Jeff Wexler

Wireless - Is the sky falling?

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There is certainly a lot of passionate discussion going on right now regarding the shake-ups in our usable wireless spectrum. I came across an article with the author seeming to think the sky IS falling and probably faster than we previously thought.

A few excerpts:

Karl Voss, chief engineer at noncommercial KAET Phoenix and the SBE/NFL frequency coordinator, was quoted as saying, “Many [equipment] vendors have been telling everybody not to worry about wireless mics. They say: ‘You won’t have to get off your channels till 2020 at the end of the transition.’ But that’s simply not true.”

“I think the wireless mic folks are in for a big challenge because everybody had this idea that there would be this semi-orderly transition based on the phases,” Voss continued. “That’s not the case.”

Wireless systems manufacturers largely agree. Jackie Green, president and CTO of Alteros, the wireless-microphone company spun off by Audio-Technica specifically to develop alternate products for a newly realigned spectrum landscape, tells SVG, “I believe misconception is still strong, and a number of wireless microphone users — and some wireless manufacturers — still think they will have 39 months to use their gear, and this is likely not true in many cases.”

LINK to complete article in SVG News

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While the sky is not falling, some storm clouds are looming. 

If you're doing large venue, frequency-coordinated gigs, you should simply be prepared to operate below 608mHz, as frequency coordinators, such as Mr. Voss, will usually take a pro-active approach to spectrum allocation.

If you're doing small gigs -- run-n-gun, docs, sit-down interviews, and such --  and operate in blocks 24, 25, and 26, you should be prepared with alternatives.  If you don't have any 500mHz rigs, then at least be ready to go direct-wired and swing the boom if the clouds burst where you are.

While I suspect that many on smaller gigs won't encounter issues during the next three years, any of us could do so, at any time -- so being prepared makes you more than just a good Boy Scout.

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codyman   

Well it seems like the "repacking" of channels has begun.  Article in the LA times today about how KSCI is going off the air due to "the station’s involvement in a profitable auction of its spectrum".  They are 494-500mhz NTSC channel 18.  I'd imagine someone big like KNBC (36) or KCBS (43) is probably taking their spectrum space.

I have 6 SMQV transmitters in the 600mhz range (youch).  To reblock or sell out/upgrade, that is thy question of my sound life lately...

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mikewest   

Yep it it occured here with the move from analogue to digital

I sold 6 radio mike systems and needed to replace them

Bought into Block 26 that looked safe then did a job up north to find a digital

tv channel sitting across all my radios so re-tuning like mad while shooting get life!

Block 24 here still viable so 3 of my waterproofs re-tuned and OK

Using a Block 25 for radio boom or extra lav

It's a fight for survival but that's a small business

mike

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alenK   
1 hour ago, gus harris said:

Does anyone know what this means?

"Additionally, the Order will enable legacy equipment that operates within the 600 MHz band to be modified to comply with the new regulations, saving a significant amount of still operational wireless gear from costly pre-mature obsolescence following the transition period."

 

Thank you

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To paraphrase, "We're a phenomenal and amazingly wonderful company that has undertaken vague and unspecified overtures to accomplish vague and unspecified things for our end users."

I've seen documents written by dysfunctional government bureaucracies that weren't as circumspect as this. 

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I saw the same article, and it seemed a little alarmist to me, but with merit.  If T-Mobile is actually on track to deploy and activate there 600mhz purchases this year, it could come as a surprise to some markets, but these rollouts don't happen everywhere all at once.  Admittedly I am not ready for my 7 channels of 600mhz to go offline tomorrow, so I just have to hope that I have enough time to go through with my transition plan before it's a problem.

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alenK   
On 7/15/2017 at 8:52 PM, Philip Perkins said:

"It's legal for you to pay to have your 600MHz gear refreqed if you can afford it and the manufacturer (or etc) will do it."

I guess I neglected to acknowledge that legal U.S.A. wireless gear is officially licensed and assigned an Emission Designator, which is to say that I had not acknowledged that we are not at liberty to alter the specs of a item that has been previously approved unless the alteration is approved.

I was optimistic and fantasizing that "enable" might be code for "subsidize", but now I realize that fantasy was naive.

Thank you.

 

 

 

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