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Old June 13th, 2008, 07:58 PM   #1
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Noise coming through wireless system

I shot a wedding a couple weeks ago and experienced unusual popping noises (picked up through my wireless system)at different times during the ceremony. I attended the rehearsal and checked for open frequencies on my Sennheiser ew100 G2 wireless system. I had the coordinator turn the church sound system on and all appeared OK. The afternoon of the wedding, the organist informed me that I may hear some popping noises and that their sound system was old and was having problems with it. I sure did, 7 times all together. Six pops equivalent to the volume of someone coughing but one time it was a loud crash. Luckily, none of this occurred during the vows, ring exchange, or any time critical. The following week, I had my wife wear the wireless and I had the cam set up just as I did at the wedding (wanting to make sure there was nothing wrong on my end)and listened through the headphones as she swept carpets and done housework. I was multi-tasking-also reading the newspaper. After about 45 minutes of this not any foreign noise. I have another wedding to do at this same church this coming Saturday and I do not know how to protect myself from getting this noise at the wrong time other than putting an Iriver on the groom in addition to the Sennheiser. None of this popping noise was heard or picked up from my other cam’s shotgun or the Iriver I had on the podium. Has anyone had a problem like this? Thanks in advance….Ron
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Old June 13th, 2008, 10:22 PM   #2
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could it have been a clothing rustle of some sort or some other noise coming from someone standing at the altar? I might guess and say it was a cell phone or worse yet a blackberry searching for the network but thats more of a staccato sound.
Since you worked the system out at home it would appear not to be in your end - if it is the churchs system there's not much you can do about it.

Don
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Old June 16th, 2008, 07:40 PM   #3
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The problem with wireless is that it is without wires ... and lots of radio frequencies are in the air, just waiting to mess up your recording. A room full of cell phones and wireless internet activity can also be possible culprits. And I suspect the whole interference thing will get worse when virtually all TV broadcasts go digital next year and the winners of this winter's FCC frequency band auction put their products online in the coming months.

I've had two live events totally screwed up by, I suspect, a room full of cell phones and increased wireless internet activity. An absolutely clean sound check before both event followed by a complete nightmare when the microphones got used shortly after the events began. Of course, everyone blamed me! I've also had one wireless mic receiver function perfectly in one church and be totally useless in another church just a few blocks distant. That one's on a VHF frequency that, according to the FCC, is free of broadcast conflicts in this particular zip code. Here's another one: A theatrical performance using five wireless mics. The acting company moves into the theatre and goes through a weeks rehearsal with no issues. The last rehearsal before opening night one mic goes nuts. The moment the actor wearing the mic left the stage and walked out into the auditorium the mic started picking up a music broadcast. As soon as he went back on stage, the music went away. It took a lot of head scratching by a lot of people for 90 minutes to resolve the issue, which involved shutting down the music feed from an adjacent hotel lobby and finding a new, uninterruptible frequency for the mics to use.

In the case you describe, I think Don is correct. The church's PA is on it's way out. I'm guessing some component of the the PA is leaking radio frequency as a result of some electronic circuit slowly failing. It would take a knowledgeable electronic specialist to find the exact source.

One thing I've noticed over the years of using wireless systems is that when the transmitter's battery falls below 75% intermittent static is very likely to occur. As a general rule of thumb, I always cut the mic manufacturer's battery life in half.

I'm thinking we are about to discover wireless is going to be an adventure in the near future.
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Last edited by Waldemar Winkler; June 16th, 2008 at 07:46 PM. Reason: Added attitional information.
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Old June 16th, 2008, 09:08 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Waldemar Winkler View Post
One thing I've noticed over the years of using wireless systems is that when the transmitter's battery falls below 75% intermittent static is very likely to occur. As a general rule of thumb, I always cut the mic manufacturer's battery life in half.

I agree 100%-before every job I put in fresh batteries-I don't care if the old ones have 1 hour on them. I wish I had stock in Duracell. :-()

Don
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Old June 17th, 2008, 01:20 PM   #5
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I agree 100%-before every job I put in fresh batteries-I don't care if the old ones have 1 hour on them. I wish I had stock in Duracell. :-()Don
Me too. After filling all the TV remotes, nose hair trimmers, radios and such... I've still got a bucketful of used batteries to deal with each year.

Even at 40 cents each the cost adds up but I've never had one device fail me yet.
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Old June 17th, 2008, 03:42 PM   #6
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I give my 'old' batteries to my grandson for his various electronic toys. Saves them some money and saves me from having boxfuls of barely used batteries. :-)


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Old July 3rd, 2008, 10:03 AM   #7
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I shot the the wedding at this same church last weekend. As a safety precaution, I put an Iriver on the groom as well as the wireless mike. I experienced no problems with the wireless picking up noises. I always use fresh batteries when I do a wedding. It may have been caused by other wireless activity but the church sound system is problematic. I am just glad everything went well.
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Old May 15th, 2010, 07:59 AM   #8
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Same issue ...

Hi

I have the same issue with my EW 100 G2. It occurs quite often, but happens randomly and between every 2 to 30 minutes...sometimes not at all. It can happen outside - at the country with no mobile or other raido-equipemnt nearby, and in the studio with lamps and other gear close enough to cause issues, so it does not seem to be the problem. I canīt find out what is causing it.

I have tried changing frequency, channel etc. There is no issues besides this - so itīs strange.
Did you manage to get rid of it just being sure you used fresh batteries? I often use rechargeable batteries, but they are fully charged before I use them. And even when I use non-rechargeable it does have this issue afterall. Really frustrating because it often happens in the middel of a take - and I have to interrupt and take it all over again.

Have read something about the antenna could cause issues if it is pointing upwards or there is a cable across it or something?

Any clues?

:(
Morten

BTW - I use Panasonic AG-HMC 151.
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Old May 15th, 2010, 08:18 AM   #9
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Hi Morten

Just for interest does the G2 use 9v or AA rechargeable cells??? NiMh cells are usually 1.2v each not 1.5 so where the transmitter runs sweetly with 4 x AA that provide 6 volts ..using 4 xNiMh cells will only provide 4.8volts nominal ...it's the same with rechargeable 9v Nimh or NiCads.. the cells units are only 1.2 so your 9v re-chargeable is actually only delivering 8.4 volts!!

My transmitters are noisy if the batteries drop below 8 volts so I too always use new 9v alkalines!!!

Try a set of regular batteries

Chris
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Old May 15th, 2010, 08:01 PM   #10
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Hi Morten,

I had the same problem to. I changed the frequency and it helped a little. I got so mad I bought a sony system and never had problem again. I know every loves the G2 but it is not true diversity. The more it gets crowded with fewer channels its going to get worse. Also go to sennheiser web sit to look at the frequency in your area. Find Available Frequencies




Dan
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Old May 17th, 2010, 06:43 AM   #11
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G3

Hello, I just purchased the Sennheiser G3 system as my first wireless system. Will the diversity help with this issue? Thanks!
Michael
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Old May 17th, 2010, 06:50 AM   #12
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RF interference and odd noises need listening to before anyone can say exactly what they are. All radio problems have quite distinct characteristics - any chance we can hear them?
Paul
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