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Clarification on buying wireless mics

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Rich Kaelin
Clarification on buying wireless mics
on Jul 28, 2011 at 5:40:10 pm

Hi all, I have seen some posts on this, but am a bit confused. I have 2 Sennhieser wireless that have programmable frequencies in 2 ranges, not sure of designations (A, B, G etc) One is getting a lot of interference, the other seems fine. I know that thanks to lobbying the FCC reallocated frequencies for the big digital switch. This made many mics obsolete. Am I correct in understanding that wireless mics share frequencies with other broadcasts? There is no dedicated band? How do I determine, especially with used gear, the right frequency to buy? I travel a lot, so it becomes a real issue. Is there any mic system that uses a dedicated band, or is it all hit or miss? Is UHF better, as it is less used? What is the "new deal"?

Rich Kaelin
Kaelin Motion Production Services
http://kaelinmotion.com
New York


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Eric Toline
Re: Clarification on buying wireless mics
on Jul 28, 2011 at 6:15:54 pm

The FCC has banned all wireless use above 700MHz. For the Sennheiser wireless that would be the "C" block. To replace the "C" block Sennheiser has added the "G" block. Sennheisers "A" block covers 518-550MHz, the "B" block covers 630-662MHz and the "G" block 470-512MHz.

UHF or Ultra HIgh Frequency is the most used. I think you are referring to the old VHF or Very High Frequency systems. You are much better off buying a frequency agile system than a single frequency system as you can do frequency scans in the area you're at to find a clear path. What works in "NY" may not work in "LA"

There are also frequency charts for the US & overseas on the Sennheiser website. Nothing is absolute or carved in stone as far as clear RF paths are concerned. It is very hit & miss.


Eric


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Eric Toline
Re: Clarification on buying wireless mics
on Jul 28, 2011 at 8:17:14 pm

Minor correction.The Sennheiser "G" block is 566-608MHZ, not 470-512MHZ.


Eric


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Rich Kaelin
Re: Clarification on buying wireless mics
on Jul 28, 2011 at 9:06:43 pm

Thank you. I need to replace the one which I now assume was in the C block, and I just did not want to get burned. The "noisy" one cost over $1000 when I bought it, and I am still looking at $500 - $900 to replace it, so any advisce it well considered. I guess reallocating frequencies and forcing people to spend more money is just another form of economic stimulus...at least for some people :)

Rich Kaelin
Kaelin Motion Production Services
http://kaelinmotion.com
New York


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Richard Crowley
Re: Clarification on buying wireless mics
on Jul 29, 2011 at 1:03:15 am

To be more precise, the ban applies to the band between 698 and 806 MHz. And in reality very few people actually had licenses for their wireless mics in that "700MHz band" and it wasn't really legal for anyone else, but even a ban on sales of equipment was never enforced, nor did they charge or prosecute anyone. There are many wireless mic products that ARE legal ABOVE the 806MHz top end of the band.


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