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RF Explorer saved the day


jason porter
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I often get snickered at, being an audio geek, from my fellow set mates (well, I AM the smartest person on set!)  When I pulled out the RF Explorer, people rolled their eyes and said it was a useless toy ("why don't you just scan with your 411s?")

 

Today, I was playing with my useless toy when all of a sudden I started getting broadband noise across the spectrum on my RF Explorer (300-900mhz)...which I happened to have turned on.  I called a "cut" and hardwired to camera (was running a Zax hop) and finished the interview.

 

When we were "down", I started problem solving and immediately found that if I unplugged the BNC feeding the monitor, the stray RF went away...plugged it in, there it is again.  Tried a new BNC, problem solved.

 

Top pic is 'Before', bottom is 'After'

post-133-0-50019100-1369962981_thumb.jpg

post-133-0-15985300-1369962994_thumb.jpg

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Yes, it really helps explain to the camera dept some of our issues as well, especially when you can see the 3rd order intermod pop up as you turn on devices.

 

hell yeah dude I love the RF explorer. it really helped me to learn more about the RF spectrum and what kinds of things produce interference.

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Very easy to use, I have had mine sitting next to a 100mw transmitter and it hasn't damaged anything.

The only accessories included are the antenna(s)

Want to buy 1, how easy to use are they?

I read on the website that it can be easily damaged, (even) when unpowered - what bits and pieces did you get with it?

eg. SMA dummy load, band pass filter etc.

many thanks,

dan.

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Brought mine on three months of national travel and it was helpful in showing my producer why some areas weren't RF friendly and why I had to work with limited range. It also helped me coordinate frequencies with our RC guy, and I've been able to do the same with ACs that don't know the frequency of their wireless follow focus.

I think it's a great tool and makes us look very professional in the process! Lol

This is a scan of Key West. Yikes!

post-2650-0-50294000-1370275086_thumb.jp

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I bought one last year and it worked well for a few months but eventually stopped measuring RF. I tried to be as careful as possible to not overload the sensitive 'front end' but I think I may have blown it - can't be sure.

I am thinking of getting another one with some attentuators or filters because when it was working it was really useful.

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I bought one last year and it worked well for a few months but eventually stopped measuring RF. I tried to be as careful as possible to not overload the sensitive 'front end' but I think I may have blown it - can't be sure.

I am thinking of getting another one with some attentuators or filters because when it was working it was really useful.

When mine stopped working it was because some soldered legs on a chip became unsoldered. An issue which affected some and has now been rectified I believe. Anyway a delicate few minutes with a small soldering iron brought mine back to life. Might help with yours perhaps?

pdf instructions attached

RFExplorer_Issue_RFEP1202B.pdf

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Pindrop, having read the symptoms at the beginning of the PDF it sounds exactly like what has happened to mine.

Out with the soldering iron - maybe tommorrow.

Do take care though, I found it slightly risky as it was smaller scale than I was expecting and right at the limit of my slightly too large soldering iron combined with my somewhat shaky soldering skill. I had to be very careful, but it did work and has continued to work fine since.

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Do take care though, I found it slightly risky as it was smaller scale than I was expecting and right at the limit of my slightly too large soldering iron combined with my somewhat shaky soldering skill. I had to be very careful, but it did work and has continued to work fine since.

 

Dusted down the soldering iron, did as per instructions - carefully - and voila, back to RF scanning.

Pindrop I owe you a pint.

Thank you.

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Jason:

 

Was the camera a C300 by any chance?

 

--Scott

 

SNIP>>>

 

Today, I was playing with my useless toy when all of a sudden I started getting broadband noise across the spectrum on my RF Explorer (300-900mhz)...which I happened to have turned on.  I called a "cut" and hardwired to camera (was running a Zax hop) and finished the interview.

 

When we were "down", I started problem solving and immediately found that if I unplugged the BNC feeding the monitor, the stray RF went away...plugged it in, there it is again.  Tried a new BNC, problem solved.

 

Top pic is 'Before', bottom is 'After'

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Interesting. I have heard of similar situations with a few different cameras. Good stuff to know.

 

I wonder if part of the problem may be due to the SDI outputs not being at the sam gound potential as the rest of the connections on the camera, which is what seems to be the case with the C300.

 

--S

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