Fig. 1: Labels explain operations. Figs. 1–7 are from WVTF Public Radio
and Radio IQ.
Fig.2: Here’s a neatly organized and labeled cable distribution system.
WVTF Public Radio and Radio IQ, with stations across
central and western Virginia, is celebrating 25 years of public
and Engineering Manager Paxton Durham, who has been with WVTF since 1990, shared
some facility design thoughts with Workbench
readers, as well as pictures of his Roanoke facility.
Like most engineers responsible for facilities
with both paid and volunteer staffs, Paxton is a big believer in labeling. In a
number of applications, he uses the label to explain, as seen in Fig. 1.
Fig. 3: Computers are located on sturdy chrome wire shelving.
||Fig. 4: Smaller shelves
under the computers hold wiring.
is all that technical,” he says. By using labels not only to identify equipment
but also to explain how it operates, procedural problems are reduced.
Paxton has used labels liberally throughout the
facility: Even the 75-ohm cable feed distribution can be followed, as shown in Fig.
Most facilities depend on computers; WVTF is no
different. By locating all computers in a single IT room, the environment can
be controlled easily. By selecting heavy-duty industrial shelving, as seen in Fig.
3, all computers can be stacked.
Fig. 5: Spot lamps illuminate equipment.
The chrome wire shelving can be assembled
without tools, and the shelves can be adjusted in one-inch increments. The open
wire construction reduces dust accumulation, too. Visit the Radio World Links
page, radioworld.com/links, for
information on one supplier of this type of chrome wire shelving.
Fig. 6: Stanchions are used to keep visitors at arm’s
length from the equipment.
The modularity of this type of shelving means
that a connector shelf can be installed beneath the computers, as seen in Fig.
4.In this way, access to connectors and
associated wiring is from the front — no more crawling around behind the
In the rack area, adjustable ceiling spotlights
illuminate the equipment and are aesthetically pleasing, as in Fig. 5. Rack
mount equipment faces one of the hallways. The black stanchions, Fig. 6, can be
spread out to keep visitors away from the rack equipment. Simple, yet
Paxton takes advantage of cordless phone
technology, too. By locating an extension in the racks (Fig. 7),
troubleshooting comes easy.
Cox Media Richmond DOE
Dennis Sloatman is another believer in clean facility layout. Fig. 8 shows the
Main Distribution Frame at the Richmond, Va., cluster. Taking the time to do it
right has a major payoff as the facility changes or grows.
|Fig. 7: A cordless
telephone makes troubleshooting easier.
||Fig 8: A neatly designed
and completed Main Distribution Frame at Cox Media in Richmond, Va.
If Paxton and
Dennis want an engineering challenge, they could spend the rest of their careers
managing coax runs at the tower site shown in Fig. 9. What’s interesting is
that you can see the curved cable tray, with coaxial lines neatly in place. At
some point, mayhem took over …
Fig. 9: A site manager could spend his career managing
Contribute to Workbench. You’ll help your fellow
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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. He works for transmitter company Elenos.