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Wireless changeover from 600MHz


Ron Hyatt
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I've been using Lectrosonics gear on Lectro's Block 26 (665.600 - 691.100) in San Diego CA for all my wireless, but I'm forced to vacate that part of the spectrum by July 2020, although I'll stay with Lectro's moving forward. I'm told that the blocks recommended for my area, San Diego and LA, are 470, 21, 23, and maybe 22. Blocks 19 and 20 are already crowded, apparently, and Block 22 is getting there.

Also, Block 941 is available, but not for re-blocking the gear that I own, including UCR411a receivers.

I'd move to Blocks 21 and 23, except that I'd worry that they'd be next to be taken by the telco's. That said, Block 470 seems like the safest bet, but I'm told that it's a good idea to spread gear out over different blocks, for example: wireless lavs on one block, and IFB on another. I have a number of options in this situation, but no clear choices. Any serious input would be appreciated. Thanks.

 

sd freq blocks.png

 

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The tech industry will take it all, eventually.   Just do the best you can short-term.  I've been through 3 reblocking cycles already, and as the pace of the release of new wireless gear increases there will probably be less willingness to reblock old stuff.  I think that the future of wireless gear will be in some kind of new technology, since the sort of hifi, real time/low latency, single frequency approach we've used since the beginning of wireless use in movies is very out of step with how other technologies use the spectrum anymore.

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Hi Ron, some of the answer depends on how many channels you have/plan to use. Once nice thing about keeping your systems in one block is that they can all be interchangeable. If you have more than say 6 channels, it might be wise to split them across two blocks, say 4 in 470, 4 in 21 (for 8 channels). This will give you more flexibility in finding open channels in each block. 

 

I disagree with Philip's assertion that there will be less willingness (at least as far as Lectrosonics is concerned) to re-block older gear in the future. As always, we're willing, as long as we have the boards on hand to do so, and that won't change. 

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I think you will find in any large city in the US  with the limited amount of available frequencies you will have to go with a system that is able to cover as wide a band as possible and offer sophisticated switching and scanning.  In the NYC metro area it is very hard to find open channels when running multiple transmitters.  The only system out there that is capable of allowing a block of frequencies from 470-636, 606-810, 750-960 is the Share Axient Digital and it has proven to be a workhorse in NYC.  Check out the video on Gotham Sound as Tod Maitland used it on West Side Story.  Many NYC mixers have moved on to this system as they just don't want to continually retune  equipment and it also offers Dante.

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43 minutes ago, karlw said:

Hi Ron, some of the answer depends on how many channels you have/plan to use. Once nice thing about keeping your systems in one block is that they can all be interchangeable. If you have more than say 6 channels, it might be wise to split them across two blocks, say 4 in 470, 4 in 21 (for 8 channels). This will give you more flexibility in finding open channels in each block. 

 

I disagree with Philip's assertion that there will be less willingness (at least as far as Lectrosonics is concerned) to re-block older gear in the future. As always, we're willing, as long as we have the boards on hand to do so, and that won't change. 

I'm a big Lectro fan, but there are already lots of models + versions of Lectro wireless still in use than cannot be reblocked.  I know, I asked.  To be clear, we don't expect you guys to keep making circuit boards for gear you haven't sold new on a long time, on the other hand it is important to realize that a lot of Lectro gear that is for sale used  and is in now-non-legal blocks can't be reblocked at any price.  This is something people looking for bargains need to be aware of.

19 minutes ago, Michael Lonsdale said:

I think you will find in any large city in the US  with the limited amount of available frequencies you will have to go with a system that is able to cover as wide a band as possible and offer sophisticated switching and scanning.  In the NYC metro area it is very hard to find open channels when running multiple transmitters.  The only system out there that is capable of allowing a block of frequencies from 470-636, 606-810, 750-960 is the Share Axient Digital and it has proven to be a workhorse in NYC.  Check out the video on Gotham Sound as Tod Maitland used it on West Side Story.  Many NYC mixers have moved on to this system as they just don't want to continually retune  equipment and it also offers Dante.

That is a brilliant system, but I think that A: it is not really something the average soundie can use on their small bag-jobs (or afford) and B: it is a stop gap thing that will only work until the whole spectrum is blanketed with other technologies.  That's why we need a new concept for wireless.  I don't know what that is, but I know we need it.

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Shure has been great talking to the mixers in NYC and getting feedback as to what is needed in the real world.  They are coming out with a portable system I hear end of summer as well as plug on boom transmitters.  It will take that long as they don't put equipment in the field prior to testing in the field extensively.  I agree the spectrum is getting smaller but having a system that switches seamlessly to another frequency is as good as it gets right now and other manufacturers should be following their lead.  The answer isn't reblocking and it is important to have as diverse of a system as possible.  In terms of a new concept for wireless I don't see that in the near future.

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5 hours ago, Philip Perkins said:

I'm a big Lectro fan, but there are already lots of models + versions of Lectro wireless still in use than cannot be reblocked.  I know, I asked.  To be clear, we don't expect you guys to keep making circuit boards for gear you haven't sold new on a long time, on the other hand it is important to realize that a lot of Lectro gear that is for sale used  and is in now-non-legal blocks can't be reblocked at any price.  This is something people looking for bargains need to be aware of.

That is a brilliant system, but I think that A: it is not really something the average soundie can use on their small bag-jobs (or afford) and B: it is a stop gap thing that will only work until the whole spectrum is blanketed with other technologies.  That's why we need a new concept for wireless.  I don't know what that is, but I know we need it.

 

Yes - absolutely true and important for people to know. I guess I was responding to your statement about our *willingness* to re-block our previously sold units. We are absolutely willing to do so, and typically support gear, even with re-blocks, well past the date of obsolescence. And, the time inevitably comes when we can't do that any more because of parts availability. Sometimes the FCC changes the rules, and that has an effect, too. But there is never a point where we stop supporting old gear because we want people to be forced to buy new gear. That's just not how we do business. 

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You guys have been total mensches about support of old gear, and you did that work while you had the means to do it--thanks for that (I have 411as that have been reblocked twice).   I treasure the fact that you guys will talk to us about really old stuff (I had a question answered about my Maxi-Mouse, for instance). 

People should know that there is a diff between support (ie help, docs etc) and service (fixing gear with new parts, reblocking).

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