Is there anything worse that a wireless microphone that doesn't work properly? I can't think of many.
Take a look at the following article from Shure's Applications Engineering team to discover ways to help make your wireless microphone systems work more effectively. Some of these are pretty basic, but it's never a bad time to get back to basics, so I think that you'll find it valuable.
A few weeks ago, one client found out that his monitors weren't working because the monitor equalizer was turned off. He just assumed that it was on, since everything else in the rack was powered up.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
With the explosion of wireless devices (phones, tablets, wireless mics, wireless internet, etc.) over the last few years, using best practices when selecting and using wireless systems is even more important than ever. If you have questions about how to make your wireless gear work as well as possible, please call us. We have lots of tools that make our job easier.