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01-17-2014, 03:15 PM   #1
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wireless communication with headset for wedding

Not a beginner, but need advice on this new issue I am facing. I am helping another photographer shoot a wedding in May. We need to be able to communicate wirelessly. My first thought was to have lightweight headsets for radio communication, like a hands-free walkie talkie. But I have no clue what to look for? Anyone know about this kind of equipment--or what else I should be thinking of?

01-17-2014, 03:30 PM   #2
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I'm thinking something small and discrete, voice/whisper activated headset so your hands are kept free. You also need to be careful that you don't bleed over any microphone set-ups in the church etc.
01-17-2014, 03:37 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by sholtzma Quote
We need to be able to communicate wirelessly
You probably don't need to be silent, but radio conversations can still be distracting. Go to a church service these days, and you should notice people discreetly texting each other. Not the clearest form of communication, but no extra equipment needed.
01-17-2014, 03:51 PM   #4
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For radios take a look at something like this: Amazon.com: Uniden Submersible 50-Mile GMRS/FRS Two-Way Radios with Charging Kit - Camo (GMR5099-2CKHS): Electronics Don't believe the 50 mile stuff, these are strictly line of sight and even then 1 or 2 miles is the best you will get.

FRS or family radio service units are low powered and do not require a license. GMRS units do require a license. Recently there are a lot of hybrid FRS/GMRS units on the market. No license required if you stay on the FRS channels but technically license required on GMRS channels.

These units are low powered, do not have much penetrating power in buildings and are usually cheaply made. So if you go this route look for better brand names and the higher end units as they will be more reliable. In populated areas you will often find the channels rather busy. General rule is to completely stay off any channel that already has chatter on it. That will be even more important in your case, as you don't want anyone jumping on top of your transmissions or blurting something inappropriate that guests might hear.

There are much better and far more expensive units available, but these will require a license. Please do not attempt to use a license required radio without the license. The fine is steep and it gives all private radio operators a black eye.

I would strongly urge testing in the actual location as metal roofs, building materials, interference from other transmissions can dramatically affect performance. You should also test against any sound systems that might be in use as you could introduce crosstalk or interference that would get rebroadcast.

I would also recommend cell phones as backup as the radios might not work, or might run out of battery.

And I second the comment above about using radio during the ceremony, if you can do it silently OK, but any distraction is going to be noticed and not appreciated by the guests.

01-17-2014, 03:59 PM   #5
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I should clarify. We expect to be only outside and within 100 yards of each other at the most. No church.
01-17-2014, 04:29 PM   #6
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Something like this will work.
Vox means the communication starts when it picks up your voice so essentially hands free.
PTT means push to talk.

Look at this on eBay:

Uniden 30-Mile Range 2-Way Radios 7 FRS/15 GMRS 22-Channels w/Headsets+NOAA -Red

http://bit.ly/1i7o275
01-17-2014, 05:22 PM   #7
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It's important that we be able to whisper or talk softly and still transmit. Also, therefore, as little static as possible. Distance, though, isn't an issue. Will VOX start immediately upon speaking, or does the listener miss the first word or part of the first word? I'd prefer it to PTT.
01-17-2014, 06:12 PM   #8
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Most VOX I have tried works better if you make a sound before actually talking if you want the whole message heard.
"Soooooooo whats your status?" "Heyyyyy All is thumbs up here."
You can use PTT with these units also, if you want to whisper just turn up your headset volume.
People nearby should not hear what comes through the radios since it is only in your ear, but note these are generic frequencies so if anyone else with a radio tunes in to your frequency they catch your conversation and vice versa.

01-17-2014, 06:36 PM   #9
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Make sure any system has a 'squelch' function. Squelch cuts out background white noise until it receives a signal. Without it the constant sound of white noise will drive you insane very quickly.

The squelch function is omitted in many cheap radios to keep costs down.
01-18-2014, 04:40 AM   #10
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Your easiest option is probably to use your phones with headsets, either a traditional phone call or Skype or something. You'd want to check out the reception at the venue first, of course.
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