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Title: My 'Poor Man's' wireless mic system.
Post by: Debbie Dunkley 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!
Title: Re: My 'Poor Man's' wireless mic system.
Post by: Daniel Levi 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!
Title: Re: My 'Poor Man's' wireless mic system.
Post by: Pete Erskine 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.
Title: Re: My 'Poor Man's' wireless mic system.
Post by: Debbie Dunkley 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.
Title: Re: My 'Poor Man's' wireless mic system.
Post by: Russell Ault on April 13, 2021, 06:18:00 pm
5.8 GHz offers some interesting potential, with some interesting drawbacks:

-Russ
Title: Re: My 'Poor Man's' wireless mic system.
Post by: Brian Jojade 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.
Title: Re: My 'Poor Man's' wireless mic system.
Post by: Debbie Dunkley 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.
Title: Re: My 'Poor Man's' wireless mic system.
Post by: Russell Ault 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
Title: Re: My 'Poor Man's' wireless mic system.
Post by: Debbie Dunkley 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.
Title: Re: My 'Poor Man's' wireless mic system.
Post by: Mark Scrivener 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.
Title: Re: My 'Poor Man's' wireless mic system.
Post by: Debbie Dunkley on April 13, 2021, 11:49:27 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.

It might not be as efficient as the more expensive systems but  considering the club is in a very busy and built up part of town and we were running other wireless set ups too, I think it did great.  Plus the receiver was only 18 off the ground so not bad really.
Not sure Id risk anything critical with it but its worth having fun with on the more relaxed shows and anywhere else it might come on in handy.
Title: Re: My 'Poor Man's' wireless mic system.
Post by: Keith Broughton on April 14, 2021, 07:18:32 am
When you can get an acceptable result from a $100 wireless mic...I call that a win even if the battery doesn't last long. :)
Title: Re: My 'Poor Man's' wireless mic system.
Post by: Jay Marr on April 14, 2021, 08:16:44 am
It might not be as efficient as the more expensive systems but  considering the club is in a very busy and built up part of town and we were running other wireless set ups too, I think it did great.  Plus the receiver was only 18 off the ground so not bad really.
Not sure Id risk anything critical with it but its worth having fun with on the more relaxed shows and anywhere else it might come on in handy.

Hmm....this may actually be a nice way to get other guys in the band using wireless mics to clean up the cable runs on stage.
Or even acoustic gigs for me since I'm less than 10 ft from my mixer.
Or....some other reason I will make up, just because I have GAS.
Title: Re: My 'Poor Man's' wireless mic system.
Post by: Debbie Dunkley on April 14, 2021, 10:02:35 am
When you can get an acceptable result from a $100 wireless mike...I call that a win even if the battery doesn't last long. :)

Exactly Keith - I mean come on... it's not like it's that big of an investment...
Title: Re: My 'Poor Man's' wireless mic system.
Post by: Scott Holtzman on April 14, 2021, 10:05:31 am
When you can get an acceptable result from a $100 wireless mike...I call that a win even if the battery doesn't last long. :)


Isn't the Sennheiser plug on actually for ENG use, not music? 
Title: Re: My 'Poor Man's' wireless mic system.
Post by: John Sulek on April 14, 2021, 11:28:11 am

Isn't the Sennheiser plug on actually for ENG use, not music?

They are very useful for lots of things.

I have used them for Schoeps CCM mics to enable quick podium changes.

And a well known country act used them to make their "retro" mics wireless.
Title: Re: My 'Poor Man's' wireless mic system.
Post by: Keith Broughton on April 14, 2021, 01:26:33 pm

Isn't the Sennheiser plug on actually for ENG use, not music?
As John said, they are handy for quick lectern changes. Great for a boom to camera hop on location recording as well.
I have not used one for a singer.
Title: Re: My 'Poor Man's' wireless mic system.
Post by: Tommy Peel on April 14, 2021, 02:03:26 pm
I got one of the Sennheiser XSW-D (https://en-us.sennheiser.com/xsw-d-vocal-set) sets last year when they ran them on sale for $199. Seems to work fairly well, but I had a loud singer the other day using it and I think he was overloading it a bit. Other than that I've been fairly happy with it for the price. I don't do enough gigs to justify dropping $600 on a proper wireless system. If I need another wireless I might have to give the JOYO a try.
Title: Re: My 'Poor Man's' wireless mic system.
Post by: Daniel Levi on April 14, 2021, 02:42:18 pm
One th9ing I don't get is that the XSW sets with a regular base station seem to have no external antennas at all, I wonder how well that works as regular whip antennas for the frequencies they operate on would be taller than the case. Must be either horizontal antennas inside or shorter than the standard 1/4 or 1/2 wave systems usually use.
Title: Re: My 'Poor Man's' wireless mic system.
Post by: Henry Cohen on April 14, 2021, 03:37:18 pm
One th9ing I don't get is that the XSW sets with a regular base station seem to have no external antennas at all, I wonder how well that works as regular whip antennas for the frequencies they operate on would be taller than the case. Must be either horizontal antennas inside or shorter than the standard 1/4 or 1/2 wave systems usually use.

Microstrip PCB antenna, possibly in two planes.
Title: Re: My 'Poor Man's' wireless mic system.
Post by: Henry Cohen on April 14, 2021, 03:50:14 pm
Aaah... then maybe attached to its own boom stand some distance from the WAP.

You could also try making a reflector for the RX unit. Take 4" x 2" piece of aluminum foil [mounted on cardboard for rigidity], crease at the middle of the 4" length so you have two 2" x 2" planes at 100 degrees. Position reflector on backside of RX module, with the interior of the fold facing the RX and the TX, so that the 2" x 2" planes are about 1/2" from the module. You'll have to play with that 1/2" starting distance, and you can play with the angle of the fold, to achieve the best gain and horizontal beamwidth you need.

If you can get, lighting black wrap would work well and you wouldn't have to make a black tux for the reflector  ;)
Title: Re: My 'Poor Man's' wireless mic system.
Post by: Debbie Dunkley on April 14, 2021, 06:48:31 pm
You could also try making a reflector for the RX unit. Take 4" x 2" piece of aluminum foil [mounted on cardboard for rigidity], crease at the middle of the 4" length so you have two 2" x 2" planes at 100 degrees. Position reflector on backside of RX module, with the interior of the fold facing the RX and the TX, so that the 2" x 2" planes are about 1/2" from the module. You'll have to play with that 1/2" starting distance, and you can play with the angle of the fold, to achieve the best gain and horizontal beamwidth you need.

If you can get, lighting black wrap would work well and you wouldn't have to make a black tux for the reflector  ;)


Lol...you know I have to dress everything up . Ill try it Henry - thanks.
Title: Re: My 'Poor Man's' wireless mic system.
Post by: Debbie Dunkley on May 03, 2021, 12:48:25 am
Just reporting back with 3 shows under my belt using the inexpensive  wireless system. ....EXCELLENT.
No issues at all and lasts the whole evening. I never get this lucky but so far so good!
Title: Re: My 'Poor Man's' wireless mic system.
Post by: Mark Scrivener on May 03, 2021, 01:55:31 am
Just reporting back with 3 shows under my belt using the inexpensive  wireless system. ....EXCELLENT.
No issues at all and lasts the whole evening. I never get this lucky but so far so good!

That's great news! But I'm more impressed that you've managed to do 3 shows right now. Out here we haven't been allowed to do any.....grrrrrrrrr
Title: Re: My 'Poor Man's' wireless mic system.
Post by: Debbie Dunkley on May 03, 2021, 04:32:39 pm
That's great news! But I'm more impressed that you've managed to do 3 shows right now. Out here we haven't been allowed to do any.....grrrrrrrrr

We've been pretty lucky out here since the weather improved a bit. So many more clubs are providing outdoor locations for the bands. I hope your area opens up very soon Mark and you can get busy!
Title: Re: My 'Poor Man's' wireless mic system.
Post by: Mal Brown on May 04, 2021, 11:58:26 am
Maybe an irrelevant point but... I always jack my router up on a boom.  I use a female threaded goose neck podium mount from Atlas.  I screwed that to a piece of oak scrap and the router is zip tied to that. Been in my kit for several years with a couple of different routers over time.
Title: Re: My 'Poor Man's' wireless mic system.
Post by: Debbie Dunkley on May 04, 2021, 03:52:31 pm
Maybe an irrelevant point but... I always jack my router up on a boom.  I use a female threaded goose neck podium mount from Atlas.  I screwed that to a piece of oak scrap and the router is zip tied to that. Been in my kit for several years with a couple of different routers over time.

My Ubiquiti Mesh goes up on a mic boom stand every show. Zero drop outs to date. I use spring clip type mic clip and it grips the back of the unit perfectly and solidly. Takes seconds to deploy.
Title: Re: My 'Poor Man's' wireless mic system.
Post by: Dave Garoutte on May 04, 2021, 05:35:13 pm
My Ubiquiti Mesh goes up on a mic boom stand every show. Zero drop outs to date. I use spring clip type mic clip and it grips the back of the unit perfectly and solidly. Takes seconds to deploy.
And looking dapper the whole time.
Title: Re: My 'Poor Man's' wireless mic system.
Post by: Debbie Dunkley on May 04, 2021, 07:47:21 pm
And looking dapper the whole time.

   Very much so Dave.... He is considered one of the band members.
Title: Re: My 'Poor Man's' wireless mic system.
Post by: Mark Scrivener on May 04, 2021, 10:14:28 pm
   Very much so Dave.... He is considered one of the band members.

I bet he really radiates and has an amazing network   ;D(sorry, couldn't resist).