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Old January 18th, 2005, 07:44 PM   #1
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communication

I use two video cameras running thru cables up to 100 feet to a switcher (video only). I need some ideas on equipment I can purchase to communicate both ways between the camera operators and the person running the video switcher. I would prefer a wired system as I have two extra lines between the switcher and the camera.

Thanks in advance!
Ron
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Old January 18th, 2005, 08:35 PM   #2
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Perhaps you could try the following trick and use headset phones.
Some of these headset phones require their own batteries to work. I don't know if that would be in addition to the 9volt external source, or if you could dispense with that entirely. You'd have to experiment or do more web searches on homemade intercoms.

http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/telephone5.htm
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Old January 24th, 2005, 01:12 PM   #3
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I got two phones working using a similar circuit, but my phones were wired in parallel with each other (instead of series as the website suggests). I think I got it from an old edition of Electronics Now magazine. 'Just a 9v battery, a 220ohm resistor, and two phones. It also had an audio tap (my own design) which outputted a line-level (sort of) unbalanced signal to the mixer (it was a working prop intercom for a stage performance).

I suppose you could even use this circuit to link two cordless phone bases and a regular phone (at the switcher) and have a 3-way wireless intercom...?
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Old January 24th, 2005, 05:41 PM   #4
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You could get walkie talkies, which is relatively cheap and can work fairly well. It might pay to shop around a little for walkie talkies... i.e. pricegrabber.com, pricewatch.com, froogle.com

PROS:
No wires
Voice is pretty intelligible
Price (cheaper than a real intercom)
Useful during setup and striking
Fun to play with

CONS:
Could get better quality audio
Difficulty with cam operators talking back

I would get isolating headphones for the camera operators. Closed headphones (which you already own) or in-ear monitors (same isolation as noise cancelling headphones but with much better sound) would likely be the best idea. The camera operators will have difficultly talking back unless you get intercom headsets (where you might have to make custom wiring) or you get VOX headsets (which give no isolation and are fairly useless for live productions).

To work around that make sure you have good communication down and make sure everyone knows your lingo. i.e. ready two... dissolving two... two is on.
Your first camera shouldn't move the camera while you're saying dissolving two and should move when you say 'two is on'.

CAVEAT: Your camera op might have an emergency and you need to hear about it. The most likely scenario is the camera running out of tape... in which case it can shut off in 5 minutes afterwards.

The easiest thing to do would be to not put tape into the camera. This can avoid more problems than the other way.

2- Or you could just rent a real intercom system. This is likely a better idea if you have money.
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