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skiphall
Event Communications
on Mar 6, 2007 at 5:38:48 am

I apologize in advance if this is off-topic for this forum. Please redirect me if necessary.

Has anyone had any experience with Eartec comms systems? I need to replace our low-end Radio Shack beltpacks and headsets, and our budget just won't stand Telex or Portacoms. If the Eartecs perform at all well, they might be a good next step for us. I just hate to throw money away if I buy them and discover that they are flimsy and undependable. Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks.


Skip Hall
Homeworks Video Productions
Suffolk, Va


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Doug Graham
Re: Event Communications
on Mar 6, 2007 at 2:59:26 pm

Haven't used 'em myself, but I've talked to several folks who have. Most users like them very much. The full duplex feature (being able to talk and listen at the same time, like a telephone) is the biggest advantage. To my mind, being able to have Eartec wire up your headset so that you can monitor your camera audio AND communicate with your crew is almost as big a plus.

The only downsides I've heard is that some say the volume is a tad low and there is often some static on the line.

Regards,
Doug Graham


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skiphall
Re: Event Communications
on Mar 7, 2007 at 12:10:06 am

Thanks for the input, Doug.

It seems that the Eartec system only allows for multiple remotes to talk back to a single director, and that director can talk to all the remotes. However none of the remotes can talk to each other. That limits their usefulness during set up and such, when people are working all over the theater, but I guess if all I'm going for is director-to-camera comms, then the Eartec might work.

It looks like DataVideo makes a 4-station full-duplex WIRED system, for about the same money as the Eartec wireless sytem... which is substantially less than a comparable Telex or Portacom system. Anyone every used a DataVideo system that they could comment on?

Skip Hall
Homeworks Video Productions
Suffolk, Va


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Matte
Re: Event Communications
on Mar 7, 2007 at 3:34:04 pm

I have built many "com" systems for just a few dollars.

In this system, there is no "SIGNALING RING" to alert anyone not already wearing a headset to put one on, but under normal circumstances, everyone in my crew just wears the headsets under "show" conditions.

This system is SO EASY that many will scoff... but it WORKS.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Just buy wired headset TELEPHONES (any kind you like, ones with VOLUME controls are great).

Run phone cables to everywhere you need a headset (they "daisy-chain" perfectly.)

You are only using TWO WIRES (Red and Green) so you can get by with just about an kind of cable run.

Quick-and-dirty is to buy lots of 25' and 50' pre-made (with the "ends" on) phone cables, and lots of those little phone-line "splitters"... so that you can run as much or as little cable as you need, to as many locations as you need.

----------------------------------------------------------

The "trick" is the POWER SUPPLY:

You want about 12 volts to 24 volts DC (24v is better).
Connect the power supply to the Red (+) and Green (-) phone lines and turn on the phones.

NOTE: You MUST insert a "choke coil" between the AC-to-DC power supply (+) and the phone line.
Without the "choke" the "hum/ripple filter" built into the power supply will also filter out the audio on the phone line.
----------------------------------------------------------

Now consider THIS:
We have great luck going WIRELESS with this system, too.
Just buy cordless phones (with headsets) and hook them up in place of any of your regular phones in the system.

This is such a SIMPLE, inexpensive, and reliable system that I hardly ever unpack my CLEAR-COM sets anymore.

-------------------------------------------

If you want to just TRY this out (to see if I'm NUTS),
you CAN use three 9v batteries in series (21v) to power-up and see what you think.
(The 9v batteries won't last a very long time under show conditions, they are just for a "test".)






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skiphall
Re: Event Communications
on Mar 8, 2007 at 4:30:26 am

Hi Matte! You are a fellow after my heart! I am always looking for alternative solutions that actually WORK!

Would it be possible for you to email me a few photos to accompany your assembly instructions? It might help to be able to visualize the whole set-up, at least for a two-line system. If that's too much trouble, perhaps a little more information on the type of phone you used, and what you ended up using for a more permanent power supply.

Thank you very much for taking the time to respond!

Skip Hall
Homeworks Video Productions
Suffolk, Va


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Matte
Re: Event Communications
on Mar 8, 2007 at 3:33:41 pm

[skiphall] "perhaps a little more information on the type of phone you used, and what you ended up using for a more permanent power supply."

Any off-the-shelf telephone will work.
All telephones connected to the same line will "communicate" with each other, as many as you need.

All you have to do is supplying DC POWER to make them run.


I'm involoved in a big series of projects right now, but

I'll try to get you more specific info in a few days.


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