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Author Topic: Wireless Mic Receiver Rack Build Tips?  (Read 12475 times)

Simon Eves

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Wireless Mic Receiver Rack Build Tips?
« on: May 25, 2011, 05:18:46 PM »

Long-time reader, first-time poster...

I am putting together an 8-channel wireless mic system for community theatre use. My group already has four Sennheiser EW172G3 systems with Microphone Madness lapel mics, and we are about to buy four more and (finally!) a rack to put them all in.

I have found a nice 8U shallow rack...

http://www.audiopile.net/products/Cases/RUE-10_series_rack_cases/R8UE-10/R8UE-10_cutsheet2.shtml

...but I am torn on a few aspects of the build.

Firstly, antenna mounting.

I don't want a rack that's so spacious inside that I can use the antennas directly on the receivers, nor do I want to use the (overpriced) AM2 front-mount kit (as I want the antennas facing the actors, not me).

My idea is to extend them to the back using short 50ohm RG58 BNC cables and one of these...

http://www.onevisitmedia.com/ppbncis-16.html

...in the top slot of the rear of the rack, with the antennas pointing downwards. I would also cross-connect them to maximise the diversity spacing for each receiver (ie. Receiver 1 uses Antennas 1 and 9, Receiver 2 uses 2 and 10 etc.)

I am unsure, however, whether the antennas will "behave" when mounted so close together, especially if I use a metal blanking panel to fill the rack space below such that the antennas were not only close to each other, but also close to the metal panel.

Secondly, whether to include a 2U drawer in the rack to store the transmitters and mics, or just keep these in a separate case (which I would also have to buy).

Gator are the only source of a 2U shallow (10") drawer that I can find, and it's about $90 with shipping, so considering the need for a 2U-bigger case, this might buy me a nice separate foam-lined case, and mean less weight in one item (as even just the drawer is quite heavy!)

On the other hand, the neat-freak in me wants to keep everything together to minimise confusion during moves.

Finally, whether I should spring for a power conditioner module (most likely a low-end Furman) (and hence one more rack U) or just trust in the Anti-Surge Gods?

Such a conditioner would presumably have enough oomph to power back out to our trusty Yamaha 01V mixer too, which would be an additional justification, especially given the flaky power in our usual venue.

OK, that's enough questions for one e-mail from a newbie. Any and all thoughts welcomed, thanks! :)

Simon Eves
Stapleton Theatre Company
San Anselmo, CA
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Craig Leerman

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Re: Wireless Mic Receiver Rack Build Tips?
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2011, 06:36:11 PM »

Long-time reader, first-time poster...

Welcome aboard!

Quote
<snip>
...in the top slot of the rear of the rack, with the antennas pointing downwards. I would also cross-connect them to maximize the diversity spacing for each receiver (ie. Receiver 1 uses Antennas 1 and 9, Receiver 2 uses 2 and 10 etc.)

I would extend the antenna mounting panel out towards the rear of the rack so the antennas will clear the rack and be able to be pointing up, not down.  If there is no adjustable rear rail, you could always just cut a piece of wood and make a wooden rail that you screw or bolt to the sides of the rack. For a light 1 space panel with just antennas, wood will be fine for a rail.

In use, the antennas would point up, and for storage, you could point them down and leave them connected and close the rear rack cover.

I don't think you should have any problems with the antennas being that close. The biggest issue would be being able to separate the diversity antennas far enough apart so they see a little different signal. My other issue is would you be able to adjust the antenna splay with them so close together?


Quote
Secondly, whether to include a 2U drawer in the rack to store the transmitters and mics, or just keep these in a separate case (which I would also have to buy).

Gator are the only source of a 2U shallow (10") drawer that I can find, and it's about $90 with shipping, so considering the need for a 2U-bigger case, this might buy me a nice separate foam-lined case, and mean less weight in one item (as even just the drawer is quite heavy!)

On the other hand, the neat-freak in me wants to keep everything together to minimise confusion during moves.

I like keeping my mics with the receivers. Get a drawer or two and either cut some foam, or use padded bags and store the mics in the drawer.

In the rack shown in the pic, I keep the paddle antennas and some coax in one drawer, and 4 handhelds, 4 lavs, spare batteries and mic clips in the other.

Quote
Finally, whether I should spring for a power conditioner module (most likely a low-end Furman) (and hence one more rack U) or just trust in the Anti-Surge Gods?

Such a conditioner would presumably have enough oomph to power back out to our trusty Yamaha 01V mixer too, which would be an additional justification, especially given the flaky power in our usual venue.

Many of my mic racks have just a quad box with a long (25' aprox) power cord mounted so I can  just plug them in, but I like the idea of a power conditioner, especially if you can plug your 01V into it.

« Last Edit: May 25, 2011, 11:34:59 PM by Craig Leerman »
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Riley Casey

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Re: Wireless Mic Receiver Rack Build Tips?
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2011, 08:03:32 PM »

Our wireless racks ( designed for production rental use which has somewhat different goals ) have the receivers, antenna distro and power 'conditioner' racked on the front rails.  The rear of the rack is open with a rope light around the inside perimeter and an ethernet router if its a UHF R rack.  We also store a 12 foot long 9 channel snake ( the racks hold up to four dual channel receivers ) permanently connected to the receivers.  The lids of the rack are deep enough to hold the handhelds, beltpacks and lavs for a complete 8 mic combo system along with a paddle, two whips and a pair of BNC cables.  The entire package when closed makes a standard 22.5 x 30 " truck pack case ready to ride on a similar sized amp rack or mini cable case or even its own dolly  We also carry Shure ULX system in the same racks but only six to a pack because of the limitations of the antenna distros and wall warts ( the racks were originally designed for the original Shure UHF series mics).

Tim Padrick

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Re: Wireless Mic Receiver Rack Build Tips?
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2011, 10:57:36 PM »

You should pony up and get the appropriate number of antenna splitters ("frontkit").  We have 16 channels with 4 splitters (2 frontkits).  These are fed by 2 pair of the supplied whips on top of the rack.  It works splendidly.
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Re: Wireless Mic Receiver Rack Build Tips?
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2011, 10:57:36 PM »


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