This page contains information from outside sources. I do not own any of the content, nor do I claim to. Most of the attached documentation comes from Bestaudio.com which is a fantastic resource for both intercom and RF coordination.
Pete Erskine’s RF Coordination for Roadies is a 13 page writeup explaining the basic process of RF Coordination using IAS – the most respected software that I know of, from Professional Wireless. The first two pages only, combined with the video below will give the reader enough information to get started doing basic coordinations for small to medium sized productions. The remaining 11 pages gives a very in-depth step by step for a proper coordination from RF scan to finish.
There are two major circumstances to consider when doing an RF Coordination.
- Two pieces of equipment (microphone, wireless intercom, in ear monitor etc.) can never share the same radio frequency. Thus overlapping frequencies are a no no.
- Wireless frequencies create additional transmissions known as modulations, which are (to put very simply) slightly weaker reproductions of the primary transmission, which appear in intervals adjacent to that frequency. Multiple frequencies transmitting side by side will create additive interference at adjacent frequency intervals as a result of these modulations accumulating atop each other – yielding the spaces between and around those microphones unusable. A more technical explanation of RF modulation can be found here: What is intermodulation interference – James Web
Avoiding frequencies without calculating modulation
Often times as audio techs we might be given a list of frequencies to avoid, whether from a house tech, or an overall site RF coordinator. The following video is a look into how to take these frequencies into account within IAS without having to calculate them for modulation. Should you calculate modulation for these given frequencies, you are likely to lose a lot of available frequencies for yourself. The following will allow you to avoid these frequencies without them constricting your coordination.
Antennae, Placement & Distribution
Another thing to consider when setting up your wireless systems is antennae placement. There is a lot of back and forth between techs on what does and doesn’t help when placing your antennae the following is an article from Shure on best practices concerning antennae placement and connection. It also contains valuable information concerning antennae types, distribution, and antennae combiners.