Corbin Campbell is
chief engineer for Mid-West Family Marketing, owners of four stations
in Springfield, Mo. He suggests that engineers take a look at
industrial lights from American LED-Gible Inc., found at
www.ledgible.com and seen in Fig. 1.
Fig. 1: Corbin
Campbell’s studio light pole, made by American LED-Gible Inc., is
shown. A plastic boot completes the installation.
The cost is around
$130 for the four-light stack. Each light stack is pre-built from one
to five lights, and each light can be set individually to flash or
not. They also can be supplied with buzzer options.
Other companies make
similar products, but this model is designed for industrial plants
where managers need to indicate machine status. Corbin has placed
them in 911 centers to indicate whether call takers were on the
Corbin chose the
four-stack for his studio application, using this legend: red for
EAS; green for request line ringing; yellow for hot line ringing; and
blue for future use, possibly an after-hours doorbell.
The base against the
ceiling tile is a wall protector that normally attaches to a wall to
keep a door handle from crashing through drywall. It makes the
finished installation look more polished.
The light bulbs are
also available in two sizes.
As you can see in
Fig. 2, Corbin used Molex brand connectors to allow for a quick
disconnect in case the lights need work.
Paul McLane has a question for Workbench
Who among us in the
Radio World family would not love playing with drones? But beyond
just the fun factor, could video drones be a new tool for tower
maintenance and facility inspection? Do you know of engineers or
tower companies that have used video drones for this purpose?
As prices continue
to drop, we’re thinking there’s a use here for radio facility
managers or tower crews. If you are blazing a drone trail, at the
tower or in other workplace applications, drop a line to
the NAB Show RF Boot Camp and SBE Ennes Workshop this year, I spoke
about the value of a portable infrared thermometer.
Market Chief John Huntley has been using a Fluke 62 Mini Infrared
Thermometer Gun for a few years. It is available online for under
The beauty of this
instrument is that it has a focal point of 1:10 units, which enables
users to measure smaller objects from a further distance, and works
just fine in the presence of 5 kW at 1440 kHz.
In addition to
checking for hot spots in electrical breaker boxes, it can be used in
ATUs and the phasor, because the instrument is not affected by RF.
Point the instrument at all copper tubing or strap junctions, as well
at coil clips or rollers. The thermometer can be used to identify hot
capacitors, as well as those that are about to fail.
Fig. 2: When the
lights are wired to a Molex connector, it will be easier to remove
them in the event that they require service.
In John’s case,
his AM directional parameter readings were wrong; things returned to
normal after he replaced the capacitor.
John brings the
thermometer along in the winter, too. He uses it to check
transmitter-site generators for coolant heater failures. Yes, you can
use your hand and do a touch test; but sometimes the IR thermometer
is easier for checking for heat in the radiator from the outside of
The two gensets he
maintains are propane fueled, but they are liquid mode and
temperamental to start without heat in the coolant and engine block.
A liquid mode genset has a vaporizer that uses heat from the coolant
to change the propane to vapor.
John also recently
used his thermometer to check for heating of bullets on 3-inch rigid
non-flanged line within the building. The site had been installed 14
He found that the
inner conductor on the line to a dummy load had been cut with a
tubing cutter. The result was that the bullet would not insert fully
into the inner and was only making contact in a narrow ring. John
made the correct assumption that the rest of the internal plumbing
plant was that way
thermometer verified the condition from the outside at each
connection. John scheduled an outage and was able to cut back an inch
or so on each end of the inners, using a fine-tooth, hand-driven
reciprocating cutter (also known as a hacksaw). He then smoothed the
rough edge with a file and replaced two bullets that had lost their
John C. Huntley
is chief engineer and director of IT for Cumulus Rockford.
Workbench. You’ll help your fellow engineers and qualify for SBE
recertification credit. Send Workbench tips to email@example.com.
Fax to (603) 472-4944.
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 is a past recipient of the SBE’s Educator of the