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Posts: 7
Registered: ‎02-20-2017
Message 1 of 20 (2,145 Views)

RF Leak from SDI outputs reducing Radio Mic range F5 and F55

Hello fellow F5/55’ers

I’m a UK based Cameraman F5 owner, I and several other UK Cameramen are  doing a bit of research and wondered if anyone can help?

Basically whenever we plug into the SDI BNC outputs on the camera it emits a huge amount of RF/EMF which dramatically reduces radio mic range. This is more prevalent with later F5/55’s, as some are not affected at all. We have narrowed it down to HIF board, which connects to the SDI outputs. We believe Sony replaced it on later series cameras, hence some are affected and others aren’t. I’ve attached a report from Raycom a UK supplier of radio mics, highlighting the huge RF burst when compared to my older PDW-F800.

I use the slot-in Sony DWR SD02 radio mic system, with a Hawkswood caddy. I have an Avington video sender. The range can vary, but in my circumstances it’s more noticeable when in a big room. One example I was filming in the main hall in the Natural History Museum in London and my range was reduced to less than 2 metres (6ft 5’) even with 50mW dialled in on the TX’s. In essences the RF coming out of the camera makes anything attached which is electronic work like an aerial and transmits a huge EMF burst.

I and my colleagues have been in discussion with Sony, but their stock response so far has been this.

Japan confirm the radio mic range will reduce when cables are connected to the BNC SDI OUT connectors.

In the case of the DWR-SD02 the worst affected frequencies are: 668.125MHz, 668.375MHz, 663.500MHz. Whilst 668.025MHz, 1253.375MHz, 1253.375MHz are affected to some degree.

 All we can advise is that the customer uses channels which are not affected.

As you will see from the Raycom report attached, this is blatantly wrong, it swamps out all frequencies, not just the ones listed.


So; if you find you or your soundbod have been struggling with range when using the SDI’s I would love to hear from you. Our aim is to get Sony to resolve the issue and properly shield the SDI board to enable us to work again with confidence.  


Many thanks


Phil Broom


Here's a link to the report Sony F5

Posts: 202
Registered: ‎07-24-2013
Message 2 of 20 (2,123 Views)

Re: RF Leak from SDI outputs reducing Radio Mic range F5 and F55

Wow!  That is indeed quite disturbing news. 

I have a Wisycom analog wireless receiver which does not seem to be affected. 

I also happen to have a 24GHz spectrum analyser so I will fire up my F5 and have a look. 

As if the weird menus interactions were not enough.  Another Sony gotcha!

Posts: 1,757
Registered: ‎06-12-2013
Message 3 of 20 (1,999 Views)

Re: RF Leak from SDI outputs reducing Radio Mic range F5 and F55

Good luck with that.. Sony Japan is a shambles ..I was told on the phone to Sony tech in Tokyo.. that he had not ever heard of the fabled Grid Effect..  no Japanese camera op had ever mentioned ND wheels had been replaced.. and he no idea what I was talking about.. even though Sony Europe /UK had openly admitted there was a problem and replaced ND ,s.. he refused to give his name and didnt email me as he had promised.. not my first dealings with them..  they are totally useless here in Japan..

Posts: 7
Registered: ‎02-20-2017
Message 4 of 20 (1,867 Views)

Re: RF Leak from SDI outputs reducing Radio Mic range F5 and F55

Here's a link to a Youtube video I made highlighting the issue. 




Posts: 1,757
Registered: ‎06-12-2013
Message 5 of 20 (1,859 Views)

Re: RF Leak from SDI outputs reducing Radio Mic range F5 and F55

Have you only found it happening in the UK so far..? ..I dont have a digital audio radio mic receiver.. but its a Sony one.. not sure it has a reception strength read out..  so just plug in a BNC and take it out.. to check..

Posts: 7
Registered: ‎02-20-2017
Message 6 of 20 (1,828 Views)

Re: RF Leak from SDI outputs reducing Radio Mic range F5 and F55

I get the impression it affects digital radio mics more, as you can see from the Raycom report the RF is one huge blast which is like an electronic wall the signal has to break through to provide a link. If you are in certain locations which have a lot of metal or radio transmission such as wifi that just adds to the problem. 

Posts: 110
Registered: ‎12-18-2014
Message 7 of 20 (1,805 Views)

Re: RF Leak from SDI outputs reducing Radio Mic range F5 and F55

We had issues with a customer over a year ago.

This had the original standard SDI board (not the upgraded version).

The issue was diagnosed as poor quality BNC cable connected to the SDI output to the on-board monitor

Please bear in mind that all BNC cables are not equal. They may be specified as 75R etc. but there are also 50R cables out there and a lot of cable is only really good for Composite or SD SDI.

SD SDI is 270Mbps, HD SDI is 1.485Gbps, - that is a big difference!

Yes the cable will work on relatively short lengths to a local monitor etc. but if it is not specified for HDSDI then it will leak like a sieve and cause the issue you mention.

Then of course there is the issue of the equipment attached to the cable - impedence matching (terminated correctly in 75R?), return loss etc.

All Sony products, like that from any reputable manufacturer MUST be tested & comply with internation standards regarding RFI etc. prior to release in the market. The F5 is no different, it is compliant and it is CE marked accordingly.

I have personal experience of getting broadcast equipment through compliance testing & CE marking in the UK,

- this was non-Sony equipment for the record.

However, Sony like any other manufacturer cannot guarantee what cables or accessories are attached.


My thoughts, - simply based on experience.

Best Regards.

Posts: 110
Registered: ‎12-18-2014
Message 8 of 20 (1,803 Views)

Re: RF Leak from SDI outputs reducing Radio Mic range F5 and F55

On the subject of HD SDI cables...


More recently we had another customer complaing that his OLED monitor would only work on very short cable lengths.

He had just had a set of new cables made up by a local company, I beilieve these were 25M & 50M lengths.


His complaint was that there was obvously something wrong with the input side of his monitor because the cables must be ok as they were brand new, looked great, and he had tested them with a composite signal to his monitor and all was good.


However, when he connected an HDSDI signal, the monitor would not produce a picture - so obviously the monitor was faulty.


So we checked, applied an HDSDI signal from our generator and no signal to the monitor.


We then substituted one of our cables from the workshop and it worked fine.


Next using a Tektronix HDSDI waveform monitor we looked at the eye waveform at the end of the new cables - and it was simply noise, you could not make out the eye waveform at all.


The new cables were all complete junk! Even though they were brand new and supposedly HD SDI compliant, they were junk!


We told our customer to return the cables and get his money back.


So, even though you might have new cables, they might quite be what you expect - unless the (reputable) cable manufacturers name and code for the cable type is stamped on the side of the cable itself.


Deep Joy Smiley Happy


Posts: 2,536
Registered: ‎11-21-2012
Message 9 of 20 (1,800 Views)

Re: RF Leak from SDI outputs reducing Radio Mic range F5 and F55

Haha, excellent input!

@Phil, it'd be interesting to hear what cables you use day to day and in your tests. Are they to spec? Have you tried others?
Posts: 23
Registered: ‎02-27-2014
Message 10 of 20 (1,800 Views)

Re: RF Leak from SDI outputs reducing Radio Mic range F5 and F55

[ Edited ]

I also am having issues with really short range on my radio mics with my F5. I have tried mulitple HD SDI cables as well as buying a new radio mic to see where the issue was coming from. So after replacing the HD SDI cables and running my new Sony Radio Mic I still have issues with range / interference. The new cables are from a very reputable and main video supply company in Australia, Lemac, who's technican told me the cables are of the highest quality. 


To help over come the RF interference I have taken to running the Radio Mic reciever off the camera. 


I would be very interested to find a solution to this.

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