Extending Sony 8-pin camera remotes

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Extending Sony 8-pin camera remotes

How far can the camera control signals from any smaller Sony camera go? If you talk to Mr Sony it’s around 50m (the longest cable they sell) – but as the pictures (below) suggest it’s at least the length of a box of cat5e cable! The CCA5 cable they sell is north of £500 so I recommend you hot-foot it over to RS, the Hirose ends are part numbers 685-1166 and 685-1163 for the lady and the gentleman and by consulting my scrappy wiring notes (above) you can brew your own for a tiny fraction of the cost. You can also adapt the cable to send down existing structured cable routes (cat5e / cat6 / cat7).

The title-link is to the F23’s maintenance manual; that SR field-recorder has every Sony standard interface on it and so you can find the pinouts for whatever you might be using on your EX3 for example.

Rather splendidly the DC supply that runs back from the camera to the remote is the unregulated feed and so even if you loose a few volts down your home-brewed cable the regulator in the RM-B150 won’t care; if you want to you can even power that device locally and not worry about volts coming back from the camera.

By |2016-10-29T08:55:57+00:00September 23rd, 2011|Categories: Broadcast Engineering, tips|Tags: , , |52 Comments


  1. Jim Main October 9, 2011 at 7:49 pm - Reply

    Great info and very useful! Many thanks. Jim

  2. Grag38 September 6, 2012 at 2:18 pm - Reply

    Nice, It’s difficult to find stuff about the RCP Sony Protocol and pinout of the connectors.

    Do you know more about RCP protocol ?

    Do you know the characteritics of the serial datas as speed (38400bps I suppose, lentght, parity, …).

    Thanks for theses pinouts, and I hope you could help me with the RCP Protocol.
    best regards

  3. Phil October 19, 2012 at 4:00 pm - Reply

    I’m not sure. I bet Sony guard it jealously like many other of their interfaces!
    IIRC from a training course in the early 90’s it’s little more than RS485 (i.e. multi-drop RS422) so with a serial analyzer (or terminal programme) you might be able to make a start reverse engineering what goes on?

  4. Javier Hernandez December 9, 2012 at 9:54 pm - Reply

    Hi Phil.
    First, thanks for this info. Now, I tried to make a cable adapter and it did not work. Since I am doing what I consider and “extension” – male to male – I did the pin wiring one to one
    (pin 1 to pin, pin two to two etc..), left the 8 unconnected and soldered the brown white to the plug chassis. Should I have crossed pins 1, 2 with 3, 4?

    • Phil December 10, 2012 at 9:49 am - Reply

      Javier; 1 and 2 are the Tx pair and 3 and 4 are the Rx pair (two balanced data signals); yes, they swap over (it’s not a pin-pin cable), a bit like null-modem with RS232 between two computers. 6 and 7 are power so don’t swap them over!
      5 is the signal ground – so that’s straight and 8 is the chassis ground – so straight.

      So, if (like me) you use cat5/6/7 cable for this then you could do;

      CCU Camera

      Tx+ 1- blue -3 Rx+
      Tx- 2-wht/blue -4 Rx-
      Rx+ 3- green -1 Tx+
      Rx- 4- wht/grn -2 Tx-

      scr 5- brown -5 scrn

      Vcc 6- orange -6 Vcc
      GND 7-wht/ornge-7 GND

      chass-wht/brwn -Chassis
      (the metal case of the HiRose has a tag)

      There is also a video o/p on pin 8 but I’ve never bothered with that.

  5. Tho Nguyen June 11, 2014 at 7:29 am - Reply

    Hi Phil, i am happy to find this article. My problem: Camera Sony PDW-700 to bge controlled by RCP-1500 across 300m optical fiber.

    Transceiver system Voscom offers Video, RS-232, IP. The Voscom RS-232 Speed is about 100kbps, while Sony RS-422 need 1Mbps, so that the solution via RS-232 will not work, even if using RS-422-to-323-converter. http://www.voscom.com/datasheet/VOS-1HD-DETR.pdf

    Do you think it will work, when the RCP-1500 is switched to IP-Mode in combination with your pin-mapped adapter cable?

    Pfad: RCP-1500> RJ-45>Voscom>Fiber>Voscom>RJ-45-8pin-Adapter

    Thank in advance

    • Phil June 17, 2014 at 4:46 pm - Reply

      I would say no; the Sony RS422 camera control protocol is 38,400 baud serial; it’s about as far from IP packets as is possible! I would have thought the Voscom would work – I have sent camera RCP control over NetIOM (serial -> IP boards).
      If you want a suggestion B&B make serialoptical converters
      but you might not want to tie up a whole fibre on control; in that case Barnfind do a little enclosure to take one of their CWDM modules to multiplex/break-out at each end of the run;

      • Stefan Glaser June 20, 2014 at 8:32 am - Reply

        Hello Phil,

        Thank you very much for your article, it is and was very usefull!

        I am working on a Sony RCP-1500 RS422 to wireless converter and your previous post was the one and only hint about the RS422 datarate i could find.
        Where do you have this information from?
        Do you have more information about the protocoll? What is the average data rate?

        Thank you in advance, your help would be very appreciated!

        Kind regards

        • Phil June 20, 2014 at 9:19 am - Reply

          OK, I’m digging in my memory now! The Sony CCU protocol is referred to by them as “TX7” (what does down a Sony CCA5 cable) and it’s 38,400 baud. For cameras it’s actually an RS485 connection (multi-drop serial) but that is just a low-impedance send/hi-impedance receive variant on RS422. Sony used to do a PC program that could control a camera’s functions but I’ve not been able to find that online. I do remember making Thompson CCUs talk to to Sony DVW-700 cameras in the late ’90s and there was a switch on the Thompson CCU marked 9600/38,400 which the engineers referred to as the Everyone-else/Sony control switch.
          Lots of people make cheap wireless extenders; http://wirelesscameracontrol.com/ for example. If I get a chance (and access to a camera/controller) in the next couple of weeks I’ll do some port-decoding but it is absolutely a 38,400 serial stream (synchronous, so no variation in the data rate) but I don’t recall the bits/start-stop number etc.

        • Alex Hall August 25, 2014 at 9:13 pm - Reply

          Hello Stefan,

          I am also currently working on a wireless control system to Link a sony RCP and PMW-EX3 wirelessly. Can you advise if you had any joy with this and if so what you have used to get it to work?

          I am presuming a wireless RS485 transceiver set would work (Assuming its full duplex)

          I found one that has a sustainable throughput of 38400 Baud, so maybe this would work? Any info you have would be great.


      • Tho Nguyen November 2, 2014 at 8:51 pm - Reply

        Dear Phil,

        since Voscom need only 1 fiber-core for duplex transmission of Video, audio so we can use the 2nd core for an extra 422-duplex channel by this device:

        Do you think it will work ?


        • Phil November 3, 2014 at 4:28 pm - Reply

          I’d have to try – I have doubt it would work with older camera channels but there has been a suggestion on this thread that camera RCP protocol can run up to 500kbits/sec (which I’m not sure I believe; traditionally RS422 UARTs top-out at 115kbits/sec).

  6. Emil July 13, 2014 at 9:36 pm - Reply

    Hi Phil!

    I’m stuck..,
    Been trying to convert the RS to ip and back, tryed rs-242/422/485 with an moxa 5150 adapter but with no luck.
    Tryed every pinout there is 🙁

    The cable works if i connect the cables straight between my rcp-700 and the camera.

    Any thoughts?


    • Phil July 15, 2014 at 10:05 am - Reply

      My first port of call for fault-finding this would be to make sure you’ve got the serial parameters set correctly on the way in and out of the Moxa IP encoder/decoder.
      These old serial LED testers are a good start;
      I always keep one in my bag; but in this case it’s just to confirm that it’s balanced (i.e. 422 or 485) without hardware flow control (i.e. just Tx and Rx, no RTS/CTS etc). I’m not familiar with the Moxas but I bet it’s serial settings that are causing trouble.
      Get familiar with how they work by maybe sending VTR control or just PC terminal RS232 over them and then step up to the camera control serial data?

  7. nick October 20, 2014 at 11:18 pm - Reply

    I think you are abit out on the baud rate for RCP it is more like 560k.Extremely high.
    VTR 422 control is 38.4 .
    Wireless remote try Videosys ,cobham,vislink .They all do great product.

    • Phil October 21, 2014 at 3:59 pm - Reply

      I confess all my camera remote experience comes from Sony BVP-7s c. 1993 – they used the 8255 UART which (IIRC) topped out at 155kbaud and they did run at 38kbaud. As recently as the EX3 series I have hung a serial analyser and measured it at 38kbaud but that’s not to say the protocol doesn’t run faster on other models (the F55 etc)?

  8. utillity October 21, 2014 at 2:24 pm - Reply

    Hi, does anyone have the correct/real baudrate and data-settings? I can’t get a connection to work using the IRIS RS-485 Wireless RF Modems. I tried viewing the data using REALTERM and IRIS RS485 USB Converter but I don’t seem to have the correct settings (38400bps, 8-Odd-1), as realterm keeps saying “UART receiver parity error” and “UART receiver framing error”. What data is supposed to be showing up, when I view the RCP-1500 connection-establishment attempts?

    regards, Tilli

  9. Boris December 22, 2014 at 9:37 am - Reply

    Hi there. I’m also working on a wireless RCP/RMB transmission. The Baudrate is in deed very high. I measured a Bit lenght of 1.8uS which results in something around 560 as Nick wrote.

    Physically it’s RS422, full duplex…

    Got no luck using these modules: http://synapse-wireless.com/snap-components/snap-link-serial-adapters

  10. Alex Harvey January 11, 2015 at 11:58 pm - Reply


    The interface is RS422. But once you’ve figured out the baud rate and packet structure you’ll find there is a lot of handshaking between camera and panel that requires processing. Unfortunately this also varies across the camera range.

    Broadcast Electronics Ltd. manufacture wireless and IP based camera control systems specifically for Sony products. In addition we support tally on both the RCP/RMB and the camera. http://www.bcelec.co.uk/wordpress/products-2/maxwell-camera-control-system/

  11. Tho Nguyen February 12, 2015 at 6:55 pm - Reply

    Hi Phil, we have developed a high speed RS485/422-to-IP converter. The max speed is 1 Mbps. I would like to present it here, but ther is no possibility to post pict. or attachment. I need your email address to send it. It’s possible ?

    • John November 15, 2015 at 7:12 am - Reply

      can you send me pm
      have xc-hr50 cam want to use as ip cam but its a maps 801 card after cam and cant find any info on this.
      its from an old security station slam cam from maps.es but cant find any info
      tnx John

  12. Evert April 9, 2015 at 10:43 am - Reply

    Theo/Phil any progress on that

  13. vincent May 14, 2015 at 6:42 pm - Reply

    i would want to know the protocol to use tally true REMOTE connector on PMW300K2 SONY.
    if someone can help me.please

    many thanks


  14. Paul June 16, 2015 at 9:25 am - Reply

    Hi Phil, Thanks, of old, for your great post. I’ve made many cables and saved a few bob as well!

    Would you or anyone know of the mod to use the call button on a Sony RCP 700 as a way of inputting a tally into the camera data stream? I know it has been done and it would help greatly. I don’t use CCUs and there is no external tally input, that I know of, on the RCP. There is another connector which is touchdown preview out and something else which I’m unsure of.


    • Alex June 28, 2015 at 10:33 am - Reply

      Hi Paul,

      We manufacture Cuelite, a product that takes a tally signal and injects the tally/call commands in to the data path between a RCP and camera/camcorder. So no need to modify your control panels. It can also provide power to the RCP for long runs of data cable and can be used to remotely control the recorder on camcorders. Details on this link http://www.bcelec.co.uk/wordpress/products-2/cuelite-camcorder-cue-tally-control/

  15. alex harvey August 22, 2015 at 9:22 am - Reply
  16. wondercube September 17, 2015 at 4:19 pm - Reply

    Hello i have a PMW 300 and an RMB 170. The RMB came with a 10m cable and when i connect a monitor to the video out terminal on the RMB 170 i get a good picture. But i had to get a 100m cable as the camera is installed in a banquet hall when i connect a monitor i do not get a picture anymore. I need help as i need to deliver this project in a few weeks.

  17. Phil September 22, 2015 at 11:41 am - Reply

    IIRC the long RMB cable does not include the video path as composite video over 100m of skinny cable would not look pretty; if you’re handy with the soldering iron you could make up a cable with cat5 for all the data and a separate piece of coax for the analogue video; that’s what I’d do.

  18. Emil Jansson November 17, 2015 at 11:25 pm - Reply

    Hi All,

    We are now a couple of days away to have an 8channel RCP to IP and back to Camera Remote port system.

    Includes tally for all 8 cameras and MCU software that could be run on a pc for maximum controll of the camera chains.

    The last channel (8) is a wireless receiver for ex. Steady or Link.

    Anyone interested to buy one?

    • Lee Mowry May 13, 2016 at 10:35 pm - Reply

      Yes, We have 6 Ex-3’s trying to get thru a fiber RS-422 path that will pass RS422 @2Mb. Will you system work with RS422 or IP 10/100/1000? How much? Photo’s?

      Lee Mowry

  19. JB January 10, 2016 at 10:19 am - Reply

    Hi everybody,

    old thread, but still one of the only places on the web to find informations on this topic.

    A little roundup: Seems like the protocoll speed is 560kbps, so no cheap converters for that. Interesting that somebody sad he had no luck with the Moxa 5150 as this unit should do 50 bps to 921.6 Kbps. Can anybody confirm that these really don´t work?
    I had another story where I needed a non standard RS422 speed and found the converters from VSCOM http://www.vscom.de/netcom-plus-113.html#b
    These have the ability to set the serial speed manual to whatever you need. If somebody is interested, we extended the Datavideo MCU-100 for panasonic cameras with these units.
    Another story, looking at the RCPBridge (http://www.wireless-rcp.com) they seem to use this serial-to-ethernet converters http://www.wiznet.co.kr/product-item/wiz108sr/
    But looking at the specs they top out at max. 230kbps. So there is maybe a tweak or handshake command available to set the actual communication speed to something lower.
    I know there´s a lot of handshaking right when connection between camera and RCP starts, but if at least the serial converters are fast enough and paired together – I don´t believe that there will be timeout problems at least in wired LAN for test purposes.
    So if anybody has news on the protocoll – I´m happy to play around with some converters….

    • Jose January 20, 2016 at 4:21 pm - Reply

      Hi, Any success with the converter from http://www.wiznet.co.kr/product-item/wiz108sr/ ?


    • Jef Kethley May 16, 2016 at 7:30 pm - Reply


      Can you send me any further details on how you were able to extend control signals for the Panasonic line of cameras? Seems like there are solutions for Sony here and there but nothing I can find for Panasonics.

  20. Dave January 29, 2016 at 8:40 pm - Reply

    I have been working on the Sony RCP protocol on and off for a while and am also working to build a wireless solution. I have found the baud rate to be 562,500. The issue is Sony uses a 9 bit framing for addressing. I have searched high and low for a long time now for any converter that will pass the 9th bit. All I have been able to find are adapters that allow you to manipulate the PARITY bit by setting it to MARK (1) or SPACE (0).

    I have had great success in using wireless IP modems to paint the Sony HDC-P1 with a RCP 1500 using the network function as the HDC-P1 has a network connection. Unfortunately, the other cameras do not such as the HDC-1500 or HDC-2500.

    • JB February 3, 2016 at 1:28 am - Reply

      Dave, that´s interesting information with the 9 bit. I can confirm the speed of 562,500 as default, but there must be a way that RCP and camera talk to on a lower speed as well, maybe the handle that in the beginning of their communication.

      Regarding the 9bit, I checked the manual of the WIZnet modules, and YES, the have 9bit size for data!

      Once I get 2 of them on hand I´ll check that. Do you have access to these modules?

    • JB February 4, 2016 at 2:44 pm - Reply

      New infos here, got 2 modules right in front of me – apparently the 9bit data size did not work as there is bug in the firmware – already confirmed by the manufacturer. They are not sure if they will fix it as very few users need that….

      • Dave February 5, 2016 at 4:46 pm - Reply

        JB, I too bought the Wiznet converters because they have a setting for 9 bit framing and was excited to get started with them. Unfortunately you confirmed there is a problem with their firmware. 🙁 This puts me back at the point where I will have to use a micro controller, most likely Atmel, and write code to do back end processing for the 9th bit before handing the data off to the modem.

        In regards to the handshaking, we both suspect the RCP and camera are doing a baud dance to provide optimal throughput in noisy environments. I just took delivery of a true 9 bit analyzer manufactured by IFtools in Germany, model MSB-485. It will analyze 422 / 485 data protocols from 1bps to 1Mbps baud. Hopefully, when I have a chance to deploy this analyzer, I will have a clearer understanding of the handshaking process. I am on the road for the next 12 days and hope to find some time to work with this analyzer soon. I’ll keep you posted of my findings.

        Real bummer though, I thought Wiznet would do it…

        • Ted February 8, 2016 at 6:45 pm - Reply

          Hey JB and Dave. I have some information about the “CONTROL PROTOCOL”. Please send me an Email to ted7624@gmail.com. Thanks

        • JB February 9, 2016 at 8:36 pm - Reply

          Hi Dave,

          got feedback from Wiznet R&D, they are willing to implement the 9bit – but need some more details.
          Contact me at dvbevs@yahoo.com – will contact Ted as well to sort out what whe need.

        • will March 9, 2016 at 3:53 am - Reply

          hi Dave,Do you have any progress.?

  21. MM February 12, 2016 at 4:48 pm - Reply

    Hey Each,

    Do we know it’s a 9-bit frame? My research tallies up the same in terms of baudrate, but I’m only seeing 8 data bits followed by a parity bit.

    • Dave February 17, 2016 at 2:05 am - Reply

      It’s a 9 bit byte. No parity.

      • MM February 22, 2016 at 10:54 am - Reply

        Thanks Dave – working well on tests now.

        Just dealing with the handshake next – quite a sequence between a PDW800 and a RCP1700.

  22. Emil Jansson February 12, 2016 at 6:52 pm - Reply

    Take a look at the http://www.wirelesscameracontrol.com, converters ready to use with extra functions that could be compared with a CCU solution.

  23. rigging5 February 23, 2016 at 3:14 am - Reply

    I used HDC-1500 and RCP-750.

    HDC-1500 (remote 8 pin) ———> WIZ108SR

    I use RS422 or RS485? and Pinmap please.

    maby…RS422 or RS485(UART TTL level??)

    Thank you.

  24. Niklas March 30, 2016 at 3:53 pm - Reply

    Any more news regarding the WIZ108SR ?
    Have you guys get it to work?

  25. CARMELO February 23, 2017 at 10:52 pm - Reply

    Tally plesase with wireless rcp system and rm b170

  26. Tho March 30, 2017 at 8:44 am - Reply

    Hi every body,

    I have developed a RCP-Fiber Extender for Sony and Ikegami Cameras (up to 10km by Single mode and 400m by Multimode). You can order the transceiver pair with Sony-8 Pin connector or Ikegami one. The Fiber connector can be LC, ST or SC.

    The RCP-Side is powered by an adapter 12v/4a, while the camera side get the power from camera.


  27. CK April 30, 2017 at 11:29 am - Reply

    Did anyone get the solution?
    Is there a working Wiznet converter from ‘SonyRS422’ to IP?

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