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Tech Focus: Bodypacks, Part 2 - Wireless Transmitters Are Smaller Than Ever, More Flexible

05/01/2022

Tech Focus: Bodypacks, Part 2 - Wireless Transmitters Are Smaller Than Ever, More Flexible Leading models come with a variety of features and functions By Dan Daley, Audio Editor

Wednesday, January 5, 2022 - 12:10 pm

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Story Highlights

Increasingly essential to audio capture for broadcast sports, wireless bodypack transmitters are small, light, flexible, and powerful. Here's a look at some current leading models.

Click here for Tech Focus: Bodypacks, Part 1 - Wireless Transmitters Reflect RF-Industry Challenges.

Audio-Technica The ATW-T5201 bodypack transmitter features a rugged, ergonomic metal body, highly visible OLED screen, power/mute indicator LED, soft-touch controls, 80-Hz high-pass filter, and programmable function button that can be set to switch to a backup frequency or mute the transmitter. The transmitter is available in two frequency ranges - DE1 (470-590 MHz) and EF2 (580-608 MHz, 653-663 MHz) - to provide complete coverage of the receiver's bandwidth. It has a cH-style screw-down 4-pin connector and supplies 5 V DC bias to power condenser microphones. Switchable RF power provides seven hours of battery (two AA alkaline) life in the high (50-mW) setting, nine hours in the mid (10-mW) setting, and 10.5 hours in the low (2-mW) setting. The ATW-T5201 includes a field-replaceable whip antenna and a protective carrying case. www.audio-technica.com/

Electro-Voice RE3-BPT

Electro-Voice The RE3-BPT compact, lightweight UHF bodypack transmitter accepts a wide variety of input devices. The all-metal body is robust and durable and operates on two AA alkaline or rechargeable NiMH cells. An ultrasonic sync function enables simple system setup by syncing the transmitter to the receiver-frequency tuning and other functional data. The selectable output power (band-specific) assists in overcoming the challenges of both long and short transmission ranges. The tuning bandwidth affords generous frequency-tuning options, helping to avoid various sources of possible interference. A magnetic sliding latch-and-lock mechanism keeps the battery door closed securely and eases opening to access the batteries. Recharging contacts provide for functional use with the optional BC2 charging station, allowing the NiMH rechargeable cells within two bodypack transmitters to be charged without removal. www.electrovoice.com/

Lectrosonics DBSM (single AA) and DBSMD (dual AA) digital encrypted beltpack transmitters feature AES 256-bit CTR encryption with four key policies, including shared key, which is specifically designed for sports-broadcast applications. The DBSM and DBSMD offer wideband tuning (470-608 MHz for U.S., 470-614 MHz for export), a highly linear RF-output stage for reduced intermodulation distortion, and 10, 25, and 50 mW RF power settings for a wide variety of applications from broadcast studios to the playing field. A special super-narrow HDM (high-density mode) transmission option allows packing more than 24 channels per 6-MHz TV channel without the need for frequency coordination. The DBSM and DBSMD feature 24-bit/48-kHz digital audio for pristine sound quality, and the extremely compact, all-metal casings are well-sealed from sweat and dust. Each unit has a microSD card slot and can be configured as transmitter or recorder. The DBSM and DBSMD also feature IR sync for quick setup and can also be configured via RM remote commands, compatible with the Lectro RM and PDR Remote smartphone apps, for hands-free setting changes.

Lectrosonics DBSM

The SSM (Super Slight Micro) digital hybrid wireless micro transmitter weighs only 2.3 oz. with battery, tunes across 76.8 MHz or three standard Lectrosonics frequency blocks, features power settings at 25 mW or 50 mW RF power, and runs on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. It measures 2.52 x 1.48 x 0.57 in. The SSM responds to RM remote commands, compatible with the Lectro RM smartphone app. Frequency bands offered are A1 (470-537 MHz), B1 (537-614 MHz), C1 (614-691 MHz, export only).

The SMWB (single AA) and SMDWB (dual AA) transmitters can be configured as either transmitter or recorder, with files stored on microSD-card memory in the industry-standard Broadcast Wave (.wav) format at 24 bits. The units tune across 76.8 MHz or three standard Lectrosonics frequency blocks and come in several frequency ranges. RF power for these models is selectable at 100, 50, or 25 mW. The SMWB and SMDWB feature the standard TA5 connector with servo-bias mic input also found on all previous SM Series units and all current TA5 beltpack units. The microSD memory card can also be used to update firmware in the field. These transmitters also feature IR sync for quick setup and can also be configured via RM remote commands, compatible with the Lectro RM and PDR Remote smartphone apps, for hands-free setting changes.

The WM is a fully water-resistant transmitter with a membrane keypad and a specially designed machined-aluminium housing. It offers 1,024 frequencies in 25-kHz steps and is available in nine frequency blocks, each covering a 25.6-MHz bandwidth. Features include selectable RF power at 50, 100, and 250 mW; dual bi-color modulation LEDs for accurate gain adjustment; and a backlit LCD for ease of use. Two AA batteries power the WM, with internal switching power supplies providing constant voltages to the transmitter circuits from the beginning (1.5 V) to the end (0.85 V) of battery life. The WM responds to RM remote commands, compatible with the Lectro RM smartphone app, for hands-free setting changes. www.lectrosonics.com/

Q5X

Q5X QT-AD10

Developed in collaboration with Shure, the newest additions to the Q5X family of QT-AD10 Axient Digital transmitters offer Q5X's safe, small, and rugged form factors and Shure's market-leading Axient Digital technology, which adds encryption and improved spectrum eff
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