NuComm Keeps RF Cams Up and Running for Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup Run

As the Chicago Blackhawks skated into the Stanley Cup Finals, the expanded national and international television coverage meant an increase in RF clutter.  In order to avoid any signal interruption or loss of signal to the Blackhawks’ Fan-Cam operations, the team turned to Nucomm’s CamPac2 camera mounted transmitter and Newscaster DR2 diversity receiver to provide the 22,000-plus fans at the United Center with the full championship experience.

“We wanted to make sure that our fans’ in-house experience was not compromised by the loss of our traditional camera positions because of the added television broadcasts,” says Sergio Lozano, senior director of scoreboard operations at the United Center.  “We had to figure out different ways to get other shots on our video board including a lot of the fan shots we capture.  In order to make that happen, we rented Nucomm’s wireless camera system.”

The CamPac2 wireless camera system is compact and simple to use, yet sophisticated enough to handle a wide range of applications including ENG, portable camera mounting for sports production, helicopter, and UAV links as well as portable, mobile video, and data links.

The CP2 is a tri-band capable unit, which operates in the unlicensed 5.8GHz band, as well as licensed 6.4GHz and 7.1GHz bands without the need of any hardware changes.

“The CamPac2 system was designed to give camera operators plenty of options in regards to what they are able to achieve during a broadcast or in-house presentation,” says Stephen Shpock, president of the Vitec Group’s Integrated Microwave Technologies.  “Having the ability to take really unique shots is what the viewer enjoys and the CamPac2 system allows viewers to gain better coverage because they get perspective from different angles, whether it be on the ice, behind the goal post, on top of the stadium, outside the locker room or from the players’ view while on the playing surface.”

The Newscaster DR2 diversity receiver is an updated model of its predecessor, the Newscaster DR and offers new features including “intelligent” block down converters, which communicate to the DR2 receiver to control various operating modes.  By block down converting the received high-frequency signals to UHF band signals in the 150 to 850 MHz range, the DR2 now has the ability to remotely extend its antennas to 1000 feet (using Belden 1694A cable), complete with DC power from the receiver, as well as other versatile modes of operation.

The Newscaster DR can choose from two different versions of BDCs, allowing these units to transmit and receive a wide range of frequency bands from 1.99 GHz to 7.1 GHz, depending on customer requirements.

“The Nucomm equipment has worked out great,” says Lozano. “It’s been flawless. The camera worked on all levels and even on the concourses without any issues.  Our goal was to provide our fans with an incredible experience inside the arena and the Nucomm gear allowed us to do just that. We have been so pleased with the equipment that we rented during the Stanley Cup playoffs that we are looking to purchase a system of our own.”