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CL900 and 664 RF Bleed

Thomas Beach

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I am reviewing a 2014 thread dealing with the Zaxcom IFB200 and 633 RF interference problem. But as that thread is three years old and doesn't deal with the CL900 CamerLink and the 664, I wanted to get a fresh perspective from users here.

I purchased the CL900 last August and have been using it successfully in my ENG bag directly (2" or less) above my SD 664 and in tandem with with Zaxcom ERXTCD3 RX's only for Time Code send via 2.4GHz Zaxnet send to cameras. This has also been without using the 2-ch. audio feed side of the CL900. Again... not a single problem since last August in this same configuration.

Three weeks ago I bought a new CL6 and successfully installed it. I used the 664 with the CL 6 on three commercial shoots, all without incidents. A week ago I upgraded my 664 Frimwarre from 2.03 to 4.51.

The first job after the upgrade was a weeklong shoot in FL on a doc shoot. On day two I began hearing constant high-pitched RF bleed creeping into my tracks. After several minutes of troubleshooting (cables, connections etc.) I determined the only way to lessen and/or eliminate the RF bleed was to remove the CL900 from my bag and get it at least 6"-8" away from my bag (IFB TX Power of 7) or reduce transmit power to 5 or less, which still bled into my 664 if held close to the 664.

I called Zaxcom. Was told perhaps a break in the Zaxnet antenna. I was also told that this is a 664 problem which has arisen before and had seen a "fix" by Sound Devices made to the units. Bought and replaced the Zaxnet antenna. It did nothing to fix the problem.

I called Sound Devices. They denied any known problem nor any "fix" conducted by them for it on the 664.

So in other words, Zaxcom and Sound Devices appeared to push the problem back and forth to each other.

I removed the CL6 (other problems with it!) a few days ago. That said, the RF bleed still exists without the CL6.

Yesterday I borrowed another mixers 664 (v4.50) and conducted the same test using my CL900. The RF bleed was also in his unit as well. And just as bad.

I want to know why after almost a year of no problems, I'd suddenly have these issues which are now irreparable without the removal of my CL900 from close proximity to my 664? Clearly I cannot operate in this fashion. At this point I don't know which gear to send in. Both? All I do know is that I am not getting substantive support help from either Zaxcom or Sound Devices. And I would appreciate an immediate response by both companies in order to work together to resolve this issue as quickly as possible.


Thomas Beach



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3 hours ago, Thomas Beach said:

I purchased the CL900 last August and have been using it successfully in my ENG bag. . . A week ago I upgraded my 664 Frimwarre from 2.03 to 4.51.

The first job after the upgrade. . .I began hearing constant high-pitched RF bleed creeping into my tracks.

Prehaps the firmware has something to do with it?

Other than firmware what else has changed? Cables? Configuration?

If you go back to the original firmware and the exact same bag configuration and change one thing at a time perhaps you can find the culprit.

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Foolishly I didn't keep my v2.03 prg file. But am getting help with that from SD. Am going to try another troubleshooting work session before going backwards with Firmware to see. But will resort to that if needed and report back. Thanks.


I might add that upgrading to 4.51 has proven to be disastrous. My CL6 went completely bonkers after doing so and I was forced to remove it. So I'm dealing with SD on that as a separate issue. The other mixer I borrowed a 664 from said the same with 4.50. The problems so far with this firmware has been legion with me.

here is a pic of what my CL6 looked like after breaking for dinner and coming back to it a half hour later. It was in REC but not recording and couldn't be closed out without rebooting.

But I digress from my original post.


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Silly question probably--but any other changes to your bag?  Any new cable, adapter, or a repositioning of gear?  Any changes to how you are powering everything?  What happens if you disconnect everything from the 664 and run it off internal batteries, as a test?  Then start reconnecting things?  Does the noise ever go away?  You might consider checking the ribbon cable 664>CL6 for breaks--pretty fragile.  I don't doubt your other firmware issues, but don't see how they would cause this prob, esp in an analog mixer like 664....?

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I had the same whine issue with my 664 and 633 when using the CL900.  But in addition to the 2.4 Ghz Zaxnet whine I also get a 600mhz (blk26) whine with the standard whip in the bag.  Firmware has made no difference in my situation.  Unfortunately I got the same run around with both Zaxcom and Sound Devices.  Both whines can be reproduced separately, independently powered, with zero cables connected.  Proximity is the only variable that makes a difference.   At the end of the day I gave up on Zaxnet and remote the Blk 26 antenna onto my shoulder.

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