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Old September 17th, 2013, 05:18 PM   #1
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Wireless headset for 2 cam operators?

Can anyone recommend something like a wirless headset with mic that two camera operators can use to communicate between them? Something that doesn't cost an arm and a leg....
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Old September 17th, 2013, 05:23 PM   #2
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Re: Wireless headset for 2 cam operators?

Cell phones with ear buds.... I use this way all the time.
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Old September 17th, 2013, 05:47 PM   #3
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Re: Wireless headset for 2 cam operators?

A pair of PMR radios with headset should do the job at a budget price. There are many models available from companies like Maplin, Amazon etc and are worth checking out if you are looking for minimum cost.

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Old September 17th, 2013, 09:21 PM   #4
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Re: Wireless headset for 2 cam operators?

You could rent a couple walkie talkies. Around here they rent for $7/day, plus $0.50 for an earpiece.
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Old September 18th, 2013, 04:03 AM   #5
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Re: Wireless headset for 2 cam operators?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Porter View Post
Cell phones with ear buds.... I use this way all the time.
We insist that all cell phones are turned off because it can interfere with our wireless mics. If you don't use them there fair enough ;)

Cheap walkie talkies are just that - cheap...... and nasty. we have some, don't waste your money. Either buy high quality radios or don't bother because the reception suffers massively.
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Old September 28th, 2013, 01:37 AM   #6
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Re: Wireless headset for 2 cam operators?

Midland GTX1000vp4...best $70 (US) I've spent. Makes communication super simple.
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Old September 28th, 2013, 02:48 AM   #7
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Re: Wireless headset for 2 cam operators?

There is a difference between cheap rubbish and cheap excellent in handheld radios. If you want something that is bullet proof and will still be working in ten years time, then Motorola commercial grade kit is popular worldwide (the GP series in particular). If you drop them, they still work. The Japanese brands are in the same league - Kenwood, Icom, Yaesu etc.

The Chinese factories also produce multi-channel, fully featured kit at really cheap prices that electronically is up to the job - but they break if dropped. I have Motorola and some of the Chinese cheapies, and they work perfectly well.

The ones to avoid are the cheap ones often sold in pairs for use on the unlicensed radio bands. They're not bad radios, but the limited band made available for these in most countries means to squeeze multiple channels in the deviation is rather low, limiting signal to noise and the range is also a bit less because of the lower power. One big snag with these is that all sorts of people will be using them, and although many claim to have say, 36 channels, they don't. They may have 6 different frequencies, but then have 6 sub-audible tones that allow sharing. Many, if they detect a busy channel, won't let you hear the other conversation, but will prevent you talking over it. It makes these very unreliable in large towns and cities. The proper comms kit, which may require a license depending on area, can still use sub-audible tones, but the number of users in the area will be lower.

Many of the walkie-talkie types have no user programming and may have annoying refer-beeps that can't be turned off and some have a delay on pressing the press to talk button, meaning a quick "go" might not be heard.

The biggest snag though is that you need a spare finger to prod the talk button. Some have a vox circuit, but these often are unreliable - not transmitting if you whisper in a quiet moment, or going into transmit when the person near you sings. Usually a button is better, even if it's awkward to get to.

Cellular phones have one advantage - they are duplex, so you can speak and listen at the same time. Two way radios are simplex or semi-duplex, and cannot do this. Strictly one person at a time.

TV and theatre do use multi set digital systems nowadays (if they have big budgets) so everyone can be on a mix of wires and no wires and all hear each other - but price wise these are usually out of the question for the use we're talking about here.

As examples of what to avoid - do not buy things like this.
Walkie Talkie Binatone Latitude 100 Twin Walkie Talkies 2 mile Range NEW | eBay

While these may be worth considering.
Two Way Radio BaoFeng BF-888S UHF 400-470 MHz Walkie Talkie 3PCS + Free earpiece | eBay

Cheap and cheerful - but even the ham radio operators buy these because they do the job and are serious bits of kit, not toys.

EDIT
Interference to the video is possible - especially if the higher power settings are used, but cellphones do this too.
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Old September 28th, 2013, 06:55 AM   #8
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Re: Wireless headset for 2 cam operators?

I bought a pair of Eartec 900 radios years ago. They're hit and miss on reception, ok, mostly missing lol. .

I've considered buying their newer models
Eartec 2 Simultalk 24G Beltpacks with Cyber Headsets SLT24G2CYB
since there are very few options out there. When you go to other options, it usually in the thousands.

One word of caution, their cyber headsets are pretty uncomfortable IMO.
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Old September 28th, 2013, 07:03 AM   #9
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Re: Wireless headset for 2 cam operators?

They look pretty useful. My experience of 2.4GHz radio kit so far is pretty positive, so worth a shot maybe?
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Old October 4th, 2013, 10:01 AM   #10
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Re: Wireless headset for 2 cam operators?

We have been using four sets these on a number of multi-cam shoots and to put it mildly have been blown away by the build quality and their useful working range. For the price they are very hard to beat. Love the fact that they have numerous encrypted privacy codes. Heaps to say about them, and so far it's all good. Just read the specs and it will give you a pretty good idea of what these units can do.

Midland GXT1000 GXT1000VP4 Handheld 2 Way Walkie Talkie Radio 36 Mile Two Way 046014510005 | eBay

Combine them with these headsets, which we also bought, and you are ready to go.

Midland AVPH5 Motorcycle Headsets Walkie Talkie Two Way Radio FRS GMRS Pair New 046014298651 | eBay

Sorry if it sounds like an ad but these have radios proven themselves that well that a number of other camera ops have bought their own sets on the basis of being impressed with the units we bought.

Just check out your local radio licensing regs to see if you can use them in your area.

Chris Young
CYV Productions
Sydney
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Old October 4th, 2013, 02:31 PM   #11
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Re: Wireless headset for 2 cam operators?

I use HYT entry level licensed professional radios & love them, they work great, covers most venues & hotels at extreme ranges. Don't buy those cheap crap radios you get off the shelf get licensed radios. Forget about using any form of verbal communication system during the ceremony, even a whisper attracts attention. If you have an old wireless lav system laying around they might work during a ceremony but we revert to hand signals or texting on our phones.
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Old October 4th, 2013, 11:09 PM   #12
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Re: Wireless headset for 2 cam operators?

I found the old VHF wireless mics work great as well. I keep the transmitter in my pocket and clip the lapel mic on my collar so it picks up a whispered instruction easily and my second shooter has the receiver which has a pair of earbuds so she can hear what I say.

Very useful if you need your second shooter (who is on the opposite side of the Church from you) to cover a shot that you cannot get to as the bride's mother has decided to block a camera.

I'm using a old Azden WM-PRO set picked up on eBay and it has plenty of range too!!!

It, of course, only provides one way communication but I never find that it's an issue... I don't want my 2nd shooter arguing whether she can get the shot or not ... I just tell her, cover that shot and she immediately does it. Very useful little setup!!

Chris
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