Communications specialist Clear-Com has aided the Hope Community Church in Raleigh, North Carolina by bringing freedom and flexibility to their communication systems. The church has installed Clear-Com’s Tempest2400 digital wireless intercom to manage its weekly services and children’s productions.
Tempest2400 allows the church’s audio, lighting and video departments to coordinate critical production cues. Previously, the church depended solely on a wired partyline intercom system. Though reliable, the system inhibited the movement of the cameramen, technical director and stagehands. This prompted the church to choose a wireless intercom. The system would need to address the RF interference issue caused by the church’s 250 laptops, wireless microphones and consumer wireless devices. The Tempest2400’s wireless system offered freedom and flexibility as well as interference-free communications even in Wi-Fi crowded environments.
“Part of my role is to oversee all the production elements taking place during the service. For me to not be tied to one place by a piece of cable is definitely a win,” Bob Blair, technical director for Hope Community Church, said. “Also, we have two camera operators moving on stage, so a wireless intercom made sense to minimise the amount of cables that those guys were tethered to there. Tempest gives us the reliability we need for cues to be heard while providing use with the option to easily and effortlessly change the setup when needed.”
A two-channel Tempest2400 master BaseStation is installed at the front-of-house position, with one channel feeding a submaster BaseStation in the video control room. The system has five beltpacks, including two for the cameramen working on stage, one for the video director, one for the technical director, and one for the stage manager. The Tempest2400 has been integrated with the existing four-channel partyline system to aid communications with the rest of the technical crew.
In addition to the four weekly services, Hope Community Church also hosts kids-oriented sitcom productions every month. The Tempest system is valuable as it enables communication and mobility for the stagehands.
Blair explained: “Our kid’s productions demand one or two stagehands in addition to the one or two camera operators on stage. Previously, the stagehands had wired intercoms and would take off their wired beltpacks to move set pieces. That would leave us to run the rest of the production elements without knowing that was going on while we were waiting for them to run back to their wired beltpacks and headsets. Now, the stagehands run on stage with their Tempest BeltStations to do what they have to do and run back, and we can stay informed the whole time.”
Tempess2400, which operates in the 80 MHz of spectrum in the 2.4 GHz ISM frequency band, does not interfere with traditional wireless microphone or in-ear monitor systems operating in the UHF band. Its Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) technology means that the Tempest system does not compete with signals from other 2.4 GHz wireless devices, minimising frequency coordination and enabling flawless performance. With state-of-the-art Redundant Data Transmit (2xTX), which sends each packet of audio date twice on different frequencies, the system ensures uninterrupted audio communications.
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