An umbilical contains all the cables to connect a camera through to the control room for a live show. These are run in parallel inside a flexible plastic sheath, so they should be dead easy to connect up and move around with, without risking tangling everything.
A typical umbilical should contain:
- One, although more often two, BNC cables for sending video back from the camera. They should have colour-coded strain relief boots on both ends, two are included to have a spare in case of an all too common failure.
- A 4-pin XLR cable, used to send power to a camera. Note that these aren't the same on both ends, the power goes in the side with the pins (so you can't poke your fingers and get a shock) so the female end goes to the camera
- A 3-pin XLR cable, for camera comms. This should be connected to a comms beltpack at the camera-operator's end and a squid at the other, which should connect all the camera comms together.
- A Cat-5 cable (network cable) for Tally. This should be connected to a tally block on the camera end, and the tally splitter (menorah) at the other end, which then links to the tally line back to the control room
The fate of the original umbilical set is unknown, although with the changing equipment they probably became redundant or broke, there has been no replacement for at least a few years (as of 2019). There is a plan to update this system and build new versions of the Umbilical for future studio shows.
At this point, the plan follows closely to the original design: Containing.
- XLR 3 pin, for comms
- COAX for camera signal
- 13A power for the converters
- CAT5 possibly for some form of new tally if it ever happens