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Technology Trumps ‘Blind Faith’ For Wireless

Setting your wireless frequencies in the past meant that you had to rely on “blind faith,” with no guide or point of reference.

Kaltman Creations Invisible Waves X RF Analyzer

Setting your wireless frequencies in the past meant that you had to rely on “blind faith,” with no guide or point of reference. Introduced at the June InfoComm show, the new Invisible Waves X PC-based RF analyzer from Kaltman Creations helps to solve this proaudio wireless problem, while building on its roots.

Going back to the original incarnation of the product, company reps sat down with a focus group of professional audio engineers and AV integrators, and asked what was needed in a RF spectrum analyzer to help overcome the current and impending wireless “crunch.” They told of the exponential wireless use on the performance stage and also how, from an integration standpoint, they were expanding into new markets, including wireless remote control, intercom, lighting control, wireless CCTV, wireless security, in-building cellular repeaters, wireless clock systems, assisted listening, wireless amplifier and speaker steering control, etc.

The general requirement and consensus at the time was the ability to find open RF space for frequency and channel selection followed by the ability to identify and locate interference. Other items of importance included ease of use, logging and reporting capabilities, portability, and of course, affordability. At that time, everyone believed that after the DTV spectrum reallocations, we would be done and things would settle down.

In 2008, Invisible Waves was introduced: the world’s first RF analyzer specifically designed for pro-audio wireless applications. At the core of the product was an “audio engineer friendly” RF spectrum analyzer, but the Invisible Waves also had proaudio specific features like a White Space Finder, Priority Monitor Frequencies and logging functions.

Throughout 2008 to 2010, the Invisible Waves models IW1800 and IW3500 were quite successful, and could be found on many international tours, in industrial productions and in the arsenal of regional production companies, rental houses, and houses of worship, and became a “must-have tool” for many independent monitor engineers (RF engineers). During that same time, the Invisible Waves captured half a dozen industry awards and numerous accolades from prominent industry experts.

With the continued reduction in available UHF spectrum and hearing continuous “RF war stories,” Kaltman Creations personnel realized that an upscale model of the Invisible Waves product was needed; something that would address rogue interference, RF signal dropouts and ease of live RF monitoring—thus the development of the new Invisible Waves X, with the models IWxLIVE (9 kHz-1.8 GHz) and IWxAV (9 kHz-3.5 GHz).

The new generation of the analyzer forms a true RF Command Center with a whole arsenal of groundbreaking new features designed to let the user take control and master his RF world. Some of the unique features and functions include:

For pre-setup and baseline readings, the RF Congestion Scale gauges the severity of local RF, allowing you to determine just how much attention and detail will be required in transmitter frequency spacing and product selection. Scanning with the RF Coordinator identifies usable open RF space as you set the parameters and then view both the onscreen graphics and/or the hard data for potential, usable open RF Space.

Setting up your wireless equipment utilizes the Adaptive Sweep to increase sweep speeds in an “accelerated” mode. CTL (Click to Listen) helps identify transmitters or potential interference, “listening in,” and demodulates any analog signal (i.e., FM radio stations, most VHF and UHF wireless microphones, wireless intercom, 2-way radio, etc.). Once tuned into a transmission, place it into the Master Status Display as a cataloged signal.

The UFO Alert (Unidentified Frequency Objects) warns of unexpected rogue interference. Once all signals are cataloged as Master Status Panels, if any new, un-cataloged signals occur, the UFO Alert will appear on the screen and flash, and an audio beep will sound. Cataloged signals can be color-coded according to type (i.e., vocals, instruments, IEM, etc.), and, based on the level threshold that’s been set, the Master Status Panels will indicate a level alert of yellow as a caution, and flashing red as urgent attention needed.

The RF Level Alert warns when any cataloged signal levels fall below assigned thresholds. An alert could be an indication that a transmitter has moved into a dead spot, out of range, or a battery is bad, or that some source of interference is diminishing the transmitter’s output.

Also, custom-named, colorcoded signal Marker Points can be positioned and resized as desired. Other new features of the RF Command Center include an RF Event/ Alarm Recorder and logger, an insta- save and recall of custom profiles and PDF screen images, and a data conversion to CSV files for use with third-party software. The analyzers also have very intuitive onscreen docking control panels and a Help Assistant Cursor that will automatically take you to the selection in the User Manual.

Kaltman Creations has established itself as the industry leader in RF analyzer products for the professional audio industry. The Invisible Waves X RF Command Center represents a monumental leap in features and functions designed specifically for pro-audio wireless. Where else can you find a RF analyzer that will automatically alarm with the presence of new interference, let you listen in to your transmitters or provide a master status display of all transmissions; and still function as a traditional RF spectrum analyzer?

On today’s battlefield of RF congestion and confusion, the new Invisible Waves X lets the operator set up his own RF command center and master his wireless, no longer relying on “blind faith.”

Mark Kaltman is the president of Kaltman Creations.

Kaltman Creations