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Author Topic: Wide Range scanner for WWB  (Read 2505 times)

Andrew Broughton

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Wide Range scanner for WWB
« on: February 22, 2018, 06:13:44 pm »

Other than the AXT1600, are there any other wide-range scanners that will work with WWB directly? It would be something if there were an API to allow 3rd party devices to scan directly into WWB, as I would figure out a way to add my SDRPlay or RFExplorer...
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Scott Helmke

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Re: Wide Range scanner for WWB
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2018, 06:21:46 pm »

The AXT400 can be set to wideband scanning from within WWB. That's at least slightly cheaper than the AXT600.
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Andrew Broughton

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Re: Wide Range scanner for WWB
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2018, 07:05:31 pm »

That's at least slightly cheaper than the AXT600.
Lol. The RF Explorer and SDRPlay are more than 30 times cheaper.
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-Andy

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Jordan Wolf

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Re: Wide Range scanner for WWB
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2018, 11:19:16 pm »

...It would be something if there were an API to allow 3rd party devices to scan directly into WWB, as I would figure out a way to add my SDRPlay or RFExplorer...
Yeah, it certainly would be nice.

I just use Vantage with my RFExplorer and tap into whatever the mics are using to view the world with.
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Kevin Maxwell

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Re: Wide Range scanner for WWB
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2018, 12:44:34 pm »

I use a WinRadio scanner. It is a model WR-305e professional. It used to work with version 5 of WWB but they havenít made version 6 so you can use the WinRadio Scanner directly in it.

I ran some tests to see how accurate the methods that I have been using are and determined that when using the WinRadio by itself I got accurate frequencies and when I use it (WinRadio) with Shure WWB 5 or use a Shure receiver with WWB 5 or 6 the frequencies it gives me can be as much as 250k off. So I use the WinRadio as the scanner with the WinRadio software so I can trust the results I get. There is a plugin for the WinRadio software called Hit Counter. The results can be manipulated in Excel and then imported into WWB. I have been told that I am being too fussy but it has worked for me. I wrote an Excel Macro that gets me close to how the scan file need to be and then I have to do some minor manual manipulation. I need to learn Excel macros better and then I should be able to automate the process better.
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Andrew Broughton

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Re: Wide Range scanner for WWB
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2018, 01:48:47 pm »

Interesting, Kevin. I wonder how accurate the SDRPlay is vs WinRadio. (I'd forgotten about WinRadio, I thought they had gone out of business)
I just found this: https://github.com/nocarryr/rtlsdr-wwb-scanner which although not complete might be a step in the right direction.

Seems to me that Pete's page has some Excel sheets with macros for importing Scans. Have you looked at those?
http://www.bestaudio.com/downloads/
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Scott Helmke

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Re: Wide Range scanner for WWB
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2018, 04:47:41 pm »

FWIW, even when I have an AXT600 I don't tend to directly use the imported scans in WWB coordinations. Instead, I use the scan to figure out what TV stations are present and any other transmitters I can't control. Then I manually input the TV stations and other exclusions in WWB.

The reason for this is that WWB tends to look at TV station data as possibly being a whole bunch of wireless mics, and includes that in its intermod calculations. So if I was to import a busy scan with a lot of TV stations it would really cut down on the possible calculated wireless mic frequencies available.  This can make a huge difference at an event with a lot of channels of wireless audio.
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Scott Helmke

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Re: Wide Range scanner for WWB
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2018, 05:40:32 pm »

There *is* a rather interesting new product from RF Venue, their "WaveTower", which might meet your needs. It's a little black box that goes on the Internet and has a built-in receiver for wideband scanning, and it uploads data to an account (free with limited capabilities or paid with more stuff) where you can log in, get WWB-compatible CSV files, etc. 

Kind of exciting because you could ship the box to a distant customer and do "onsite scanning" from your own office.

Base price for one of the WaveTower boxes is $899.
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Russell Ault

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Re: Wide Range scanner for WWB
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2018, 02:44:44 am »

It's not quite what you're looking for, but I cobbled together a Python script that uses my RF Explorer to scan from 470 MHz to 698 MHz in 10 MHz chunks (for better resolution) then dumps out the data in a format that WWB will open directly. It's not real-time (obviously), but the scans don't take much time to produce, and the execution is as simple as running the script, waiting for the result, and opening it in WWB.

-Russ
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Jordan Wolf

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Re: Wide Range scanner for WWB
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2018, 03:39:15 pm »

The reason for this is that WWB tends to look at TV station data as possibly being a whole bunch of wireless mics, and includes that in its intermod calculations. So if I was to import a busy scan with a lot of TV stations it would really cut down on the possible calculated wireless mic frequencies available.  This can make a huge difference at an event with a lot of channels of wireless audio.
Version 6.12 of WWB6 has options for categorizing scan peaks - like TV carriers - so that there is no spacing buffer AND itís not considered in IMD calculation.

See Shureís Advanced Techniques for RF Coordination webinar.
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Ike Zimbel

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Re: Wide Range scanner for WWB
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2018, 08:59:39 pm »

Version 6.12 of WWB6 has options for categorizing scan peaks - like TV carriers - so that there is no spacing buffer AND itís not considered in IMD calculation.

See Shureís Advanced Techniques for RF Coordination webinar.
Ah, good to know. I had encountered this recently and had been wondering what to do about it.
iz
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Jordan Wolf

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Re: Wide Range scanner for WWB
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2018, 11:04:57 pm »

Ah, good to know. I had encountered this recently and had been wondering what to do about it.
iz
I reached out to Shure the other day to see if there was a way to exclude a frequency range from being considered in the IMD calc but havenít heard back yet.

Iím not sure if that is how the TV station section treats the entries, but Iím assuming not until proven otherwise.

Itís also important to note that the aforementioned categories are editable in the equipment profiles area.
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Jordan Wolf
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Scott Helmke

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Re: Wide Range scanner for WWB
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2018, 01:44:59 pm »

I do know about the IMD setting for exclusions, but in practice found that it took a lot of time to do.
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Samuel Rees

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Wide Range scanner for WWB
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2018, 09:44:41 am »

Even before the scan peak threshold software update, I donít think it ran intermod calcs on tv channels if you looked them up and marked them in the TV channel area, unless Iím remembering incorrectly.

On a direct to workbench scanner...... my heart greatly desires this.


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« Last Edit: March 01, 2018, 09:46:55 am by Samuel Rees »
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Andrew Broughton

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Re: Wide Range scanner for WWB
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2018, 05:37:24 pm »

It's not quite what you're looking for, but I cobbled together a Python script that uses my RF Explorer to scan from 470 MHz to 698 MHz in 10 MHz chunks (for better resolution) then dumps out the data in a format that WWB will open directly. It's not real-time (obviously), but the scans don't take much time to produce, and the execution is as simple as running the script, waiting for the result, and opening it in WWB.

-Russ
Very interesting! I'm really digging the SDRPlay and it's open-source nature would lend itself to direct control from WWB, if they decided to offer an API for it...
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-Andy

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Russell Ault

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Re: Wide Range scanner for WWB
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2018, 06:36:50 pm »

Very interesting! I'm really digging the SDRPlay and it's open-source nature would lend itself to direct control from WWB, if they decided to offer an API for it...

The RF Explorer is pretty good for this too: there's an open-source Python library that makes it pretty straight-forward to control and collect data from. As you say, if WWB offered an API it'd be relatively easy to write a bit of glue logic and get them talking to each other.

-Russ
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Henry Cohen

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Re: Wide Range scanner for WWB
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2018, 06:58:54 pm »

. . . I donít think it ran intermod calcs on tv channels if you looked them up and marked them in the TV channel area . . .

Unless you're in an area with one of the few remaining analog LPTV transmitters, there are no IM calculations that can be run on a DTV carrier that are relevant to wireless microphone frequency coordination.
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Samuel Rees

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Re: Wide Range scanner for WWB
« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2018, 09:45:53 pm »

Unless you're in an area with one of the few remaining analog LPTV transmitters, there are no IM calculations that can be run on a DTV carrier that are relevant to wireless microphone frequency coordination.

Agreed, for sure.


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Brad Harris

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Re: Wide Range scanner for WWB
« Reply #18 on: March 10, 2018, 09:37:06 am »

I use a WinRadio scanner. It is a model WR-305e professional. It used to work with version 5 of WWB but they havenít made version 6 so you can use the WinRadio Scanner directly in it.

I ran some tests to see how accurate the methods that I have been using are and determined that when using the WinRadio by itself I got accurate frequencies and when I use it (WinRadio) with Shure WWB 5 or use a Shure receiver with WWB 5 or 6 the frequencies it gives me can be as much as 250k off. ...

It's been a documented known issue for years. The "official" 3rd party hardware not working correctly with WWB5 ... It usually is off by 2 step sizes, sometimes 1 if you're lucky.

The hardware (WinRadio) isn't the problem, WWB5 is.


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Kevin Maxwell

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Re: Wide Range scanner for WWB
« Reply #19 on: March 10, 2018, 10:28:50 am »

It's been a documented known issue for years. The "official" 3rd party hardware not working correctly with WWB5 ... It usually is off by 2 step sizes, sometimes 1 if you're lucky.

The hardware (WinRadio) isn't the problem, WWB5 is.

Thank you. I agree it is WWB 5 that has the problem.

I am starting the rehearsal with sound for a musical on Monday (still setting things up) and even though we have worked this venue often I am going to rescan the room today. Just to see if there is anything new on the air. I will use the WinRadio software but I am also going to run a test or 2 to see how accurate WWB 6 is when using the Shure UHF-R receivers to scan. I have done this before and I thought even they were off a little bit in this configuration. So that is why I will test that today. I will report back with my results.

One of the reason that I usually use the WinRadio is, many times I am also using additional wireless not just the Shure UHF-R, that are slightly outside of the range of the Shures. But for this show I am using the UHF-R wireless except for one hot back up. And I think it is in the range of the Shures. 
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Kevin Maxwell

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Re: Wide Range scanner for WWB
« Reply #20 on: March 10, 2018, 11:16:54 pm »

Thank you. I agree it is WWB 5 that has the problem.

I am starting the rehearsal with sound for a musical on Monday (still setting things up) and even though we have worked this venue often I am going to rescan the room today. Just to see if there is anything new on the air. I will use the WinRadio software but I am also going to run a test or 2 to see how accurate WWB 6 is when using the Shure UHF-R receivers to scan. I have done this before and I thought even they were off a little bit in this configuration. So that is why I will test that today. I will report back with my results.

One of the reason that I usually use the WinRadio is, many times I am also using additional wireless not just the Shure UHF-R, that are slightly outside of the range of the Shures. But for this show I am using the UHF-R wireless except for one hot back up. And I think it is in the range of the Shures.

I tried it today and found that when using 2 different bands on 2 of the UHF-R receivers as the scanner in WWB 6.12.0.88. And I had one transmitter on in each band and it looked like it picked them up on the exact frequency that they were transmitting on. So it does look like you get accurate results using this method. 
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Mike Kahrs

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Re: Wide Range scanner for WWB
« Reply #21 on: March 13, 2018, 03:42:39 pm »

Speaking of scans, tho' I use IAS for freqs, I scan with WWB whenever convenient, and I ALWAYS scan with one channel in EACH receiver in my rack, even if they are all the same band.  Very interesting, sometimes, when I compare the scans received on each receiver connected to the same pair of antennas.
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Ike Zimbel

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Re: Wide Range scanner for WWB
« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2018, 01:59:50 pm »

Speaking of scans, tho' I use IAS for freqs, I scan with WWB whenever convenient, and I ALWAYS scan with one channel in EACH receiver in my rack, even if they are all the same band.  Very interesting, sometimes, when I compare the scans received on each receiver connected to the same pair of antennas.
Hi Mike,
Have you ever delved into the differences and found any reasons for them? One thing that would not surprise me at all would be BNC jumper cables with recessed center pins. I find one or more of those on practically every gig.
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Gian Luca Cavalliini

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Re: Wide Range scanner for WWB
« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2018, 05:04:35 pm »

Hi Mike,
Have you ever delved into the differences and found any reasons for them? One thing that would not surprise me at all would be BNC jumper cables with recessed center pins. I find one or more of those on practically every gig.

+1. It happened to me many times...
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