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About ParkerAudio

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  • Birthday January 1

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    Sound mixer living and working New England with over 25 years of experience in Narrative, Documentary, Reality and Live Broadcast. Strong focus on RF management and coordination.

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  1. ParkerAudio

    CNBC Microphones in studio mics

    I've done lots CNBC work in the past....I'm pretty sure they are using Sennheiser MKE-104 or MKE-102 capsules into Lectrosonics transmitters. We definitely used that set-up on Mad Money's live shows and various town halls for CNBC. However, its been a few years and they may have moved on to different mics.
  2. ParkerAudio

    New White Space Issues

    Phil, I think you hit it dead on. Rf sensing is gone, no reserved rf space for microphones ....etc . The scariest part of this device was that the frequencies blindly moved around, making any frequency plan on the RF Tech's side useless. If you haven't seen it already, here's a recent (scary) article. http://www.usatoday.com/money/media/2011-03-24-fcc-tv-stations-broadcast-spectrum.htm Looks like they are getting hungry for more. Parker
  3. ParkerAudio

    New White Space Issues

    Hey all, I just received this email from a colleague at CNBC. On behalf of all us RF, Sound Dudes & Dudettes, I want to thank Kevin Parrish and the technicians at NBC LIC for the hard work and this quick report! I've had the opportunity to work with these guys and they are true professionals. Kevin Parker Parker Audio, Inc. Subject: White Space Device Causes RF Interference to Production Wireless Microphone Systems @ CTIA Show TO UN-DISCLOSED RECIPIENTS: I wanted to advise you on what may be one of the first reported cases of rf interference caused by a White Space Device (TVBD) operating at the CTIA Show in Orlando, Florida. CNBC is an exhibitor at the 2011 CTIA Show and will originate several live remote-broadcasts from the show 3/22 thru 3/24. We're operating 18 wireless microphone channels at the show and intended to utilize Lectrosonics BLOCK-25…. Well all was proceeding quite nicely until this afternoon when un-expectedly a very unusual type of interference popped-up on our receivers. This rf interference was something that I had never seen before, it occupied 7 MHz in total bandwidth with multiple narrow carriers evenly spaced which then appeared to randomly move in frequency within BLOCK-25. An NBC RF Engineer using mobile direction finding techniques quickly located the source of interference within the Orange County Florida Convention Center. Further investigation revealed the source of the interfering signals to be emanating from an apparent "TVBD" White Spaces Device which was concealed inside a hallway corridor kiosk sign. The "TVBD" equipment was positively identified as being "Airspace Micro-Max" which apparently is a next generation Wi-Fi / White Spaces Base Station that operated in this instance on frequencies from 656 - 663 MHz inside the Orange County Convention Centers, North Hall. Manufacturer: Airspan Model: ASMAX / MICRO-MAX 650M TDD EXT 908-03-057-BO FCC Type Acceptance Number: http://site.airspan.com/products/micromax-micro-cell-wimax/ Professional Wireless Microphone users should be on the lookout for this type of equipment causing destructive interference to wireless microphones, IFBs, RFPLs and related low-power broadcast auxiliary equipment ! Pay special attention to the frequency coordination efforts currently underway which have been mandated by the FCC in order to protect yourself and clients from TVBD interference. Read the trade publications and manufacturers technical bulletins on this hot topic, stay informed, continue to educate yourself since we face many unknown issues as professional production wireless equipment users. Kevin Parrish
  4. ParkerAudio

    Block 28 wireless

    Just trying to make the point that when a rental company tells you "700 MHz is all clear" ....it ain't true. They are trying to squeeze every last rental day out of the gear. I don't blame them, I know the pain. I sold off and replaced all my Lectro 28 and 29 gear last year and spent a fortune on getting all my antenna distribution re-blocked or switched to wide band. Took a lot of whiskey to make that pain go away. For months I kicked myself for not working the stuff on a few more jobs. Every time I would scan a location 700 MHz was clean as a whistle. Then, in Pittsburgh, it all changed and I came up with the scan below. After calling some other live broadcast RF Techie types I felt even better when they confirmed that they were seeing the same things.
  5. ParkerAudio


    I found this Spectrum Analyzer to work fantastically for wireless microphone frequency coordination http://www.dealexcel.com/atten-at5010-spectrum-analyzer-frequency-scanner-1ghz_p322.html Yeah.....It's a Chinese knock-off. However at less than $700 it's worth every penny. I also can't say enough about the IAS software from Professional Wireless/Masque Sound. I've owned the pro version for a few years now and it has been a total life saver. One thing about PC based spectrum analyzers. They all (to my knowledge) works as a "sweeper", which slowly moves it's way across the spectrum plotting information on a graph. This is incredibly helpful but makes it very difficult to see sporadic interference. A true spectrum analyzer (like the one in the link above) will open up and show you a huge swath of frequency range in real time. So, as an example, you can switch the analyzer to look at 100 MHz and you may see some unknown interference that is 1 MHz away and is "clicking". With the PC based system you would only see this if the "sweep" was on the interference at exactly the moment it occurred. With the analyzer you will see it immediately. One other thing...the Yaesu VR-500 is a great little handheld device. Tiny, simple and has a little frequency sweeper. http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/widerxvr/0500.html Kevin Parker
  6. ParkerAudio

    Block 28 wireless

    I've been noticing that 700 MHz has started to become an unpredictable place. Not clear at all. The different players that have bought up the space have started firing up and testing. Here's a copy of a Spectrum Scan I did at Carnegie-Mellon in Pittsburgh, PA on November 29th of last year. http://www.parkeraudio.com/pittsburgh.jpg The live broadcast show had 16 wireless microphones, 24 wireless two-channel headsets and four IFB channels. This was the first time I saw activity in the 700 MHz since analogue TV went off the air. No real rhyme or reason to the frequencies. Really stinks and made my job a pain. Analogue TV was predicable and, therefore, manageable. This is sporadic, unpredictable and, frankly, a nightmare. I would recommend staying clear of 700 if at all possible. I have heard of other traveling RF Techs seeing the same kind issues in other cities. As an aside, a major cable news outlet in New Jersey hosts AT&T cell arrays on their building. Last I heard AT&T was planning to start 700 MHz tests in January. Which was bummer for the news outlet considering they had fully installed Lectro 28 block system (I think around 30 wireless and IFB's) There is one hope. If you own block 29 there is a small sliver of frequencies that WERE NOT sold. The “D Block” (758-763 / 788-793 MHz) was put up for auction and never received a winning bid. As of now, there has been no talk about bringing it back up for sale. So I have been recommending to people to use this narrow block if you have to use anything in the 700 MHz world. Of course, as of June 12th of this year...it'll be illegal. Kevin Parker
  7. ParkerAudio

    Antenna system from DCaudiovisuel

    Antenna design, construction and dynamics are probably the most interesting part of the hobby for me. Maybe I'm a geek, but I love futzing around with some copper-clad, ladderline and dog bone insulators. Ok, it's official....I am a geek! de KB1KFN
  8. ParkerAudio

    Antenna system from DCaudiovisuel

    Two receiving antennas placed in close proximity to each other may effect the expected characteristics of the antenna, that may be good, that may be bad. (more forward gain/less forward gain....holes the frequency response of the antenna....etc). On transmit the problems could become amplified. Lectro recommends placing the two diversity antennas at least 3 to 4 feet apart and 3 to 4 feet away from metal surfaces. This seems like really sound advice. Placing a transmit antenna close to a receive antenna may cause the receiver to "de-sense" and experience limited range or outright interference. And for Larry Long, I think the non-pro version of that software would be wise investment! Back to BBQ and Beer! Kevin
  9. ParkerAudio

    Antenna system from DCaudiovisuel

    David, I love it! Here are a few of mine I used the widest microphone stereo bar I could find (I always try to maintain a full wavelength of physical separation). It disassembles quickly and stores "flat" for easy travel. Also, when I am running two antennas next to each other (as above) it is usually for two seperate receivers, not for diversity. Kevin Parker
  10. ParkerAudio

    Antenna system from DCaudiovisuel

    Vin, I bought a cheap, universal microphone mount. I then removed the spring loaded "mic clip", leaving behind the threaded base and a slot with a screw in it. I mounted this to the antenna with rubber washers taking up the slack. Once the mic thread was mounted I could use any hardware designed for microphones. Also, when in a pinch, I screw in a short microphone arm from weighted table stand (about 3.5"). This then acts like a "stud" that can be mounted in the knuckle of a c-stand. It's hard to describe....maybe I'll get some pictures up. Keep in mind, the green PCB can be drilled and altered without any effect on the preformance of the unit (just avoid the trace) and try to use plastic hardware (if possible). I'll try to get pictures for you to see...in the mean time, have a good weekend! Kevin Parker
  11. ParkerAudio

    Antenna system from DCaudiovisuel

    I work as an RF Tech for large live broadcast events (Republican Convention, Presidential Candidates’ Debates, Network Entertainment Shows etc) as well as a third or boom on Feature Films and Episodic TV. So I have the luxury of seeing two different, however related, worlds. This antenna system seems like a combo of the two. Pretty cool! It’s a 2x8, 50 ohm active wide band UHF antenna splitter, A spectrum analyzer, and a couple of UHF dual quad antennas. It’s kind of like what we would use on a big show shrunk down into a portable package. Although, to be honest, I’ve never seen UHF Quads…..that’s pretty cool. Here’s a list of off the shelf components here in the States that would get you the same results . (and I’m going with the CHEAPEST ingredients….we’re in a Recession/Depression…right?!) ANTENNAS: UHF Quads are cool….but Log Periodics are cheap and easily available! http://www.wa5vjb.com/products1.html That link will take you to a guy that makes them for 25 bucks and it’ll give you 18 to 20 dB of gain in the frequencies that we want! I own 10 of these and they are GREAT! ANTENNA SPLITTER: I couldn’t find a 2 x 8 cheap …but I found this. http://www.digital-loggers.com/multi.html?gclid=CIra2sCXwZkCFdBM5QodgQWjuQ Above is a link for a 1 x 16 Wideband active 50 ohm splitter. It’s only one input ….so you’ll have to buy two. But at only $295 each you can afford it and you will be able to upgrade to 16 receivers! (the Shure, Sennheiser and PSC are all good units….this is just the most bang for the buck) SPECTRUM ANALYZER: Here is the sticky one….. I use an ICOM PCR-1500 computer based radio with a bit of software called “Spectrum Commander”. It’s not great, but it does the job. The two items, WITHOUT the laptop required to run it, cost about a thousand bucks. For that money I should have bought a cheap Chinese Spectrum Analyzer like this: http://www.ntscope.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Return_Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=MTC&Category_Code=TAM&Product_Code=AT5011 I used this model at the Republican National Convention last year and it performed really, really well. It’s on the short list of new toys in my future. Throw in some RG-8x cable with BNC ends, flat black spray paint for the Antennas and you are at less than 2 Grand for the whole set-up! Rent it for $65 per day (today exchange rate) and you have a pretty good Return on Investment! Of course, I’m kind of throwing this all out there as a bit of a joke….but it would all actually work about the same as the system from the website. I will say one thing, none of my equipment has been as valuable as the Intermodulation Analysis System software from Masque sound. That program is GOLD! Kevin Parker
  12. ParkerAudio

    Cart Power Possibility

    Hey Guys, In 2006 I was working with Tom Williams as his Third on the Disney's "Underdog" and we had just come off of six months of episodic tv. We knew we were looking for a more robust powering solution for his cart. At the time he was running a Galaxy Far outlet, inverters and 12 volt direct. I had seen the Rigrunners in Ham Catalogs for a few years and thought it might offer some use on a sound cart. After going through all the specs and actually getting a hand on one of the units, I knew it was going to be a perfect fit. The system is great! It does everything it states it will. The power is clean, free of any extraneous RF "hash" and seamlessly switches between mains and battery. (Ham gear nowadays is mostly computer driven and only accepts 12v DC, it doesn't tolerate power "hiccups"). The Rigrunner and PWRgate are built like tanks and are relatively cheap. Here's a list of what‘s in the power system. 12 volt Astron 30 amp switching (yes switching!) power supply PWRgate 40 amp switch Rigrunner 4012 Lead Acid Battery Anderson Powerpole crimper, wire and ends The above equipment runs: Deva 5.8 Zaxcom Mix 12 2 Archos Monitors Xenerarc 10" touch screen Mac Mini (via 12 volt to 18 volt step-up transformer) Metric Halo Mobil I/O 2882 Kyocera WiFi router Cambridge Sound Works Speakers Because it natively runs 12 volt the system is very efficient and draws less than 7 amps. By the way, Anderson Power Poles are a well respected connector that are used commercially as well as for Ham gear (they offer mechanical protection from cross polarization, as well as up to 75 amps of through-put!). Also, they're cheap. I made a bunch of Power pole to 4 pin XLR, Power Pole to 2.1mm DC, Power Pole to Blah Blah Blah Cables….you get the idea. Also, West Mountian Radio offer’s the “Whatt Meter” that tell’s you amps used, etc. Here's a link to a bunch of 12 volt stuff: http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/hamps.html http://www.westmountainradio.com/ Tom confirmed with me that it's been over 3 years, 12 shows and no "kick-outs" or dropped power. That saying a lot considering overnights, rain, episodic TV and New England winters! Kevin Parker PS This is also the show that Tom started using a 2 video, 2 audio Muxlab Balun to tie in to Video Assist via Cat 5. He says he'll never go back to coax!