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Author Topic: Extending range of Sennheiser EW100 radio mic  (Read 2265 times)

Gary Fitzpatrick

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Extending range of Sennheiser EW100 radio mic
« on: February 03, 2020, 02:20:17 pm »

I have a church looking to increase the range of their Sennheiser EW100 handheld microphone.  I have attached a rough layout of the church with the location of the two existing aerials. The radio mic is a bit patchy down at the back of the church at the main doors. The church want to extend the coverage down to the back of the church for meeting funerals and Easter ceremonies. The existing antenna are half wave whips. Without adding an antenna splitter I am confined to passive antenna. Would either the A1031 or A2003 antenna provide much of an improvement?
Or would I be better installing an antenna splitter and installing an antenna booster be a better bet?

Cheers
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Russell Ault

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Re: Extending range of Sennheiser EW100 radio mic
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2020, 02:34:58 pm »

I have a church looking to increase the range of their Sennheiser EW100 handheld microphone.  I have attached a rough layout of the church with the location of the two existing aerials. The radio mic is a bit patchy down at the back of the church at the main doors. The church want to extend the coverage down to the back of the church for meeting funerals and Easter ceremonies. The existing antenna are half wave whips. Without adding an antenna splitter I am confined to passive antenna. Would either the A1031 or A2003 antenna provide much of an improvement?
Or would I be better installing an antenna splitter and installing an antenna booster be a better bet?

How big is the space?

-Russ
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Ike Zimbel

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Re: Extending range of Sennheiser EW100 radio mic
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2020, 03:03:49 pm »

I have a church looking to increase the range of their Sennheiser EW100 handheld microphone.  I have attached a rough layout of the church with the location of the two existing aerials. The radio mic is a bit patchy down at the back of the church at the main doors. The church want to extend the coverage down to the back of the church for meeting funerals and Easter ceremonies. The existing antenna are half wave whips. Without adding an antenna splitter I am confined to passive antenna. Would either the A1031 or A2003 antenna provide much of an improvement?
Or would I be better installing an antenna splitter and installing an antenna booster be a better bet?

Cheers
Hi Gary, The A-2003 has 4dB of gain, which should help. I would start with a pair of those. You definitely do NOT want to add an "antenna booster" as all that will do is raise your noise floor. All active antenna gain devices are intended to overcome cable losses, not to boost reception.
That said, how long are your antenna cables and what type are they?
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Keith Broughton

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Re: Extending range of Sennheiser EW100 radio mic
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2020, 04:25:26 pm »

Hi Gary, The A-2003 has 4dB of gain, which should help. I would start with a pair of those. You definitely do NOT want to add an "antenna booster" as all that will do is raise your noise floor. All active antenna gain devices are intended to overcome cable losses, not to boost reception.
That said, how long are your antenna cables and what type are they?
A pair of A2003 antennas, pointing down the length of the room should work well.
Keep antenna cable runs short and use good quality cable.
As Ike said...don't use an "antenna booster". It doesn't replace a good antenna and cable solution.
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Miguel Dahl

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Re: Extending range of Sennheiser EW100 radio mic
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2020, 04:45:35 pm »

I don't get this. If using an antanna booster, wouldn't it just boost the signal from the receiving antenna with close to as much S/N ratio with what the antenna itself is picking up?
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John Sulek

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Re: Extending range of Sennheiser EW100 radio mic
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2020, 05:14:57 pm »

I don't get this. If using an antanna booster, wouldn't it just boost the signal from the receiving antenna with close to as much S/N ratio with what the antenna itself is picking up?

You want to keep the noise floor as low as possible for best performance especially as the tx/rx distance increases. The goal when adding an active device to the antenna feed is to have a net result of unity gain by matching the amount of active gain to the cable loss.

Try switching an active antenna from 0db or 3db of gain to 10db on a short (10m or less) cable and watch the rf meters on your receivers.
Previously "dark" meters start to show a bit of rf activity. That is the noise floor that you have just raised.
When you get to the fringe areas of reception...your transmit signal may get buried in the higher noise floor.

I'm sure others have a more eloquent explanation.
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Don Boomer

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Re: Extending range of Sennheiser EW100 radio mic
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2020, 05:43:30 pm »

Antenna boosting amps do not increase your range, they just increase the voltage. Your receiver doesn’t really care about voltage unless you are very high or very low. With all things operating under “normal” conditions what really keeps you on the air is your carrier to noise ratio. So if you use a line amp you boost both the intended signal and the unintended noise by the same amount (plus adding a small amount of extra noise and distortion as no amp is perfect). Your CNR actually will get a bit worse.

So usually range isn’t the actual issue. If we took your mics outdoors in the middle of a big field and there was no other interference present your mics would likely have a range of 600’. But when you bring them indoors you start having multipath problems plus whatever other interference is local.

Try switching to directional antennas (without builtin boosters) with good quality coax.
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Gary Fitzpatrick

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Re: Extending range of Sennheiser EW100 radio mic
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2020, 07:10:27 pm »

Antenna boosting amps do not increase your range, they just increase the voltage. Your receiver doesn’t really care about voltage unless you are very high or very low. With all things operating under “normal” conditions what really keeps you on the air is your carrier to noise ratio. So if you use a line amp you boost both the intended signal and the unintended noise by the same amount (plus adding a small amount of extra noise and distortion as no amp is perfect). Your CNR actually will get a bit worse.

So usually range isn’t the actual issue. If we took your mics outdoors in the middle of a big field and there was no other interference present your mics would likely have a range of 600’. But when you bring them indoors you start having multipath problems plus whatever other interference is local.

Try switching to directional antennas (without builtin boosters) with good quality coax.

Thanks everyone for the advise. The main aisle of the church is maybe 35m long and 15m wide.
I'm not sure of the coax, it was installed a number of years ago and at the minute running new coax may not be feasible. But I will install a pair of directional  antenna and try that first.

Gary
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Extending range of Sennheiser EW100 radio mic
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2020, 07:18:09 pm »

Gary, I'm not sure what hire shops are near Fermanagh, but consider renting the log-periodic (shark fin) antennae and see if that improves the result.  If you have a buddy in the RF world perhaps they have a TDS (time domain spectrometer) to analyze the coax for you.  TDS can show the distance to faults.

A former coworker's "day job" was installing ILS - instrument landing systems - at commercial airports.  If there was any compromise to the coax it would show up on the TDS, and ALL the RF components used in the installation had to be documented and certified as part of the install.  He showed me a "crushed" coax (stepped on) and an impedance bump cause by a kink in a cable.  This was over 25 years ago and I still remember seeing the display on the analyzer and thinking "this is waaay cool."
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Russell Ault

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Re: Extending range of Sennheiser EW100 radio mic
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2020, 10:51:46 pm »

Thanks everyone for the advise. The main aisle of the church is maybe 35m long and 15m wide.
I'm not sure of the coax, it was installed a number of years ago and at the minute running new coax may not be feasible. But I will install a pair of directional  antenna and try that first.

Maybe it's just me, but if your antennas are already overhead (so line-of-sight is being maintained) I feel like 35m from RX to TX shouldn't be any problem on half-wave whips. Is the mic tuned to a clear frequency? Are the antennas actually half-wave? I'm sure I've seen those mics work reliably over that distance without any trouble, even on the stock whips attached directly to the TX.

-Russ
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Re: Extending range of Sennheiser EW100 radio mic
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2020, 10:51:46 pm »


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