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Articles Index -> Wireless Microphone Troubleshooting
Rick Waller, Applications Engineering, Shure, Inc.
- This list of questions should help you get started troubleshooting
your wireless microphone system. This list of questions is
what Rick Waller usually goes through when a customer with
a Shure Product calls for help. If you need to call any manufacturer
of wireless systems for help, be sure you can answer these
questions before you call--it'll help you and the person helping
- Is there a fresh battery in the transmitter?
- How old are the systems (crystal controlled wireless tends
to drift in frequency after 3-5 years)?
- Did the system use to work normally?
- Are there any other systems in operation in the facility?
- Are all the wireless systems in the setup having the problem,
or only one or two of the systems?
- What are the frequencies?
- How would you describe the symptoms; short range, drop out,
- If using a VHF bodypack, is the transmitting antenna lying
stretched out along the person's leg?
- Does the wireless system have this problem if all the other
wireless systems are turned off?
- Does the wireless system have this problem if all other
equipment within 10 feet is turned off?
- Does the wireless system have this problem if the receiver
is moved to a different part of the room (or a different room)?
- How far is the transmitter from the receiver antennas when
the problem occurs?
- If it's a dropout, does the dropout continuously happen
when the transmitter is in one location? Is there any digital
equipment within 10 feet? Computers, Feedback eliminators,
effects units, lighting equipment, harmonizers, vocal eliminators?
- What does the RF meter on the receiver show when the problem
occurs? If it is an intermittent problem, you may want to
put a video camera on the receiver.
- What do the "A" and "B" lights on the
receiver do when the problem occurs?
- What does the RF meter on the receiver show when the transmitter
is turned off?
- Is antenna distribution being used? What kind? How is it
- Are the receiver antennas being remoted? If so, what cable?
How long are the cable runs? What antennas (how long are the
- Are any antenna amplifiers being used?
- What city is the system in?
- If it's a frequency agile system, try a different transmitter
and/or different receiver on the same frequency. What happens?