Intercom Idea

themuzicman

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Apr 27, 2007
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...What is the intended purpose of this device? Are you just trying to make a box that does a lot of things?

If that's the case, you're going to find it moderately expensive to do all of the things you want to do with any sort of good build quality. I also don't understand why you would need a 3.5 TRRS port -- trying to use your iPhone headphones mic cable? What's the 2.5mm Input for if you already have a bunch of them stacked in the Kenwood and Motorola inputs? Why a Kenwood AND a Motorola radio input -- why not take example from the AD913 that has a multipin XLR with different breakouts for different radios, that PI box is radio manufacturer agnostic for a good reason (not all radios use the 2x TS breakouts, check out the MOTOTRBO lineup for the ultimate in radio pinout nonsense).

If I need an AD913, there's a good chance it's going to be built into my intercom rack somewhere in the theater, and not at FOH. When I use a Blazon, it's on top of my audio console. If I'm at a console, I usually have an RS201 Clearcom and Handset built into my FOH rack. If I need to get the Audio only from it, I'll just throw a QBox on top of my console and use that as an intercom speaker, or I'll use an ICOM-R to strip the power and get the intercom feed into my console so I can keep it on the cue bus. My monitor from the audio console is usually a pair of headphones, so that's all I need.

The point of this is that multiple single items in this instance are going to be more flexible than a single box that is tailor suited to one persons workspace. You're not going to find a comparable product to what you want because you can find a handful of single products that get the job done. For example, there aren't too many competitors to the AD913, you have Clearcom's TW-47 and that's about it, it's already such a niche product that you're just not going to find its functionality built into more products. It's not a trivial device to build (go read the TW-47 manual some time, as with all Clearcom manuals it is very thorough and gives you some insight into just how much thought goes into that product).
 

themuzicman

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The ML 5000 just had some Clearcom circuitry pulling audio off the Talkback mic and injecting com into the Cue Bus.

Do you really find yourself needing to use radios with Clearcom that much? I rarely choose to integrate a bi-directional link to the Radios from Clearcom, when I do it's usually a one-off rental for something weird or a backup to RF Com when I need a huge range of coverage and I can't rent RF Com that covers a sufficiently large area like a radio can (though RAD UV1G RF Intercom is changing this need, it covers a HUGE range). I generally integrate radios into house paging systems every show, but that's a simple adapter taking audio one-way out of the Radio. Additionally, I'd want any Clearcom interfaces to be built into my Intercom Rack wherever that is with the Main Stations, as my FOH setups only ever get remote stations and I'd want this interface to change patch between my Main/Backup systems on a redundant intercom rig. Plus you'll also need power for the Radio base station, I zip tie the entire thing to a rack shelf and let it live with the intercom.

If you truly are mixing mons or working somewhere enough that you need all of this gear, then I'd suggest just investing in all of the single interfaces. You'll need a drop of Clearcom to power the AD913 anyway, loop out of that into a Blazon, out of that into a 2WR/4WR interface and use the 4WR to go In/Out of your audio console via a breakout. Drop the AD913 somewhere forgettable, throw the Blazon on top of the console or console's doghouse, and then use the Cue Bus and Talkback on the console in conjunction with the 4WR interface and you're good to go.
 

themuzicman

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Ideally everything could be monitored from one pair of headphones
Yea, what I'm saying is that you don't need a single box to make that happen -- there are a few options available to you. The bigger question to ask when slamming Radio into your com system is if everyone else actually wants the Radios on the intercom system. It seems from this that it's for your benefit, but not for everyone else. I would honestly just take the Speaker output from the Radio and slam it into an open input on your audio console. You can do the same thing with your intercom line (via an ICOM-R), and have it all go to a bus in your console you can cue back to so you have that audio in a single place.

If that's not cool, you can buy an AV Lifesavers Intercom Headset Splitter, this will take your Clearcom output and Cue Bus output and let you hear Com on L in headphones, Cue on R, or switch to just intercom. You put a switched mic on the AV Lifesavers box and that becomes your com talkback.

From there the solutions become more and more expensive -- the moment you need a relayed TB to the radio system the price jumps. I would suggest just throwing a Radio into the consoles doghouse to feed you speaker audio, and wearing a radio on your person, turned down with a fist-mic. When you hear something on your headphones, you respond through the turned down radio on your person.
 

TimMc

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The way I am doing it right now is:

1: A small mixer like the Behringer Xenyx 802 with 2 mic/mono line and 2 (3) stereo line ins.
2: Headphone output from console monitoring to one stereo line in
3: Direct lineout from a mic by the conductor to a mono in
4: an old radio (we use TyT-6, cheap and disposable but pretty stable as well), only used to receive the intercom chatter to the other mono in

I got a second radio on me with a microphone for answering any intercom messages, this radio has an ear piece for when I am away from the console during intermission etc.

Beside this I have a switched mic on the console for speaking with the band, and any announcments for the audience if needed.

Working on making a better solution where I can use the normal mic for the radio as well.
(will build it when I have time to do so *cough* )
 

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