Darren James Morton
is the radio director at Grove City College’s FM station WSAJ in
Grove City, Pa. Darren writes that he’s had excellent results using
the Cloudlifter CL-1 units we mentioned recently. The CL-1 Mic
Activator is a compact solution for common audio problems faced
in the field as well as in the studio.
Fig. 1: No that’s not
a torture device, just a circuit breaker resetter.
It’s designed for
all passive microphones including ribbons. The CL-1 safely uses any
standard phantom powered microphone input device to provide up to +25
dB of ultra-clean, transparent gain.
This additional gain
can improve the performance of passive microphone signals by driving
stronger, cleaner signals over longer XLR cable runs, which makes
them suitable for broadcast or live sound reinforcement.
Darren calls the
CL-1 amazing. He uses them with a Shure SM7B, to get the level
high enough to use with less expensive live sound or remote mixers.
Normally with these
mics, you have to have the mic preamp gain fully open, which creates
all kinds of noise issues for the little Mackies, Spirits, Yamahas,
Behringers and the like. Darren does a couple of live talk radio
remotes a year, and uses the SM7Bs with the Cloudlifter, obtaining
Darren has even used
the Cloudlifter and the Shure SM7Bs with an Allen & Heath ZED, without
any noise issues at all.
On a purely personal
note, Darren has used the same combination on solo mics for his jazz
band, and enjoyed excellent sonic results. The Cloudlifters are less
than $200 apiece.
radioworld.com/links for a link to the product.
1 may look like some sort of
medieval torture device but it actually is a motor-driven large
circuit breaker (CB) resetter, pointed out by our friend and
colleague Buc Fitch.
often, line surges — or back surges from an abrupt or bouncing
power disconnect — will cause a large CB to experience a nuisance
trip. You don’t want to drive all the way out to the site to reset
the breaker, so you have this motor-driven resetter do the job for
you — by remote control.
Fig. 2: When activated,
the 120V motor fully restores the breaker arm.
how it works: First, as seen in Fig. 1, the CB is allowed free travel
to trip. An attachment is placed on the handle, so that there is no
“drive” tension on the CB handle. When over-current or a thermal
trip occurs, the handle can move to the tripped position.
motor seen in Fig. 2 is 120 volts, so obviously you would get this
power from a UPS if the resetter was on the building or system main.
When activated, the rotary motion of the device picks up the tripped
CB handle, and moves it through its “off” and then “on”
positions, thus resetting it.
standard option (which can be field installed) is an aux switch on
these big CBs and those contacts stop the motor and drive system in
the “trippable” position. A
closeup of the resetting mechanism is seen in Fig. 3.
device is not simple, not
elegant, not beautiful; but it does the job very well. Buc writes
that the last one of these he was involved in was on a rig in a
miserable station, on an island (heave ho), at the end of an hour’s
drive for the CE.
installation, the CE had the affection for Buc to call at 3 a.m. to
tell him how very happy he was. He’d just remotely reset the CB,
and got his station back on using his telephone on the nightstand
rather than getting up, driving an hour, rowing in the dark and
walking up the hill to reset the CB. So, these units do have their
says these units fit on a model FEL “molded case” circuit
breaker, and they are available from 15 to as high as 800 amps. Of
course, if resetting the breaker once doesn’t do the trick, you
probably have a short length of time to go investigate.
Fig. 3: Here is a
closeup of the resetting mechanism.
Charles “Buc” Fitch, P. E. and Radio World contributor, can be
contacted at email@example.com.
contracting, I was called to a station that was tripping on and off.
At the transmitter, I found it was the remote control that was
resetting the transmitter, over and over again. Local control took
care of that, and I could fix the problem.
I stopped by the studio later, I found the jock had wedged a
toothpick between the chassis and the “RAISE” button on the
Moseley remote control, forcing the button to stay depressed.
soon as the transmitter overload tripped the transmitter off, the
toothpick-enabled RAISE switch recycled the transmitter back on —
if only for a moment or two. It shut down immediately, only to be
RAISED again, thanks to the toothpick.
I asked the jock why he used a toothpick to hold the button down, he
replied that his finger was getting tired from repeatedly pushing the
button to get the transmitter to stay on the air. Don’t you just
love this business?
to Workbench. You’ll help your fellow engineers and qualify for SBE
recertification credit. Send Workbench tips to
Fax to (603) 472-4944.
John Bisset has spent 44 years in the broadcasting industry and is
still learning. He handles West Coast sales for the Telos Alliance.
He is SBE certified and a past recipient of the SBE’s Educator of
the Year Award.