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Wireless 600MHz Incentive Auction Update (USA)

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by MNicolai, Jan 29, 2016.

  1. Jay Ashworth

    Jay Ashworth Well-Known Member

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    Somebody in a different thread was just about to buy a whole bunch of new stuff, and found a buncha old Sennheisers and was wondering what to do with them. If they're gonna sell them to you, everyone might be happier. :)
     
  2. Joel - Studio 52

    Joel - Studio 52 Member

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    Sennheiser EW100, G2 series are great systems. I still run several. As I've upgraded over the last couple of years, I've bought EW100, G3 to replace other, older brands. The major difference that I've seen with the G3 over the G2 is the scan feature. You set your frequency on the receiver, place the transmitter in front of the receiver and push the scan button. It automatically sets the transmitter's frequency to match the receiver. That's a nice little feature that I use traveling around the state, when I need to reset frequencies. If you're talking about buying house systems that won't be moving, then I think you'd get along fine with the G2 systems. You might not be able to buy them new anymore, but I see them on auction sites for not that much money all the time. Around the $2-300 range. With $3000 for a wireless mic budget, you should be able to put together a nice setup.

    You probably want to stay away from the B range, which is the most likely to become illegal. A and G ranges should be safe (hopefully!) for the foreseeable future. (At least as I understand it). I have all 3 ranges and will wait to see what happens before I start unloading anything.

    I'll try to post pictures of my wireless rack and explain what I've done, if anyone is interested.

    Best,
    Joel
     
  3. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    Considering how small the transmitter/receiver sub-modules are in the Sennheisers, it still frustrates me that Sennheiser doesn't offer a service to change bands. What a waste to chuck a perfectly good handheld because that module is tuned to the wrong band. I know, business is business and they would rather sell you a new mic. Errrrrr!
     
  4. KBToys82

    KBToys82 Active Member

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    I'm currently debating starting to purchase wireless mics/receivers and am considering the AT3000. We already rent 12 of those units and have had decent success with them. Thinking of doing this over several years.

    Would get 4 C-band receivers & transmitters, with the AEW-DA550 C distribution system. Possibly getting a set of paddles at some point, but not sure because the units we rent are D-Band and I don't know if I can hook up 4 distribution units into 1 main unit if they are all not the same. As for mics, would probably go with getting Samson SE50 or some mics from bodymics.com
     
  5. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Heads-up. This week the FCC entered Stage Four of the auction, after unsuccessfully meeting goals required for completion of the auction in the first 3 attempts. Current clearing target is down to 84 MHz of spectrum.

    While this is in the neighborhood of where initial estimates put the auction at succeeding, I'm seeing some pundits astonished at how low bids have been coming in at and suggesting that bidders may be losing interest in this area of the spectrum and diverting their resources into other corporate ventures.

    If the trend keeps up, this will be increasingly good news for existing wireless microphone and IEM users in the 600 MHz range.
     
  6. firewater88

    firewater88 Active Member

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    Have they stated where in the spectrum that 84 Mhz is yet?
     
  7. FMEng

    FMEng Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Right now, it looks like above 614 MHz, Ch 38, but my understanding is it could still change.
     
  8. TheaterEd

    TheaterEd Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Our Fearless leader just posted this to the news forum

     
  9. NickVon

    NickVon Active Member

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    So. This seems to still indicate that the Sennheiser B band (626-668) are still frequencies to avoid for new installs and purchases. But if we already have them we might luck out and have them both continue to operate legally and operate well. @dvsDave and @MNicolai The Gurus of RF, is that your take on it? What is the time frame for then next bit of knowledge/Stage advancement, from the FCC.
     
  10. dvsDave

    dvsDave Benevolent Dictator Administrator Senior Team CB Mods Fight Leukemia

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    I'm no Guru, but I have smart people who I talk to. Oh @mbenonis we need you!
     
  11. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Yes, I would stay away from that range of spectrum for new purchases of anything you intend to keep for a good long while. If you're investing in frequency-agile, high-density wireless and paying thousands of dollars a unit, stay out of the reallocated spectrum. If you're paying a few hundred bucks per unit with the full intention of replacing those units in a few years with whatever new wireless systems are on the market, it likely will not affect you much if you purchase wireless systems now in the affected spectrum range. Just now that those budget systems should be considered sacrificial and that budgeting should begin for their eventual replacement.

    The auction still has to go through a couple different filing periods a 39-month transition period begins. Near the end of this period, broadcasters will begin moving into the reallocated spectrum and upon completion of the 39 months, unlicensed wireless users must cease operating in the reallocated spectrum. It's hard to gauge the magnitude right now of how wireless mic/IEM users will be affected near the tail end of this transition while unlicensed users are still allowed to use this spectrum while licensed broadcasters will begin their operations in the reallocated spectrum. My understanding is that these hand-offs between existing broadcasters and new ones will be scheduled on some form of city-by-city basis leading up to the final deadline.

    As with the analog sunset and the 700MHz process, the transition deadline will likely change. There is an embittered dialogue between broadcasters and the FCC, some arguing 39 months isn't enough time for all broadcasters to make their transition because of the high demand that will be placed on installing new RF towers, taking existing towers off-line, and having enough RF engineers in the industry to do this for all affected broadcasters simultaneously. Meanwhile, other parties have been lobbying that the 39-month period is too long because the reallocated spectrum is less valuable if it cannot begin being used by purchasers in a timely fashion. Now that the auction is nearly complete, hopefully this will settle down. I would be quite surprised to see the 39-month timeline move up because of the pressure that puts on everyone, but I would not at all be surprised to see it extended if it begins to appear the deadline cannot reasonably be met.
     
    Jay Ashworth likes this.
  12. TimMc

    TimMc Member

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    Whatever the final deadline becomes I seriously doubt that there will be significant changes to the stair-step way the RF changes are implemented as they depend on both geography and RF field strength. Either Henry Cohen, Ike Zimble or Pete Erskin commented on this in another forum (or maybe the Broadway Sound G-group), but the gist of it is that the geographic areas and the RF field strength overlap in ways that require coordination of the changes to prevent interference with other close-ish broadcast facilities and potentially the new licensees of the spectrum. It's a carefully choreographed ballet of construction, testing permits and then the actual change over.

    I'm still in the "hold off buying" camp for time being and it's frustrating as we're overdue for wireless mic upgrades.

    Ya know, other than wireless stuff, it's a great time to be in audio :)
     

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