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Author Topic: My 'Poor Man's' wireless mic system.  (Read 1440 times)

Debbie Dunkley

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My 'Poor Man's' wireless mic system.
« on: April 13, 2021, 02:27:56 pm »

So I took a chance and bought something.

I saw the Sennheiser plug in TX/RX XLR system for microphones a few years ago and was always intrigued by how well it worked. My only  hesitation - certainly in recent years - has been the fact that it works on 2.4gHz and we all know how congested that has become.
Over the years others have competed but again using 2.4gHz.
More recently I started to notice some adopting 5.8gHz and it sparked my interest again. So...... I picked one up - The JOYO brand based on some good reviews. Risky? yeah but I had to quench this intrigue.

The singer used it this past weekend and ........OMG - it was fantastic!....It didn't seem to change the sound quality at all and even the gain was about the same level. It looked OK on the end of the mic - not too silly.
It lasted the whole show - we were careful to turn it off during breaks because it only boasts around 4 hours battery life and of course that would probably be under the most optimum circumstances.

Like I said, it looks decent on the end of the mic and allows the user to use any mic he or she wants to so not having to settle on a cheaper mic capsule which is the way most end up going due to the cost of the system.
Now, our singer didn't go running all over the club so I can't comment on how well it would handle that but we got ZERO drop out with her moving from side to side of the stage. 
I have to say I was pretty impressed with my 'Poor Man's' Wireless Mic system. $95 well spent!
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Daniel Levi

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Re: My 'Poor Man's' wireless mic system.
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2021, 03:29:31 pm »

Some of the cheaper systems aren't horrendous in terms of audio quality, I know I had a soundlab VHF system that was surprisingly good for the price of ~50, transmission reliability wasn't that great, however.

One thing I don't get the is the crap battery life for some modern wireless systems, especially if they have built in batteries and as such you can't just change the batteries when they go flat, I thought we'd got away from the battery live of the old 9V systems.
To that point I have an old TOA wireless system from the 80's (an 83 date code on the rectifier on the reciever) where the 4 hours quoted by the JOYO is less than the life left when the battery low light illuminates!, quoted 30Hrs batter from 3xAAA!
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Pete Erskine

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Re: My 'Poor Man's' wireless mic system.
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2021, 03:31:32 pm »

My only  hesitation - certainly in recent years - has been the fact that it works on 2.4gHz and we all know how congested that has become.

Heavily used wifi band does not interfere at all with wireless mics and Freespeak designed for the same band...they co exist well and, if anything, the wireless and freespeak interfere with wifi...not the other way around.
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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: My 'Poor Man's' wireless mic system.
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2021, 04:19:02 pm »

Heavily used wifi band does not interfere at all with wireless mics and Freespeak designed for the same band...they co exist well and, if anything, the wireless and freespeak interfere with wifi...not the other way around.

Good to know Pete,
I had 3 wireless iems, 1 other wireless mic,  wireless guitar system, router, Ubiquiti mesh and the JOYO all working together nicely.
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Russell Ault

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Re: My 'Poor Man's' wireless mic system.
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2021, 06:18:00 pm »

5.8 GHz offers some interesting potential, with some interesting drawbacks:
  • As with the 2.4 GHz, the signal bandwidth regulations are such that you can transmit an uncompressed digital audio stream at high bitrates, which means that wireless microphones using those frequencies can be both much easier to design and manufacture while also exhibiting better sound quality than even the most expensive VHF/UHF microphones
  • The available spectrum in the 5.8 GHz band is significantly greater than in the 2.4 GHz band, so for now the chances of congestion are less (although some devices, 802.11AC Wi-Fi in particular, have started to leverage that additional bandwidth to achieve additional throughput, which may eventually negate this advantage somewhat)
  • As with 2.4 GHz, the 5.8 GHz band allows for a diverse range of license-exempt activities, so the chances of having your microphone interfered with are higher than with UHF/VHF, while the chances of identifying (and solving) the source of that interference are commensurately lower
  • The higher the frequency, the more important direct line-of-sight becomes; at 5.8 GHz the margin for error in maintaining line-of-sight starts to get really small, which may be just fine for a plug-on transmitter but may not work for other wireless microphone applications

-Russ
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Brian Jojade

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Re: My 'Poor Man's' wireless mic system.
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2021, 07:28:18 pm »

Yes, today even the most entry level wireless stuff will pass acceptable audio.  With stupid inexpensive analog to digital converters and the use of WIFI/bluetooth type technology, it's fairly easy to create a simple digital network and create a wireless system and for dirt cheap.

However, the big problem with anything using shared bandwidth technology is that when the bandwidth gets used up, things can go awry very quickly.  This kind of problem can go unnoticed until it's too late.

Just like with 2.4ghz, it was great at first, then everybody had a 2.4ghz transmitter in their pocket.  It doesn't take much to then saturate the airwaves.  5.8ghz is a bit more open, but most phones today have the capability of broadcasting in that range.  It wouldn't take much to have your bandwidth wiped out unexpectedly.

This is where dedicated frequency devices are better.  While yes, it would be possible for someone to bring another device along and trample on your signal, it's not likely that they and every other guest will have that device with them in their pocket.
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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: My 'Poor Man's' wireless mic system.
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2021, 09:22:51 pm »

Well lets see how long this ride lasts..... If we get a good few shows out of it before we start to see problems then it would have been money well spent. The stage box is at the back of the stage - not far from the lead singer position so line of sight is really good if she doesn't venture too far from it.
I wonder if it would be worth using an XLR pigtail to the receiver and raising it up high - maybe clipped to the stand I use for my WAP.
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Russell Ault

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Re: My 'Poor Man's' wireless mic system.
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2021, 09:59:26 pm »

{...} I wonder if it would be worth using an XLR pigtail to the receiver and raising it up high - maybe clipped to the stand I use for my WAP.

Height is almost always good, but if your WAP is also operating in the 5 GHz band then I'd try to keep the RX as far away from it as possible to avoid possible overload/desens.

-Russ
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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: My 'Poor Man's' wireless mic system.
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2021, 10:39:34 pm »

Height is almost always good, but if your WAP is also operating in the 5 GHz band then I'd try to keep the RX as far away from it as possible to avoid possible overload/desens.

-Russ
Aaah... then maybe attached to its own boom stand some distance from the WAP.
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Mark Scrivener

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Re: My 'Poor Man's' wireless mic system.
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2021, 11:34:00 pm »

Having a clear line of sight from Tx to Rx is important with 5GHz (and 2.4), so placing the receiver on a XLR cable and mounting it higher, away from obstructions is always a good idea.

I think where you are going to find a major difference between "budget" systems and the big names is frequency management and link robustness. If you only have a single wireless system then you will probably be fine, but if you start running several wireless mics and wireless instruments then I think the budget systems will start to show their weakness. Currently I'm running 3 Shure GLXD (2.4) systems and have (knock on wood) never had a problem, even in very noisy RF environments with multiple WiFi networks visible, tons of people on phones, microwave ovens nearby, etc.

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Re: My 'Poor Man's' wireless mic system.
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2021, 11:34:00 pm »


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