Relatively early in my film programming career, I bought my own Astera ART7. The biggest reason I did that is many people think that the antenna “ears” are removable, so rental units get damaged often. So I mostly bought one to make sure I had one that wasn’t damaged. The unintentional side benefit of owning one is what a great tiny CRMX transmitter they are.
Last week, we were filming a motel location. This place had all sorts of nooks and crannies to the space (interior and exterior) and the rigging team needed to get it rigged quickly. This meant that wireless control was the method for far more of the rig than I normally feel comfortable with. By and large, everything worked good on arrival…except that one nyx bulb. It was far away from all the transmitters, directly in the shot one evening. Making things worse, it was recessed in a hallway in a housing and the roof and surrounding areas contained a lot of metal. So we unpaired it the the Stardust and paired it to the ART7 instead.
There are two reasons I think this worked. The first is the ART7 is so small that it can be placed almost anywhere and hidden very easily. The second is there is something about the ART7 transmitters that- in my experience- just SCREAM the CRMX signal out. We were able to sneak it out on the roof and cover it with a rubber mat (it had been raining off and on) and it worked great.
The final reason it’s ideal is it’s so available. Nearly every rental house automatically provides one when you are getting any Astera products, so it’s almost always available. Caution: do not use more than one on a location (they have no frequency awareness and will stomp on each other), but using one to solve a tricky problem has been a great tool for me over time.
Current as of this writing, the ART7 is on sale at B and H for $135 off. Click Here.
What are your favorite wireless solutions for tricky issues? Hit me in the comments.