Friday, October 20, 2006

Wireless systems

In the words of Bruce Smith, the brilliant former Tech Director at Willow Creek and the founder of Church Solutions Group, "Wireless is hard." These days the old VHF systems are basically useless in many areas due to TV broadcasts. Even some of the older UHF frequencies that have been used for years by wireless systems are being eaten by HDTV broadcasts. Its becoming increasing difficult to get good systems and stay away from the barrage of RF that invades all of us.
I mentioned before about completing an addition to our building. In that project we completly renovated a room that was being used by our hispanic ministry for their services and turned it into a formal chapel, stained glass and all. I upgraded the main speakers and monitor systems in the room using Nexo PS10's and Renkus Heinz boxes. Unfortunately, I was unable to purchase new wireless for that room. They were still using some VERY old VHF systems that had certainly seen better days. Since completion I have discovered that the old systems are getting interference and are just plain not working well anymore. Since we now use that room as a wedding chapel I managed to procure funds from the wedding income account and bought 3 new Shure SLX combo systems. Each one has a lapel mic (WL185) with a body pack and a handheld SM58. They are the basic middle of the road type of systems, but more than enough for that room. One of the really cool features is the built in frequency scanner. A couple of button pushes on each receiver and it finds the first available frequency in its set. Now just hold the belt pack or handheld up to the front of the receiver and press the Sync button and it programs the tranmitter side. SWEET! No more spending HOURS finding the open frequencies and then pushing, often tiny, buttons to make everything work. Thanks Shure, for making my life easier.

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