BeachTek DXA-SLR Setup guide

BeachTek DXA-SLR Setup guide
Operating Manual
Active XLR Adapter for
DSLR Cameras
BeachTek Inc.
1855 Kirschner Rd.
Suite 230
Kelowna, British Columbia
Canada V1Y 4N7
This operating manual explains the function settings and how to
use the adapter to record audio into the camera.
[email protected]
©BeachTek Inc. 2010
Thank You for Purchasing a BeachTek Product
• Before using this high quality device, please read this guide
thoroughly to obtain the highest performance.
• Please contact us if you have any problems or questions.
The BeachTek DXA-SLR is a two-channel, active XLR adapter
with built-in preamplifiers for attaching external microphones and
other audio gear to any DSLR camera that has a built-in mic jack.
It can also be used with any camcorder or other audio recording
device that has a mic jack. The DXA-SLR uses exceptionally low
noise, wide bandwidth preamplifiers for superb audio.
The DXA-SLR is very easy to set up and use. It allows you to
connect a wide variety of audio devices including wireless systems,
mixers, sound boards and professional condenser microphones
that require 48 volt phantom power to operate. The built-in signal
indicators make it easy to verify the proper input levels at a glance
while the level controls allow you to adjust the output level for
optimum recording. The headphone jack lets you monitor the
audio from the adapter during recording, or camera during playback.
A unique feature of the DXA-SLR is the ability to control the wild
swings of the Auto Gain Control that plague most cameras. This
dramatically reduces noise during quiet moments of recording.
The adapter mounts to the bottom of the camera and can also
be mounted to any standard tripod.
Before You Begin
Quick Setup Guide
1) These instructions refer to the use of this adapter with the
Mount the DXA-SLR adapter to the camera.
Connect one of the supplied output cables from the MIC jack
on the adapter to the MIC input jack on the camera.
Connect the supplied AV cable from the MONITOR IN jacks
on the adapter to the AV OUT jack on the camera.
Install a fresh alkaline or lithium battery in the adapter.
Set the Gain switches on bottom of adapter to HI.
Set the GROUND switch on bottom of adapter to G2.
Set the MONITOR switch to XLR.
Set the LIN/MIC switch to MIC for microphones or LIN for
Connect audio sources to the adapter.
DSLR cameras unless otherwise noted.
2) Do a few test recordings and check playback on the camera
to be sure that the audio is captured as expected. Since there
is no headphone jack on most cameras, you cannot monitor
what is being recorded by the camera.
3) Please read and understand the use of the AGC DSBL feature
before using this function.
Supplied Accessories
• 3.5 mm to 3.5 mm output cable
• 3.5 mm to 2.5 mm output cable
• AV Cable
10) Set the M/S switch to M for mono when using one channel
or to S for stereo when using two channels.
11) Activate the 48V phantom power for only those microphones
that require phantom power to operate.
12) Set the AGC DSBL switch to the left for off. Before using this
function, please read the information supplied in this manual
for a detailed explanation of how this feature works.
13) Turn the adapter PWR switch on. The power LED should
indicate green.
14) Adjust the level controls for each channel so that the LED
signal indicators flicker green. Decrease the levels if they turn
15) Plug your headphones into the PHONE jack on the adapter and
adjust the VOLUME control to a comfortable level. Be sure that
you hear audio on both channels from the connected devices.
16) Do a test recording and playback to ensure that the captured
audio is satisfactory.
Adapter Connectors and Controls
Volume Control
Adjusts the headphone volume level
Front Panel
M/S Switch
PWR Switch
Selects mono or stereo output mode
Main power switch for adapter
LIN/MIC Switches
Selects microphone or line level input on each channel
Green indicates power on and good battery condition. Red indicates
low battery voltage
LEFT and RIGHT Controls
Individual adjustment controls to adjust output levels on each
Selects headphone monitoring from either the microphones during
recording, or playback audio from the camera
48V Switch
Activates 48 volt phantom power for condenser microphones that
require phantom power to operate
Disables the Auto Gain Control feature in the camera
Signal Indicators
The LED signal indicators flicker green for good levels or red for
Headphone jack to monitor the audio from microphones or camera
Bottom Panel
Ground Switch
Ground selection switch
Gain Switch
Selects LO for unity gain or HI for +15dB boost
Side Panel
Two balanced XLR inputs attach to professional microphones or
other audio gear such as wireless systems or mixers and sound
Unbalanced input for connecting to a wireless receiver or other
device that has a mini-plug output cable
Output jack for connection to the camera
Input jacks for connecting the AV cable to the camera
Setup Guide
Initial Setup
Battery Installation
Connect your microphones or other audio gear to the adapter
via the XLR inputs or AUX mini-plug input.
1) The DXA-SLR operates on one 9 volt battery. We recommend
that you use either an alkaline or lithium type battery for
Set the LIN/MIC switch to either MIC when connecting microphones or most wireless receivers, or to LIN when taking
the longest operating time.
a line level feed from a mixer or sound board.
2) To install the battery simply unlatch the drawer by pushing
in and up on the front drawer front to release it and slide out.
Set the MONITOR Switch to XLR to monitor the audio from
the microphones during recording.
Insert the battery with the "+" positive terminal lined up with
the "+" indicator on the battery compartment. Slide the
Set the GAIN switch on the bottom of the adapter to HI. This
is the normal setting for most microphones. If you are using
battery drawer closed until it clicks into place.
very sensitive condenser type microphones, or recording
very loud sounds, you may have to set the GAIN switch
Mounting and Connecting the Adapter to the Camera
to LO to prevent distortion.
1) Line up the mounting bolt on top of the adapter to the tripod
hole on the underside of the camera. Carefully turn the adapter
Set the GROUND switch on the bottom of the adapter to G2.
mounting knob on the front panel to the right to screw the
You may have to change this to the G1 setting for some
adapter squarely into the camera. Snug the adapter to the
cameras or camcorders if you detect any unusual noise.
camera, but do not over tighten.
You will need to do a test recording and playback to determine
the best position for your setup.
2) Use one of the supplied output cables and connect one end
to the OUT of the adapter and the other end to the MIC on
the camera.
Set the M/S switch to M for mono when using one microphone. Set the unused channel level control fully counterclockwise to 0 to disable it to prevent noise. When using two
3) To monitor audio from the camera during playback, connect
microphones, you should normally set the switch to S for
the red and white RCA plugs on the supplied AV cable, or the
stereo to keep each channel separated.
AV cable that came with the camera to the corresponding red
and white MONITOR IN jacks on the adapter. Attach the other
end to the AV output of the camera.
4) You can also mount the adapter to any standard tripod.
Set the AGC DSBL switch to the left so that it is deactivated.
Set the LEFT and RIGHT level controls fully counter-clockwise
to 0.
Plug your headphones into the PHONES jack to monitor the
Basic Operation
audio. Be sure that the VOLUME control is set low to avoid
excessively loud audio from damaging your hearing.
10) Turn the adapter PWR switch ON. The power LED should
light green indicating good battery voltage.
After following the above Initial Setup, you should be ready to
start recording.
1) Use the signal indicators on the adapter to set the proper
output levels for recording. Increase the level controls for each
11) Activate the 48V phantom power switch for only those micro-
channel that is being used so that the signal level LED flickers
phones that require 48 volt phantom power to operate. Do
green. If the indicator turns red, decrease the level so that
not activate phantom power for dynamic microphones, con-
it flickers green again.
denser microphones that do not operate on phantom power,
wireless receivers, mixing boards or any unbalanced device
as it may cause damage to both the adapter and connecting
2) Adjust the VOLUME control for the headphones to a comfortable listening level.
3) Do a test recording and play back the audio from the camera
to determine if the captured audio is acceptable. Set the
MONITOR switch to RCA to hear the playback audio from the
4) The Auto Gain Control (AGC) in the camera will vary the
amount of gain depending upon the input signal level. During
quiet moments, the AGC will increase the gain, which will also
increase the amount of hiss from the camera preamplifiers.
See "Using the AGC DSBL Feature" below to reduce this
Advanced Operation
Using the AGC DSBL Feature
This switch is a means to disable the wild swings of the Auto Gain
• Two balanced XLR connectors
• One unbalanced mini-jack
Control in the camera. It activates an inaudible tone of 20 kHz
• Two RCA inputs for playback monitoring
to the left channel (when set to STEREO operation) that prevents
the Auto Gain Control from increasing the gain to its maximum
• Unbalanced stereo mini-plug jack for connection to the camera
level. This reduces the hiss that normally occurs when the camera
Headphone Monitor
is recording audio during quiet moments. This inaudible tone is
• Built-in headphone amplifier with volume control
recorded by the camera but can be easily filtered out if necessary.
• 3.5 mm phone jack
You can still use the left channel for recording normal audio at
Auto Gain Control Disable
the same time that the AGC DSBL feature is active.
• Controls the wild swings of the AGC in the camera to reduce hiss
Phantom Power
You may also want to record audio only on the right channel and
leave the left channel unused for the AGC control signal if this
• Switchable 48 volt phantom power for both channels
Signal Indicators
tone presents a problem down the line. In this case, you should
• Dual color LED's indicate proper signal level for each channel
set the M/S switch to S for stereo to keep the AGC signal separated
Gain Switch
from the recorded signal.
• High / Low gain setting for each channel
Again, it is important that you do a test recording and play back
Level Controls
the audio to see if it is acceptable.
• Adjusts signal level output on each channel
MIC/LINE Switches
• Allows connections of microphones or mixers for versatility
Low Noise Preamplifiers
• Exceptionally low noise circuitry for superb audio
• Wide-bandwidth for full rich sound
Playback Monitor
• Provides an easy way to monitor audio on playback
• Easily replaceable 9 volt battery
• Low battery indicator
• Sturdy die-cast aluminum enclosure
Maximum Input Levels
Warranty Information
MIC Input setting
LO gain: +6 dBu
HI gain: -12 dBu
Limited Two Year Warranty
This warranty covers any defects or malfunction in your new
BeachTek adapter for two years from date of purchase.
Output Level
Nominal MIC levels
Frequency Response
20 Hz to 20 kHz (+/- 1dB)
LO gain: 0 dB
HI gain: 15 dB
or abuse. The device must be sent to our service center at your
Dual regulated 48 volt power supplies
Current to 14 mA (direct short)
Should you require service please contact us first before returning
BeachTek will replace or repair any defective or malfunctioning
adapter, within the warranty period, at no charge. The warranty
does not cover damage resulting from accident, alteration, misuse
Phantom Power
Signal Indicator
Green indicates good output level
Red indicates overload
Battery Type
One 9 volt alkaline or lithium battery
Recommend rechargeable lithium
polymer batteries from iPowerUS
Battery Duration
3 hours typical with alkaline battery
5 hours typical with lithium battery
4.25" x 4" x 1.75" (L x W x H)
(108 mm x 102 mm x 44 mm)
12 oz (0.34 kg)
the unit to us. Return instructions can be found on our website
at under the Support option.
Upon receiving the returned adapter it will be inspected and
replaced or repaired if found defective. The unit will be shipped
back to you within five business days at our expense.
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