Friday, April 4, 2014

The joys of 2.4ghz and wireless microphones

Last year we purchased several Line 6 wireless microphone systems to use in our Fellowship Hall at Wayside Chapel. They worked great until we installed our campus wide Ruckus wifi system.
A couple weeks ago I relocated the wireless microphone antennas to provide more direct "line of sight" between the transmitters and the antennas but it only improved things a little. Today I replaced the omni antennas for directional ones.
To complicate matters even more I reconfigured the Ruckus APs in the area of Fellowship Hall to only use one or two of the 2.4ghz channels to give the Line 6 wireless mics a little more bandwidth to work in. I also set the power of the APs on the B band at the lowest power settings possible.
Line 6 says that their products work fine along side wifi systems with a lot of disclaimers in the fine print as you try to troubleshoot connection issues. The mics work great when they don't experience signal dropouts; however, keeping them from dropping out is difficult. The Line 6 units are reasonably priced at a 1/3 the cost of Shure's ULX-D series that we use in our Worship Center.
To add to my misery, I learned a couple weeks ago that our FCC is going to be auctioning off the 600mhz where several of our wireless systems currently operate. This is in addition to the 700 mhz they prohibited wireless microphones to use back in 2010 which required replacing a lot of systems on campus.
For now, I'm finding myself sitting on the fence when considering wireless purchases for AV equipment in the future. I'm seriously hoping Shure, Sennheiser and other manufacturers of wireless AV products can come up with a long-term solution to this issue. Replacing mics every 4-5 years would get very expensive.
It would be great to use more wired microphones; however, once people get used to those wireless microphones they don't want to give them up. Wired mics don't require batteries; they cost less; they sound better, and they tend to hold up better to abuse than wireless units.
Integrating technology to work in harmony is the challenge and opportunity of today and the future.

Taking it step by step

The year is now 2014 and I'm trying several small and consistent steps each day. In the past I've tried taking large steps which don't seem to take me as far as those small ones taken more consistently.
Step 1: 10000 steps a day. 3 times a week going for a run.

Step 2: Stick to my daily Bible reading plan
Step 3: Logging my weight
Step 4: 40+ push ups
Step 5: Climbing up the fitness ladder created by
Step 6: ?

I did start all these steps at once; however, the discipline to them all daily would doomed to failure.
Mark Beeson impacted me life great years ago with his message to take my next step. The movie What About Bob talked about those baby steps.
How about you? Looking to make a change in your life? I highly recommend taking a small step each and everyday. It will probably take you further than a few big steps or no steps ever will.