The What: Lectrosonics has released Digital Hybrid Wireless microphone products in the recently expanded 941–960MHz frequency band for the United States. Products available in this new band are focused on ENG and field/production sound, and include the SRc-941 dual-channel modular portable receiver, the SMV-941, and SMQV-941 miniature belt pack transmitters, the HMa-941 plug-on transmitter, and the HHa-941 handheld transmitter.
The What Else: All transmitter models in this band offer 50 and 100 mW RF power settings. Otherwise, they are all functionally identical to the same units in the traditional UHF frequency blocks and bands. Likewise, all 941 units are compatible with the accessories for the same models in different frequency ranges, including external powering, audio connectors, microphones, belt clips, and mounting options. The transmitters have a circular isolator in the output stage for additional intermodulation prevention, allowing closer spacing of RF carriers.
“The availability of this newly expanded frequency band along with increased eligibility should really help those licensed wireless mic users who are feeling the spectrum crunch,” said Karl Winkler, vice president of sales and service at Lectrosonics. “We’ve received outstanding reports about rock-solid operation and excellent range in the 941 band from key beta testers who have used these products in a number of large metro areas.”
The specific tuning ranges for these products are 941.525–951.975MHz, 952.875–955.225MHz, and 956.475–959.825MHz. Parts of these bands are shared with MAS (Multiple Access Systems) and some fixed microwave devices. Operators using the 941–960 band should always coordinate their frequencies with the local office of the SBE (Society of Broadcast Engineers), whenever possible, and take care to select frequencies that are least likely to result in interference with other licensees in the same area. These products all meet the new spectral mask regulations imposed by the FCC and in effect for all new wireless microphones after October, 2018.
The Bottom Line: The 944–952MHz band was previously reserved for use by licensed broadcasters for Studio Transmission Links (STLs) along with some wireless microphones and IFB (Interruptible Fold-Back) systems. This band has now been expanded by the FCC to include specific ranges between 941–960MHz. The eligibility for this band has also changed, and is now open to all Part 74 Licensed wireless microphone operators. This band is the same throughout the U.S., thus offering the potential for ENG and mobile production crews to access clean spectrum everywhere they travel.
All of these new Lectrosonics Wireless Products in the 941–960 MHz frequency band are available now. MSRP for these models is as follow: SRc-941 $3,170; SMV $1,866; SMQV $1,975; HMa $1,625; HHa $1,800 (not including capsule head.)