As I said in a previous post, we rely heavily on our Clearcom intercom system to have good lines of communication between all of the tech team and the band as well.
In each control room, we have a “director’s station” which has a 4-channel intercom where he/she can talk to all four channels of the intercom system: the tech team in Auditorium 1, the band in Auditorium 1, the band in Auditorium 2, and the tech team in Auditorium 2. All other intercom stations are single channel and that person can only talk on the particular channel they are wired for.
For the most part, this works great and does well to keep intercom chatter down and keeps the director as the funnel of communication. However, I have found that quite often, when we are doing smaller events in our smaller auditorium, that I am sitting at the video switcher with no way to talk to the band without having to get up and go sit at the director’s station behind me.
When our integrators built out the AVL for our new auditorium, they installed a Clearcom RM-702 2-channel rack mounted intercom into the rack room for Auditorium 2. I found that after a year and a half, we never use it there, so I decided to move it to Control Room 2, which is the video control room that drives operation for Auditorium 2.
As I operate the video switcher, I like to keep my hands on the switcher (and my streamdeck!). Reaching over to press an intercom talk button is an interruption to my workflow. The nice thing about the RM-702 is that it has an accessory port, which allows you to connect a footswitch to activate the talk channels!
The accessory port is a DB-15 connector, so I bought an extension cable, along with a DB-15 plug. I bought these from Amazon:
I also bought two Yamama FC5 foot pedals.
To wire everything up, I had to cut off the plug at the end of the pedals to expose the wires. The wiring is pretty simple. Clearcom has it well documented what the pinout is.
- Pin 1: Ground
- Pin 2: Talk Channel A
- Pin 9: Talk Channel B
The Yamaha pedal is a contact/no-contact switch, so it doesn’t matter which color wire goes to which pin.
Once I connected everything up, I realized that the Yamaha pedal works the opposite of what I needed: it was making contact when the pedal wasn’t pressed down (shorting the connection in the Clearcom, keeping the talk channel turned on) and then when I would press the pedal down, it would break the connection, turning the talk channel off.
I opened up the pedal and modified the two leads so that it would make a connection when pressed down. I basically just swapped the position of the two copper bands.
Voila! Now I have two footpedals that I can use to talk on either channel, hands-free! The next step will be labeling them and then taping them down to the floor.
All in all, this was a very inexpensive improvement. The pedals were about $15 each and the cable/adapter was about $10, and the project was simple.