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[from Ana Kondic at the University of Sydney]

I have just spent eight months doing field work in Mexico where I used a Nagra Aress BB+ (with a Sony ECM-MS 957 Microphone) for audio recording that I borrowed from PARADISEC at Sydney University.

I worked with a highly endangered Mayan language, South Eastern Huastec. It is spoken in the region of La Huasteca, in the municipality of Chontla, in the North of Veracruz, Mexico, where the majority of the population speaks this as their first language, alongside Spanish.

The area of la Huasteca is tropical, with high temperatures and a very high humidity. I chose the "cold" period from October to May, with pleasant months of December and January (about 20 C during the day, and gets to low 5 C or so during the night), but very warm April and May (up to 35 C). The humidity is very high all year, mostly 85-95%.

I used the Nagra recorder every day for a couple of hours, and I kept it in a special air tight case (by Pelican, Germany) at night. It was very simple to use and to recharge, it is small and light and comes in a little bag. I also liked the fact that Nagra has a built-in loudspeaker (good when you want to play a recording for your consultants and you have only one pair of head phones!) During those eight months I didn't have any problem at all, I was very happy with the Nagra and can recommend it to field workers.


Thanks for sharing this with us, Anna. Perhaps you should have called your post "Stress testing the Nagra" rather than road testing it :-)

According to their website Pelican cases are "Watertight, crushproof, and dust proof" which I guess is what you mean by "air tight". Simon Atkins, who is a documentary film maker we have worked with at SOAS for grantee training courses, recommends including packs of silica gel dessicant with one's kit when in high humidity areas such as where you were in order to keep it as dry as possible. Did you do that too?

Thanks for the comment, Peter!
It was called "Road Testing" by Amanda...And no, I didn't use the silica gel dessicant.
Ana Kondic

I've used silica gel dessicant and waterproof bags, but I also found that most my equipment was fine without it.

No problems at all with the Edirol R-09 and the Zoom H2 and H4 recorders in both the dry and rainy season in eastern Ghana. Cameras are more vulnerable in high humidity situations though.

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