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Jim Feeley

PR: Lectrosonics Introduces the IFB-VHF Wireless System

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From Lectro's website. I dig the red color. VHF; well, whenever I fire up my old 187 system (admittedly, not that often), it's clear. The future is behind us. 

 

Lectrosonics Introduces the IFB-VHF Wireless System

System Operates in the Less-Trafficked VHF Broadcast Band, Offering 239 Frequencies from 174 to 216 MHz

IFB-VHF_red_BG-V4.jpg

 

Rio Rancho, NM (December 1, 2015) -- Lectrosonics is pleased to introduce the IFB-VHF wireless system, including the IFBT4-VHF frequency agile compact transmitter and IFBR1a-VHF receiver, designed to operate in the less-trafficked VHF broadcast band, offering 239 frequencies between 174 to 216 MHz.

The Lectrosonics IFBT4-VHF frequency agile IFB transmitter is designed for use in broadcast, motion picture, theater, and stage applications where extended operating range and high quality audio are essential. The transmitter can be used as a stand-alone device or patched directly into popular intercom systems. The IFBR1a-VHF receiver is designed for use for talent cueing and crew communications in broadcast and motion picture productions, as well as for use by directors and management to monitor audio during a production. The receiver offers simplicity and flexibility in its operation, in a package that is intuitive for both experienced professionals and new users to operate.

The IFBT4-VHF transmitter features 50 mW power output for superior long range use and is a perfect companion to the rugged, all-metal IFBR1a-VHF receiver. A pilot tone signal controls the audio squelch on the receiver to eliminate noise when the IFBT4-VHF is turned off and prevents the receiver from locking onto false signals. The receiver default frequency is set by two rotary switches, and up to five additional frequencies can be programmed into the memory. The transmitter incorporates a multi-use XLR input jack and DIP switches with settings for dynamic mic, line level, Clear Com® and RTS sources. In IFB mode, the system is optimized for vocal clarity. The IFBT4-VHF transmitter can also operate in Digital Hybrid Wireless® mode for additional compatibility with future Lectrosonics products.

"By adding the IFB system on the VHF frequencies, it allows users and system designers to move these out of the critical UHF band, which should improve the ability to coordinate larger systems even in a crowded RF environment,” says Karl Winkler, Vice President of Sales/Service for Lectrosonics. "And one of our key users gave us the idea for the red bezel and volume knob to differentiate the VHF version from our UHF units that have the blue knobs. Red for lower frequencies, blue for higher frequencies, makes sense to me!"

The IFB-VHF System is available now; MSRP for the system is: IFBT4-VHF transmitter is $1,369; IFBR1a-VHF receiver is $865.

 

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Great addition. Wish I could get my hops down into VHF as well. 

MSRP seems high.. Is there some reason these should be more expensive than the UHF version?

Also, why only 50mW power on the IFB T4 VHF?

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That's a whole lotta mula! I'm going to hang on to my 600mhz block 25 lectrosonics IFBs till the FCC auctions it off from my cold dead hands!

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Indeed the price seems a off, especially if you compare it to Comtek units. But again, maybe the audio quality is better then Contek. But still way out of reach for me. 

Now, curious to see if they play nice, side by side with a Comtek (216 range ) kit, used at the same time ( ex: Comtek for general IFB line and those for boom op line ).wonder if it was tested?

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The UHF T4 does 250mW. Comtek base stations which operate in a similar freq range can do 100mW or more so I don't understand why it's not at least variable between 50 and 250. Maybe it's a typo... 

Tuning range is 174-215. 40 MHz is a pretty wide berth, I would think you could coordinate your Comteks and this.

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Two comments:

1. Different power limits for Part 74 VHF wireless mics, i.e., 50 mW instead of 250 mW for UHF.

2. When was the last time you paid retail prices for Lectro gear.

Best wishes,
Larry F
Ex Lectro Janitor

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Considering the Comtek TX is 10mW and works great this lectro will be a beast...

I am very exited about this. How heavy is the transmitter?

Edited by RadoStefanov

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Hi Rado,
Exactly the same form factor, etc., as the UHF IFB units. Transmitter antennas are bigger for the VHF frequencies. The receiver antenna is still the ear piece cable which fortunately is more than long enough for VHF. Range is not quite as good as UHF but this model is to relieve frequency congestion, not set range records. To paraphrase Rolls Royce about horsepower in their cars, range is adequate. It is more than adequate if your UHF frequencies are being stomped on.

Best,
Larry F

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Based on the street price vs list relationship of another recently released Lectro device, one might guess that the new IFB receiver will sell for somewhere in the neighborhood of $610.  The current R1A is at $545.

Just a guess, YMMV, etc., et al. 

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Cool.  I hope there is also discussion of hifi "talent" type wireless to be in this range too.  Digging the color.  Expensive yes, but the earlier Lectro IFBs were also alot more than Comtek etc..  Hifi is expensive.

p

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Through a miracle of modern technology, it looks like the transmitter has a US street price of about $1,000 and the receivers about $620. (good guessing John B!)

 

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    I said it before and I will say it again.... At the end of each day, as long as I am finding the units on the ground, in the Pass vans, in the gutter, behind bushes and mis-cared for in every way.... The Comteks they shall have!!!!   PERIOD!!!   

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    I said it before and I will say it again.... At the end of each day, as long as I am finding the units on the ground, in the Pass vans, in the gutter, behind bushes and mis-cared for in every way.... The Comteks they shall have!!!!   PERIOD!!!   

Has anybody used "Tile" like locators on their gear to track them on/off the set at the end of the day?  Transmitters stuck to transmitters might be asking for interference trouble though...

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The Tile locators are Bluetooth - you have my curiosity up on that - I would assume you would put them on the talents receivers (you having possession of the transmitter) so I'm not sure what the impact would be - it's pretty far out of band - I may just order some to try it out - stay tuned!

Gordon

(there's theory and there's what works -may they never meet)

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VHF!?!?! Now I'm gonna start scanning for those frequencies for the next few jobs and see how busy they are. I wouldn't mind seeing what some SMV's could do when they are working in the VHF frequencies.

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I'm more interested in the powder coated bezel! Larry, is it time yet to start offering powder coated bezels for sale? Id take two blue and two yellow and a couple greens to give as gifts to my block 25 colleagues. Who knows, net income on the bezels might give ifb-vhf income stream a run for its money! Thoughts?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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22 hours ago, Tom Duffy said:

Has anybody used "Tile" like locators on their gear to track them on/off the set at the end of the day?  Transmitters stuck to transmitters might be asking for interference trouble though...

Yep.. not happy with the results of TrackR model.  battery life is 6 hours!  for a cr2032!  can only sync 10 of them per smartphone, and the app would only show you within a block or two where the item was.  It would show you if it had left the area.

Also, as a cloudsource GPS system, to use it you had to grant access to your device that was a very poor personal data security practice.

 

Now, I am interested in these VHF-IFB as a tool for boom and utility crew members.  The range will matter to me, as the UHF IFB system has huge range.   And yes, I hope it will sound comparable to the UHF model within the useful range.

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20 hours ago, fieldmixer said:

 

 

I'm more interested in the powder coated bezel! Larry, is it time yet to start offering powder coated bezels for sale? Id take two blue and two yellow and a couple greens to give as gifts to my block 25 colleagues. Who knows, net income on the bezels might give ifb-vhf income stream a run for its money! Thoughts?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

It is an anodized bezel as is the volume knob and guard on the receiver. It can be done in any color but there are setup charges for each color change that probably make it prohibitive for quantities in singles or or low double digits. Let's assume a $100+ color setup charge and divide that by the number of each color you want. If that isn't a turn off, call sales 800 821 1121 and express your interest.

We've tried custom colors in the past for some parts and still have 95% of the ones we made as a trial, so the crew is a bit cautious. You could get raw finished parts and try to get them anodized locally. There generally are small custom shops in most larger cities.

Best,
Larry F

5 hours ago, Christopher Mills said:

 

 

Now, I am interested in these VHF-IFB as a tool for boom and utility crew members.  The range will matter to me, as the UHF IFB system has huge range.   And yes, I hope it will sound comparable to the UHF model within the useful range.

Sound is identical or improved. After all, we have 10 years of continuous improvements building IFB's. The carrier frequency (VHF) has nothing to do with sound quality. As far as range, the first consideration here was to open up more frequencies. The FCC is or was being petitioned to allow 250 mW in the VHF band but I don't know what has come of that.

Best,
Larry F

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As cool as this new system is, I'm a bit disappointed the new receivers are more or less the same as the existing ones. 

I would've loved to have seen a completely newly designed receiver that had a screen and presets for storing more channels (like at least 10) that could even be labeled. 

An indented knob for changing channels and a push down and turn for volume or visa versa. 

The current method of storing more channels to the next open channel is cumbersome and at times frustrating. 

Lectro is welcome to use these ideas for the next IFB receiver. 

Dont get me wrong though, I love my R1a's, I just feel they need an update.

Thanks and regards 

Peter Mega 

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