Active Member
I was just browsing the ETC website today, and I stumbled across The Radio Remote Focus Unit. It's pretty much just a remote control for the board. I was wondering, has anyone used one of these? It seems like a good idea to me, but I would just like to get some other peoples' opinions on the equipment. It's awfully tempting, in my opinion. I think I'll start lobbying for one, unless it turns out that it's just an overpriced gimmick. Anyone have any opinions on this item?


Well-Known Member
My memory banks recall a comment while at end user training that went something like this:

- It's essentially a discontinued item. They might have some around the factory, but finding a tech who can help troubleshoot ?....

- It came originally from Avab (I think)

- They are mostly concentrating on the WiFi Pocket PC devices for Emphasis.

Still, it wouldn't hurt to call Wisc. and ask for tech support and find out if they still support it, much less sell it. Tech support will give you an honest answer, as opposed to some sales pitch from a local rep.



Well-Known Member
Well, I would say it depends on how big a crew you have. I know for me, I am usually alone in the theater space (gym) at the fixture and routinely have to climb down the scaffolding (or from the top of the booth) to the light board to bring up some other fixture, a mirror to focus to, or any other thing one would need a light-board to do.
It would save me countless hours and times climbing if I could just whip something out of my pocket to use.

However, if you have a set-up like a theater and can have someone at the light board to turn things on and off as you ask for them, I would say don't bother and spend the money.
I remember looking at that a while ago. I wish the WRFU (wireless remote focus unit--on a PDA) was for the express boards, because then I would seriously conceder it. the RRFU (radio remote focus unit--a weird box with buttons) just looked confusing and not as easy to use.

However, I have never used either, and that this point I would love just a normal RFU.


Active Member
Does ETC have a Wifi/Ethernet RFU for their ETCNet (or whatever their network stuff is called)?

Strand has some software you load on a Pocket PC, drop a NIC in the console, and hook it up the the lan/access point/etc. I've been putzing around trying to get mine to work right given I have been avoding buying the hardware from Strand. When it works, there's a channel control, patch, and I believe cue control screen that you can do over the network.


Not a New User
Fight Leukemia
get a DMX tester and some DMX cable


Well-Known Member

ETC has WiFi on Pocket PC devices for the Emphasis (Express-Insight-Expression) as well as Obsession series consoles, provided the consoles are on the Net2 enviroment.

They also have a PC unit as described in the website: "Remote Virtual Facepanel turns a PC running WYSIWYG Release 10 into a remote station with virtual face panel and console displays of an Emphasis or Obsession II system on the ETCNet2 network. Install this patch to WYSIWYG and run Remote Virtual Facepanel - a connect screen will appear allowing you to chose the system to connect to".



ive used the remote focus once and it was pretty nice.
especially when you have a tiny crew or no crew at all.
the kind we had was...where we just plugged it right into the board...
in the back there is a spot for the RFU.
it was pretty sweet.
DEFINITELY saed a crapload of time going back and forth to the booth/tech table!
but ya, if you have enough people to have someone push paddles then you really dont need it. is my friend


Active Member
In any of the larger theaters around my school it is pretty much standard to have just a regular RFU, meaning it has a cable attached to it. It works really well for a number of thigns particularly during focus, the ME is more able to move around with a small keypad and comminucate witht he designer and the crew better. also it saves dragging the lightboard out and around the theater everytime you need to work. However, if you don't have a large system, or a large space, i'd wager its probably not really worth it. As long as there is an easy line of communication between the person working the board, and the designer.

ok so heres the thing. the radio Rfu's have no screen so if ur not good enough at programing ur board u dont want one. they have no screen because they are powered with a 9v batery and it would take up to much power. the plus side of this is that u have much more mobility and can get further from the board. the ETC Expression 3 has this system if you are interested in checking that out. just remember if you cant use the board without your computer screen on then u cant use a RRfu.


I use a radio rfu. I take it up in the genie when I'm adjusting pipe-ends and toplight/cyclights in our proscenium space. I can't say I've used it much in the blackbox except for examining my designs from eye-level, but if you have a large space and you're a designer that likes to adjust after the crew has left, get one.

Users who are viewing this thread