RS control standards explained

What are they? What do they do? What are they for? All three are forms of electronic equipment control communications. They are usually connected via 9 pin “D” connectors although RS-232 can also be found on 3 pin audio type mini jack connectors. Note, any form of electronic path needs 2 wires to complete a circuit.

RS-232

This is, in its basic form, a 3 wire system. The signal wires are Transmit (TX) Receive (RX) and ground (screen, earth or common are other terms used).

The ground is the common return path for both TX and RX. There are other signals that can be connected on the “D” connectors. Unfortunately there seems to be as many different RS-232 standards as there are manufacturers of equipment!

This is an unbalanced system and maximum cable length allowed varies but is no more than 50 ft. It is the most common of the three standards.

RS-422

This is a balanced 5 wire system version of RS-232. The signal wires are TX+, TX-, RX+, RX-. The ground connection plays no part in the signal path. The maximum cable length is 4000 ft.

This system is widely used in broadcasting to connect VCRs, vision mixers, non linear editing systems, transmission management systems etc.

RS-485

This is a modified version of RS-422 and allows multi-point control of equipment with the cables looping in and out of each item of equipment. A unique control code is allotted to each item of equipment. This system reduces cable costs.

To find out more, get in touch with us on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com.

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