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Old May 2nd, 2007, 08:13 AM   #1
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USA radio microphone frequencies

Hello there

I'm from the UK but doing some filming in the USA soon that needs the use of a radio microphones.

Just anyone know of a resource that tells me what frequencies are used and if any are free like in the UK please?

Cheers

Jon

PS - I have checked the sennheiser website and some of the threads, however if anyone knows of a definitive site that would be great

It seems a free-for-all on the frequencies, would that be right?

Last edited by Jonathan Nicholas; May 2nd, 2007 at 09:00 AM.
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 10:41 AM   #2
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The Lectrosonics web site has the most extensive list of US frequencies.

No license is needed (if that's what you mean by "free"). No channels are dedicated for this use (if that's what you mean by "free").

Generally, UHF mics here use the UHF broadcast television frequencies, use at your own risk. Meaning, it's up to you to figure out which TV freqs are in use and avoid them.
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 11:15 AM   #3
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Hi Jonathan,

I use wireless extensively here in the US. Some of my work even airs on your Sky Sports. What kind of gear are you bringing over, and what frequencies does it use? Also, what city will you be in? I can give you an idea of what you'll be up against. Most low power stuff here is unregulated, and the published guides usually leave a lot to be desired. Cheers.
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 04:24 PM   #4
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Hi, it's a trek in the grand canyon that has one day at Sedona at the start, Grand Canyon Village the next day and Las Vegas on the last day. The rest are in the canyon

I'll be using a Sony PDX10 and the radio mic is like a Senheiser E112. Which has a frequency range of about 840 to 870MHz - this is not mentioned on any of the ranges in use I have seen - so I do wonder what will happen if I use these frequencies.

Cheers

Jon
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 02:15 AM   #5
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"Federal law requires that receivers marketed or sold in the US be unable to receive on the frequencies 823-849MHz, 863-894MHz, 917-944MHz, and 962-989MHz -- the frequencies used by cell phones."

Also see the FCC's frequency plan here ->http://www.ntia.doc.gov/osmhome/allochrt.pdf

As noted above, your gear lands in spectrum occupied by our cellular phones. I'd be curious to know if our customs people would even catch something like that coming in. You might find a clear channel, esp out in the mountains where cellular penetration is minimal. Legally I think it would be a bad idea. Cheers.
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 03:34 AM   #6
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It'd be a safer bet to rent some radio mics out there, I presume though you need insurance to rent in the states, which does bring up the point that an insurance company may want to know that you have a visa to film in the USA.
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 12:13 PM   #7
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Thanks for that - I do have a media I visa - I've tried a few searches on Google for radio mic hire to no avail so far...

Thanks for that document on the spectrum... what if I was to use 849-863MHz I wonder!

Cheers

Jon
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 01:59 PM   #8
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May be an idea to try Richmond Film Services in London, maybe they could help or know someone in the UK who rents radio mics in US frequencies, that'd be me first port of call.
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 03:37 PM   #9
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Johnathan.

I'm Arizona based in Scottsdale - a suburb of Phoenix.

There are plenty of radio mic sources in the area. I can put you in touch with the local rental houses if that's what you want.

Or since I have personal Lectrosonic units that aren't in conflict with the frequencies around here - if you arrive and find problems, perhaps we can just temporarily swap systems for a few days so you can get your work done without worry.

Let me know.
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Old May 4th, 2007, 04:46 AM   #10
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Hi Bill,

Thanks for your kind offer.

Our first night on 16th June is in Phoenix, and second night in Flagstaff and we end up in Las Vegas on 23rd June. If you know of any companies that could help, that would be much appreciated. I know how to use the sennheiser E112 and the sony UWP-C1.

Cheers

Jon
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Old May 4th, 2007, 01:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Nicholas View Post

Just anyone know of a resource that tells me what frequencies are used and if any are free like in the UK please?

See if this helps any.


http://www.fcc.gov/oet/spectrum/


Mark
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Old May 4th, 2007, 03:59 PM   #12
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[QUOTE=Jonathan Nicholas;672568]Hi Bill,

Thanks for your kind offer.

Our first night on 16th June is in Phoenix, and second night in Flagstaff and we end up in Las Vegas on 23rd June. If you know of any companies that could help, that would be much appreciated. I know how to use the sennheiser E112 and the sony UWP-C1.

____

Johnathan,

Understand that no human who hasn't crawled around it for YEARS can really get any comprehension of the SCALE of the canyon. I'ts size is literally beyond belief. You'll stand at the edge, thinking you're seeing "the canyon" but in reality you're only seeing a TINY slice from any single point on the edge. It's really that big. And it's also remote. Discounting GrandCanyonVillage and the other sporadic facilities at the end of the established roads, it's miles and miles and miles and miles of rim, canyons and floor that are FAR from any developed civilization.

For example it takes most of a day of driving just to go from The Bright Angle Trailhead (the heart of the developed area) to the trailhead at Hulapai Hilltop that leads down to Havasue Falls. And that's just two points on the south rim - perhaps 20 percent of the circumfrence of the canyon rim!

My suspicion is that since you're primarily shooting in such a remote location (The floor of much of the Grand Canyon is about as remote as you can get on this planet!) you'll probably have no RF problems whatsoever - but I understand that the cel phone conflict possibility is somewhat troubling.

If you want to be safe, two reliable rental houses are Audio Video Resources at 602-643-4256 (ask for Morgan, she'll hook you up) or Ozzie at Broadcast Rentals (480-894-1456)

The only issue you need to work out is what to do to return the gear if you're arriving in Phoenix and Leaving from Las Vegas.

(I don't know of any single rental house that has locations in both)

Good luck. Have a great time. And if you aren't exausted from the overseas flight, drop me a line - maybe you can stop by my studio in Scottsdale for a beer.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 08:50 AM   #13
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Thanks for that Bill, have been in touch with Morgon and she's been very helpful. Will probably go with them so long as my employer will pay!

Cheers

Jon
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