Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Lectrosonics fuels Indy 500 radio network
With a month-long schedule of talk shows and qualifying day shows leading up to the Indianapolis 500 race, May is undoubtedly the busiest time of year for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network. At this year's 90th running of the Indy 500, the IMS Radio Network again fielded an all-analog lineup of Lectrosonics UM250C transmitters, UDR200C receivers and ALP600 directional antennas to promote the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing" to listeners worldwide.
For races at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway, six Lectrosonics wireless systems are typically deployed around the track. Chief engineer Tom Allebrandi uses the 250 Series belt-packs with the antenna extended and mounted on the headsets used by reporters, creating an elevated ground plane. The associated receivers are Lectrosonics UDR200C, aided by the firm’s ALP 600 log periodic antennas in a horizontal boom arrangement.
The Lectrosonics equipment has proven itself adept at negotiating the dense RF environment at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, according to Allebrandi. This year, ABC/ESPN used approximately thirty frequencies, while the IMS Radio Network used nine (six on-air systems plus IFBs). Those official broadcasts also had to contend with the local TV and radio stations, walk-ons from around the country, plus the 33 race teams with two or three frequencies each and dozens of track officials, track maintenance personnel, police, fire, EMS and the FAA.
As the radio broadcaster for the Indy Racing League (IRL), the IMS Radio Network takes the Lectrosonics gear on the road throughout the year. Between event-related RF interference and very long required transmission distances, the network represents a stern test for any wireless equipment, but they report that Lectrosonics is consistently up to the task in whatever environment they face.
For more information, visit www.lectrosonics.com.