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Old February 23rd, 2013, 12:23 PM   #1
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Wireless lav set for international use?

Hello,
I currently use a set of Sennheiser G3s. Thus far I've been using them in California and Hawaii, and I believe it is a G band set. Now I'm looking into getting another G3, but would like to be able to use it internationally - specifically in Europe and Brazil in addition to U.S. Am I just dreaming, or is there such a thing? Are there any wireless sets that would work in these different regions? Or do I have to go wired? Would appreciate any thoughts - thanks!
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Old February 23rd, 2013, 05:39 PM   #2
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Re: Wireless lav set for international use?

The Sennheiser G block is 566-608MHz, don't know if that is legal in the UK. John W other UK members would know. I would plan on renting wireless gear on international shoots.
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Old February 23rd, 2013, 06:09 PM   #3
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Re: Wireless lav set for international use?

The new UK Sennheiser band is GB - 606-614MHz, so we're now different to Europe, where the result of 4G is a little different. In Germany, for example, 790 - 814 and 838 - 862 MHz are able to be licensed until 2015, BUT 4G is creeping into these allocations already, cutting the bands down.

In the UK and Europe - channel 70 is going to remain license free, BUT limited to 4 or 5 channels maximum, depending on the equipment bandwidth and specs, and it's going top become hectic.

It's almost certain that there is not any single system capable of doing everywhere.
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Old February 23rd, 2013, 06:59 PM   #4
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Re: Wireless lav set for international use?

Thanks very much, Rick and Paul. As I suspected... will likely have to go wired / shotgun in Europe, but the option of renting is a thought too.

The Sennheiser frequency chart for Brasil says:

Frequencies (in MHz) for users from abroad
VHF
UHF up to 810 MHz.

Do you think my G block set would work in Brasil?
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Old February 24th, 2013, 05:59 AM   #5
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Re: Wireless lav set for international use?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aya Okawa View Post
Hello,
I currently use a set of Sennheiser G3s. Thus far I've been using them in California and Hawaii, and I believe it is a G band set. Now I'm looking into getting another G3, but would like to be able to use it internationally - specifically in Europe and Brazil in addition to U.S. Am I just dreaming, or is there such a thing? Are there any wireless sets that would work in these different regions? Or do I have to go wired? Would appreciate any thoughts - thanks!
There is nothing really International - normally it's best to hire on location.

However.......

G3 version "E" has the small 2MHz window of 863-865MHz - this small window can have normally 4 frequencies (6 if all are G3) that are legail without a licence all over Europe (including the UK). Though please bear in mind that this band is very popular and is also used for wireless headphones and the like.

G3 version "GB" is legal in both the UK and the USA (and, I assume, Canada) - this has the top 2MHz from version "G" and the bottom 2/3 of version "B", both of which are legal in the USA. It also has the 6MHz between the two. This 6MHz band is totally illegal in the USA and almost everywhere else as it's set aside for Radio Astronomy - but in the UK this 6MHz together with the 2MHz immediately below is UK channel 38 whis is used for licensed radiomics all over the UK. So a version "GB" is legal in the UK and the US, but not necessarily the rest of Europe.

The ideal situation would be a version "GB" and a version "E" which would give excellent coverage in the USA and UK with a version "E" for Europe.
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Old March 12th, 2013, 10:32 AM   #6
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Re: Wireless lav set for international use?

Thanks John, extremely helpful information.
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Old May 16th, 2014, 11:56 AM   #7
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Re: Wireless lav set for European use?

So coming back to this thread after awhile - I just spoke with a gentleman at Sennheiser UK who told me that B band sets (as well as GB and C) will work in the UK and Europe. That is convenient for me as I can purchase B sets in America and bring with. I just wanted to confirm here; for those of you who work often in Europe have you had experience using B band wireless sets in Europe? I will be specifically in the UK and Amsterdam. Last time I rented on location but this time it will not be cost effective to rent. Would appreciate any thoughts you have. Thanks in advance!
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Old May 16th, 2014, 01:33 PM   #8
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Re: Wireless lav set for international use?

"Would appreciate any thoughts you have"

1. Turn it on and hope for the best (asking for trouble)

2. Use the receiver's on-board scanner (pray)

3. Use the Sennheiser on-line frequency finder to look up current TV channels in location and avoid those channels/frequencies (good)

4. Get an RF scanner to find open frequencies in your block range. (better)

5. All the above except #1 (best)
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Old May 17th, 2014, 09:09 AM   #9
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Re: Wireless lav set for European use?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aya Okawa View Post
So coming back to this thread after awhile - I just spoke with a gentleman at Sennheiser UK who told me that B band sets (as well as GB and C) will work in the UK and Europe. That is convenient for me as I can purchase B sets in America and bring with. I just wanted to confirm here; for those of you who work often in Europe have you had experience using B band wireless sets in Europe? I will be specifically in the UK and Amsterdam. Last time I rented on location but this time it will not be cost effective to rent. Would appreciate any thoughts you have. Thanks in advance!
Who did you speak to at Sennheiser UK?

That information is a bit misleading.

Yes, you can use a B version in the UK - BUT - you will have to buy a separate licence for every venue you will play at. This can work out pretty expensive.

Only the GB version has the frequencies that you can use everywhere in the UK on a "shared" mobile licence. You buy one licence and can use the "shared" frequencies all over the UK for a year. As a GB version is also legal in the USA (with the exception of the first 8MHz, which you must NOT use in the USA), this is the best version to get.

If you Buy a B version, you may find that your licence costs end up being more than the system cost you.

A version E, in the frequency band 863-865MHz only, can be used in the UK and all over Europe without having to pay any licence fee.

So the choice is yours - get a version GB to use in the USA and Europe for paymen of a licence fee in the UK (and possibly Europe) - or get a version vor teh USA and another set on band E for the UK and Europe that you cane use without a licence.

I would NOT get a version B as your UK licence costs could end up being very high - unless you are only playing in a single venue.

I hope this helps.

John
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Old May 18th, 2014, 10:30 AM   #10
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Re: Wireless lav set for international use?

Hi John,
I didn't catch the gentleman's name but I spoke with him about two days ago now.
Wow, thanks SO much for this clarification. I had no idea about paying for licenses and that would certainly be troubling to learn on site.
Do you have any recommendations about how to best purchase an E band set in either the UK or Amsterdam? I saw a set available for order online the the UK company Ashton Little but I don't know how reliable / reputable that company is. If you have an online European dealers you'd suggest I'd appreciate it. Thanks very much for your help!
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Old May 21st, 2014, 04:10 AM   #11
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Re: Wireless lav set for international use?

As you are in the USA, I would contact Sennheiser USA and ask them to get you a version "E" and tell them you want it for use in Europe and not the USA.

If you want to purchase in Europe, I would go to Canford Audio.

If they don't send to the USA, go to KMR who certainly do.

If you are ordering the version with the mains receiver, I would order a UK version "E" and ask for an EU mains unit in addition so it will be easy to use anywhere.

I hope this helps.
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Old May 24th, 2014, 06:58 PM   #12
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Re: Wireless lav set for international use?

Thanks so much for this info. Extremely helpful!
Aya
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Old May 26th, 2014, 02:33 AM   #13
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Re: Wireless lav set for international use?

Have a Senn G3 B range tried to use in Switzerland about a year ago. Not a single frequency worked. Thankfully I brought my handheld mic and exl cable which saved the day .
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Old May 26th, 2014, 03:52 AM   #14
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Re: Wireless lav set for international use?

The reality in the UK is that there are plenty of unlicensed users, who don't even realise they are using illegal imported kit (thanks eBay). It's self policing as the real problem is interference from digital TV and cell phones depending on which band you use. The licenses john referred to are now also geographically allocated depending on TV channels and other users as the frequencies given to you are coordinated. If you bring the kit, the absolute worst case is a fine. The current rules on radio use allow confiscation of equipment when a license is not available. As a license IS available then it's not illegal equipment. In practice your big problem is just interference. I've got some channel 69 equipment I can't use here because of new cellphone allocations, but I took it to the UAE, where I used it without incident, and it was inspected at the airport. Low power devices rarely attract interest, as the hundreds of unlicensed radio mic users here have proven.

When the government sold off one of our allocations, they gave all licensed operators a decent hand in compensation, then sold some of it back to us even cheaper because it wasn't really an issue.
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Old May 26th, 2014, 07:56 AM   #15
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Re: Wireless lav set for international use?

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Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson View Post
The current rules on radio use allow confiscation of equipment when a license is not available. As a license IS available then it's not illegal equipment. In practice your big problem is just interference.
Be careful, because if the frequency you use happens to be illegal at the place you use it - then confiscation *is* possible.

Also, confiscation can be the complete kit, including camera and all accessories.

The fine can be as high as £10k and the law also allows for imprisonment.

The penalties are very high because the law was written for pirate radio stations, but applies equally well to radiomics.

Personally, I would not risk it.
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