Wireless Bodypack Transmitters: A Look at the Latest
Rounding out this month’s coverage of RF bodypack audio transmitters, here’s a selection of current models.
The AEW-T1000a UniPak bodypack transmitter features an LCD display, soft-touch controls, and field-replaceable helical and flexible-wire antennas. It has a four-pin locking connector and offers both low- and high-impedance inputs plus a bias connection, for use with dynamic and electret condenser microphones, as well as Hi-Z instrument pickups. Switchable RF power provides eight hours of battery life in the high (35-mW) setting and 10 hours in the low (10-mW) setting (two AA alkaline). A three-position sliding control cover prevents accidental shutoff/channel-switching. www.audio-technica.com
The WTU-2 compact metal bodypack for the RE-2 system is automatically compatible with the Telex RSB-2 mute switch for football applications. Features include selectable RF output power and rechargeable-AA-battery operation with optional BH-200 charger. The unit is compatible with the RSB-2 referee mute switch.
The BPU-2 compact bodypack transmitter for the RE-2 wireless system is made from high-impact ABS plastic. The single on/off switch also functions as a mute, and the TA4 microphone connector is compatible with any EV lapel and headworn mic, including the RE97Tx. Other features include a “cellphone” rotating belt clip and a smart battery. www.electrovoice.com
The new WM water-resistant transmitter has a waterproof membrane keypad and specially designed water-resistant machined-aluminum housing. It offers 256 synthesized UHF frequencies in 100-kHz steps in nine 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 backlit LCD for ease of use in any environment. The WM is powered by two AA batteries, 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 for hands-free setting changes.
The SMV Series brings Lectrosonics’ Digital Hybrid Wireless technology (also found on the WM) to miniature transmitters in two configurations. The dual-battery SMQV model doubles the battery life of the SMV with the same feature set. Both models offer switchable RF power levels at 50, 100, and 250 mW. The optional RM unit provides hands-free remote control of audio-input gain, frequency, lock or unlock modes, and sleep-mode on/off functions for both models. Servo Bias input provides a programmable, regulated voltage to accommodate a wide variety of electret microphones, eliminating the need to install resistive pads for some mics to prevent overload of the input stage, divide the bias voltage down for some low-voltage mics, or reduce the limiter range at minimum gain settings. Two bi-color LEDs enable input-level adjustment for proper modulation. www.lectrosonics.com
QT-256 and QT-1000 series transmitters offer 256 channels at 100-kHz steps, and 25-MHz frequency blocks are available between 600 and 698 MHz. The enclosure on both models has been specifically designed for robustness and concealment. The standard QT-256 enclosure is milled from solid industrial aluminum and is the size of two AA batteries. With its rubber-gasketed sliding door, the Aquamic case (also aluminum) is 100% waterproof. For complete frequency redundancy, the Dual has two complete QT-256s (transmitters, battery, and internal antenna) encased in a polymer enclosure approximately the size of a deck of cards.
The 2-oz. rubber pack of the QT-1000 PlayerMic is flexible and sweat- and water-proof and measures 0.5 x 1.7 x 4.0 in. The PlayerMic has an internal antenna and is offered with a detachable or hard-wired lavaliere microphone. The remote functions of the new Remote Control Audio System (RCAS) allow technicians to control on/off, monitor status and battery level, and make on-the-fly adjustments of frequency, mic gain, and grouping of any QT-5000 series transmitter, all wirelessly from a central computer.
The design and size of the RemoteMic are very similar to those of the PlayerMic with its flexible and sweat-proof rubber case. For form-fitting applications like sports, the Incognito features a tethered, two-part design, distributing the weight of the battery into one side and transmitter in the other, giving an athlete a balanced “feel” when hidden in a helmet or sports bra. All QT-5000 series transmitters feature 4,000 channels at 25-kHz spacing (in a single band) between 600 and 696 MHz. Like the QT-256/1000, they are available from the factory with output power between 50 and 250 mW. Every Q5X transmitter leverages the latest lithium-ion battery technology, providing six to 12 hours (depending on battery size and transmitter power) on a single charge. www.q5x.com
The BTR-240 bodypack uses license-free 2.4 GHz technology and offers multi-level security and audio encryption, ClearScan channel selection, a choice of two independent or simultaneous audio channels, eight full-duplex beltpacks or virtually unlimited number of half-duplex beltpacks, an easy-to-read LCD display, two-wire and four-wire wired intercom interfaces, XLR in/out for interfacing with general audio systems, auto-select for condenser or dynamic microphones, and wired or wireless TR-240 beltpack operation. www.rtsintercoms.com
The SK 5212-II ultra-compact bodypack uses one AA battery and provides wideband transmission of up to 184 MHz in 5-kHz steps. The SK5212-II features switchable output power of 10/50 mW, plus a new low-intermodulation power mode that increases the linear headroom of the amplifier, allowing users to squeeze more channels into a crowded RF environment. Other features include HiDyn Plus noise reduction, backlit LC display, audio sensitivity adjustable in steps of 1 dB from –30 to +40 dB and a switchable low-cut filter. The SK5212-II is compatible with Sennheiser’s wideband EM3732-II true-diversity receiver. The narrowband SK5212 features the same ultra-compact form factor and selectable 10/50 mW of output power as the SK5212-II. With 36 MHz of switching bandwidth, the SK5212 is suited for use with the EK3241 slot-mount portable receiver.
The SK250 beltpack transmitter offers a maximum 250-mW RF output power, quick-exchange battery or rechargeable pack, 16 switchable frequencies, and HiDyn plus noise reduction. The SK250 is compatible with the EK3241 slot-mount diversity receiver and the EM3732-II wideband true-diversity receiver.
The SK2000 bodypack transmitter, part of the 2000 Series, offers up to 75 MHz of switching bandwidth in 25-kHz steps, frequency response of 25 to 20,000 Hz, plus full compatibility with Evolution Wireless systems. Output power (10/30/50 mW) is selectable, allowing users to increase power for longer transmission ranges or reduce power to squeeze more channels into a tight frequency range. For long-range applications, the SK2000 XP (U.S. version) includes an additional 100-mW output-power mode. An optional rechargeable battery pack can be charged right in the unit, via external charging contacts. Other features include 20 fixed frequency banks with up to 64 compatible presets each, six banks with 64 user-tunable channels, and a pilot-tone squelch for interference-free operation. The SK2000 is compatible with the 2000 Series’ EM2000 and EM2050 receivers, all Evolution Wireless receivers, and the EM 3732-II diversity receiver. www.sennheiser.com
The AXT100 Axient Bodypack Transmitter, due out next year, combines advanced features with precision performance to deliver ultra-linear RF performance for more channels on-air and superb audio quality. Advanced power management provides extended, rechargeable battery life and highly accurate status metering, and ShowLink Remote Control enables comprehensive real-time remote control of all transmitter parameters, including frequency adjustments. The AXT100 is compatible with Wireless Workbench 6 software.
At 2.2 oz. without batteries, the UR1M Wireless Micro-Bodypack Transmitter is Shure’s most compact bodypack. Additional features include audio-level monitoring and control, infrared automatic transmitter sync, frequency and power lockout, and bitmapped backlit LCD display. The UR1M is compatible with Wireless Workbench Software. www.shure.com
TRX series encrypted digital wireless transmitters offer internal backup recording, timecode and remote-control reception, and internal IFB. Other features include digital-modulation wireless transmitter, RF remote control of bodypack (using an optional IFB100 remote-control transmitter), 96-hour internal recording with timecode, digital dropout protection, five-hour running time, a graphic LCD display, integrated timecode reception, and no inter-modulation; up to 50 transmitters in the same frequency block can be used together. The IFB100 remote control transmits IFB audio, timecode, and remote-control signals to the TRX series digital wireless transceivers on a single RF carrier using a 2.4-GHz signal. www.zaxcom.com