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AEC-BOX-50 Literature
BRIEF: This device is designed to make the Ampex VPR-3, VPR-6, VPR-80, and VPR-300 tape machines look like Sony BVH-2000 tape machines, from a serial control standpoint (allows a 'Sony protocol' (P2) controller to control 'Ampex protocol' devices).. In addition to the standard RS422 input, an RS232 input is provided to allow direct control from a personal computer if desired.
As of mid 2012, the AEC-BOX-50 model is available in very limited supply. Contact the factory for specific details to see if one is still available.

 'AEC-BOX-50' - Ampex to Sony Serial Protocol Converter

The AEC-BOX-50 is envisioned as the first in a series of serial protocol converter products. It is designed to make the Ampex VPR-3, VPR-6, VPR-80, and VPR-300 tape machines look like Sony BVH-2000 tape machines, from a serial control standpoint. In addition to the standard RS422 input, an RS232 input is provided to allow direct control from a personal computer if desired.

The AEC-BOX-50 is small (modem sized), rugged (all metal), and attractive. For both reliability and convenience, an internal power supply is used, for which 115VAC/230VAC is required, and which is Hi-Pot tested for your (and our) safety.

Installation is very easy. The video reference signal going to the VTR must be looped through the AEC-BOX-50 (for timing purposes). Standard RS422 cables are required for the controller and VTR connections. Other than that, no setup work is required.

All documented (and many undocumented) Sony Betacam serial commands are supported, allowing full transport control and record/playback editing capabilities, subject only to the inherent limitations of your particular VTR. For this reason, we believe that the AEC-BOX-50 will work with almost any controller which is properly set up to control a Sony BVH-2000 (or BVW-40) VTR. Our 15 day money back guarantee on this product, if you are not fully satisfied, supports this claim.

If your application requires something a little different from what you see here, please give us a call. These boxes (and their software) have been designed with customization in mind. Since we are a small company, we can (usually) respond quickly to your particular needs, and at a reasonable price.

Please call us at 1-800-782-2321, or at the number above, if you have any questions. We look forward to hearing from you.


Tracey Ruesch, President


What started out as a fairly simple software project, merely translating "Sony" instructions as they are received into the equivalent "Ampex" instructions, eventually had to be abandoned and replaced with a much more sophisticated product. Without giving away any trade secrets, let it suffice to say that the present AEC-BOX-50 software turned out to be almost as much work as all of a typical VTR's internal software. We have to charge accordingly. Compared to the price of the machines themselves, we feel that the AEC-BOX-50 price is reasonable.


The VTR being controlled needs to have a 9-pin RS422 serial interface port, which is an option on the VPR-6 and VPR-80. The AEC-BOX-50 has been tested with VPR-3, VPR-6, VPR-80, and VPR-300 VTRs, as well as with TimeLine LYNX audio transport interfaces, yet may or may not work properly with other "Ampex protocol" devices. We are (usually) willing to work with you in adapting the AEC-BOX-50 to other devices.


The AEC-BOX-50 includes a large EEPROM, along with special modem interface software, which allows easy operational modifications and software upgrades in the field if ever needed.


The VPR-80 transport is much slower and harder to control than most VTRs. The AEC-BOX-50 software takes this into account, and "improves" things significantly. However, dynamic differences do remain. We chose to emulate the BVH-2000 because its dynamic behavior is close to that of the VPR-80. Some editors and VTR controllers handle these differences better than others. For example, it may be necessary to use 7 second prerolls in order to obtain trouble free synchronization of the VPR-80 to other machines.


The AEC-BOX-50 senses whether an NTSC or PAL type VTR is present, and automatically adjusts its operations as needed to handle the types of signals present. No setup work of any kind is required to switch between NTSC/SMPTE and PAL/EBU operations.


Model       Description                                     Price
AEC-BOX-50  Ampex to Sony Serial Protocol Converter ......... 695
            Makes Ampex VPR-3/6/80/300 VTRs
            look like Sony BVH-2000 VTRs, from a
            serial control standpoint.  Box software
            automatically adjusts itself to work with
            the particular Ampex VTR and video sync
            standard (NTSC/PAL/SECAM) being used.
            Requires a video sync input and a standard
            9-pin RS422 cable to the VTR's controller.
            No other setup work is required.
AEC-BOX-xx  Put your idea here... ........................... TBD
Each  box comes with an instruction manual, schematics, a  115VAC 
internal  power supply, a 2 year warranty, a 3m VTR cable, and  a 
15 day money back guarantee if not fully satisfied.
230VAC      Converts internal power supply to 230VAC .......... 0
Accessories:                                  (feet/3.3 = meters)
ESBUSCBL2   ESbus RS422 cable (5 cond) .......... 25 + 0.90/meter
BOX232CBL   Nonstandard 9-pin RS232 Cable, ...... 23 + 0.70/meter
              with 9-pin to 25-pin adapter.
BOX232MAC   8-pin Macintosh RS232 Port Cable (2 meters) ...... 25
XMAN        Extra Instruction Manual ......................... 20
AEC-BOX is a trademark of Adrienne Electronics Corporation.
Prices subject to change without notice.     (C) January 1997 AEC
                         Made in U.S.A.
Copyright 2006 Adrienne Electronics Corporation
Last modified: 02/22/13