Making a Cisco Precision HD 1080 4X work without the Tandberg controller thing.

I have had this Cisco Tandberg PrecisionHD 1080 4X camera for quite some time now, but I never really had a go at making it work.


This morning I decided to give it a quick go and got it going right away!

I looked up some manuals online:

From these I was able to find the pinout of the ‘control’ port on the back of the camera.

There is a section in the last link that has the pinouts for things.

I then used some random pinouts of the DB-9 Serial port and RJ45 Jack, to figure out what should go where.

I had a console cable for SOMETHING laying around, so I used a multimeter to trace out where the pins went on the RJ-45 end from the DB-9 end. I labelled these out of an RJ-45 jack and then took my cable from the camera and hooked up the RX to TX, TX to RX and GND to GND.

It looked like a monster..

I cleaned it up a fair bit once I knew it was working, here’s an imgur album:

View post on

I was able to connect to the camera over serial with some random non-freeware that I used a trial of, but it wasn’t that great. seemed to be a little jerky in its control.


Then I found a link to a zip file provided by Sony for their cameras also using the VISCA protocol.

Here’s where I found it:

(found name of zip:

I will attach a mirror in case it gets lost. (

I just started it with default options and hey presto! The camera worked!

The software looks like this:


PT and Z work, but the others not so much. Speed does nothing, and the aperture controls can turn it off (closed) but aren’t so great at opening it again! (it turns off the camera and closes the iris but does not re-open it when you turn the camera back on, and I can’t find how to open it manually…)


I think now I will clean the camera a bit cosmetically, and it will be good to go for the use I have 🙂 (live streaming camera through HDMI capture card)





Found out what the USB is for, “Future use” 🙁


From this manual:

29 thoughts on “Making a Cisco Precision HD 1080 4X work without the Tandberg controller thing.”

  1. Hi there,
    I have 4 of these cameras that I use for live streaming / recording of live events, I currently use software from rocosoft ( the guy who wrote the software customised the commands to work with the 720p version of those cameras that I have.
    My next project is to make an arduino for each camera with a gui web control built in, so that I can control them via Ethernet and not serial.
    It will take a while to make in my limited spare time, with the final step being a way to control them all from another computer with key commands and a central controller.
    These aren’t strictly visca, they use a modified version, and the presets are not stored on the camera, but by calling the PTZF data from the camera and sending the PTZF data to the camera.
    Have you got any pointers on how to make webgui to rs232 commands?

    1. Hi Adrian,

      The arduino will need a level shifter as arduino logic is 5v whereas these cameras use RS232 which is 12v 🙁

      The arduino will generate magic smoke if you hook it up directly. Otherwise it’s a very viable idea.
      Will they be connected via cable or via wireless?

      If the nodes will be wired then you can have an arduino with ethernet running something that gets commands from a HTML5 web UI that captures keystrokes
      then sends it out to other nodes as required.

      im not amazing at code \o/ far from it
      but basic ‘if i click this then send this serial command’ is pretty easy!

  2. Hi! Awesome work! Can you provide the schematic for converting the rs-232 to an rj-45 jack that connects in back of the tand berg camera? I’ve attempted to make a serial cable but the standard serial cables / pin out doesn’t seem to work. Thanks for your help!

    1. Hey David, I can’t draw something up for now as I’m out. But if you look at the photos on the article you should be able to figure it out.

      The Keystone and cat5 cable are standard pinout, so going from.the labelled colours you should be able to wire something up!

  3. I have the 12x version of the camera. I created my own cable as per the Cisco manual to no avail from the d30, and a few other related programs. Surprisingly no communication errors. I swapped the tx/Rx cables and received an error. I have a notebook running windows 10, with a usb to serial adapter, and a desktop running windows 7 with a built in serial port.

    I noticed you had 3 connections. Which rj45 pin did you use for ground? There are 2 grounds in the pinout section.

    I also have followed your steps. There was a old tanberg video wave cable at my job. I had decided to cut the serial end because of the pinout and gender. Use a multimeter to trace the rx/tx and 2 grounds. And connected to pins 2,3, and 5.

    Forgot to add another important part, I connected the camera to a codec and it upgraded the firmware. It was completely functional.

    Any guidance would be appreciated.

    1. its possible that when you updated it the protocol was changed 🙁

      I dont think I can help you further without having access to play with it myself

    1. idk what EVI software is, I just had the camera connected to the screen via HDMI, but you could use a HDMI capture device such as an elgato CamLink

    1. What settings did you use to get it to work with the PTZ controller? I have a USB to Serial convert (RJ-45) connected on COM3 which the PTZ controller detects fine, but nothing happens with the camera if I press any of the controls.
      Also the camera outputs gibberish on a 9600 baud-rate connection when I hook it up to PuTTY…

  4. Using RJ45 to DB9 connector wired as follows:

    RJ 45 DB 9
    7 GND GND 5
    6 TX RX 2
    3 RX TX 3

    I am using an Serial to USB Adapter, a PlayStation 4 Controller and Software, which working great.

    1. have you also tried using the controls directly from the pc using the mouse? I’m trying but I can’t. On the serialporttools did you set to sony visca? Who would be kind enough to help me? thank you

      1. Ever get this to work with the serialporttools application? Having some serious issues communicating with the camera this way. I do get a response in my terminal program with the correct serial settings (but still can’t send any ptz commands or even receive errors):
        visca on.

        1. Aah no sorry, I didn’t. And I haven’t played with this in years, I guess lots of them are coming to the second hand market recently this post is so popular hahaha

  5. hi,
    I have an x12, but I can’t connect it to get the image. How do you get the picture? here is my configuration: Hdmi camera> Hdmi screen + power supply camera + homemade cable for control. but I have no image, are you using specific software?

    thanks in advance

      1. mmhh weird … idk but i don’t use a powersupply basic. if u connect only hdmi and powersupply, it’s works ? u have picture on screen ?

  6. it’s ok for me now …. i have change my hdmi cable … and for register u use one elgato or other one system to broadcast ?

  7. Would you be so kind to the community that follows you to draw the connections from the rj45 pin on the camera to the db9 of the usb cable well? we thank you all

  8. Any luck on getting the PT speed to work? I have a Cisco camera, which appears to basically be the same camera. I also cannot get it to change speeds.

  9. hi there,

    going also to speak with my x12 – it seems the cams whitebalance is set to “warmlight” (3000k) – when using daylight i get a blueish picture. The remote control has no option to set whitebalance back to auto .. so i have to send it via visca to the cam.

    I will try to use/make an usb-r232 – rj45 cable to get the commands to the cam. Fot the picture i use a Blackmagic DeckLink Mini Recorder – he can use HDMI or DVI .. on both i can capture the stream at 1080p.

  10. Hello, this post has been a lifesaver as I’ve been struggling with the same setup for weeks now, thank you for sharing.

    I’m struggling with my cable setup though. I’ve purchased a serial to USB adaptor and the camera I acquired already had a RJ-45 to serial cable with it. Do I need to make a custom cable like you did to make it work? At the moment my PC detects the serial adaptor but when I try to send the serial commands outlined in the manual to the camera nothing happens.

    If I do need to make a cable like you did, can you explain why you connected RX to TX and TX to RX rather than RX to RX and TX to TX?

    Final question, does it matter which COM port my PC assigns to the serial adaptor?

    Many thanks,


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