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Phonak Roger real world experience


patrickveigel
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Hi Patrick,

 

I have a system, its the Roger Pen which is the 2.4ghz system but not the new system they bought out with the base station. As far as i know they are compatible at least my ear pieces should work with the new base station. The Roger pen transmitter is useful for its size and for range outside i run it on a cable to get as close to the actor as possible. Inside with reflective surfaces i find the range very good. I run it with zaxnet and it is not affected on the 2.4ghz band even placing the pen close to my ifb100. I think the transmission in the roger pen is excellent in not being affected by other things on the same band.

The actors really like the clarity compared to an induction system, i personally think they are not as loud as they could be but i have not had any complaints from actors about this. I would be interested to know if the base station provides a bit more gain.

 

Regards

Tony

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I tried one at NAB and found that a proper seal would be necessary to achieve sufficient gain for me.  They furnish some thin gasket-like material to aid in that fit (which I didn't try).

 

My take is, if you're expecting great sound, you'll be disappointed.  If you're simply expecting better sound than an induction unit, you'll be pleased.

 

The thing is tiny and disappears into the ear much better than the PSC induction units I have.  

 

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Hi Patrick,

I have just finished 8 weeks on a musical feature using a phonak base station, a couple of Roger ear pieces and best of all using a roger repeater to extend range and reduce dropouts.

We managed to get a huge amount of perfect sync takes and I was really impressed at how well it worked indoors and out.

There were 400 metre steadicam shots, singing through a number of rooms in sets and many tricky locations.

The repeater (not much bigger than an iPhone and self powered) was often strapped to the boom or placed in a convenient place to provide some amazing coverage. I suspect the repeater is of more value than getting an epic 2.4ghz aerial setup which often annoys our friends in the camera dept.

 

I initially tried out the Phonak media hub but it provided no level control and just wouldn't cut through a noisy environment. The base station proved to be a huge improvement.

The key was to keep the base station easily portable so I self powered it with a v lock through a voltage adaptor to give it the 5 volts it needs and transmitted the playback to the base station with a lectro srB set. This was often chucked on a C stand and moved easily around sets and locations.

 

Phonak earpieces roll off at 100hz and 7khz so we always sent it a mix which had a pre eq to allow for this. (I have attached a pic)

We found the  a steep roll off at 100 a small bump around 150 and the usual dip around 400 with a shelf boost of a few db for highs and then steep roll off after 7 really helped the actors out.

 

We also cut the lugs back quite a lot as these were an issue with being in shot at times and reflected brightly when back lights hit them.

 

While the system can not be described as hifi it is a massive leap on induction quality and the linking of earpieces and repeaters with the base station is really efficient and are "remembered" by the base station as well.

If you need any other info, let me know.

 

Thanks,

Tony Spear

 

In Ear Eq.JPG

 

 

 

 

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Tony, can you clarify the amount of gear used to get to the wearer's ear?  From what I'm reading, your workflow goes:

 

Audio into a Lectrosonics transmitter (~$1000)
Transmitted to an SRb (~$2000)

Output of SRB into the Roger base station located on a C stand (~$1700)

From the Roger base station to a Roger repeater strapped to a boom pole (~$700)

From the repeater to the Roger in the wearer's ear (~$1500)

 

Total = ~$6900

 

Do I have that right?

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Hi Doc,

Your maths isn't far off, and the numbers are kind of scarier in New Zealand dollars, but my post is not about the dosh it is about a system that worked well for us.

Of the 11 musical tracks on the movie only 2 used a speaker for playback.(these tracks featured a whole band so 2 earpieces didn't cut it)

Of course you could always cable to the base station to save a channel of wireless.

 

The production was very happy with the results and paid rental for the entire system.

Thanks,

Tony.

 

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Hi, I have been using both systems, invisty's and roger earpiece's, lately.

The roger system is definitely a step forward. The sound quality is much better and you don't get any noise or dropout when the earpiece is out of range, which I find very important if used for orders/lines to the talent. When the Roger earpiece is out of range it plays a smooth beep.

Range isn't huge with neither the touchscreen or the base station, so I have been using them with portable rigs based in lectro hybrid systems, very similar to the one Tony explained on previous comment.

when feeding external line inputs to the transmitters. I get a louder signal from the base station than from the touchscreen.

the touch screen sounds very good if using its internal mics instead. That makes it very convenient for eng or similar situations where the person giving the orders is close to the set.

 

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  • 3 years later...

I'm about to work with one of these systems. I've been made aware of many of the pitfalls here and have a little limited experience myself.

 

Does the Base Station require line level or will a level straight from an SM58 be enough?

 

Can the included SMA antenna be screwed off or is it part of the chassis?

 

I wanted to try replacing it with something like this. I've heard of people putting amps in-line but I'm not sure exactly which and what that entails.

 

Thanks,

Ben

 

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Hi Ben,

 

I’ve worked with the base station a couple of time and I am not certain the antenna is removable. 
And I may be wrong but I am pretty sure it’s a line level device. 
 

What I can tell, is that the repeater is an absolute must. The range is far better and this little box is very easy to hide close to the character.

 

An even better solution is to use the «  multimedia hub », same box as the repeater, but with a mini jack input. You can easily tape it to an IFB receiver and you have than the same range as with regular VHF or UHF transmission.  
 

I have a shooting next week with two earpieces, one with the base station and the other with multimedia hub. I’ll let you know how it compares. 

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15 minutes ago, henrimic said:

Hi Ben,

 

I’ve worked with the base station a couple of time and I am not certain the antenna is removable. 
And I may be wrong but I am pretty sure it’s a line level device. 
 

What I can tell, is that the repeater is an absolute must. The range is far better and this little box is very easy to hide close to the character.

 

An even better solution is to use the «  multimedia hub », same box as the repeater, but with a mini jack input. You can easily tape it to an IFB receiver and you have than the same range as with regular VHF or UHF transmission.  
 

I have a shooting next week with two earpieces, one with the base station and the other with multimedia hub. I’ll let you know how it compares. 

Thank you, I appreciate the input.

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35 minutes ago, BAB414 said:

I'm about to work with one of these systems. I've been made aware of many of the pitfalls here and have a little limited experience myself.

 

Does the Base Station require line level or will a level straight from an SM58 be enough?

 

Can the included SMA antenna be screwed off or is it part of the chassis?

 

I wanted to try replacing it with something like this. I've heard of people putting amps in-line but I'm not sure exactly which and what that entails.

 

Thanks,

Ben

 

Hi Ben I have used the phonak roger system with base station a lot. 

Yes the antenna comes off, it is stuck on with lock tite so requires a bit of effort to remove. I would then put an RF booster amp like the sunhans on to the base station and use a whip, this makes a big difference to the range. I then run it out close to set on an XLR. I am not sure its actually line level but I have found the level is too low and we have passed this on to Phonak to see if they can improve this. With the base station gain on max and some extra gain on the output of my mixer I can get enough level. The new V2 ear wig has more gain the V1 and arguably better range with better battery life. The touch screen remote is a handy device as its the only way of increasing the gain of the ear wig receiver, I think they are set to a mid range gain in the factory and the touch screen allows you to change this. I have never tried it but have heard it works. I own a repeater too but have found with the booster RF amp and placing the base station close to set is a better option.

Regards

Tony

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18 minutes ago, Tony Johnson said:

Hi Ben I have used the phonak roger system with base station a lot. 

Yes the antenna comes off, it is stuck on with lock tite so requires a bit of effort to remove. I would then put an RF booster amp like the sunhans on to the base station and use a whip, this makes a big difference to the range. I then run it out close to set on an XLR. I am not sure its actually line level but I have found the level is too low and we have passed this on to Phonak to see if they can improve this. With the base station gain on max and some extra gain on the output of my mixer I can get enough level. The new V2 ear wig has more gain the V1 and arguably better range with better battery life. The touch screen remote is a handy device as its the only way of increasing the gain of the ear wig receiver, I think they are set to a mid range gain in the factory and the touch screen allows you to change this. I have never tried it but have heard it works. I own a repeater too but have found with the booster RF amp and placing the base station close to set is a better option.

Regards

Tony

Tanks Tony. Is this the amp you're talking about? https://www.amazon.com/Sunhans-Sh-2500-Wireless-Repeater-Booster/dp/B00HJ1NQLS/ref=asc_df_B00HJ1NQLS/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312780390407&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=10438628374804762862&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1023414&hvtargid=pla-404289817190&psc=1

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On 9/9/2021 at 3:38 PM, Tony Johnson said:

yes similar to what I have, you can get a gold coloured version on Ebay that you can power off 5 v USB, you can also power the base station off the same and a 2500mwh or similar battery pack will last months on the base station

Tony if you don't mind, I'd love a link to your battery pack and any special power cables you're using.

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1 hour ago, BAB414 said:

Tony if you don't mind, I'd love a link to your battery pack and any special power cables you're using.

Hi Ben,

Here is a link to the sunhans 2.4 booster that comes with an array of cables including a USB to DC connector, this is what i use on the booster for the roger base station, you can then power the roger base station off a seperate USB battery pack (to eliminate any potential noise from the sunhans) using a uSB to DC connector(different than that on the sunhans) but the standard DC connector as used on most gear like Lectro etc. You could get a USB power bank with 2 x USB outputs and try running the base station and sunhans off the same power bank, the base station draws very little current, I have not tried this. There is a typo in the above email re battery bank capacity but anything from 10,000mah or greater will do the job. 

 

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/301836546691?epid=1654464704&hash=item4646dc3283:g:33AAAOSwk1JWg1-z

you can of course get a sunhans that runs on DC power like any audio root or NP style battery but I prefer my 2.4ghz booster amps run off USB power banks as they are cheaper and lighter usually

 

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Yes, it's the amps and volts I'm concerned about. Admittedly, I am not well-versed when it comes to electronics power specs. I got the Coga sound quickdraw (24V/3A), which I highly recommend. It acts as a great little distro for the Hi-Q batteries and it's powered everything I've plugged into it including a Speakeasy speaker, but not the Roger base station.

 

The base station itself says 5v / .5A but the specs in the manual say the AC adapter outputs 5.3VDC @ 4amps so I'm kind of lost there. I was therefore looking at this https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1478529-REG/omnicharge_op2ha004_omni_20_powerbank_portable.html hoping it would work, at least just for the base station if not for the amplifier as well.

 

 

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Hi Ben

 

I had this shooting two days ago with two Phonak Roger, and here is my report.

 

We used two different models: the V1 with the "Base station" (Line input only) and the V2 with the "Multimedia Hub" and its mini-jack input (line too).

 

I havn't noticed any improvement regarding the range between V1 and V2. Generally, it's quite limited, no more than 15 - 20 meters.

 

I definitely prefer the multimedia hub as you can pair it with a classical IFB receiver and place it easily close to or even in the pocket of the talent.

 

The sound is clear and the volume is OK. The talent needs to place it well deep in the ear to avoid any leakage of this tiny sound in your microphones.

 

I did not experienced any disturbance with other 2.4 GHz devices.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Henri

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On 9/13/2021 at 12:59 AM, BAB414 said:

The base station itself says 5v / .5A but the specs in the manual say the AC adapter outputs 5.3VDC @ 4amps so I'm kind of lost there. I was therefore looking at this https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1478529-REG/omnicharge_op2ha004_omni_20_powerbank_portable.html hoping it would work, at least just for the base station if not for the amplifier as well.

yes that omnicharge as per link should do the job it says it will output 5v@3amps so that will work

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Thanks Tony. I've been tinkering and got everything to work as desired. Very very cool. I appreciate all the intel.

4 hours ago, henrimic said:

Hi Ben

 

I had this shooting two days ago with two Phonak Roger, and here is my report.

 

We used two different models: the V1 with the "Base station" (Line input only) and the V2 with the "Multimedia Hub" and its mini-jack input (line too).

 

I havn't noticed any improvement regarding the range between V1 and V2. Generally, it's quite limited, no more than 15 - 20 meters.

 

I definitely prefer the multimedia hub as you can pair it with a classical IFB receiver and place it easily close to or even in the pocket of the talent.

 

The sound is clear and the volume is OK. The talent needs to place it well deep in the ear to avoid any leakage of this tiny sound in your microphones.

 

I did not experienced any disturbance with other 2.4 GHz devices.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Henri

Thank you Henri. I appreciate all that. Since I'm now confidently able to power the base station off a battery, I'm just going to get it as close to talent as possible, and maybe use a 411 or R1A as others have suggested to hop over a line signal. I also bought a couple antenna amps in case the on set 2.4Ghz freqs are creating issues from the other departments.

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