Will wireless Senn units work in Africa? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

All Things Audio
Everything Audio, from acquisition to postproduction.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old February 26th, 2008, 11:08 AM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Asheville NC
Posts: 426
Will wireless Senn units work in Africa?

I'll be in remote parts of Tanzania and Uganda and wondering if the Senn wireless units will work. I have the "C" channel. I have the older variety. The two body packs as opposed to the one bodypack, one reciever.
Matt Buys is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 26th, 2008, 01:23 PM   #2
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada
Posts: 86
I'd be interested in why they wouldn't.
Sacha Rosen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 26th, 2008, 03:37 PM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tucson AZ
Posts: 2,207
I don't think it's a matter of whether they work technically. More a matter of what frequency rages are authorized where for unlicensed transmissions, interference, etc etc etc.
Jim Andrada is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 26th, 2008, 04:15 PM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 383
Jim is right on this. I did some leg work on this issue this past year. I asked a few mixers who had worked over there and basically as they told me, it's the wild west all over again. However, the all strongly recommended a local fixer, and to bring over equipment that didn't look "too impressive" lest the local law enforcement (or militia) get too curious. I was suppose to work on a documentary about Kenya runners, but that section of the doc has been put off until the current situation over there improves.

Matt, I would suggest you find a local fixer, who can help you with permits, and dealing with these sorts of issues.

Wayne
__________________
Mics: KMR 82 i, NTG-1, MKH418S, MKH8040, SR77, QTC1, QTC40, SR30
Recorder: Zaxcom Deva 5.8 & MIX-12. Wireless: TRX900 stereo, Lectro 411
Wayne Brissette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 26th, 2008, 08:33 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Asheville NC
Posts: 426
What is confusing me is Meryem's question from another thread.

See post 11.

http://dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=115333

I've never had any problems with using wireless in remote areas before but I know very little about audio. And far, far less than Meryem, I'm sure.

I have not bought the cos-11's yet, so I'd love some clarification. Essentially, my question is "Can you get a wireless signal in Africa?"
Matt Buys is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 26th, 2008, 10:00 PM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Fairfield, Dunedin, New Zealand
Posts: 3,634
Images: 18
Hi Matt..................

The answer to your Q is a most certain "If you transmit a signal, you can pick it up" (anywhere).

Quite what Meryems sentence is supposed to mean is anyones guess, but wireless works in Africa just the same as anywhere else.

I just checked the Sennheiser web site for national frequency allocations and, with the exception of Egypt, not one other African country is listed.

This means they either have no wireless mic frequency allocations or no one knows what they are.

Given that this sort of gear is probably not sold by the truckload in the countries you mentioned visiting, and thus would be just another "electronic thingy" to 99.999% of anybody who saw it, I can't see why you couldn't just go ahead and use it, tho' prudence would dictate you do a thorough scrute of available channels first just to make sure there isn't a TV station smack on top of your chosen block.

(Tho' as you said "remote parts" I think the likelyhood of that exceedingly low)

It might be worth checking a couple of other wireless system manufacturers sites to see if they have any listing for the countries mentioned, but my guess is they won't.


CS
Chris Soucy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 26th, 2008, 10:06 PM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 383
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Buys View Post

I have not bought the cos-11's yet, so I'd love some clarification. Essentially, my question is "Can you get a wireless signal in Africa?"
Honestly, I'm confused by his question to you too. But, I think what he is asking not if they don't work, but will you be able to use them legally. Therein lies the issue. You're going to be in remote areas. The things you have to deal with in metro areas are TV stations on the same frequency, RF from other sources, and buildings, and other reflective surfaces that kill your signal strength. Don't get hung up on the term wireless. What is wireless? It's nothing more than a normal radio. You have a transmitter (the radio tower), and a receiver (your radio/stereo). In fact if you do a carnet for your equipment, don't call them wireless mics, or radio mics, just call them mics. This suggestion was given to me by one of the folks at Coffey Sound, who does this when gear goes out of the country.

But, back to your question, will it work? absolutely and that was Jim's (and I think Sacha's) point. They will work, but legally can you use them? That's where permits, and a local fixer can help you out, but my "never been to Africa" opinion is all should work just fine since you're in a remote area.

Wayne
__________________
Mics: KMR 82 i, NTG-1, MKH418S, MKH8040, SR77, QTC1, QTC40, SR30
Recorder: Zaxcom Deva 5.8 & MIX-12. Wireless: TRX900 stereo, Lectro 411
Wayne Brissette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 27th, 2008, 12:47 AM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Fairfield, Dunedin, New Zealand
Posts: 3,634
Images: 18
Hi again..............

Well, further digging (into the USA's very own CIA archives, BTW - all legal, just do a Google and it's amazing what pops up!) would indicate that the amount of RF being fed to either of the countries mentioned is so minimal as to be insignificant.

Would anyone in either country even know you were using them?

About as much chance as stumbling upon Osama Bin Laden perusing the "Pork" section in your local 7 - 11 is my guess.

As Wayne said, just call 'em mics and get on with it.

No one wil be any the wiser, and the lack of a cable will be just another Western mystery to anyone watching your efforts.


CS
Chris Soucy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 27th, 2008, 10:15 PM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Asheville NC
Posts: 426
Thanks. Ordered the lavs from trew.
Matt Buys is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 27th, 2008, 10:34 PM   #10
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 3,012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne Brissette View Post
But, I think what he is asking not if they don't work, but will you be able to use them legally.
yes, that was the source of my question, matt--i just sold an extra wireless setup a few weeks ago to someone in the UK and was told that the frequency of the unit wasn't able to be used legally because of interference...

certainly africa is the wild west, but that cuts both ways, in the sense that, it also makes it easier to get caught, if you're generating interference on the local frequencies...nothing worse than being caught by authorities in a foreign country. this happened to me once while shooting in mexico, and it wasn't terribly pleasant, to talk my way out of a situation in a language that i only marginally speak.

hope this clarifies. sorry for the confusion...i meant to respond to that earlier, but got caught up in a Challenge round....
Meryem Ersoz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 28th, 2008, 09:30 AM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Asheville NC
Posts: 426
Meryem I'm curious what happened in Mexico so as to possibly avoid something similar myself.
Matt Buys is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 28th, 2008, 09:54 AM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 383
Meryem, I'm also curious if this was a legit shoot (ie permits, fixer, etc.), or some guerilla doc/shoot.

Wayne
__________________
Mics: KMR 82 i, NTG-1, MKH418S, MKH8040, SR77, QTC1, QTC40, SR30
Recorder: Zaxcom Deva 5.8 & MIX-12. Wireless: TRX900 stereo, Lectro 411
Wayne Brissette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 28th, 2008, 10:26 AM   #13
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 3,012
yes, a guerilla shoot, so the advice to find a fixer is probably very good, if you can get access to one who knows the laws, also just to look into the laws of the country for shooting there, if you haven't already.

because things that may be just fine here at not necessarily so fine in other locales. my incident consisted of getting chased down and chewed out royally by a mad fella in a jeep, with threats of confiscating my gear, etc. this was in the sian kaan biosphere, which i thought would have been ok, since there's plenty of tourists with handycams floating about.

lots of abject apologies on my part and promises to put it away and not do anything without proper permitting, etc. got me out of it. but my gear wasn't even that elaborate (GL2, wireless mic with butt plug and shotgun, for non camera-mounted lower profile, and a monopod which i used on my foot, it never touched the ground and they found this a little befuddling --- "no tripea" --ok, so technically it wasn't a tripea, but it was a stabilizer...which read "professional" to the authority who collared me, i was tempted to argue the technicality but, for once, kept my mouth shut...). so i can't tell you precisely what got me tossed, but this guy came, literally, out of nowhere, to chase me down, in a jeep, so that made me think radio interference....in fact, i could see him with a 20x zoom, across a valley and pretty far away, not realizing that i was his target. i think i even have footage of him and the dusty trail of the road behind him, come to think of it....

ironically, i wasn't even shooting anything that i would have used in a commercial video, this was my light vacation set-up...these were just home movies, lazily shot using the auto mode, like any good tourist, so i wasn't even acting terribly professional, just that the gear looked that way. i just don't like shooting bad home movies.

i think the HV20 is the best camera out there for passing as a tourist....the bigger GL2, which i've since sold, still attracted a little too much attention to be a good passing-as-tourist cam because of its size, especially in other countries, where no visible serious hobbyist class exists. great guerilla cam, even with stuff on it, no one gives it too much attention.

when i was in another country, in asia, i was approached frequently shooting an XH A1, but i was traveling with a respected monk and he talked us out of every situation and also into situations where no Westerner had taken a camera before. so yeah, hooking up with a local has definite advantages. big advantages...
Meryem Ersoz is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:48 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network