Support Header Image


Audio Solutions Question of the Week: How Can I Use Combiners and Remote Antennas To Improve the Performance of the 3000 Series IEM?

Question: How can I use combiners and remote antennas to improve the performance of the 3000 Series IEM?

Answer: In previous weeks, we have focused on the Audio-Technica 3000 Series IEM and how to maximize the system’s performance. If your intent is to use multiple UHF wireless systems together, gone are the days when we might recommend simply turning them on straight out of the box and running them together. Proper frequency coordination, onsite RF scans, and suitable spectrum spacing between IEM, wireless mics and RF filters are all important for ensuring solid performance. Additional tools to use with the 3000 Series IEM are antenna combiners and remote antennas.

Solid RF performance is the result of maximizing the intended RF signal from the transmitter to the receiver while minimizing the unwanted RF noise. There is a lot of RF around us at all times from digital TV, radios, and electronic equipment, and it needs to be reduced or rejected as much as possible so it doesn’t interfere with the receiver’s signal. Inline RF filters can be used with wireless microphone receivers, but it’s not currently practical to use them with IEM systems. This is one reason to employ an RF antenna combiner system, such as the COMBINE4 or COMBINE8, when using multiple wireless IEM systems. Additionally, an antenna combiner cleans up the rack and prevents “antenna farms,” where multiple RF whip antennas are used in close proximity to one another, potentially causing problems. Both the COMBINE4 and COMBINE8 include DC power distribution, which can be used to power the ATW-T3205 transmitters. Yet another reason to clean up your cable management.

Using an antenna placed remotely for better line-of-sight operation, and placed closer to the 3000 Series IEM body-pack receivers, will also help system performance. When used alongside the RF antenna combiners, you can remote a single antenna for multiple IEM transmitters. The type of antenna you use will also have an impact on the wireless transmission between components. Helical antennas, such as the CP Beam, utilize a helical polarization, which performs extremely well with wireless IEM systems. The placement and directionality of the RF antenna signal may also be considered for optimization. The CP Beam antenna may be placed just offstage to the side where the ATW-R3250 body-pack receivers are being used. Using RF antenna combiners and remoted directional antennas with your wireless IEM systems greatly removes the risk of wireless RF dropout.

If you have further questions on what tools can be used to maximize your Audio-Technica 3000 Series IEM systems, please contact our Audio Solutions Department.