AMP Visual TV introduces versatile RF Extender 5 production truck

The RF Extender 5 truck was first used for a skiing event in Switzerland on 21 January.

The RF Extender 5 truck was first used for a skiing event in Switzerland on 21 January.

AMP VisualTV, the French broadcast services provider, has added a new Extender truck to its growing fleet. The RF 5 is an extremely versatile vehicle, which can scale to cover all RF requirements but is also capable of hosting a switching infrastructure that can accommodate an entire production team.

“Our main purpose was to offer clients a 2-in-1 tool, i.e. a 26-ton truck that can contain everything required to handle all the RF needs in addition to being able to transport all the necessary machinery, such as four RF motorcycles or even up to eight with the help of a special trailer. For the same type of production, it is now possible to use one single truck instead of the two that were previously necessary,” said François Valadoux, technical director of the company.

Carefully-designed space

The elevated truck is equipped with a steerable rear axle for all-terrain mobility. It is equipped with a 96×128 HD-SDI Utah router, which can connect up to 30 RF signals. In total eight workstations are available: one for digital imaging, two for RF coordination, one for audio (with a Yamaha console etc), three for multitasking (eg. computer graphics or data application management), and one to host the client or its production manager. Eventually a video switcher could be added to provide full video production. Air-conditioned bays open up on both sides for easier access to servers and other machinery when cabling, wiring and making adjustments.

Toutenkamion built the truck with a back-section that is dedicated to the transport of the motorcycles and machinery. There is an entire installation and repair workshop set up in the rear of the vehicle, with an additional outdoor rain-proof space provided by a hatchback door. The rooftop has been secured in order to install the required satellite dishes that can be stored in a space between the roof and the dropped ceiling.

In the case of a power outage, the RF Extender has a total independent operational capacity of 30 minutes.

Increasingly compact motorcycles

AMP Visual TV decided to renew its fleet of RF motorcycles to coincide with the release of its RF Extender 5. “We have 12 brand new models that have been totally overhauled and designed for versatility, as well as ease of use and comfort,” concluded said Valadoux.

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The new line-up of RF motorcycles.

The four-cylinder 1100 cc Kawasaki Versys motorcycles offer the dual advantage of being both relatively light (285 kilos including 30 kilos of material) and incorporating high seating that provides improved visibility for the rider. Both riders and camera specialists were consulted extensively in order to design specially adapted seats and adjustable foot brackets. This new generation of motorcycles features dashboards, RF equipment and power supply systems that are a lot more compact and lighter than those used previously. Digital RF capability has also been provided, while camera operatives used Sony HDR-P1s equipped with LCD screens that can be turned into viewfinders by simply extending the flip-out lens. These viewfinders are in colour, which makes it very easy to identify, for example, the jerseys of cyclists or runners during events.

The RF Extender 5 made its debut on 21 January at the Diagonela Ski Classics race held in Switzerland.

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