5 Best Practices for Getting the Most From Your Bolt

Tech has taken over the film world. With tools like digital cameras, zero-delay wireless video, gimbals, and now even monitoring and camera control on smartphones, it’s undeniable that technology has completely revolutionized the way filmmakers create.

One of the biggest advancements in on-set monitoring was having the ability to deliver high quality video wirelessly and instantly. We’re now able to send 4K 60FPS video in real-time at up to 1,500 ft. of range with more reliability than ever before. Follow focus systems can be completely wireless and up to 5,000 ft. away, not to mention other tools like camera configuration and color control that can all be done wirelessly now.

But as reliable as wireless devices are these days, there are ways to ensure you get the optimal results every time you bring the gear on set. Here are our best practices for using your Bolt.

1. Antenna Placement

If the Bolt TX and RX have a clear line of sight with no physical obstructions between them, the (2) TX antennas and the (5) RX antennas should be positioned with the antennas perpendicular to the ground / horizontal plane so that they are straight up and down:

TX : | |
RX : | | | | |

TX and RX antennas should be aligned so they are parallel.

2. Perfect Pairing

If you’re having trouble getting units to pair, we recommend keeping the TX & RX around 6 feet apart when pairing (if antennas are connected). Without antennas, they can be even closer. Keep all other RF devices nearby turned off or out of range to ensure the TX & RX are only detecting each other.

Want to eliminate any chance of interference? Just do wired pairing. This guarantees that they’ll be locked in to one another. Any Bolt system can be paired via our Bolt Manager software for PCs and Macs - all you have to do is connect both TX & RX to your computer via USB. You can pair as many units as your computer can input.

For Bolt 4K, we’ve added Bluetooth to make pairing and configuring units an absolute breeze. Manage every parameter of your Bolt from the convenience of your iOS device.

3. Wait 1 Minute Before Moving

Bolts need to scan for DFS channels immediately after pairing, and while we know how fast-paced prep days and shoots can get, letting them scan for DFS results in less chance of breaking the link between the TX & RX. Just wait until the RX no longer shows “Scanning For DFS Channels” and you’re good to go.

4. Use a Spectrum Analyzer

Bolt 1000+3000 Built-in Spectrum Analyzer from Teradek on Vimeo.

If you own a Bolt 500, 1000, 3000, 1000 XT or 3000 XT, you can use the Bolt’s built-in spectrum analyzer to evaluate the channels around you. On the RX’s display, the channels pop up as bars; the higher the bar, the more congested that channel is. With the Bolt’s manual channel selection feature, you can choose the channels with the least congestion and force your Bolts to lock into those channels. This can actually significantly improve your wireless performance, especially in areas with too many wireless devices nearby.

5. Keep Your Units Updated

With Teradek products, you can expect firmware updates regularly. That’s because we work hard to constantly add new features and improve our solutions. If you think you’re encountering an issue with your Bolt, always update to the latest firmware first to ensure your units are up to date.

Bolt 4K models will be able to easily update through the Bolt Manager app for iOS.


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