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Aidan Gray

--Aidan Gray--
| 5 3 6
Washington, DC, United States
--Aidan Gray--

IATSE Local 600 Camera Assistant | Washington, DC - Baltimore, MD - New York, NY

Cmotion cPro System Owner 1x cPro Motor, 2x cForce Mini Motors, Teradek Bolt 1000XT 1:1, Teradek SidekickLT, SmallHD 703Bolt, SmallHD 703U, SmallHD 1703-P3X, Bright Tangerine 19mm Bridgeplate, BT Revolvr 19/15mm Studio FF, SolidCamera Scatterbox2 Goldmount/VMount Power Distro, IgniteDigi MoVi Pro System


Aidan Gray
On 6/12/19, 2:40 PM

I was going to do a whole post, but with circular polarized (mushroom, clover, stubby, etc) antennas catching on, it’s  important for everyone to understand the role they play in the RF toolkit and when/where/how to use them.

The main takeaway (as I understand them - I’m no expert) is that in order to minimize signal loss, you need to match the polarization of your RX and TX. This means if you’re running stubby right-hand circularly polarized (RHCP) antennas on your camera TX, you should run them on your RX as well otherwise you’ll experience around 3dbi of signal loss, which is significant in most wireless systems we’re using these days. I see a lot of people running standard linear antennas on their receivers and stubbies on the camera and this is pretty detrimental to the strength of the signal... 

The main benefit of circularly polarized antennas over linear antennas (besides the small size and ruggedness that Martin mentioned) is that they work on all 3 planes and are much less affected my orientation or direction than linear antennas. I’ll attach some charts and links when I’m back at a computer, but for Steadicam and MōVI shots where the camera is spinning and it’s almost impossible to make sure the linear antennas are always oriented correctly, CP antennas do the job for you. If you take two linear antennas and hold them at a 90 degree angle from each other, they theoretically provide no power to each other - imagine this in a camera system where the camera is tilting straight up to straight down... If the receiver is in the same place an all antennas are oriented vertically, your Teradek Bolt3000 becomes a Bolt300.

I’d be curious to hear everyone’s thoughts on why most systems are linear based by default... I’ve never gotten a straight answer.