Rich M

Sweat Protection, cheap and easy

17 posts in this topic

Howdy,

 

A couple months ago I was contacted to work on a fitness video, something I hadn’t done before. Looking around I didn’t see a whole lot written here about good solutions for sweat protection, or at least nothing that seemed to work for me. And yes, I did use Google search.

 

We’ve all heard of nonlubricated condoms so I went through the amusing experience of buying them, though for me I found that my package simply didn’t fit well. That aside, the overall shape and material didn’t allow for a lot of customization and there’s the issue of a pretty sizable hole on one side (likely where the antenna/cable would be positioned to exit).

 

I also checked out Aquapacs. Don’t get me wrong, I bought one immediately and absolutely think they’re a solid product, but they didn’t work here. They’re bulky, they flop around, they don’t look good exposed – they just can’t be used for a typical workout video.

 

So instead, I initially tried a few methods of taping over all possible openings – battery door, antenna attachment, so on. But that actually backfired eventually. Sweat managed to get under the tape anyway and became trapped, causing the issue to actually be worse in my case because things couldn’t air out. Lost a good TRX that day.

 

But good news! Three videos in now and I’ve come up with what I believe to be a pretty easy, cheap, and simple solution. So good, in fact, that I consistently pulled 100% dry units off of a man who literally showered sweat. Really though, the man was a monsoon. A mere blink would shower the ground in liquid.

 

And so, ladies and gentlemen… Behold!

 

 

Ingredients (Pic 1):

- Time.

- Damn good batteries – the best NiMH or Lithium.

- Plastic sandwich bag, NO ziplock or similar snapping seal. Standard size.

- Tape (Transpore worked fantastic for me as it can be removed without ripping the bag)

- Silico beads (not required but suggested)

 

1.jpg

 

Here’s the process. Have a few 1 inch sections of tape preripped, about 3 or 4, and fold over one of the corners on each. Drop the transmitter, with fresh batteries, into the bag and shift it around so that the bottom and one side of the unit are situated into the bottom corner of the bag (Pics 2 and 3). The antenna and mic should already be attached at this point and running easily out of the top, open end. Keep them separated (crossing wires can reduce range). If you have any, place a batch of Silico beads with the transmitter. They help to repel moisture.

 

2.jpg

3.jpg

 

Grabbing the empty side of the bag, fold it over so that the extra plastic wraps around the backside of the transmitter (Pic 4). Honestly the bag can fold in either direction but going behind offers better screen visibility. Tape it in place once folded and pulled tight.

 

4.jpg

 

Next, fold the short side of the opening of the bag into that opening and behind the transmitter as far is it’ll reach (Pic 5). Just tuck it in. This both gets the extra plastic out of the way and offers a second layer of protection against any tenacious drips.

 

5.jpg

 

Now take the long side of the opening and wrap it around both wires in whatever way makes the most sense for your particular setup (Pic 6). What you’re aiming for is to have the bag tightly wrapped around both wires and then eventually folded and taped onto the body of the bag, creating a pretty sweat proof seal. If wrapped correctly any drops will slide down the wire then onto the bag instead of continuing down onto the transmitter.

 

6.jpg

 

And with that you’re done! Once ready to remove the unit, carefully lift each section of tape using those corners that were folded back. So long as you have the time to remove things properly this setup can be used repeatedly for a little while before the bag starts to show any real wear. What’s better, there’s no need to remove the first section of tape, the one that wraps the empty portion of the bag around the rest of the shape. That can stay in place and offers a ready to go rig for next time.

 

The last part of my setup that helped is the Wireless Mic Belts pouch. They come in several sizes so do some research. Not only does it provide a means of attaching the unit to someone, as wrapping the transmitter in a bag negates any inherent clip usage, but it also serves as an amazing first line of defense against sweat (Pic 7). Disgust aside, the pouch absorbed ALL sweat – I literally pulled out dry bags every time. There’s a decent chance I never even needed to wrap my transmitters, though I’d certainly never suggest taking that chance.

 

7.jpg

 

Now let’s discuss the pros and cons of this method.

 

Good:

- Fairly inexpensive, especially after the initial WMB pouch purchase.

- Mostly reusable. The WMB pouch will last forever and the plastic bags have a decent lifespan if unwrapped well.

- So far flawless success rate. As I said, the one guy couldn’t have been wetter if he fell down a river during a storm.

 

Bad:

- Takes forever to initially set up and to change batteries.

- Partially, potentially even fully, blocks view of the transmitter screen.

- Doesn’t look good on its own – needs the pouch to be presentable. Appearance may not be a big deal for some applications but when working with models in sports bras there’s no way to fully hide the rig.

- The pouch creates a bit of extra bulk, so though it’s a cleaner look, there’s more to tuck in.

- Blocks use of any built in clipping methods on the transmitter.

- Isn’t completely reusable. Doesn’t matter to some people but I try to be trash conscious.

 

That’s about it! I really hope this helps. Let me know if you have any suggestions or if any part of this doesn’t make sense to you.


PS: I tried to add a bunch of relevant tags to this to aid in future searches but could only seem to add two. Sad face.

 

 

 

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Good job.  I did some fishing etc videos this way, back before Aquapacs, waterproof TX etc, and got away with it mostly.  Desperate times etc..   Heavy duty freezer bags were less likely to get punctured than the thin types.

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This is great, especially after reading the thread over on Zaxcom's Facebook page regarding dead TRX's due to sweaty talent. Thanks Rich!

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Thanks very much, nearly had one of my Zaxcom TRXLA3's destroyed by a dancer the other day, what size WMB pouch do you find works with your Zaxcom TX please?

Just seen in the photo an SN-G3 so I guess that's the size.....

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Nice trick! thanks for sharing! 

I have recently placed a clear plastic film over the front of my TXs (the sticky kind you use to protect books). And for good measure I gaff tape around it. It seems pretty sweat proof. Its not as watertight as your bag solution, but for times when time is a factor this seems to do the job. IMG_4370.JPG

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On 9/12/2016 at 5:32 AM, Rich M said:

We’ve all heard of nonlubricated condoms so I went through the amusing experience of buying them, though for me I found that my package simply didn’t fit well.

Wow, reading this with and without context makes a BIG difference!

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I think Rich may have intentionally injected some humour there, nice wrapping job though! And given me something to think about as I prep to do a cheerleader movie!

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Nice work Rich! Good to see the pictures. It's cleaner looking than i imagined.

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I'm sure I'm not the only one who does this but you can get a whole bunch of little ziplock bags at a "Dollar Store" craft section that fit perfectly. I pop two tiny holes and squeeze antenna/mic through them. Put the clip on over the bag. You can even roll it up the bottom and change a battery quickly a few times before the bag breaks.

20160920_005236.jpg

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I used my Lectro SMQVs on a workout shoot the other day, no protection at all, and was fine. Is anyone having problems with Lectrosonics and sweat?

Sent from my XT1080 using Tapatalk

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  If you want 100% waterproof tx + wire, go the route that reality shows do - liquid electrical tape.  It's like a plastic paint that you paint on and shortly thereafter it hardens, making a water tight rig.  Paint around all connectors and seams, really you can just paint the whole thing.

When you need to change batts you have to cut and peel it off.

I have not used this stuff, but my boom op was just telling how he was on a reality show where the talent kept jumping in the water.  Apparently it worked like a charm...

Wire must be a B6.

  What I could really use, is something to keep sweat off the element.  Mid-take and the voice gets more and more bass, the highs disappear and eventually the voice is muffled or if it's a B6, all sound ceases.

Last night our actor kept dripping sweat onto the element of a COS-11, so my third went and put a little paper towel buffer between the mic head and the body and it worked.  But not a sexy rig!

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On 9/24/2016 at 1:02 PM, Izen Ears said:

I have not used this stuff, but my boom op was just telling how he was on a reality show where the talent kept jumping in the water.  Apparently it worked like a charm...

 

WHOA! That would give me a heart attack... :-o 

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I used my Lectro SMQVs on a workout shoot the other day, no protection at all, and was fine. Is anyone having problems with Lectrosonics and sweat?

Sent from my XT1080 using Tapatalk




Do you use the boots on your lavs? The TA5 is a definite vulnerability. I keep one COS11 with the boot. You can also put a sweat loop in the lav cable, and mount it upside down.
That said, there's a reason I keep a MM400C. That's my first choice for really really sweaty / wet situations.
I've done one show that involves a lot of water and sweat, but the production company owns some WMs and they give me those for the shoots.

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I'm to blame to as I like many others could invent a solution.  But i'm surprised there isn't a reusable product sold that isn't a big contraption like the aquatec stuff. Just a little pouch designed for this purpose.  

OR

WHY zaxcom has not released a MM400 style product.  They've been around long enough to know their product is not great with sweat or water.

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On 9/11/2016 at 1:32 PM, Rich M said:

PS: I tried to add a bunch of relevant tags to this to aid in future searches but could only seem to add two. Sad face.

Sorry guys, that was probably because of me. I meta-tagged a suggestive line of humor in five or so tags there once. : (

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