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Author Topic: THE STRANGE DAVID AND GOLIATH SAGA OF RADIO FREQUENCIES  (Read 434 times)

Offline ChrisSmolinski

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THE STRANGE DAVID AND GOLIATH SAGA OF RADIO FREQUENCIES
« on: August 15, 2018, 1918 UTC »
THE EMAIL BLAST from the head of my son and daughter’s theater group relayed a frantic plea: “We need to raise $16,000 before the upcoming spring performances,” Anya Wallach, the executive director of Random Farms Kids’ Theater, in Westchester, New York, wrote in late May. If the money didn’t materialize in time, she warned, there could be a serious problem with the shows: nobody would hear the actors.

Random Farms, and tens of thousands of other theater companies, schools, churches, broadcasters, and myriad other interests across the country, need to buy new wireless microphones. The majority of professional wireless audio gear in America is about to become obsolete, and illegal to operate. The story of how we got to this strange point involves politics, business, science, and, of course, money.

Four years ago, in an effort to bolster the country’s tech infrastructure, the FCC decreed that the portion of the radio spectrum used by most wireless mics would be better utilized for faster and more robust mobile broadband service. Now, as the telecom companies that won the rights to that spectrum begin to use it, the prior tenants are scrambling for new radio-frequency homes.

Full article: https://www.wired.com/story/wireless-mics-radio-frequencies-fcc-saga/
Chris Smolinski
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Offline ThaDood

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Re: THE STRANGE DAVID AND GOLIATH SAGA OF RADIO FREQUENCIES
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2018, 1531 UTC »
Looks like a revival is needed for 49MHz. Granted, 49MHz is plagued more by electrical and computer noises, but if I remember right, wireless mics started down there in 49MHz, where they shared space with walkie-talkies, cordless phones, baby monitors, and even stereo wireless headphones. Hmmmmmmmmmm, I see an opportunity to make out big here $$$$-wise. There's always loop holes somewhere, and in this case, 49MHz could be it, again. It's true, what's old can be new again. In a pinch, a 10 channel 1980's - 90's cordless phone can be modified to do just that, be a wireless mic, even a two-way intercom, with the 46MHz / 49MHz split. Can be done!!! 
I can't decide upon what's worst, young and stupid, or old and chemically dumbed down.

Offline ThaDood

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Re: THE STRANGE DAVID AND GOLIATH SAGA OF RADIO FREQUENCIES.
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2018, 1755 UTC »
Huh... I wrote to David Zweig, whom wrote that Wired article, and here's is response to my comments. Interesting argument indeed:

"A few reason why I don't believe this could work:
49MHz isn't licensed, so mics would be subject to interference from remote control cars and other devices that use this frequency.
This may be too low frequency to effectively transmit signals with modern mics and transmitters' current tiny antennas (even if this is where mics used to operate).
Mics need more than just one frequency. Every single mic needs its own slice, and buffer spectrum on either side, to prevent interference. In other words, if a production is using 30 mics, they need quite a bit of spectrum to operate; one frequency is not enough. It's not analogous to having twenty devices on the same WiFi frequency."

I can't decide upon what's worst, young and stupid, or old and chemically dumbed down.