White Space Issue Starts To Spawn Dedicated Product Responses
Dan Daley SVG Audio Editor
bureaucratic mess that is the white-space controversy, which is poised
to disposes an orderly system of managing civil wireless communications
in the UHF range, may be turning into a free-market opportunity for technology. An
inkling of that is found in Kaltman Creations’
Invisible Waves IW1800, a
PC-based spectrum analyzer that offers automatic charting of open RF
frequencies for use with wireless microphones.
It’s basically a GPS
device for white-space land. The system identifies all open RF space
within a user-defined range, then graphically depicts the ideal positioning
of the user’s transmitters within that space. The IW1800 covers the
frequency span of 100KHz to 1.8GHz, making it ideal for VHF and UHF
analysis and extending into the lower gigahertz ranges; forthcoming
models IW4000 will span 100KHz to 4GHz and the IW7000 covers the 100KHz-to-7GHz
units have sweep analysis (including the ability to split-screen the
display into simultaneous broad span sweeps and a zoomed-in view), spectral
image printout capability, and extended logging & playback capability.
They’re sold as complete kits that include a built-in rechargeable
battery pack, AC adaptor/charger, multiple antennas, and a USB-to-PC
connection, all enclosed in a pre-configured, laptop sized, high-impact
carrying case. The IW1800 analyzer kit sells for $1,495.
owner Mark Kaltman says the systems were developed based on feedback
from focus groups that included sports broadcast audio engineers. “The
entire wireless audio sector is going to be in flux leading up to next
February and beyond,” he says, referring to the Feb. 19 date when
U.S. terrestrial broadcasting switches to digital-only. “Several wireless
microphone manufacturers offer scanner systems, but nothing that can
do the ancillary tasks like logging, or searching for very specific
frequency regions, for instance like looking for available frequencies
in the 500-kHz band and automatically calculating safety bands of at
least 50-kHz separation.
Kaltman says that for applications like sports broadcasting,
where locations vary widely and broadcasters are actually looking back
into the VHF spectrum for wireless space, that kind of capability is
going to make life a lot easier.