Radio Active Designs’ UV-1G is a very well thought out wireless intercom system. With the belt packs transmitting in VHF and the base station transmitting in UHF and the utilization of AM transmission and new antenna design, they promise to have a significant impact on wireless intercom as the gold standard in large scale events, theatre, broadcasting, and industries requiring reliable true duplex wireless communications.
I just have to say that A2’s everywhere will be instantly spoiled by this rig.
First off, before there was anything to touch, I had to content myself with reading the literature from RAD. I was refreshingly pleased with the clarity and simplicity of the manual. From what I read, I knew not only that I could run the system, but also that I could have easily figured it all out with no manual. When I got the thing in hand, there was only more great stuff to discover. The battery sled is done right. The clip is removable and strong but not too wide. Two Philips screws secure the headset connector and that module can be swapped out between four and five pin XLR’s. The volume knobs are recessed, and they are also the encoders for the screen settings. And under a rubber plug labelled AUX is a USB and a 3.5mm trs input. You can program these packs via software which is huge. And I nearly plotzed when I pulled out my iPhone, plugged it in to the mini plug, and jammed out on some tunes via the headphones. Now this was not intern behavior, it was proof, that A2’s and ENG bag mixers can listen to IFB or IEM packs or even mixers through their intercom headsets! This is so much better then the expense of retrofitting yourself with a third ear and really cuts down on the headphone and earpiece swapping.
Also, the system propagation delay is so short, that full duplex is achieved by sending the belt pack transmissions from the belt packs to the base and back out to the packs. This means if you can hear yourself talk, that pack is faxxed. Badabing. This also is fantastic for technically challenged (client) headsets. It is remarkably intuitive to know you are talking when you hear yourself. Some systems make you wonder if your are getting out to the world, not the UV-1G. Better than side tone.
Finally it was time to walk the talk. Geoff Shearing of RAD handed out the headsets. Line of site reception was near perfect. Clarity of sound and volume controls over headphone and mic gain were excellent. We dispersed to all the fantasy extreme reach positions at NRG Stadium and the RAD VF-1 antenna for VHF reception and PWS Dome on the UHF hung in very well in comparison to the in-house rig. It was an unscientific and abusive range test without the benefit of a specific antenna design for the building, but proof that excellent results were realistically achievable throughout the service level and as far as the truck docks if suitable antenna distribution was deployed. I have been hoping to get my hands on Radio Active Designs’ (RAD) UV-1G for a long time. I met RAD co-founder James Staffo (see video below) during my duties at Microsoft Tech Ed in 2013, but I had long heard of RAD as a result of my personal quest to understand the issues surrounding availability of rf spectrum. So I followed up with James a couple of times and talked David Grundy, Technical Services Manager for SMG at NRG Park into staging a demo. So thanks to all for coming together and checking out the hard earned results of some serious thinking.
By the by, if you’re in Dallas January 3-4, James Staffo will be presenting at SynAudCon