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-   -   What's Up With Phantom Power (from B6 string) (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/all-things-audio/40048-whats-up-phantom-power-b6-string.html)

Ty Ford February 24th, 2005 08:28 AM

What's Up With Phantom Power (from B6 string)
I get a lot of questions about Phantom Power during my seminars. It's obviously a problem for a lot of folks. I answered this in the B6 string, but thought some might miss it there.


<<<-- Originally posted by Tung Bui : Guys I must be abit thick but I still dont get it. If I get the B6 wihout the power supply I can just plug it directly into my dvx and off I go right? >>>>

+++No. If you get the B6 (or any other lav) with the proper plug for your wireless mic, you can plug in in there. If your DVX provides phantom power, you need the Countryman power supply with the XLR male and the mic.+++

>>>But if I want to link it to a wireless or recording device that does NOT have phantom then I would need the seperate power supply right? -->>>

No. As above. The B6 (or any lav) does not require a separate power supply if you plug it into a wireless body pack transmitter because the battery in the body pack will power the mic. (Since there are a lot of low end users on this list. I am concerned that there may well be some wireless body mics that aren't designed to provide power for electret condenser mics. To be sure, visit Countryman's website http://www.countryman.com/ and click on the WIRELESS link, email them or call them. They are always helpful.)

No. The separate power supply converts Phantom Power to the right power to power the mic itself. If the mixer you're plugging into does not provide phantom power, you will need another device that generates appropriate Phantom Power.

It's is confusing at first. Hang on, here comes another mini-essay...
The confusion is due to the fact that in conversation, the term "power supply" is often used for both the cylindrical unit with XLR male that is attached to the mic itself and the Phantom Power Supply. They are not the same.

The first converts Phantom Power (or power from a battery inside the power supply) to power the mic the way it needs to be powered.

A Phantom Power Supply is a separate entity. It can exist inside a mixer, a camcorder, or a separate box that may be battery or AC powered. Also, please be aware that there are at least three levels of Phantom Power; 48 volt, 24 volt and 12 volt.

Some mics require a full 48 V DC Phantom Power and will not work or will sound distorted if powered by 12 or 24 volt Phantom Power Supplies. Some audio mixers claim to have 48 V DC Phantom Power. They do, but don't provide enough current and can only power one or two mics that require full 48 V DC. If more mics are used, there isn't enough power to feed them all properly and the audio quality will be degraded.

Some lavs, like the Sony ECM 88B, can be ordered with a power supply barrel with XLR and a battery compartment for a AA battery that can power the mic. That's great, because you don't need to worry about Phantom Power, but the connectors used to attach the mic to the power supply are only good on Sony wireless transmitters. So if you want to use the mic with your wireless, you hae to have the right model of Sony wireless body mic.

On the other hand, at Audio Technica, the same AT 898 lavalier (and it's a nice one) doesn't have a battery compartment in its power supply, but can be ordered with six different "ends", each of which can be plugged into different wireless transmitters. There's also a version with a power supply (NOT PHANTOM!!) and male XLR. (see below)

# 9.8' (3.0 m) cable permanently attached to mic, TA3F connector at power module
# Also available as:
AT898c -- less power module; 55" (1.4 m) cable, unterminated
AT898cL4 -- less power module; 55" (1.4 m) cable terminated for Sennheiser wireless systems using Lemo connector
AT898cT4 -- less power module; 55" (1.4 m) cable terminated with TA4F connector for Shure wireless systems
AT898cT5 -- less power module; 55" (1.4 m) cable terminated with TA5F connector for ATW-U101 and Lectrosonics wireless systems
AT898cW -- less power module; 55" (1.4 m) cable terminated with locking 4-pin connector for A-T UniPakô wireless systems

There's this and a bunch more in my book.


Ty Ford

Marco Leavitt February 24th, 2005 10:16 AM

So, are there any decent lavs that can plug directly into a mixer and run off the phantom power alone? I find the need for a separate power supply to be real drag. I'm glad you posted this, as I've apparently been making budget decisions based on false assumptions.

Jay Massengill February 24th, 2005 10:55 AM

Marco, I think you're still confused about the terminology. Almost all decent lavs, when purchased in the wired configuration, come with an XLR connector that allows direct hookup to a mic input that will supply the phantom power.
There is a wide variety among manufacturers in how they do this (detachable or permanent), as well as how they name their products, and this leads to confusion.
When you add in the convertible hook-ups that Ty has mentioned, which can be connected to either a wireless transmitter or an XLR converter/power module, the confusion gets even worse.
For wired use, the power module is a necessity. It contains the XLR connector and the circuitry to make use of the phantom power. It's a similar situation to the K6 mic and its modules like the ME66. The K6 is often referred to as a "power supply", but it's really the mic body and the circuits to make use of the power. It also contains the XLR connector. The mic capsules attach to it. Either one is useless without the other.
The only difference in the lav mics is that, with the proper connector, the lav without a power module can be hooked to the correct wireless transmitter. The transmitter now becomes the power module.
The only thing I want to add to what Ty said is that the AT898 and AT899 lavs can run on an internal AA battery in their wired configuration.

Ty Ford February 24th, 2005 11:12 AM

<<<-- Originally posted by Marco Leavitt : So, are there any decent lavs that can plug directly into a mixer and run off the phantom power alone? I find the need for a separate power supply to be real drag. I'm glad you posted this, as I've apparently been making budget decisions based on false assumptions. -->>>

All of the ones I know. Just make sure you buy the version of the microphone with the XLR connector and that your camera has XLR inputs and phantom power.


Ty Ford

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