RF Toolbox

Anyone that regularly coordinates frequencies for wireless microphones and wireless in ear monitor systems should assemble the tools needed to perform frequency coordination with consistent and dependable process. These tools are not only useful for for set up but also for observation of in use device transmissions operation, and to maintain stable operation of these devices.

RF Spectrum Analyzers

A spectrum analyzer is a must have tool for rf coordination. Here are a couple of popular options for spectrum analyzers. Personally I use a Signal Hound BB60C most of the time. I RF Explorer when I want to travel light and are not planing on being in ay difficult RF situations.

RF Explorer

RF Explorer makes some entry level level spectrum analyzers. These SA’s can be used as handheld units or connected to a Windows computer via USB. There are several models available, The RF Explorer WSUB1G+ Slim  has a frequency span of 50KHz - 960 MHz covering the VHF, UHF, ISM, and FCC part 74 STL spectral bands. RF Explorer has made many improvements in the slim model and is much improved over previous models. The The RF Explorer also has slightly more expensive models that add an expansion module to extend the frequency span up to 6.1 GHz

The free software from RF Explorer is not very useful and can not export cvc files for use in coordination software. However there is a software products available that add s csv export, control of the scanner, and monitoring. Unfortunately it is one available for windows and the ULA only allows you to install the so I have provided a link below.

Signal Hound BB60C

The Signal Hound BB60C is the spectrum analyzers I use most of the time. It is very fast, can do real time analysis, export csv files for import into your coordination software, and it is just awesome. It comes with free software for Windows. Unfortunately there is not Mac software available.

TTi

There are a few TTi spectrum analyzers available. These are convenient handheld units that can export CSV files for use in coordination software. These are popular with many production companies.

Antennas

Rubber duck antenna with SMA connector to attach directly to your spectrum analyzer

After you have a scanner it is helpful to have some options  of antennas. Antenna selection should correspond with the spectral band you are trying to capture.

UHF Wideband omnidirectional antennas very useful for capturing spectral data.

The cascade port of the A and B antenna system. This willl give you the closest representation as to what your receivers see

Directional Fox Hunting antenna for hunting mysterious RF emitters

A switch for selecting for multiple sources for measurement without repatching the source. This is a 4 selection switch I use the Alpha Delta Coax Switches DELTA-4B/N. A common setup would be.

1 - Antenna Distro A

2 - Antenna Distro B

3 - Omni antenna in free air

4 - attenuated  input to test Tx devices like IEMs and IFBs

Miscellaneous Items

Here are a couple must have accessories from Mini Circuits.

SMA to BNC adaptor so you can connect analyzer to BNC antenna or your antenna distribution.

I like to cary several attenuators of various values. -3, -6, -10dB, & 20dB,. You can 2 20dB attenuators in series for a total of 40 dB to pad the output of IEM transmitters to verify the outputs

DC Block

A collection of adaptors, BNC-N, BNC-F, BNC couplers, all in 50Ω

Splitter_Combiner

ZAPD-900-5W

6498 Drip Pans

Covid-19 Risk Mitigation

Here are a few items I have been bringing on gigs lately to reduce the risk of Covid-19 Transmission.

Pink Noise Flashlight

Make a pink noise flashlight hack you can test microphones contact free.

Poly Bags

Plastic Zipper Bags, 4 Mil, 6" x 12”.

70% IPA

70% IPA

Gloves

Gloves

Links

https://en-us.sennheiser.com/microphone-hygiene

https://www.shure.com/en-US/support/mic-cleaning

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204172

https://www.cdc.gov