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Zaxcom Wireless and IFB Range

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Hello! How do people feel about the range that they get off the zaxcom units? Is 50/75 mw good enough compared to lectros 100/250?. I really need don't like to fight to get range in my wireless. I know its all digital but some zaxcom units I have used in the past didn't impress me with there range. Maybe I was using their older models... Also wondering about the IFB's and using them for camera hops. I'm curious about the range of them and the audio quality, are then better than the lectro ifb's?

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^ that's very true. Although 250mW is still very likely to provide better range than 50mW. However, I hear that the new Zaxcom modulation (100mW?) is about on par with Lectro (250mW?) in terms of range. 250mW is also more likely to overload your rx at close range and cause other issues (eg multipath), so it's not always the desired solution. Here in the EU, 50mW is the legal limit, so I can tell you that 50mW is almost always fine, regardless of Zax or Lectro. There are ways to improve reception that are applicable to any brand.

 

 

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I'm much happier with the range on my zax units now that I've shelled out some cash on their rf amp.

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1 hour ago, ducky said:

I'm much happier with the range on my zax units now that I've shelled out some cash on their rf amp.

Hi, I'm thinking he means the micplexor 2, and yes, that adds huge range. I was getting about 70 yards today, near baseball fencing at 25mw. That seems good to me. I tested the micplexor with a Lectro plug on transmitter of a friend's and we doubled the range with micplexer, this was in Orange County on, I think, Lectro block 21. I am too tired to correct spelling.

Sincerely, Martin 

8 hours ago, bschir said:

Hello! How do people feel about the range that they get off the zaxcom units? Is 50/75 mw good enough compared to lectros 100/250?. I really need don't like to fight to get range in my wireless. I know its all digital but some zaxcom units I have used in the past didn't impress me with there range. Maybe I was using their older models... Also wondering about the IFB's and using them for camera hops. I'm curious about the range of them and the audio quality, are then better than the lectro ifb's?

Hi, I don't know about compared to lectro. It works for me most of the time as it is. It's not real difficult at all to add an amplifier. I think it all depends on what kind of mixer, the person not the machine, that you are. I really like it.

Sincerely, Martin 

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I use both Lectro and Zaxcom in my bag and I generally keep both my SMQV and my TRXLA set to 50mW - which is plenty of power for most situations.

And I find that the range I get with my lectrosonics and zax are always very comparable. 

Given that I generally grab the zax first these days mainly just for the ability to remotely control the gain.

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In regards to camera links I use a RX200 if audio on camera is to be used in the edit.

If it's a guide track (scratch) I use either an ERX or Lectro R1a. Generally I use an ERX, due to size, power efficiency and being able to output GT audio and TC. You do have to take into account that it's on 2.4gHz spectrum and thus has limited range. For most bag jobs range is more then sufficient and I'm not to worried about a couple of drop outs. If I need greater range for whatever reason I'll use a R1a on cam for GT. 

Based my faulty ears, unscientific testing and on what I use, in order of sound quality I'd say ERX, Sennheiser IEM and then R1a. In range, R1a, Sennheiser IEM and then ERX. If it's simple bag work I tend to use an ERX for director monitor.

On commercials and Drama, Zax ERX's go on cameras, Lectro R1a's for Dir/client/Conti and who evers important cousin. Sennheiser IEM for boom. 

Cheers Nate.

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13 hours ago, bschir said:

Hello! How do people feel about the range that they get off the zaxcom units? Is 50/75 mw good enough compared to lectros 100/250?.

Is it ok to put a transmitter at 250mw on an actor? i would of thought not but maybe people do.

Tony

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Is it ok to put a transmitter at 250mw on an actor? i would of thought not but maybe people do.
Tony

Mobile phones can transmit at up to 2W. I think 250mW is comparatively harmless, although the time on the phone is probably much shorter

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I think power (25, 50, 100mW, etc) is more about density (coverage) within an area than distance. 
 

But higher power certainly can increase distance in real life

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6 hours ago, Constantin said:


Mobile phones can transmit at up to 2W. I think 250mW is comparatively harmless, although the time on the phone is probably much shorter

Hi, What cell phone puts out 2 Watts?

Sincerely, Martin 

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Thanks for your comments. Being an lectro guy and having my hand burned by one of the first nomads (SN 17) and it being repaired twice and still not working, I tend to steer clear of zaxcom products. But that was in the past. I think zaxcom's equipment is more stable nowadays and starting to interest me again.

17 hours ago, Jack Norflus said:

I use both Lectro and Zaxcom in my bag and I generally keep both my SMQV and my TRXLA set to 50mW - which is plenty of power for most situations.

And I find that the range I get with my lectrosonics and zax are always very comparable. 

Given that I generally grab the zax first these days mainly just for the ability to remotely control the gain.

So no one feels that zaxcom tx/rx get better range with its all digital transmission?

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50 minutes ago, bschir said:

Thanks for your comments. Being an lectro guy and having my hand burned by one of the first nomads (SN 17) and it being repaired twice and still not working, I tend to steer clear of zaxcom products. But that was in the past. I think zaxcom's equipment is more stable nowadays and starting to interest me again.

So no one feels that zaxcom tx/rx get better range with its all digital transmission?

Hi, Better  range? Hmm. Well, when I was using my Zaxcom yesterday, didn't like the current range that I was getting, comparatively speaking. So in between takes I quickly rescanned, and sent the transmitter the new frequency. I probably sent the new frequency about 25, maybe 30 yards. That was the solution, switching to a new frequency. So, with that being said, I had better range because I could adjust the Zaxcom transmitter frequency. Does that count as better range? It did to me. 

Sincerely, Martin 

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1 hour ago, bschir said:

Thanks for your comments. Being an lectro guy and having my hand burned by one of the first nomads (SN 17) and it being repaired twice and still not working, I tend to steer clear of zaxcom products.

 

How did your hand get burned?

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Hi, What cell phone puts out 2 Watts?
Sincerely, Martin 

Pretty much any phone that can use the GSM 900 (and possibly 1800) standard.
Please note that I said "up to". They don't do that all the time. The connection must be bad enough (well, obviously, that's the only reason why a modern phone would use a GSM connection) to warrant the maximum power

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Hi,  I have searched and can't find any cells phones, for the U.S. anyway, that are anywhere close to 2 watts. If anyone has one that high, let me know what it is, so I can make sure I don't buy one.

Sincerely, Martin 

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Two watts at those frequencies will toast you.  Then of course we only use about 10% of our brains so I suppose we have some to spare!!

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1 hour ago, drpro said:

Two watts at those frequencies will toast you.  Then of course we only use about 10% of our brains so I suppose we have some to spare!!

DR, yes, I belive that is correct. And I haven't done the math, but it sounds like that would really put some wear and tear on the battery. 

Sincerely, Martin 

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On 2017-02-06 at 7:52 AM, Constantin said:


Mobile phones can transmit at up to 2W. I think 250mW is comparatively harmless, although the time on the phone is probably much shorter

hand held cell phones typically max out at 600mw. in rural areas, "bag" phones are sometimes used and  can go up to 3 watts. 

http://motorola3watts.com/

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Hi,  I have searched and can't find any cells phones, for the U.S. anyway, that are anywhere close to 2 watts. If anyone has one that high, let me know what it is, so I can make sure I don't buy one.
Sincerely, Martin 

To be honest, no. But it is really difficult to find any kind of spec. Can you find details of phones that have lower transmit capabilities in the GSM band?
But I have read various articles which mention that mobile phones can transmit at up to 2W, and no, that will absolutely not fry anyone's brain. In fact, 2W is the legal limit (in the EU, but it'll likely be the same or higher in the US) for GSM 900.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GSM?wprov=sfsi1

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22 hours ago, Derek H said:

 

How did your hand get burned?

When the Nomads were 'new' in zaxcom terms which was like alpha testing... there was the possibility to re charge the AA in the unit. I actually had recharables in the unit but it ended up starting to smoke and as I fumbled to pull the unit out of the bag, open that damn bat door while it was still cabled to everything. I tilted the bag sideways to get the sled out of the unit and I caught it with my hand. The plastic battery sled was melting so the plastic ended up burning my skin. I have a pic somewhere of a perfect oval impression of the end of the bat sled in my hand. Lucky all this happened while I was home testing some bag configurations out. I sent it back to get 'fixed' but then it happened again while i was on a shoot. Completely unacceptable. So I ended up returning it and bought my 3rd 788 and never went down the zaxcom road. While I had the unit I always had to cross my fingers and hope the software boot up would work and the unit would actually start up. Other than that, I liked the device. I thought it was great. But work is work and I couldn't live with that kind of variable in my workday.

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That's terrible! That feature was a good idea but they eventually scrapped it. 

 

I used a Maxx for the last 3+ years and it was mostly trouble free and sounded great. The software stabilized pretty quickly. 

 

You get get used to it and even fast at changing things but I found the user interface to be fighting me most the time. Though once it was all setup and you were rolling in the middle of a mix I loved it. Super clean sounding, the auto trim feature was surprisingly intuitive, and I liked how you could seamlessly switch headphone presets complete with cross fades so you never hear a click or pop in your cans. I guess that's the best way I can describe it. 

 

Wait, what was this thread about? ;)

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On 2/5/2017 at 3:48 PM, Constantin said:

^ that's very true. Although 250mW is still very likely to provide better range than 50mW. However, I hear that the new Zaxcom modulation (100mW?) is about on par with Lectro (250mW?) in terms of range. 250mW is also more likely to overload your rx at close range and cause other issues (eg multipath), so it's not always the desired solution. Here in the EU, 50mW is the legal limit, so I can tell you that 50mW is almost always fine, regardless of Zax or Lectro. There are ways to improve reception that are applicable to any brand.

 

 

  I did a bunch of un official testing with my Lectro SMQv trans a few years back...  there really was not much difference in range strangely enough between 50-100-250mW.. When I hit the trouble spot, it was the same spot give or take a few ft..   It was while using ALP650 Antennas and a Lectrosonic Sixpack. Frequencies were clear... Suburbs of Phoenix... Who knows...  I find sometimes I can go for surprisingly long distances without any fanfare, or, be on a stage and have them wiggle around a bunch on the meter 30ft. away....

   I'm done trying to figure it all out... I fire them all up, find some frequencies, do what I know after all I've learned to get it all going and hope it all works out...  and this is after years of working with wireless..

100mW is probably just fine...

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21 hours ago, afewmoreyears said:

  I did a bunch of un official testing with my Lectro SMQv trans a few years back...  there really was not much difference in range strangely enough between 50-100-250mW.. When I hit the trouble spot, it was the same spot give or take a few ft..   It was while using ALP650 Antennas and a Lectrosonic Sixpack. Frequencies were clear... Suburbs of Phoenix... Who knows...  I find sometimes I can go for surprisingly long distances without any fanfare, or, be on a stage and have them wiggle around a bunch on the meter 30ft. away....

   I'm done trying to figure it all out... I fire them all up, find some frequencies, do what I know after all I've learned to get it all going and hope it all works out...  and this is after years of working with wireless..

100mW is probably just fine...

I find that the most problems I have is the person using the tx. I don't know if its body mass or contact with the tx antenna but its odd. I was just seeing what peoples thoughts on the different units are. I'll stick with my lectro's till I leave the business. I'm gonna roll with 50mw for a while and see what happens. I feel the 250mw only has helped with the SRa's. But for the most part, it wasn't that huge of a difference.

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