My church uses 2 wireless microphone systems. One is an Audio-Technica lavalier the other is a 4-channel system (sorry, I don't remember the brand)

About 6 months ago (after several years of flawless use) both systems started dropping the signal. There are some pops, then the signal from the transmitter completely drops out. On the Audio-Technica receiver, the RF meter goes to zero. The other system is more basic; it has no meters. The Audio-Technica also has 200 frequencies; I have tried 10 in various ranges of the available frequencies.

Since the same thing happens on both systems, and they are on different frequency ranges, I am assuming the issue is environmental. I am also assuming that there is not RF interference causing the problem, since the RF meter drops to zero rather than spiking.

Are my assumptions sound?
Where should I begin in tracking the problem?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Why the down vote? How can I improve? \$\endgroup\$ Oct 10, 2017 at 15:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don’t see a valid reason for the downvote either. Question: was anything installed (a wall, bookshelf, picture frame, etc) between the transmitters and receiver antennas? Or is the path free space? \$\endgroup\$ Oct 10, 2017 at 16:07
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Or was any other source of RF added to the area - intentional or otherwise? \$\endgroup\$
    – Transistor
    Oct 10, 2017 at 16:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ And is the problem intermittent? \$\endgroup\$ Oct 10, 2017 at 16:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sounds like interference if they both cut out at the same time. If you can buy or borrow/hire a handheld RF spectrum analyzer, you could check and even trace it to the source. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 10, 2017 at 16:33

1 Answer 1


Try a basic process of elimination. Move one of the systems off-site and determine if it works correctly. If so, you can assume that something at the original location is at fault (such as interference, power issues, or obstruction). Rule out power issues by trying different circuits. Rule out obstructions by operating in line-of-sight. Only when interference is your last suspect does it makes sense to involve an expensive analyzer.

If the system does not work off-site, you can move on to other troubleshooting steps. Change the distance between the microphone(s) and base unit. If it works only at close range, the transmitter in the microphone could be at fault. Its power source could be weak (i.e. rechargeable battery failure). It could also be a faulty antenna connection on the receiver.

The point is to be methodological and rule things out before assuming anything.


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