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Author Topic: Working in a RF nightmare  (Read 1000 times)

TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Working in a RF nightmare
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2017, 10:41:52 am »

"These guys can't afford a Log periodic antennas or really any RF distribution"

Then they can't afford 12ch of wireless. Period. Insist that they allow you to do the job right or refuse to take responsibility for the impossible task they are forcing on you.
This is like buying a car but not being able to afford oil changes.  Not a good long term solution.
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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: Working in a RF nightmare
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2017, 12:35:56 pm »

No one would by wired mics, then say they can't afford the cables-but in essence this is the same thing.

I agree that this is not your problem.  If they can't afford the antennas, then reduce the mic count until you can get reliable performance.  Fewer working mics will make for a better performance than a lot of intermittent mics.
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Steve Swaffer

LonnieBedell

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Re: Working in a RF nightmare
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2017, 09:07:12 pm »

Hey guys I've been in quite a predicament lately and could use some advice. I work in a small venue (seats about 400) with a small presenium that employs the use of a 12'x32' thrust to compensate for the small stage. We host a wide variety of events ranging from concerts to corporate events, but the most troublesome of all is community theater. Most community theater troops will rent out venues like mine to host their productions. They provide all the wireless lavalier mics for their productions. It's my job to set up the mics and run sound for the shows. So here's where it gets bad... naturally these theater troops are one a budget. They alll seem to have the same mics. Maybe this is just in my local theater community bacause I assume the Same people are recommending the same products to all the play directors. I can't recall the model number, but they are audio technica mics. One channel per unit. They operate on frequencies from 482 a 506. Incraments of .025. They have no network compatibility, so I can't use audio technica's RF control software. I think it's called artist elite or something. Even buying a spectrum anylizer is out of the question because I can't go spending company money just to accomadate one client when there's plenty of upgrades that we hold at a greater priority. The auto scan function works on 9 different groups and has worked terribly. The last time I reset all the frequencies using it I got tons of drop outs and even local television broadcasting interference. So I've just been stuck in a tragic loop of trial and error. Based on the placement of our stage box, I can't think of any other place to place the receivers than right on top of the stage box, stacked on top of each other, right behind the persenium.(stage right) but because of the small stage most of the action is on the thrust. So I can't even have a line of sight between transmitters and receivers half the time. And there's no way to get them any higher than 5 ft off the ground. At least I can't think of any. They all run off Omni directional antennas. These guys can't afford a Log periodic antennas or really any RF distribution, and again we can't go buying that stuff just for one or two clients. I'm sick of getting bad results and being looked at like I don't know what I'm doing. In reality I don't know what I'm doing! I've had formal training in all this stuff, but it's like how can you cut a steak with spoon? I've thought about building a DIY log periodic antenna, but how am I going to know I'm getting the frequency response I need? the house wireless system is all sennhieser G3 with a sennheiser splitter and it works flawlessly. But we're talking 12 wireless units working in tandum with stock Omni antennas stacked on top of each other with a wall full of all sorts of metal and no distribution. I'm all out of ideas. I always have at least two mics experiencing interference and dropouts. It is extremely frustrating and I've been racking my brain for months. Does anyone have any suggestions for me?

I think the core of the problem is you being responsible for somebody else's cheap gear. They need to provide their own audio "fall guy" if this is the situation.
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scottstephens

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Re: Working in a RF nightmare
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2017, 05:24:25 pm »

Ryan,

The fact that your getting television interference says it all.  To me, it sounds like they are using frequencies that are not supposed to be used. You could get in serious trouble. Go to the A.T. website and look for the available frequencies in your area. You do this by typing in your zip code. You can also email A.T. I have always found them to be very responsive.  I have 12  A.T. 3000 units and 4 of those are in the "I" range 482- 507 Mhz and they have been rock solid.

Also, if you need to get the receivers up in the air, go to Walmart and get a cheap bookcase and put some of the units one the top couple of shelves and put the thing against the wall just off stage, for $50 bucks they are up where they belong. Or, get some boards and a couple of shelving brackets. For $30, a couple of screws,  and a 1/2 hour of your time you are good to go.

Lastly, as said before, don't be responsible for someone else's crap.

scott
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Eric Snodgrass

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Re: Working in a RF nightmare
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2017, 10:05:17 pm »

I agree with the other posters concerning frequency checks - you should be checking the available frequencies in the area using the Audio Technica tools (or other frequency tools).  I too have had issues with AT wireless gear.  On one gig I experienced dropouts on the lead during one particular part of a scene regardless of the proximity of the receiver's antennas. 
One thing you need to look at is the antenna placement of the packs.  If the transmitter has a floppy antenna (like some other cheap wireless models) make sure that the antenna is not crossing the mic connector or the mic cable.  That alone will cut transmission range of the pack. 
Also, check how much contact the antenna is having with the performer's body.  Contact with bare skin or sweaty undergarments can also have an adverse effect on transmitter range. 
(I am assuming that the transmitters are under costumes) - If any of the costume tops contain metal, including shiny metallic threads, beading, or even certain sequins, that will also cause transmitter range issues. 

I do not agree with the poster who inferred that one needs an antenna distribution amp for more than 12 wireless.  While it could help quite a bit it is not necessary and should not be thought of as a hard and fast rule of wireless.  I have frequently run wireless counts exceeding 20 without antenna DAs and have had great results.  As you have found out, the more expensive units (Sennheiser) will give you much better transmission range quality than the cheap units.  So an antenna DA could be a solution to the issues regarding the cheap units. 
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