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Philip Perkins

New wireless TX deviation rules October '18

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Jay Patterson just posted this on FB.  First I've heard about it.  Super-suckage.   Kind of good for the manufacturers I guess.   Does this mean Trew etc can't sell 75 kHz gear used/consignment?   Maybe I'll just give my whole pile of wireless stuff a Viking Funeral in the back yard and tell clients that it's boom, hardwired lav or ADR from now on?

 

NEWS FLASH! New rules for the MANUFACTURE of wireless mics in the USA. Starting October 1, 2018, manufacturers and dealers will only be able to market devices operating with 50 kHz deviation. Current devices using 75 kHz deviation will still be allowed to be used (your entire current inventory), but will only work with legacy 75 kHz devices. This new rule brings US devices in line with the EU standard. What does this mean? If you need to re-block any of your 600 MHz units, THIS MUST OCCUR BEFORE 0CTOBER FIRST! DO IT NOW! Any units purchased (or re-blocked*) after October 1 WILL ONLY BE COMPATIBLE with other 50 kHz devices. Please bear in mind that consideration is necessary as one plans new purchases! AGAIN - Existing devices are still usable, but will NOT be compatible with the new units. *There are a few exceptions, it is on you to get in touch with your vendor and/or manufacturer as to their re-blocking abilities.
IATSE Local 695 Technical Trends Committee techtrends@local695

 

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"Kind of good for the manufacturers I guess." 

Actually it is pretty miserable. All current transmitters have to be re-tested and re-certified under the new standards and each frequency block is treated as a separate transmitter. This is not cheap, running into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. This is coming from our pockets now but you know where it comes from ultimately.

 

Also, if you have older Lectro units you are intending to reblock, get an appointment NOW (caps deliberate to indicate screaming) because after September 30, Lectro will not be able (no longer legal) to reblock the previous generation units. August is already booked for reblocks and September may fill up also. If you are gnashing your teeth, remember, all this is due to big government and big money.

Best Regards,

Larry Fisher

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Has this been planned for a while or is it a new rule?  It seems like a very fast roll out for a pretty dramatic change, unless of course I just missed this in the weeds.  Add it to the list of current wireless frustrations.

 

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IMPORTANT!  New or reblocked transmitters will be fully compatible with most of your current receivers (UCR411a, Venue, Venue 2, SRB, SRC, IFBR1a, LR).  It's all a matter of the mode selected.  You don't have to trash your entire kit. 

 

The new regulations and deadlines were buried in the morass of the reallocation rulings.   The FCC changed the regulations regarding the spectral mask and made them effective - for all manufacturers!  - October after the publication of the rulings.  There was some considerable back and forth between the FCC and Lectrosonics/Sennheiser/Shure/Audio Technica (as a group working together) as we pushed back against some rather odious (read impossible) specifications.  We got relief on the worst one but only last July.  The deadline was not pushed back.

 

Basically, any transmitters manufactured or sold after October 18 must not only conform with the new regulations but must, regardless of previous testing/certifications or modulation/deviation, be retested and re-certified  under the new rules (the ETSI mask).  The FCC will issue new type acceptance numbers.  Larry is correct about "miserable" - we had to re-test and re-certify 13 models at great expense.  Older legacy models such as the UM400a, MM400, LMa, any 200 series etc will not be re-certified.  

 

The impact on you is actually relatively light - Any units sent in before Sept 30th will be reblocked under old rules.  After Sept 30th /October 1, units that can be re-blocked will be under the new deviation (Ie, those with new certifications).  Older legacy units that do not have new certifications will be ineligible for reblocking at that time.  We can, however, continue to repair and service the units unless the board is totaled - an all new board is "manufactured" so we cannot provide that. 

 

The difference between the 50Khz deviation and 75 Khz impacts the S/N more than anything.  In a really quiet environment, when you are pushing gain hard, you will hear the difference.  In the vast majority of circumstances, you won't. For example, the new 941 band is already at 50Khz - no complaints about the audio. If you want to reblock and keep 75Khz for next few years, then get them in before October 1.  

 

Can you keep using the 75Khz units in the 500Mhz band?  Yes.   We just can't make or sell them.

 

Can you keep using the 75Khz units in the 600MHz band - yes - until July of 2020 - at that point you must vacate.  In reality, you will see rising interference in that band as the cell folks start firing up transmitters before then.  If T-mobile fires up , you can't operate on their freqs - you'll have to get out of the way.  

 

Can you use a 50Khz transmitter with a 75Khz receiver?  Yes, but you will have better results changing the receiver over to the European mode. The majority of Lectrosonics receivers out there have the European modes built in which are the 50Khz deviation.  (really old ones - the crystal controlled and the 200 series will not).

 

Can you use a 75KHz transmitter with a 50Khz receiver?  Well, can you squeeze a size 42 waist into size 38 shorts?  Yes, but it won't be pretty......   We don't recommend it.   You have to be super careful about not driving the modulation too hard.  - best bet, match the receiver mode. 

 

Can you still get your 600MHz units reblocked after October 1?  If they are on the listed of continued models - yes.  They will then conform with the new regulations, you just set your receiver to match accordingly.  Eligible units include SMV, SMQV, IFBT4, HHa, HMA, LT, LMB, SMWB, SMDWB, HHA, SSM, WM, M2T.      

 

Call our service department regarding any other models. 

 

The new 941 band is already designed under the new regulations and sounds great.  No action required for them. 

 

D4T is Part 15 in different spectrum - no action required. 

 

Gordon

 

 

 

 

  

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50 minutes ago, Gordonmoore1 said:

You don't have to trash your entire kit. 

 

Thats re-assuring...lol 

 

   I know Lectro does not make the rules, but this is a surprise... probably to a lot of us..

After spending Thousands and thousands in the last year completely re purchasing all new A1/B1 transmitters and a Venue 2... Then we hear this... out of left field... So crazy... all of it.. 

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Again, if you need re-blocking, get an appointment now. August is already filled up and we don't know what will happen in September as far as having available re-blocking slots. This is all new to us too. We've had to split our service techs into regular service people and the re-blocking crew, so re-blocking doesn't totally get in the way of repairs (much).

 

The only good thing on the horizon is that after mid-October, the wireless world will be stable for some years, the re-blocking crew can get back to regular repairs and our service turn around time will drop back to classical Lectro levels.

Best Regards,

Larry Fisher

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There was some little talk about how the 50k wires would allow greater numbers of units to operate together at large wireless-intensive events (conventions, sports etc).  Is it possible that those events will start to require the use of 50k units in order to preregister them/  It seems like having a mix of 75 and 50k units might complicate things for RF coordinators, is why I ask.

On 7/31/2018 at 9:54 AM, LarryF said:

"Kind of good for the manufacturers I guess." 

Actually it is pretty miserable. All current transmitters have to be re-tested and re-certified under the new standards and each frequency block is treated as a separate transmitter. This is not cheap, running into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. This is coming from our pockets now but you know where it comes from ultimately.

 

Also, if you have older Lectro units you are intending to reblock, get an appointment NOW (caps deliberate to indicate screaming) because after September 30, Lectro will not be able (no longer legal) to reblock the previous generation units. August is already booked for reblocks and September may fill up also. If you are gnashing your teeth, remember, all this is due to big government and big money.

Best Regards,

Larry Fisher

I'm sorry you have to go through all the retesting crap, and I appreciate you going to bat for all of us w/ the FCC.  I do think this change will end up selling some wirelesses, though, since high-end users will want to have their full inventory cross-compatible if they can.

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The coordinators have been coordinating a mix of 50 and 75 for years (most other brands stayed at 50 for the ease of having the same design for both the US and export markets) - they are used to it - keep in mind the narrower mask isn't that much tighter.  25Khz extra means only 12.5Khz on either side of the center frequency.  There may be some small benefit  but it may not be measurable.  One advantage is that the new transmitters are OK in the both the US and Europe - good for those who travel that may encounter the rare anal retentive frequency coordinator overseas. 

 

 

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I didn't really figure that more people on 50 actually WOULD result in more channels avail for individual soundies @ big events....  I figure if they FCs ended up with extra slots they would try to accommodate MORE people + orgs, rather than giving existing users more channels, since there always seemed to be people who came in at the last minute and found no room avail.

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What does this mean for the new boards for the SRc's in B1? Is there a deadline to get them replaced before Oct. 1 too?

 

Scott

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7 hours ago, carbonhobbit said:

What does this mean for the new boards for the SRc's in B1? Is there a deadline to get them replaced before Oct. 1 too?

 

Scott

As Gordon posted above: "Basically, any transmitters manufactured or sold after October 18 must not only conform with the new regulations...." 

Transmitters have a legal cutoff, not receivers.

Best Regards,

Larry Fisher 

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Thanks Gordon on the info.  It had not made the connection until reading this thread that the ETSI mask impacted deviation.  But it makes perfect sense once I think about it.

 

One question - as I understand it, it is currently possible to operate any Venue receiver module at either 75kHz or 50kHz deviation - but currently all receivers in a given rack use the same setting based on whether the rack has North American or European firmware.  Do you expect that in the future we will be able to mix and match 50kHz and 75kHz digital hybrid modes on a single rack?

 

It looks like we will be in a position where we will be using our existing 75kHz transmitters as well as 50kHz transmitters purchased in the future.  Being able to mix and match would help us a lot.

 

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I'd happily loose a non Lectro compatibility mode on a Venue to have the both 75 & 50 kHz capability. 

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Dean,

Venue 2??  

Should have no issues correct...  Transmitter only situation, correct..?  All my new SMWBs should also be fine..?

Thanks..

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Correct, Venue 2 has no issues.

Correct, only transmitters impacted.

The SMWBs are 75kHz in the US, this will be changing to 50kHz in the future after re-submission for compliance.

This will not be required to be changed on the existing units, but firmware will be available to limit the deviation to 50kHz if desired. 

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Thank you Lectrosonics for all the information here and for your continued efforts collaborating with other manufacturers to give all of us a voice in these ongoing changes.

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1 hour ago, Matthew Steel said:

It sounds like, from what Gordon said above ("new type acceptance numbers") they will at least have a new FCC ID, which would appear on the label.

Correct.

LEF

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So the new wideband transmitters are what, maybe a year old? Or less? If I understand this correctly the new deviation rules have been known to manufacturers for at least two years. And the new ones don’t have a mode already to accommodate this?

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