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Wire-Lists#13: Three HM Transmitter Hacks (aka “MacGyvers”) for Desperate Situations

Social Media WireLists13 300pxLet’s be upfront: While we don’t advocate hacking any of our products, sometimes things happen on the job that prevent you from stopping what you’re doing and sending your unit back to us. Necessity is the mother of invention and the work has to be done (preferably without alarming your client or your employer as to your ability to do it), so here are three temporary fixes, à la MacGyver, for your HM or HMa (or older UH) transmitter:

  • Challenge #1: Are you on-site, notice that mics you’re attaching are wobbly and realize that you’ve lost the thrust washer (circled in red, our Part # 25675) on your XLR connector? They can come off unexpectedly, especially if you’ve had the transmitter for a while and the parts have had opportunity to move around and wear. This part is not just a washer that you can find in a hardware store – it is specially machined for the purpose, and you need to order one from the factory. But you’re in the studio, at a show or in the wilderness filming. Now what?

    Fix 1a

  • Crisis Aversion #1: For a temporary fix, wrap a rubber band or two around the XLR and check the mic tightness. Adjust the amount of rubber “wraps” until the mic-to-XLR connection is just snug enough. The rubber should be almost loose around the XLR to get the maximum springiness. This should get you through the job until we send you a new part. It’s a good idea to check your transmitters before putting them away, and ordering new washers to have on hand before they’re needed.

    Fix 1b

  • Challenge #2: When plugging your HM transmitter into a boom or mic, you notice a little too much “play.” Or worse, you’re picking up a bad connection sound when it’s rotated or not quite positioned correctly. This happens because the edges of the connector flange (circled in red) get worn and rounded off with use. There isn’t much you can do to prevent that, since it is metal-on-metal friction that causes it, and a good metal contact is integral to the product working correctly. Sometimes the mic socket or locking notch becomes worn as well – it’s a good idea to check that, too.

    Fix 2a

  • Crisis Aversion #2: As a temporary fix, you can add a small O-ring to the XLR tip - such as the one found on a regular female XLR plug. Our 35877 is used in this example, and it can be found in our ORINGKIT/WM. This will provide a tight fit. A permanent and more preferable fix will be to replace the XLR section (or have the microphone housing replaced), which is not that expensive, but this will get you through that one project.

    Fix 2

  • Challenge #3: Do you ever worry about getting moisture into the ends of your XLR? Or maybe you’re working in an environment that is unexpectedly wet. How do you protect the open end of the HM?
  • Crisis Aversion #3: This fix requires a bit of advance planning, or at least a trip to the hardware or auto parts store. Depending on what’s available to you at the time, you can try a large rubber vacuum line cap (such as for automotive parts) or caps for furniture legs. The best solution – especially if you have time to get one in advance and have it in your bag - is to use our HM Cover (part #HMCVR) that was designed for this purpose.

    Fix 3

We want to stress again that we hope you’re not taking shortcuts on a regular basis. If your HM or any of your Lectrosonics equipment isn’t working up to par, or if you work in situations that stress your equipment, call your representative or our repair department for help and advice.

What kinds of “MacGyvers” have gotten you through jobs? We’d love to hear about them!