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Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums => Wireless and Communications => Topic started by: Pete Erskine on May 04, 2016, 08:57:52 pm

Title: What wireless bands will be usable after the Sale of spectrum.
Post by: Pete Erskine on May 04, 2016, 08:57:52 pm
After the FCC Spectrum Repack this is what UHF frequency bands will still work.

Note that no BTR or HME850 can be used anymore.
Title: Re: What wireless bands will be usable after the Sale of spectrum.
Post by: Mac Kerr on May 04, 2016, 09:04:00 pm
After the FCC Spectrum Repack this is what UHF frequency bands will still work.

With the caveat that what currently exists in those bands will have added any broadcast tv being repacked, plus there will probably be some small amount of availability in guard bands.

Mac
Title: Re: What wireless bands will be usable after the Sale of spectrum.
Post by: Benjamin Krumholz on May 04, 2016, 09:49:24 pm
After the FCC Spectrum Repack this is what UHF frequency bands will still work.

Note that no BTR or HME850 can be used anymore.

I was programming the A2 and C4 BTR units today and said that to myself... We are so screwed.. Gonna get lots more Freespeak II. Can the RX side of the BTR be re-tuned to 88?
Title: Re: What wireless bands will be usable after the Sale of spectrum.
Post by: Pete Erskine on May 04, 2016, 10:34:58 pm
I was programming the A2 and C4 BTR units today and said that to myself... We are so screwed.. Gonna get lots more Freespeak II. Can the RX side of the BTR be re-tuned to 88?

BTR and hme 850 TX and RX need at least a tv channel separation and probably more.
Title: Re: What wireless bands will be usable after the Sale of spectrum.
Post by: Thomas Lamb on May 04, 2016, 10:50:42 pm
WOW!

So I was just looking at Tv stations that are currently in use in my main market. It looks like there are more channels in the 566-698 are that need to be moved than space available under 566. This is going to get very interesting. I don't even know what to buy or sell right now.

So as far as the guard bands are those changing too? What will they be?
Title: Re: What wireless bands will be usable after the Sale of spectrum.
Post by: Pete Erskine on May 04, 2016, 11:12:52 pm
WOW!

So I was just looking at Tv stations that are currently in use in my main market. It looks like there are more channels in the 566-698 are that need to be moved than space available under 566. This is going to get very interesting. I don't even know what to buy or sell right now.

So as far as the guard bands are those changing too? What will they be?

Some will go to VHF.  Also each DTV channel can have 6 or so standard def channels.  Those Stations in the remaining spectrum will sell off their sub carriers.  In the remaining dtv channels they can fit 96 Standard def channels. 
Title: Re: What wireless bands will be usable after the Sale of spectrum.
Post by: John Rutirasiri on May 04, 2016, 11:26:56 pm
Thank you for this, Pete -- it's very helpful.
I didn't learn much in engineering school but knew wired would always be fashionable...

BTW, I was going through my CD collection and came across this.  Is this the same Pete Erskine?


John R.
Title: Re: What wireless bands will be usable after the Sale of spectrum.
Post by: Thomas Harkin on May 05, 2016, 08:42:39 am
Thank you for this, Pete -- it's very helpful.
I didn't learn much in engineering school but knew wired would always be fashionable...

BTW, I was going through my CD collection and came across this.  Is this the same Pete Erskine?


John R.
"Our" Peter Erskine - http://www.bestaudio.com/bio-erskine

"the Other" Peter Erskine - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DmnLTsBdXo
Title: Re: What wireless bands will be usable after the Sale of spectrum.
Post by: John Rutirasiri on May 05, 2016, 09:13:08 am
"Our" Peter Erskine - http://www.bestaudio.com/bio-erskine

"the Other" Peter Erskine - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DmnLTsBdXo

Arigatoo gosaimasu!
Title: Re: What wireless bands will be usable after the Sale of spectrum.
Post by: Pete Erskine on May 05, 2016, 02:24:31 pm
Re loss of BTR use: Note of clarification from Telex Thanks to an inquiry from David.Sturzenbecher@daktronics.com

From: Bowers Britt (ST/SAS-ID-NA) [mailto:Britt.Bowers@us.bosch.com]

In some areas of the country some portions of the 600 mhz band will be auctioned off & then there will be a repack.  Most likely to be effected are the top 30 broadcast markets but again only portions to be auctioned off
 
At the minimum the following bands should be available.  F1, F2, F3, H1, H2, H3, A1, A2, A3, B2, B3, and C3.
 
The frequency allocation / repack will not take effect until 39 months after the auction is complete and the completion date is unknown.  In the meantime, RTS created the Peace of Mind Program to cover any potential issues.
 
On any new system sales, you may purchase the Peace of Mind program (within 45 days of purchase of system)  for $500.  That automatically bumps the warranty from 3 years to 5 years and at same time provides the customer with 1 free rebanding of their system if the FCC auction/repack effects their system.  To put that in perspective, right now if you had to change both the transmit & receive boards in a BTR800 base station & 4 beltpacks (basically gutting the entire system and starting over) that would cost you $6185.
 
 Best regards,
 
Britt Bowers
Title: Re: What wireless bands will be usable after the Sale of spectrum.
Post by: Andrew Outlaw on May 06, 2016, 08:43:51 am
After the FCC Spectrum Repack this is what UHF frequency bands will still work.

Note that no BTR or HME850 can be used anymore.

I have a question regarding this. It is my understanding that if the auction does go down to 566, anything that is capable of operating above that would not be legal to use. My understanding of that also is that for, say, the Shure H4 even though the majority of it's band is below 566, the fact that it is capable of operating above 566 would also make that illegal to operate after 39 months as well, is that correct? If so, is that something that could be solved by a firmware update that won't let it tune above 566, or is the only acceptable solution to the FCC that the radio itself cannot operate above 566?
Title: Re: What wireless bands will be usable after the Sale of spectrum.
Post by: Keith Broughton on May 06, 2016, 09:33:56 am
I have a question regarding this. It is my understanding that if the auction does go down to 566, anything that is capable of operating above that would not be legal to use. My understanding of that also is that for, say, the Shure H4 even though the majority of it's band is below 566, the fact that it is capable of operating above 566 would also make that illegal to operate after 39 months as well, is that correct? If so, is that something that could be solved by a firmware update that won't let it tune above 566, or is the only acceptable solution to the FCC that the radio itself cannot operate above 566?
I would "hope" that if you have the equipment, you can use it in the range that is legal but new equipment for sale would be band limited.
Title: Re: What wireless bands will be usable after the Sale of spectrum.
Post by: Henry Cohen on May 06, 2016, 03:35:26 pm
I have a question regarding this. It is my understanding that if the auction does go down to 566, anything that is capable of operating above that would not be legal to use. My understanding of that also is that for, say, the Shure H4 even though the majority of it's band is below 566, the fact that it is capable of operating above 566 would also make that illegal to operate after 39 months as well, is that correct?
That is correct. At the end of the 39 month period equipment that can tune above the new band edge of auctioned spectrum will no longer be type certified, unless it can tune only to the duplex gap and guard bands based on its locations.

Quote
If so, is that something that could be solved by a firmware update that won't let it tune above 566, or is the only acceptable solution to the FCC that the radio itself cannot operate above 566?
Whether or not existing equipment can be re-tuned or upgraded with a firmware update is completely dependent upon the design and build of the individual model of equipment. More than likely manufacturers will let dealers and customers know which models and bandpsplits of equipment can be made compliant and which can't.
Title: Re: What wireless bands will be usable after the Sale of spectrum.
Post by: Henry Cohen on May 06, 2016, 03:38:12 pm
I would "hope" that if you have the equipment, you can use it in the range that is legal but new equipment for sale would be band limited.
As long as the equipment can tune outside the newly limited TV bands, the device is no longer type accepted (it loses its FCC certification and the ID number becomes invalid) even though you would operate it only in the correct band(s).
Title: Re: What wireless bands will be usable after the Sale of spectrum.
Post by: Henry Cohen on May 06, 2016, 03:41:23 pm
Re loss of BTR use: Note of clarification from Telex Thanks to an inquiry from David.Sturzenbecher@daktronics.com

From: Bowers Britt (ST/SAS-ID-NA) [mailto:Britt.Bowers@us.bosch.com]

In most areas of the country some portions of the 600 mhz band will be auctioned off & then there will be a repack.  Most likely to be effected are the top 30 broadcast markets but again only portions to be auctioned off
 
At the best the following bands should be available.  F1, F2, F3, H1, H2, H3, A1, A2, A3, B2, B3, and C3.
Fixed that for him.
 
Quote
The frequency allocation / repack will not take effect until 39 months after the auction is complete and the completion date is unknown.  In the meantime, RTS created the Peace of Mind Program to cover any potential issues.
Is he going to be for a surprise.
Title: Re: What wireless bands will be usable after the Sale of spectrum.
Post by: Henry Cohen on May 06, 2016, 03:42:52 pm
So as far as the guard bands are those changing too? What will they be?
That will be determined on a market by market basis after the auction and new channel plan is determined.
Title: Re: What wireless bands will be usable after the Sale of spectrum.
Post by: brian maddox on May 06, 2016, 03:51:14 pm
As long as the equipment can tune outside the newly limited TV bands, the device is no longer type accepted (it loses its FCC certification and the ID number becomes invalid) even though you would operate it only in the correct band(s).

From a practical standpoint, does that make it illegal for me to use provided i only use it in allowable frequencies?  I dealt with this before during the 700MHz sale where i continued to use Shure UB systems, but only below 698 MHz.  I know that Shure wasn't allowed to service them for US use, which made sense to me.  But i was under the impression that they were still legal for me to use so long as i only used them below 698.

[FWIW, this is a totally hypothetical question for me now as i am no longer in a situation where i would need to deal with this.  I'm just curious about the relationship between FCC certification and legality of device use.]
Title: Re: What wireless bands will be usable after the Sale of spectrum.
Post by: Ike Zimbel on May 06, 2016, 04:13:03 pm

Whether or not existing equipment can be re-tuned or upgraded with a firmware update is completely dependent upon the design and build of the individual model of equipment. More than likely manufacturers will let dealers and customers know which models and bandpsplits of equipment can be made compliant and which can't.
There is some precedence for this: The Shure H4 band has always been programmed to skip over TV 37, so I suspect that, for example J4 and L3 could be re-programmed to only operate in the bands that are deemed to be legal after the "Repacalypse".
iz
Title: Re: What wireless bands will be usable after the Sale of spectrum.
Post by: Scott Helmke on May 06, 2016, 04:47:48 pm
There is some precedence for this: The Shure H4 band has always been programmed to skip over TV 37, so I suspect that, for example J4 and L3 could be re-programmed to only operate in the bands that are deemed to be legal after the "Repacalypse".

That would be the J5 band.

In UHF-R the transmitters skip right over TV channel 37.  However, they're pretty much stuck that way since it isn't possible to do field firmware updates on the transmitters. ULX-D at least has a transmitter firmware update process so those could be reprogrammed.  Hard to say if Shure would find it cost-effective (or perhaps even possible) to track all the various allowed and outlawed frequency ranges and provide appropriate firmware.  Especially if the guard bands are different in different markets.
Title: Re: What wireless bands will be usable after the Sale of spectrum.
Post by: Lyle Williams on May 06, 2016, 05:50:53 pm
FCC certification will cover power levels, purity of emissions (ie, not causing interference to other spectrum users) and the appropriateness of the product for the target market.

The FCC wouldn't like a backyard-hack-job refrequency of wireless as this would likely produce spurious emissions above the permitted levels.

As for a permitted device that is tunable in legal and now-illegal frequencies?  This wouldn't gain approval for a new product, but I'd expect an existing device to continue to be legal to use in legally permitted spectrum.  There would just be no in built protection against breaking the law. 

You should consider what controls exist in your business to prevent illegal use. Adding a sticker indicating "do not tune above XXX MHz" might be sufficient if always operated by trained staff.

Please note that I am on the other side of the world to most of you, but spectrum regulators in western countries operate in broadly similar ways.
Title: Re: What wireless bands will be usable after the Sale of spectrum.
Post by: Henry Cohen on May 06, 2016, 05:59:09 pm
As for a permitted device that is tunable in legal and now-illegal frequencies?  This wouldn't gain approval for a new product, but I'd expect an existing device to continue to be legal to use in legally permitted spectrum.
The FCC has explicitly stated in the last NPRM regarding the auctions and the new bandplan(s) that any current BAS equipment (not just wireless microphones, coms and IEMs) that can tune to the auctioned frequency bands will lose their type approval and the end of the 39 month transition period.

Quote
There would just be no in built protection against breaking the law.
That's why.
Title: Re: What wireless bands will be usable after the Sale of spectrum.
Post by: Keith Broughton on May 06, 2016, 06:34:09 pm
As long as the equipment can tune outside the newly limited TV bands, the device is no longer type accepted (it loses its FCC certification and the ID number becomes invalid) even though you would operate it only in the correct band(s).
Hope dashed.
Title: Re: What wireless bands will be usable after the Sale of spectrum.
Post by: Luke Geis on May 08, 2016, 07:09:34 pm
I work for about 3-4 different companies that are all interested in new wireless gear, as am I. It is such a crappy time right now to own and need wireless...... I tell everyone to hold off on buying for as long as possible until the auction is done and the new rules set in place. Plan on going fully digital or at least hybrid in the VHF band and buy as low in the frequency band as you can.

I am so peeved right now. 8 years ago or so I owned two Sennheiser Handheld mics in the 700hz band. That got auctioned and I had to sell them off at a loss and replace them with new units in the 600 band, which is now being played around with...... If I loose the use of this set of Sennheiser units, I will be beyond mad. Granted 4 units isn't a huge inventory, but it is certainly not fun to have to replace a perfectly fine unit because the FCC has money to move around.

I bought some Line 6 V75 units and while they do perform like a wired mic, they are not as reliable as the higher end units I seem to have to replace every 5 years because of the FCC.....

Wait, go digital and or buy in a range that TV and cell phones can't use.
Title: Re: What wireless bands will be usable after the Sale of spectrum.
Post by: Henry Cohen on May 08, 2016, 08:30:43 pm
. . . but it is certainly not fun to have to replace a perfectly fine unit because the FCC has money to move around.

I bought some Line 6 V75 units and while they do perform like a wired mic, they are not as reliable as the higher end units I seem to have to replace every 5 years because of the FCC.....

The blame squarely lies with congress, not FCC; FCC is merely the facilitator of congress' (the cellular industry) legislations.
Title: Re: What wireless bands will be usable after the Sale of spectrum.
Post by: Pete Erskine on May 08, 2016, 08:40:26 pm
The blame squarely lies with congress, not FCC; FCC is merely the facilitator of congress' (the cellular industry) legislations.

What puzzles me is why are they selling the use of spectrum instead of leasing?  It's not like it goes bad!
Title: Re: What wireless bands will be usable after the Sale of spectrum.
Post by: Henry Cohen on May 08, 2016, 09:36:44 pm
What puzzles me is why are they selling the use of spectrum instead of leasing?  It's not like it goes bad!
Actually, legally, it's a lease. A long term lease, 99 years or something like that, as the spectrum is a national resource and can't actually be sold outright. One issue is that the nature of the auction for lease model congress has chosen is not going to produce the maximum revenue possible. Maximum revenue would only be realized over a minimum 10 year period using a market based $/MHz/pop/year formula (such as that used by Japan), rather than the heroin junky style of quick fix of cash the current auction model produces.