Ready For Digital - About the Wireless Calculator

The frequency calculator estimates and compares the signal strength of known TV transmitters within a set radius of your location taking into account several key factors including distance from your location and output power of the transmitter(s) in question. The calculated signal strength(s) of the TV transmitters is then compared to that of a typical wireless microphone system based on field tests for TV transmitters that overlap the tuning range of the wireless microphone system(s) in question. From this data frequency, availability for the wireless microphone system(s) is calculated, and from this an estimate of the maximum number of systems likely to be successfully deployed is calculated and displayed.

The TV transmitter locations, Channel allocations, elevation and power output are sourced and updated regularly from official ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority) data.
Two calculation options are available for the selected location; SUGGEST and COMPATIBILITY (further details below).

The SUGGEST function provides information and recommendations for the most appropriate Shure, ready for digital wireless systems based on the product category, number of channels (systems) requested and the location in question.

Several options are provided with graphical indication of the tuning range for each product option plotted against the predicted TV transmitter signal strength. Sections of the product tuning range that are likely to be impacted by an active TV transmitter are coloured BLACK and excluded from the available systems calculation.

Please note that many product versions (e.g. Shure PGX) are available in multiple frequency bands (e.g. L5, J6, H6). In such cases usually one or two of the available frequency bands are held as “off the shelf stock” with the remaining frequency bands classified as “indent” meaning available on order only. Expect additional delay for supply of items classified as indent.

We realise this can often be confusing so have attempted to simply this by colour coding the frequency band options: GREEN = stocked option, AMBER = Indent. So in the example below, the Shure PSM300 system frequency band “L19” (630-654MHz) and “J10” (584-608MHz) are available ex stock. The “K3E” frequency band variant (606-630MHz) is indent.

In the example below, any of the three available PSM300 frequency bands, K3E, L19 or J10 should deliver 15 systems however K3E is an indent frequency band, so L19 or J10 would be preferable.

PSM300-J13 is impacted by an active TV transmitter (chan 33) reducing maximum predicted systems to 14. PSM200-H2 is overlapped by TV channels 28-33, reducing maximum predicted systems to one. Thus PSM200-H2 would not be recommended for this location unless you only ever needed to run ONE system.



This function is ideal for those who may be considering purchase of new wireless audio products but wish to ensure the product selected will be compatible with TV allocations in their area(s) or operation.

The COMPATIBILITY function predicts the maximum number of systems likely to be successfully deployed in the location in question for Shure systems of your choice. Calculations are based on the surrounding TV allocations and results are displayed per the SUGGEST option described above.

This function is ideal for those who already own wireless products and wish to determine the maximum likely channels for other areas when touring, etc.

Is it accurate?

We have gone to great lengths to confirm accuracy. Tested results correlate well with real world measurements within reasonable limits. However under some circumstances results may vary. Please keep the following in mind when using the calculator:

  1. Local terrain may have an impact on predicted results i.e. if you are operating in a ditch, or on the leeward side of a hill, real word signal strengths from TV transmitters from the other side of the hill are likely to be lower than predicted values.
  2. We can’t tell if you are operating indoors or outdoors. If indoors the building structure will offer a degree of protection (attenuation) from surrounding TV transmitters. As such, real world signal strength from surrounding TV transmitters INDOORS may be lower than predicted by the calculator.
  3. Given the above, the results should be read as a worst case example. It is possible you may obtain more favourable results if operating indoors, or behind a hill, or in a nuclear fallout shelter.

For this reason we have included USER SCANS

Are other wireless microphones taken into consideration?

In short - no. We only take TV transmitters as per the ACMA database into consideration. We have no way of remotely detecting other wireless devices such as wireless microphones, in-ear monitors, video senders, etc.

The Ready for Digital calculator should be used as a guide to assist with product planning. For determining the best frequencies for operation we recommend utilising a scanning capable wireless receiver such as Shure Axient AXT600 spectrum manager, Shure UHF-R, or Shure ULX-D coupled to Shure Wireless Workbench version 6 software (WWB6) to detect, plan and coordinate multiple wireless devices.

ISM Band devices

Not all wireless audio devices operate in the TV broadcast band.  Some operate in what is called ISM (Industrial Scientific and Medical) bands.  ISM devices can be a good option in locations where TV broadcast spectrum is very congested. There is no such thing as an exclusive wireless audio device frequency band.  You will always be sharing with another service or services.   With the TV broadcast band it’s TV; Coordination with TV is relatively easy as they transmit 24/7 from a known location and all transmitters are registered with the ACMA.  Thus we can provide services such as the RFD calculator to advise TV allocations.   The ISM bands are not as regulated and are often co-habited by multiple highly mobile, unregulated services.   It is practically impossible to provide sharing guidance for ISM band products along the same lines as broadcast band services. For this reason the RFD calculator simply provides indicative information for ISM band devices. If you are considering ISM band devices for more than a couple of channels we recommended testing on site prior to final commitment.

There are several ISM bands available in Australia, each shares with different services summarised as follows;

900MHz (915-928MHz):
Shared with RFID, smart meters and radar applications.

1.8GHz (1790-1800MHz):
Relatively new allocation in Australia.  This is a mid-band gap to mobile telephone services.  It is shared with several fixed link allocations throughout Australia.

1.9GHz (1880-1900MHz):
This is the DECT (Digital Cordless Communications Devices) allocation.  Only wireless audio devices that operate using the DECT standard are permitted.   It is shared with other DECT devices such as cordless telephones, PABX extensions etc.

2.4GHz (2400-2483.5MHz):
Digital transmitters only.  Very crowded, shared with WiFi & Bluetooth devices, wireless remote controls, baby monitors, wireless doorbells, you name it!

The screen shot below shows a typical ISM band plot from the Ready for Digital Calculator showing predicted compatible systems (x4) using Shure GLX-D on the 2.4GHz ISM band.



User Scans

Due to the limitations of predictions based on calculated field strength only, we have included a new feature called User Scans.   User Scans are simply that - scans for a specific location provided to us by actual professional wireless microphone users.  A user scan, if available, will give a far more accurate indication of the available spectrum than straight calculations as they take everything into consideration; local terrain, building structure, antenna directionality etc.

In the example below for Federation Square in Melbourne, you can see the calculated scan “Television Channels In your Area” predicts significant impact from TV channels 28-33, rendering around 50% of the tuning range of ULXD-H51 unusable.   However a user scan from the same location shows break-in from chan 32 only.  Thus 100% availability for ULXD-H51, enabling operation of around 60 systems.


We are continuously uploading additional user scans as we receive them. Obviously it will never be possible to have a user scan for every location in Australia, but we are working hard to provide scans for the more active areas of the major capital cities (in respect to wireless audio activity).

The “Ready for Digital” calculator will check available user scans and offer those local to you once you enter your location.   If more than one user scan is available they will be listed in a drop down selection box with distance from your location indicated.   Select the one closest to your intended location.

Calculations will be presented twice where user scans are available.  One based on TV field strength calculations only, and one based on the selected user scan.  Results are displayed for both, allowing you to make an informed decision based on the most applicable scenario for you location and intended operation.

Can’t find a User Scan for your area?

Let us know, we will add it to the list, or, if you have the capability to capture scan data send it to us and we will add it to the site.   This is a crowd-sourced project.  The more input data we get from users the better the tool for all.

Need more help?

Something not working or doesn’t look right? Were assured by our code guru that there are NO bugs, but hey we’ve heard that before. Just click here and a real human will get back to you.

Tell us what you think

We’d like to hear from you. Thoughts, comments, suggestions, complaints (polite please) are all welcome. Contact us here.

DISCLAIMER

This frequency calculator and related software is supplied “as is” and all use is at your own risk. Whilst we have gone to great lengths to optimise the accuracy of results / predictions, real world results may vary due to factors beyond our control. Under no circumstances shall Jands Pty Ltd be held liable to any user for direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, special, or exemplary damages arising from or relating to the use of this product.

SHURE WIRELESS SYSTEMS: SET UP GUIDE INTRODUCTION Lets take a look at how to set up and get the best results from Shure's range of Wireless Microphone Systems.