INTRODUCTION.....Back to Top
Radiomicrophones seem like a great idea and feature heavily on TV, but be warned, they are prone to problems. By far the worst issue is battery life although other issues such as interference and signal dropout can also be major headaches. It takes care and dedication to ensure reliable operation, especially where equipment is shared and batteries are recharged.
Batteries - Are the number one cause of problems with radio microphones - always have a fresh spare battery available. Can I use a rechargeable battery? Yes is the answer to that but with some important caveats:
1 Use top quality NMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) industrial type batteries as they have no memory effect and can be topped up without adversly affecting performance. Best of all, use Lithium ion batteries.
2 Rechargeable batteries provide typically 8.4V dc output which is less than the 9V produced by alkaline or "off the shelf" batteries. This WILL affect performance in a number of ways that MIGHT cause problems and the only way to be sure is to experiment BEFORE going live. Principly, the effective range before signal fade or drop out will be reduced.
Can I fit the radio microphone on a pole? Yes you can BUT:
Conclusion - Poles are not a good idea for radio microphones. It is far better to train the user in their correct use.
Radio microphones eliminate the trip hazard associated with long lengths of microphone wire BUT they need careful attention if you are to get the best performance from them. Modern true diversity types have built in features to eliminate outside interference from Taxis etc.. and have a sound quality every bit as good as a normal wired microphone. If you plan to use more than three radio microphones, then you will need to use a mix of three UHF (1400 series) and up to five VHF (1100 series) to avoid the need to pay annual licence fees.