Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Texas A&M football uses Kaltman RF analyzer for frequency coordination
During its 2007 football season, Texas A&M University became one of the first NCAA venues to offer RF frequency coordination. The school’s tool of choice for the task was the Kaltman Creations Spectran HF4060 RF spectrum analyzer. Heading the project was Aaron Creasy, chief engineer for Texas A&M Athletics.
Creasy was impressed with the portable form factor of the HF4060. The unit was used primarily by connecting it via USB to a Sony Ultra Mobile PC.
The gathering of broadcasters, public safety teams and other RF infrastructure at a major event like college football provides a wide range of frequency coordination challenges. The Kaltman RF analyzer, with its wide range of frequencies, handled it all. “Whether we’re trying to find a slice to stick our 2.4GHz wireless video into, or making sure that our coaching wireless intercoms are free of interference, this little unit has proven to be invaluable,” Creasy said.
Typical applications requiring coordination include local radio and TV pre-game shows, wireless intercoms for both teams’ coaches, the actual game broadcast on radio, wireless mics and IFB for national TV broadcast, wireless mics for the referees and wireless intercoms for the stadium’s big-screen and “12th-man” TV operators. All activities occur within a six-hour time window.
In all, the Texas A&M staff manages approximately 125 different wireless frequencies ranging from 10MHz to 6GHz for any given football game. Creasy reported zero RF interference issues from any of the parties involved while using the HF4060.
The Kaltman Creations HF4060 system includes a log periodic directional antenna, which helped to track down the occasional user who grabbed a wireless unit out of their van after going through the frequency coordination checkpoint. To help ensure compliance, the school required all media outlets to undergo frequency approval to gain access to the facility. As a result, all users had adequate spectrum space and the assurance that it would remain free of interference throughout the event.
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