Mic check!

With new regulations from the FCC, certain wireless microphones and other instrument systems will be illegal to use after July 13, 2020. Here’s some basic information you may need to know about the transition.

In order to make room for the large demand for mobile data, the Federal Communications Commission auctioned off a portion of the 600 MHz UHF TV Band spectrum. The spectrum will mostly be used by mobile data providers, which means it will be illegal to use wireless microphones or instrument systems that run on the 600 MHz spectrum after July 13, 2020.

What should I do?

You should take inventory of any wireless mics or instrument systems that you use. The good news is that if your devices aren’t operating in the 600 MHz band, you’re good to go! If it is, however, you will need to make some adjustments. Some mics are programmable and can be switched to a frequency outside of 600 MHz. Unfortunately, some are not and will need to be replaced. Systems must transition by July 13, 2020, so you should plan ahead in order to budget for an upgrade. If possible, we recommend getting your equipment switched as soon as possible.

How can I tell if my equipment is affected?

Frequency ranges are usually printed directly on the equipment. If the numbers overlap either 616–653 MHz or 663–698 MHz, you will need to replace your equipment. Many equipment manufactures will have instructions on how to check your equipment on their website.

Microphone Label

What problems can arise?

Since the FCC auctioned off the airspace, companies that bought that airspace can begin using it as soon as they choose. So, you could potentially have to deal with constant or intermittent interference once they make the switch. You wouldn’t want interference in the middle of that big presentation or worship service you have scheduled, so it’s better to start planning now.

What can I do with my equipment?

  1. Most equipment manufacturers are offering rebates for the outdated equipment with a new equipment purchase.
  2. If you can’t get a rebate for your equipment or aren’t replacing it with a new product, consider recycling it. Many electronic recycling companies will safely and securely recycle the equipment so it doesn’t end up in landfills. Many companies will recycle your electronics for free, but it’s always good to check their website or call to make sure.

These companies have announced their rebate programs for items on the 600 MHz spectrum.

  1. Shure – Expires April 30, 2018
  2. Sennheiser – Expires June 30, 2018
  3. Audio-Technica – Expires March 31, 2019

These websites are helpful when looking for further information.

  1. http://www.worshipfacilities.com/article/wireless_mic_alert_beware_of_600_mhz
  2. https://www.fcc.gov/general/wireless-microphones-0
  3. http://www.behindthemixer.com/wireless-microphones-fcc-600-mhz/

If you have any questions about the transition, or need more information about checking or replacing your equipment, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

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