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Old September 3rd, 2009, 03:57 PM   #1
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Wireless Frequency/Country???

I am planning on buying a wireless mic from B&H soon and was wondering if anyone might know what the legal frequency for wireless mic's in South Africa is? I've Googled my eyes out, I can't find a clear cut answer, even the professionals I've talked to don't care, they say buy any frequency which makes me question how professional they are.

I'm looking at the Shure PGX handheld series.
Guidelines for Fifa 2010 by ICASA says:

Quote:
Radio Microphones
36.65 - 36.75 MHz
40.65 - 40.7 MHz
53 - 54 MHz
173.965 - 174.015 MHz
402 - 406 MHz
863 - 865 MHz

Wireless microphones working in the 1800MHz band are not allowed.
Numerous online retailers locally are selling the Shure PGX at 18MHz. Does it really matter which frequency I buy? Is 524 - 542MHz the same as 53-54Mhz? Thanks!
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 04:40 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholas de Kock View Post
I am planning on buying a wireless mic from B&H soon and was wondering if anyone might know what the legal frequency for wireless mic's in South Africa is?

Numerous online retailers locally are selling the Shure PGX at 18MHz. Does it really matter which frequency I buy? Is 524 - 542MHz the same as 53-54Mhz? Thanks!
Don't know anything about what is or is not legal in South Africa but just in answer to your last question, 50 megahertz is not even close to the same thing as 500 megahertz. 50MHz is a low-band VHF band, situated between the HF shortwave bands (1.6 MHz ~30 MHz) and the commercial FM VHF broadcast band (87.5 ~ 108 MHz). Nothing in those bands is even close to what wireless mics operate on, at least not any current generation mics I'm aware of. There used to be some consumer mics, toys, and some very early cordless telephones in the 35 ~ 55 MHz area but I haven't seen any of them in years. 18 megahertz is international broadcasting / ham radio / military in the HF shortwave band, again not close to what any current generation wireless mics operate on that I know of.

Looking at the FIFA document you referenced I've got a suspicion that they just copied the frequency allocations from the applicable government publications and those lower 3 frequncy bands listed are just hold-overs remaining in the law from times long gone.

VHF mics such as those operating in the range you listed 173.965 to 174.015 work okay but are usually of limited range and tend to offer a lesser sound quality and are susceptible to interference. You'd expect to find current generation pro quality mics operating in the top two UHF frequency bands you listed..

I wonder if you've misinterpreted some of the specs from those dealers. Shure says the PGX receivers give you a choice of operating frequencies across an 18 MHz bandwidth. That's not the same this as operating on the 18 MHz band. 524 MHz to 542 MHz is a spread of 18 MHz, or expressed another way, an 18 MHz operating bandwidth.

As far as getting specific info on what is legal, why not just ring up ICASA and ask them? They're the ones that enforce it, they HAVE to know.
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Old September 4th, 2009, 04:40 AM   #3
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Steve thanks that clears up a lot of my questions!
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Old September 6th, 2009, 12:06 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Nicholas de Kock View Post
I am planning on buying a wireless mic from B&H soon and was wondering if anyone might know what the legal frequency for wireless mic's in South Africa is?
Talk to Sennheiser South Africa - they are bound to know what is legal in their own country.
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