NILES, Ill., Sept. 19, 2012—When high profile meets high security, the challenge of ensuring reliable wireless performance gets kicked up a notch. Shure’s venerable UHF-R® wireless microphone system proved that it was up to the task, as a series of A-list performers capped the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The final event at Bank of America Stadium included performances by the Foo Fighters, Mary J. Blige, and James Taylor. Shure UHF-R wireless systems were used by all of the performers.
For Production RF Technician James Stoffo, the frequency coordination challenge actually began months before the convention, when a preliminary site survey was conducted. “We were crushed for frequencies. I could see several hundred RF signals on my spectrum analyzer.”
Louis Libin, the frequency coordinator for both political conventions, requested a Special Temporary Authority from the FCC, permitting them to operate wireless audio equipment in two frequency ranges outside of the broadcast television band, which are reserved for public safety and commercial use, but had not yet been assigned to licensees in the Charlotte area.
With the additional spectrum resources, Stoffo was able to successfully operate the 12 UHF-R wireless microphone systems, 10 PSM®1000 personal monitor systems, and six intercom systems required for the show. The predictably heavy presence of police and Secret Service officers with their radios added to the overall RF noise level. “From my analyzer…from what I could tell, the density was on par with the Super Bowl,” he says.