RockWave Fiber Systems Selects Riedel for Red Bull, Traxxas Racing Events

Riedel Communications, a provider of real-time video, audio, data, and communications networks, announced that RockWave Fiber Systems has used a Riedel RockNet real-time, low-latency audio distribution network to support the Red Bull AMA Amateur National MX Championship and the Traxxas TORC (The Off-Road Championship) Series. Enabling bidirectional fiber-based audio transport, the Riedel RockNet frames provided a copper cable alternative that allowed RockWave to cover the extensive race courses with much greater simplicity and ease.

“Managing the distance of various audio locations from the main audio mix is our primary challenge during race events, but Riedel’s RockNet solves this problem by providing flawless analog-to-digital conversion of audio, which then can be transported and distributed via fiber,” said Justin Maita, chief engineer at RockWave Fiber Systems. “The difference between using a couple of pieces of tactical fiber, rather than the many heavy DT-12 cables normally required, is impossible to convey. Ultimately, this approach saves us days on the install and a lot of time on the strike, thus allowing techs to spend valuable time working on other important technical details.”

Designed for heavy-duty road use, RockNet is a real-time, low-latency audio distribution network that conveys up to 160 24 bit/48 kHz audio channels on a single fiber core at distances of up to 12.4 miles. (Alternatively, the system can be used with RJ-45 CAT-5 cabling.) All devices feature locking IEC connectors for redundant power supplies, all other audio connectors are entirely gold-plated, and the circuit design is streamlined to assure ultra-low noise and minimum distortion for excellent audio quality.

RockWave used Riedel RockNet systems for the Red Bull AMA Amateur National MX Championship from July 28 to Aug. 3 at the Loretta Lynn Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn., and at the Traxxas TORC series held in September at Nevada’s Primm Off Road Raceway. For production at both events, RockWave connected all locations with Riedel 351 and 352 fiber TX/RX devices and single-mode TAC fiber, to RockNet frames connected locally to one another via Riedel CAT-5 jumpers. In the field where audio required voltage for communications and IFBs, the company connected wetting devices to the frames.

Thanks to this Riedel solution, RockWave did not use a single piece of heavy DT-12 audio cable during the Red Bull AMA Amateur National MX Championship. Instead, the company used 16 RockNet frames, deploying half in the field and the other half in the main TV compound, where the network passed all the field audio, with signals going in both directions, to the main audio hub/mix over fiber.

With the numerous audio drops used during high-profile motocross and off-road races, production typically would require as many as 20 separate DT-12 cables, some going as far as 1,000 feet, to accommodate all the show audio. Installation of this cabling is easily a day’s work or more, but using the RockNet system and fiber, the engineer on site for the TORC event was able accomplish in one day the audio network configuration work that previously took two or three days.

At TORC, RockWave used 11 Riedel RockNet frames along with a Riedel MADI interface, which was installed in the broadcast compound to enable interfacing with primary audio. With this solution, the company was able to pass all audio for the show down two short pieces of coax cable, and then down TAC fiber to the field.

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