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Author Topic: Exceeding Manufacturer Recommended Wireless Units for Make/Model  (Read 1275 times)

Eric Snodgrass

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I have a client who runs an after-school theater program and has been bitten by the 600MHz auction.  The client is replacing 6 units of Sennheiser ew100 G2 and G3 with the ew100 G4. 
The client's desired goal is to have 24 units, racked and portable.  According to the G4 manual Sennheiser states that up to 20 units can be run at once.  I'm assuming that this number is based on a safety zone set by Sennheiser for IMD avoidance (please correct me if I'm wrong). 
I'm interested in finding out about any pitfalls of exceeding this number by 4.  The ew100 series is perfect for their budget and has proven to be extremely rugged and reliable over the 11 years that they've owned them.  The client has a mixture of G2 (1), G3 and G4. 
 
So, will it really increase the IMD possibility a lot if they go to 24 ew100 units, even if their bandwidths differ (A, A1 and G bands)?  Is anyone on the list successfully exceeding the recommended number of units? 
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Scott Helmke

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Re: Exceeding Manufacturer Recommended Wireless Units for Make/Model
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2019, 08:45:08 pm »

This is where you really ought to get Shure's Wireless Workbench software (free download) and play some what-if games.  There's a setting under "compatibility" where you can choose to be robust vs. risky.
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Eric Snodgrass

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Re: Exceeding Manufacturer Recommended Wireless Units for Make/Model
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2019, 10:17:27 pm »

This is where you really ought to get Shure's Wireless Workbench software (free download) and play some what-if games.  There's a setting under "compatibility" where you can choose to be robust vs. risky.
A good idea.
Will WWB give me relevant results for Sennhesier ew100 units?  Maybe I should download the Sennheiser equivalent. 
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Luke Geis

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Re: Exceeding Manufacturer Recommended Wireless Units for Make/Model
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2019, 11:52:08 pm »

The band spacing between units is often fixed and you may not be able to get 24 units to work together with 100% success. Often times even getting the full possible numbers of units to work all at once is a challenge. I would take some time and play with both software's to see what they show and find out for sure you can even tune to the frequencies it projects. I would also plan on getting an antenna distro system to handle the RF traffic with. It will greatly improve your odds of success.

I would try and push to get a system that is designed to work in high-density mode though. Most lower end RF units do not have RF power options and are generally fixed. When going high density, you are often posed with needing to tune down the RF power of the transmitters in order to keep them from splattering radio signal all over the place and in the way of other units. You can look at it as making the footprint of each unit smaller so they can all play in a sandbox together. If each footprint is too big, they won't all be able to stand in the sandbox without stepping on toes. 
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Don Boomer

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Re: Exceeding Manufacturer Recommended Wireless Units for Make/Model
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2019, 01:18:03 am »

The ew100 series is perfect for their budget and has proven to be extremely rugged and reliable over the 11 years that they've owned them. 

Operating wireless over the last 11 years has been much easier than it will be for the next 11 (or even fewer ... maybe many fewer). There are simply many more devices competing for less and less bandwidth. They will likely need to run with better gear and more attention to best practices.
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Ike Zimbel

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Re: Exceeding Manufacturer Recommended Wireless Units for Make/Model
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2019, 09:08:31 am »

I have a client who runs an after-school theater program and has been bitten by the 600MHz auction.  The client is replacing 6 units of Sennheiser ew100 G2 and G3 with the ew100 G4. 
The client's desired goal is to have 24 units, racked and portable.  According to the G4 manual Sennheiser states that up to 20 units can be run at once.  I'm assuming that this number is based on a safety zone set by Sennheiser for IMD avoidance (please correct me if I'm wrong). 
I'm interested in finding out about any pitfalls of exceeding this number by 4.  The ew100 series is perfect for their budget and has proven to be extremely rugged and reliable over the 11 years that they've owned them.  The client has a mixture of G2 (1), G3 and G4. 
 
So, will it really increase the IMD possibility a lot if they go to 24 ew100 units, even if their bandwidths differ (A, A1 and G bands)?  Is anyone on the list successfully exceeding the recommended number of units?

The 20 unit maximum is per frequency band so by having A and G bands you should be able to get up to 24. BUT, as others have pointed out this raises the stakes quite a bit. You will absolutely need to get a proper frequency coordination done (and there's no guarantee that there will be enough open spectrum available in either of your bands for all of your mics). A proper antenna distribution system has also already been suggested...also a must.
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Dave Garoutte

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Re: Exceeding Manufacturer Recommended Wireless Units for Make/Model
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2019, 12:12:16 pm »

Step up the the EW300 series.
You get 32 pre-set bands plus the ability to monitor your rig through WSM, Sennheiser's free software.
All ew g3 and g4 devices are compatible.
I don't think the trade-in program is still going, but you could sell your old units overseas via e-bay.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2019, 04:19:14 pm by Dave Garoutte »
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Eric Snodgrass

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Re: Exceeding Manufacturer Recommended Wireless Units for Make/Model
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2019, 02:37:55 am »

Step up the the EW300 series.
You get 32 pre-set bands plus the ability to monitor your rig through WSM, Sennheiser's free software.
All ew g3 and g4 devices are compatible.
I don't think the trade-in program is still going, but you could sell your old units overseas via e-bay.

I did let them know that they might have to purchase the ew300 series systems to reach their stated goal of 24.
I have also told them that antenna combiners are now needed for all of this wireless to ensure consistency of signal from venue to venue.  Antenna farms just won't cut it anymore.  The good news is that they are interested in getting the combiners. 
I told them that they can have 3 racks of 8 each along with two ASA 1 antenna combiners.  That will give them flexibility with their wireless.  Since they could have multiple productions going at the same time they can easily split up the wireless because they will be in three different racks. 
And Dave, another compatibility between the G3 and G4 units is the rackmount kits.  The G4 units come with their own rackmount kits and while building them one rack I discovered that the G3 and G4 units can be rackmounted side-by-side.  Even their Evolution D1 2.4gHz series is compatible with the G4 rackmount kits.  That was a good call by Sennheiser. 
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Dave Garoutte

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Re: Exceeding Manufacturer Recommended Wireless Units for Make/Model
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2019, 12:28:24 pm »

The other cool thing about the combiners is that you can connect two together to use one antenna set.
Each one connects to four receivers and then feeds the other.
It sounds like that's your plan.

My setup is two sets of four receivers and a combiner in an SKB three space case.
Power and short xlrs pre-wired.
I can do two four channel events or one eight channel event with a pair of jumpers.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2019, 03:21:23 pm by Dave Garoutte »
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Eric Snodgrass

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Re: Exceeding Manufacturer Recommended Wireless Units for Make/Model
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2019, 12:54:48 pm »

The other cool thing about the combiners is that you can connect two together to use one antenna set.
Each one connects to four receivers and then feeds the other.
It sounds like that's your plan.

That is my plan. 
In my researching of this I found out that Sennheiser provides a wiring diagram for 32 EW units wired to a single pair of A 1031-U passive omni antennas.  Follow the link and look under FAQ.  They have wiring diagrams for a number of scenarios. 
So in theory I could build three racks of 8 EW100 units and 2 ASA1 combiners, add one more ASA1 combiner and run all three racks with two antennas. 
I am still recommending to the client that they get a pair of antennas for each rack so that they can have the flexibility to use each rack independently. 
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Re: Exceeding Manufacturer Recommended Wireless Units for Make/Model
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2019, 12:54:48 pm »


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