autopan function engages a patrol mode, with the camera moving to each preset position in turn, waiting for 30 seconds at each location, before moving on to the next one in the sequence.

 

PERFORMANCE

Another spin-off from the simple design is the almost complete lack of video processing, which means the signal passes cleanly through the switcher, without any additional noise burden. Moreover, there’s no reduction in resolution nor are contrast, brightness or colour values affected in any way. There is a brief loss of stability at the switchover point, lasting less than one frame period, so it’s not especially distracting. The telemetry control functions all checked out and the units all performed satisfactorily throughout our tests.

 

We have one or two operational comments regarding the switcher. The lack of a dedicated VCR output is a disadvantage and whilst the second monitor video output can be used, this operates independently as it is tied into the sequencer. With that in mind it would have been useful if, at switch-on or after a supply interruption, the switcher returned to auto sequence mode, rather than camera one, by default.

 

CONCLUSION

Chugai Boyeki’s stated  intention was to design a simple, cost-effective and flexible switcher and telemetry system. They have succeeded, though for comparatively little extra expense they could have added an extra socket for a VCR output. Other refinements, like independent dwell times for each camera and maybe a camera ident or time-date generator would have been useful, though this would have pushed up the cost and made it less competitive. The balance between cost and facilities has clearly been carefully thought out, and will appeal to installers and end-users looking for a no-frills, simple to use system, that can be easily upgraded to meet future needs.

 

PRODUCT SPECIFICATION

Camera Inputs:            8 composite CCIR/PAL (4 and 16 input versions also available)

Dwell time:                    variable, 1-60 seconds

Telemetry functions:            wash, wipe, lamp, aux, pan/tilt, auto pan, iris open/close, focus near/far, zoom in/out

Master/slave                  single unscreened twisted pair

 

 

Power supply                 CS8/TX: 12 volt DC, supplied by plug-in mains adaptor

                                    CS-RXW 240 VAC

Dimensions                   CS8/S:  256 x 204 x 47mm; CS-TX:  180 x 204 x 47mm;

                                    CS-RXW: 240 x 240 x 80mm

 

PSI RATINGS

 

Product            

Product design            ****

Build quality                  *****

Ruggedness                  *****

 

Operation                     

General functions            ****

CCTV functions            ****      

Ease of use                   ****

Instructions                   ***

Manuf. support            ****                  

 

Performance

Video quality                 *****

Switching                      ****

 

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Ó R. Maybury 1997 1004

 

 


 

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