Multichannel Clearcom station

Jay Ashworth

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Joined
Feb 7, 2014
Location
St Pete FL USA
I need this, but not a base, and not for RTS (I've found this, which is RTS, and the MS-802's which are Clearcom, but not a remote, and too big).


Any suggestions, PL people?

I want to be able to replace the single channel beltboxes in my main control room with 4 channel (or at least 2) where more than one channel can be in receive at a time, individual talk buttons, and individual receive volume controls.

Is there such a device for Clearcom that a) isn't rack mount and b) doesn't supply power?

It's not my house; switching to RTS is a non-starter...
 

Jay Ashworth

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Joined
Feb 7, 2014
Location
St Pete FL USA
It appears, on further inspection of eBay, that what I'm looking for is either an RM 440 or an RM 704, and it's not clear to me yet what the difference is between those. I noticed that the used pricing on the 704 is about 5 times what it is on the 440.

Does anybody know if those were available in a smaller package, similar to the one I Illustrated up above?
 

themuzicman

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Apr 27, 2007
Location
On Tour
It appears, on further inspection of eBay, that what I'm looking for is either an RM-440 or an RM-704, and it's not clear to me yet what the difference is between those.
Clearcom lists the entire analog product line-up here.

They are both just standard Clearcom 4-channel Remote Stations. The RM-440 is the older model, the RM-704 is the newer model (hence the price difference). The 700 series stuff has some digital bells and whistles on the inside, but at the end of the day it does the usual analog Clearcom thing and it's all interoperable. If you're just looking for more channels the 440 will do the job. You can also take the rack ears off the RM-440 but cannot on the RM-704, so that buys you a little bit of the space you were looking for. You mentioned the MS-802, which is the industrial version of the MS-702 2-channel main station. They also make the 2-channel RM-702 remote station which would be what you'd want (old version is the RM-220).

Does anybody know if those were available in a smaller package, similar to the one I Illustrated up above?
There aren't, the smallest you're going to get is the RS-702 2-channel+PGM beltpack
 

Jay Ashworth

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Feb 7, 2014
Location
St Pete FL USA
Cool, thanks. I suspected that was going to turn out to be the answer. And yes the 440s are cheap enough I can just buy one of my own if I can't talk the boss in to it. :)

We have two channel freespeak II in our main theater, and another channel of analog in our black box, and Nemo cables running from one side to the other - and it is occasionally useful to be able to connect the two ... plus a fourth channel that I use for coordinating video shoots in the main theater... I want to be able to hear the production loop without getting in their way by calling camera shots.

Thanks, Muze.
 

Jay Ashworth

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Joined
Feb 7, 2014
Location
St Pete FL USA
Actually - 1 follow-up question: if I got the MS 440, is it possible to have it power some of the channels and be a remote station on other channels powered from a different place? Is there actually an MS 440, or just an MS 704?
 

themuzicman

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Joined
Apr 27, 2007
Location
On Tour
Actually - 1 follow-up question: if I got the MS 440, is it possible to have it power some of the channels and be a remote station on other channels powered from a different place?
No, but you can do dumb and dangerous things with an RM-440, 1-channel Clearcom power supplies, and XLR Pin 2 Drops.

Edit: I should probably mention the Clearcom MT-701 (MT-1 is the old version) is for this exact use case, bridging two independent Clearcom systems together. I've never purposefully used an MS-440 to bridge systems together like you describe, but I guess it isn't that different from when I need to backfeed intercom into house systems on tour, minus actually needing to use both sides of the intercom system - the MT-701 is the tool to do what you're looking for. Usually I don't use one and just go pull the power from a house intercom system and back-feed power from intercom system. Theoretically if you didn't need calling or anything fancy you could just use a Pin 2 drop without going out and buying the isolation box, I think I've done this? It seems like something I would have done on tour at least a handful of times and not thought twice about it.

Is there actually an MS 440, or just an MS 704?
MS-400 (Oldest) and the MS-440/SB-440 (Old) are the vintage Clearcom base station options. I'm sure there are others - decades of constant plain beige boxes, it all runs together. It's why the new stuff is blue.
 
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Jay Ashworth

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Joined
Feb 7, 2014
Location
St Pete FL USA
No, but you can do dumb and dangerous things with an RM-440, 1-channel Clearcom power supplies, and XLR Pin 2 Drops.

Edit: I should probably mention the Clearcom MT-701 (MT-1 is the old version) is for this exact use case, bridging two independent Clearcom systems together. I've never purposefully used an MS-440 to bridge systems together like you describe, but I guess it isn't that different from when I need to backfeed intercom into house systems on tour, minus actually needing to use both sides of the intercom system - the MT-701 is the tool to do what you're looking for. Usually I don't use one and just go pull the power from a house intercom system and back-feed power from intercom system. Theoretically if you didn't need calling or anything fancy you could just use a Pin 2 drop without going out and buying the isolation box, I think I've done this? It seems like something I would have done on tour at least a handful of times and not thought twice about it.



MS-400 (Oldest) and the MS-440/SB-440 (Old) are the vintage Clearcom base station options. I'm sure there are others - decades of constant plain beige boxes, it all runs together. It's why the new stuff is blue.
Okay, right, I remember those couplers. But the couplers themselves are a couple hundred bucks, which seemed insane - when evaluating it with my own wallet in mind. :)
 

RonHebbard

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Jun 12, 2004
Location
Waterdown, ON, CA
Cool, thanks. I suspected that was going to turn out to be the answer. And yes the 440s are cheap enough I can just buy one of my own if I can't talk the boss in to it. :)

We have two channel Freespeak II in our main theater, and another channel of analog in our black box, and Nemo cables running from one side to the other - and it is occasionally useful to be able to connect the two ... plus a fourth channel that I use for coordinating video shoots in the main theater... I want to be able to hear the production loop without getting in their way by calling camera shots.

Thanks, Muze.
@Jay Ashworth Please educate an illiterate cave dweller; what are the: "Nemo cables running from one side to the other" to which you refer?
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 

Jay Ashworth

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Joined
Feb 7, 2014
Location
St Pete FL USA
NEMO is a term from 50s television, and/or radio, whose etymology is unclear... the most believable story is that it's an acronym from Not Emanating from the Main Office -- though that doesn't really explain what they do.

Nemo circuits were just analog audio circuits that were routed all around your building, appearing on every patch panel, so that you could, when needed, get a signal from anywhere, to anywhere else.

We did the RNC when it was in Tampa, and in prep for that (I think the story goes) we had 4 Nemos laid in from our Mainstage to our Blackbox, in case we needed to tie the two rooms together. When Nemos are not landed on a patch panel, I gather, it's common to put a male and a female on the same plate, tied in parallel, so you don't need turnarounds regardless of what plug you have handy. It's a stretch; I just like the term.
 

RonHebbard

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Premium Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2004
Location
Waterdown, ON, CA
NEMO is a term from 50s television, and/or radio, whose etymology is unclear... the most believable story is that it's an acronym from Not Emanating from the Main Office -- though that doesn't really explain what they do.

Nemo circuits were just analog audio circuits that were routed all around your building, appearing on every patch panel, so that you could, when needed, get a signal from anywhere, to anywhere else.

We did the RNC when it was in Tampa, and in prep for that (I think the story goes) we had 4 Nemos laid in from our Mainstage to our Blackbox, in case we needed to tie the two rooms together. When Nemos are not landed on a patch panel, I gather, it's common to put a male and a female on the same plate, tied in parallel, so you don't need turnarounds regardless of what plug you have handy. It's a stretch; I just like the term.
Understood / comprehended.
During my Radio Daze, 1964 through 1977 inclusive, I worked in a station's original studios, eventually rose to 2nd in charge of its 6 tower AM TX site's maintenance (Especially when the Chief Eng du jour was on vacation) and had a hand in fabricating / wiring and connectorizing three new main studio locations as leases expired / owners changed / more affordable OR more prestigious locations were desired dependent upon the whims of the three new owners within the space of my 13 years.

I never heard your acronym, perhaps it never escaped lil' Donnie's walls?

Decades later, while assisting a friend of several decades, I found myself installing (To Spec') clusters of Female / Male tie lines on bulkheads throughout at least three new theatres being erected from undisturbed soil / on up and terminated as 12 vertical pairs across each 2 RU basement / or Main Booth rack panel (12 per panel, room for engraved labels and fat fingers).

The 1st time we did this, the consultants assumed we'd mount traditional connectors then laboriously solder / terminate them on site in / during ugly, dirty, muddy, wet, poorly illuminated, construction site conditions.

My clever friend chose the following method:
He designed / had fabricated small, narrow, double-sided PC boards; 1 board per parallel connected pair (Double-sided to facilitate pins 1 & 2 being on opposite sides, left to right, when mounted above each other).

He also designed / had fabricated 2 RU, black, flanged panels each with six rows of PRECISELY located (Laser cut) holes and appropriate laser engraved labeling filled with white enamel [Six rows, two for connectors + 4 for mounting].
The connectors he chose were Neutriks designed to have their mounting flanges secured to a panel and their inserts secured within their flanges by rotating a tiny Allen-drive cam (housed within each insert) 90 degrees to securely capture / lock it within a small slot within each mounting flange. The inserts were designed specifically to be mounted / secured / (Wave) soldered in place on PC boards.

In our shop we used black, flat head / Allen drive 4-40 bolts (Machine screws if you prefer) to secure the housings to internally, through-threaded, hexagonal standoffs [ Nut driver on the back / Allen driver on the front; quick, easy, done deal]. The panels were individually wrapped in bubble wrap for protection then taken to the job site over the course of several months as needed.
The back of each double-sided PC board had a 3 pole terminal block with individual holes to receive (non-tinned) conductors and secure them via Allen drive set-screws bearing down on captive metal pinch plates.

On site: Armed with only wire strippers, Teflon sleeves for shields, Hellerman sleeves overall, Ty-wraps and a trusty Ty-wrap gun; termination was quick / painless with the cables dressed and secured to narrow lacing rails pre-mounted on stand off in our shop prior to transporting to the site.

ALL of the above worked SO well for at least three theatres.
The fourth theatre was spec'd by a Chicago based consultant who insisted on populating each 2 RU panel with 16 parallel connected female / male pairs. The gentleman was bound and determined to educate us poor Eskimos and refused to accept any / all attempts to communicate / suggest populating each 2 RU panel with 12, rather than 16, pairs of parallel connected female / males.

The fourth theatre was "interesting". Many field bulkheads were spec'd with 6 tie lines each.
Labelling two groups of six would have been OH so convenient / simple / easy for the end-users to read / comprehend.
Splitting his 3rd group of six across two of his 16 per 2 RU panels was ( Anal, asinine, infuriating, silly) somewhat frustrating requiring re-drafting, resulting in less space for labelling, smaller fonts, less room for fat fingers, yada, yada.

We poor ignorant and unschooled northerners learned SO much from the fine Chicago based gentleman. Forgive me for saying / typing this: Sometimes we learn how to do something; sometimes we learn how NOT to do something.
All learning experiences are to be appreciated. As @TimMc would put it: I relinquish the lectern / Rant Off.

Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 
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