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Paul F

Converting Your T-Powered Microphone to Phantom

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Some time back I was told that my MKH-415 could not be converted to phantom power. I accepted that. But recently, I wanted to operate the 415 wirelessly on a boom. The T-power made that a problem. So I re-looked at the problem. I found this gem. This tiny bugger just, just fits inside the space available. Now I understand why they said it could not be converted. The mic is held together by a screw that goes across the width of the barrel. That's where the converter fits. The answer to that problem was to replace the long pass-through screw with a short set screw held in place by locktite.

 

You may find that converter useful for your T-powered mic.

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I didn't make myself clear. I was able to do the conversion using the converter I identified in my first post.

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This conversion isn't for everyone. Even with instructions from the vendor, I struggled.

I haven't done a critical check  yet for self noise and such. But a brief test seemed to indicate self noise and performance are the same. I'm happy to be able to use the mixer or wireless transmitter as the power source instead of the old T-power box.

 

I looked at a picture of the inside of the Schoeps CMC4-T. It looks like even less space is available. I don't think the converter I used would fit. Pete may be doing something custom.

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11 minutes ago, Paul F said:

This conversion isn't for everyone. Even with instructions from the vendor, I struggled.

I haven't done a critical check  yet for self noise and such. But a brief test seemed to indicate self noise and performance are the same. I'm happy to be able to use the mixer or wireless transmitter as the power source instead of the old T-power box.

 

I looked at a picture of the inside of the Schoeps CMC4-T. It looks like even less space is available. I don't think the converter I used would fit. Pete may be doing something custom.

He is!

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Actually, I'm not there yet. I thought for sure the screw was 2.5mm and it's not. So I've ordered a 2mm set screw. If that's not it, I may be making my own custom screw on my lathe or maybe tap the hole for a 2.5mm screw. Clearly more than the average tinkerer wants to do and more than I anticipated.  But I like to fabricate and I'm happy to spend hours dinking with stuff that could easily be done with money by someone that knows what  they are doing. I like to learn. 

 

But to answer the question, I'll use the blue locktite which has a  lower stickage than the popular red locktite. Ahh! Maybe I spoke too soon about this working. Now it's even clearer why Pete said it can't be done. Ha!

 

I wish Sennheiser did what Octava does, which is to have a set screw that has a smaller diameter at the top. The screw is inserted into the inner barrel first and then backed out into a hole in  the outer barrel that is smaller than the set screw and the set screw cinches. It can't get lost or fall out.

 

How do I know about the Octavas? I just had one go bad. Rather than try to figure out what parts have gone bad, I bought Bill Sitler's upgrade kit and will replace all the caps and the FET and get better sound as well.

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Audio Services Canada (http://www.audioservicescanada.com/) made me an adaptor that fit in the boot of XLR connectors. Likely similar circuitry.

It was inside the shortie XLR that went from my boom pole to the MHK416T. My Rycote basket did not have a conbox as it is an older version. Worked quite well. This is an option if you don't want to open up the microphone and do it there. 

I'm sure this could work quite well though have not used it: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/275819-REG/PSC_FPSC0010A_A4812_48V_to_12T.html

 

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Update on my conversion. All is well. The 2.5mm set screw was correct, but I misread the chart on the box of setscrews and tried to use a 3mm. The blue Loctite works well. The mic works as it did before, but now without that bloody T-power box.

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If you own a Schoeps or Sennheiser T-power microphone, CMC4 Upgrade is offering a special: $26 off each upgrade. $128 for a Schoeps CMC4 genuine conversion to CMC5, schematically exact & with additional RF suppression, replacement of out-of-spec components and obsessive circular contact and circuit trace cleaning. See http://www.cmc4upgrade.com for particulars in upgrading your Schoeps. 

 

If you own a 416T T-power microphone, 416Tupgrade is offering a special: $26 off each upgrade. $99 for a Sennhieser 416T conversion to P48 with additional RF suppression. See www.416Tupgrade.com for particulars in upgrading your Sennheiser 416T or 415T, 816, 815, 406, or 435. (Note: We cannot upgrade Tuchel connector mics to XLR.) 

 

I feel my upgrades are a better option than the chip mentioned above for not only the above complications, but the chip has a greater propensity toward RF interference from plug transmitters, walkies and remote focus devices. It also uses a zener diode that's shown an aptitude for failure and/or noise generation after several plug-unplugs to 48v phantom. My upgrade also does not occlude the screw retainer opening in the 416.

 

My service also has the benefit of hundreds successful of upgrades performed since 2015. Turnaround time is about two days ready-to-ship. 

 

-Pete Verrando

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I've said it in other threads -- as have many, many others -- Pete does top-notch conversations.

 

He even nicely labels the mic so there's no confusion in the future about its powering. 

 

 

 

 

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This thread was not intended to take anything away from Pete. I inquired with him first about my microphone conversion. Mine is very old with the Tuchel connector, which is a version Pete does not service. So this is a solution for that case. I'd go to Pete first for any of my other needs.

 

 

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We get it--we're all about DIY here, when it's possible.  Modding mics isn't much of a thing in the movie-sound world, but it is common in the music sector.   A non-stock version of a name brand mic is generally worth less than it was before the mod, but if the result works for your recording needs and you are ok with the risk then rock on.

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3 hours ago, Paul F said:

This thread was not intended to take anything away from Pete. I inquired with him first about my microphone conversion. Mine is very old with the Tuchel connector, which is a version Pete does not service. So this is a solution for that case. I'd go to Pete first for any of my other needs.

 

I certainly didn't mean my comments as a criticism of your situation -- only as praise for Pete. 

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