This was sent to us from our friends at McFadden Sales — good info and this absolutely reinforces what we tell our clients. Read on!
Shure Apps Tech Tip: Seven Reasons – Wireless Microphone Issues
Here are the most common reasons that a wireless mic system does not operate properly:
Reason #1: Dead or weak batteries
How to check: 1) Substitute new, fresh, brand-name alkaline batteries. 2) Examine the wireless mic battery terminals to make certain they are making a secure contact to the battery terminals.
Reason #2: Operating frequency range of the wireless receiver does not match the operating frequency range of the wireless mic/transmitter
How to check: Find the operating frequency range marked on the receiver, e.g., H6 524-542 MHz. Check the wireless mic/transmitter for the same frequency range. The frequency ranges must match exactly.
Reason #3: Failure of an audio interconnect cable
How to check: 1) Substitute another cable of the same type. 2) Use an ohmmeter to check the cable for a shorted wire or an open wire. 3) If using a body-pack transmitter, substitute another lapel mic or head-worn mic of the same model.
Reason #4: Operating frequency is not appropriate for the location
How to check: 1) Using the zip code of the location and the model number of the wireless system, consult the Shure Wireless Frequency Finder web tool to determine recommended frequencies. 2) Use the SCAN feature of the wireless receiver to find an open frequency.
Reason #5: Local interference from other electronic devices or wireless systems
How to check: 1) Turn off any electronic device that is within 5 feet of the wireless receiver, such as a DVD player, a CD player, a computer, an iPod, a wireless router. 2) Remove the wireless system and take it to a different location at least ½ mile away. If it works OK there, the problem is local interference in the original location. Finding the source of local interference often requires the use of a frequency spectrum analyzer – an expensive piece of test equipment.
Reason #6: Improper installation of the wireless receiver or its antennas
How to check: 1) Determine if there is clear line-of-sight, at all times, from the location of the wireless mic transmitter to the receiver antennas. If there is not, the installation could be suspect, though hidden antennas can work satisfactorily if installed correctly. 2) Have the installation evaluated by a local wireless microphone expert.
Reason #7: Failure of the receiver’s external power supply
How to check: Substitute another power supply of the same type or with equivalent electrical specifications.
Arcana – mysterious or specialized knowledge
Counterfeit “brand-name” batteries can be the root cause of complaints about short battery life in a wireless mic transmitter. Counterfeit battery life typically is 50% (or less) when compared to genuine brand-name batteries. And where are counterfeit batteries most often sold? Internet auction sites…but you knew that.