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Waterproof capsules / saltwater

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Hi all!

I have a job which will involve the talent getting submerged often in saltwater, white water rafting etc… I have Lectrosonics WM transmitters for the task, but am curious about the capsules.

What are peoples experiences with capsules working under these conditions, with being submerged and still working.

Lectro M152-WP, Sanken COS-11D, B3, B6 etc…

cheers!

 

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The WM will hold up fine in water combined with a B6. I did a whitewater shoot where one of the actors would fall into the water and the WM was probably under the water a little bit and I didn't have any problems with transmission but you definitely can't go more than a foot down without heavy RF loss. I also used fins for the shoot. Always make sure you rinse everything off with clean fresh water after using it in water especially in saltwater since saltwater is corrosive. The B6s tolerate a lot of water in the capsule. I was only capturing yelling and screaming so it worked fine for that but when water gets on the capsule it won't sound normal because there is water on it.  This would be the same for any mic.

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I second the upside down mounting strategy gives the water a better chance to clear away from the capsule. 

 

Also, how important is it to have a cap on the B6? Is it still waterproof without at least the flat-cap?

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I use B3 mikes with my 4 Lectro waterproofs as they have a more rugged cable than B6's

Also as the B3 caps being larger diameter should handle water dunking from blocking the cap.

Always rinse the mikes (and the transmitters) in clean water then dry carefully

mike

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B6 are expensive and can get permanently damaged from repeat water exposure and the mic capsule to cable termination and the cable in general is really not up to snuff for rugged field use.  The more I do reality gigs, the less I care about absolute sound quality and it is more about getting reliable / intelligible results and with gear that will last a full season of shooting.  My mic of choice recently has been the M152 because they seem to last 8-12+ times out in salt water and when they die, are relatively inexpensive to replace. Sometimes I'll use WM, sometimes Zaxcom with on-board recording.  Sanken COS-11D have also worked well when out in water, not so much when expected to submerge / dive / or get heavily pounded, but if they will be splashed or occasionally submerged - a fresh water rinse and they have always come back into service, but since they are not my first line mic for water work, don't have a lot of water exposures to confirm their overall reliability.  B3 is a pretty good all around choice and a good balance between performance, fidelity, and cost.  I'm curious to try the more expensive VT500WA, which are expensive, but really the only mic that I'm aware of that have an actual IPX rating - the cost could be worth it if I can regain some sound fidelity and have repeat reliability in water / salt water.

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Good info right on time; about to make shoots in both salt and non-salt water for the next months and was thinking about EMWs because, exactly, they're cheaper than B6s. I wouldn't have thought about the M152s...

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Anyone have any thoughts on wind-protecting lavs for water-use? It seemed to me that any additional wind protection added to the capsule just becomes a water trap and the capsule won't clear out as fast.

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Hi everyone, pulling out this topic as it turns out my next feature shoot will include an actor with dialogue while partly immersed in the sea  (not the head though but waves might occurs). I read this topic looking for the right lav to use.

I have an old Countryman EMW ISOMAX, that I used decades ago for TV work and it has been sleeping since. Do you think it could have the same "waterproof" properties as the current EMW claimed on Countryman website?

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Maybe? If it's old and used enough, I wonder if the cable and housing around the head would be vulnerable to cracks as you mount and use it. At least, I recall last year I found some old (15+ years, I think) Countryman mounts I had stashed somewhere...four or so crumbled like old bakelite plastic. I ditched the rest. 

 

Anyway, maybe ask Countryman directly. In my experiences, they respond pretty quickly.

support@countryman.com 

 

But at best, I'd probably consider your old ISOMAX EMW as a third-string backup. 

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2 hours ago, Jim Feeley said:

I wonder if the cable and housing around the head would be vulnerable to cracks

 

Thanks Jim.

You were right, although the cable is in very good condition, the head has a crack! I wonder if it is age (it is older than 15 years old) or if comes from a rough use by the last person I lent it to -whom I do not recall 🙂

So water is not an option for this one...

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