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Lectrosonics SMWDB (europe) 100mW upgrade?


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Hi all,

I own a couple SMDWB (Europe version, only up to 50mW). A colleague who owns SMDBs got them upgraded to 50, 100 and 250mW. The official importer updated the firmware and had him sign a discharge making aware it is not legal anymore. I emailed the importer and he told me it is not possible with the SMDWB. Now, i know the wide band version only go up to 100mW but i was wondering why it wouldn't be possible to upgrade it if it is possible with the single band version.

I also think the importer, who did this upgrade to my colleague's units a couple years ago, might have been regretting offering it and is just telling me it isn't possible when it actually is.

I have no way of knowing for sure if it is or isn't possible on the wide band version. I was wondering if anybody here had it done to their SMDWB or if they had more infos about that.

50mW covers quite a lot of the situations i find myself in but there is a few situation on every film or show i do where i could use the 100mW boost.

Thanks for your help!

Ben

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First, anything higher than 50mW is illegal in most of Europe and in most situations. Just to have that mentioned.,

 

Second, I don’t have any experience with the SMDWB, but with my SSMs it’s very easy to update (or downdate) the firmware. With the SMDWB I think you do it via the MicroSD card. On the SSM I have converted in both directions (EU-US and vice versa), and I believe that’s all you need to do. Of course I could be a fool and didn’t actually technically change anything. 
On my HMa, where I did this (only to test, of course), I could set the power to 100mW and my RFExplorer showed the level almost exactly 6dB stronger, which would be inline with doubling in transmit power. 
Now if you ask your distributor for an older version of the firmware (pre 6.0), it might be easy enough to come up with a good reason, and I really don’t think they would feel like doing something illegal as they are only providing firmware.

or find a fellow Lectro user who still has the older firmware...

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Thanks Constantin for your reply.

 

I'll try to look at updating the firmware myself after i am done shooting with this show i am currently on. I dont want to mess up with this in the middle of a 12 week shoot...

Like i said 90% of the time 50mW is plenty for my use but there is these 3-4 time per film where i could use the little boost in rf output power (last week for example or even the one before).

Thanks again for your help and i'll keep the post up to date when i tried it with or without success!

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Ben,

As you are located in Switzerland, you can use radio microphones up to 250 mW in the 477-694 MHz band without a specific licence. There are just some frequency restrictions.

https://www.ofcomnet.ch/api/rir/1009/11

At 50 mW, no restrictions, but you should coordinate with frequency managers on certain events via the website https://pmse-db.ch/

Henri 

 

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Oh, one more thing: after posting here I read about someone bricking their SMWB after updating the firmware in the Facebook Lectrosonics group. They think it may have to do with installation the wrong geo version for their transmitter, but nobody from Lectro has weighed in yet. So you may wish to follow up on that before destroying your tx. This may have changed with version 6, because as mentioned, I can say for a fact that I had a EU HMa V6, which I downgraded to whatever came before 6 (it wasn’t 5) and US version. That tx works really well. I also changed the SSMs as mentioned, but I don’t think any of them were up to V6 yet

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21 hours ago, Constantin said:

I can say for a fact that I had a EU HMa V6, which I downgraded to whatever came before 6 (it wasn’t 5) and US version.

Ok, so downgrading the firmware to the US version of whatever came before 6 on your HMa seemed to work but why not upgrading to the latest US firmware?

I bought my SMDWB amd HMa end of 2019 so i guess they are on one of the latest firmware.

 

Like i said i won't do it for another 6 weeks. I want to wait for the show i am on to be over before playing with this.

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28 minutes ago, Ben B said:

Ok, so downgrading the firmware to the US version of whatever came before 6 on your HMa seemed to work but why not upgrading to the latest US firmware?

I bought my SMDWB amd HMa end of 2019 so i guess they are on one of the latest firmware.


I downgraded because I wanted this to work (temporarily) with an older US receiver. The older receivers are not compatible with newer transmitters, unless you change the firmware. That’s why I needed something pre V6. In your case it would be a cross grade which should also work. In Facebook I believe they concluded that it was difficult to know which boot loader to use with which firmware.... so I‘m pretty sure that it will work

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4 hours ago, Constantin said:

I downgraded because I wanted this to work (temporarily) with an older US receiver. The older receivers are not compatible with newer transmitters, unless you change the firmware. That’s why I needed something pre V6. In your case it would be a cross grade which should also work. In Facebook I believe they concluded that it was difficult to know which boot loader to use with which firmware.... so I‘m pretty sure that it will work


By trying different modes such as Mode 200 or Mode 3 could the two different units talk with each other without needing to do the firmware change?

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Changing the firmware in the SMWB will not change the RF power output. If an EU transmitter was changed to US type firmware, the menu would show 100mW power but the actual output would still be 50mW. It is not possible to change the power output on the SMWB or any other wide-band Lectrosonics transmitter.

 

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6 hours ago, Dean Slotness said:

Changing the firmware in the SMWB will not change the RF power output. If an EU transmitter was changed to US type firmware, the menu would show 100mW power but the actual output would still be 50mW. It is not possible to change the power output on the SMWB or any other wide-band Lectrosonics transmitter.

 


Well, I had a nagging feeling this would be the case. It seemed  a bit too easy. 
Nonetheless, I did measure a higher rf level after switching firmware. Coincidence or simply a faulty measurement?

 

22 hours ago, IronFilm said:


By trying different modes such as Mode 200 or Mode 3 could the two different units talk with each other without needing to do the firmware change?


Perhaps, but I didn’t try. Didn’t fancy being bound to 200 mode...

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