A trip to Europe to follow my son in the school choir . . . what do I use? - Page 3 at DVinfo.net

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Old January 24th, 2009, 02:36 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil Bolton View Post
I have bought:

...A Sennheiser Freeport transmitter and receiver...

... the Sennheiser just works, really well. And the solo track isn't crucial, just a nice-to-have, so if it breaks in the field we'll still have the main audio.
I use these a lot at Church and I also use 2 of the instrument version as radio links at events. They are reliable and very good value for money but four things to watch out for:

1. Check that your receiver power supply is OK for Europe on 230V. I can't find anything in the Freeport user manual about whether the supplied DC adaptor is self sensing like the Apple ones.

2. The Freeport bodypacks tend to come on with a bit of a bump or surge (RF and audio), so make sure it's on well before the start of the recording and not switched off until after the take

3. The battery life isn't that great - even with top grade Duracells we have to change them after every couple of hours' use in the church to be safe. Rechargeables are not recommended by Sennheiser in the user manual.

4. You get ZERO WARNING of battery failure - the first you'll know about it is a "bump! - off" noise followed a few seconds later by a "bump! - on" noise and that cycle will continue, spattering RF noise all over. Our solution was to go for a battery tester Digital Battery Tester > Maplin and test EVERY mic battery (even new ones!) EVERY time before the church service, and still change them at a max 3 hours' use.

Twice before, I had to go up to a preacher in mid-sermon and (first time) change his battery or (2nd time) give him a spare bodypack. There won't be a 3rd time!

The previous VHF system used AAAs and they lasted for weeks. We now keep a log of battery use and changes.

The usual advice for fitting mics and keeping aerials (antennae) clear of course applies. Also, carry a small screwdriver with you in case you have to change the channel.
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Old January 24th, 2009, 04:34 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin McDonald View Post

1. Check that your receiver power supply is OK for Europe on 230V. I can't find anything in the Freeport user manual about whether the supplied DC adaptor is self sensing like the Apple ones . . .

3. The battery life isn't that great - even with top grade Duracells we have to change them after every couple of hours' use in the church to be safe. Rechargeables are not recommended by Sennheiser in the user manual.

4. You get ZERO WARNING of battery failure
Thanks. I've already figured out that I'm going to rig a DC power supply for the transmitter as I won't we sure of getting any AC, 230v or anything else, and some of the gigs are out in the fields. (Any ideas guys?)

And this is a one-take trip - I'll be using a brand new deluxe battery for every outing. The cost pales into insignificance when you consider five return air fares to Europe.

Dave: Thanks for the shoe tip. I figured there would be something like that available - it seemed too obvious.

I look forward to posting a wonderful recording . . .

Neil
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Old January 24th, 2009, 05:29 AM   #33
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Sorry, I forgot another important point. The Freeports have 4 selectable frequencies, but I'm not sure what they would be on a unit supplied in your country. Here's the UK ones

Quote:
4 UHF Transmission/receiving frequencies

Range A: 719 to 721 MHz
(719.15 719.75 720.15 720.85 MHz)
Range C : 742.5 to 744.5 MHz
(742.65 743.35 743.85 744.45 MHz)
Range E: 863 to 865 MHz (863.1 863.7 864.1 864.9 MHz)

The Frequency ranges A and C can only be used in certain areas in the EU and must be licensed with the regulating authorities. Frequency E is license-free in most EU countries (i.e. ETSI signatory countries).
There was a thread about using radiomics in France recently: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/all-thing...ee-france.html
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Old January 25th, 2009, 08:45 PM   #34
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Sorry, I forgot another important point. The Freeports have 4 selectable frequencies, but I'm not sure what they would be on a unit supplied in your country.]
Is the issue here Complying With The Law or just making it work? While being legal is always important (!) getting the recording is more important.

Neil
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Old January 26th, 2009, 04:10 PM   #35
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You want to be sure that there isn't a tv station or other strong signal using the same frequency. The Senny systems aren't really powerful enough to cause anybody else a problem outside the building, so it's more a practical issue of making sure that you don't suffer interference to your wireless audio.
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