Melbourne Commonwealth Games, Opening and Closing Ceremonies

RF and Systems Technician
Melbourne MCG

Official Melbourne Commonwealth Games Website

I worked for Norwest Productions in Sydney on the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games as RF/Head systems tech. The gig involved designing and setting up a PSM transmit station, located at FOH along with a bouquet of 3 Shure UR4 receivers.
Another 4 radio mic receive bouquets around the field of play were set up, including one situated inside the end of the 'Noodle', the long runway running from the seating to the centre of the main stage. The job also involved setting up a PSM transmit station on the bank of the river Yarra, this involved gaining PSM coverage over 1km in distance, and was done using a bipolar figure '8' antenna array.

Preparation for the games involved designing and building 3 very linear wideband and RF power amplifiers, 2 for the 16 PSM transmit send in the MCG, and 1 for the 8 sends at the river. Peter Twartz, who also worked on this gig as spectrum manager, gained special dispensation from the ACMA to allow up to 2 watts conducted power per PSM transmit frequency.

There was also a backup amp built, and was used to transmit radio mic frequency 'holding' information. To drive this amplifier, I built two custom designed computer controlled transmitters, known as 'Rider' transmitters, once the known radio mic frequencies were entered into the computer, the transmitters would cycle through these frequencies continuously, broadcasting messages that these frequencies were an ACMA approved event frequency. The idea being that any press, or broadcaster looking for frequencies of their own would be warned off the ceremonies channels.

The Rider transmitters ran 24 hours, and were switched off during a rehearsal or performance. 2 watts of power allowed the MCG, river, and surrounding areas to be covered.