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Old December 14th, 2009, 04:35 AM   #1
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Location communication

I have a shoot coming up involving three cameras covering the scene I'm shooting in the mountains, and I need to converse with all three camera operators, live, always within a 5 mile radius (10 would be good especially if I hire a helicopter). I’m talking two way radio I guess, of which I’m somewhat ignorant. Can I just go down to my local DSE, pick up a set of 4, that we can all press a button and listen, talk, and get on with it?

Suggestions appreciated.

(In this production I am also the Director of Field Communications as the previous incumbent left complaining the pay was just too miserable altogether!)
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Old December 14th, 2009, 08:46 AM   #2
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For the range you want, in the mountains, I doubt that a consumer product would work. Quoted range for consumer units is over open terrain.

Look for a commercial radio, like Motorola, ICOM, Yaesu/Vertex, Kenwood... In the US, they require a license. Also, they're pricey to buy but you may be able to rent a set and avoid licensing issues at the same time. Find a good shop and tell 'em what you are doing.
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Old December 14th, 2009, 09:30 AM   #3
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Or if you get cell reception where you are you could just conference everyone in on the phone?? Just a thought.
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Old December 14th, 2009, 08:23 PM   #4
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Well hello, John............

Long time no speak, was begining to wonder if you'd dropped off your perch...........

Can't see any of DSE's offerings being a whole lot of help in the mountains, their CB's are throttled down to 4 watts max and that's for the vehicle mounted ones.

You could borrow some marine sets, as they're rated up to 25 watts, but again you need 12 volt power and they're strictly speaking not authorised to be used off the water (but plenty of people do, I gather).

It may well be worth checking out this alternative:

Canterbury Mountain Radio Service Inc,Christchurch New Zealand

What I can't figure out from their web site is whether the field sets can converse with each other or only with a base station.

Their ability to "phone home" is impressive, but as you'll all be up a mountain somewhere and thus out of cell phone reach........................

They've got an office in Christchurch so it might be worth giving them a bell/ dropping in.

Glad to see you back on the boards!


CS
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Old December 15th, 2009, 12:37 AM   #5
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Thanks folks, and hello to you too Chris. I trust all is well with you, and if by chance you can do anything about the boorish weather…that would be good.

I have narrowed down the shoot location and now it looks like the action will be from the Erewhon homestead site and up the Clyde river to the Lawrence. While it is indeed ‘in the mountains’ the actual working area is mainly the wide flatish riverbed, over 1 k wide, and I’m informed by the local DSE people that a bunch of simple $100.00 walkie talkie radios will be just fine. Miles away from cell phone coverage so that’s not an option.

So thanks for the input, another logistic sorted within my minimalistic budget. And at only $100.00 a piece I shall take an extra just in case…

Cheers

John
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Old December 15th, 2009, 03:07 AM   #6
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Sorry.............

the bloody weather is a tad beyond even my abilities, unfortunately. Causing more than it's fair share of chaos here too.

Great to hear you're good to go on the comms front.

That offer of the loaner Vinten FiberTec's and Vision 3 AS head is still open BTW, was waiting to hear from you about it

Send me a hoi via mail if it's an option.


CS
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