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Author Topic: Need wireless recommendation  (Read 2656 times)

Randall Hyde

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Need wireless recommendation
« on: April 18, 2012, 08:18:56 pm »

Hi All,

I'm talking on a gig this summer that will involve running some satellite speakers about 300-400' from the main stage (for a "Beer Garden"). Running cables is out of the question; no good place to run cables that won't get trampled on, have to run through mud, etc.


So I'm looking at using wireless for this purpose. I would like to run stereo, though mono would work if I absolutely had to.  No doubt, Lectrosonics would be the best solution, but I'm not sure I'm ready to lay down $5,000 to accomplish this on a gig that's going to run me $20,000 across 7-8 shows.  I'd almost consider renting, but the cost across 7-8 shows, coupled with the fact that I could actually use an arrangement like this for other gigs, suggest that purchasing is the right choice.

I've looked at Line 6 stuff, and heard some good things about it, but it still looks a bit low-end for the job. Any recommendations (perhaps on stuff between the Line 6 and Lectrosonics' lines)?  Is the Line 6 stuff going to do the job?

Note the distance I have to cover; I can shave 50-100' off that distance by placing the transmitter at FOH, but I'm pushing the limits of many devices (such as the Line 6).
Thanks for any suggestions.
Randy Hyde
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Mac Kerr

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Re: Need wireless recommendation
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2012, 09:17:44 pm »

I'm talking on a gig this summer that will involve running some satellite speakers about 300-400' from the main stage (for a "Beer Garden"). Running cables is out of the question; no good place to run cables that won't get trampled on, have to run through mud, etc.

Every time I read one of these posts asking about wireless remote sends because "running cable is out of the question" I have to wonder how much paved roadway you have to cross. This question gets asked a few times a year and the answer is usually Lectrosonics IFB transmitter, or Shure or Sennheiser IEM transmitter, either paired with a compatible wireless mic receiver. Use high gain antennas on both transmit and receive.

That said, using a flat spade to cut a slit trench to drop a couple of pairs of audio cable in is pretty easy, and a lot cheaper. If you really want to make it permanent you rent a pipe trencher and put a 400' piece of plastic pipe in the ground and pull the cable through it. It will still be cheaper than a reliable RF link.

Mac
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Matt Errend

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Re: Need wireless recommendation
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2012, 10:03:33 pm »

Hi All,

I'm talking on a gig this summer that will involve running some satellite speakers about 300-400' from the main stage (for a "Beer Garden"). Running cables is out of the question; no good place to run cables that won't get trampled on, have to run through mud, etc.


So I'm looking at using wireless for this purpose. I would like to run stereo, though mono would work if I absolutely had to.  No doubt, Lectrosonics would be the best solution, but I'm not sure I'm ready to lay down $5,000 to accomplish this on a gig that's going to run me $20,000 across 7-8 shows.  I'd almost consider renting, but the cost across 7-8 shows, coupled with the fact that I could actually use an arrangement like this for other gigs, suggest that purchasing is the right choice.

I've looked at Line 6 stuff, and heard some good things about it, but it still looks a bit low-end for the job. Any recommendations (perhaps on stuff between the Line 6 and Lectrosonics' lines)?  Is the Line 6 stuff going to do the job?

Note the distance I have to cover; I can shave 50-100' off that distance by placing the transmitter at FOH, but I'm pushing the limits of many devices (such as the Line 6).
Thanks for any suggestions.
Randy Hyde
If you don't have the cash for the D4 gear, you can pretty much forget about a stereo link.

I would look at doing a mono link with a IEM or IFB system as Mac suggested.

The IFB T4 from Lectro streets for about $850.00, and the R400A is about $600.00. This will give you 250mW of broadcast power, 30-20k audio bandwidth, and no companding.

Shure PSM900+UHF-R is more expensive than the Lectrosonics option and you're limited to 100mW or less depending on the band and you've still got companding artifacts.

Your final option is Sennheiser G3 IEM which is about $649 for the transmitter, and about $400 for each EW100 receiver. For that you get only 30mW of broadcast power, more limited audio bandwidth, and companding artifacts.

IMO just get the Lectrosonics equipment unless you've already got a warehouse full of Sennheiser or Shure gear and already have some components.

That said, we just did a 300' link with the G3 setup where the transmitter was on a rooftop being fed by a 70v line. We setup a single LDPA on the roof pointing at a pair of dipole antennas located at the top of a 45' boom lift. These were connected using LMA400 coax to a EW300G3 receiver at the base of the boom. For our application (paging and announcements) it worked great because the antennas were elevated, it was a clear straight shot, and the speakers on the end were Atlas 70v re-entrant horns so the audio quality wasn't that important anyways. The link was rock solid reliable and we were able to monitor the status of the transmitter and receiver from our offices over the internet.

« Last Edit: April 18, 2012, 10:19:01 pm by Matt Errend »
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Rob Spence

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Re: Need wireless recommendation
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2012, 12:57:08 pm »

I would see just how far you CAN get a cable and how far from the speaker you CAN get a cable and then just bridge the gap with wireless. You might find it is small enough that you could just use a belt pack and receiver.

The cheapest might be to buy a spool (500') of CAT5 cable, solder a few XLRs on it, use the spade approach to get it a little in the ground and consider it expendable. If it survives, use it again. If not, snip the connectors off for next time.

I haven't actually tried to run 2 channels through at CAT 5. Perhaps one of the wizzards here can suggest the best choice or pairs to use?
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Randall Hyde

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Re: Need wireless recommendation
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2012, 12:20:51 am »

I would see just how far you CAN get a cable and how far from the speaker you CAN get a cable and then just bridge the gap with wireless. You might find it is small enough that you could just use a belt pack and receiver.
Unfortunately, FOH is about it. It's a sea of people after that (on grass) with nothing but lawn chairs, blankets, etc., between me and where the sound needs to be transmitted. No poles, trees, or anything I can use to rise above it all. I suppose I *could* set up a tripod in the middle of the crowd, but the security and liability aspects (e.g., what if it gets knocked over?) bother me.

Quote
The cheapest might be to buy a spool (500') of CAT5 cable, solder a few XLRs on it, use the spade approach to get it a little in the ground and consider it expendable. If it survives, use it again. If not, snip the connectors off for next time.
I suspect parks and rec wouldn't enjoy me digging up their grass, tunneling under sidewalks, etc.

Quote
I haven't actually tried to run 2 channels through at CAT 5. Perhaps one of the wizzards here can suggest the best choice or pairs to use?
Getting *any* cable to the spot where I need the audio is problematic. However, the IFB T4 solution from Lectrosonics is looking better and better every day; particularly once I figured out that I could get by with a mono feed to the Beer Garden and wouldn't have to buy two sets of receivers and transmitters.

OTOH, I might also have to do a really big show (covering a huge field) July 4th, so having a pair of transmitters might be useful, anyway.

Thanks to all who've suggested laying wire. Believe me, if there were a way the last thing I want to do is have to mess with wireless and I'd love a wired solution. However, I've slowly come to the conclusion the this isn't the last time I'll need wireless (or it won't be the last time it's more convenient to use wireless) so I might as well bite the bullet and get something decent from Lectrosonics that will be useful in my kit in the future, even if it means that's the profit I get from doing this gig.
Cheers,
Randy Hyde
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Need wireless recommendation
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2012, 12:20:51 am »


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