Managing wireless audio systems at football games is notoriously challenging. There are critical coach communication channels, referee mics, and ENG sideline systems that crowd out a lot of useable RF spectrum.
Hawaii-based Custom Audio, Inc. has been working the NFL Pro Bowl for many years and specializes in production sound, corporate video, as well as installation projects for commercial, educational, and government clients.
For this year’s Pro Bowl, Custom Audio turned to RFvenue’s Diversity Fin remote antenna for rock-solid signal reception from their stage mics throughout the halftime show – even in adverse RF conditions.
“We were given 700kHz spacing between frequencies from the NFL game day coordinators,” said Custom Audio’s Jeff Kang. “So we were worried about intermodulation issues, but we also had to deal with a 24-foot wide LED video wall located directly next to the antenna position.
“RF emission from the wall was definitely a huge concern on our primary vocal mic.”
Custom Audio used a Shure UHF-R wireless mic system, with a U4R-D dual receiver and UR-2 handheld transmitter set at 10mW. The two antenna connections on the Diversity Fin provided polarization diversity performance from a single antenna mount position.
The unique design of the Diversity Fin reduces the chance of a dropout due to cross linear polarization fades when wireless mics are moving around or where multi-path nulls are encountered indoors. It also prevents diversity microphone receivers from constantly switching RF input channels, which can create noise.
“We had dropout and noise issues on some other active paddle antennas we used on our wireless microphones, but there were no dropouts or noise on the Diversity Fin- and it got great coverage even when the transmitter wasn’t on the stage,” noted Kang.
RFvenue’s Chris Regan commented, “signal dropouts are routinely the number one complaint among wireless system managers and end users alike. We are pleased to see the Diversity Fin improving quality of signal on any brand wireless mic for live and installed systems.”