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Can anyone recommend ways to protect a lav against water?

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Hi guys!

 

I was in a meeting about an upcoming TV series yesterday when the producer dropped in the old "oh and we'll get the presenter in a swamp and he might dive in."  Having never been presented with this problem before, I thought it best to ask those who may have.  Based on this conversation, I imagine I'd have to purchase a water-resistent transmitter, but how best to protect the lav when / if our guy gets submerged in muddy water?

 

Any help would be appreciated!

 

Cheers,

 

Eren

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I've had good success with the Countryman B6 in water. I'm currently working on a water sports thing in Sint Maarten where people are on seadoos from which they fall off of frequently. Production rented the Q5X QT Aquamic wireless transmitters. In several weeks of shooting I've had one transmitter go down but the lavs have all worked flawlessly in salt water. I usually rinse them off at the end of the day with fresh water.

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I do a kids show where they all leap into pools etc all the time; i use Aquapacs for the TX's and they work fine, but they do need a bit of attention in fitting and maintaining the seal; if anything goes wrong, or they split then it's my tx pack that's going to get it.

 

Really interested to hear that Margus has been using the Q5X QT's - i have looked at them before but they aren't cheap and seem to have some definite limitations (for example built-in rechargeable battery worries me a bit), but if they are just being used for watersports, then probably no big deal. They are more expensive than the Lectrosonics MM400C, and do not appear to have any bag-based rx's - all rack mounted. But from what i understand, they can be used with Wisycom rx's for example. What are you using Margus?

 

In terms of lavs i use B6's all the time in water; i used to used ECM88's but they weren't as nice sounding and seemed to allow beading of water on the capsule more often. A quick head shake or similar seems to solve that when shooting, just to doslodge any water sitting on the capsule. The other thing i do now is fit the tx pack high on the body - shoulders, top of the back etc as it gives me a bit more signal when they are actually in the water. 

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Thanks so much for the input guys!  It's much appreciated.  Very handy to know about the transmitter range cut when submerged and placing tx on top half of the body!  I'll certainly keep all that in mind.

 

It sounds like the B6 is the most used mic in water - how do you guys protect / seal it when it's submerged, though?  I going to assume there's blu tac, cling wrap, elastic bands?  This is where I'm most confused and accordingly, stuck.

 

Has anybody used the Lectrosonics water resistent transmitters?  All of my wireless is Lectro so I'd likely invest in Lectro again when the time comes.  Would one of the Lectro water resistent transmitters fit into an Aquapac?

 

Thanks so much everybody!

 

Eren 

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Thanks so much for the input guys! It's much appreciated. Very handy to know about the transmitter range cut when submerged and placing tx on top half of the body! I'll certainly keep all that in mind.

It sounds like the B6 is the most used mic in water - how do you guys protect / seal it when it's submerged, though? I going to assume there's blu tac, cling wrap, elastic bands? This is where I'm most confused and accordingly, stuck.

Has anybody used the Lectrosonics water resistent transmitters? All of my wireless is Lectro so I'd likely invest in Lectro again when the time comes. Would one of the Lectro water resistent transmitters fit into an Aquapac?

Thanks so much everybody!

Eren

With a cap in place, the b6 is very water resistant. You could cover it with some fur drenched in wd-40 or similar if you wanted the water to wick off...but mounting the head upside down is usually enough.

As for the waterproof transmitters - you probably won't need an aquapac, but if you feel the need the WM will fit nicely. http://store.aquapac.net/explore-product-range/medical-equipment-cases/connected-electronics-558.html

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" Has anybody used the Lectrosonics water resistent transmitters? "

oh good grief!

 

" With a cap in place, the b6 IS waterproof. "

better to say "water resistant".

 

depth of submersion can be a major "it depends"

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For repetitive salt water use, a stainless steel WM is available as a special order. Can be used for scuba weights also.

Best,
Larry F
Lectro

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" Has anybody used the Lectrosonics water resistent transmitters? "

oh good grief!

" With a cap in place, the b6 IS waterproof. "

better to say "water resistant".

depth of submersion can be a major "it depends"

True, amended.

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I second the booming. Get the water resistant equipment and use it when appropriate, but this seems like a situation where if the host does go under, there's probably just gasping and flailing that'll follow with a line or two of dialogue.

If the circumstances don't allow a boom up close, you can at least cover it from a distance while the host is submerged. The before and after can be captured on the lavalier.

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Awesome!  A very large thank you to everybody.

 

Definitely keen on getting in there with the boom - I guess it also depends on how many cameras they'll have going, shot size, etc.  I agree about being prepared for the possibility of losing those lines on the boom / getting them on the lav.  It's exciting!  Haven't had this challenge before, so while I'm concerned for the gear, I'm looking forward to it also!

 

Once again, cheers to everybody for their input!  You've all been a great help.

 

Regards,

 

Eren.

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As Justin says, any signal from the TX will be lost as soon as it's submerged, I've done a lot of work in and near water, and the boom is where most of the usable dialog comes from. If your talent is jumping in a swap, soon as his TX goes under, you won't be hearing him, so either boom it, or if you really really have to use wireless, make sure the TX is mounted as high up his body as possible, between the shoulder blades is a good one, so he can stand in the water, but the kit will still work.

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I'll get back to you very early next week Math with pictures of the Q5X's I've been using and go into more detail about their positive and negative points. At the moment I'm up to my ears on the water in Sint Maarten with the Heinekin Regatta.

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There are aren't as many reflections outdoors so you can get some really nice reach with a boom mic.  Especially if its a long gun.  I did a surfing segment with an 816 off of a boat and got really good dialogue from two surfers before they caught a wave.  I was a pretty good distance from them but just had to apply more gain to get a good signal.  YMMV

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" most lavs would be water resistant as the mesh screen is too fine for the water to penetrate "

that covers splashes,  but not submersion, as water is heavy, and just a small depth exerts a lot of pressure...

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" most lavs would be water resistant as the mesh screen is too fine for the water to penetrate "

that covers splashes,  but not submersion, as water is heavy, and just a small depth exerts a lot of pressure...

 

Nonsense, the B6 will survive very nicely at 8' down In a pool.

 

Eric

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" Nonsense, "

sorry...

There are a number of lav's that are more water resistant than most typical ones, and submersible; they promote that capability as an advantage.

 

Living and working in Hawai'i, I used EMW's in the water (ocean, and submersion frequently happens), and later added B6's (Baywatch, second unit frequently got submerged), and more recently even a couple of VT's

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Very useful thread - got a shoot coming up involving a lot of boats, although the contributors aren't meant to be in the water it seems quite likely they might fall in, waterproof (alright, water resistant) lectros and B6s sound like the way to go

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