The recent lighting ceremony for the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree saw Clair Global company Wireless First deploy the innovative new CF 1090 Fractal Antenna.
A much-loved symbol of the holiday season, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree illumination event has employed the services of Wireless First for a number of years. As part of this year’s 86-channel commitment, Wireless First deployed the new Wireless First/Clair Global CF 1090 Fractal Antenna.
The CF 1090 employs a self-similar antenna topology to deliver high gain across a wide, uniform coverage pattern using a small, camera-friendly housing.
Wireless First’s eighty-six channels were divided among intercom, microphones (for performers and hosts), IFBs and personal monitors. The live performers – who included Cee Lo Green and Carole King – played on two stages, one on either side of the ice rink in front of the tree.
“The trick was to zone out the receive antennas so that we had consistent coverage around the plaza without allowing the antennas to interfere with each other,” said Wireless First chief engineer Josh Flower. “We set up three zones – one on 49th Street, one on 50th Street, and one in the Channel Gardens directly across from the tree – also using the same receive antenna system to feed both the intercom and the host microphones. That way, we knew anyone who had to transmit would do so to the same antenna system, ensuring the same range no matter what the device.”
Flower used Shure UA870 UHF active directional antennas for the receive side, taking advantage of its inline booster to compensate for line loss or even use line loss as an advantage to ensure that the antennas didn’t interfere with each other. On the transmit side, Flower deployed the Clair Global CF 1090 Fractal Antennas.
“The CF 1090 is very consistent throughout its coverage pattern,” he said. “I was able to place them in more TV camera transparent locations and still guarantee perfect coverage. Even though we were in the heart of New York City, every aspect of the system ended up being tremendously robust.” In total, three CF 1090s transmitted to thirty-two drops of wireless intercom, six IFBs, and sixteen channels of wireless personal monitors.
The core audio spec was also strong on Sennheiser technology, including SKM 5200 handheld wireless mics, SK 5212 lavaliers for backup, UHF-R wireless mics, and 2000 and G2 Series wireless personal monitors.
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