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We think of lavaliere mics as being indestructible because they’re self-contained, but the fact is that some seemingly innocuous things can wreak havoc on them. And you often won’t realize that you have a faulty lav until you listen to your recorded tracks and realize that they just don’t sound right (talk about wasted time!). Here are 4 ways that you can mangle your mic:

  1. Keeping the mic attached to the transmitter it’s being used on, and wrapping it around the unit body when you’re finished. This is a BIG no-no. Over time, doing this can weaken the inner threads of the wire, or worse, break the 5-pin connector. There is no inexpensive fix for these if they happen. Disconnect your lav when you’re finished with your project and store it in its case.
  2. Allowing the lav to come in direct contact with skin. We realize that you want to hide the lav on camera if possible, and the easiest way to do that is underneath clothing. It is best to keep a layer of fabric between the lav cord and talent’s skin, for the simple reason that sweat is corrosive. Lav wire encasements are slightly porous, and over time, sweat can leech inside, corroding the copper wires underneath. Like wrap damage, there is no easy fix for this.

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SM transmitters might go through hell on the job --  but they don’t have to look like it.  Battery doors and the 5-pin jacks are particularly susceptible to wear and tear. These tips can help:

Battery Doors

IMG 3410If the battery door and mating surface on your SM series transmitter look like this and are starting to become difficult to open, don’t scrub them with an abrasive!  We’ve seen a few units that were damaged by steel wool, sandpaper and other materials. Multiple problems can be created as a result, such as getting particulate (tiny pieces that break off) into the unit, damaging the battery contacts on the door, and removing the conductive coating from this area and even the entire housing. 

IMG 3411To clean, we recommend Wright’s Silver Cream (available in Walmart and Home Depot; under $10 for a small container that will last you a year or more) to clean the door and housing. 


Social Media WireLists3The Long Ranger Wireless PA has been in the field for over 30 years and remains popular with school marching bands. Every fall after summer break, and again after winter break, like clockwork, we see a fleet of Long Rangers coming in for service with easily-preventable battery-related issues. And in case you were wondering, premature battery failure is not covered by warranty. Here are five things to consider to make sure that your Long Ranger is ready for another semester:

  1. At the end of each use and especially before extended breaks, store your Long Ranger in a safe, dry place that is ideally under 77°F. At 77°F, Long Ranger batteries are estimated to last about 5 years (3 years with the Long Ranger IV) with regular charges. For every 15°F rise in temperature, battery lifespan is cut by 50%. We know that some of you live in warmer climates; our temperature suggestions do not apply to operating environment.

Social Media WireLists2One of the most common calls that we get in Customer Service is that a transmitter “doesn’t work.” Since “doesn’t work” is a very broad complaint, there are four things that you should check, prior to calling us, that could help you self-troubleshoot and possibly eliminate the need for a call altogether:

  1. Do your transmitter and receiver both have power? While it sounds rudimentary, ensure that your units are plugged in or that your batteries are fresh. Bad or weak batteries are surprisingly common. A general rule is to store your units between use without batteries, and supply new or freshly charged batteries at the start of each session. And make sure your batteries are inserted correctly – it’s easy to put them in the wrong way. All of our units are marked with battery orientation somewhere – either on the back or side of the unit, or inside the battery compartment. You may also need check your power supply, battery eliminator or BDS unit for proper voltages.

Corroded board

Nothing is more frustrating than turning on your transmitter…and…finding out it doesn’t work. Like with winter colds, sick transmitters can take some diagnostics to figure out and cure. Here are 4 suggestions to help prevent problems before they start:

1. Don’t place the transmitter against bare skin. All transmitters are susceptible to becoming damaged from moisture, including sweat (and everyone sweats). Sweat is a carrier for water, salt and oils which can leech into the transmitter and corrode the circuit boards and other parts. Once sweat or other moisture seeps inside the unit, there is no wiping or removing it. So how do you prevent this? By placing the transmitter into a pocket, pouch or baggie; or (best option) using one of our specially-designed silicone covers. Pro tip: keeping transmitters – and especially their antennas – away from skin also improves RF transmission, bodies are mostly water and water absorbs RF.


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