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Author Topic: Inside look at a massive comm system for a Mega Show....  (Read 14594 times)

Pete Erskine

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Inside look at a massive comm system for a Mega Show....
« on: August 16, 2016, 01:34:33 pm »

This summer, Riedel Communications hired me to work on another mega event like I have done for them before.   This will be my 17 and 18th time doing events this size and experience paves the way to do more.  Now that other articles have been written I can post my pictures.

Here is an article from SVG   http://www.sportsvideo.org/2016/08/11/live-from-rio-2016-riedel-has-olympic-sized-presence/

Each time Riedel Communications provides the pinnacle of comms systems.   The massive communications system allowed very comfortable communications during rehearsals and the actual show.  Everyone has access to almost all channels and usually communicate to me or Radouan for any changes in their panel.  Of course the equipment is only the tool.

The real greatness is the caliber and friendliness of technicians that Riedel hires to do the work.  We always have a good time and, because of the attitude, work hard.

The overriding goal is facilitating communications for the show, of course.

The full collection of pictures is http://www.bestaudio.com/massivecomms/
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Pete Erskine
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Henry Cohen

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Re: Inside look at a massive comm system for a Mega Show....
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2016, 02:25:57 pm »

For the radio system, what's the minimum and average adjacent channel separation? (I presume this is all in the low to mid 400's?) How many channels get combined into a single TX antenna [feed]?
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Henry Cohen

CP Communications    www.cpcomms.com
Radio Active Designs   www.radioactiverf.com

archive_2_NeilW

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Re: Inside look at a massive comm system for a Mega Show....
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2016, 03:22:49 pm »

Each time Riedel Communications provides the pinnacle of comms systems.   The massive communications system allowed very comfortable communications during rehearsals and the actual show.  Everyone has access to almost all channels and usually communicate to me or Radouan for any changes in their panel.  Of course the equipment is only the tool.

Great photos and details Pete.

What is your workflow like with multiple programmers online to the system at the same time - do you still have to get the latest copy from the network before making any changes?

Is the panel offline beep and key flash something that is standard in Director or more logic programming?
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Pete Erskine

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Re: Inside look at a massive comm system for a Mega Show....
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2016, 04:17:49 pm »

Great photos and details Pete.

What is your workflow like with multiple programmers online to the system at the same time - do you still have to get the latest copy from the network before making any changes? 

Is the panel offline beep and key flash something that is standard in Director or more logic programming?

We take care in notifying each other that we might need to do programming and then when done say get a new copy.  Generally it's me and if I leave my post Radouan takes over listening to COMMHELP and doing any editing.  Also we disable OVERWRITE.

Panel offline is done with a logic function on the ALWAYS button of the panel which if the panel is live the logic is pushed.  If panel is unplugged the logic goes off.  the function beeps me and flashes the marker keys.  This is a trick I learned from Radouan.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2016, 04:24:42 pm by Pete Erskine »
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archive_2_NeilW

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Re: Inside look at a massive comm system for a Mega Show....
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2016, 04:38:46 pm »

Panel offline is done with a logic function on the ALWAYS button of the panel which if the panel is live the logic is pushed.  If panel is unplugged the logic goes off.  the function beeps me and flashes the marker keys.  This is a trick I learned from Radouan.

Nice, probably not something that you'd have time to program on every show, but I guess once the system is running in rehearsals for this scale show there is a good amount of time to add details like this to the system?

Is the UPS monitoring all done over network using SNMP or similar? Are there network switches with each Artist node?
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Pete Erskine

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Re: Inside look at a massive comm system for a Mega Show....
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2016, 04:39:27 pm »

For the radio system, what's the minimum and average adjacent channel separation? (I presume this is all in the low to mid 400's?) How many channels get combined into a single TX antenna [feed]?

This is an amazing transmitter combiner.  Typically this method is used on high power commercial broadcast systems but rarely more than 5-6 TX.  Steve has expanded the idea for almost 50 TX frequencies.  The amazing thing is that any one TX only looses 6 dB by the time it gets to the antenna.  NO additional amplification is needed during or after the combining.  All of the loss is due to the little bit of RF that does get through to another TX or the term in a circulator.

HERE is the design PDF for Steve's antenna system

Read about this technology HERE
« Last Edit: August 17, 2016, 11:18:07 am by Pete Erskine »
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Pete Erskine

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Re: Inside look at a massive comm system for a Mega Show....
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2016, 04:44:18 pm »

Is the UPS monitoring all done over network using SNMP or similar? Are there network switches with each Artist node?

Yes all UPS are monitored by SNMP.  Most every node has a MediorNet Modular node as well which provides network as well as video interfacing for the PTZ camera system.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2016, 04:49:56 pm by Pete Erskine »
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Pete Erskine
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Pete Erskine

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Re: Inside look at a massive comm system for a Mega Show....
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2016, 04:47:28 pm »

Nice, probably not something that you'd have time to program on every show, but I guess once the system is running in rehearsals for this scale show there is a good amount of time to add details like this to the system?

One thing about doing comms...once it's setup and running there is nothing to do so I occupy my time by implementing these kinds of things to make it interesting for me.  The panel offline was a great success since we knew before the user that his panel was off!.  I would immediately call an adjacent user and say we were on the way.
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Pete Erskine
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archive_2_NeilW

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Re: Inside look at a massive comm system for a Mega Show....
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2016, 10:57:47 am »

This is an amazing transmitter combiner.  Typically this method is used on high power commercial broadcast systems but rarely more than 5-6 TX.  Steve has expanded the idea for almost 50 TX frequencies.  The amazing thing is that any one TX only looses 6 dB by the time it gets to the antenna.  NO additional amplification is needed during or after the combining.  All of the loss is due to the little bit of RF that does get through to another TX or the term in a circulator.

How complex is it to deploy this system on site? I assume the tuned cable lengths are all set in advance during prep and then the cavity filters tuned on site with a tracking generator?
« Last Edit: August 17, 2016, 11:18:24 am by Pete Erskine »
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Pete Erskine

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Re: Inside look at a massive comm system for a Mega Show....
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2016, 11:07:37 am »

How complex is it to deploy this system on site? I assume the tuned cable lengths are all set in advance during prep and then the cavity filters tuned on site with a tracking generator?

It took Torbeg and Steve 2 days to fine tune the cable lengths and adjust frequencies.  It is not an easy system to setup.  The cable lengths theoretically could b done in advance but in reality small adjustments needed to be done once all channels were online based on how much of the freqs got into other TX.

Using a normal hybrid combiner would put a lot of rf back into each TX and the circulators.  The circulator terminations would get too hot to touch.  Using manifold combining in this system they are cold meaning very little RF is fed back into the previous TX.

A tuning box could be made that electrically adjusts the length of the cable.  Nothing like that exists as a product so manual cable length was the easiest way to do this.

I am told that cellular techs travel with a lot of pre cut cables, sort of like a kit of all the different values of resistors, that they just use to adjust combining, rather than build cables on site.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2016, 11:27:22 am by Pete Erskine »
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Pete Erskine
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Re: Inside look at a massive comm system for a Mega Show....
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2016, 11:07:37 am »


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