Wireless Adding an antenna splitter to Sennheiser XS True Diversity (EM 10) setup

b2550

Member
I have a set of 8x Sennheiser XS True Diversity EM 10 Receivers. Many of the antennas have had their casing broken off, and the power bricks are too big for the PSU so someone decided to plug in double-sided extension cables to fit them all and just ziptie the slack. I am trying to update this setup to a more robust solution with an ASA 214 or ASA 1 antenna splitter (and power distribution) and a compatible antenna. However I can't find any information about weather the EM 10 is even compatible with an antenna splitter.

I was hoping someone with this system could advise or send me in the direction of where I could find information. I can't even find this reciever on Sennheiser's website. The manual of the ASA 1 says it's compatible with "EM x00 G3" receivers but I don't really understand what that means.

Annoyingly Sennheiser doesn't even list the EM 10 in their support form so asking them about it is difficult. I have submitted a support request anyways and will report back if I get a response.

Also given the age of the system, lack of support from Sennheiser, and the potential for funding to replace it, might it just be worth replacing entirely?
 

manuallyfocused

Active Member
The Sennheiser ASA 1 and ASA 214 distros are designed to send the 12v DC power for the receivers through the BNC antenna cables (that replace the whip antennas on your EM 10s). Looking at the back of the EM 10s, it doesn't appear that they are designed to receive power this way (EM 100s and EM 300s are labeled as taking power through the BNCs, this labeling is missing on the EM 10). If you want to keep your existing receivers, I would suggest looking at the RF Venue Distro4. It has separate power cables that may work with the power input jacks on the EM 10.
 

Ben Stiegler

Well-Known Member

Em10 is analog, and spectrum hungry. You need 8 towork at once? Ever rent more to use in addition?

where are you in the US? Zip code plz. The uhf congestion issue is worse in some places than others..

if you have the budget, now is a great time to upgrade to digital
 

b2550

Member

Em10 is analog, and spectrum hungry. You need 8 towork at once? Ever rent more to use in addition?

where are you in the US? Zip code plz. The uhf congestion issue is worse in some places than others..

if you have the budget, now is a great time to upgrade to digital

So the context is that this is a student group I am a part of. They have had this system for a very long time. When I got here it was installed in a rackmount case made of 2x4s and rails. I quickly had them buy a new case and move it there. We rarely have spectrum issues with it, given my school is kind of in the middle of nowhere (which is why I withholding the zip code on a public forum). I might just look into replacing the whole thing though, given we put on about 4 musicals per year. It's only a matter of time before things start breaking.
 

b2550

Member
Sennheiser support got back to me about using the ASA splitters.

The EM 10 is the XSW rack mount receiver. Original XSW series and XSW 2 units have BNC connected antennas, and can be connected to ASA 1 or ASA 214 antenna splitters. This will allow for coordianted antennas, but these units cannot be powered from the ASA. You would still need to use individual power supplies to operate the receivers.
 

Ben Stiegler

Well-Known Member
you can chat with me privately if you like about this, I'm happy to do a spectrum peek for you. If you are really in a cornfield, and don't need more simultaneous channels, then perhaps an ok strategy is to buy up a few used transmitters on Ebay for spares and just keep this system running. For good digital that I'd trust in performance, expect to spend about $1K/operating channel for upgrade ... tho there are some interesting promos on right now that can cut into it.

One way I assess wireless systems is not by the # of shows, but rather the # of services (same way musicians count). A rehearsal or a performance is a service. This more accurately measures the # of times the mics and transmitters get handled. What are your most frequent problems - cable/connector issues, or more substantial stuff (aside from the power brick thing). I am a big fan (and a dealer) of RF Venue ... if you decide to keep what you have, that is a very solid solution for power and antenna splits that can work with EM10 (but lets triple check before you order anything)
 

FMEng

Well-Known Member
Fight Leukemia
Before spending money on an old system, find out if they are even legal to operate today. What frequency range do they operate in? Then, find out if there is any spectrum left for them in your location. Even in rural areas, it's possible for a bunch of TV stations to fill up the tuning range of the receivers due to the repack.

The manual is available on Sennheiser's page for the XSW 12, which includes the EM10.
 

b2550

Member
Without even checking I can assume we have been breaking the law for quite some time 😬

I'll find out tomorrow when I go and check.
 

BCAP

Well-Known Member
Agree wth all prior comments.

If you can't upgrade and are unable to use a Sennheiser ASA1 or ASA214 antenna distributor the power the Sennheiser XS EM10 receivers via BNC antenna connection, then you might have one cheap solution if you don't care about distributing the antenna signals. If your main goal is to clean up the power supply / wall warts, one of the things you might be able to do easily would be to implement a single DC power supply that can supply power to all of your receivers at once and get rid of all those wall warts. For your 8 units would need to be at least 3.5A - maybe add some on to that for a fudge factor and buy a 12VDC 5A supply ($12 online). These are probably switching supplies but they might work out well for the purpose. Then you just buss the individual wall wart coaxial wire connections back to the 5A supply with proper polarity. The wire on the DC side of a wall wart it generally pretty small diameter and these wires can be easily kept out of the way with a few cable ties and some cable tie holders. Only downside is you have to cut the wire.

Per Ben's comment about upgrading to digital, I might agree (if Shure) but would enthusiastically recommend against investing in a lot of units in Sennheiser's D1 digital system based in the 2.4GHz band. I have been extremely unlucky with that particular system. May be a different story for you in your venue, but I had major problems with that.

Manual here


Good luck!
 

BCAP

Well-Known Member
re: trashed antennas would think it would be possible to find 3rd party replacement antennas... 50 ohm 1/4 wave BNC for the appropriate frequency range? Someone has to have those. Perhaps combined with a rack mounting style where a small metal panel at the back could have XLR connections to prevent folks from having to mess around in the rack and antennas don't need to be touched... might be more a robust solution. Just a thought. I've made racks for customers like that in the past and it worked really well.
 

FMEng

Well-Known Member
Fight Leukemia
I'm sure there are places they work well, but I am cautious and skeptical about 2.4 GHz systems, as well. They are probably best in places where you can measurably tell there is limited wifi.

I was a guest in a small church recently, and took the opportunity to glance over their sound equipment. I noted that they had a couple of UHF systems with receivers in the back by the console, but they also had a 2.4 GHz mic receiver that was planted on stage. I suspect that's the only place it works reliably. The had a wifi router in the room, along with others in the building.
 

b2550

Member
re: trashed antennas would think it would be possible to find 3rd party replacement antennas... 50 ohm 1/4 wave BNC for the appropriate frequency range? Someone has to have those. Perhaps combined with a rack mounting style where a small metal panel at the back could have XLR connections to prevent folks from having to mess around in the rack and antennas don't need to be touched... might be more a robust solution. Just a thought. I've made racks for customers like that in the past and it worked really well.

We have a TRS to XLR snake (which I have been meaning to replace with XLR to XLR) coming out of the rack right now. However with the current power situation it is hard to cable manage so it still gets caught on the antennas. Additionally I would be mildly concerned about covering up the antennas with a plate. We can afford to get new equipment, thus having an antenna splitter seems to be the best option for us.

(Also an added benefit of an antenna splitter is it looks scary/complex enough that people won't go messing with the internals of the rack without asking for help :) )
 

RonHebbard

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
We have a TRS to XLR snake (which I have been meaning to replace with XLR to XLR) coming out of the rack right now. However with the current power situation it is hard to cable manage so it still gets caught on the antennas. Additionally I would be mildly concerned about covering up the antennas with a plate. We can afford to get new equipment, thus having an antenna splitter seems to be the best option for us.

(Also an added benefit of an antenna splitter is it looks scary/complex enough that people won't go messing with the internals of the rack without asking for help :) )
@b2550 I don't believe any one was suggesting you'd cover your antennae, merely that you'd mount your antenna on a 1RU rack panel as a means of packaging them with your rack keeping your antennae wiring enclosed and out of harm's way safely within your rack.
If your pockets are sufficiently deep, external antennae located as close as convenient to your wireless devices and coupled to your receivers via one cable per antenna and antenna splitters housed within the same rack as your receivers could be another option to consider.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 

BCAP

Well-Known Member
We have a TRS to XLR snake (which I have been meaning to replace with XLR to XLR) coming out of the rack right now. However with the current power situation it is hard to cable manage so it still gets caught on the antennas. Additionally I would be mildly concerned about covering up the antennas with a plate. We can afford to get new equipment, thus having an antenna splitter seems to be the best option for us.

(Also an added benefit of an antenna splitter is it looks scary/complex enough that people won't go messing with the internals of the rack without asking for help :) )

I agree, I wasn't suggesting to cover the antennas up with a plate. I would say leave the antennas on the units in the rack.

Take a 1RU prepunched rack plate like the type Middle Atlantic sells. Buy some D shell XLR connectors, install them in that 1RU panel then install this panel at the bottom back of the rack. Wire the D shell XLR connectors to your receiver XLR outs in the rack using XLR cable connectors and shielded audio cable. Use cable ties to tie these audio cables (and your power connectors) out of the way of your antennas inside the rack.

Aside from what I was suggesting above with the power, in addition your XLR receiver out connectors inside the rack would thus be situated outside the rack so when you want to connect your rack in the field to your mixer use the XLR connectors on the 1RU panel, not the connectors on the backs of the receivers. A 1RU rack panel at the bottom back of your rack would not interfere much with the antennas.

Bottom line - all wiring inside the rack is tied back and controlled and during normal usage there would be no need to go inside the rack to connect anything.
 

b2550

Member
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The old rack
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FMEng

Well-Known Member
Fight Leukemia
Your systems are in a legal frequency range. The also don't show any RF signal level, so they must have a chunk of quiet spectrum.
 

steine

Active Member
One thing I noticed:
You use frequencies in multiple banks.
Have all 8 in the same bank, and different channels.

Why ?
Because Sennheiser has calculated the channels inside each bank to work without RF interference with each other.

I know money is an issue, as always, but will suggest you get 2 x ASA1 Active antennasplitters for your system at some point.
They can each be configured to run all 8 A or B antennas as needed, and you will then only need 2 antennas for the entire rack.
 

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