Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Technique › Sound › Why is the FR2-LE field recorder only 12 volts, when phantom power requires 48?
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March 19, 2019 at 10:29 PM #72011317fritzlangloverParticipant
I’ve used this recorder for years now, but I always found myself having to turn it almost all the way up to get the levels high enough for recording average dialogue, with a boom mic.
I wondered if this was normal, since I used the Zoom F8 and didn’t have to turn it up as high, while in film school. I asked someone else about the FR2-LE and he took a look at mine and said that it says right on it that it only has the power of 12 volts, where as I need 48 for phantom power. Is that true though, that a company like Fostex would put out a field recorder, with not enough volts to power phantom power though? Or am I wrong?
March 26, 2019 at 10:47 AM #72011722norman p.Participant
12 volts is the input voltage. I used to run 48v dual microphones off this recorder and it powered them sufficiently for several hours using the NiMH (Tamiya) battery pack. The gain on the FR2-LE is underwhelming, but there’s no problem setting the concentric level controls quite high. It is a design “bug” that I discovered is not really a problem. I used to record quiet nature sounds with this unit at 80 percent with barely perceptible preamp and mic noise in the final result. The build quality and headphone amp are rather poor, but self noise is very low–competitive with recorders costing many times the price.
March 26, 2019 at 10:58 AM #72011724norman p.Participant
I should add to my previous comments that I have never actually measured the output voltage at the xlr ports. It may fall a bit below the 48v threshold–or not. that’s a question. I can do that and re-post.
March 30, 2019 at 5:17 AM #72012054paulearsParticipant
The unit has 48V phantom power. It’s in the spec. Avoid taking advice from people who tell you rubbish and give away their lack of knowledge.
That all said, 48V phantom is a standard specification and it’s laid down and generally followed, but the original spec also detailed the maximum current it’s able to provide, and that’s actually quite restrictive for some mics.
Many condensers can actually operate on a range of phantom voltages – 9-52V being typical. These are mostly mics that have electret capsules that don’t need a high polarising voltage, just a few milliamps for the preamp inside. If it is a large diaphragm type, then generally 44V or more is required, or they are very noisy, or just don’t work.
With field mixers, generating 48V was not that simple in the ‘old days’ some even had lots of 9V batteries in series to generate the voltage needed. Nowadays, we can easily generate the 48V from a 6, 9 or 12V battery supply. A few have always delivered less than 48V causing occasional issues!
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