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SeanMAC

IFB on the cheap.

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Yes in congested areas best to use Freq Finder App and to see if the Comtek RX is locking to any Frequencies before you turn on TX. On the 216 Comtek a blinking red light means it is seeing signal and solid red means no signal detected. Last year I was shooting on the back deck of a house on a mountain outside of a town. I couldn't get more then 20 feet out of my Comtek and it was trying to lock to signal without TX on. I asked owners if they were aware of any cell towers or tv stations near by. They then told me about a few blocks away was a TV station and TV tower. 

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   My cart based Comtek systems yield fantastic range... 1/4 mile or more ...  They kick ass....  My bag rig works well in the general area were filming in...  If I need more, I'll go to a BST 75 on my TINY bag cart.. GREAT results...  

 

  Have the users keep them in the protective cases...ALWAYS... we have to police this a bit...  Seldom any issues other than finding 24 of them at days end..

  

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Here's the thing. The OP might have a corner on the market in Idaho, and expectations might be low, but that doesn't mean professionalism shouldn't be the goal.

 

My biggest pet peeve is listening to mixers gripe about how rates have gone down and they can't find good rental and people no longer treat the sound mixer with respect, yet people show up looking scruffy with a bunch of shit hanging out of their bag, borrow a folding chair, whatever.

 

If, as a community, we want to increase wages and return to being seen as professionals, it's time we started to do that. Look the part!

 

Buy a nice used UM400a for $500 and a couple of used IFBs for $350 each. It'll work great in the bag or on your cart. 

 

If you do buy an old Comtek system, buy new zipper pouches for them (including the transmitter). A nice shiny new black pouch with crisp COMTEK on the outside will make a good impression, regardless if there's a 20 year old receiver in there.

 

Regarding any non-industry standard brands... they may work fine, but when they don't, the client will look at them and wonder what crap they're paying you rental for. If something is going wrong, and the gear is something they recognise, like Lectrosonics or Comtek, they'll consider it an anomaly and at least won't question your professionalism regarding gear.

 

Just my opinion.

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2 hours ago, afewmoreyears said:

 

  Have the users keep them in the protective cases...ALWAYS... we have to police this a bit...  Seldom any issues other than finding 24 of them at days end..

  

It was in the case, zipped all the way, I swear I think they do this on purpose sometimes. People drop their iPhones on the floor often also. Maybe people think it just doesn't matter anymore. Found em on the park bench at the end of the day. The struggle is real.

 

Maybe O.P. is onto something...

 

But @RPSharman is %100 correct. Label everything, and keep it clean. Do it right, think about if this was the auto repair industry, think about how crappy their reputation is because of the scams some repair shops have pulled. Trusted reputable mechanics are very valuable. There is a reason people pay top dollar for luxury dealership repair costs. It includes perks; loaner car, juice box's, clean floors, clean bathrooms, leather couches in the waiting room and a courtesy car wash. Thanks @RPSharman for taking our industry's brand and reputation into consideration. 

 

 

 

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On 4/22/2018 at 5:32 PM, Dalton Patterson said:

+1

I have never used Comteks before and I used Comteks for the last three day. Politely put, IMHO the airplane seat headphone jack sound almost as good if not better. The range is very short, 50 yards max in a perfect environment. This helps allow the people out of hearing distance to hear the dialogue, but with compromised fidelity. 

@SeanMAC

 

That being said, director dropped it and battery flew out. Later that afternoon he said, how come my sound isn't working. Instead of answering; because you dropped it, I politely said, sorry you are out of range. Also it meant that when he inevitably dropped it, I didn't care because it was just a comtek. 

 

P/s. what did you decide>>>???

BST-25, 216 MHz with Phase Right antenna yields excellent range and sounds pretty good.

 

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On 4/22/2018 at 5:32 PM, Dalton Patterson said:

+1

I have never used Comteks before and I used Comteks for the last three day. Politely put, IMHO the airplane seat headphone jack sound almost as good if not better. The range is very short, 50 yards max in a perfect environment. This helps allow the people out of hearing distance to hear the dialogue, but with compromised fidelity. 

@SeanMAC

 

That being said, director dropped it and battery flew out. Later that afternoon he said, how come my sound isn't working. Instead of answering; because you dropped it, I politely said, sorry you are out of range. Also it meant that when he inevitably dropped it, I didn't care because it was just a comtek. 

 

P/s. what did you decide>>>???

I use BST25 in 216 MHz with phase right antenna.

Excellent range.

Granted, sound isn't great, but good enough.

Client and agency are not worthy of IFB's, considering the way they treat them.

Cheers!

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On 4/23/2018 at 9:28 AM, RPSharman said:

Here's the thing. The OP might have a corner on the market in Idaho, and expectations might be low, but that doesn't mean professionalism shouldn't be the goal.

 

My biggest pet peeve is listening to mixers gripe about how rates have gone down and they can't find good rental and people no longer treat the sound mixer with respect, yet people show up looking scruffy with a bunch of shit hanging out of their bag, borrow a folding chair, whatever.

 

If, as a community, we want to increase wages and return to being seen as professionals, it's time we started to do that. Look the part!

 

Buy a nice used UM400a for $500 and a couple of used IFBs for $350 each. It'll work great in the bag or on your cart. 

 

If you do buy an old Comtek system, buy new zipper pouches for them (including the transmitter). A nice shiny new black pouch with crisp COMTEK on the outside will make a good impression, regardless if there's a 20 year old receiver in there.

 

Regarding any non-industry standard brands... they may work fine, but when they don't, the client will look at them and wonder what crap they're paying you rental for. If something is going wrong, and the gear is something they recognise, like Lectrosonics or Comtek, they'll consider it an anomaly and at least won't question your professionalism regarding gear.

 

Just my opinion.

If you find some used Lectro IFB RX in B21 for $350 please let me know.  They don't come up used in USA legal blocks that often (and I look).  That's the problem.  I like how they sound, esp for discerning folks, but you are handing them a $550 device.  Comtek 216 RX aren't cheap but they are way cheaper than that, AND you can scale up from rentals pretty easy if you have to. 

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5 hours ago, Philip Perkins said:

If you find some used Lectro IFB RX in B21 for $350 please let me know.  They don't come up used in USA legal blocks that often (and I look).  That's the problem.  I like how they sound, esp for discerning folks, but you are handing them a $550 device.  Comtek 216 RX aren't cheap but they are way cheaper than that, AND you can scale up from rentals pretty easy if you have to. 

 

Haha! It is a trick, but they do come up once in a while. Mine were $350.

 

I use 216 Comteks for clients, as they too show up used from time to time, usually about $300 each. And are cheaper than IFBs new for sure. Makes a big difference when buying a lot. 

 

I've been very lucky in the used market, with timing and price. My earlier point is just making sure that whatever we use is presented well and works. Using industry standards like Comtek and Lectrosonics (and Zaxcom too, I suppose) protects sound people from being perceived as "cheap". If we make the effort to keep up the illusion, rates might stop declining. I'm not saying we should all have ponytails and skinny jeans like DPs and operators, but we can be clean and groomed and dressed in a way that sets us apart for lower paid crew members. Just my opinion.

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