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PWS Tackles RF at Super Bowl

Professional Wireless Systems was on hand at Super Bowl XLVI to handle main audio provider ATK/Audiotek's RF needs.

(l-r) PWS’s John Garrido, Jason Eskew, Jim Van Winkle and Brooks Schroeder tackled RF management and handling of the equipment for the referees’ microphones and all of the game’s entertainment segments.
Indianapolis, IN (February 9, 2012)—Professional Wireless Systems was on hand at Super Bowl XLVI to handle main audio provider ATK/Audiotek’s RF needs.

Subcontracted for the event by ATK/Audiotek (Valencia, CA) for the 14th consecutive year, PWS provided RF management and the handling of the equipment–including the company’s new Domed Helical Antenna—for all of the game’s entertainment segments and the referees’ microphones at Lucas Oil Stadium. The PWS team employed an arsenal of gear to make sure that the National Anthem, “America the Beautiful,” and half-time show featuring Madonna all were heard clearly.

Jason Eskew, project manager for PWS, and his team created a frequency plan based on the preferences and endorsement deals of the featured performers. “The artist and industry relations folks like Nick Wood at Shure and Tim Moore at Sennheiser bent over backwards to support their artists and equipment,” says Eskew.

Shure supplied PWS with its new Axient Wireless Management Network. ATK Audiotek provided Shure UHF-Rs and PSM-1000 series IEMs and Sennheiser 2000 and 3000 series gear.

The PWS team worked directly with the Game Day Coordinators, who acted as the global clearinghouse for frequencies in and around the stadium. “Working closely, in this case, on an 8×12 platform on the side of the field, we managed 110 frequencies,” says Eskew.

“The frequency coordinators pack us closer than the equipment can actually support, so our expertise comes into play when we’re able to manage interference by negotiating the times certain equipment is turned on and when other equipment will be turned off to avoid interference,” says Eskew. “One of the reasons we used the Shure Axient Network was its ability to have a much tighter IF (intermediate frequency) strip, which then allowed us to put channels closer together safely.”

PWS also premiered its Domed Helical Antenna on the field for the first time since its launch in late 2011. “[T]he Super Bowl adds a whole new dimension to the types of applications that can benefit from the capabilities these antennas offer–from greater bandwidth and longer range gain to more flexibility in wireless communications,” says Eskew.

Professional Wireless Systems