BCD Audio - aes-fibre-converter
BCD Audio - aes-fibre-converter

AES3 to Fibre conversion

Originating from a requirement in 2004, and still current. AES3 on cable is good for about 100m, and equipment existed to multiplex channels together to be passed over longer distances over fibre, but were complex.

Experiments indicated that a solution based on ADAT was possible, but the solution was complex and required all channels to be synchronous or needed sample rate conversion, and some channels might be encoded already anyway. MADI systems already existed, but the desire was to have a simpler system for critical programme paths.

A non-multiplexed solution would allow signals of mixed sample rate and character to be passed over distance with more reliability, not have a single point of failure and added no latency to the channel.

Experiments with the ST range of multimode fibre indicated a km range was possible, including splices, with a loss budget of 8db.

A Eurocard based solution based on a Dual AES3 to fibre module and a Dual fibre to AES3 module were designed and built. The compatible Blackbox FAB1 was made available so that users could try out the solution, and would be useful in simpler installations.
The Blackbox LAB-1 was designed to experiment with extending the range of AES3 copper cables without fibre, and was found to be useful on cables exceeding 400 metres in length.

The Eurocards were housed in a modified Installer-48 frame so that the modules were rear-mounted and the dual PSUs front mounted. Alarm GPI signalling was included as well.

These racks have been supplied to the BBC many times, and are used for programme paths where reliability is the main consideration.

These were last supplied to the new BBC Wales installation in 2020, and is considered a current product.

Available to special order.