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Old July 31st, 2011, 09:23 AM   #1
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Sennheiser G3 problem?

I have recently purchased a Sennheiser G3 Evolution wireless transmitter and receiver to use at weddings. I am having issues with audio just stopping and starting for no particular reason. Everything appears to be connected properly and in parts the audio is perfect but then just cuts for example in the middle of a song. It restarts as abruptly as it cuts out and does this at frequent intervals. Has anyone else experienced this or does it sound like a problem with the equipment? I apologise for the basic language, I am pretty new to wireless audio!
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Old July 31st, 2011, 12:02 PM   #2
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Re: Sennheiser G3 problem?

Abrupt interuptions sound like a broken cable somewhere....mike to transmitter, receiver to camera; or a loose or bad audio connector. Dirty or corroded battery terminals are a possibility. Of course, there could be something wrong with the electronics, but the Sennys are pretty rugged, in my experience.
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Old July 31st, 2011, 02:35 PM   #3
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Re: Sennheiser G3 problem?

Of course............

It could be you've got the squelch control wound up too high, and it's muting the signal as the signal strength changes with movement.

Try backing it off a bit, then a bit more to see if that eliminates the problem.


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Old July 31st, 2011, 06:02 PM   #4
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Re: Sennheiser G3 problem?

About how long of a distance is between the transmitter and receiver when this behavior happens? Can we assume the transmitter and receiver are in the same room (line-of-sight) and not separated by walls or other solid obstacles? Have you scanned for 'clear' channels or tried other frequencies? (Banks/Channels)
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Old July 31st, 2011, 11:13 PM   #5
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Re: Sennheiser G3 problem?

Thanks for the replies. It happens even when the transmitter and receiver are only 5m apart and there is no obstructions. I'll check the squelch setting as it is possible I have accidentally changed this. I'll let you know how I get on! Thanks again :)
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Old July 31st, 2011, 11:50 PM   #6
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Re: Sennheiser G3 problem?

I have just checked the receiver unit and Squelch was set to high so I am hoping that this was the issue!! Thank you, I will make sure I never accidentally change it again.......
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Old August 1st, 2011, 06:46 AM   #7
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Re: Sennheiser G3 problem?

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I have just checked the receiver unit and Squelch was set to high so I am hoping that this was the issue!! Thank you, I will make sure I never accidentally change it again.......
Sounds like this was the problem; the squelch should really be set to "low" for normal use.

If the transmitter is body-worn and the antenna is touching the body, you can be attenuating the signal by as much as 70dB; so try and get the antenna about 1cm away from the body if you can.
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Old August 1st, 2011, 10:35 AM   #8
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Re: Sennheiser G3 problem?

It's also wise to spend some time learning how to Scan for available frequencies on the receiver, and then to Sync the found frequency from the receiver to the transmitter. You should be Scanning and Syncing every time before you use the wireless system, especially when you move to a new location. Traffic in the airwaves can cause dropouts, even with proper Squelch settings. You can avoid the traffic by Scanning and changing frequencies, and ultimately avoid wireless problems that can potentially ruin your shoots.
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Old August 1st, 2011, 01:51 PM   #9
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Re: Sennheiser G3 problem?

Thanks Sam I'll look into this for my next wedding.
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Old August 1st, 2011, 02:11 PM   #10
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Re: Sennheiser G3 problem?

Many people new to radio systems automatically assume that once set up, they don't need any specific skill to use. Nothing could be further from the truth. When I was teaching at a college, the way we did it was to turn the squelch off, or to the easiest to open setting and then using good quality headphones monitor what the receiver can hear, and then get a person to walk away from you, so you can listen to what the system produces. Watch very carefully and note the strange things you hear - if they simply walk away in a straight line the signal holds up then noise starts to increase, eventually the signal either cutting out or becoming 100% noise, depending on how your squelch system works. Then try it again, and then before you get to the limit, get the person to slowly spin around, so you can see and hear the effect the body absorption has on the RF signal. If you have another system available, then get the person near to the maximum distance, then turn the other on close to the receiver and hear what happens. Then just for the worst case, tune the new transmitter to a frequency close to the original and listen for the weird products this causes. All these frequency and distance artefacts sound different, and with practice you can hear them coming and even take steps to maintain the integrity of the signal. Even the place you are causes weird problems - inside in steel framed or clad buildings, even when the receiver and transmitters are close, strange deadspots can appear, so getting your ears 'tuned' is great practice. It doesn't always cure problems, but sometimes at least prepares you for the problem before it becomes a real issue!
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Old August 2nd, 2011, 02:46 AM   #11
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Re: Sennheiser G3 problem?

Bev, I have the G3 system but I very seldom use it as I prefer to place multiple Z1's. You're welcome to borrow it to compare if you think your own unit may be faulty. We're a few miles apart but if you're shooting in this area or want to use RM Special Delivery (insured to £500) which I think is about £10 each way let me know.

Pete

p.s. members, Bev has been around a long time in Stills so I know she's safe!
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Old August 2nd, 2011, 08:00 AM   #12
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Re: Sennheiser G3 problem?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Mallery View Post
It's also wise to spend some time learning how to Scan for available frequencies on the receiver, and then to Sync the found frequency from the receiver to the transmitter. You should be Scanning and Syncing every time before you use the wireless system, especially when you move to a new location. Traffic in the airwaves can cause dropouts, even with proper Squelch settings. You can avoid the traffic by Scanning and changing frequencies, and ultimately avoid wireless problems that can potentially ruin your shoots.
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Originally Posted by Bev Downie View Post
Thanks Sam I'll look into this for my next wedding.
Be very wary about doing this.

You are in the UK and you cannot use any frequency willy-nilly.

Do you have a transmission licence?

If not you can ONLY use the four pre-set frequencies between 863 and 865 MHz and no other frequency at all.

The penalties for using illegal frequencies can be a fine of up to £10,000, 5 years in prison and/or confiscation of all equipment (not just the radio stuff, they can take all the camera stuff as well).

If you have a mobile licence you can use the Ch.69 frequencies (854 to 862 MHz) up until the end of next year - after this they will become totally illegal.

Legal frequencies for professional licensed use have shifted to Sennheiser G3 version "GB" frequencies in Ch.38.

Be very careful about taking frequency advise from people outside your country as they will unlikely be aware of particular local licensing laws - some countries have far more lax laws than others and you do need to be aware of the regulations in the country of use.
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Old August 2nd, 2011, 08:54 AM   #13
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Re: Sennheiser G3 problem?

Thanks Peter that is really kind but I already have a h4n so I know how good they are - it saved my bacon this week! I may look tat getting an h1n as an extra back up but the Senny is so good when it works!

John I have a license for Ch 38 606.500-613.500 and 39, 40 614.500-621.500 and 622.500-629.500 and 14 frequencies on channel 69. I have to admit I tend to leave it on 606.500 as that is the first one that comes up and interference has never been a problem (yet!)
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Old August 2nd, 2011, 02:09 PM   #14
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Re: Sennheiser G3 problem?

Yes Bev the H1's are a good insurance. I have the H4n as well but its a big brute compared to the H1. The H1's are so small and light that they can e.g. be slipped into flower arrangements on ceremony tables in seconds and just left to themselves :-) And they can easily slip into pockets with lavs attached. Also much less noticeable when clamped to lecturns or placed on wedding breakfast tables.

Where I've recorded the same speaker on both devices I actually prefer the sound of the H1's over the H4n's

A well respected member of this forum posted on another forum that all mobile phones need to be switched off within 100 metres of wireless gear to avoid the risk of interference. Try doing that at a wedding eh!

Pete
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Old August 3rd, 2011, 06:15 AM   #15
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Re: Sennheiser G3 problem?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bev Downie View Post
Thanks Peter that is really kind but I already have a h4n so I know how good they are - it saved my bacon this week! I may look tat getting an h1n as an extra back up but the Senny is so good when it works!

John I have a license for Ch 38 606.500-613.500 and 39, 40 614.500-621.500 and 622.500-629.500 and 14 frequencies on channel 69. I have to admit I tend to leave it on 606.500 as that is the first one that comes up and interference has never been a problem (yet!)
Great!

You have the right kit then.

It looks as if the drop-outs were the squelch set too high.

But you MUST BY LAW - check the JFMG website before switching on as there are very large exclusion zones where Ch.38 is not permitted. For instance there is a 100 mile exclusion zone centred on Jodrell Bank and several others around the country - this is to protect Radio Astronomy and radar stations that use Ch.38 (so your drop-outs may have been caused by radar if you tried to use Ch.38 in one of the exclusion zones). The look-up table on the JFMG website will tell you if you can use Ch.38 where you are. If you are in an exclusion zone it will tell you if you can use Ch.39 or Ch.40 instead (and your G3 system also contains all these frequencies). Your licence covers you for these extra frequencies, but you MUST look and check before use.

NB: this is for this year (2011) only. From 2012 the exclusion zones will go and you will be able to use Ch.38 freely all over the country.

From next year Jodrell Bank will stop Ch.38 Radio Astronomy (this will be taken up by other radio telescopes elsewhere in Europe) and the radar stations using Ch.38 will stop at the end of the year.
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