The Ticking Reblock

The FCC deadline on selling legacy wireless equipment is the end of September. Though you will be able to continue to use older equipment (as long as it complies with legal frequencies and power output), manufacturers will not be able to sell any components that have not been recertified by the FCC, including the components that are necessary for moving your wireless to a different frequency.

Bottom line: if you need your older Lectrosonics or Zaxcom wireless gear reblocked, make arrangements as soon as possible. 

Lectrosonics
is already booked through August and they've specified that the following gear will not be able to be reblocked after September: HH, HM, UH, UM400a, and UT. Here's our guide to Lectro reblocking pricing and which frequencies need to be changed.

Zaxcom has not created a specific list, but assume reblocking any of their discontinued wireless products is subject to the same September 30th deadline. Here's our guide to Zaxcom reblocking pricing and which frequencies need to be changed.

Don't Freq Out

It's an uncertain time to be in the wireless business. With the finalized results of the spectrum auction, production use of frequencies above 617 MHz will be illegal in 2020 and impractical in many markets much sooner - some mobile carriers have announced deployment in the 600 MHz band starting this month.

However, the good news is that the wireless manufacturers have been assiduously devising systems that can continue to transmit and receive clean, reliable signal under the new rules and offer the flexibility to keep you working when the rules change again.

Presenters will include:

The seminar will take place on Sunday, September 10th from 12pm-3pm EST at Gotham's NY shop in Long Island City, but will also be broadcast live on livestream and our facebook page.

Light refreshments will be provided.

The event is free, but RSVP here or on our facebook event to help us get a headcount.

Who's Down with FCC?

The dreaded FCC auction looms ever closer, when we'll get to see exactly what parts of our precious wireless spectrum will remain usable by the film, television, and broadcast industries. Lectrosonics Technical Representative Howard Kaufman gives a current view of the situation in the video above and we wrote up a summary when the FCC adopted the relevant reports, but here's some quick tips for making your kit future-resistant:

  • Buy wideband wireless systems, such as the Lectrosonics L-Series and SSM Transmitter. You'll need access to as much spectrum as possible, especially if your kit travels widely. It looks likely that the spectrum will remain clearer under 600 mHz, so we recommend sticking to Blocks A1 and B1. B1 might be especially useful, since there's a good possibility of some spectrum being permitted around TV channel 37 (608 to 614 MHz).
     
  • Get a part 74 license. I know we say it a lot, but it's still good advice. Many of the protections will be in place only for licensed users and unlicensed users are likely to have to deal with interference in crowded markets, such as New York. Local 695 has a good guide to getting yourself a license here.

Stay tuned for more updates as we have them and feel free to contact us with questions.

Reading the FCC Tea Leaves

Yesterday's FCC meeting had two items of particular import to wireless microphone users:

  1. Public Notice on the incentive auction for wireless spectrum.
  2. Report and Order 14-165 concerning unlicensed (Part 15) and licensed (Part 74) wireless mic operation in the TV and 600 MHz bands

A third item, Report and Order 14-166, concerning other spectrum bands that wireless mics can operate in, was deleted from the agenda, and was adopted prior to the FCC meeting.

More about the auction and our best guess as to how this will affect licensed and unlicensed wireless microphone operators below the jump.

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