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TV and Film Production issues with CP200D

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jbilbro

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Mar 26, 2015
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Hello All,
My company rents Motorola radios for TV, Film, and Live Events. We have a large stock of analog CP200's and have also bought a couple of hundred CP200D's when the CP200 units were discontinued.

Since we started to make that change our radio business has suffered. We've had to swap out the CP200D's for the older analog units again and again. Film and TV crews in particular dislike the CP200D units. This week alone we had to swap out 50 CP200D units for CP200's for a large stage event company and another 25 from a crew filming a reality TV show. No movie we rent to will take them anymore and we've spent a lot of money buying up older analog CP200's to help maintain that core business. We've tried various programming fixes but nothing seems to satisfy the users. It would be nice if there was a pre-programmed setting that would emulate the operation of the CP200 radios with all values and beep tones similar to that older unit, but even when playing with the various CPS software setting in Expert Mode we get close but not close enough for most of our users.

I'm not sure how many people on this forum are involved in the entertainment side of radio rentals but I was wondering if this is something a lot of other rental companies are dealing with? I've talked to three other production rental houses that have had similar issues, yet when I search the net and the forums I rarely see mention of users being unhappy with the CP200D. My clients are certainly unhappy with them. Does anyone have a client that actually prefers the CP200D over the CP200?
Sorry if this is an old issue. These units have been out for 3 or 4 years so I would be surprised if this hadn't been discussed before. I searched for CP200D on this forum and didn't find any thread similar to this one so I thought I'd give it a shot. Thanks.
 

Mikek

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Jan 10, 2003
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I'm curious what they don't like about them - is it an RF issue, performance issue, or something else? Are you using them in analog or digital?
 

Forts

Mentor
Database Admin
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
6,023
Location
Ontario, Canada
We use 200D's at work and have zero issues. For a low end radio they get the job done.

Is this one of those 'they just don't like the sound of digital' issues I wonder? I can't really see what other ergonomic things would set them off. All you are really dealing with is the PTT tone and button programming. There's nothing else to mess with...
 

KG4INW

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Apr 9, 2009
Messages
1,448
Location
Midlothian, VA
Is it the slow bootup time (relatively speaking)? Nothing can be done about that but the TPT can be turned off, otherwise, they function very similarly.
 

jbilbro

Newbie
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Mar 26, 2015
Messages
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Sound quality, beep tones, and users not sure if they are transmitting seems to be the big complaints.
We spend a lot of time in expert mode on the programming software trying to find the right settings, but so far haven't found a setup that satisfies all users.
The accessory jack levels can be adjusted but the customers complain it's too loud or too soft.
Some complaints about feedback with speaker mics and audio bleeding out of surveillance kit earbuds being picked up by mics on quiet sets. Customers overall not happy with sound quality.
The tone issue is that tones can be disabled when requested but then we get a complaint that the users don't know if the batteries are dying or even if the radios are transmitting. I understand to some extent why the Film and TV people are having issues, since they need to have quiet discreet communication during production, but the Live event companies rejecting them was a real killer this past month. We thought they'd be ideal for that sort of environment but then we started getting complaints about the units not holding their frequencies. This couldn't be verified even after testing 100 plus radios, so I often think that the dislike my clients have for the sound quality and lack of confidence due to the beep tone issues create other issues which may or may not be real. On any given film shoot in my area there may be 100 novice users and they tend to blame the gear first and ask for replacement even when the issue may just be a user error. In any event the lack of comfort my clients have with the digital CP200d's has forced us to start buying the older CP200 analog units from wherever we can find them.
Does anyone else rent to film crews? Have you rented the CP200d's to any crew without complaint?
As mentioned in my first post I've talked to 3 other production rental houses with the same client issues with these units.
 

jbilbro

Newbie
Joined
Mar 26, 2015
Messages
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MikeK - we use them in analog mode even though they are the digital CP200d's. I have wondered if running full digital would be better. We had hoped that they would fully integrate with the older CP200's, and we tried that when we first got them, but then the differences between the two units started to create issues, so we now just go either the CP200's or the Cp200d's when setting up our rental packages.
 

KB1VNG

Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2011
Messages
71
Location
Dalton, Ma
It's a newer technology and all radios are going to it, particularly the TRBO models. I wouldn't recommend changing a lot of the audio settings in the CPS as it will turn into a downward spiral and you will most likely drive yourself nuts setting them. For 99% of people, the default settings are fine
I agree that maybe going full digital will solve your issues?
 
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