This is a bit of an ongoing project, but started having thoughts about it after working with an Audio Ltd 2040 system while assisting a production sound mixer on a drama job. We were having serious range issues throughout the job, the cause of which was possibly something attached to the camera. The only way we could get round this was to move the receivers closer in ‘remote boxes’.
These were an RK3 rack in a box with a battery and antenna inputs and outputs, and we rolled out either individual XLR cables or a multicore to connect to the main trolley. As the receivers themselves are very expensive, it’s not really practical having duplicates doing the same thing, so it was a case they could quickly be pulled out of the RK6 and slotted straight into the remote boxes.
However it’s a case that it’s not possible to do this with other receivers, such as the Wisycom MCR42, which I use. There is, however quite a common standard for camera receivers. Pretty much all slot in receivers have an option for a universal ‘Panasonic’ standard 25 pin connector on the base, which will output 2 channels of balanced audio.
So, I’ve now got 25 pin bases for all my receivers. There are a number of options for antenna, audio and power distribution, which have 25 pin options. I already owned the Audio Ltd EN2 distribution rack (which still isn’t up on their website, it’s about £550 +VAT) but got an additional 25pin base. I was scatching my head and looking at getting something made up so the receivers slotted in, but realised the camera mount brackets had holes in the same place as the mounting points on the audio CX2 receivers. Audio do a base for the receivers with a bar with mounting points on. So just screwed on the brackets and now have slots. A disadvantage with the 25 pin section on the audio ltd distributor is that it adds a bit too much weight, there’s a steel plate along the back and I’m not sure it really needs to be there. When I get some time, I may drill out sections from that
The second mounting solution I have is a Lectrosonics Octopack. Here it’s a case that the screw holes are in different places to those on the wisycom receivers, however Richard Meredith’s Audio Dept made a run of very purple mounting flanges, so the receivers sit in the slots properly and can also be screwed in so won’t come loose:
It’s not just wisycom which will work, almost any ‘slot in’ camera receiver should have a 25pin option (except Sony, who don’t like to play with others). Other examples are Lectrosonics SRb, Audio Ltd CX2. There’s also another distribution system, the PSC Six Pack. There’s another mod to the wisycom camera plates (see the picture further up on the Audio Ltd distributor) where grooves have been drilled in the camera bracket so the cables can fit.
You can also ‘mix and match’ different brands of receiver, however they don’t always orient the connector the same way round. Here’s a Sennheiser EK3041 (it’s actually on, but the display’s nowhere near as bright as the wisycom):
They also work on their own without antennas, here’s a quick and light cable for the back with power and audio connections: