Microphones Repairing UniPak Terminations?

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by etek, Mar 10, 2017.

  1. etek

    etek New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Earth
    Long time lurker, first time poster..

    I am doing sound for high-school theatre and have been for five years. The acoustics in the auditorium are horrific, so mics are needed for essentially everyone on stage.
    It is very hard to get a tech budget at all, let alone one that is suitable for our needs. (after all putting a motorized elevator in the set for one scene is definitely worth it instead of being able to reliably hear the cast...)

    Optimally we should be using 12 wireless microphones. We are currently down to 2 fully-working and 8 that work somewhat if we use lots of masking tape to force the UniPak into the transmitter. (we are using all Audio-Technica T310s unfortunately...)

    I am wondering if it is possible to repair the termination, since that is the common issue these things have, and some resources on how? That way we don't have to waste otherwise working microphones... These mics would otherwise be going to the garbage so I don't feel bad sacrificing one...

    (not sure if "termination" is the right word, I think it is..? I mean this type of connection, but the other end is attached to a microphone. the whole mic works, just when you wobble the termination such as when walking across stage it pops, etc)
    [​IMG]
     
  2. TNasty

    TNasty Active Member

    Messages:
    206
    Likes Received:
    30
    Occupation:
    Technical Adviser. Aux Police Officer.
    Location:
    New Jersey
    We've got about 30 of that exact microphone. I know you can get replacement mics for about $100, (we've been pretty loyal to Acacia Audio for them) but I don't know if you're able to get just the cable (even though the mics we have can detach from their wire to plug into a different wire).

    The connector on the transmitter is perfectly fine. The cable usually breaks right at the connector from being bent so much.
     
  3. FMEng

    FMEng Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    2,048
    Likes Received:
    1,003
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    The connector comes apart, so you can cut the bad inch off the cable and re-terminate it. It's been too long since I did one of those, so I don't recall the details well. I believe the connector is crimped together under the strain relief. The connections and wires are very small, so it takes a skinny pencil iron tip and good skills.

    Prevent further cable damage by not wrapping it around the belt pack for storage.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  4. microstar

    microstar Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    775
    Likes Received:
    452
    Occupation:
    Lighting/Sound/Video installation/repair
    Location:
    Lawton, OK
    This is a Hirose 4-pin connector. You have to pull off the rubber boot, then attach the connector as usual to the bodypack. Older versions have a tiny set-screw that must be removed before unscrewing the rear of the connector; newer versions just unscrew. Unfortunately these connectors also become worn with use and stop mating securely with the bodypack jack.
    They are relatively expensive at over $13 each from DigiKey or other suppliers.
    DigiKey part number HR1584-ND @ $13.49
     
    Van likes this.
  5. jonliles

    jonliles Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    723
    Likes Received:
    141
    Location:
    Marietta, Georgia, United States
    My soldering skills are abysmal. My eyesight for those tiny connections is worse. I send all of my mic elements with 4 pin Hi-rose connectors back to the manufacturer for repair. The charge me 20 to 25 each for the repair. After every show, I expect to have 3 to 4 to need repair. I'm willing to bet that they would also repair yours as long as you still have the connector.

    This is not a plug, but what works well for me. I go to Microphone Madness.
    http://www.microphonemadness.com/
     
  6. etek

    etek New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Earth
    I haven't taken anything apart yet. Do you have a contact for the manufacturer? Is it just Audio Technica, or do I have to contact Hirose?

    We didn't buy our mics from Microphone Madness, don't know if they'd still repair them? Ours are Acacia for some and Audio Technica brand for others.

    $20 isn't bad, certainly beats hundreds of dollars each for new mics...
     
  7. KBToys82

    KBToys82 Active Member

    Messages:
    177
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    NJ
    I am currently in the process of renting 16 mics from our show after a few years of 12. By far, the only reliable sets I've dealt with are the Audio-Technica's 3000 that we rent, that's after also getting a hodgepodge of Shure Mics of various types and frequencies, and Samson that I'm always fighting with. If I do have an issue with a AT, it's because of the unipak connection. The others, mic issues, the removable cable connection under the ear. It's driving me crazy.

    I am debating buying a whole bunch of mics in the future and had previous heard of bodymics.com from the website, but will have to look at Microphone Madness. One thing that appeals to me about Body Mics is the drastic price as compared to others, but I'm obviously concerned about the stability/quality because of the price.
     
  8. jonliles

    jonliles Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    723
    Likes Received:
    141
    Location:
    Marietta, Georgia, United States
    Look at the link I included. That's who I use. Turn-around is about a week.

     
  9. jonliles

    jonliles Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    723
    Likes Received:
    141
    Location:
    Marietta, Georgia, United States
    I've had good luck with the ATW-3000s when I use the powered antenna's with it. I have 12 mics (8 in C, 2 in D, 2 in I). Each eats of DA-49s was an additional $400, but worth it. I did combine antennas into 1 set of paddles.
     
  10. TNasty

    TNasty Active Member

    Messages:
    206
    Likes Received:
    30
    Occupation:
    Technical Adviser. Aux Police Officer.
    Location:
    New Jersey
    My transmitters are all fitted Acacia brand microphones, and I find that they break almost all the time (on both 4 pin AT and 3 pin SHURE models). In the week of tech and opening night we just had, we broke a total of about 5 of them, which clearly shouldn't be happening. Not to shift the thread's focus a little (although it does apply), but do any of you know how to keep this from happening? My supervisor just had a chat with my crew last evening about the issue.
     
  11. FMEng

    FMEng Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    2,048
    Likes Received:
    1,003
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    Don't wrap the mic cords. Every time someone wraps the cord tightly around the beltpack, it kinks the cable right where it exits the strain relief on the connector. The tiny, copper strands break there from the repeated stress. I have dissected broken cables and found the braided shield completely severed. Unplug the mic from the beltpack before storage. Coil the cables loosely.
     
    RonHebbard and TNasty like this.
  12. TNasty

    TNasty Active Member

    Messages:
    206
    Likes Received:
    30
    Occupation:
    Technical Adviser. Aux Police Officer.
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Thanks for that. It's always been an endeavor to keep actors and stage crew from wrapping the wires. Perhaps wrapping a super light spring around the cable might help (sorta like the cheap iPhone cable and pen spring trick).

    Regarding loose coiling, do you have any suggestions for keeping it organized? We keep all the black boxes the mics come in, and use those for storage, but they seem a tad small for my preference of coil size/bend radius.
     
  13. KBToys82

    KBToys82 Active Member

    Messages:
    177
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    NJ
    Every single issue I've had with a microphone for this show, has come from a non-Audio Technica microphone. Of course, this is after me explicitly asking for the entire rental system to be AT.

    I'm really considering starting to purchase 4 at a time over the next several years, but obviously with the uncertainty of the frequency auction, I'm nervous. I know I band is available, but I've noticed AT doesn't offer a narrow-band UHF distribution system and also no spare transmitters for that frequency range.
     
  14. jonliles

    jonliles Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    723
    Likes Received:
    141
    Location:
    Marietta, Georgia, United States
    Look at C band. it is less than 600Hz. Also, they do make narrow range distribution antennas, they are just more expensive.

    FWIW, all wireless mics have some sort of problems. Just got to pick the devil you know.
     
  15. KBToys82

    KBToys82 Active Member

    Messages:
    177
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    NJ
    I was looking at the C band, and definitely would love to go that route, however I thought the future auction may go into the 500 range. I just got the go ahead to by 8 mics so now I really need to do a lot of research.
     
  16. TNasty

    TNasty Active Member

    Messages:
    206
    Likes Received:
    30
    Occupation:
    Technical Adviser. Aux Police Officer.
    Location:
    New Jersey
    I've been running 24 AT T300's, T310's, and T310b's in the I band. They seem to be pretty nice, the only issues we've had with the transmitters would be an occasional split second signal drop. I guess the school being a massive Faraday cage is a double edged sword here.

    It's certainly interesting managing that many microphones, to say the least.
     
  17. jonliles

    jonliles Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    723
    Likes Received:
    141
    Location:
    Marietta, Georgia, United States
    Band C 541.500 – 566.375 MHz
    Band D 655.500 – 680.375 MHz (I'd avoid this band)
    Band I 482.000 – 507.000 MHz
    Band U 606.000 – 631.000 MHz (I'd avoid this band)
     
  18. FMEng

    FMEng Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    2,048
    Likes Received:
    1,003
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    If the problems
    The auction is only for channel 38 and up, starting at 608 MHz. The problem is the stations displaced by the auction can land on any empty channel from 14-36. It is anyone's guess which channels will remain empty once the dust settles.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  19. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    3,356
    Likes Received:
    1,611
    Occupation:
    Consultant
    Location:
    Sarasota, FL
    Don't wrap the wire around the transmitter like these guys are, but one of these "over the door"-style organizers work well if you do a loose coil on the wire and drop it into a slot with the transmitter. Can probably find them somewhere near the tote bin aisle in a Target or Walmart. Some venues like to hang them backstage near the dressing rooms. Some sounds ops before hanging them from a tall boom stand at the mix position. I recommend putting console tape over each slot with a label for each of the cast members. If security is a concern, it's also nice and easy at the end of the night to put these into locked storage in the booth so things don't wander overnight.

    Radio_mics.jpg

    As for storage between productions, I prefer to separate transmitters from mic elements, strip the batteries, and return all of the parts and pieces to the soft pouches they were sold with.
     
    TNasty likes this.
  20. jonliles

    jonliles Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    723
    Likes Received:
    141
    Location:
    Marietta, Georgia, United States
    Paraphrased:
    Funny, I just purchased a similar shoe rack for that exact purpose from Target. The pockets are deep enough for handhelds or body packs. Also a couple of large pockets at the bottom for spare elements and battery storage for those just in case moments. Since this is my personal gear, I store the body packs in there with a little desiccant pack in each one. It's hanging up at home in my equipment room.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice