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Components of an RF System

Creating a stable RF environment is essential for any church who is already using or looking to use a wireless system. Whether its microphones or IEMS (in ear monitors), wireless systems are becoming increasingly popular. With this growth in popularity and use in church, there’s going to be some issues you’ll face setting them up and using them. Joe Henson and Jeff Sandstrom walk through the basics of RF with the goal of creating a stable environment in your church.

RF Challenges

If you’ve used a wireless system in the past, chances are you’ve encountered unexpected drops or interference. RF issues are unpredictable by nature and can lead to some pretty major problems if not addressed before Sunday morning.

Signal Flow

Wireless signal flow is pretty straightforward and it’s more familiar than you may think. Wireless systems transmit your signal, which would traditionally be done through a wire, over radio frequencies. The signal goes from your transmitter within your microphone to the antenna. Then, it goes to the receiver and, finally, to the mixing console. IEMS (in ear monitors) operate in the same way, but instead of your belt pack transmitting signal, it’s receiving signal.

Antenna Types and Uses

Different antennas have specific use cases for helping you create a stable RF environment. Helical antennas offer a tighter pickup pattern, which is ideal for focused areas like when they’re placed near the band. Standard antennas have a larger pickup pattern and can be placed further away on your stage. The name of the game, however, is line of sight… if you can’t see the antenna from where you’re transmitting then chances are you will encounter issues. Minimize RF pollution by carefully positioning antennas.

Advanced Monitoring and Adjustments

There are software tools available for RF management. Using these tools can help you monitor and adjust your systems by providing key data in real time. Using these tools can help monitor frequencies, battery levels, and signal strength. Get better control over the system with more data at your fingertips.

Understanding Frequencies

RF is everywhere, all around you at all times. From TV stations to Wi-Fi and more… RF exists all around us without seeing it. This is both great, but also can prove frustrating for live systems like the one in your church. There’s a specific spectrum in which microphones and live systems can operate to avoid interference from local TV stations and more.