Jump to content

Recommended Posts

After finally seeing the advantage of a bag drop instead of an antenna drop I took the plunge Saturday.

 

I ordered two Cat Tails  from Sound Tools website, there is a male and female, on Saturday afternoon and it arrived Sunday evening. Their website link takes you to Amazon to complete the purchase.

 

They are nicely packaged and look like a quality product. If this works out I will probably get another one so I can have 8 channels in my drop bag and use two of the channels to send Comtek and boom return back to the set drop bag with gender changers.

 

They also sell a very hearty cat 5 cable. I have started with 100 feet, the cost works out to something under two dollars a foot.

 

 

 

IMG_1334.jpg

IMG_1337.jpg

IMG_1339.jpg

IMG_1338.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for posting the pictures  ---  looks like a much cleaner version of the InstaSnake from ETS. Over 10 years ago i discovered the InstaSnake line of XLR to CAT5 adapters, a really nice way to distribute analog signals over a single cable ---  I don't think there wre any CatTails at that time.. I remember when I first got it I thought there must be a transformer like there is in the video baluns we had been using. Ran some frequency tests which were amazing  ---  no affect on the signal, wow! Turns out these devices are just a wiring scheme, no transformer or signal balancing, so no affect on the signal.

InstaSnake.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been working with a mixer over the last 7 years who uses a "Fun Box" - a VR Field with an extra receiver, IFB transmitter, antenna mast with 2 sharkfins, and an extra empty channel for more flexibility. It's powered off of two older NP1's and we change it every hour and a half. He put the whole thing together in a really nice custom wooden frame and got a custom 8 channel snake made with 5 pin xlr connectors.

 

I made a V2 of my own using a small rack case, a Venue 2, SRb, IFB transmitter, M-216 (as a backup only) and ran 3 channels of Cat5, giving me 12 channels all together. Powered off the Hi-Q batteries, the box could run 4-4.5 hours.

 

I think "dropping the bag" will become much more prevalent in the near future but it comes with its disadvantages as well that some people might not realize. On a fast-paced narrative production, your utility needs to be on top of it, making sure battery changes happen on time, moving the box/bag out of the shot/away from focus pullers and teradek transmitters (been a big problem on our show), being ready to move it so a light can go where it is, covering the cable so people don't trip, making sure scissor lifts don't cross your hundreds of feet of cable and damage a line. Not to mention not being able to monitor/control the receivers unless using Dante and some Netgear stuff. I took my 3 channels of Cat5 and wrapped them in Techflex and it became one giant unwieldy cable which I hated AND it was super slippery and people were tripping on it. Also, if it's just a bag rig with no mast, your antennas are much lower to the ground which is worse for reception. Lot's of things to consider, so don't put all your eggs in one basket.

 

Towards the end of my run on that show, we still used the Fun Box, but kept it right next to the cart, and only extended it out when we needed to. We often had better RF when we weren't so close to all the cameras, focus pullers, and walkies. Walkie hits were a big problem sometimes. If you need to be far away from set (which seems likely to become normal) and/or the show likes to shoot in tight spaces that are hard to get to, then this is the way. For me, I built everything back into my cart. If I need to run antennas out, I use the Ultraflex LMR 240 which someone recommended on this site. It's amazing. Skinny, not stiff, and very low loss. Check it out. If I needed to get really crazy, I can always drop my bag rig and pull the cat5 off the truck. That would give me more distance and better reception of IFB and comms. Food for thought.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting tool I wasn't aware of.  Seems a competitor makes an 8 channel dual "ethercon" (XLR that is wired for ethernet?) model as well which looks interesting.  More expensive that cat5/6 but seems more rugged?

https://www.amazon.com/Ethercon-Adapter-Receiver-Recording-Channels/dp/B081QQ2XDK/ref=sr_1_14?dchild=1&keywords=ethercon&qid=1589811499&sr=8-14

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Curious why more production mixers aren't adopting Dante.  Cart can be 300' (100m) from the set and the mixer can control preamps, wireless receivers, comms, VOG/Talk back, sends to/from video village, the whole enchilada.  Tons of "devices" available (and more coming every day) that will allow almost infinite setup possibilities.

 

Yes, expensive to tool up, but are there any other reasons why it doesn't work in the tv/film game?

 

I record live acoustic music these days (well, I did record before the madness happened).  My whole setup is Dante and it is easy, reliable and "one-wire".  I even have a way to run fiber as my "one-wire" which means that I can be as far away from the stage as I, realistically, want.

 

D.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, codyman said:

Interesting tool I wasn't aware of.  Seems a competitor makes an 8 channel dual "ethercon" (XLR that is wired for ethernet?) model as well which looks interesting.  More expensive that cat5/6 but seems more rugged?

https://www.amazon.com/Ethercon-Adapter-Receiver-Recording-Channels/dp/B081QQ2XDK/ref=sr_1_14?dchild=1&keywords=ethercon&qid=1589811499&sr=8-14

that is a cheaper solution in one unit. Very nice.

Does anyone make a dual cat 5 cable that would work?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, tourtelot said:

Curious why more production mixers aren't adopting Dante.  Cart can be 300' (100m) from the set and the mixer can control preamps, wireless receivers, comms, VOG/Talk back, sends to/from video village, the whole enchilada.  Tons of "devices" available (and more coming every day) that will allow almost infinite setup possibilities.

 

Yes, expensive to tool up, but are there any other reasons why it doesn't work in the tv/film game?

 

I record live acoustic music these days (well, I did record before the madness happened).  My whole setup is Dante and it is easy, reliable and "one-wire".  I even have a way to run fiber as my "one-wire" which means that I can be as far away from the stage as I, realistically, want.

 

D.

I plan on going with Dante eventually but I'm in no rush. I think Dante is very cool and all but if you're keeping everything on the cart like I plan to, then all the cables don't really matter. Once it's set up, it's set up, either way. I have a feeling Lectro is working on some more toys that will play with Dante. I am eyeing the DSQDs and an 888 though but I'm not ready to upgrade just yet.

 

I do recommend everyone gets at least Dante level 1 certified. You can do it in about 2 hours. Very easy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, tourtelot said:

Yes, expensive to tool up, but are there any other reasons why it doesn't work in the tv/film game?


No, that’s pretty much it. For me anyway. New recorder, new controller for recorder, and at least an analog-Dante converter. And a router. A lot of money 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, BAB414 said:

[snip]  I have a feeling Lectro is working on some more toys that will play with Dante. [snip]

Yep. We've been deep into Dante in the Aspen auto mixer products and various audio boxes for some time. Now Dante is moving steadily to the wireless side. In order to be able to speak with some experience, Gordon at Lectro rewired his complete church audio system with Dante and removed several hundred pounds of cables and replaced them with a few Cat 5 wires. He and about 5 techs and engineers are available to speak Dante. (It's all magic to me)

Best,

Larry F

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In this new world where more of us will likely be living off-set (or as far from the action as practical), using Dante to run a single CAT5 cable is great, but what about getting 2 or 3 channels of video to our cart? If we're 300' away at the end of a Dante run, a 300' foot triple-SDI video snake would be quite large and unwieldy. Is that just going to be the new norm for us? Getting a terradek receiver from the camera dept would still have the same issue as you'd need the receiver close to set and then cable out to your cart.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Rob Beal said:

In this new world where more of us will likely be living off-set (or as far from the action as practical), using Dante to run a single CAT5 cable is great, but what about getting 2 or 3 channels of video to our cart? If we're 300' away at the end of a Dante run, a 300' foot triple-SDI video snake would be quite large and unwieldy. Is that just going to be the new norm for us? Getting a terradek receiver from the camera dept would still have the same issue as you'd need the receiver close to set and then cable out to your cart.

NDI (sort of a dante for video, not exactly, but it ticks a lot of the same boxes) Would be ideal to distribute video over IP on sets. over cat5/networks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like Dante a lot but except for some pretty lightweight uses have not figured out how to make the pile of new gear it would take to use it pay for itself.   I'm watching to see if more affordable solutions appear.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

True!  I took the plunge and I am really content with my Dante rig.  But it will never pay for itself, EVER, in the type of work I do now.  But the education in building and using the project was worth it.  There is a tuition for every education and this particular tuition was pretty high, both in dollars and in brain-work.  But it does come up to my high standard of how a recording package should work.

 

For some big Hollywood guys, if and when the industry returns, might make the money part work.  I remember at the top of my "game", I was getting good kit rental money every day the package worked.  So spare recorders, spare mixing panels, lots of mics and wireless?  They were all expected, but they were being paid for.

 

D.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Vincent R. said:

NDI (sort of a dante for video, not exactly, but it ticks a lot of the same boxes) Would be ideal to distribute video over IP on sets. over cat5/networks.

 

Interesting, I haven't seen this technology used on sets before. So if you already have your RF receivers in a box on set, I wonder if you could just add a couple SDI to NDI video converters to the rack, plug them into your network switch and send the video signal down the same CAT5 cable as your Dante, and convert back to SDI at your cart end. Looks like a whole new avenue to start researching.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Rob Beal said:

 

Interesting, I haven't seen this technology used on sets before. So if you already have your RF receivers in a box on set, I wonder if you could just add a couple SDI to NDI video converters to the rack, plug them into your network switch and send the video signal down the same CAT5 cable as your Dante, and convert back to SDI at your cart end. Looks like a whole new avenue to start researching.

It is being used as such yes. NDIhx is the lower bandwith standard (I believe between 50/100 mb per sec), the Standard NDI is like 200/300 mb per sec, so some calculation is needed obviously, but it is designed with your example in mind. NDIhx would be more than enough for set preview i would say. Atomos moitors now even have modular NDI receivers/converters, so one could just simple attach one of these to a monitor for a neat solution. 
Atomos_NinjaV_NDImodule_comp_003.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, tourtelot said:

True!  I took the plunge and I am really content with my Dante rig.  But it will never pay for itself, EVER, in the type of work I do now.  But the education in building and using the project was worth it.  There is a tuition for every education and this particular tuition was pretty high, both in dollars and in brain-work.  But it does come up to my high standard of how a recording package should work.

 

For some big Hollywood guys, if and when the industry returns, might make the money part work.  I remember at the top of my "game", I was getting good kit rental money every day the package worked.  So spare recorders, spare mixing panels, lots of mics and wireless?  They were all expected, but they were being paid for.

 

D.

I like your Grace etc rig--very very hifi for music work.  I was hoping Dante would become so ubiquitous that less expensive gear would start having it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I run Dante for live broadcasting and in my studio.  Besides a few unusable updates, it's been a great system for me.

However I find less use for it on sets.  I still use it when doing playback etc, but for wireless if I were to rebuild a new system I would likely do RF over fiber instead of Dante.  I'd rather keep the equipment on the cart and be able to clip an antenna on set whenever I needed.  The only reason I haven't invested in this system so far is I find I'm generally always able to be within range of set.  Couple that with a trend towards smaller crews and I feel I am often getting closer to set these days, not farther away.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/20/2020 at 7:38 AM, Philip Perkins said:

I like your Grace etc rig--very very hifi for music work.  I was hoping Dante would become so ubiquitous that less expensive gear would start having it.

Isn't there a fairly high floor as to just how low DANTE gear can fall? Because the manufacturers have to pay substantial DANTE licensing costs per item sold

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, IronFilm said:

Isn't there a fairly high floor as to just how low DANTE gear can fall? Because the manufacturers have to pay substantial DANTE licensing costs per item sold

Licence and actual proprietary hardware (Broadway, Brooklyn, Ultimo chips, etc). The "bottom end" Behringer Dante card costs about 500 USD (Brooklyn based, I believe), so that is some kind of giveaway how low it can go, since Behringer has affordable in their DNA.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the shows I've worked on in recent years (live theatrical and or dance) I've remoted my home made RX rack many times to get it nearer the talent (on a stage) than where I am set up (in the hall, often).   For this I've used home-made snakes, and if I stick with this might go to the Instasnake kind of deal. As you all know, remoting RX to stage-side (when the FOH console is in house-rear) is common in that world, and most of the houses I've worked in have gone to Dante to move signals around.  For more than just a couple of channels there is an "in for a nickel in for a dollar" aspect to this for a portable-soundie like me, but for the permanent-installed house folks it's a no brainer and works very well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/19/2020 at 8:39 AM, Rob Beal said:

In this new world where more of us will likely be living off-set (or as far from the action as practical), using Dante to run a single CAT5 cable is great, but what about getting 2 or 3 channels of video to our cart? If we're 300' away at the end of a Dante run, a 300' foot triple-SDI video snake would be quite large and unwieldy. Is that just going to be the new norm for us? Getting a terradek receiver from the camera dept would still have the same issue as you'd need the receiver close to set and then cable out to your cart.


NDI sounds interesting but this is the first time I’m hearing about it (doesn’t mean much ; ) but a solid, inexpensive more analog-esque way to go is to just set up a multiview system with 4-way input 1-way output box at the video village and run a single cable back to a single (preferably larger) monitor on your cart to receive a quad split image of up to 4 cameras. Works great, lets you run a single common SDI cable a pretty long distance. With good cable 300’ should be no problem even if you’re extending with barrels to get that length. On my show we have 120’ lengths made up (Belden 1505F) and barrel them as needed. 
 

Decimator makes a good multiview box (dmon quad i think) and blackmagic also has a very cheap one and a more expensive one. 

The other advantage of the multiview box at village is you don’t need any additional gear on your cart just any SDI input monitor. No receivers, converter boxes, networking gak. Makes troubleshooting easier. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, Derek H said:


NDI sounds interesting but this is the first time I’m hearing about it (doesn’t mean much ; ) but a solid, inexpensive more analog-esque way to go is to just set up a multiview system with 4-way input 1-way output box at the video village and run a single cable back to a single (preferably larger) monitor on your cart to receive a quad split image of up to 4 cameras. Works great, lets you run a single common SDI cable a pretty long distance. With good cable 300’ should be no problem even if you’re extending with barrels to get that length. On my show we have 120’ lengths made up (Belden 1505F) and barrel them as needed. 
 

Decimator makes a good multiview box (dmon quad i think) and blackmagic also has a very cheap one and a more expensive one. 

The other advantage of the multiview box at village is you don’t need any additional gear on your cart just any SDI input monitor. No receivers, converter boxes, networking gak. Makes troubleshooting easier. 

 

Good point, I already have an old Decimator Quad box kicking around, so i could easily stick that at video village. A bigger challenge with that would be fitting a larger monitor in my current cart setup (right now I use a triple 5" monitor device that takes up 2 rack spaces). But that might be an easier fix since I'm already pulling wireless racks out of my cart to remote onto set, so cart space will be freed up.

 

Good thing we still have plenty of hiatus time to figure out how to retool our carts!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...