Overview of Howman Controls' TALLY4 Broadcast Tally System
The TALLY4 system is a software programmable matrix switch designed
for broadcast applications. The heart of the system is the Mitsubishi
A-Series programmable controller, an industrial robotics control system
providing local and remote networked input and output connections to studio
equipment. Mated with the A-series controller is TALLY4, a
PC-compatible software package which allows users to configure multiple
"virtual matrices" and establish connections between the inputs and outputs
of these matrices. There are several different types of connection
available (Normal, Reverse, Flashing, Enable, etc.) and multiple connections
may be set (up to 50 input connections per output).
The system can be visualized as a matrix switch of up to 1000 inputs by 1000
outputs, with a software program defining the connections between inputs and
outputs. To aid in the programming of this matrix, the TALLY4
software allows the user to define "virtual matrices" - groups of inputs and
outputs which are displayed as if they were each an isolated sub-matrix.
The inputs and outputs of these matrices can be assigned in any order, and
can contain a mix of local I/O and "virtual I/O" - internal memory points
which can be used as intermediate states in complex tally logic
configurations. Up to twenty "virtual matrices" can be defined in a single
configuration file, and multiple configuration files can be stored on disk.
This allows the "virtual matrices" to be custom tailored to each show or
event and recalled from disk as needed.
The TALLY4 hardware consists of a Mitsubishi AnS series controller
rack with power supply, central processing unit, communications module for
programming, and local input and/or output cards as desired. (For comparison
purposes, a fully populated controller rack with eight I/O cards is roughly
the size of a loaf of bread.) If needed, the rack can be connected to
expansion racks for up to 32 local I/O slots. For ultimate flexibility and
expansion possibilties, the Mitsubishi Mini-Net remote I/O system can
provide a twisted pair or coaxial cable network of remotely mounted inputs
and outputs. TALLY4 racks can contain up to eight remote I/O network
cards, each of which supports the connection of up to 512 input or output
points, physically packaged in "bricks" of 8, 16, or 32 points each. Use of
our TALLYNET - Mini-Net compatible TALLY4 - software package
with the Mini-Net remote I/O system provides complete access to all
networked I/O in the virtual matrices. Remote I/O "bricks" can be mounted
up to 300 feet apart using twisted pair wiring - for longer distances, we
suggest using coaxial cabling.
Controller I/O is available in many different varieties, including input
voltage levels from 5 VDC through 220 VAC, and transistor, relay, or triac
outputs. Determining what devices the tally matrix will be connected to
allows you to select the mixture of local input and output cards and remote
"bricks" which will best suit your needs. Howman Controls then packages the
controllers in standard 19" rackmount frames for the broadcast industry.
The TALLY4 software display is a visual representation of a matrix,
with input signals entering on the left and output signals exiting at the
bottom. To define a connection between an input (such as the tally signal
generated by a switcher) and an output (such as a monitor wall tally lamp),
the user moves a cursor to the desired crosspoint, and selects the desired
crosspoint type (Normal, Reverse, etc.) In addition to crosspoint selection,
the software allows for inputs and outputs to be disabled, forced ON,
logically inverted, or slaved to other points. The combination of
crosspoint functions, "virtual matrix" displays, input/output controls, and
remote networked I/O capabilities make the Tallynet system one of the most
flexible and powerful tally systems available today.