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Derek H

Zaxcom QRX "dual mode" real-world performance?

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So I've been using the QRX and LTAs for the last two days doing documentary ENG work on a golf course. I have been quite impressed with the range of the system in dual mode although not as good as what I'm used to with Lectro systems. Although at one point i was able to do a shot, in single mode, at about 150 yards with the whips, without droptouts and a clean line of sight. The sound quality of the Zaxcom system is great and very clean. The many uses of Zaxnet are amazing. In every other way, they are just as good as the Lectros.

After working with them in the field, I am impressed but I do see why people have been needing things such as the MicPlexer or other antenna options. There were times when you would be pretty close to the Tx's yet would get a sudden drop in signal.

So I'm am now curious as to those who have been using the MicPlexer with whips and if it has helped or not. I am aware of those who use other antenneas and it helps, but I also think Cloud mentioned MicPlexer with just the whips didn't help him that much.

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So I've been using the QRX and LTAs for the last two days doing documentary ENG work on a golf course. I have been quite impressed with the range of the system in dual mode although not as good as what I'm used to with Lectro systems. Although at one point i was able to do a shot, in single mode, at about 150 yards with the whips, without droptouts and a clean line of sight. The sound quality of the Zaxcom system is great and very clean. The many uses of Zaxnet are amazing. In every other way, they are just as good as the Lectros.

After working with them in the field, I am impressed but I do see why people have been needing things such as the MicPlexer or other antenna options. There were times when you would be pretty close to the Tx's yet would get a sudden drop in signal.

So I'm am now curious as to those who have been using the MicPlexer with whips and if it has helped or not. I am aware of those who use other antenneas and it helps, but I also think Cloud mentioned MicPlexer with just the whips didn't help him that much.

 

This is exactly the experience that my learned colleagues relayed to me and made me scratch my head about buying up some Zax wireless. It's not that this scenario is impossible with other wireless brands, but it was pointed out to me as a seemingly random and irritating problem that analogue/hybrid wireless used at the same locations weren't having.

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This is exactly the experience that my learned colleagues relayed to me and made me scratch my head about buying up some Zax wireless. It's not that this scenario is impossible with other wireless brands, but it was pointed out to me as a seemingly random and irritating problem that analogue/hybrid wireless used at the same locations weren't having.

To be fair, if I were to closely examine my Lectros over te time that I've ha them, they too have had many scenarios where I would get unexplained drops in RF levels and I was extremely close to talent. All in all, RF am be funky and both systems deal with it differently. When the Zaxcom system gets low it remains clean, but the Lectro system may get 'hissy'.

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QRX100 Single Mode, True Diversity

QRX100 Dual Mode, Antenna Diversity

 

205, 411 Antenna Diversity

 

Venues:  One VRT or VRS per RF Mike, Antenna Diversity

Venues: Two VRT or VRS per RF Mike, True/Smart/Ratio Diversity

 

4900 True Diversity

900M True Diversity..

 

Any one have motor boating or super LF oscillation on 4900, without transmitters on? listen to noise floor..with and without TX

no mike plugged in..

 

Anyone here Zaxnet Whine from Nomad 12, in 4900 no TX on?, with TX on/no mike plugged in?

Anyone here Zaxnet Whine in 900M

 

I hear some Zaxnet Whine in 4900, but I can null with Zaxnet antenna placement..

900M near Zaxnet antenna...2', ready loud whine..

 

None in QRX100 in Zaxpaq with Mic Plexor and Rubber duckies right near Nomad Zaxnet Antenna..

 

Also had Zaxnet on, Nomad 12 on, and it was messing with Apple Wifi Network at my home..

 

Anyone had these issues? Figure out these issues?  Fixed these issues?


Thanks

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Shure UHR True Diversity, Shure Axient True Diversity (the most Amazing RF systems out there right now...)

 

I own both for Shows/Press Events only..

 

Lectro and Zaxcom for Film/HD...

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It is a common mistake talking about diversity systems and wireless mics. Many people are not actually aware that there are several different diversity systems used in the devices that we use in our work. Some of the wireless mic sets actually use more than one type of diversity even within the same device. The simplest thing to keep in mind (and Senator could have stated this instead of the all too predictably useless comment) is that there are basically 2 diversity systems: 1- antenna diversity, and 2 - receiver diversity. Anyone who might have attended the excellent wireless seminars that Larry Fisher and Lectrosonics have put on would already know this and would have a better understanding of the diversity systems in use. Neither is more or less "true" than the other, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Each manufacturer weighs up the pros and cons of each system.

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Thought I would revive this discussion as it's time for me to upgrade my talent wireless.

Any new thoughts? Especially interested from those who switched from lectro to zaxcom...any regrets or reservations?

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There are some things I've learned about the zax wireless I don't like, but for the reasons I did get them for I do like.

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No regrets here.

I can not imagine going back to lectro...

IMHO a must have for reality TV and chalamging situations.

The below is about the newer trx900LA and TRX900LANC

 

1 - internal transmitter time code recording.

The possibilities are limitless. I never have to explain to somebody that a certain shot is impossible to accomplish.

2 - Digital wireless 

IMHO it sounds better. Also thinking about  the future of wireless spectrum you can not overlook that you can fit more frequencies in an available bandwidth. I personally use 8 wireless in block 25 where 638-644 usable, 645-650 unusable and 650 to 668 usable.

3 - wireless Gain, Frequency and powerstate control.

When I mic somebody I don't have to deal with them until I demic them. No screwdriver frequency changes in the dark. No strange annoying sounds. I have absolute control over the dynamics of a scene and changing RF environment. Remote stand by helps with battery life.

4 - No Clip and higher Dynamic range.

In my opinion the weakest link in our systems is the wireless transmitter limiter. Since I got my NC transmitters I have rarely heard the annoying limiter artifacts and when I did it was an extremely loud bang or powerful engine.

5 - Zaxnet transmitting from a transmitter to ERX ifb receivers. 

Very useful in many situations.

6 - unlimited programmable upgrades.

You come up with it and zaxcom will implement it.

7 - dual mono transmitters over one frequency

I have one dual transmitter and have used it on many occasions. Dual Lav for redundancy. Sanken css5 wireless with denecke phantom power in between for a comedy central special audience mic.

8 - Wireless encryption

I have used this more then I expected. Corporate gigs. sporting events.

9 - Being able to record without transmitting RF.

Again useful feature for hospitals, airplanes, secure locations.

10 - Assigning deferent mics in deferent groups with deferent IDs.

Total and selective control.

11 - small profile and cool

Easy to hide and comfortable for the talent to wear for a long time.

12 - build quality

Year and a half of total abuse by untrained talent and sometimes me. Dropped, kicked left in the sun in F118 temperature.

13 - 3 pin lemo push pull

Very very easy to mic and Demic people. " also a con look below.

14 - ZERO PROBLEMS SINCE THE MOMENT I GOT MY FIRST ONE

 

 

Cons:

1  - 3 pin lemo

Not really a con unless wiring or repairing yourself. It gets better with practice.

2 - SSMA antenna

Expansive and hard to find

3 - versatility can be overwhelming to people.

4 - urban legends about build quality and  reliability some of which might have merit based on past experiences with older designs.

5 Whip antennas does not open the full potential of the range performance.

 

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What Rado said, plus: I sure don't miss having to change all freqs and coordinate 'em for intermod if one's having an issue. Scanning for and changing freqs from the cart is magnificent. Turning all the TRX on low power for lunch (my peeps don't like to pass 'Go' before they run away for down time) is reassuring to them and to me. Using one stereo TRX to send two CUB-01's for car rigs streamlines the whole car rig shizzle. Loving the run-time on the two-AA-powered LANC TRX's.

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Thanks guys, very comprehensive Rado.

 

Im after 4 channels of wireless for my bag so I'm looking at 2 QRX into a micplexer + 4LANC. I want to avoid running antenna up my harness though so would keep the whips on the micplexer, do people with a similar set up have problems with range and the general reliability of signal?

 

I've already got a nomad, camera link & ERXs so it would really integrate nicely but a lot of my work is still 2 track to camera so need to have some solid range.

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Zaxcom wireless is amazing, sounds the best, current generation transmitters are built well, and are very reliable.  The remote control features really sells the system for me.  The QRX receivers have some quirks, but certainly have been very reliable in use.  For all talent / boom / plant transmitters, for me, Zaxcom all the way.  I use Lectrosonics for camera hops mainly because 1) I don't need wireless transmitter control since the Tx units are in my bag / on my cart.  2) The range is significantly better in my experience.  3) The receivers are offered in a slot-in format, which for my line of work is very important.

 

Now I have to get an antenna mast built, with 2.4GHz amplifier, to realize long-range remote control and IFB range.  Thanks to those who have tackled this challenge ahead of me and pioneered the way.

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Thanks guys, very comprehensive Rado.

Im after 4 channels of wireless for my bag so I'm looking at 2 QRX into a micplexer + 4LANC. I want to avoid running antenna up my harness though so would keep the whips on the micplexer, do people with a similar set up have problems with range and the general reliability of signal?

I've already got a nomad, camera link & ERXs so it would really integrate nicely but a lot of my work is still 2 track to camera so need to have some solid range.

It depends what you're doing.

For the most part, I use whips on my MicPlexer about 95% of the time. The other 5% I use two dipoles on my harness and the range really is quite better and dependable. All that being said, I do find the range to be a little less than my Lectros and the signal a little more 'fragile'. Most of the time this doesn't really effect me or my work as I'm usually not trying to push the range with myself or my talent that often, and when it might I slap on my dipoles.

All in all I'm happy with my Zax setup but would welcome any range/reception upgrades in the future as this would quell any 'fragility' issues while working off whips in the bag.

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Would you guys say the Mic-plexer is a must have item for a Zaxcom wireless setup? Anyone getting good results with just whips right on the receivers?

Anyone have experience to share with using PSC's RF products and Zaxcom wireless?

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Would you guys say the Mic-plexer is a must have item for a Zaxcom wireless setup? Anyone getting good results with just whips right on the receivers?

Anyone have experience to share with using PSC's RF products and Zaxcom wireless?

I wouldn't say that it's a must-have, but it definitely helps with wireless distribution in the bag and also simplifies attaching different types of antenna which can improve range and reception if needed.

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Would you guys say the Mic-plexer is a must have item for a Zaxcom wireless setup? Anyone getting good results with just whips right on the receivers?

Anyone have experience to share with using PSC's RF products and Zaxcom wireless?

I use the RF Multi with my Rx because I don't like being confined to 1 block and want the ability to add other or more Rx of different brands and blocks. No amp, but it works well, and works really well with dipoles.

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I use the RF Multi with my Rx because I don't like being confined to 1 block and want the ability to add other or more Rx of different brands and blocks. No amp, but it works well, and works really well with dipoles.

I would second the PSC RF Multi, although I don't own one. It is smaller and simpler than the MicPlexer and not bound to specific frequency ranges. I'm sure others can comment on the PSC RF Multi.

 

In my experience with the QRX, the range is not as good as Lectro in general, but it's comparing apples to oranges. A Lectro will introduce noise and analog drop outs whereas Zaxcom will experience digital drop outs. What this means is that you will hear more signal from a Lectro, but it is noisy. Remember that you have in-transmitter recording with Zaxcom, so nothing is ever truly lost as long as that is recording.

 

As mentioned by others, love the remote tx control. The greater Zaxcom universe of ZaxNet with ERX opens up so many great possibilities.

 

Mark O.

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