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Clear-Com system helps submarine dive to discover “sound of the earth”

FreeSpeak Edge system delivered superior audio quality, augmented by customer support from Audio-Technica and Clear-Com

Wireless cameras and comms specialist HDwireless recently chose Clear-Com digital wireless solutions supplied by Audio-Technica to power comms during a broadcasted submarine expedition to the bottom of the deepest lake in Austria, part of a research project (“Tiefenrausch”) meant to discover “the sound of the Earth.”

The expedition spanned five 12-hour days, and reliable communication technology was essential, in part because the crew had to obtain approval from the Austrian military to sail out to the dive site each day. HDwireless chose Clear-Com’s FreeSpeak Edge Wireless System due to the wide range of possible applications and “perfect” audio quality, according to Patrick Nußbaum, managing director at HDwireless. “We were not only responsible for the communication within the submarine and to the crew ashore, but we also used the FreeSpeak Edge system for the entire broadcast sound of the television transmission,” he explained.

Once at the dive site, “at a depth of nearly 200 meters, you have to be really safe,” Patrick continued. “If you’re out there and have no way to communicate with the submarine, the OB van or the crew on land, you have a real problem. It’s a big security factor.”

The submarine was manned by four people: a pilot, a co-pilot, a presenter for the TV show, and a guest, all of whom were equipped with FreeSpeak Edge beltpacks. The intent of the submarine’s voyage was to retrieve a hydrophone previously sunk to the bottom of the lake, which, along with other recording devices, captured the sounds made by the Earth.

All crew members on the submarine could communicate with each other and send their feeds to the TV production’s outside broadcast van on land, which was equipped with an Eclipse HX Digital Matrix System and V-Series Iris Keypanels. The crew on the land and pontoon boat were also able to communicate via the Agent-IC mobile app.

The crew didn’t need to use any additional audio equipment; the production relied solely on Clear-Com systems. “That was one big reason we chose Clear-Com,” Patrick said. “The products simply work. And we would do this all again using that equipment.”

HDwireless is the go-to specialist when it comes to wireless comms and camera solutions in Europe, and they favour Clear-Com equipment. Other applications using Clear-Com include TV shows, corporate events, music productions and large sports events like Formula 1 and the 24-hour motorsports race at the Nürburgring, the biggest racetrack in Germany.

Patrick explained that he will always use Clear-Com products not only because they work well, but because of the company’s excellent customer support. “When you’re planning challenging projects like this, when there are sudden changes or problems, or when you need additional equipment at very short notice, outstanding support is crucial – and Audio-Technica as the German distributor, as well as the colleagues at Clear-Com in Europe and the USA, provide us with this.”