Sennheiser Freeport Wireless Fp21-B 691-693 MHZ Is it really Illegal to use ???? Advice

rcboals

Country Gent
Nov 21, 2008
4,832
Springfield Oregon
My Sennheiser Freeport FP21-B wireless. I have had this since it was new several years. I used it at a lot of gigs and never had any problems signal loss drop outs etc. So, I got it out as I want to use it at a gig' Evidently it is illegal to use now because of the 691-693 MHZ. Something about FCC selling everything in the 600 MHZ and up to cell phone companies and emergency public entities. I have been playing it at practice and around the house and it works great. Any reason why I shouldn't just go ahead and use it like I used to? I bought a couple of different cheap or whatever they are wireless since they looked good and compact and easy to use. In spite of several orgasmic reviews not my experience thye worked ok but dropped signal to often. THE ONES I BOUGHT WERE TOTAL GARBAGE, glad for Amazon free returns. Anyway if I have to to be legal I will buy another quality unit. Advise appreciated on what are quality wireless units now equal or better than my Sennheiser?
 

Sabato

Country Gent
Mar 22, 2019
2,593
Massachusetts
I was curious so I looked it up. According to B&H Photo there is a "still legal" range, and there was a Sennheiser trade-in program. Somehow I can't picture FCC Vans with antennas cruising around to bust people. More likely that your system will receive interference.

"Sennheiser is offering a trade-in program until March 31, 2019. So, if you've been eyeing its line of wireless products, here's what you'll need to do. Start by finding the operating frequency of your current system. If it falls neatly in the range of 470 to 608 MHz, you can continue using your gear without worry of breaking the law! However, if the operating frequency is above 608 MHz, you must pursue a trade. Upon confirming that your equipment must be turned in, the next step is to harness some purchasing power. Pick up a new qualified Sennheiser wireless system that operates in an FCC-approved frequency range. Finally, ship your eligible old system—Sennheiser accepts units from any manufacturer—with the requisite forms and UPCs. As expected, you must pay attention to the company's specific instructions (e.g. send original UPC codes, not copies) and wait six to eight weeks for the processing of the trade-in and the mailing of the rebate check."
 
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freddyfingers

Gretschified
I thought the issue was that it could interfere with communications through emergency workers and such , if they and you are in the same area operating during an emergency. You dont tie up the frequency or get cross talk during quick moving dangerous times. I read this a while back when i was looking for wireless mikes to make sure i didnt get the wrong type. But my memory is not what it should be.
 

rcboals

Country Gent
Nov 21, 2008
4,832
Springfield Oregon
I thought the issue was that it could interfere with communications through emergency workers and such , if they and you are in the same area operating during an emergency. You dont tie up the frequency or get cross talk during quick moving dangerous times. I read this a while back when i was looking for wireless mikes to make sure i didnt get the wrong type. But my memory is not what it should be.

Yes, I thought it was done for that reason. I would feel bad if while I was playing my wireless guitar I screwed up some emergency help. I found the following information on this link.
https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/operation-wireless-microphones

1. Prohibition on the 700 MHz band


In 2010, the FCC prohibited the use of wireless mics and devices on unused broadcast channels on the 600 MHz service band and on the 700 MHz band – specifically the frequencies between 698 and 806 MHz. It did so because such use could cause harmful interference that disrupts or degrades communications in the spectrum bands that had been repurposed for use by public-safety networks and licensed commercial wireless services.

I think I'm ok My Frequency is 691-693 MHz

2. Power restrictions for unlicensed mics

Unlicensed wireless mic must not be operated at a power level in excess of 50 milliwatts when operating in the TV bands, and no more than 20 milliwatts when operating in the 600 MHz guard band or duplex gap.
Users are advised to consult their owner's manual or other materials provided by the manufacturer or distributor to determine the output power of their wireless mics.

I think I am ok here My mics power level is 10 milliwatts

 

wabash slim

I Bleed Orange
Feb 10, 2010
16,961
lafayette in
That's why the world had to go to digital TV---cell phones needed the bandwidth. There's only so much range in the spectrum. Wireless mikes used to be VHF, and that had its own issues. We'd get cabs, construction, police and fire coming over our supposedly protected theater frequencies. We had to be licensed for all of the frequencies we used---over 100 channels. This was back when they utilized crystals to set frequencies. We had wireless ICOM as well. We had issues with construction crews on our "protected" theater frequencies. Not just them using our bandwidth, but foul language that would be amplified to 6,000 patrons before we could mute the channel.

We used Sennheiser, but the 3AAA units would eat batteries like mad. Wouldn't last two hours. We had great luck with Shure and Audio Technica gear. There are cheap Chinese copies of Shure wirelii that use VHF instead of UHF. Even copied the packaging. Shure won't cover warranties on the bogus gear, not that I blame them. Buy from a reputable source. Trust no one.
 

Lockupyourfatdog

Synchromatic
Aug 8, 2016
933
Everett wa
Wow that’s some bad news. I use this one with much success. It’s designed to just pick up my vocal. I use a wireless on my guitar too and my rig has 5 mics pretty close together and not far from me. The mic works great. Clear tone, no interference or drop off
upload_2021-11-27_5-44-12.jpeg
 

rcboals

Country Gent
Nov 21, 2008
4,832
Springfield Oregon
UPDATE POSTED FOR THE THREE OTHER PEOPLE IN THE WORLD THAT WANT TO KNOW. upload_2021-12-1_8-12-36.gif
UPDATE 11/29/21 IF YOUR WIRELESS IS IN THE 600 MHz BAND IT IS NOW ILLEGAL AS OF JULY 13, 2020 T-MOBILE OWNS THAT BAND. ALSO, IF YOUR WIRELESS IS IN THE 700 MHz band it has been illegal since 2010 it is supposed to be for emergency responding people.

LINK THAT EXPLAINS IT VERY WELL. https://mantheiylaw.com/wireless-what-you-need-how-to-stay-legal/ UPDATE:
I WILL NOT BE USING THIS ANYMORE ONY BECAUSE IT IS ILLEGAL AND MY CONSCIENCE CAN'T HANDLE IT EVEN IF THERE IS A SLIM AND NEXT TO NOTHING CHANCE OF GETTING CAUGHT OR IT BEING A PROBLEM.
 

swivel

Country Gent
May 13, 2018
2,170
PNW
If it works use it.

The best I have had I still have. Digital Reference/Audio Technica DR 2500 or 3500
I had a backup and finally sold it this year as the #1 unit never failed in any way. Someone got basically a new one that sat as backup and never used.
This is Pro stuff. I bought mine after seeing one used at a big blues festival. The guy was playing close to me outdoors probably 75 feet from the stage.
A clean used one should be about $150

this one even has the wireless mic with it for $150! BARGAIN! (no relation to me)
https://reverb.com/item/27135798-digital-reference-dr-3500-guitar-wireless-system
 
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loudnlousy

Gretschified
Oct 18, 2015
12,168
Germany
Our bassist used to use a vintage Nady system that was completely illegal over here.
If you should get caught with one of these these you had to pay a very substantial penalty.
There were a lot of stories circulating in our community about musicians being fined because of using these units.
Although it worked far better than the other brands that offered legal frequencies and transmission power I always felt bad when he used it. The fear of him getting caught made me feel bad.
 

Randy99CL

Country Gent
Feb 17, 2020
1,995
Albuquerque
I wouldn't use it. The odds of creating any problems for you or others is almost nil but you never know.

But I would contact Sennheiser and see if they will upgrade somehow, either change the freq of your unit or let you trade it in for credit toward a new one. I would imagine they came up with some plan to help those users stuck with their units when they were made illegal.

Edit: just noticed that they did have a program that expired a couple of years ago, sorry.
 


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