The vehicles are most definitely vintage, but the event is relatively new: Rattletrap, an enthusiastic convocation of owners of classic pre-1941 hot rods and motorcycles (patterned after the classic U.S. event The Race of Gentlemen), had its first few pilot outings on the beach at Crowdy Head, New South Wales, Australia, in January 2016. They were followed by the first official Rattletrap event that May, and ever since then the now annual event, organized by the Drag-Ens Hot Rod Club, has drawn dozens of pre-World War II hot rods and motorcycles running races up the beach as thousands of spectators cheer them on.
The events include bracket sprints, grudge matches, and an Exhibition Class for unique or historic vehicles. But with that much metal and the growing number of wireless devices that the popular event deploys each year, the event’s RF microphones—used for announcers and other applications—have grown increasingly challenging to handle. Luckily, a solution was achieved in the form of RF Venue (opens in new tab) CP Beam directional antennas from the company’s line of wireless audio essentials.
This year’s Rattletrap, held on May 14, saw crowds returning to the event in greater numbers. Tom Benson, general manager at Port Macquarie, NSW-based integrator In Phase Productions, said he had been struggling with his older omni antennas, having to use line amplifiers to boost their signal. He became frustrated with excessive dropouts and interference issues plaguing his outdoor sporting events. Many of his events, such as Rattletrap, require a large coverage area and wireless mics to be further away from antennas, which themselves had to be constantly moved around to keep the announcers’ microphones from being overwhelmed by engine noise. After consulting with RF Venue’s experts to find a solution, however, Benson decided to upgrade his wireless setup with a pair of CP Beam directional antennas. These enabled him to eliminate the old-line amplifiers and focus the signal exactly where it needs to be at all times.
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With this new antenna setup, Benson was able to deploy his wireless rig, utilizing multiple wireless mics, seamlessly and successfully for the Rattletrap 2022 at Crowdy Head. Even at distances of as much as 400 meters—over 1,300 feet—all things RF went smoothly from beginning to end using the newly acquired CP Beam antennas.
“We set up early and built the perfect mix position and antenna placement in the lifeguard tower,” Benson explained. “It was high tide, and the beach was covered so we had to dodge the waves to set up, but by 10 a.m. the tide was out and there was enough beach to start. The event finished about 3:30 p.m. when the tide came back in, and everything worked extremely well, including—and especially—the CP Beam antennas. They made all the difference.”