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Reid

Working on Aircraft Carrier, Advice?

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I have a couple days coming up on an aircraft carrier.  I have the big white cans, high spl mic, big, big furry.  Anything else that comes to mind?  Have you had good luck with wireless below decks at close range or should I put a small recorder and lav on my principal? I won't always be able to boom(very wide shots). Is there a way to get on board mic/intercom track  from back seat combat plane?

Any other thoughts?  

Thanks all.  

Edited by Reid

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Lots of radar etc interference on deck if they are doing operations--you may have to experiment with shielding on your gear.  (A friend ended up with a homemade Faraday cage around his recorder and had to work with a very short (like 2 ft) cable to his shotgun (Sennheiser).  You should check in with the Navy about your wireless freqs.  The talent "body recorder" is a good idea, but may be subject to the same kind of RF interference.  You can get feeds from plane coms if they let you (on the ship).  On the plane you will need some variation on the "NATO" plug Trew sells, but you'll have to work that all out with the Navy people.  By now all of this has been done many times, so I'll bet the Navy has procedures somewhere for how they handle it.

p

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Will work with 633. Do you think it is worth doing a layered copper foil wrap of the interior of bag with lid? I would imagine everything will be slammed on deck. The two foot cable is a wake up call. 

I have read several back posts but don't get much of a clear picture of what success on below deck looks like.

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I spent a couple of days on the Enterprise while at sea.

We flew in on the COD

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrier_onboard_delivery.

Everything you bring got packed away on the and the next time I saw it was in the Photographers mates shop. These guys are your best pals. They even were able to graft my HN 7506's into their regulation helmet. Keep a few packs of the foamy ear protectors with you for a  few extra DB of isolation during personal time. These boats produce a lot of noises and they run 24/7.

We had a Warrant Officer with us at all times and  they will tell you what you need to know. Safety is a big deal. Wear serious shoes and khaki's with a long sleeved  collared shirts, meaning cover your self well when they are launching planes. Stereo image on the launch deck is intense, I had a Sennheiser Mke 44-p that performed well in high noise situtions. 

No wireless issues below deck and yes you will take some  hits and in my experience the camera will be getting slammed at the same time.  

Enjoy yourself

 

 

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Some associates of mine were on the Nimitz for a week or so.  The only issues that they had (as far as I was told) was when using wireless to camera.  They got interference on the camera audio, they assumed it was because of the wireless hops VS the radar waves.

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Hey, Reid.

I've got some RF resistant fabric from my trip on the Enterprise in the last century. It may help and you're welcome to it. I can always drop it in the mail to you.

We came aboard via the COD as well, right as Hurricane Georges, at this point teetering between a tropical storm and an F1 hurricane, meandered into the ship's path. It was a pretty interesting trip out to the ship and the ship was underway into the wind as always during flight operations, adding at least 40 knots to the windspeed of the storm. When we deplaned it felt like it was raining needles. Horizontally. When the rest of the ship's aircraft got back aboard, they put the hammer down to outrun the storm. Never gone that fast on such a large vessel. 

Not much sync sound on my gig. A few batches of aircraft getting slung off the boat and being recovered, a few hours of wild sound with the airboss in the control tower and wild recordings of the ship's coms. The phased array radar and flight control radar were sometimes problematic.

If you live with the chiefs, it'll be pretty sweet  but if you're assigned to the regular crew quarters plan on an extra few minutes to get in and out of your rack.

Best regards,

Jim

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While the thought of being on a carrier sounds like an amazing experience and would be uber cool to add it to the list of places I've been. But just the thought of all the crap you need to deal with makes me think if i really would take the job if offered.

Am I just turning into a cranky old man?

Edited by Jack Norflus

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Jim, nice to hear from you. Would like to drop by and pick it up if you have time this week. Will PM. Great on board pictures. Yup, I thought about this one... for 2.4 seconds and then jumped.  Not many chances in life like these. Don't you love this biz??

An acquaintance tells of flying off carriers in the North Atlantic back in the late 60s when it was all seat of the pants.  Said nothing scared him more than night landings during rough weather. He still gets serious when it comes up.

Thanks all.  I really appreciate the help.

Reid

Edited by Reid

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There is only one thing I can add since we're shooting on ships very often:

Be aware of saltwater. A drop of saltwater into your XLR input may kill it slowly. Keep them covered all the time as well as all your knobs and other metal parts. If something gets wet, try to clean it with drinking water and dry it soon.

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I went out on the Nimitz some years back to research this issue for the series Carrier.  The radar on the flight deck is very intrusive.  We had Portabrace make barneys for the cameras out of 8 layers of Ni/AG-Coated Ripstop Nylon, NS58R which looks like ripstop nylon but is impregnated with nickel and maybe something else, it's made to shield RF.  The cameras worked OK so long as they weren't pointing at the radar antennas.  If they did, the radar came down the lens and made for a glitch, we were shooting HD tape then.  The sound gear worked pretty well with two layers lining the bags but there were always some hits.  Few problems downstairs except for the usual multipath given all the metal.  Take all the mics you've got, no telling what will work best.  There are about 14 levels to a carrier, be ready for ladders and small passageways when underway.  I hope you'll have a cabin and not be in a top bunk like I was.  Don't plan on sleeping if you're under the catapult. Ask about the "boom boom room" if you want a chuckle or something else...

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OK.... I think it is time you guys with 1000 plus posts get a platinum designation. Amazing to see how this forum has put down such deep roots.

 

 

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In the 80's I did the sound for a Nat Geo film called "Air Boss".  We were on the JFK in the Med for about a week using film and Nagra.  Picture was no problem, but sound was tough.  I used VHF Microns wireless and Schoeps with various capsules.  Everything had to be wrapped in tin foil  all the time.  However, there was a spot on the ship near the Navy's video camera that is shielded pretty well from the Aegis radar sweeps.  Since every take-off and landing is taped by the Navy, I could get clean ambient near their video nest.  On today's ship....who knows where it is.  I had a wire on the Air Boss in the tower which worked pretty well except for the intermittent buzz from the radar sweep.  We got beaten up falling up and down the endless metal stairs from deck to deck (at least twelve decks).  So, I would bring some knee and elbow pads for protection.    If you film from the waist skirt launch deck, stay close to the ship because if a jet wobbles a little as it goes by on take-off, you can get a little burned.    I'd love to do another one of these adventures, but now I'm just too old.  I'm flat out jealous.  Congrats....You're going to have  a great time.

Ciao,  Sully

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