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Author Topic: "new"VHF Band for mics  (Read 5896 times)

Keith Broughton

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"new"VHF Band for mics
« on: July 26, 2016, 02:23:44 pm »

Is the VHF band for wirless mics (Shure ULX-D..et al) Band 3 - 174-240 Mhz?
Did a scan in Toronto and it's very quiet :)
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Ike Zimbel

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Re: "new"VHF Band for mics
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2016, 04:03:19 pm »

Is the VHF band for wirless mics (Shure ULX-D..et al) Band 3 - 174-240 Mhz?
Did a scan in Toronto and it's very quiet :)
I believe that it's 174-216 MHz, however I just got the Canadian price list this morning and they're not on it yet. I heard from a reliable source that they are waiting on Industry Canada approval.
iz
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Keith Broughton

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Re: "new"VHF Band for mics
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2016, 04:35:35 pm »

I believe that it's 174-216 MHz, however I just got the Canadian price list this morning and they're not on it yet. I heard from a reliable source that they are waiting on Industry Canada approval.
iz
thanks Ike
Did a scan and it looks like only TV ch 9 is there .
Otherwise, empty....for now.
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Ike Zimbel

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Re: "new"VHF Band for mics
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2016, 04:51:17 pm »


Otherwise, empty....for now.
Yep, until everyone loads up their wagons and heads for the Oregon Trail...just like they did with uhf 25 years ago! :P
iz
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Mac Kerr

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Re: "new"VHF Band for mics
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2016, 04:54:49 pm »

thanks Ike
Did a scan and it looks like only TV ch 9 is there .
Otherwise, empty....for now.

"For now" being the operative wording here. When we know how many broadcasters have sold their current spectrum, and how many of them will continue to broadcast OTA, we'll know how much of the 500MHz UHF spectrum and how much of the VHF spectrum will become occupied by transmissions currently in the 600MHz band. Everything is on the table here, and any plans made now will be a crapshoot.

That said, it's clear that the wireless mic/IEM/comms manufacturers will all be looking at ways to cram more capability into less spectrum, and that will almost certainly mean products that can operate in VHF. It will probably also mean products that can tune over a wider spectrum per device while still preventing operation in those parts of the spectrum that are unavailable regionally.

I'm glad I am not in a position of having to make short term plans to buy RF products.

Mac
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Russell Ault

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Re: "new"VHF Band for mics
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2016, 11:58:30 pm »

"For now" being the operative wording here. When we know how many broadcasters have sold their current spectrum, and how many of them will continue to broadcast OTA, we'll know how much of the 500MHz UHF spectrum and how much of the VHF spectrum will become occupied by transmissions currently in the 600MHz band. Everything is on the table here, and any plans made now will be a crapshoot.

Not to thread-hijack, but has anyone heard any word on whether/when something similar is going to happen up here in the Great White North? It seems to me that "for now" might mean a whole lot longer up here than it does south of the 49th...

-Russ
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Keith Broughton

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Re: "new"VHF Band for mics
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2016, 06:19:28 am »

Not to thread-hijack, but has anyone heard any word on whether/when something similar is going to happen up here in the Great White North? It seems to me that "for now" might mean a whole lot longer up here than it does south of the 49th...

-Russ
Canada will have a bit longer to use current products if the 700Mhz deal is any indicator.
How much longer...no way to tell.
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Ike Zimbel

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Re: "new"VHF Band for mics
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2016, 10:01:22 am »

Not to thread-hijack, but has anyone heard any word on whether/when something similar is going to happen up here in the Great White North? It seems to me that "for now" might mean a whole lot longer up here than it does south of the 49th...

-Russ
That's true...but. I've always maintained that for most Canadian companies that are based in the 200 mile wide x 3000 mile long strip of the country that 80% of the population lives in, as soon as you are doing a gig close to the border (say an outdoor festival in Niagara Falls, ON) you're going to bump into the US reality anyway, at least as far as DTV and Public Safety goes. Even if you are based further North, say, in Edmonton, AB, as soon as you have a job that brings your gear close to the border, you're going to be affected. So, while it may be legal to continue to own and use equipment in bands that have been re-allocated in the States, it may not be practical.
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~Ike Zimbel~
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Russell Ault

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Re: "new"VHF Band for mics
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2016, 11:56:42 am »

That's true...but. I've always maintained that for most Canadian companies that are based in the 200 mile wide x 3000 mile long strip of the country that 80% of the population lives in, as soon as you are doing a gig close to the border (say an outdoor festival in Niagara Falls, ON) you're going to bump into the US reality anyway, at least as far as DTV and Public Safety goes. Even if you are based further North, say, in Edmonton, AB, as soon as you have a job that brings your gear close to the border, you're going to be affected. So, while it may be legal to continue to own and use equipment in bands that have been re-allocated in the States, it may not be practical.

Ah, the joys of living in the frozen north! I suppose this means that I'm probably more interested in this particular topic than basically anyone else here.

It seems there's been a lot of grant/capital budget money floating around up here (I know of at least a couple dozen channels of Sennheiser G3 beltpacks purchased in the last couple years by various local community/education groups for their own theatrical use) and so when someone asks me what they should buy (or, more commonly, how screwed are they going to be and when) I've been feeling at a bit of a loss for a concrete answer. I guess I'll have to wait and see, just like everyone else.

Thanks!

-Russ
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Ike Zimbel

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Re: "new"VHF Band for mics
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2016, 01:40:28 pm »

Ah, the joys of living in the frozen north! I suppose this means that I'm probably more interested in this particular topic than basically anyone else here.

It seems there's been a lot of grant/capital budget money floating around up here (I know of at least a couple dozen channels of Sennheiser G3 beltpacks purchased in the last couple years by various local community/education groups for their own theatrical use) and so when someone asks me what they should buy (or, more commonly, how screwed are they going to be and when) I've been feeling at a bit of a loss for a concrete answer. I guess I'll have to wait and see, just like everyone else.

Thanks!

-Russ
Actually, I would think that a fixed installation in Edmonton (or Sudbury, or Quebec City, or anywhere a few hundred miles north of the border) would be a GREAT place to be for at least the next ten years, as changes in the US should be very unlikely to have an impact.
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~Ike Zimbel~
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Lyle Williams

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Re: "new"VHF Band for mics
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2016, 04:47:50 pm »

In Australia when there was a recent restack to clear out 700MHz, half the TV channels ended up in this VHF band.
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Karl Winkler

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Re: "new"VHF Band for mics
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2016, 11:30:48 am »

I believe that it's 174-216 MHz, however I just got the Canadian price list this morning and they're not on it yet. I heard from a reliable source that they are waiting on Industry Canada approval.
iz

Ike is correct: the band is 174-216 MHz. We (Lectrosonics) have an IFB system out in that band as well.
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Ike Zimbel

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Re: "new"VHF Band for mics
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2016, 11:51:18 am »

Ike is correct: the band is 174-216 MHz. We (Lectrosonics) have an IFB system out in that band as well.
Yes, and those ARE available in Canada right now! I was just looking at one yesterday...the usual solid Lectrosonics build, looks like a winner.
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~Ike Zimbel~
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Alteros Inc
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Ike Zimbel

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Re: "new"VHF Band for mics
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2016, 01:55:09 pm »

Yes, and those ARE available in Canada right now! I was just looking at one yesterday...the usual solid Lectrosonics build, looks like a winner.
This just in:http://www.prosoundweb.com/article/shure_adds_vhf_frequency_bands_ulx-d_and_qlx-d_digital_wireless_systems/news
Not sure about Canada yet, but will report back as soon as I know.
iz
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~Ike Zimbel~
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Jason Glass

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Re: "new"VHF Band for mics
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2016, 10:00:28 pm »

This just in:http://www.prosoundweb.com/article/shure_adds_vhf_frequency_bands_ulx-d_and_qlx-d_digital_wireless_systems/news
Not sure about Canada yet, but will report back as soon as I know.
iz

FYI, their new UA860V omni antennas work great for RAD UV-1G intercom RX, and are very small in size for VHF remote antennas.

Scott Holtzman

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Re: "new"VHF Band for mics
« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2016, 03:47:16 am »

FYI, their new UA860V omni antennas work great for RAD UV-1G intercom RX, and are very small in size for VHF remote antennas.

The built in ground plane is a decent idea however in principal I am always very leery of the performance of antenna that are not larger than a 1/4 wavelength.

While these are not production specific knowledge RF is RF and it baffles me that we readily accept that a horn has to be the right size to obtain pattern control down to a specific frequency it seems that the same principals applied to RF are seen as able to be engineered around.

You can certainly fix impedance problems of improperly loaded antenna with some type of network or "tank" circuit but the radiated (or captured) energy will never be the same as a reference dipole.

Gain in an antenna is achieved just like sound, my compressing the pattern and redirecting the energy into the desired direction.  RX antenna work the same, they give up sensitivity in one part of the pattern and increase it in another.

I have some older VHF T-Band Samson radios that were marketed to the broadcast industry and have synthesized RX and TX.  The main issue with the is oscillator drift and twice a year they need to be 0 beated (I don't have a trued service monitor any more).  I use a very standard 1/4 wave ground plane on a light stand.  The radials are 23" or so.  Whatever the center frequency is.  It is large but it works very well.  The preamp in the distro is set to only provide enough amplification to overcome multicoupler and cabling loss.  The only wish I have is that some sort of front end was on that amp, it is like a barn dorn and you can see the noise floor come up in urban areas.  I am sure that signals are mixing in the preamp.



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Keith Broughton

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Re: "new"VHF Band for mics
« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2016, 07:14:22 am »

FYI, their new UA860V omni antennas work great for RAD UV-1G intercom RX, and are very small in size for VHF remote antennas.
Considering a wavelenght at 200 Mhz is around 60", would this be a 1/4 wave or 1/8?
Hard to tell from the pic.
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Jason Glass

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Re: "new"VHF Band for mics
« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2016, 08:49:06 am »

Considering a wavelenght at 200 Mhz is around 60", would this be a 1/4 wave or 1/8?
Hard to tell from the pic.

It's a UA8-174-216 coil-loaded 1/4λ monopole on a detachable ground plane that contains a coaxial delay line.  The original prototypes that I tested had a different impedance matching device.

http://www.shure.com/americas/products/accessories/wireless-systems/wireless-systems-antennas/ua8-174-216

http://www.shure.com/americas/products/accessories/wireless-systems/wireless-systems-antennas/ua860v-passive-omnidirectional-antenna

One can reasonably assume that the antenna has dimensions appreciably less than what one would expect for 1/4λ @ 174-216 MHz due to computer aided design with 3D NEC modeling of electromagnetic radiation patterns.  My guess is that Shure has much more advanced software than 4NEC2.   ;)  I have seen tech articles describing sub-1/4λ antenna designs for space systems' use that seem impossibly small, yet perform remarkably well.  Usually they're fractal or meander designs, so this may be irrelevant to this ground plane's geometry, but I can imagine that there might be something similar going on with the rounded diamond shape.  Then again, maybe not!

https://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/news/releases/2004/04_55AR.html

https://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/news/releases/2004/antenna/antenna.html

Keith Broughton

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Re: "new"VHF Band for mics
« Reply #18 on: December 04, 2016, 04:29:25 pm »

It's a UA8-174-216 coil-loaded 1/4λ monopole on a detachable ground plane that contains a coaxial delay line.  The original prototypes that I tested had a different impedance matching device.

http://www.shure.com/americas/products/accessories/wireless-systems/wireless-systems-antennas/ua8-174-216

http://www.shure.com/americas/products/accessories/wireless-systems/wireless-systems-antennas/ua860v-passive-omnidirectional-antenna

One can reasonably assume that the antenna has dimensions appreciably less than what one would expect for 1/4λ @ 174-216 MHz due to computer aided design with 3D NEC modeling of electromagnetic radiation patterns.  My guess is that Shure has much more advanced software than 4NEC2.   ;)  I have seen tech articles describing sub-1/4λ antenna designs for space systems' use that seem impossibly small, yet perform remarkably well.  Usually they're fractal or meander designs, so this may be irrelevant to this ground plane's geometry, but I can imagine that there might be something similar going on with the rounded diamond shape.  Then again, maybe not!

https://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/news/releases/2004/04_55AR.html

https://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/news/releases/2004/antenna/antenna.html
$37 for just the antenna and another $300 for a piece of metal and a mic stand adapter...oh and a few feet of coax. Yikes!
Is there something else I don't see?
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: "new"VHF Band for mics
« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2016, 04:37:26 pm »

It's a UA8-174-216 coil-loaded 1/4λ monopole on a detachable ground plane that contains a coaxial delay line.  The original prototypes that I tested had a different impedance matching device.

http://www.shure.com/americas/products/accessories/wireless-systems/wireless-systems-antennas/ua8-174-216

http://www.shure.com/americas/products/accessories/wireless-systems/wireless-systems-antennas/ua860v-passive-omnidirectional-antenna

One can reasonably assume that the antenna has dimensions appreciably less than what one would expect for 1/4λ @ 174-216 MHz due to computer aided design with 3D NEC modeling of electromagnetic radiation patterns.  My guess is that Shure has much more advanced software than 4NEC2.   ;)  I have seen tech articles describing sub-1/4λ antenna designs for space systems' use that seem impossibly small, yet perform remarkably well.  Usually they're fractal or meander designs, so this may be irrelevant to this ground plane's geometry, but I can imagine that there might be something similar going on with the rounded diamond shape.  Then again, maybe not!

https://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/news/releases/2004/04_55AR.html

https://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/news/releases/2004/antenna/antenna.html

In the satellite there is quite a compelling reason to adjust the form factor.  Do any of these very complex designs perform even close to a reference dipole?

Prior to my stint at the Motorola wireless infrastructure group I worked in traditional land mobile systems design, paging to be specific.  The FCC required contours to be filed with your license that showed you protected other operators from interference.  The goal was always to get as close to another licensee as you could and we were very agresive with near field obstruction usage and various array configurations.  I forgot the mini we were using for simulation.  It was located at Arthur K. Peters and the runs would often take over a day to complete then be plotted on a pen plotter.   Arthur and David Carter were way ahead of the curve in software modeling.

Reason I bring all this up is I did a search and he is still using the software and has kept it updated.   Arthur has to be in his 80's now and was a pioneer in his field and it was an honor to work with him.

http://akpce.com/page8/page8.html

My point of all of this is the form factor reduction really worth the complexity and performance hit? 

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Jason Glass

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Re: "new"VHF Band for mics
« Reply #20 on: December 04, 2016, 04:53:09 pm »



My point of all of this is the form factor reduction really worth the complexity and performance hit?

That's a thought-provoking question!  I haul around a lot of antennas, but the difference in size really doesn't make much of a difference for transport.

Until the UA860V appeared, my main VHF omni was a 1/4λ wideband ground plane with 3 foldable counterpoise elements that had around 2dB of gain. What sealed the deal for me was the third time that I had to repair it because of other departments' carelessness around such a large instrument. It's not fragile, but it can't stand up to moving trusses and set pieces crushing or scraping against it.  The UA860V's size allows it to be placed in more out of the way places. Since VHF losses are so low in good cable, not much gain is often required.

Sent from my mobile phone. Please excuse the inevitable spelling and grammatical errors.

Scott Holtzman

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Re: "new"VHF Band for mics
« Reply #21 on: December 04, 2016, 05:14:32 pm »


That's a thought-provoking question!  I haul around a lot of antennas, but the difference in size really doesn't make much of a difference for transport.

Until the UA860V appeared, my main VHF omni was a 1/4λ wideband ground plane with 3 foldable counterpoise elements that had around 2dB of gain. What sealed the deal for me was the third time that I had to repair it because of other departments' carelessness around such a large instrument. It's not fragile, but it can't stand up to moving trusses and set pieces crushing or scraping against it.  The UA860V's size allows it to be placed in more out of the way places. Since VHF losses are so low in good cable, not much gain is often required.

Sent from my mobile phone. Please excuse the inevitable spelling and grammatical errors.



Hence was my comment.  The dipole I use has threaded rods for the ground plane and takes about 5 minutes to assemble.  I don't work around any of the heavy steel you described so that antenna has survived at least 10 years. 

When I first started hanging around PSW I got into a discussion with Peter Erskine about using a spread spectrum system for production instead of discrete receivers.  I still think with good engineering the latency issue could be solved and the idea of setting up a series of cellular base stations around a venue that would handle all the endpoints would revolutionize production RF work. 

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