1: Use colorful Duck Tape to protect wiring at live events
I visited a Lowes the other day and came across something for your
Colorful Duck Tape comes in more than 20 colors and patterns; there’s
even a neon color that can’t be missed.
If you’re worried about people tripping over your cables at live events,
and the possible lawsuits to follow, put your mind at ease now. This stuff will be seen, and it adheres to most
While it’s a bit on the pricey side, the $7 investment is good insurance
against someone yanking your cables or worse. If you shop on the Web, prices
are about half of what you’d find in a bricks-and-mortar store. Google search
“colorful Duck Tape,” or pull up the Radio World links page for this issue.
Recently I had the privilege of
participating with more than 100 broadcast engineers in a “Springtime
Maintenance Webinar” sponsored by BSW and presented as a part of the Society of
Broadcast Engineers’ continuing education series. The webinar was recorded and
is available on demand to SBE members.
Through the webinar, I fell into a conversation with Tom McGinley, a
longtime broadcast engineer and technical advisor to Radio World, who shared an
interesting tip about installing Caller ID on your studio phone system.
There are still lots of radio stations using the old POTS and 1A2
keyphones with hybrids and controllers like the Telos legacy gear for studio
use. A number of engineers with whom Tom has spoken are under the impression
that they have to add expensive PRI trunk lines and/or replace their entire
studio phone system for big money in order to get Caller ID.
Fig. 2: A graphic from the Caller ID website
explains how the POS series works.
This is simply not true: POTS lines have carried the Caller ID header
info for years. You can add a Caller ID display feature to any POTS-based phone
system by using a nearby PC with the Whozz
Calling? data box and free software from CallerID.com to show the ID info as soon as calls come in.
CallerID.com provides a variety of free software applications that run with
Whozz Calling? devices. The site also
provides a source code for developers with each application. (All applications
and source codes are royalty-free and can be distributed without any rights
For several stations in Seattle, Tom uses the Whozz Calling POS 8, which handles eight lines per box and costs in
the hundreds of dollars. He uses this in conjunction with Caller ID software
called ELPopup, which includes Ethernet connectivity to other PCs on the LAN.
Four- and eight-line units can be chained to provide up to a maximum of 96 monitored
Applications are divided into two basic types. The ELP programs work with
Ethernet-linked Whozz Calling devices;
the Listener programs work with the RS-232 Serial Port Whozz Calling? devices. Determine which type you are using and
select the appropriate application.
Tom’s suggestion about adding Caller ID can be helpful in other ways,
too. Such was the case when we suspected that a former station employee had
been calling the transmitter site and monkeying with the remote control
functions, raising and lowering
power, running the aux transmitter into the dummy load, then finally just
turning off the transmitter. What a big joke!
A Caller ID box was worth the investment. This former employee’s name
and number popped up. We contacted the local sheriff; he called the number,
identified himself and informed this person that a police report was being
filed. If there were any more problems, he’d be the primary suspect.
The problem stopped.
Tom McGinley can be reached at email@example.com.
To learn more
about CallerID.com or about becoming a member of SBE, visit the Radio World links page.
In reference to a Workbench
article in the March 1 issue about worn-out gear in the photocopy machine, Channel
1 Images’ Wayne Eckert writes that the old gear appears to be some form of a
At best, that material was a compromise between cost and life
expectancy. Eckert says that the new material looks like DuPont Delrin, which
is a resin almost as tough as steel. The compound is not only long-lasting; it
is self-lubricating (dry, no dirt attraction — find the PDF via our links page).
As such, there is a good possibility that the new assembly will outlast
the remaining mechanics within that copy machine.
Wayne Eckert can be reached at W.Eckert@channel1images.com.
The links page for this issue of RW is radioworld.com/Apr-25-2012.
Contribute to Workbench. You’ll help
your fellow engineers, and qualify for SBE recertification credit. Send
Workbench tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.Fax to (603) 472-4944.
Author John Bisset has spent 43 years
in the broadcasting industry, and is still learning! He is SBE Certified, and
is a past recipient of the SBE’s Educator of the Year Award.