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Zaxcom BlueFin range

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Hi guys,

I'm thinking of purchasing a pair for my cart and I currently use lectro wireless (venue, blocks 21 and 19) and since the BlueFin is rated for 500 MHz to 750 MHz and block 19 is 486 to 511 MHz I'm hoping it will work. I've spoken to Zaxcom technical support twice and have gotten different answers. The two agents I spoke to both agreed that it will work but one of them said I may lose some range below 500.

Just wanna get your input on it.

Thanks!

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Why would you want to get the Zaxcom BlueFin antenna? If you're using Lectrosonics in Block 19, wouldn't the antenna from Lectro (specified range I believe is 450-850 MHz) be a better fit? I use all Zaxcom wireless with the Zaxcom antennas and the range is great (but I don't have anything below 500 MHz).

 

Are the Zaxcom antennas less expensive? Do you like the color blue?

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Why would you want to get the Zaxcom BlueFin antenna? If you're using Lectrosonics in Block 19, wouldn't the antenna from Lectro (specified range I believe is 450-850 MHz) be a better fit? I use all Zaxcom wireless with the Zaxcom antennas and the range is great (but I don't have anything below 500 MHz).

Are the Zaxcom antennas less expensive? Do you like the color blue?

I've read good reviews on them and the price is great. Just wondering if anyone had any experience using them below 500 MHz before I decide to buy.

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….you can also make the same thing yourself with a few parts and raw fins from Ramsay….there isn't anything complex about the antenna.

 

philp

There is nothing complex about any of the log periodic "shark fin" type antennas and all of the antennas from our usual suspects are very expensive when compared to the antenna you build yourself. I did put together a pair of antennas from Ramsay Electronics, figured I would have them back up in case my main antennas were damaged or something. I was always under the impression that all the antennas are the same --- just different companies, different methods for connecting, and of course, different prices! I used the Ramsay antennas one day and the range was significantly less compared to the Zaxcom antennas. In the same location, same shot, same frequencies, when I swapped out the Ramsays for the Zaxcoms, range was greater. So, the one thing you can say for sure about the Ramsays or any DIY antenna, it will cost a lot less.

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The bluefin antenna are about half the price of the lectro equivalent, which I'm guessing is a factor in the op's decision. I don't have anything below 500mhz, so I can't comment on the rolloff below that, but if you operate a lot in that block, you would be smart to consider an antenna that is designed for those frequencies.

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There is nothing complex about any of the log periodic "shark fin" type antennas and all of the antennas from our usual suspects are very expensive when compared to the antenna you build yourself. I did put together a pair of antennas from Ramsay Electronics, figured I would have them back up in case my main antennas were damaged or something. I was always under the impression that all the antennas are the same --- just different companies, different methods for connecting, and of course, different prices! I used the Ramsay antennas one day and the range was significantly less compared to the Zaxcom antennas. In the same location, same shot, same frequencies, when I swapped out the Ramsays for the Zaxcoms, range was greater. So, the one thing you can say for sure about the Ramsays or any DIY antenna, it will cost a lot less.

 

My experience with the Ramsay-fin rig I built vs Lectro or Venue fins was that their ranges were identical in the blocks I was using (19, 20, 21, 24 and 27)--like really the same.  I haven't tried a Zax antenna, maybe they have some secret sauce, but if so it isn't obvious in the pix I've seen….they look like a normal LPA to me.

 

philp

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I have a pair of blue fins I use with both Zax and Lectro wireless and they are great. Never used them in the lower blocks though. The Lectro Shark fins are a sturdier build quality if that is something you are concerned about. I have never had an issue or worry with my blue fins. And yeah I like them 'cause they are blur.They match my new cart cover.

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What I was trying to say, Philip, is that the Ramsays, for me, had reduced range. I know there is nothing special about the Zaxcom Blues so I'm guessing the explanation is that the particular Ramsays I had might have had a problem in manufacture, who knows.

 

Matthew, the RF Venue Diversity "one-piece" antenna has been discussed a lot and some testing done, and like so much of our discussions and experiences with RF in general, there is no perfectly clear conclusion. It certainly does work, I know people using it, but a clear and decisive comparison to other antennas seems not have happened yet.

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I tested the Blue fin this morning to see where the low frequency performance cutoff was at. The antenna was good down to 470MHz. Because we do not sell a wireless in that range we do not specify it there. It will work very well at 470-512 for any wireless system.

 

Glenn

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I tested the Blue fin this morning to see where the low frequency performance cutoff was at. The antenna was good down to 470MHz. Because we do not sell a wireless in that range we do not specify it there. It will work very well at 470-512 for any wireless system.

Glenn

Thank you very much Glenn for the test and clarification! Much appreciated.

And thank you to everyone else for their thoughts and suggestions!

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The bluefin antenna are about half the price of the lectro equivalent, which I'm guessing is a factor in the op's decision. I don't have anything below 500mhz, so I can't comment on the rolloff below that, but if you operate a lot in that block, you would be smart to consider an antenna that is designed for those frequencies.

That is one of the main factors in my wanting to buy them.

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I made myself 2 fins from the Ramsey kits, I used RG-174 to finish the kit off. I had decent performance from them until I changed the RG-174 to RG58, that was a definite weak point.

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I made some tests of high gain antennas for the Fall 2010 issue of the 695 Quarterly.

 

You may access the issue here:

http://www.local695.com/Quarterly/695QuarterlyPDFs/695-Quarterly-2010-Fall.pdf

 

That's one of the early online posts for the Quarterly and the issue is available only as a pdf file of the whole issue. Since then, Laurence has worked to make the particular articles of each issue available as independent files. But the antenna article from 2010 is still readily available; just navigate to page 12.

 

We walk tested various antennas and, using a Stanley measuring wheel, documented the point where clean signal became erratic. While the Zaxcom blue sharkfin was not among the tested antennas, we did test the Lectrosonics LPDA, the PSC Sharkfin, the Ramsey Sharkfin, the PWS Helical and the Sennheiser Circular Polarized antenna. In general, we found that the sharkfin designs had very similar performance. There may be advantages in build quality or attachment hardware but radio performance is determined by the design, not the implementation.

 

You may also want to check out the Spring 2010 edition where we explained the groundwork for this series of tests:

http://www.local695.com/Quarterly/695QuarterlyPDFs/695-Quarterly-2010-Spring.pdf

 

And, also the Winter 2011 edition where we addressed some issues raised by readers:

http://www.local695.com/Quarterly/695QuarterlyPDFs/695-Quarterly-2010-Spring.pdf

 

David

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I tested the Blue fin this morning to see where the low frequency performance cutoff was at. The antenna was good down to 470MHz. Because we do not sell a wireless in that range we do not specify it there. It will work very well at 470-512 for any wireless system.

 

Glenn

this is great to know as i rented my blue fins to a friend of mine who only had talent wireless in block 19 and told him to stay above 500mhz to be safe. glad to know they will work just fine if he needs them again in the future

 

-Ken

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I made myself 2 fins from the Ramsey kits, I used RG-174 to finish the kit off. I had decent performance from them until I changed the RG-174 to RG58, that was a definite weak point.

So, if I understand correctly, RG58 made a difference for the better?

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Soory for the poor description, maybe a pic will help.

Yes, this wire was rg174 and there must have been more loss than I expected (or just poor cable)

So, if I understand correctly, RG58 made a difference for the better?

post-133-0-56855300-1432403549_thumb.jpg

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