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Use fiber optics to transmission CCTV camera video singal

June 21, 2010 Leave a comment
June 12, 2010, 4:57 am

The principle reasons for using optical fiber as the transmission media in CCTV applications are:

·  The maintenance of picture quality and control data integrity over extended distances:
This is the major reason for using fibre optics which have superior signal amplitude loss characteristics than copper cable. Typically co-axial cable attenuation at a signal frequency of 5 MHz can be 20 dB/km. In comparison fiber attenuation is between 0.3 and 3 dB/km meaning that fiber optic transmitter distances of 60 km+ can be achieved, depending on the precise details of the application. In addition this low fibre signal attenuation is achieved over a very wide signal frequency range so that optical fiber can be used for the transmission of multiple video signals over long distances.

·  Immunity to electromagnetic interference:
Optical fibre transmits signals as light pulses rather than electrical pulses. This light transmission is unaffected by the presence of electro-magnetic fields. As a consequence fiber optic transmission can be used in applications where links are routed near electrical conductors and electrical machines. This includes applications such as railways, tramways, power generation and vehicle manufacture with welding machinery. In addition the fibre cable usually has a metal free construction so that there are no ground loop problems between terminal equipment and the cable will not transmit lightning pulses. This elimination of ground loops makes fibre cable the media of choice for inter building links of whatever distance.

·  Security of Information and Operational Safety
Unlike copper cables fiber cables do not radiate any signals as a consequence fiber optical cables are virtually immune from “tapping” and so the signal content is difficult to access for unauthorised parties. As there are no emissions from optical fibre cable there is no risk that a fibre installation will act as a ignition source. This means that fibre can be used in explosive atmospheres such as chemical and petro-chemical sites providing a truly “Intrinsically Safe” transmission path. Note however, that this Intrinsic Safety, would not extend to the electro-optic termination modems which would need to be safety certified and protected the same as any other electrical equipment.

·  Efficient use of duct space.
Optical fibre itself is very small, each glass fibre being only 0.125mm diameter. Protective sheathing is then applied in stages, depending on the application area, to make up the fibre into a usable cable. Typically resulting cable would have a diameter of 3mm for a single fibre core patchlead or 8mm for a 8 fibre cable suitable for internal or external use. In contrast 75 Ohm CT100 coaxial copper cable has a diameter of 6.5 mm. It can therefore be seen that the small size of fibre cable gives significant savings over copper where installation space is in short supply or where duct space is limited. Along with the small fibre cable size comes a weight saving both of which give savings in storage and transportation costs prior to installation.

·  Multi-channel capability and “Future Proofing”.
While most CCTV fibers today will be used to transmit one video signal and perhaps a control data signal, the user may wish to upgrade the system to support more camera and control channels. Any glass optical fiber used today is able to transmit multiple optical channels either by using different optical carrier “colours” i.e. wavelength division multiplexing or by increasing the signal frequency using electrical multiplexing techniques. The transmission media is hence “future proofed” and the link will need only additional fiber optic converter equipment to expand the link capacity.

Baseband Video Fiber Optic Transmission

May 13, 2010 Leave a comment

Baseband video consists of one video picture being sent point-to-point, such as the video output of a VCR to the video input of a monitor. Figure 1 illustrates simple point-to-point transmission. There exist two levels of service for baseband video: broadcast studio and consumer. These types describe, primarily, the quality of the signal. Broadcast studio quality requires a much higher signal fidelity, while consumer quality baseband requires is less demanding. In addition to the difference in signal fidelity, there is also a difference in the connectors typically used for the transmission of these signals. The broadcast baseband applications typically use a BNC connector and the consumer baseband applications typically uses an RCA connector.

Figure 1 – Point-to-Point Transmission

Figure 2 – BNC and RCA Connectors

Baseband Video Signals
The most basic form of a television signal is a baseband video signal, also referred to as a composite video signal. In an AM baseband system, the input signal directly modulates the strength of the transmitter output, in this case light. The baseband signal contains information relative to creating the television picture only. The following information is carried on a baseband signal:

• Scanning: drawing the television picture
• Luminance: the brightness of the picture
• Chrominance: the color of the picture

The creation of the baseband signal produces a range of frequency components. The highest frequency in a baseband signal is also its bandwidth. The lowest frequency ranges close to zero Hz or DC. The video output of a television camera or video tape recorder has its highest frequency, therefore, its bandwidth, at either 4.2 or 6 MHz, depending on the type of TV format used. Looking at an actual baseband signal, illustrated in Figure 3, we can see that the camera and the video display are scanned horizontally and vertically. The horizontal lines on the screen are scanned alternately, with the odd numbered lines first and the even numbered lines second, or vice versa. (Figure 3B depicts the initial scan of the odd numbered lines.) This method is known as an interlacing system. The second method is to scan the lines sequentially; this is known as progressive Scanning. The camera and receiver must be synchronized when scanning and reproducing an image. The horizontal and vertical sync pulses regulate the synchronization of the camera and receiver, illustrated in both 3B and 3C, and starts a horizontal trace. As seen in Figure 3A, during the horizontal blanking interval, the beam returns to the left side of the screen and waits for the horizontal sync pulse before tracing another line. The dotted line illustrated the horizontal retrace. When the beam reaches the bottom of the screen, it must return to the top to begin the next field. This is called the vertical retrace, which is signaled by the vertical sync pulse illustrated in Figure 3C. The vertical retrace takes much longer than the horizontal retrace, therefore, a vertical blanking interval ensues to synchronize the two signals. During both the horizontal or vertical blanking intervals no information appears on the screen.

Figure 3 – Baseband Composite Video Signals

Baseband Video Applications
Figure 4 illustrates a multimedia baseband fiber optic transmission systems.

Figure 4 – Multimedia baseband transmission