May 31, 2011

Historical Fact: Camel Races Need Clear-Com

Photo Credit:

Over 15 years ago, Emil Matignon, one of Clear-Com’s application engineers, had the opportunity to advise a camel race venue in Australia on how to utilize Clear-Com’s RS-501 beltpacks, CC-85 headsets, and PS-232 power supply.  

When the camels cross the finish line, the Finish Line Spectator needs to immediately communicate to the Public Address Announcer the winner of the camel race. However, the PA Announcer is among the noisy crowd and away from the Finish Line Spectator who is near the race track. To eliminate the communication gap between the two individuals, the camel race venue adopted Clear-Com’s RS-501 beltpacks, CC-85 headsets, and PS-232 power supply. They were utilized at the area near the race track as well as where the PA Announcer was situated. This allowed the Finish Line Spectator to clearly communicate to the PA Announcer the camel that won that race. The PA Announcer can then instantly broadcast the results to the crowd.

Not only was the PA Announcer, Finish Line Spectator, and crowd happy to immediately hear accurate results, but the winning camel and its rider was pleased to get the recognition that they deserved.

May 27, 2011

Wrap-Up of May Tradeshows

Broadway Sound Master Classes (May 20th - May 21st) 
The Broadway Sound Master Classes’ (BSMC) sessions thoroughly explored how the top designers and audio experts create and develop Broadway plays and musicals from start to finish. The BSMC was held in New York.
Bob Boster, Clear-Com’s Vice President of Worldwide Sales, and Vinnie Macri, Clear-Com’s Training and Certification Manager, exhibited the Tempest900 and the future product, HelixNet, at the BSMC. The show had an upbeat vibe with engaged consultants, sound designers, system integrators and more. We were excited that people took such a great interest in our HME DX series and HelixNet.

>>Click here to view the LiveDesign featured video of Vinnie Macri explaining the Tempest900 and HelixNet

Central PA Technology Showcase (May 11th)
The Lerro Corporation held the Central PA Technology Showcase in Harrisburg, PA for attendees to stay on top of the latest technologies from leading manufacturers.

Eastern Region Community Media Conference (May 5th - 6th)
The Jersey Access Group (JAG) and the Alliance for Community Media (ACM) Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Regions presented the Eastern Region Community Media Conference (ERCMC) in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Attendees were able to learn, share, and exchange ideas on producing and disseminating community media.

Clear-Com’s intercom systems are one type of technology that enables community media to exist and thrive. James Schaller, one of Clear-Com’s Regional Sales Managers, used his expertise to educate conference attendees on the Tempest2400, Clear-Com’s Encore, and HME DX series.

23rd Annual Missouri Emergency Management Conference (May 3rd - 6th)
The 23rd Annual Missouri Emergency Management Conference (MEMC) was held from May 3rd- 6th at Branson, MO for those responsible for emergency management. The conference addressed topics including emergency preparedness, response, and recovery along with technology solutions for those situations.

At our exhibit, Michael Rucker, a Regional Sales Manager with Clear-Com, shared about the applications of the Eclipse Matrix, HME DX Series, Tempest2400, Clear-Com Encore, and more.

For more information on Clear-Com and Clear-Com products, visit

May 24, 2011

Want to Win a FREE Clear-Com Headset?

Clear-Com is going to be exhibiting at the InfoComm show in Orlando!

Booth #349
June 15- 17th, 2011
Orange County Convention Center
Orlando, FL

So, your wondering if there's a catch. Well, a little one, but it's totally worth it. I promise!

Step 1: Look for this postcard in the mail:

Step 2: Watch one of three short videos. It's kind of like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure!

Step 3: Drop the postcard in the bowl and you'll be entered to win! It's that easy.

Winners will be selected every hour during the show. And if you don't want to stick around, don't worry.....we'll mail your free headset to you!

Don't have a pass to get in? No worries! We've got the secret code:
We look forward to seeing you there!

May 23, 2011

Occurance of Intermodulation

Intermodulation sounds fancy, huh? It's actually a pretty simple concept. See for yourself.....

Source: Wikipedia
Still not clear? Let me explain.....

In the wireless audio industry, two types of intermodulation interference exist: transmitter produced and receiver produced.

Transmitter produced intermodulation is caused by one or more transmitters that generate a signal in the output circuitry of another transmitter. The presence of additional frequencies (intermodulation products) are either the sum or the difference of the transmitted frequencies. The intermodulation product frequency is then re-transmitted from the transmitter's antenna.

Receiver produced intermodulation interference is the result of two or more transmitter signals mixing in a receiver's amplifier. The resultant intermodulation product frequency can interfere with other signals (of similar frequencies) that pass through the receiver. As a result, the intermodulation distortion can degrade the quality of the desired signal being amplified.

Of all the harmonics and intermodulation components produced, we are often only interested in those which fall in the pass band of our equipment and, in the case of the intermodulation components, those which happen to be closest to our fundamental frequencies. The third order components are the closest and also usually the highest in amplitude followed by the 5th order.

Because of this, they are usually the products of most concern and are those which are commonly measured by manufacturers of wireless audio systems to determine where intermodulation might occur in multi-systems and are defined in transmitter and receiver performance specifications.

May 13, 2011

Knowing How to Talk, Listen....or BOTH!

You know how to Talk. You know how to Listen. But did you know you can Talk AND Listen at the same time? Here's a brief explanation of the various Talk and Listen button options you might encounter along the way.....

MOMENTARY: by pressing and holding the button for the duration of time it is engaged, you "open" the port. When you let go, you "close" the port.

LATCHING: by tapping the button, you "open" the port and "close" the port by tapping the button again.

TALK: when you push the button, you "talk" to the system, but there is no "listen" function.

LISTEN: when you push the button, you can "listen" to the port, but there is no "talk" function.

TALK & LISTEN: when you push the button, you can both "talk" and "listen" to that port, but when you unlatch - or take your finger off the button, both "talk" and "listen" stops working.

DUAL TALK & LISTEN: by tapping the button, you latch the "listen" so that it stays on. To "talk" to the port, you press the button. To stop talking, let go of the button. You can't latch both the "talk" and the "listen" in this mode, only the "listen".

TALK WITH A FORCED LISTEN: The "listen" is always on. To turn it down or off, rotate the volume knob counterclockwise. You can either latch or push-to-talk (momentary) the "talk" function. This is the most common scheme used for Partylines, as it emulated the two-wire environment.

May 5, 2011

All About Ferrite Chokes

You might have noticed that some of the cables connecting the peripherals to a personal computer have some strange looking bumps.....

So, what exactly are these things and what do they have to do with intercom?

These "bumps" are called chokes, or inductors with high reactants in certain frequencies of the electromagnetic spectrum. In this particular application, they are mostly referred to as ferrite chokes. They consist of a cylinder made of a semi-magnetic material called ferrite that is slipped over the cable during the fabrication process. Ferrite is generally brittle and can easily break when subjected to physical shock. Because of this, and for basic aesthetic reasons, the cylinder is usually encased in plastic.

Ferrite chokes have the role of reducing electromagnetic interferences produced or received by a particular electronic device. During operation they depend on a property known as self-inductance; i.e. isolating the alternating component of the electric current while direct current signals are allowed to pass through the cable without restrictions.

As you probably know already, during operation, a personal computer generates several electrical signals with frequencies ranging for 300 to 1,000MHz. These can easily produce radio signals at the respective frequency, which could affect your intercom or whatever is attached to that particular wire (remote transceiver, antenna, etc.). Because the different cables connecting to the computer basically act as antennae, the produced radio waves could potentially be broadcast into the surrounding medium, where they interfere with the correct operation of other electronic devices.

Ferrite chokes help prevent this issue. As an alternating component passes through the cable, it will eventually encounter the choke, where the magnetic field produced by the flowing current induces a magnetic flux in the ferrite material. This, in turn, generates an electromagnetic force opposite to the charge of the current. This basically "chokes" the radio frequencies and prevents them form escaping into the medium.

May 3, 2011

Cool Interactive Map from the FCC

If you use wireless intercom, then you're probably aware that the FCC has reallocated the use of the 698 - 806 MHz frequency band. Meaning that you can no longer use wireless mics or wireless intercoms between those frequencies.

To better help guide users in understanding the current frequency allocations, the FCC has created some very cool interactive tools. Their Spectrum Dashboard allows you to find out how the spectrum is being used, who owns licenses around the country and what spectrum is available by county.

May 2, 2011

Time-Division Multiplexing.....or better known as TDM

You may have heard the term TDM, but what exactly is it?

Time-Division Multiplexing (TDM) is a technique of putting multiple data streams in a single signal by separating the signal into many segments, each having a very short duration. Each individual data stream is reassembled at the receiving end based on the timing.

The circuit that combines signals at the source (transmitting) end of a communications link is known as a multiplexer. It accepts the input from each individual end user, breaks each signal into segments and assigns the segments to the composite signal in a rotating, repeating sequence. The composite signal thus contains data from multiple senders. At the other end of the long-distance cable, the individual signals are separated out by means of a circuit, called a demultiplexer, and routed to the proper end users. A two-way communications circuit requires a multiplexer/demultiplexer at each end of the long-distance, high-bandwidth cable.

If many signals must be sent along a single long-distance line, careful engineering is required to ensure that the system will perform properly. An asset of TDM is its flexibility. The scheme allows for variation in the number of signals being sent along the line and constantly adjusts the time intervals to make optimum use of the available bandwidth.

It looks something like this: