Raven Reliability and Range
The Raven contains a number of innovations that result in unparalleled reliability and range. We've tested the Raven against other products in the industry and have created a product that stands apart from the competition.
The PocketWizard E-release firmware is a migration from commonly used older radio protocol from the 1980-2000 time frame where On Off Keying (OOK) type data transmission was use on most devices – including PocketWizards.
As newer radio chips and new developments in clean radio spectrum technology became the must-have for cell phones and other high density wireless devices, the push to get better use of the spectrum was a big focus for many market segments.
PocketWizard had long wished to keep compatibility with older products but it came at the expense of missing these new improvements in radio research. In big events like the Olympics and other major venues, the number of photographers trying to grab free space in the channel lineup was a problem. PocketWizard realized there was a need for higher reliability in multi-shooter or multi-remote camera setups and put a bunch of Research and Development into this change to the new transmission methods.
In radio terms, the radio noise in adjacent channels was reduced by over 20dB (decibels). The result was that adjacent channel interference has been reduced by over a factor of 100!
The Raven has adopted the PocketWizard protocol and added a number of hardware and software improvements to take it even a step further. A built-in SAW (surface acoustic wave) filter – a first in the industry – reduces noise dramatically. And furthermore, a custom designed antenna improves beam uniformity and range.
This means that a jamming device (IE: another photographer) would need to be a 10 times closer to your receiver before their transmitter would interfere with your receiver.
This reduced noise results in prevention of photographers from stepping on each other’s signals. The innovation allows a much better chance of having every trigger work even with 130 photographers at an event.
The other major advantage when using these new narrower bandwidth radio channels is that the receiver can more easily find the signal when general background noise is present (such as cell phones, video screens, and wifi hotspots). This results in longer range. In most cases, the range is improved somewhere between 2 and 10 times further than other protocols.
A good analogy is ISO sensitivity. Narrow bandwidth is similar to improving your high ISO sensitivity. You get better signal to noise and therefore a better result.
Below are some figures from our testing lab where we demonstrate the Raven signal energy profile compared to other products.