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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » Film-Yak   » FCC wireless microphone rule change

Author Topic: FCC wireless microphone rule change
Frank Cox
Film God

Posts: 2016
From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
Registered: Apr 2011

 - posted 02-27-2018 12:46 PM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Since I'm not in the US and I don't use any wireless microphones it doesn't apply to me, but some of you folks might want to be aware of this if you aren't already.

Wireless Microphones

The relevant part is this:
Changes beginning in 2017 concerning operation on 600 MHz frequencies. Beginning in 2017, the amount of TV band spectrum available for wireless microphone use is decreasing as a result of the incentive auction, which was completed on April 13, 2017. A significant portion of the TV band spectrum in the 600 MHz band, including most (but not all) of the spectrum on TV channels 38-51 (614-698 MHz), has been repurposed for the new 600 MHz service band for use by wireless services, and will not continue to be available for wireless microphone use. Specifically, wireless microphones that operate in the new 600 MHz service band (the 617-652 MHz and 663-698 MHz frequencies) will be required to cease operation no later than July 13, 2020, and may be required to cease operation sooner if they could cause interference to new wireless licensees that commence operations on their licensed spectrum in the 600 MHz service band. FCC 14-50, FCC 15-140, DA 17-314 Spectrum will continue to be available for wireless microphone use on the other TV channels 2-36 (TV band frequencies that fall below 608 MHz), on portions of the 600 MHz guard band (the 614-616 MHz frequencies) and the 600 MHz duplex gap (the 653-663 MHz frequencies), and in various other spectrum bands outside of the TV bands. FCC 15-100, FCC 15-99

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 3865
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009

 - posted 02-27-2018 05:19 PM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We had that in europe as well - available wireless mic (and other applications) bands have been reduced significantly in favor of DVB-T/T2 (terrestrial digital television, as the US ATSC) and 4G/LTE coverage. However, all manufacturer of equipment have adjusted their offerings and there are many guides online how to deal with this. However, it may be that some equipment can no longer be operated legally. And usually, as a Mic user, if you try, it is effectively not you jamming them, but they getting into your mic signal. A digital data transmission typically cares little if there is a wireless mic on for a few minutes a day. But their constant transmission will typically render your equipment useless.

- Carsten

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Donald Brown
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 127
From: Lincoln, DE
Registered: Sep 2009

 - posted 02-27-2018 05:53 PM      Profile for Donald Brown   Email Donald Brown   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This subject brought back a fond memory of a patron with a wireless mic at a drive-in!
Many years ago, I was at a drive-in theatre in Florida that was screening Kid 'N Play's hit, CB4, on a stormy opening weekend in March. Somewhere in the packed field, someone overrode the soundtrack with a hard core rap! While there was an attempt to locate the source, after a brief but amusing interlude, the soundtrack returned and all was as intended once again!

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Marcel Birgelen
Film God

Posts: 2646
From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012

 - posted 02-28-2018 01:21 AM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We used to have a few microphones in the ranges now licensed for 4G/LTE, but we've switched to 2.4 Ghz digital solution from Sennheiser ever since.

I expected a lot of trouble, because the 2.4 Ghz band is extremely crowded with WiFi, DECT and millions of other toys and gimmicks, but we've never had any problems using this band.

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

Posts: 16269
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 02-28-2018 09:04 AM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I doubt the average person is even going to know about this or heed the restrictions.


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Kenneth Wuepper
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 996
From: Saginaw, MI, USA
Registered: Feb 2002

 - posted 02-28-2018 12:04 PM      Profile for Kenneth Wuepper   Email Kenneth Wuepper   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The local Amateur Theatre group has 5 of the new Shure 2.4 GHz systems and they work remarkably well. The receivers talk to the transmitters allowing control of some transmitter parameters like microphone gain and each system has 3 operating frequencies available that will switch automatically in the case of interference. They are almost a year in service and no problems as yet.

The newest wireless systems in that frequency range have administrative controllers so that 8 or more systems can be coordinated in the 2.4 GHz band. Really very cool technology.

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Jim Cassedy
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1567
From: San Francisco, CA
Registered: Dec 2006

 - posted 03-07-2018 09:27 PM      Profile for Jim Cassedy   Email Jim Cassedy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I don't know if it's related or not, but a lot of terrestrial TV stations
here in the US are going to have to change their frequencies AGAIN to
also accommodate spectrum for "mobile services".
(One of my local stations will be changing freqs TWICE between now and
2020. The first switch will happen in early April of this year.)

You can find more info HERE !

Or on the FAQ page HERE

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