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Choose Your Own Static IP Address

Also, tips for finding some excellent (free) tools online

You find yourself at a remote broadcast site and you need to assign a static IP address for one of your devices. But no one at the site can tell you about the router or its IP address.

Engineering consultant Frank Hertel offers steps to decide which IP address to use. A caution: You don’t want to select an address that’s going to cause an IP conflict for the client’s operation.

Fig. 1: The START button is the first step to identifying a static IP address.
One possibility is to gain access to one of the client’s computers operating on the site’s local area network. Follow these steps.

First, click on the START icon at lower left of the computer screen (see Fig. 1). Within that figure, locate the “Search Programs and Files” (indicated with the #2 in the bubble).

Fig. 2: Type in CMD in the Search Programs and Files box.
As shown in Fig. 2, type in CMD in the Search Programs and Files box, then press ENTER. Fig. 3 shows the Command Line Screen, which appears after you do so.

Fig. 3: The Command Line Screen
As seen in Fig. 4, Type “arp -a” at the C prompt and press ENTER (note that the dash is the hyphen, the key next to the zero on your keyboard, rather than the longer en dash or em dash). The IP address table for the active/online devices will be displayed. These are devices in use on the LAN that is serviced by the switch to which you are connected.

There are limitations to using “arp -a.” It will only let you see the IP addresses of the devices that are on the switch you are using; it cannot see the IP addresses of other devices that are not connected directly to your specific switch.

Fig. 4: The IP Address Table
This process likely will provide you with the information you’ll need to aid in choosing an IP address. It will also ensure that you don’t select a static IP address that is critical to the client’s business operation.

You won’t need to do this if your equipment can use DHCP IP addressing and if the addressing has been provided by the IT administrator who set up the LAN router.

Thanks, Frank, for a useful tip as remote season approaches.

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The images shown in Figs. 1 through 4 are from a free program called ScreenPrint32. Frank Hertel has enjoyed using the program, which allows you to print what’s on your computer screen. It will also let you capture any part of the screen image using a selection box. Then you can use what you captured in emails or presentations. Frank uses it when preparing manuals for clients or operating instruction manuals for operators.

Google Screen print32 for the download. Several are provided; try the one at

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While we’re on the topic of free software, broadcast engineer Dan Slentz, a fellow RW contributor, offers more “must haves.”

Most engineers are familiar with the Visio drawing program. You’re probably also familiar with its price. Dan suggests Draw.IO, a free tool excellent for when you need to document signal flow or make flow charts:

When he’s not engineering, Dan Slentz does voiceover work. He also shares a link that offers free ISDN over the Internet using Google Chrome. Dan says it is ideal for VO work. Find out more at

Is there a favorite free or low-cost software package you couldn’t live without? Send the info my way: [email protected].

Contribute to Workbench. You’ll help your fellow engineers and qualify for SBE recertification credit. Send Workbench tips to [email protected]. Fax to (603) 472-4944.

Author John Bisset has spent 44 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.