Headset Comms Wireless
Posted 03 February 2011 - 02:22 PM
Anybody got a solution for a low cost headset system. Need to have about 6 people connected and cabling would be a nightmare while on tour.
Got about £600 - £800 to spend so cannot afford canford prices.
any ideas would be greatful
Thanks in advance
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Posted 03 February 2011 - 05:08 PM
£800 won't get you much other than maybe 5-6 quality(ish) PMR446 radios and headsets. Half-duplex, push-to-talk, only one party talking at a time.
I've always thought something using DECT handsets with headset sockets and a passive phone bus aught to be eminently bodgeable. I don't know how well it would work in practice, though. My one attempt to build/use such a system indicated that handset-to-handset comms would be fine but interfacing to our tecpro ring proved quite problematic. The AGC on the headset sockets on the cheap dect handsets meant that the system was nearly unusable on a stage with at least 1 other tecpro headset plugged in. You either got feedback or the mic levels for the handsets were much too low. It was also very easy to miss calls because there was no signaling capability to the handsets and you could 'hang up' accidentally so you wouldn't hear a call. Maybe something can be built out of dect baby monitors by the truly intrepid.
How long is your tour for? Have you considered hiring? The budget migt get you a month's hire of a four-way dectcomm system.
I'd be amazed if there was already a commercial solution for this available that was in the required price range.
Posted 03 February 2011 - 09:17 PM
I've also tried to bodge something with DECT phones - worked quite well actually, but no success in interfacing it with the tecpro ring :(
Posted 04 February 2011 - 09:21 AM
Thanks for the replies. I know budget is low and having done a bit more research as well I think the PMR446 radios on PTT/VOX may well be the answer as we do not have to talk to much during the performance itís mainly preshow and the ASM cuing everyone.
I do like the DECT phone idea and the WiFi connection for VoIP idea from Russ83, will come back if I have any success on these as stand alone systems.
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Posted 04 February 2011 - 09:36 AM
The only one I've found that's even vaguely decent is Bria for iPhone...
VoIP is (imho) slightly too laggy for a show comms system although that said I've never tried it using a local server... if it did work then yes, you could build a small SIP server into something small like a "plug computer" or small form-factor PC and have a load of smartphones register to it ... Might actually try it sometime - it's far from ideal but a fun experiment
There was a couple of iPhone/Android apps a while ago that did some sort of Peer-to-peer VoIP which allowed you to call other people on the same WiFi network although I'd say once you got above 3 or 4 devices you probably need a central server - peer to peer conferencing of 5 or 6 voice calls is maybe asking a little too much of a phone ; )