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Author Topic: Mixing Antenna Types for near / far coverage  (Read 4630 times)

Mike Karseboom

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Mixing Antenna Types for near / far coverage
« on: November 09, 2017, 10:31:43 am »

I have a situation where I am looking for "close" wireless connectivity in a 360 degree pattern and a "far" connectivity (50-200 feet or so) in one general direction (down the street).


I have an Audio Technica 3000 series system that has diversity antennae.  Unfortunately the receiver antennae can only be mounted about 5' high.  When throngs of people gather around the receiver the close mics still work well but I get dropouts when an announcer walks down the street more than 50 feet. 


I am wondering if I can connect a high mounted paddle antenna to just ONE of the antenna inputs (eg Channel "A") and leave the 1/4 wave antenna connected to the other channel ("B") and get good coverage both near (20 feet for 360 degrees)  and far (50+ feet in just one general direction)?


I realize I may be defeating part of the idea of the diversity system but am hoping that the close connections will just naturally select channel "B" (1/4 antenna) and the far connections will roll over to channel "A" (paddle antenna pointed that way). 
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Rob Spence

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Re: Mixing Antenna Types for near / far coverage
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2017, 10:46:11 am »

I have a situation where I am looking for "close" wireless connectivity in a 360 degree pattern and a "far" connectivity (50-200 feet or so) in one general direction (down the street).


I have an Audio Technica 3000 series system that has diversity antennae.  Unfortunately the receiver antennae can only be mounted about 5' high.  When throngs of people gather around the receiver the close mics still work well but I get dropouts when an announcer walks down the street more than 50 feet. 


I am wondering if I can connect a high mounted paddle antenna to just ONE of the antenna inputs (eg Channel "A") and leave the 1/4 wave antenna connected to the other channel ("B") and get good coverage both near (20 feet for 360 degrees)  and far (50+ feet in just one general direction)?


I realize I may be defeating part of the idea of the diversity system but am hoping that the close connections will just naturally select channel "B" (1/4 antenna) and the far connections will roll over to channel "A" (paddle antenna pointed that way).

Sure that will work though the 1/4 wave on the receiver will be affected by the people nearby.

Better would be a half wave vertical on a mic stand up above head height with a short(ish) cable to one input and the paddle on the other.

You might be able to rig mounts for both on to a speaker stand with the paddle up high and the half wave on a side arm above head height.

The quarter wave requires a ground plane (the receiver) to work while a half wave does not.

Most wireless vendors have both available.



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Mike Karseboom

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Re: Mixing Antenna Types for near / far coverage
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2017, 11:12:43 am »

Thanks for the reply.  I simplified the example slightly as I do have 4 units in a rack with an antenna distribution amplifier feeding them.  There are currently two 1/2 wave antennae front mounted at the top of the rack that feed the distribution amplifier. 


I was going to disconnect one of the 1/2 wave antenna and connect that channel to the paddle.  I am actually not using any of the 1/4 wave antennae that came with the receivers.
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Keith Broughton

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Re: Mixing Antenna Types for near / far coverage
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2017, 11:54:08 am »

I have a situation where I am looking for "close" wireless connectivity in a 360 degree pattern and a "far" connectivity (50-200 feet or so) in one general direction (down the street).




I am wondering if I can connect a high mounted paddle antenna to just ONE of the antenna inputs (eg Channel "A")



Why not just connect 2 "paddle" antennas (instead of just one) above the crowd height ?
It would work for near and far.
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Mike Karseboom

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Re: Mixing Antenna Types for near / far coverage
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2017, 01:02:41 pm »

Why not just connect 2 "paddle" antennas (instead of just one) above the crowd height ?
It would work for near and far.


The physical arrangement is such that I need occasional long range coverage when the MC wanders  down the street to North but continuous close coverage for Choir mics 20' directly opposite to the South.  The MC also spends most of the time  right around the receiver rack area.


I figured the paddle antennae were directional and if they are pointed down the street away from the choir I would get worse coverage for the choir.  Is that not the case?    There is no convenient place I could put 2 paddle antennae that would point to the entire coverage area at once.
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Mac Kerr

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Re: Mixing Antenna Types for near / far coverage
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2017, 01:40:48 pm »

I figured the paddle antennae were directional and if they are pointed down the street away from the choir I would get worse coverage for the choir.  Is that not the case?    There is no convenient place I could put 2 paddle antennae that would point to the entire coverage area at once.

The paddle antenna has a cardioid coverage pattern. There is significant PU in all directions except directly behind it. Your best solution should involve a couple of tall tripod speaker stands to get both antennas up high, but not co-located. I would try to get the antennas up at least 7'-8'.

Mac
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Ike Zimbel

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Re: Mixing Antenna Types for near / far coverage
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2017, 05:08:08 pm »


I figured the paddle antennae were directional and if they are pointed down the street away from the choir I would get worse coverage for the choir.  Is that not the case?    There is no convenient place I could put 2 paddle antennae that would point to the entire coverage area at once.
You can actually have the best of both worlds by using both on "A" and "B". This can be done with a simple BNC "T" connector or by using the passive combiners that many suppliers (like the Shure UA221. I use the PWS and Mini Circuits products) sell.
As long as the antenna patterns and coverage area don't overlap too much, you'll be fine.
I have used multiple Rx antennas on every job I've done in the past 12 months. On really large stages, you pretty much have to.
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Jordan Wolf

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Re: Mixing Antenna Types for near / far coverage
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2017, 06:21:17 pm »

The RFVenue diversity fin might be a good fit for this; maybe two of them and a couple of passive splitter/combiner bits to retain omni/LPDA diversity?
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John Sulek

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Re: Mixing Antenna Types for near / far coverage
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2017, 08:08:17 pm »

You can actually have the best of both worlds by using both on "A" and "B". This can be done with a simple BNC "T" connector or by using the passive combiners that many suppliers (like the Shure UA221. I use the PWS and Mini Circuits products) sell.
As long as the antenna patterns and coverage area don't overlap too much, you'll be fine.
I have used multiple Rx antennas on every job I've done in the past 12 months. On really large stages, you pretty much have to.

This! Very useful in arenas to get rx coverage in the voms.
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Mike Karseboom

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Re: Mixing Antenna Types for near / far coverage
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2017, 11:26:39 pm »

This! Very useful in arenas to get rx coverage in the voms.


So a simple BNC "T" connector will work just as well as a much more expensive  passive power divider/combiner?  I thought there were some sort of internal reflection problems with a simple "T".


All of the antennae are passive so I don't need DC power sent through the cables.



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--Mike
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Keith Broughton

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Re: Mixing Antenna Types for near / far coverage
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2017, 09:06:34 am »

You can actually have the best of both worlds by using both on "A" and "B". This can be done with a simple BNC "T" connector or by using the passive combiners that many suppliers (like the Shure UA221. I use the PWS and Mini Circuits products) sell.
As long as the antenna patterns and coverage area don't overlap too much, you'll be fine.
I have used multiple Rx antennas on every job I've done in the past 12 months. On really large stages, you pretty much have to.
It was my understanding that a T connector would "work" but something like a UA221 is preferable.
Ike or John, any chance you have been able to do a comparison?
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Jason Glass

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Re: Mixing Antenna Types for near / far coverage
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2017, 06:29:47 pm »

The paddle antenna has a cardioid coverage pattern. There is significant PU in all directions except directly behind it. Your best solution should involve a couple of tall tripod speaker stands to get both antennas up high, but not co-located. I would try to get the antennas up at least 7'-8'.

Mac
This is by far the best advice given here for the described scenario.  TX located 20' away from typical LPDA's at 90° off axis should be rock solid.

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Jason Glass

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Re: Mixing Antenna Types for near / far coverage
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2017, 06:32:25 pm »


So a simple BNC "T" connector will work just as well as a much more expensive  passive power divider/combiner?  I thought there were some sort of internal reflection problems with a simple "T".


All of the antennae are passive so I don't need DC power sent through the cables.
NO! The simple T connector is an abomination. The proper device is much more complex inside and is known as a passive splitter/combiner.

Sorry, Ike! I'm almost certain that you were referring to Shure's simple T splits, which are actually proper splitter/combiners, but way too many people will assume that they're the same as $2 junk T's.

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« Last Edit: November 10, 2017, 06:40:00 pm by Jason Glass »
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Jason Glass

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Re: Mixing Antenna Types for near / far coverage
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2017, 06:48:51 pm »

This is by far the best advice given here for the described scenario.  TX located 20' away from typical LPDA's at 90° off axis should be rock solid.

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
The optimal antenna scheme for your scenario is two high gain helicals such as the RF Venue CP Beam or PWS HA8089, one each on diversity A & B, mounted high and pointing down the street away from the choir. They are high gain along their axis in front of the antenna. They are least sensitive along a roughly 60° to 90° hollow conical pattern behind the antenna, but also have a narrow moderate gain lobe on axis inside the cone.

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« Last Edit: November 10, 2017, 06:56:13 pm by Jason Glass »
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Jordan Wolf

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Re: Mixing Antenna Types for near / far coverage
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2017, 12:57:16 pm »

The optimal antenna scheme for your scenario is two high gain helicals such as the RF Venue CP Beam or PWS HA8089, one each on diversity A & B, mounted high and pointing down the street away from the choir. They are high gain along their axis in front of the antenna. They are least sensitive along a roughly 60° to 90° hollow conical pattern behind the antenna, but also have a narrow moderate gain lobe on axis inside the cone.

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So, they’re the hypercardioid mic of the RF world? Nifty!
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Jason Glass

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Re: Mixing Antenna Types for near / far coverage
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2017, 01:00:43 pm »

So, they’re the hypercardioid mic of the RF world? Nifty!
Indeed they are. Think of helicals as hypercardioid, LPDA's as cardioid, and domes as wide cardioid.

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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Mixing Antenna Types for near / far coverage
« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2017, 09:13:11 pm »

NO! The simple T connector is an abomination. The proper device is much more complex inside and is known as a passive splitter/combiner.

Sorry, Ike! I'm almost certain that you were referring to Shure's simple T splits, which are actually proper splitter/combiners, but way too many people will assume that they're the same as $2 junk T's.

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Factory phasing harnesses just use T connectors.  For a 50 ohm load you run 75ohm coax off the T to the antennas.  The jumpers must be the same length.  Any impedance differences between the antenna's will cause issues.

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Mike Karseboom

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Re: Mixing Antenna Types for near / far coverage
« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2017, 11:43:17 pm »

Well, as usual,  simple questions on this forum quickly escalate into complex technical discussions!  I'm more of a weekend warrior that  likes to do a good job with limited resources so I went for a pair of MiniCircuits power dividers  on ebay. 


I will try the dual antennae setup with the existing 1/2 wave units "t"'d in with the paddle antennae via the power dividers.  I will put the paddles on 10' poles at two adjacent corners of the popup canopy for good line of site down the street.  I will also get  the rack with the 1/2 wave antennae up to about 7' high for good short range coverage. 


One thing it seems that I am adding a paddle antenna with potential +6dB gain but then introducing a splitter that results in -3dB gain for both legs.   I guess +3dB is significant but it does seem like a lot of work for this a little improvement.  Maybe the good line of site changes will be the main factors that give better reception.
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hugovanmeijeren

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Re: Mixing Antenna Types for near / far coverage
« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2017, 03:59:00 am »

What I often do in these situations is use 2 different types of paddle antennas. We only have Sennheiser antennas, so I'll use these as an example.

We use the Sennheiser A1031 omnidirectional antenna together with a Sennheiser A2003 directional one. One goes to the A side of the distributor, the other to the B side (so no multiple antennas to the same inputs). You can use a simple stereo-bar to mount both antennas to one mic stand. I always mount one antenna to the top of the stereo-bar and one to the bottom (so neither antenna is blocking the other one). This works very well in these situations.

With this setup you will maintain full diversity. The receiver will always pick the antenna that gets the strongest signal. For the choir, this will be the omnidirectional paddle most of the time (with the directional one as a backup for diversity). The directional one will work great for larger distances, because it will be better at differentiating your signal from the noise.
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Re: Mixing Antenna Types for near / far coverage
« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2017, 11:51:51 am »

Factory phasing harnesses just use T connectors.  For a 50 ohm load you run 75ohm coax off the T to the antennas.  The jumpers must be the same length.  Any impedance differences between the antenna's will cause issues.

These are phase matched pairs (or triples, or quadruples) and thus are the same electrical length, not necessarily the same physical length.
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Mike Karseboom

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Re: Mixing Antenna Types for near / far coverage
« Reply #20 on: November 25, 2017, 09:39:03 am »

Just wanted to give an update after the event.  I did get the 1/2 wave antennae up to about 7 feet and also T'd in two paddle antennae using  Mini Circuits splitters.  The Paddles were up about 12 feet secured above two of the canopy legs.


The coverage was very solid with no dropouts for the close choir and MC.  The MC could also wander down the street at least 800 feet with no dropouts.  The mic even worked inside a couple of the businesses down the block.  That impressed me.


Thanks for all the help and advice.  Now if I only had some slightly better quality capsules in those mics.  They are super convenient but tend to feedback a lot more than something like an SM58.
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--Mike
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Keith Broughton

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Re: Mixing Antenna Types for near / far coverage
« Reply #21 on: November 25, 2017, 09:45:43 am »

  They are super convenient but tend to feedback a lot more than something like an SM58.
What caps are they and why do you think they feed back more?
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Mike Karseboom

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Re: Mixing Antenna Types for near / far coverage
« Reply #22 on: November 25, 2017, 10:45:24 am »

What caps are they and why do you think they feed back more?


AT-3000 series T-341B hand held mics with non- replaceable capsules.  I suppose they might have a more open pattern than an SM-58 or perhaps the off axis response is not as smooth. 


I have had 4x of them for 4 years or so and they are always more feedback prone than any of my directional wired mics.   The feedback frequencies are all over the board from 125Hz to 8kHz and vary for each venue.


I normally use the 0dB or +6dB internal gain setting and low RF power.  I do take time with gain staging and also ring them out but they just seem far less stable than an SM-58, Beta58, or OM7.  They exhibit more handling noise also.     


The only other wireless mics I have worked with much were Shure SLX and BLX with SM-58 and Beta58 capsules.  I've had performers jump down into the crowd with these right in front of the mains and not had much of an issue with feedback.  The AT's would never survive that.


On the other hand AT's do have sold reception and decent build quality.
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--Mike
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Re: Mixing Antenna Types for near / far coverage
« Reply #22 on: November 25, 2017, 10:45:24 am »


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