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Wandering Ear

Cintenna ratpack dimmers

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IMG_20170103_180235270.jpgOn set today, first 2/3rds of the day, no problems.  Gaffer turns on a light gag, and my zaxnet feed is useless.  Narrowed it down to the Cintenna wireless DMX control.  Seems to be a speed spectrum? or channel hopping technology that transmits on dozens of frequencies across the 2.4 ghz spectrum, multiple times a second.  

Best solution I came up with was to move my ifb100 on set.  I put it about 1 foot from the DMX TX.  Not sure if it worked because it was on set directly, or if having my tx close to the DMX TX tricked it to stay away from that channel.

Anyone else seen these Cintenna units?  Any other solutions anyone's found?

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I've been considering swapping out my Comtek 216 gear for an all Zaxnet IFB setup (with the new amp released by SoundGuysSolutions). This is definitely making me reconsider a bit.

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I have over 20 erx's, and I have very little trouble with them in general.  I never have complaints from video village, which if in a seperate room I put a transmitter in.  I seem to have the most issues with the feed for my boom ops, so I keep an r1a now as a backup, however I rarely use it.

That being said, the 2.4ghz band can be problematic because you never know what might be operating there.

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46 minutes ago, Wandering Ear said:

I have over 20 erx's, and I have very little trouble with them in general.  I never have complaints from video village, which if in a seperate room I put a transmitter in.  I seem to have the most issues with the feed for my boom ops, so I keep an r1a now as a backup, however I rarely use it.

That being said, the 2.4ghz band can be problematic because you never know what might be operating there.

Good to hear Zaxnet is working well for your client monitoring setup. I use my ERX's strictly for scratch/TC to camera and have had more than one occasion where the scratch feed has had some problems even in extremely short range situations. Hoping amplification would resolve most of my issues and allow me to ditch my comtek 216 rig... but like you mentioned.. the 2.4ghz band has it's inherent risks.

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on a recent set, we were shooting with 3 cameras.  each camera had a wireless focus unit, wireless aperture control, wireless dmx controller (not cintenna), wireless video feed from the qtake operator to various crew members watching on ipads. there are usually 2 or 3 crew members tethering their laptops to their cellphones.  it is also common to have at least one cellular wifi hotspot for the video village crowd. the erx receivers somehow worked for quite some time.  the breaking point came when the supertechnocrane crew set up with their telex headset system.  it is a 2.4ghz channel hopping system that makes it hard to stay ahead of.  the only way to make the situation workable was to remote the ifb100 to the monitor cart.  by doing so, I gave up remote control over frequencies and gain.  I have 20 erx's, for the moment.  I don't see an easy fix.  more devices all the time squeezing into an ever shrinking spectrum.   preston systems published a paper on the grim picture in 2009  

http://www.prestoncinema.com/Manuals/TheWirelessJungle.pdf  

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7 hours ago, ao said:

on a recent set, we were shooting with 3 cameras.  each camera had a wireless focus unit, wireless aperture control, wireless dmx controller (not cintenna), wireless video feed from the qtake operator to various crew members watching on ipads. there are usually 2 or 3 crew members tethering their laptops to their cellphones.  it is also common to have at least one cellular wifi hotspot for the video village crowd. the erx receivers somehow worked for quite some time.  the breaking point came when the supertechnocrane crew set up with their telex headset system.  it is a 2.4ghz channel hopping system that makes it hard to stay ahead of.  the only way to make the situation workable was to remote the ifb100 to the monitor cart.  by doing so, I gave up remote control over frequencies and gain.  I have 20 erx's, for the moment.  I don't see an easy fix.  more devices all the time squeezing into an ever shrinking spectrum.   preston systems published a paper on the grim picture in 2009  

http://www.prestoncinema.com/Manuals/TheWirelessJungle.pdf  

Glad you weighed in here, ao.

Worked the summer having eliminated the DC power injector in the 2.4G Zaxnet chain and troubleshooting the firmware alley fight between the RX12 and its TRX's on which unit code controls. RX12's since been named permanent unit code winner. 

In the meantime what that meant in practical terms was that I changed my gain staging workflow: planned for TRX gain changes during scan & prep of the units rather than forgetting about it until there was an issue and solving with 2.4Ghz. Continuing bottom line even with the 2.4 system again DC injected, TRX's remain pretty much on the same gain on a per-character basis and I fine tune gain at the Nomad inputs for surprise shouts/whispers via the 'Setup' button. Furthermore scan for new freqs at every new location and choose hi and low sens mics based on the character and what I eventually learn about each's dynamic range. 

Should state that 8 wires are AES from RX12 --> Nomad. Have not yet needed more wires than that though wires 9-12 are available via analog.

I now LOVE scanning for clear freqs. OK, that's strong, but I no longer devote fifteen minutes to re-freq all the wires and there's my lost coffee break back. Love seeing all the TRX's come back online with their meter blips. Yeah, when I re-freq they all get updated just in case. Saved my bum more than once that rule.

All that to say (again) 2.4's a wuss and I'm not relying upon it to save me. With the revised workflow, it hasn't had to and I'm all the happier for it.

I use R1a's for my private line comms and Comteks for the Village.

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