Author Topic: Need help updating our intercom system  (Read 575 times)

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RaytheSM

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Need help updating our intercom system
« on: Mar 04, 2018, 06:22 pm »
Hello everyone! My supervisor put me in charge of updating the intercom system in our theater. Our current setup works fine, except the way that shows end up going, it makes no sense for the ASMs to be tethered to a wall backstage, so I'm trying to go wireless. My pitch is that it will eliminate trip hazards and keep the ASMs from going off headset so much.

We donít have unlimited money (who does?) and Iím trying to keep costs as low as possible. Our current setup is 2 Clear-Com RS-603R beltpacks (with reasonably long cables - just not long enough), 3 CC-95 headsets, a random Telex headset, and a really terrible one that no one likes or uses. The Clear-Com equipment is fantastic, but it's at least 10 years old. I figure I need to either add another headset/beltpack, or find an entirely wireless system. I consider it a safety hazard for there to be no one in the booth on headset because "the cord is too short!"

I have 3 questions about this about this I hope someone has some insight on! I know very little about sound tech/intercoms and need all the advice I can get.

Can I daisy chain a beltpack to one of the terminals in the booth? As in, run a cable from one of the terminals to a beltpack, then use a splitter so that more than one person can be on headset connected to the same beltpack? If it does work, does that diminish the sound quality?

Does anyone have experience with the HME DX100 or similar wireless system from Clear-Com? We want to stick with the same company, since I want to keep the headsets we do have, and since weíve used their equipment for at least 10 years now. We really only need the most standard capabilities, and will not have more than 5 people on headset at once.

Is it at all possible to integrate our current setup with a wireless one? Thinking about it, I find it far-fetched that something like that could work, but Iím wondering if itís possible to like, hook up a receiver to one of the backstage terminals so that everyone on deck could be wireless and anyone in the booth could be plugged in.

I've worked in theaters with (well functioning) intercoms maybe twice in the last four years, and would really appreciate any insight, seeing as this is slightly out of my depth.

Thanks in advance for any advice!

KMC

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Re: Need help updating our intercom system
« Reply #1 on: Mar 05, 2018, 12:08 pm »
Hello Ray, a few responses to your questions below.  Good luck!

Can I daisy chain a beltpack to one of the terminals in the booth? As in, run a cable from one of the terminals to a beltpack, then use a splitter so that more than one person can be on headset connected to the same beltpack? If it does work, does that diminish the sound quality?
No.  You can daisy chain beltpacks (i.e. more than one beltpack connected in series) but you cannot connect multiple headsets to one beltpack - and I'm not sure why you'd want to, unless you've got a pair of conjoined twins running deck.

If you need to have more than one person listen at a single station you can also use a remote speaker station paired with a table-top box.


Does anyone have experience with the HME DX100 or similar wireless system from Clear-Com? We want to stick with the same company, since I want to keep the headsets we do have, and since weíve used their equipment for at least 10 years now. We really only need the most standard capabilities, and will not have more than 5 people on headset at once.

Yes.  The DX series are products that we regularly specify into our integrated systems.  It doesn't have the bells and whistles of some of the cutting edge stuff but for the purposes you're describing it should work well.  Considering you're looking to integrate with [what I assume to be based on your post] a party line system you'll want to look more at the DX200 or DX210 range.  The DX100 line is portable and doesn't interface with party line systems, where the 200 line is more permanent and should play nice with your existing system.

Is it at all possible to integrate our current setup with a wireless one? Thinking about it, I find it far-fetched that something like that could work, but Iím wondering if itís possible to like, hook up a receiver to one of the backstage terminals so that everyone on deck could be wireless and anyone in the booth could be plugged in.

This is most likely possible, but do so with caution.  There is enough current and voltage traveling on a party line system to damage components if connected incorrectly.  My recommendation would be to contact HME / ClearCom and find a dealer local to your area.  Provide them with your existing system components and they should be able to steer you in the right direction with regards to new equipment that is compatible with what's existing in your space.
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