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Author Topic: Antenna Combiners for Shure and Sennheiser  (Read 606 times)

Joel Mevis

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Antenna Combiners for Shure and Sennheiser
« on: August 30, 2017, 10:28:26 am »

Hey all I have a question that I think I know the answer too but I guess I would just like some confirmation....

At church we have a pretty good antenna farm going and we are going to start to install some combiners and splitters.

Here is our current IEM rig. We have 1 Sennheiser G3 ew300 IEM unit and 4x Shure PSM 300 units. Now we like the Sennheiser units better and will eventually sell the Shures and purchase more Ew300s. But in the mean time I'd like to combine the antennas for the current IEM system.

Im looking at getting a Sennheiser AC3/NT which will combine 4 antennas and power 4 units through DC power.
The power requirements on the Shure is 1215 V DC, 260 mA maximum.
The Power Requirements for the Senny is 12V DC 350mA.

SOOOOOOOOO with that said could I use the Sennheiser AC3/NT to power the Shure PSM 300 units through the Antenna cables?

My plan would be to use the Sennheiser AC3 to power and combine 4 units and then use a passive antenna combiner to combine the AC3 out & IEM unit 5 antennas. And use the IEM unit power supply to power the 5th unit?

Thoughts... Concerns?
« Last Edit: August 30, 2017, 10:32:40 am by Joel Mevis »
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brian maddox

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Re: Antenna Combiners for Shure and Sennheiser
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2017, 01:13:12 pm »

Hey all I have a question that I think I know the answer too but I guess I would just like some confirmation....

At church we have a pretty good antenna farm going and we are going to start to install some combiners and splitters.

Here is our current IEM rig. We have 1 Sennheiser G3 ew300 IEM unit and 4x Shure PSM 300 units. Now we like the Sennheiser units better and will eventually sell the Shures and purchase more Ew300s. But in the mean time I'd like to combine the antennas for the current IEM system.

Im looking at getting a Sennheiser AC3/NT which will combine 4 antennas and power 4 units through DC power.
The power requirements on the Shure is 1215 V DC, 260 mA maximum.
The Power Requirements for the Senny is 12V DC 350mA.

SOOOOOOOOO with that said could I use the Sennheiser AC3/NT to power the Shure PSM 300 units through the Antenna cables?

My plan would be to use the Sennheiser AC3 to power and combine 4 units and then use a passive antenna combiner to combine the AC3 out & IEM unit 5 antennas. And use the IEM unit power supply to power the 5th unit?

Thoughts... Concerns?

Short answer is no.  The Shure transmitters CANNOT be powered via their antenna ports like the Sennheiser units can.

However, you could potentially take the opposite tack.  The PA411 combiner that is designed for the PSM300s has a single power output that, when combined with a simple splitter cable that Shure sells, will power 4 PSM300 systems and may well power the Sennheisers as well, although according to your specs the Sennheisers appear to need a little more current, so that may not work.

There are other more creative options as well using our old friend FleaBay.  If it were me, i would be trying to find a way to acquire an 8 Input Antenna combiner to allow for expansion.  But i am well aware that the price jump from 4 Inputs to 8 Input combiner can be steep.

Last thought.  The output of your transmitters is only 30mW.  Using a passive combiner after your active combiner may lead to enough signal loss to create more problems than the combining solves.
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brian maddox
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Don T. Williams

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Re: Antenna Combiners for Shure and Sennheiser
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2017, 01:29:50 pm »

You might look into the products from RF Venue.  This area is their forte.
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Joel Mevis

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Re: Antenna Combiners for Shure and Sennheiser
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2017, 02:24:12 pm »

You might look into the products from RF Venue.  This area is their forte.

Could I get 2x AC3s and then passively combine the antennas in to 1? That is stall about half the price of an AC3200-II 8 Channel combiner.
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brian maddox

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Re: Antenna Combiners for Shure and Sennheiser
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2017, 03:07:59 pm »

Could I get 2x AC3s and then passively combine the antennas in to 1? That is stall about half the price of an AC3200-II 8 Channel combiner.

Remember, if you remove the powering through the antennas requirement, antenna combiners are somewhat brand agnostic.  There are some pretty good deals to be had in this area with a little creativity.

For instance...  Right now on FleaBay there's an AKG SPC4 wideband combiner that is basically the same as the PA411 for less than 200 bucks.  A few years ago i found an 8-channel Telex Antenna Combiner/Splitter originally intended for use with Intercom systems on eBay for 100 bucks.  Yes, i got a professional quality 8 channel antenna combiner for 100 bucks.  Used it for years and it worked great.

As to combining 2 combiners outputs passively?  I defer to the RF experts, but my gut tells me that the RF losses might be an issue depending on your venue situation.

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brian maddox
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Jean-Pierre Coetzee

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Re: Antenna Combiners for Shure and Sennheiser
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2017, 03:30:27 am »

Could I get 2x AC3s and then passively combine the antennas in to 1? That is stall about half the price of an AC3200-II 8 Channel combiner.
As far as I know if you use the correct passive combiner like this or an equivalent one from Shure/Sennheiser or whoever you will be fine.

Maybe ask in the wireless forums.

Make very sure whatever you use is 50Ω and also terminate any open connectors on the AC3 unit.

I would like to re-iterate that you should look at the RFVenue units, this unit retails for nearly 200USD less than the AC3 and 2 will provide everything you need.
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Joel Mevis

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Re: Antenna Combiners for Shure and Sennheiser
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2017, 08:16:54 am »

As far as I know if you use the correct passive combiner like this or an equivalent one from Shure/Sennheiser or whoever you will be fine.

Maybe ask in the wireless forums.

Make very sure whatever you use is 50Ω and also terminate any open connectors on the AC3 unit.

I would like to re-iterate that you should look at the RFVenue units, this unit retails for nearly 200USD less than the AC3 and 2 will provide everything you need.

Yeah I have seen those. And Even RF Venue says you can use a passive combiner on 2 of them for an 8 channel combined antenna. But the AC3 is a half rack unit and the RF venue is a full rack unit. We are limited on space in our rack...

What do you mean terminate open connectors on the AC3? As in if I only plug in 5 total IEMs that we need to plug something in to the other 3 "open" ports?
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Joel Mevis

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Re: Antenna Combiners for Shure and Sennheiser
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2017, 08:18:33 am »

Also I had no idea that there was a wireless forum! I only ever come to church sound lol! I'll ask my question there too.
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Jean-Pierre Coetzee

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Re: Antenna Combiners for Shure and Sennheiser
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2017, 03:35:26 am »

Yes if there is open RF outputs on the combiner you should terminate them with a 50ohm terminator.

Mini-Circuits sells them so do others. I would post a link but am on my phone.
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Audio Technician
Word & Life Church

"If you want "loud", then run a piece of sheet metal through a table saw------

If you want "watts"-then plug in a toaster"
- Ivan Beaver

Jean-Pierre Coetzee

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Re: Antenna Combiners for Shure and Sennheiser
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2017, 03:39:11 am »

The reason for recommending the RF venue over the AC3 is because it's DC outputs will power both where with the AC3 you would need to use the wall warts for the shures
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Audio Technician
Word & Life Church

"If you want "loud", then run a piece of sheet metal through a table saw------

If you want "watts"-then plug in a toaster"
- Ivan Beaver
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