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Disrupted Bartech signal

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#1 camrin petramale

camrin petramale


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Posted 23 March 2012 - 09:25 AM

This is geared towards Jim Bartell, but I wanted to post this instead of email to see if any other operators are having this issue with there BFD system. I primarily shoot in downtown Chicago where there are an over abundance of different frequencies, antennas, and goofy looking dishes. On occasion my heden motor begins to vibrate and then twitches. At times the twitching becomes quite frantic. Then the hand unit loses its signal and becomes useless for the shot. Sometimes it is just the hand unit that loses signal and I get the flashing red light on the BFD. Often times the problem can be fixed by turning off a few Iphones (not all just a few troublemakers) or by resetting/recalibrating the system. I find that producers get annoyed for the time wasted on resetting and recalibrating and also not being able to talk on their phone. On these occasions I often look to the sounds guys for direction. Though quiet and concealed in there little corner if they become frantic or fidgety I know something is up. Most their gear runs wirelessly and if my gear is having issues occasionally theirs is too. I have a little solitude knowing I am not the only one struggling.

Is there something I could do to strengthen the signal, or to get a better connection? Or is this issue even derived from frequency interference? Could it be generated from the BFD to motor connection? Maybe the communication between the two is disturbed.

Any input/ advice would be greatly appreciated.

Camrin Petramale
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#2 Mark Schlicher

Mark Schlicher

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 01:43 PM

I went through a similar (not identical) scenario recently that Jim was able to track down and fix. Here are some things to consider:

1. Old firmware. Some very old units have firmware susceptible to the problem you describe. Communication between TX and RX should be "all-or-nothing." Twitching could be a symptom of old firmware that has a less robust "handshaking" that gets confused by random RF interference instead of simply ignoring it as not being valid communication.

2. Transmitter CPU, RF module, or pot. Faults with any of these could create intermittent problems that mimic RF interference issues.

Jim will be able to sort it out, undoubtedly.
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#3 JimBartell


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Posted 26 March 2012 - 12:34 PM

If you are willing to live with a larger antenna there are 1/2 wave antennas available for the transmitter and receiver that greatly increase range. You can buy them from www.digikey.com and the part numbers are ANT-916-CW-HW-ND for the transmitter and ANT-916-CW-HWR-RPS-ND for the receiver. They triple the range if you use both. I would start with just the transmitter as increasing the reception might cause you to pick up more interference as well.

I would also open up the transmitter and make sure the CPU chip and RF module are fully seated in their sockets.

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#4 camrin petramale

camrin petramale


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Posted 03 April 2012 - 07:59 PM

Thanks for the advice. Much appreciated
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