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Old April 20th, 2014, 09:05 PM   #1
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Australia Wireless Frequencies for 2015

Hi Guys

Anyone found the best wireless sets for use down under. The website seems to be very vague about frequencies that have been allocated and dealers seem to be listing setups with different frequencies compared to the official government website.

What will be legal frequencies for metro areas in 2015? Does anyone know and what suppliers have changed unit so they will comply next year??

Chris
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Old April 20th, 2014, 10:02 PM   #2
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Re: Australia Wireless Frequencies for 2015

the short answer (my understanding anyway).

Frequencies in the range of 520-694 MHz will be OK.
everything over 694MHz will be illegal.

specific usable frequencies will vary from city to city.
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Old April 20th, 2014, 10:47 PM   #3
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Re: Australia Wireless Frequencies for 2015

Hi

Don’t talk to me about this. For a group of us this has been a major issue over the last few years and trying to get information out of ACMA the governing body here has been like trying to get blood out of a stone. Many of us have a major investment in wireless mics and wanted to plan for the change over without it causing us too much grief financially.

520–694 MHz will be the only allowable frequencies in Aus after 1 Jan 2015. Currently we should all have been in the 694-820 MHz frequency range. See here for more info.

Available spectrum for wireless audio transmitters | ACMA

All manufacturers will or should only be selling wireless mics in that 520–694 MHz range as of now. If they sell you otherwise the equipment must carry a warning sticker letting you know that it will be illegal to operate it after 1 Jan 2015. Sennheiser seem to be offering the most frequency agile wireless sets in the cheaper more affordable range at the moment but best check with any ‘brand’ importer to see what they can offer you.

The problem with the 'Digital Restack" is that after the government auctioned of the 694-820 MHz spectrum it meant that there is no one particular frequency block that will work Australia wide. Download the following PDF which will give you an overview of what is happening. It also has some useful links to other information.

http://www.acma.gov.au/~/media/Spect...rsFA%20pdf.pdf

I have also attached an Excel spreadsheet that will show you how Australian spectrum has been divided into five blocks, blocks A thru E. This covers all channels 6 thru 51. Down the left column you can look for the area you need to work in and cross reference which channels are available to you. To put it bluntly it's a s*** f****. We in the industry have been pushing ACMA for the last five years to get this sorted efficiently. They haven't done very well in doing so.

In the past it was easier with analogue TV stations because their TX frequencies were separated by guard bands to stop cross channel interference. These guard bands were commonly referred to as 'White Space.' We were allowed to operate our wireless mics in this white space under a LIPD (low interference potential device) licence. With the advent of the digital restack and digital TV transmissions being encrypted there is no channel cross talk so no need for channel separation. The result being is that there are no white space gaps left. Therefore we now have to know what channel blocks are being used in any given area that we wish to film in and choose an approved channel that is clear and run our mics in that. Great fun!

Chris Young
CYV Productions
Sydney
Attached Files
File Type: zip RPAG-29_Key_sites_indicative_channel plan.zip (75.7 KB, 57 views)
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Old April 21st, 2014, 01:35 AM   #4
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Re: Australia Wireless Frequencies for 2015

Thanks Chris

It seems a bit dodgy when they use terms like "likely" and "not final" so it really is a huge mess!! I previously spend a bit of time on the ACMA website and now nothing seems to be updated and only 7 months or so to go!!

The guys I normally deal with are VideoPro in Brisbane at they seem to be offering Sony gear as the CE33 version (566 -638) and then the CE42 version (638-694) which are both within the new frequencies IF of course they do what they propose!!

My Azdens are in the forbidden zones up to 820mhz so they will need replacing as they are a good 5 years old and have served me well.

I guess the only practical thing to do is see if anything changes towards the year end?

I can see the multitude of civil celebrants with their wireless MiPro PA's not do anything about it and we will then get the audio from the nearest digital TV channel blasting thru at a wedding ceremony.

Thanks again for your update and nice to see I'm not the only concerned person in our industry

Chris
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Old April 21st, 2014, 02:50 AM   #5
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Re: Australia Wireless Frequencies for 2015

Here is the Jands / Shure chart which might be a little easier to read..........
http://www.jands.com.au/__data/asset...ency_Guide.pdf
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Old April 21st, 2014, 03:06 AM   #6
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Re: Australia Wireless Frequencies for 2015

I think its fairly set at this point. the 520-694 MHz range will be all we have, and we'll need to work around the mentioned differences on each frequencies for local TV broadcast.

I don't think that will change. sure, keep your old gear in a cupboard for a while if you like (zero resale value anyway) on the slim chance something changes, but those chances are slim to none I believe.
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Old April 21st, 2014, 03:36 AM   #7
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Re: Australia Wireless Frequencies for 2015

Hi Matthew

My Azdens paid for themselves over and over so even if I bin them when needed I will be happy. I might upgrade to Sony's over our quiet month in July when it's cold and wet as I only have one booking on the 12th July ... I normally try to do upgrades in this Wintery period but then again brides can surprise you and still want weddings in the middle of Winter when the season supposedly ends in May. The Sony kits seem quite nice value at around $700 and I might as well match them to the Sony cameras too.

Then again if we wait until the last minute there could also be a wild rush to replace gear before January!

Chris
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Old April 21st, 2014, 04:24 AM   #8
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Re: Australia Wireless Frequencies for 2015

I think that when this happened in the UK Sennheiser offered a cheap modification to old sets. I may be wrong. Perhaps various manufacturers may offer this in Oz.

If you go from old sets to ones with the newer diversity feature you may benefit from much more reliable performance - just so long as you know which frequencies you can use :- )

Pete
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Old April 21st, 2014, 08:25 AM   #9
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Re: Australia Wireless Frequencies for 2015

Don't throw away the old kit yet as there is some discussion going on that we 'may' be allowed to use the guard bands. There are three of these at the beginning, middle and end of the two transmit and receive 45 MHz blocks that have been auctioned for Telco reallocation. Lord only knows when they will make a decision on it though. These bands would be ideal as there is going to be no transmissions in them at all. With our puny little wireless mics, 10 ~ 50 milliwatt output we are hardly a threat to major communication interference in these clear spaces. See pix

Chris Young
CYV Productions
Sydney
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Australia Wireless Frequencies for 2015-spectrum-pix-01.jpg  
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Old April 21st, 2014, 07:08 PM   #10
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Re: Australia Wireless Frequencies for 2015

Thanks Chris

That could also be a neat option and nicely within the range of most mics. Yeah at 10mw output we certainly would not disrupt and major communication networks but our issue I guess if the telcos buy the blocks as marked and you happen to be close to the edge where the guard band begins you will get a bright and breezy call loud and clear from a mobile phone on your receiver. Have they specified the frequency range of the guard bands yet ... that certainly would be a practical solution ... I think my one wireless pair is currently around 810mhz so it could already be in the guard band.

I can also honestly see this running over and not actually going ahead on the 1st January 2015 so we may even extra a bit of extra time?? I'm sure all the red tape will drag the process out !

Chris
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Old April 22nd, 2014, 05:17 AM   #11
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Re: Australia Wireless Frequencies for 2015

Chris ~

The three guard bands are 694-703 MHz, 748-758 MHz and 803-820 MHz.

Jands have a pretty good chart outlining which of their Shure mics fit the bill after Jan 1 2015.

http://www.jands.com.au/__data/asset...ency_Guide.pdf

If you look at the greyed out area to the right of the Shure chart you will see the frequencies that have been lost printed across the top. The three guard bands are in amongst these and are 9 MHz, 10 MHz and 17 MHz wide respectively. All good fun!

Sennheiser also has a chart. If you contact Syntec in Sydney they should be able to send you one.

Sennheiser - Headphones & Headsets - Microphones - Integrated Systems

Chris Young
CV Productions
Sydney
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Old April 22nd, 2014, 05:40 AM   #12
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Re: Australia Wireless Frequencies for 2015

Not all of the spectrum has been sold.........
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Old April 22nd, 2014, 11:01 AM   #13
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Re: Australia Wireless Frequencies for 2015

Yes that is correct. The government were hoping to make a fortune on the spectrum sale like they did in the earlier 3G auctions. The Telcos went mad back then then realised they had paid too much and were struggling to recoup the money spent. This time around they were a bit more conservative. We may be lucky but as I said lord knows when any decisions will be made.

Chris Young
CYV Productions
Sydney
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Old April 22nd, 2014, 07:54 PM   #14
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Re: Australia Wireless Frequencies for 2015

Thanks for that Chris

With my current Azdens which have 64 channels the last 11 seem to fall neatly into the 803 - 820 guard band so I have 804.375 thru to 805.250 on my units which just might be usable within the guard band. The rest are between 794.5 and 803.00 so those are not an option.

I'm not really too worried about the transmission side as that is hardly at 10mw, going to smother a local TV network .. my signal barely makes it out the venue building!! It might be comforting to know that commercial transmissions won't happen inside the guard bands so you are unlikely to get your receiver picking up a commercial broadcast.

Chris
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Old December 22nd, 2014, 07:38 PM   #15
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Re: Australia Wireless Frequencies for 2015

Hi Guys

Just wondering if anyone has heard if the ACMA is on track with their project? It would be a shame to toss my current kit in the bin in a week if I can squeeze a few more hours out of them!!

Chris
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