You loved our previous music-related blog posts. We’ve listened. So today, we’d like to introduce Soundstore, NZ’s largest independent online retailer for pro-audio, DJ and Band gear with over 25 years experience in live and recorded sound. We’d like to thank the wonderful people at Soundstore for expanding our knowledge on wireless radio microphones in this week’s blog.
Wireless Radio Microphones – Impending Doom!
I love digital TV, 3 channels of high definition TV, plus all the home shopping you could possibly stomach 24/7, all for free! The trouble is it comes at a price to some people. Those people include muso’s, schools, churches, theatres and other people using wireless radio mics and other wireless devices. The problem is that when the New Zealand TV system switched over to digital recently it meant all the old frequencies being used for analogue became empty. This gave the government the opportunity to re-jig all the UHF frequency bands and auction off a whole chunk for several squillion $$ for mobile broadband use.
Who Does This Affect?
Basically anyone using a radio mic, wireless in ear monitor set or any other UHF wireless device that operates on a frequency over 698MHz. Previously the law allowed frequencies up to 806MHz to be used, so as you can see that’s quite a chunk, and a huge amount of radio mics have been sold over the years that fit into that band.
How Can I Check My Mic?
By law all radio mics sold in NZ over the years have had to identify their operating frequency on them somewhere, so look on the back of the receiver device or on the transmitter for a sticker that might have a number with MHz next to it (if it’s a fixed fixed frequency unit) or a couple of numbers (if it’s a switchable frequency unit). Some manufactures us a code made up of a couple of numbers or letters. If you can’t identify it then just contact us through our website and we can help you out.
When Does This Take Effect?
The bottom line is that the free license that radio mic users have enjoyed above 698MHz runs out on 11th March 2015. However even though you’ve still got rights till then, the Govt has allowed test transmissions by the telco’s to start already so might find you’ll get problems already. Those problems are likely to take the form of dropouts in your audio, static crackle, or just the fact the mic won’t work at all.
What Are The New Frequencies I Can Operate On?
It looks something like this in basic form:
But don’t let that simple picture fool you because in reality a lot of the lower band from 502-606MHz is taken up already by Digital TV and that exact frequency depends on where you are in the country. This is the more accurate picture:
If you can decipher that one on your own within 30 seconds then let me know if you’re looking for work and we’ll be more than happy to give you a job! If it has you crying into your coffee then just drop us a line and we’ll guide you through how we can provide you with something to suit your situation.
So What Happens If I Keep Using My Radio Mic After 11th March?
Well the bottom line is it’s illegal and you could find yourself experiencing the wrath of the Govt regulatory body (Radio Spectrum Management). And rumour has it those guys don’t have too much of a sense of humour when it comes to people using radio mics illegally. If you’re happy to risk that then the chances are you will just get wiped out when the all the mobile data transmission starts up at full power and your mic just won’t work or will work very badly. Or an irate neighbour might just come round when he realises your dodgy karaoke machine mic is wrecking him watching videos on Youtube of Eastern Europeans inflicting pain on themselves with stupid stunts.
Isn’t It A Bit Unfair? I Just Spent A Lot Of Money On A New Radio Mic?
Yes is certainly seem like that, but unfortunately radio mics work on a free license which means you have very little say in the matter. The radio waves are big business and worth lots of money which unfortunately mean free licences have to go where they are told!
My Radio Mic Is On One Of Those Frequencies? What Can I Do?
Well all is not lost because this sort of thing is happening all over the world and the big brands in the radio mic world do have a heart (or would like to cash in on this!) so are offering trade-in deals on radio mics that will become obsolete. Just contact us through our website for more details.
This Is All Too Complicated And Depressing, I Can’t Face Life Any More!
Yes we totally understand. But don’t stress too much as we’ve been designing and installing radio mics system for over 20 years so know this stuff pretty well. We’re only a phone call or email away and more than happy to help you out in any way.
You may also be happy to hear that online discounts are available for Schools, Churches, pro-users, students, not for profit organisations and trade users. So check us out!