Rambert Dance Company may perform three works one week, then a different two the next. This means that the technical crew is kept on their toes, not just from week to week, but from performance to performance. And it's here that the WRFU comes into its own. "In the intervals we have fairly major lighting checks, and the WRFU practically doubles our capacity at these times. We can have a board operator doing his checks on the desk while I can wander around backstage doing my checks with the WRFU -- without tripping up either the dancers who will be on stage warming up or myself(!)" says Glanville.

The Obsession II WRFU is a wireless extension of ETC's Obsession II control console. When installed on approved handheld devices, such as the Compaq iPAQ, it offers all the comprehensive functionality of ETC's wired Remote Focus Unit (RFU), with the added flexibility of a small handheld wireless unit. Because the iPAQ is PC compatible, users also get all the benefits of the on-board Windows applications, such as Excel spreadsheets.

Already a user of ETC's wired RFU, Glanville needed no learning time with the WRFU. "This wireless unit is so much more versatile. If you have a need for a riggers' remote control, this is it."

Rambert put the WRFU through its paces during their spring UK tour. And if Glanville had any technical questions, he always had prompt answers: "I have to say that the support from ETC has been, as ever, absolutely brilliant."

Glanville is a convert to the iPAQ, which he bought specifically for the WRFU software: "We keep our standard patch in Excel format, and the fact that the iPAQ is PC compatible means that we can simply drop into a spreadsheet to check patches. The flexibility is tremendous. And on tour, the WRFU not only doubles as a phone and PC, but with the new compact GPS [global positioning satellite], it even stops us getting lost!"