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Old September 27th, 2015, 11:03 AM   #1
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I need a wireless mic system

I am looking for a handheld wireless mic system that has a range of at least 400' or even a little more. It will be used for sideline reporting and other things but when doing sideline reporting it will be a long distance from the base to the mic. I would like to keep it under the $400 mark as we are a school on a budget. I really like the Audio-Technica System 10 Digital Wireless - Handheld System range but it only has a range of 100' is what they say. Does anyone know of any good deals out there that would work? Thanks.
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Old September 27th, 2015, 11:21 AM   #2
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Re: I need a wireless mic system

Rode have a wireless mic system that will fit your needs, and they have a new product coming out at the moment which gives you a reporter style wireless TX that fits on to the bottom of a handheld microphone.

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Old September 27th, 2015, 11:28 AM   #3
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Re: I need a wireless mic system

400 feet for under $400 is a lot to ask. You might need to look at a repeater antenna (booster antenna) to accomplish your needs. There are other solutions I know but none are cheap.
Good luck in your quest.
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Old September 27th, 2015, 11:33 AM   #4
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Re: I need a wireless mic system

I responded to this on another forum, where the same question was also posted.

It details one solution, as I agree, the distance is too far for normal methods if reliability is needed.
I need a handheld wireless mic system - Blue Room technical forum
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Old September 27th, 2015, 11:38 AM   #5
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Re: I need a wireless mic system

What about running an XLR from the booth to the side of the field your reporter will be standing on, and attaching the receiver there - leaving 50' or 100' between your TX and RX but still achieving 400' in distance?

You will not find a receiver in your budget that will do 400'. Once you get into repeaters, you are adding complications that are probably beyond your troubleshooting capability.

If you read in the specs that a TX will go 100 feet, that means it will go 100 feet on a crisp clear night in Alaska with no interference. At your football stadium with 1,000 cell phones on a warm humid day with 50 radio stations within 10 miles, it will do half of that.
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Old September 27th, 2015, 11:42 AM   #6
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Re: I need a wireless mic system

My apologies as I am in a metric country. Will 328 feet suffice? :-P

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Old September 27th, 2015, 11:52 AM   #7
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Re: I need a wireless mic system

Frankly, none of the usual entertainment type products are going to work. They're not designed to do long distances, and we always treat any manufacturer who give a distance measurement as marketing hype. It is quite possible to increase the range of these devices - by using tracking aerials. Long beams, operated by on the ball people, feeding diversity receivers can increase the reliability, but it will never be 100% reliable. Digital systems work differently - so you get solid audio, until there is suddenly no audio. Analogue goes hissy as the signal drops. Opinions differ on which is best.

Broadcasters use different systems - higher power, which here in the UK, where the forum is firmly based, but not exclusively - has to be licensed.
There is something else you can consider. I assume your 'sideline' is the space between the white line and the crowd? It is possible to use an ordinary radio mic system, with multiple aerials, which you distribute along the path the user can take. For a British football pitch, 4 aerials, down the touchline with each one feeding a combiner, pairing every other one to one of the two receiver channels works quite well. You use the diversity switching as a kind of selector - the person moves down the line and starts to drop off aerial 1, as this is happening, aerial 2 is going up. The receiver switches, and as the person passes aerial 2, the signal starts to come up on aerial 3, paired with aerial 1 and again as this increases in strength, the receiver switches again and so on. You use low loss feeder cable - Westflex 103 works quite well, but there will be a US alternative, I'm sure. This isn't everyday stuff for people who work with radio systems, but could let your cheap solution work. Just needs some attention in the receiver placement and cabling. I did this quite successfully a few years ago on a TV job where the presenter needed to walk towards the camera down a long garden in a stately home. Far too far for the usual radios, and we hid the aerials in the shrubbery, running out the cables down the garden, hidden. The receiver was half way along, with car battery power supply, and then a very long XLR cable back to the mixer. Pairing was with T-pieces, which means there is an impedance mismatch, and a little loss in the combining process. It made little difference in practice.

You can probably use any of the popular systems, and add the extra bits as required. Dipoles on microphones stands might be the simple solution if the system needs to be simple.
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Old September 27th, 2015, 01:38 PM   #8
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Re: I need a wireless mic system

Four hundred (400) feet for $400 ain't gonna happen.. at least not reliably. 300 ft. may be possible, in near perfect line-of-sight conditions. If you spend more (a lot), a higher power transmitter and a receiver which supports a remote antenna system may get you there. Otherwise, as was suggested, get the receiver/antennas in closer proximity to the transmitter (line-of-sight), and run balanced audio the rest of the way by cable.
FWIW, generally, the new 2.4GHz systems have less range than a similarly priced UHF system. VHF systems are better for reception around obstacles. Pros and cons to each frequency type and VMMV.
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Old September 27th, 2015, 01:38 PM   #9
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Re: I need a wireless mic system

As I rethink my distance I don't know why I decided 400'. I guess that would be by running a cable down, around under and over things to get it to where I need. I guess as the crow flies and in a straight line it would be closer to 200' max. Does that help my cause?
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Old September 27th, 2015, 01:46 PM   #10
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Re: I need a wireless mic system

"200'.. Does that help my cause?"
Yes.. in a perfect world, but still a long way for a reliable link in your conditions.. then there's the frequency selection issue. The low cost (under $2k) receiver's on board scanners ain't worth sh__.
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Old September 27th, 2015, 01:54 PM   #11
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Re: I need a wireless mic system

It will be a straight line of sight and no obstacles in the way. After taking a measurement I have found that the distance is going to be less than 150' at the possible farthest. We can always make sure our sideline reporter is never too far away I guess. I have no idea how I judged it to be so far in the first place. I guess I'm a guy judging distance. :)
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Old September 27th, 2015, 03:14 PM   #12
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Re: I need a wireless mic system

You might get lucky.
I would think a UHF system may be better in your scenario, at least 95% of the spectators and support staff will have cell phones (though I haven't used the newer GHz systems in highly concentrated conditions and cell phones can be problematic in any scenario for that matter).
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Old September 27th, 2015, 03:47 PM   #13
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Re: I need a wireless mic system

I guess what I need to do is see how I can get cable down to the field.
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Old September 27th, 2015, 04:35 PM   #14
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Re: I need a wireless mic system

It is impossible to find a decent traditional analog wireless kit for less than $600+ Anything less than that is a cheap, fiddly, plastic, disposable toy and a waste of money. Unless you can find a quality piece of used kit, however BEWARE that old 700 MHz-band is no longer legal to use in North America.

That said, the newer digital products that share the 2.4GHz band with WiFi, BlueTooth, and microwave ovens are pretty amazing devices if you can live within the limitations.

Yes, the advertised range of the AT System 10 is "100 ft" but IME, that is a VERY CONSERVATIVE distance and you can expect much greater range depending on the conditions. For example, see this review online. This is one of the few decent knowledgable reviews/demonstrations of the System 10 on YouTube:


You might actually get 400 ft out in open-air, line-of-sight in a space that is not expected to be heavy with competitors for the 2.4GHz channels. You would certainly NOT get 400 in a modern office buliding with hundreds of WiFi (and BlueTooth) competitors.

With ANY wireless system, I would certainly position the receiver in a central location (like the 50-yard line). Expecting any inexpensive system to work worst-case diagonally across a football field is unreasonable unless reliability is not important.

I have a couple of System-10 kits, and I will try to do a demo video in our very high-tech WiFi-rich office environment. I believe you have a good enough chance at success that it would be worth getting a System 10 kit and trying it. Be sure to buy from a vendor who will allow returns if it doesn't work for you.
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Old September 27th, 2015, 05:11 PM   #15
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Re: I need a wireless mic system

I've not tried it myself, but maybe what is called a 'leaky feeder' system might work. They're used in tunnels underground, and seem to do what you need. I'm just not up on the technicalities. They are in essence a piece of coaxial cable with a screen that allows the RF energy to escape, and get back in along it's length. I wonder if one of these running along the long and narrow path would actually do the trick?
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