Comrex Access

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sportsvoice
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Comrex Access

Post by sportsvoice »

I got a hit with a grant application for the LPFM I do sports for, and we got a Comrex Access.

Anyone out there using one and have hints, tips, or known quirks? Would like to use it for high school football. So far my test runs have gone well, but I have yet to try it on a full length game broadcast.
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Re: Comrex Access

Post by Cameron »

...what's your transport method? The tips, tricks, and quirks are dependent on the transport platform.

Oh, have a iPhone?

http://www.comrex.com/support/technotes/ip_media5.html

or a droid?

http://www.comrex.com/products/arc.html

This stuff works with the access when the latest firmware is installed. Sweet, huh?
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Re: Comrex Access

Post by sportsvoice »

Cameron wrote:...what's your transport method? The tips, tricks, and quirks are dependent on the transport platform.

Oh, have a iPhone?

http://www.comrex.com/support/technotes/ip_media5.html

or a droid?

http://www.comrex.com/products/arc.html

This stuff works with the access when the latest firmware is installed. Sweet, huh?
Transport will be wired or wifi if available in the press box, or 3G if no other connection is available. Currently not POTS because we don't have a call director installed at the other end yet, and don't want to fork for another line.

I have an Android phone but it's the older G1 that doesn't meet the requirements to run ARC. :(
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Re: Comrex Access

Post by Cameron »

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Last edited by Cameron on Fri Nov 12, 2010 6:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Cameron Smith - CSRE®
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Re: Comrex Access

Post by sportsvoice »

Cameron wrote:Wired would be nice. Wi-Fi adds another point-of-failure. Make sure the router/firewall is configured to pass the Access streaming-ports. Hopefully you thought to spring for the traversal server option. That way, your codecs report to the Comrex, "mother-ship", and can overcome most network-funkyness. If the router has any QOS options, configure your port for priority and let the other ones fall after you in the packet-queue. BRIC-HQ1 takes about 28 kb/s so plan for 56 kb/s, BRIC-HQ2 takes about 24 kb/s so plan for 48 kb /s, and BRIC-ULB is 14 kb/s (28 kb/s). ULB sounds a litte like 56k 7.5khz ISDN...maybe slightly worse. Balance your quality with your data-conditions. I produced a stereo production from Huntington's riverfront via Altell (Verizon's) system with just their little dongle-modem. It worked flawlessly, but, I had a backup RPU and was 3 blocks from the receive-site. I don't believe they have the engineering-staff to do it this year - or the support from the University - but I took an Access to away-games and transmitted the home broadcast with commercials and production-elements via a freq. agile low power FM transmitter. Sometimes the booths had wired internet, sometimes I had to use the Wi-Fi card, sometimes POTS codec, sometimes 3G data. It was good to have one device that could be used for all of those transport mediums. If you are in a good 3G footprint and the data-rates are stable, (use Access' real-time packet display to judge the health of the 3G datastream), you shouldn't have any problems. Once connected, I always used the remote/local data display to see real-time what was happening with the zeroes and ones. Connect with the remote-end as soon as you can. That way, you can see your transport's health and judge your platform accordingly. If other people are sharing the internet connection, beware of "peak" usage like reporters filling stories and pictures to Little Johnny in the stands sniffing off the Wi-Fi to download Avatar instead of watching the game.
If you have a good POTS line, the codec for ACCESS POTS is rock-solid.
We decided to go to the traversal server after a few days of tinkering. License codes are coming this week. In the meantime, I am using dyndns to get the IP back. I got the right ports opened on the router so we are in good shape there.

As far as our home site, we'll probably go back to using the Marti once the receiver gets fixed (lightning damage). They have wired ports in the press box, but the school IT nazis have them locked down. Apparently they went to the trouble to install them but didn't bother to leave them open so that media people can actually use them. They did at least give us a real POTS line (bypassing their VoIP PBX) so I might be able to try out the POTS mode.

On the road, we've got a couple sites that may have wi-fi and one or two may have wired access. The rest will be on 3G. I did get to try it out on 3G for a remote today and it worked fairly well but there were a few incidences where it would stop and restart the audio (no voice loss, but it would pause and come back with increased delay). I tried a mix of HQ2 24k and ULB modes. The ULB mode did sound like you said, also about as good as the Marti. I watched the data display some, but with the sun and being in mid-remote I wasn't paying complete attention.

I'll have it backed up with a dialed up cell or analog POTS feed if problems occur.
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Re: Comrex Access

Post by Big Dawg »

We use one several times a week in Morgantown. We've had it for about two years. The first problem we had to fix was getting the receiver it's own DSL. It was hard to maintain a signal when everyone was sharing the bandwidth at the radio station. For the 3G conection, we went with Sprint because it was one of the first carriers with 3G here. The WAN miniport ethernet connection is very good and reliable. The wireless wi-fi worked pretty good at first, but was damaged at some point and I'm not sure if it has been replaced yet. I love the Access and the quality.
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