icon account icon cash icon cart icon search main arrow arrow check icon camera icon light icon audio icon computer icon storage icon discount icon facebook icon twitter icon linkedin icon vimeo icon youtube icon instagram icon google plus icon share icon email icon print icon time icon phone icon email-m icon marker-m icon pdf icon remove icon calendar icon list icon comment icon out icon-status icon-star icon-switch pie-chart line-chart icon-user icon-warning icon-heart expand-arrow-1 expand-arrow-2 icon-upload icon-download icon-none icon-date-scheduled icon-date-available icon-is-hazardous
Header image for article Design Objectives of the Phantom Breakout Box

Design Objectives of the Phantom Breakout Box

I've recently completed final testing on one of our Abel manufactured products: the Breakout Box for the Phantom HD/65 cameras. Our idea for creating this device was to not only expand the capabilities of the Phantom as the top high-speed digital camera on the market, but to help make the camera fit more seamlessly into a high-end production environment.

[nggallery id=6]

Here are some of the technical details of this unit:

  • Contains 12 volt to 24 volt upconverting circuitry to utilize common 12 volt power supplies/batteries
  • Provides two of each 12 volt and 24 volt accessory power ports (1 Amp max. on each 24 volt port)
  • Splits off the trigger signal to a common BNC connector
  • Allows hot swapping of the 12 volt inputs
  • Allows for integration of the Phantom Handheld Rig

(Stay tuned for details on this Abel-designed rig, which will be available shortly after NAB.)

Phantoms are 24 volt cameras, but with the predominance of 12 volt power supplies and batteries on the market, upconverting the voltage makes a lot of sense. The small design envelope of the Phantom body didn't allow the manufacturers much room for accessory power ports, so the box contains two each of 12 volt and 24 volt for zoom/focus motors, small monitors, etc. The 12 volt ports are pass through and use the fuses in the batteries for protection, while the 24 volt accessory ports have self-resetting fuses internally. We also decided to simplify the run/stop interface of the camera by splitting off the trigger signal from the capture signals (timecode, sync, strobe, etc.), allowing the use of a simple BNC trigger switch. As with most Digital Cinema cameras, the Phantom HD/65s take a short time to 'boot up'. So, we included two 12 volt inputs--one an XLR4 and one a Fischer 2-pin 103 series connector. These two inputs are 'hot swappable'--exactly what you want when you need to switch out a battery, but don't want to go through a time consuming shut down and start sequence. This is particularly useful for when the camera is fitted with the Abel-designed Handheld Rig or for when it is mounted on a Steadicam.

We also paid a great deal of attention to the aesthetics of the Breakout Box. Our design goal was to make the box fit seamlessly on the camera--so it would actually look like it was always a part of the system. I started out with some sketches and machined a Delrin mock up for the first round of design choices, which then evolved into a full-blown 3D SolidWorks model and the final matte black/white laser-etched product you see here.

The Breakout Box is supplied with Capture and Power cables, and Abel offers custom cable building for your accessories.

Note to current Phantom owners: If you have an older Phantom, please check to see that you have the revised bottom panel on the camera -- the updated panel has a 1/4-20 hole that is required to mount the Breakout Box.

The camera on the left has the revised bottom panel.

Phantom base panels

AbelCine Team
Our Technical Specialists contributed to this blog.

Related Products

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE...

Intro image for article At the Bench: Switronix JetPack Breakout Box
Tutorials & Guides
Rare is the camera kit that has no accessories hanging off it. Monitor, lens controller, wireless transmitter, signal converter, timecode clock, focus rangefinder -- sometimes the camera can barely be seen under the accessories. These devices need power, and often the cameras themselves do not have enough outputs available. Switronix has created several versions of the JetPack, a battery mount (Anton Bauer or V-lock) with multiple power outputs in a variety of useful voltages.
Intro image for article At the Bench: Cameo VEObob and Cameo VEO Essential Kit
Tutorials & Guides
The Cameo VEObob is a breakout box specifically designed for the Phantom VEO camera.
Intro image for article At the Bench: A Closer Look at the PCU2+ Control Unit
Tutorials & Guides
The PCU2+ is the latest version of the PCU from AbelCine’s Cameo line of accessories. The unit can control two Phantom cameras at once, and also replaces the need to be tethered to a computer to control the functions of the camera.
Subscribe to our Newsletter