# QUERY: Dante for Intercom

#### Jay Ashworth

##### Well-Known Member
I've been seeing a fair number, in various quarters, of people leveraging Dante hardware and networks to use them for comm, instead of (what appears to be more expensive) matrix intercoms from vendors like RTS. There are a number of advantages to doing this, from the standpoint of an A1 (as I see it as an A1 ), but the disadvantage is cost.

Someone whom I know from the broadcasting realm is in the manufacturing business these days, primarily making gear for radio stations (and to a lesser extent, TV), and just a passing question suggested that--if there's enough call to justify the investment--he might be able to come up with a product that is essentially an intercom belt/desk box, running Dante over PoE, at a pricepoint equal to or less than what a ClearCom beltbox goes for these days. That's what, almost 4 bills? (Yup: Sweetwater is getting $370 for a new RS-701) I would, myself, recommend designing such a thing with an A4M and an A5F (with the relevant mic and headset amps. PTT button and volume control(s)), an A3F (feeding the same mic pre, so you can use it as a standalone mic input), an A3M (for line out), and maybe even a 3.5mm cell headset jack, in addition to the ethernet/ethercon jack. Anyone got an opinion on this? Would you (or someone like you) buy this box for$300? $250?$200?

#### RonaldBeal

##### Well-Known Member
Clear Coms Helix, and GreenGo are both similar (albeit with propriety protocols and not Dante) to what you describe. both packs are around 1k each, IIRC. Both power off of PoE, GreenGo can operate stand alone, where CC needs at least one Helix base station, and can also run helix beltpacks on XLR3.

I'm sure a sub \$300 would do well, if it is reliable.

#### Jay Ashworth

##### Well-Known Member
So, as it turns out, I didn't watch *enough* of the video that put me back on this hunt, and Studio Technologies already has boxes that do this, about dollar for dollar with an RS-702. Nice.

#### themuzicman

##### Well-Known Member
Dante for Intercom is pretty widely used on Broadcast gigs. Most of my gigs these days are using Riedel Artist, internal to Riedel we are doing nothing but AES67 transmission, but we use Dante to interface 4WR with the trucks who typically have RTS Omneo stuff. The trucks will then deploy Studio Technologies 371A's to folks who aren't on RTS panels.

I think there are two issues at play - the price-point of the packs is only one issue. You still need an intelligent brain to create and route PL's. I guess in theory you could get something like an X32 and burn a console as an intercom brain. The packs themselves show up as a 2x2 Device, so you could run 16 drops off an X32 with a Dante Card and that would be pretty cost-effective compared to the current Intercom main-stations.

As far as all the features you are looking for in a single pack - I'm torn on wanting everything and wanting just the bare minimum in a pack and buying separate products for separate jobs. When it comes to manufacturing you'd be looking at what the largest buyers in the market want.

The large Broadcast buyers are just going to buy the variant that has exactly the type of headset connector that matches their ecosystem. I have a little box of 4-Pin to 5-Pin XLR adapters for the folks who bring their own headsets.

When it comes to a separate input and output, I think a Line-In and Line-Out as opposed to a separate Mic-In are best so you could tie it into an audio console, but at that point it's just a new product. For Line-Out, the folks that want their com in speakers we just double-up the Dante routing into their pack to a Focusrite RedNet and pull a line to them. A 3-pin Mic-In would be cool if you wanted to run a pack as an IFB interface without getting an announce box.

1/8" 3.5mm TRRS input would be nifty, but Bluetooth in Bolero has spoiled me and I want that on all my intercom.

#### Jay Ashworth

##### Well-Known Member
Dante for Intercom is pretty widely used on Broadcast gigs. Most of my gigs these days are using Riedel Artist, internal to Riedel we are doing nothing but AES67 transmission, but we use Dante to interface 4WR with the trucks who typically have RTS Omneo stuff. The trucks will then deploy Studio Technologies 371A's to folks who aren't on RTS panels.

I think there are two issues at play - the price-point of the packs is only one issue. You still need an intelligent brain to create and route PL's. I guess in theory you could get something like an X32 and burn a console as an intercom brain. The packs themselves show up as a 2x2 Device, so you could run 16 drops off an X32 with a Dante Card and that would be pretty cost-effective compared to the current Intercom main-stations.
I had in mind, in fact, using one of the rackmount X32's as a controller.

As far as all the features you are looking for in a single pack - I'm torn on wanting everything and wanting just the bare minimum in a pack and buying separate products for separate jobs. When it comes to manufacturing you'd be looking at what the largest buyers in the market want.

The large Broadcast buyers are just going to buy the variant that has exactly the type of headset connector that matches their ecosystem. I have a little box of 4-Pin to 5-Pin XLR adapters for the folks who bring their own headsets.

When it comes to a separate input and output, I think a Line-In and Line-Out as opposed to a separate Mic-In are best so you could tie it into an audio console, but at that point it's just a new product. For Line-Out, the folks that want their com in speakers we just double-up the Dante routing into their pack to a Focusrite RedNet and pull a line to them. A 3-pin Mic-In would be cool if you wanted to run a pack as an IFB interface without getting an announce box.
My inclination towards having All The Connectors is that it a) reduces the inventory you have to buy and carry some, and b) pushes the production quantities up and hence pricing down. And as you note, makes it a good announcer box too.

The urgency drops a bit knowing ST has the box I was thinking about, even if they don't have quite the configuration I had in mind...

#### Ben Stiegler

##### Well-Known Member
Massive long term shortage of Dante chips from Audibate means you won’t be getting these anytime soon tho. People are waiting a year for a console