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Waterproofing an internally cabled boom pole

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I just finished a long shoot in Alaska where we were working in some serious rain for prolonged periods. While my mixer, transmitters, and boom mic were all stayed dry with the solutions I had in place, I kept having one point of failure: the boom kept shorting out where the xlr from the bag plugged into the bottom of the pole. I tried several ways to water proof this connection (plastic bag over the connector wrapped in gaff, non-lubricated condoms, etc.) all eventually failed and it left me wanting to find a permanent solution.

I'm used to the functionality of an internally coiled boom pole and don't want to lose this functionality. My solution is to bypass any connection point between the mic and mixer (like an external cabled boom) but rig a long coiled cable that feeds internally through the entire boom, out the side of the boom, and into my mixer. I'm planning on using this cable from Remote Audio:

http://www.trewaudio.com/store/Remote-Audio-Coiled-Cable-w-5-shielded-conductors-CACC4PLUS1.html

It seems long enough to cable a 9ft ktek pole and while giving me enough slack outside the completely extended pole to work the boom in a run and gun situation.

Anybody see anything I should watch out for here?

Thanks,

Andy

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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jpbat   

I had the problem long time ago. 

K Tek boom. Water flood inside until it reach the connector at the base. Didn't found much more than adding a small rubber gasket at the internal connection.

Filling the base with removable caulking could work.

 

Anyway I removed the internal cables from all my booms and put a transmitter at the head. Problem solved. And no cables to worry.

My life is easier since.

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Hate to say it, but you might just need to carry an uncabled pole and wrap externally for these kind of situations.

 

Rescue Tape (a similar tape to electrical tape, but without the stickiness - it only sticks to itself) can do some wonders when wrapped around connections and the openings of a pole, but water will still eventually get in thru the knuckles.

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The idea of running an internal cable inside the pole and all the way thru to the mixer seems like it would be great.  

 

You may just want to come up with a way to fasten a loop or two of the cable to the opening of the rear of the pole to beat the noise of the coiled cable sliding in and out of the back of the pole.  Ideally I suppose you'd have the same amount of coiled cable inside the pole as the original ktek had to maintain the ability to fully extend and fully collapse.  

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andf: " the boom kept shorting out where the xlr from the bag plugged into the bottom of the pole. "

that should not happen,  I'd concentrate on the connector.

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I have had this problem in heavy rains. I fabricated a custom end for my ambient pole using a neutrik hd connector a and sealed the contacts with silicone. Also use hd connectors on the top of the pole and the zeplin.

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If you want to keep the convienance of the internal coiled cable.... In case you haven't noticed, many internally cabled booms have a plug *inside* the pole on the butt cap. A bunch of the KTEk poles have a TA connector inside the CCR poles, so if water gets in the pole, it will build up there (no way to drain) and cause trouble. I have a super short aluminum KTek CC pole that's soldered and doesn't have that TA plug. It's a type of Neutrik surface mount jack. Maybe one of those poles would be easy to silicone seal. Maybe ask your pole company if drilling a drain hole somewhere would work (as crazy as that seems).

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