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Author Topic: Tempest intercom  (Read 1796 times)

Tim McCulloch

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Tempest intercom
« on: April 17, 2018, 10:37:50 am »

So does this uniformly suck ass? On a show now where it sounds like R2D2 is under water but the wired coms are flawless.
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

Pete Erskine

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Re: Tempest intercom
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2018, 10:39:28 am »

So does this uniformly suck ass? On a show now where it sounds like R2D2 is under water but the wired coms are flawless.

I agree, the audio quality is not good.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Tempest intercom
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2018, 08:28:29 pm »

I agree, the audio quality is not good.

The Tempest was hired in by the client in our PAC along with the AV package the client's "national office" contracts.  Not PAC or my gear (thankfully).  We moved the transceiver (WAP?) around as best we could but never got acceptable audio even when a user was only 50 feet away, unobstructed.

Remember the "bubbly" vocal sound effect in the Beatles "Octopuses Garden"?  That was *good* as the rest was choppy and intermittent.

To call this an experience in excrement would be charitable.

Now that I've vented, what actions or measures can someone take?  While the client wasn't blaming the PAC or me (we rolled out as many wired coms as we could) it was embarrassing nonetheless.  I'd like to up my game and suggestions are most welcome.
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

Pete Erskine

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Re: Tempest intercom
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2018, 11:20:27 am »


... what actions or measures can someone take? 

is this 2.4 or 900?
look at the 900 spectrum with the system off to be sure it is totally clear
in any case transceiver should be 30' away from any access point.
Turn of as many access points as you can anyway.

is the venue large or high?  if high shield the top of the transceiver from reflections from the ceiling.  place shield about 6" above transceiver.

That's all the recommendations I have but my experience is that it will not work there and you should change to another system.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Tempest intercom
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2018, 12:34:08 pm »

I'm guessing it was 2.4, Pete, because I lost remote control of the audio console when the transceiver was between the console AP and my spot in the audience.  After moving the transceiver about 20 feet (the length of the provider's cable) my console connection wasn't as bad... but would still drop out.  I switched to 5gHz for console and killed the 2.4 radio but it didn't' seem to help the Tempest.

Right now I'm glad this event was the only thing in the facility, leaving us with more wired comms than usual...

If I could go back in time I'd tell that Marconi guy that COPPER was the future. ;)
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

Dan Currie

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Re: Tempest intercom
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2018, 01:08:02 pm »

I won't say the Tempest sounds 'great' but I have not heard one sound as you have described.  The one thing I will say is that they have pretty much always worked for me right out of the box.

Have you tried using only the antenna on the back of the base station?
Maybe changing the hop pattern via the lockout key would help.... 
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Tempest intercom
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2018, 01:51:31 pm »

I won't say the Tempest sounds 'great' but I have not heard one sound as you have described.  The one thing I will say is that they have pretty much always worked for me right out of the box.

Have you tried using only the antenna on the back of the base station?
Maybe changing the hop pattern via the lockout key would help....

As a pack user I've always found wireless comm audio to be significantly inferior to the wired comms I'm accustomed to.  Bah, humbug.

The system was provided & hooked up the the client's video contractor and I'm 99% unfamiliar with the base station side of Tempest.  I noticed an antenna on the base unit as well as the PoE transceiver in use.  Is there a possible distance issue between them?  This is a 'standard package' of stuff the contractor provides for all of the client's state/chapter meetings so I don't think it's universally bad everywhere (or the client would insist on changes), but it was nearly unusable.

Hop pattern?  Sounds like a parameter one would need to drill down for and know why/what he/she is doing... and currently that's not me.  What kind of symptoms would lead to this conclusion and how does changing it help out?  Basic analog RF is something I can wrap my head around but this combination of digital audio fun and the always-potential RF compromises are a combination that I'm not able to separate and troubleshoot.  Thanks for any light you can shine on this.

FHSS?  Hedy, we need you!
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

Jason Glass

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Re: Tempest intercom
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2018, 02:00:05 pm »

As a pack user I've always found wireless comm audio to be significantly inferior to the wired comms I'm accustomed to.  Bah, humbug.

The system was provided & hooked up the the client's video contractor and I'm 99% unfamiliar with the base station side of Tempest.  I noticed an antenna on the base unit as well as the PoE transceiver in use.  Is there a possible distance issue between them?  This is a 'standard package' of stuff the contractor provides for all of the client's state/chapter meetings so I don't think it's universally bad everywhere (or the client would insist on changes), but it was nearly unusable.

Hop pattern?  Sounds like a parameter one would need to drill down for and know why/what he/she is doing... and currently that's not me.  What kind of symptoms would lead to this conclusion and how does changing it help out?  Basic analog RF is something I can wrap my head around but this combination of digital audio fun and the always-potential RF compromises are a combination that I'm not able to separate and troubleshoot.  Thanks for any light you can shine on this.

FHSS?  Hedy, we need you!
One thing to watch on these is that the base and transcievers must have the same firmware version AND radio hardware version. But even then it's a gamble if they'll work when an SA shows noise within their band.

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk

Dan Currie

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Re: Tempest intercom
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2018, 02:56:40 pm »

Tim,
  Symptoms would be a short reception range and dropouts.  If there is co-channel interference causing issues in the event space, changing the lockout key may help.   
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Tempest intercom
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2018, 04:29:39 am »

Tim,
  Symptoms would be a short reception range and dropouts.  If there is co-channel interference causing issues in the event space, changing the lockout key may help.

Short range and dropouts were indeed a problem.  The AV guys were nice but they were as clueless as I was about the Tempest.  They called the home office and the tech suggested moving the transceiver closer to the stage (which we did, up to the limit of the CAT cable in the package).  There were some corner reflector antennas and what looked like LMR400 but the corner reflectors had Type N connectors and the LMR didn't.  No instructions or manual packed with the gear and I was up against a rehearsal deadline to coordinate the client's SLX H5 system.  I never heard those until the client was on stage with them... so no chance to download and consult a Tempest manual.

It was a long & difficult 2 days and all of the various RF issues got fixed except for the Tempest.

Thanks for your help, Dan & Pete.  Your assistance is appreciated.
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut
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