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Author Topic: best wireless com system?  (Read 10829 times)

theo mack

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best wireless com system?
« on: January 24, 2007, 07:42:00 PM »

Hoping this is on topic for this forum.

I need to purchase a high quality wireless com rig to add to our wired clear-com rig.

Besides Clear-com and Telex, what other systems should I research?

Need base station and 8 belt packs, Headsets, and any paddle/ antenna accessories.

2 ch would be great, but one will work if it saves money.

Wow this stuff is expensive.

Any quality, cost, durability comments would be welcome.

Thanks,

Theo Mack


If this is the wrong forum for this I apologise.
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Mac Kerr

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Re: best wireless com system?
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2007, 07:59:51 PM »

The other one to check out is HME. The HME System 850 is the one to look at. The DX200 and 100 are cheaper, but the audio quality is lousy, and there is enough latency due to the digital transmission that your sidetone is weird sounding. Back when UHF comm was pretty new, HME was the one to get. Today I would lean toward the Telex BTR800, the dual listen belt packs are great. AFAIK the Clear-Com 680 is the same as the BTR800. In any case you are absolutely right to want an antenna system.

Mac
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Chris Stein

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Re: best wireless com system?
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2007, 08:58:25 PM »

We own 1 base station and 4 pack of HME 800 and 2 Base Station 8 Belt Pack of the Telex BTR800. The older HME is non Frequency Agile, but we do not have issues with it when we travel, the audio quality is not great, but not stellar. The BTR 800 is very very good, i would dare to call it a industry standard. As far as paddles goes, it is a little more tricky than straight wireless. When you use wireless Mic's, you can be very confident where the units will be in use, the stage or audience, and you can place the paddles back stage and point them forward and have your field covered. Wireless clear-com is another thing. You have back stage, green rooms, audience, front of house, down the hall, ticket office, the list goes on. I can't tell you how many times i have had a client tell me they could not get a hold of me on their clear-com only to find out they were at the other end of a convention center. That said, if you have your antennas at the back of stage, and the paddles are pointed forward, and your green room is 75' off stage, an back 20' or 30' your reception gain will not be as strong because your cardioid is facing a different direction. We often use our omni antennas without any issue. Profession Wireless Systems can also be very helpful with antenna cable and other omni antenna options. Some of the great features of the telex, are wireless talk around, the wireless can talk directly to all other wireless. Latch or push to talk, you can set each belt pack to either push to talk, or latching talk button. The belt packs can also be set to Channel A only, B only or both channel switching capable. Like every piece of gear, you get what you pay for. If you have any specific questions let me know.
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Brad Ferguson

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Re: best wireless com system?
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2007, 10:16:49 PM »

Mac:

There's a mod for the DX200 that apparently eliminates the latency in your sidetone.  Apparently it works quite well and I've seen the mod and it's fairly simple.  I have yet to do it to mine, but I will definitely report the outcome.
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Jens Brewer

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Re: best wireless com system?
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2007, 11:24:10 PM »

I would throw my vote for the Telex BTR stuff rather than the HME850.  The user interface for the 850 is simply horrendous.  Programming beltpacks is an ordeal and the current software control is lousy at best.  The last time I had to use it, it took over 2 hours and 2 calls to tech support (which, on the weekend I called, was automatically call forwarded to Systems Wireless in VA, unbeknownst to the great tech there I spoke to!).  I can't remember exactly why the beltpacks wouldn't take the programming from the motherstation, but I do remember that everytime I tried to reset the unit to factory defaults, the menu would insist that I 'Save Current Configuration First' which I would do, and then it would insist again to 'Save Current Configuration First'.  I can't imagine how stupid I looked to the rest of the crew when I was yelling at the box, "I just did that you S.O.B.!'

The Telex stuff on the other hand, just works.  Set it up, do a Clear Scan, accept the results, and program the beltpacks accordingly.  Five minutes tops.

It's too bad because the older, non-frequency agile HME stuff worked fine, would take a beating, and was dependable.  I think they just rushed the 850 out the door too quick because Telex was eating up the market share.
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theo mack

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Re: best wireless com system?
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2007, 11:31:05 PM »

We rent a telex 4 belt pac rig from time to time.
It was easy to set up and performed reasonably well.

I am curious if a better antenna paddle rig would significantly help get rig of the few drop outs we had.

The headsets that come with the rental were kind of crap, but I'm sure better ones are available.

Thanks for the help so far, Keep it coming!

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Brennan Houser

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Re: best wireless com system?
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2007, 12:01:59 AM »

BTR 800 all the way.
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Michael Prasuhn

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Re: best wireless com system?
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2007, 03:32:48 AM »

One of my clients has a DX200 system, and gets quite a bit of milage out of it. One trick if you use it, is to make sure it is set to the right system RTS/CC, and then after everything is plugged in, then put a wireless on and start talking and null it, using the recessed pot on the back of the unit. Using just the standard short antennas that come on the unit they've been able to service an average arena quite well, even out into the concourses, and I've seen them swap out  BTRs for the HMEs when the BTRs just didn't have the range, or there was too much RF in the UHF band.

They definitely don't compare in overall features though, and the single channel only thing is a bummer. I've noticed the rechargeable batteries that HME sells for the DX200 series stuff last a long time too. I've done 3 10-12 hour days before swapping them with no problems. I'm not saying its as good as the BTR stuff or the 850 series, but if the features fit what you need, the DX200 stuff can provide a quality solution.

-Mike
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Jake Scudder

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Re: best wireless com system?
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2007, 04:13:27 AM »

Another vote for HME.

I've got quite a bit of experience with the HME DX200.  It's usable but took some getting used to for our deck crew.  They have improved the sweep of the null pot and I think that helped but with Clear-Com we still get pretty nasty latency in the sidetone.  I have also used the HME 850 with Clear-Com and had no issues so if it's actually "best" you are after I'd look there.
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Dave Stevens

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Re: best wireless com system?
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2007, 05:39:07 AM »

theo mack wrote on Wed, 24 January 2007 20:31

I am curious if a better antenna paddle rig would significantly help get rig of the few drop outs we had.

The headsets that come with the rental were kind of crap, but I'm sure better ones are available.


Another good BTR feature is Wireless Talk Around.  Depending on your config, you may not need a second channel as WTA will enable Radiocom users to use the WTA as a second channel and not interupt the primary channel.

Have a scan and run an intermod calc at your venue to see if your drop outs were caused by crowded air/intermod or reception issues.  Most metro areas will likely lose the Telex C6 band or at least take some pretty severe hits in the next year or so as Qualcomm's MediaFlo comes online.

The pinouts for the headsets are available and you can use most anything you wish.  We use several of the Sennheiser HMD410-6 ( http://www.sennheiser.com/sennheiser/icm_eng.nsf/root/02153 ) at the theater but the AV guys I was working with last year were using a Shure headset I can't find a model number for.  The headset thing is pretty easy to solve.

Dave
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Re: best wireless com system?
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2007, 05:39:07 AM »


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