Friday, September 26, 2008

Wireless Upgrades Phase 1

This week we began the process of upgrading the wireless systems at Lake Pointe. We changed out the Shure U4 systems as well as a few UHF-R systems in our main auditorium to the Sennheiser 3732.

We also changed all the IEM and instrument wireless sytems as well. It was not as simple as I had hoped the process would go. Just the physical install took a bit more time that I would have thought. Lots of new cabling to deal with and learning the new systems. One funny moment happened during the install. We were trying to figure out how the battery packs for the SKM5200 hand helds work. There were 5 fairly intelligent tech people, each with one in hand, wondering how the batteries go in. It was pretty funny to watch us struggle. Yes, we did look for instructions, but could not find any information. We finally discovered they open like a PEZ dispenser. (Sorry I didn't take a picture.)

Once I got them all networked together and set IP addresses on all the 3732's, I started assigning frequencies per the chart that Chris from Sennheiser gave us using the Wireless System Manager software. Unfortunately, several of the frequencies we had been given we no longer available. I fired up the frequency sweep function in the software and found some open channels near the ones we had been given that were in the green. The Sennheiser software worked great in helping me find those available frequencies. In general, the upgrade went very well. It just turned out to take much longer than expected.

The initial testing of the new 5200 vocal mics with the Neumann capsules went without a hitch. I was very please with the way they sound. The new 5212 beltpacks are so small its sick. (Also visible in the picture of the vocal mics in the picture above.) Our pastors have not seen them yet. I'm sure they will be happy with the size.

Over the next couple of weeks we will roll out the new systems to the rest of the of the building and the other campuses.

If you are wondering about the old systems, the UHF-R systems are moving to one of our other campuses as they are in the 500Mhz range and will be good for some time to come. The older U4 systems will be sent to some of our foreign mission partners where they can be used without much worry.


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