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In this episode of Sound Design Live I talk with touring monitor engineer and RF technician for the Eli Young Band, Stephen Pavlik. We discuss troubleshooting tips for wireless microphone and in-ear-monitor interference as well as RF best practices to avoid dropouts.
- What is one RF myth you would like to never hear again?
- One of the most common wireless issues that everyone asked about during Wireless Workshop is how to avoid drop outs. At the beginning of your presentation you said, “There is no one solution. There is no magic box. We need to maximize efficiency and properly deploy every device and step in the chain! Only then can we blame the video guys.” If that’s the case, could you help me get started by giving me a prioritized checklist of things to look at to help me track down my wireless dropouts? What are some common pitfalls at each stage of the signal chain?
- Tell us about the biggest or maybe most painful mistake you’ve made on the job and how you recovered.
- What’s in your work bag?
- What is one book that has been immensely helpful to you?
- What podcasts do you listen to regularly?
Every point in the signal chain can affect gain. Too low and you have dropouts. Too high and you have overloads.Stephen Pavlik
- All music in this podcast by Steve Knots.
- Part 74 license: Legally you can shut down other unlicensed operators causing interference. Operate at 250mW. Must use a minimum of 50 channels on a regular basis to qualify.
- White space devices: use unused TV channels.
- LPDA: Shark fin. Wideband directional antenna. 7-9dBi of gain compared to an omnidirectional antenna.
- Wireless Workshop: Wireless Crash Course for Monitor Engineers
- Tips to avoid dropouts:
- Have the right cable. Video cable (75ohm): big debate, but you will experience some loss. Make sure the center pin is not extruding past the connector. Use RG8X or RG8 and you’ll be fine.
- Make sure you are wired correctly. You cannot cascade active antenna combiners. You must use a passive combiner.
- Antenna location: Line of sight and away from metal and power.
- Insure that SMA antenna connector is secure. If you see both A and B antennas stop receiving at the same time then you have a problem with the transmitter.
- Dropout: low enough signal that the squelch engages.
- Workbag: spectrum analyzer, Wilkinson power divider, tunable filter, KC901s, TTI PSA 2702, Signal Hound SA44B, Senheisser A1031U, Professional Wireless LPDA, Lectrosonics SNA600, battery powered antenna distro PSC RF multi
- Books: Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook, ARRL Antenna Handbook, Secrets of RF Circuit Design
- Podcasts: This Week in Radio Tech
- Don’t be afraid to leave a good thing in hopes of something better.
- You cannot take the output of an antenna combiner and cascade it into another one to get more channels.
- Every point in the signal chain can affect gain. Too low and you have dropouts. Too high and you have overloads. The most loss is in the wireless path.
- Make sure the antenna doesn’t touch skin because that will take out another 20dB.