When filming the return of the popular expedition race TV show hosted by one of the world’s most famous adventurers and survival instructors Bear Grylls, MGM prepared for shooting in the remote and challenging conditions of Fiji.
The popular format of Amazon Prime saw 280 show participants form 70 teams to race Fiji for 10 days and nights, across 600+km of mostly remote terrain. They traversed mountains, cliffs and canyons, and struggled through impenetrable jungles, paddled rushing rivers and crossed ocean waters.
Their modes of transport included traditional bamboo outrigger canoes and mountain bikes, they rappelled, climbed, whitewater rafted, pack rafted and paddle boarded to make it to each of the 20 checkpoints and, ultimately, the finish line.
With the teams facing demanding conditions, the 600-strong film and support crew was subject to their own challenges: producing high quality, entertaining content, whilst keeping up with the teams and ensuring the safety of participants, hosts and staff at all times.
Two-way radio was the communications medium of choice in this environment where conquering terrain and distances is the privilege of the strong.
Adventure Race TV Production
Crew communications across remote terrain
– 960 SIP Dispatch Console
– IPR400 S2
Interoperability of Digital And Analog
Simple to Operate
RF and IT Engineers Coms Ltd designed the radio system comprising eight robust Omnitronics 960 SIP 6 channel consoles connected to the 4 x ICOM FR5000 base stations via three of the new Omnitronics IPR400 Series 2 Interoperability Gateways.
With 6 helicopters supporting the race, 3 repeater sites were airlifted by helicopter into their mountaintop positions in central Fiji, Fiji’s West, and to an island further East, up to a height of 3500 ft above sea level. A fourth mobile repeater site was circling the airspace on one of the 5 aircraft supporting the event. Aircraft provided additional signal coverage for up to 22 hours each day in areas that were not be covered by the stationary sites. A fifth mobile repeater site was used as required.
The base stations and gateways were geographically located to provide optimum coverage for the race, so that competitors and crew had safety and support easily at hand if required. Another three IPR400 S2 were used to connect Audio Recorders, capturing all two-way radio communications for emergency management purposes and audio recording for the show.
The elaborate setup connects 550 ICOM radios using 2 x 4 channels for events, race, production and search & rescue communications with the support of 6 operators at 2 sites.
2-in-1 Interoperability & Full Multi-Channel RoIP Gateway Software
Protect against unauthorized access & eavesdropping
Easy set up, management & diagnostics over IP
Connect in more ways using SIP, multicast or unicast
Quickly Link & Re-group
Combine & connect users & agencies on demand
PTT over Cellular
Use PTToC to listen & speak over connected radios
Remote Control over IP
Link & cross-band channels remotely using the IPRLink application
Ready for Action
With cast moving in unpredictable and rough environments, the producers have put themselves in a good position to guarantee their two-way radio communications offered seamless and reliable voice transmission and recording.
Through careful planning by RF and IT Engineers Coms Ltd, proven Omnitronics technologies 960SIP Dispatch Consoles and the new and improved
IPR400 S2 2in1 Interoperability and RoIP Gateway the team ensured crew and helpers were connected 24/7.
Thank you Letter from Eco-Challenge Producer
“Dear Mr. Lucas,
It was a great pleasure working with you on the recent Eco-Challenge race across Viti Levu, Fiji.
Without your patience, perseverance and timely delivery of goods and services, we would not
have been able to pull this off.
Thank you and your excellent team for all the wonderful work in establishing the VHF radio
repeater system, and linking it through a remote antenna into the IP network and finally the HQ
– which was a very long way off the racecourse. The supply of the handheld radios, HQ consoles,
mobile base stations, and all the various paraphernalia that made up the successful radio
system was all first class and well thought through. I am also cognizant and thankful that you
recognized the crucial time-lines required to get the equipment purchased and delivered. […]”
Scott Flavelle | Race Technical Director Eco-Challenge
A 2-in-1 analog Interoperability and RoIP gateway software.
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