Question: How do I change the RF transmission output level of the 5000 Series 3rd Generation transmitters?
Answer: An important part of setting up any wireless system (along with proper frequency coordination and antenna placement) is setting the RF transmission power of your transmitters. Setting the RF power too high can offer more range at the expense of raising up the RF noise floor. This could sometimes cause more issues than some people are aware of. The ATW-T5201 body-pack transmitter and the ATW-T5202 handheld transmitter have four transmission power settings: RF High, RF Mid, RF Low, and RF Off.
The RF High setting transmits the RF signal at 50 mW (milliwatts), which works well when you are not using a lot of transmitters in one location and may need to extend your wireless transmission range. The RF Mid setting transmits at 10 mW, and the RF Low setting transmits the RF signal at 2 mW. When multiple wireless systems are being used, the RF Low setting is recommended to reduce intermodulation distortion between the transmitter signals. Wireless signals interact with each other. So, when coordinating the frequencies, you not only want to avoid operating over frequencies already in use, but also want to avoid harmonic issues between frequencies in the area. Using your transmitters in the RF High setting can heighten intermodulation, whereas RF Low may not have intense RF intermodulation disturbances. Therefore, there is not one “right answer”; rather, it will depend on your specific setup, RF environment, and system needs.
The RF Off setting will stop the wireless transmission signal. This setting is often used to make changes to the transmitter without interfering with other wireless signals, including those from other transmitters. The RF Off setting makes it safe to turn on a transmitter if you are unsure what frequency it is tuned to or if you want to set the transmitter to a frequency that another transmitter is currently using. If you power on the transmitter in RF High or RF Low at a frequency that is currently being used in your area or that causes intermodulation harmonic issues, you may cause interferences. To turn on the transmitter in the RF Off mode, press and hold the Down button* while powering on. You will see “RF OFF” on the transmitter display when in this mode. From here, you may make your changes to the transmitter settings without interfering with other RF transmissions in the area.
To change the RF transmission output level:
- With the transmitter powered on, press the Set button* to enter the Menu.
- Press the Up or Down button* to cycle through the Menu to display “RF Power.”
- Press the Set button to change the RF transmission output power.
- Press the Up or Down button to cycle through High, Mid, Low, and Off.
- Once you have your selection, press the Set button. “STORED” will appear on the display.
When the transmitter is powered on in the RF Off state, you may turn the RF back on by following the steps above.
The RF Off mode may also be set as your Function button. To set the Function button to RF Off mode, do the following:
- With the transmitter powered on, press the Set button once to place the transmitter in Menu mode.
- Press the Up or Down button until “Tools” is visible on the display. Press the Set button.
- “Fn BUTTON” will appear on the display along with the button’s current setting. Press the Set button again to enter Edit mode.
- Press the Up or Down button until RF Off is selected.
- Press the Set button to store the setting.
When the Function button is set to RF Off, “RF Off” will show on the display when the function button is pressed and held. And if your LED is active, it will illuminate in red. When the Function button is pressed and held again, the display will show “RF On,” and the LED, if active, will change to green. Changing the RF transmission output power off/on may take a moment or two.
If you have further questions about setting the proper RF transmission output power on your 5000 Series 3rd Generation wireless transmitters, you may contact the Audio Solutions Department for assistance.
*The ATW-T5202 has individual Set, Up, and Down buttons. The ATW-T5201 has a lever push switch: turn right for Up, turn left for Down, and press for Set.