Broadway coordination query

Jay Ashworth

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Feb 7, 2014
Location
St Pete FL USA
My boss raised an interesting question just now that I don't know the answer to.

Wireless {mics,iems,PL} on Broadway.

Are the houses lined as faraday cages? (which would solve the ringing cellphones problem, too)

Or is there a frequency coordination panel of some kind? Broadway League?
 

TimMc

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Feb 15, 2017
Nope, no Faraday screening. The secret is low power TX and using directional RX antennae.

Edit ps: any show with the quantity of wireless transmitters like in most Broadway shows, qualify the theater for Whitespace device protection via registration in an FCC database. Also the technician in charge of the wireless equipment (mics, intercom, IFB, etc) likely qualifies for a Part 74 license, which gives the show more spectrum capability and a bit more protection.

There is usually some friendly discussion between adjacent theaters and producer staffs to make all the RF work and play nice together, but there is no frequency coordinator such as are used in STL, RPU, and other broadcast uses.
 

washjo

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Mar 5, 2010
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Sussex, WI
Wireless {mics,iems,PL} on Broadway.
such as are used in STL, RPU, and other
I have high school and community experience only. I follow these discussions to learn and expand my world view through the many fascinating observations of artists in much more sophisticated productions and venues. I am doing my best to learn abbreviations and acronyms, but you got me a couple of times in this thread. Here are my three that will become the new knowledge of the day, hopefully - PL? STL? RPU?
 
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MRW Lights

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NYC
I thought one of the shops (Masque?) kept a list of who was using what.
Well yes and no... they technically keep a record of which TX Frequency blocks go places, but it's impossible for a shop in NJ to "plan" exactly which bands will be used for a location without being there. In fact they can change daily, between shows, or in a rare case during shows. That's where an A2 cuts their teeth. Yes it's best practice to not put everyone on 42nd st in the same block of transmitter. The reality is far from that being possible. There are better places of NYC Metro for certain blocks over others.. but "Broadway" / anywhere in mid town there really isn't a good frequency range. It's what you can sneak into at that moment...
 

TimMc

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STL - Studio-Transmitter Link (sends audio from broadcast studio to transmitter site)
RPU - Remote Pick Up (originating from a non-studio location, like a car dealer grand opening; transmits signal back to studio)
IFB - Interruptable Fold Back (the wire in the newcaster's ear...)
IEM - In-Ear Monitor (musicians use them instead of floor monitor wedges)
PL - Party Line (a form of intercom system, in this case a wireless PL system, as differentiated from Matrix intercoms), unless Jay has another item in mind.
 

RonHebbard

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Jun 12, 2004
Location
Waterdown, ON, CA
I have high school and community experience only. I follow these discussions to learn and expand my world view through the many fascinating observations of artists in much more sophisticated productions and venues. I am doing my best to learn abbreviations and acronyms, but you got me a couple of times in this thread. Here are my three that will become the new knowledge of the day, hopefully - PL? STL? RPU?
STL comes from commercial broadcasting. Decades ago, signals from studios (typically down town) were sent to out of town (where the real estate's cheaper for six tower AM arrays) transmitter sites via balanced telephone lines, matched pairs in the case of stereo.
STL Studio Transmitter Link.
I see @TimMc types faster than I.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 

MRW Lights

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Jan 4, 2017
Location
NYC
STL comes from commercial broadcasting. Decades ago, signals from studios (typically down town) were sent to out of town (where the real estate's cheaper for six tower AM arrays) transmitter sites via balanced telephone lines, matched pairs in the case of stereo.
STL Studio Transmitter Link.
I see @TimMc types faster than I.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
In a lot of cases this is still true as a backup... we use the analog phone lines as a backup to a local transmitter location, while our primary is a satellite link / fiber connection to a relay station / head end.
 

themuzicman

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Apr 27, 2007
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On Tour
I thought one of the shops (Masque?) kept a list of who was using what.
Not quite -- each shop has coordinations for the shows they support. The RF techs in every shop are decently friendly with one another and if one house represented by one shop is having issues with another house represented by another shop the RF departments may call each other to figure out solutions. When we have issues we go talk to our neighbors as a first step and elevate to the shops second. When we power it on for the first time it'll generally be mid-week on a work call so the neighbors can turn on and make sure we're all playing nice. @TimMc hit the nail on the head with

Nope, no Faraday screening. The secret is low power TX and using directional RX antennae.
I'll add to it, we also tend to use directional TX antennas as well whenever we can.

Edit ps: any show with the quantity of wireless transmitters like in most Broadway shows, qualify the theater for Whitespace device protection via registration in an FCC database. Also the technician in charge of the wireless equipment (mics, intercom, IFB, etc) likely qualifies for a Part 74 license, which gives the show more spectrum capability and a bit more protection.
I haven't looked into it in about 2 years, but the Part 74 licenses are kind of a pain to get for venues, not a single Broadway house or any of the large off-Broadway venues have them. The huge issue that exist from when I last did research in getting them was that you needed to block your channels into chunks the size of a DTV station and there was a limit on the number of stations you could lay on top of. These houses lay on top of everything just to get a usable show because it's rental gear - you're dealing with available stock and working around your neighbors and the RF coordination on most of these shows is just all over the place due to that. The general inclination everyone has is, "that's nice, but if I have a problem I'll go talk to my neighbor or yell at the film shoot".
 

Jay Ashworth

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Feb 7, 2014
Location
St Pete FL USA
STL - Studio-Transmitter Link (sends audio from broadcast studio to transmitter site)
RPU - Remote Pick Up (originating from a non-studio location, like a car dealer grand opening; transmits signal back to studio)
IFB - Interruptable Fold Back (the wire in the newcaster's ear...)
IEM - In-Ear Monitor (musicians use them instead of floor monitor wedges)
PL - Party Line (a form of intercom system, in this case a wireless PL system, as differentiated from Matrix intercoms), unless Jay has another item in mind.
I did mean that by PL, though I get blank stares all day long calling it that. :)
 

Jay Ashworth

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Feb 7, 2014
Location
St Pete FL USA
I haven't looked into it in about 2 years, but the Part 74 licenses are kind of a pain to get for venues, not a single Broadway house or any of the large off-Broadway venues have them. The huge issue that exist from when I last did research in getting them was that you needed to block your channels into chunks the size of a DTV station and there was a limit on the number of stations you could lay on top of. These houses lay on top of everything just to get a usable show because it's rental gear - you're dealing with available stock and working around your neighbors and the RF coordination on most of these shows is just all over the place due to that. The general inclination everyone has is, "that's nice, but if I have a problem I'll go talk to my neighbor or yell at the film shoot".
Yeah, I kinda figured that was about there it was...

This is clearly where WWB6 earns its pay.

I haven't upgraded; I hope it's less opaque than 5...
 

RonHebbard

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Waterdown, ON, CA
I did mean that by PL, though I get blank stares all day long calling it that. :)
I believe STL's also include TX site remote control and metering / data links. They may also allow studio personelle to meter building ambient temperature, initiate power and / or pattern changes. Pre-heat backup transmitters. Exercise standby generators. Meter tower marker light current / be aware of burnouts and unauthorized building entry.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 

Jay Ashworth

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Feb 7, 2014
Location
St Pete FL USA
I believe STL's also include TX site remote control and metering / data links. They may also allow studio personelle to meter building ambient temperature, initiate power and / or pattern changes. Pre-heat backup transmitters. Exercise standby generators. Meter tower marker light current / be aware of burnouts and unauthorized building entry.
Well, a number of newer ones do, but that's largely a side-effect of them being PtP IP over RF links.
 

RonHebbard

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Location
Waterdown, ON, CA
Well, a number of newer ones do, but that's largely a side-effect of them being PtP IP over RF links.
In the late 1960's / early 1970's, our station was purchased by Toronto's Rogers Broadcasting and we were gifted an old surplus General Electric Nicholls (I believe it was) TX remote control and monitoring unit which operated via three pairs of telephone lines; a pulse dial, stepping relay, and two normally open buttons for On/Off and / or Nudge Up / Nudge Down.

The new (to us) unit replaced our original Gates unit. At approximately the same time, a CBS Audimax and Volumax pair replaced our original Gates Level Devil with the cute little devil on its analog meter.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 
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jtweigandt

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Aug 2, 2013
Location
Moline Il
We have a facility nearby.. The Rock Island Arsenal.. Military.. I was really suspicious one Saturday afternoon, I came in to troubleshoot some wireless, where we had some dropouts the night before, and we had one specific receiver that was having a drop out like clockwork something like every 50 seconds.. Changed to another receiver, same frequency, same thing.. I start thinking rotating sweeping antennas Suspected interference from the military.... Considered the airport, but they are up and running all the time. Interference was gone by that night. Couldn't replicate afterward. Ahh Radio
 

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