24-hour communications at Le Mans6 September 2011
The Le Mans 24-hour endurance race is one of the most gruelling events in motor racing. Covering it for broadcast is almost as demanding as driving in it, writes David Fox.
CT Germany contracted MM Communications, Berlin, to capture the race for the Audi Race News channel.
The main challenge for the technicians was to secure communications between four key locations: the Audi Arena, the Audi Racing Club, the Audi pits, and an SNG position away from the track.
As the most important of these locations, the Audi Arena and the Audi Racing Club, were about 2km apart, they opted for a glass fibre network.
To guarantee communication between everyone participating in the broadcast, and to help maximize efficiency, MM Communications technicians Christian Drost and Jan Heering chose a variety of systems from RTS/Telex.
These included two Advanced Digital Audio Matrices (ADAMs) linked by Tribus cards and a Telex BTR-800 intercom system (pictured with two ADAMs) used with numerous TR 825 belt packs. Twenty RTS KP-16 CLD, six RTS KP-12 CLD, and two RTS KP-32 CLD colour display panels graced the front end, with headsets including Telex PH44 and Telex PH88 models also deployed.
"The entire system performed excellently," said Drost. "It was completely stable and remained error- and problem-free throughout."
He was particularly impressed with the keypanels: "They are extremely compact and have excellent sound characteristics. As well as that, they are simple and intuitive to program and operate. Naturally, the KP-12 CLD keypanel, with its coloured, high-resolution display, is a standout; in terms of sharpness, it really is extremely impressive."
The customers were also satisfied with both the team and the equipment. "We received praise from all sides for our work and the equipment we supplied," he added.
MM Communications now intends to expand the system in advance of its next three high-calibre events: the IAA in Frankfurt and the Los Angeles and Tokyo motor shows.