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RAD Gets Bowled Over

The recent Rose Bowl, Pro Bowl and Super Bowl all made use of Radio Active Designs’ UV-1G wireless intercom system to tackle communications.

Lincoln, NE (March 9, 2015)—The recent Rose Bowl, Pro Bowl and Super Bowl all made use of Radio Active Designs’ UV-1G wireless intercom system to tackle communications.

“Because the Rose Bowl stadium is located under Mount Wilson—where all of the TV transmitters for Los Angeles are located—it is a very challenging RF space,” explains James Stoffo, chief technology officer for RAD and RF coordinator for the Rose Bowl. “Using the UV-1G wireless intercom system—which operates in the VHF band—opened up bandwidth for wireless microphone and IEM systems used by the entertainment during the game.”

During the Rose Bowl, Stoffo put two UV-1G base stations and 12 belt packs to use handling all intercom operations because the UV-1G intercom system requires less than 30 kHz of the VHF band, freeing up bandwidth. Because the VHF band is virtually empty, every comm operator can have their own channel, eliminating any issues that can occur when forced to “double-up” in a UHF system.

“It’s a safety issue,” adds Stoffo. “If comm operators are sharing a channel and key up at the same time, they cancel each other out, making communication obsolete. Most folks don’t realize that these people not only communicate about the production, they also relay information about hazardous situations and can be the point person in a medical emergency. It’s important these systems work.”

During the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl, both held at the University of Phoenix Stadium one week apart, 50 RAD packs were in use. To minimize rack space and maximize ISO channel operation, UV-1G systems allow for up to six belt packs per base station, and up to six base station links, for a total of 36 ISO channels between packs.

ATK Audiotek provided audio production services for both bowls. James Stoffo was on site for both events as ATK Audiotek’s entertainment RF engineer. His responsibilities included managing all of the wireless microphones, in-ear and intercom operations for the pregame show, anthem, referee, half time “Extravaganza” and post-game Lombardi Award presentation.

“Having worked any number of big events—Olympics, World Cup, CMA Awards, Billboard Music Awards and more—I can say without a doubt that the Super Bowl is the most challenging RF environment of the year,” he explains. “The number of wireless and IEM systems required increase annually while the UHF spectrum gets smaller. From the technology side, RAD can provide more wireless comm packs than could ever be required for any big event.”

Eight UV-1G base stations were on site for the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl. The NFL had one base station on each sideline for the coaching staff, ESPN had a system for their field location and ATK AudioTek – the production company managing pre-game and half-time entertainment – put four base stations to use.

Radio Active Designs