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Clear-Com Launches HelixNet Intercom Platform and Tempest2400 Firmware Update

FOH Staff • New Gear • September 14, 2010

Clear-Com featured its unified intercom platform, HelixNet, and an enhanced version of its Tempest2400 digital wireless intercom system at PLASA 2010, touting both as easier to set-up, use and manage.
HelixNet is a digital intercom platform for live productions based on Clear-Com's I.V.Core Technology. It promises a combination of cabling simplicity, ease-of-use, networking flexibility, system intelligence and audio clarity. The company featured the first two products in the family, the HelixNet Main Station (HMS-4X) and HelixNet Beltpacks (HBP-2X), at PLASA.


Supporting four channels and 20 beltpacks, HMS-4X offers the simplicity of group communication and the high-channel capacity and flexibility of point-to-point matrix systems.  As with all HelixNet products, HMX-4X works on a wide variety of standard twisted-pair cabling, such as microphone cables and CAT-5, to simplify the setup process and reduce the overall cost for infrastructure.


The Main Stations can operate over a facility's pre-existing cabling and, in the near future, will connect via standard LAN / IT network infrastructure. Furthermore, power and all audio channels are transported over a single cable.


HelixNet Main Stations have built-in expansion bays for 2-wire or 4-wire interface modules to connect with analog partyline, digital matrix or wireless intercom systems. USB connectivity provides easy and instant software and firmware maintenance and upgrades.


Clear-Com touted its 2-channel HelixNet Beltpack as rugged and ergonomic, with new tactile controls for touch operation and bump-proof volume knobs, plus a high-contrast OLED status display for visual operation. HelixNet beltpack interconnectivity includes Y-split, one-to-many split, daisy-chaining beltpack to beltpack cabling options, plus a possible mix of wire gauges. 


The  Version 2.0 firmware update for Tempest2400, meanwhile, adds to the capacity, flexibility and usability of the system. In addition to the Normal Mode, for up to five full-duplex BeltStations per BaseStation, Shared and Split Modes were added to allow for an unlimited number of users per BaseStation.


In Shared Mode, all of the BeltStations can utilize the dual listen/talk feature and BeltStation users can individually select which channels they listen and talk to just like in normal mode.


While all of the BeltStations can talk, only five BeltStations may have talk enabled at any one time. If a sixth BeltStation tries to talk, the user will receive a busy signal.


In Split Mode, users operate in a combination of the other two modes: Normal and Shared, offering the use of four BeltStations that utilizes the standard anytime talk back capability and an unlimited number of BeltStations sharing one talk path at any given time.


Other new features also include BeltStation push and turn volume control, push and hold channel changing, a 4db gain increase on 4-wire I/O BaseStations and the ability to control remote BeltStation sidetone levels and mic gain from the BaseStation or the T-Desk software program.


Tempest2400, available in two- and four-channel versions, is a cost-effective option for live production professionals who require fewer channels of communications and offers users unprecedented access to license-free communications. Utilizing patented Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum radio technology to ensure robust, reliable communications, Tempest2400 operates license-free in the 2.4 GHz band worldwide, allowing interference-free communications even in environments heavily populated by other wireless devices.


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