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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Whip It Good

This IFB antenna now sits atop the vehicle
I do a lot of car-to-car stuff for Catfish and finally have a great solution for our needs. I typically just drop the bag in the trunk of our compact SUV, pot up the car plants and let everyone listen in on IFB. This "auto-pilot" method works best for us because our cast will sometimes travel along without us, so having the bag in another car wouldn't work on a consistent basis; not to mention all the extra antenna rigging I'd need. We are much too fast paced for all that. Having said that, I would still only get mediocre results when listening in on IFB from another vehicle. That's what prompted me to find a better solution for a situation that happens several times on a daily basis.

Just gaff the cable down, and BAM!
I have tried a dipole mounted inside the car before, which proved about as useful as the existing whip on my T4 -- sometimes worse. I finally came across a magnetic remote whip antenna from Vark Audio, the Mag Mount, that is designed specifically for this purpose. I use a Lectrosonics T4 250mw transmitter and Lectrosonics R1a receivers. I simply disconnect my bag whip and connect the BNC from the remote whip. Getting the antenna outside the shell of the car is the most important key to get maximum range, but having it atop the car helps as well. The car itself acts as the ground plane needed for the whip antenna. This thing is a big breakthrough for me and has proved to be one of the tools that allows me to have one less thing to worry about. On a related note, it's time for some Devo.

It's super easy to install and holds up well to the wind

When I drop my bag, I just replace my bag whip BNC with this guy

For reality shoots, this thing is practically invisible

You really can't see it here

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