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Waterproof capsules / saltwater

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Hi all!

I have a job which will involve the talent getting submerged often in saltwater, white water rafting etc… I have Lectrosonics WM transmitters for the task, but am curious about the capsules.

What are peoples experiences with capsules working under these conditions, with being submerged and still working.

Lectro M152-WP, Sanken COS-11D, B3, B6 etc…

cheers!

 

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ryanpeds   

The WM will hold up fine in water combined with a B6. I did a whitewater shoot where one of the actors would fall into the water and the WM was probably under the water a little bit and I didn't have any problems with transmission but you definitely can't go more than a foot down without heavy RF loss. I also used fins for the shoot. Always make sure you rinse everything off with clean fresh water after using it in water especially in saltwater since saltwater is corrosive. The B6s tolerate a lot of water in the capsule. I was only capturing yelling and screaming so it worked fine for that but when water gets on the capsule it won't sound normal because there is water on it.  This would be the same for any mic.

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Derek H   

I second the upside down mounting strategy gives the water a better chance to clear away from the capsule. 

 

Also, how important is it to have a cap on the B6? Is it still waterproof without at least the flat-cap?

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mikewest   

I use B3 mikes with my 4 Lectro waterproofs as they have a more rugged cable than B6's

Also as the B3 caps being larger diameter should handle water dunking from blocking the cap.

Always rinse the mikes (and the transmitters) in clean water then dry carefully

mike

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B6 are expensive and can get permanently damaged from repeat water exposure and the mic capsule to cable termination and the cable in general is really not up to snuff for rugged field use.  The more I do reality gigs, the less I care about absolute sound quality and it is more about getting reliable / intelligible results and with gear that will last a full season of shooting.  My mic of choice recently has been the M152 because they seem to last 8-12+ times out in salt water and when they die, are relatively inexpensive to replace. Sometimes I'll use WM, sometimes Zaxcom with on-board recording.  Sanken COS-11D have also worked well when out in water, not so much when expected to submerge / dive / or get heavily pounded, but if they will be splashed or occasionally submerged - a fresh water rinse and they have always come back into service, but since they are not my first line mic for water work, don't have a lot of water exposures to confirm their overall reliability.  B3 is a pretty good all around choice and a good balance between performance, fidelity, and cost.  I'm curious to try the more expensive VT500WA, which are expensive, but really the only mic that I'm aware of that have an actual IPX rating - the cost could be worth it if I can regain some sound fidelity and have repeat reliability in water / salt water.

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Boomboom   

Good info right on time; about to make shoots in both salt and non-salt water for the next months and was thinking about EMWs because, exactly, they're cheaper than B6s. I wouldn't have thought about the M152s...

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Derek H   

Anyone have any thoughts on wind-protecting lavs for water-use? It seemed to me that any additional wind protection added to the capsule just becomes a water trap and the capsule won't clear out as fast.

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