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Old March 28th, 2008, 10:29 AM   #16
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A solo video journalist shooting with an HC7. Nothing fancy there. Less risk than running a long cable into his mini-jack socket.
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Old March 28th, 2008, 11:06 AM   #17
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So having concluded a fixed frequency unit is a gamble, I'm looking at the Azden 300LT On-Camera 240-Frequency UHF Wireless lav setup. It is at the far end of my budget, but it does allow for scanning for an open frequency. Not as small as the Samson, but it seems fairly compact.

Also - what is going to happen with the proposed wireless spectrum and digital broadcasting that is to take place next year? Anyone know how this is going to affect wireless lavs? I would hate to invest in something and find out in less than a year it has become obsolete.

Any comments?
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Last edited by Cliff Etzel; March 28th, 2008 at 12:37 PM.
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Old March 28th, 2008, 04:09 PM   #18
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Dear Cliff,

Just to add to what Steve has said.

If you purchase the Sennheiser G2 or better, such as Lectrosonics, you can consider it an investment.

These are good units and you should feel comfortable buying a used unit. I recommend that you stay away from Sennheiser Frequency Group C or any gear in the 700 MHz range.

On the other hand, purchasing lesser gear is not really an investment.

While I would prefer that you purchase Sennheiser G2 or better, you could purchase used Sennheiser's previous generation wireless. These would be called Sennheiser Evolution 100 or 500 series gear. These work ok, but the G2's are better. You may be able to find the previous generation at a substantial discount used.

I would rent before I spent money on the equipment that you are considering.
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Old March 28th, 2008, 09:12 PM   #19
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Hi Tom,
Your experience with the Airline series sounds encouraging. From Cliff's profile, he's based in Oregon. From your profile, you are based in the UK. Your area may not have digital television stations, wireless users, external sources of interference etc. And therefore his experiance with a Airline series may be different from yours.
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Old March 29th, 2008, 01:49 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hsien Yong View Post
Hi Cliff,
Steve made a good point. For what you're paying for a Samson Airline series, you could invest that in a good hard wired lav. No batteries, no interference, no drop out. If you gotta have wireless, the Sennheiser G2 series is the minimum.
I purchased a Sennheiser G2 two days ago and tested it out that afternoon and even though I have yet to use it on a gig the system appears to be very good.
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Old March 29th, 2008, 08:23 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hsien Yong View Post
Hi Tom,
Your experience with the Airline series sounds encouraging. From Cliff's profile, he's based in Oregon. From your profile, you are based in the UK. Your area may not have digital television stations, wireless users, external sources of interference etc. And therefore his experiance with a Airline series may be different from yours.
England isn't all tumbleweeds and desert Hsien :)
I shoot weddings all over England, never had a problem with the Samson yet, but as you say, that doesn't mean a thing other than it works for me.
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Old March 29th, 2008, 09:15 AM   #22
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One of the biggest things steering me in the direction of the Samson Airline Micro is its size - a major consideration for the compact setup I have put together. I spoke with the Tech people at Samson and they said there should be no issues - just stay clear of the version that comes close to the broadcast frequency of UHF Channel 69 here in the States. They said any possible interference that might be picked up could be resolved with the squelch feature. Any comments?

If I knew for sure the issues of no interference, I would purchase this in a heartbeat. It falls in line with my philosophy of less is more paradigm for shooting as a Solo VJ.
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Old March 29th, 2008, 09:21 AM   #23
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''could be resolved with the squelch feature.'' Squelch feature? Not with the miniscule AL1 and AM1, They have on/off switches and that's about it.
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Old March 29th, 2008, 09:58 AM   #24
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''could be resolved with the squelch feature.'' Squelch feature? Not with the miniscule AL1 and AM1, They have on/off switches and that's about it.
Not according to Samson - I was told of this feature outright by both tech people I spoke with on Friday.

Brochure states:
Quote:
Squelch Sensitivity 17dBuv +/- 4dBuv(at manufacture)
Is this not something that can be activated when working with it? I was under the impression that this feature can be set by the user.

This may be a feature that has been added to the latest version of the Micro.
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Old March 29th, 2008, 10:31 AM   #25
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There's a thread here Cliff:
http://forums.dvdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=33140

and the one I have (channel 2) is shown here:
http://www.dv247.com/invt/froogle/42290/
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Old March 29th, 2008, 10:38 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff Etzel View Post
Not according to Samson - I was told of this feature outright by both tech people I spoke with on Friday.

Brochure states:Is this not something that can be activated when working with it? I was under the impression that this feature can be set by the user.

This may be a feature that has been added to the latest version of the Micro.
The squelch can quiet the receiver and keep it from opening on interference when the talent isn't speaking but what about the degradation of the audio if the interfering signal hits while the receiver has been opened by the desired speech? The squelch could cut back any noise between sentences, perhaps, but what about a moment of silence or a "sqweawk psshttt" in the middle of a speech? Acceptable? When shooting your kid's birthday party, sure. But not when shooting a paying gig. "Less is more" is a fine philosophy EXCEPT when it leads to compromises in quality of the results. If in a listening test you or your client can't hear any difference in the job you did for them with your bargain setup or one done by an experienced worker with a more professional kit then save the money. But if there's an audible difference, then you need to rethink your strategy. Remember you're charging them money for this and they have the right to expect fully professional results, especially if you hope to keep working for them. In my experience, cheap is usually the most expensive in the long run.
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Old March 29th, 2008, 11:14 AM   #27
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So I'm reviewing the brochure for the 5 different UHF frequencies each mic covers - which frequency is the safest bet???

Channel Frequency
U1 801.375 MHz
U2 801.875 MHz
U3 803.125 MHz
U4 803.750 MHz
U5 804.500 MHz
U6 804.750 MHz

According to B&H's site - the U1 and U6 versions are more expensive as compared to the U2-U5 by $60.00. What's special about those two frequencies that the cost would increase that much?
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Old March 29th, 2008, 12:09 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Cliff Etzel View Post
So I'm reviewing the brochure for the 5 different UHF frequencies each mic covers - which frequency is the safest bet???

Channel Frequency
U1 801.375 MHz
U2 801.875 MHz
U3 803.125 MHz
U4 803.750 MHz
U5 804.500 MHz
U6 804.750 MHz

According to B&H's site - the U1 and U6 versions are more expensive as compared to the U2-U5 by $60.00. What's special about those two frequencies that the cost would increase that much?
Why the difference, don't have a clue. Could be that they use some non-standard component.

There's nothing about a given frequency in the group that makes it "better" than any other. You need to find out what else is operating in your particular area. Senneheiser has a frequency finder that might be of help - http://www.sennheiserusa.com/FrequencyFinder/ - but take it with a grain of salt - it only shows TV stations and other services besides TV might be licensed to operate in that frequency band even though it shows open in the charts. Lectrosonics also has a similar TV station finder on their site. You might check and see if there are any professional dealers locally and maybe also over in Portland, who carry wireless gear and chat with them about their feedback from field experience in Medford.

I still think you're gonna find the Samsons are a waste of money and you'd be better off in the long run renting until you can afford to buy a professional-grade setup, but you pays your money and you takes your chances.
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Old March 29th, 2008, 03:19 PM   #29
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I'll side with Steve. When you buy a good tripod and a good mic they'll stay with you for years and years. You'll change your computer every 4 or 5 years, your camera ditto. Maybe your wife too :)
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Old April 12th, 2008, 09:03 AM   #30
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Good primer on wireless

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House View Post
And if a nearby TV station happens to be broadcasting on the same frequency or its link to a field news crew is using on the same frequency as the one channel his non-adjustable unit is tuned to, he's supposed to do what? Skip the shot? And remember that a clear frequency today might very well not be clear tomorrow or a channel that fine on the east side of town will be hopelessly congested on the west side.
Audio Technica has a good reference that answers questions such as UHF vs VHF and diversity under Adv. topics. Also there's a selection where you can pick the frequency to buy so as to avoid interference from local TV stations. If you travel, you likely will HAVE TO get a unit that can change frequencies.

Selecting A-T Frequencies
http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/si...931/index.html

Advanced Topics
http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/si...8ae/index.html

OT rant: I am concerned in the longer term though - as the FCC sells YOUR rights to use the PUBLIC RF spectrum what this will mean for all of us. I hear they are already lining up to sell off the spectrum wi-fi (computer networking) uses and wants to shut our access to this spectrum off completely by 2015. We would have to pay one of the telcos to use it or "license" it (again$$). I'm just wondering what "publically owned" means these days. Maybe selling the air we breathe or the visual spectrum we look thru will be next? Sorry, off the soapbox.
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