Antenna placement is KEY. It seems pretty common sense, but so often we see whip antennas buried at the back of AV racks causing issues. It is important that you get your antennas in the correct position and ideally this is with a line of sight from antenna to transmitter. That can be pretty tricky in large spaces, and that’s where appropriate distribution and external antenna choice comes in.
Lets take the example of a church install where coverage was fine when the congregation was seated, but as soon as everyone stood there were drop outs. The antennas has been located on mic stands next to the sound guy sitting at the back (seems sensible right?), but they were positioned so low that as soon as everybody stands up the RF signal has to travel through the whole congregation and we get drop outs. Raise the antennas up above standing height and we get a line of sight and resolve the issue.
- Main pointers for antenna/receiver placement would be:
- Direct line of sight between antenna and transmitter
- Keep the receiver/antennas at least 1.5m away from all transmitters
- Keep the receiver/antennas at least 1.5m away from big metal objects, wire mesh or sheet metal structures, walls, ceilings etc. (Google faraday cage if you want to know a bit more on the why of it!)
- Do not place antennas in closed spaces (behind walls, at the back of AV cabinets…)
- Place the receiver at least 1.5m away from any equipment that may emit RF radiation such as lighting racks, fluorescent lamps, digital effect units and PC’s.
Obviously, this is a wishlist and isn’t always possible in the venue, but by trying to meet the above you are setting yourself up for success.