Orban, Burk and GPS Hams

There was some pre-New Year discussion on broadcast.net about Y2K compliance and the Orban DSE-7000 workstation.
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There was some pre-New Year discussion on broadcast.net about Y2K compliance and the Orban DSE-7000 workstation.

Dean Tiernan, Orban's customer service manager, provided RW with info about options available to customers. First, the unit can be made compliant -- and upgraded -- by converting to the Audicy. The upgrade cost begins at $4,800, and depends on the hardware in the DSE. This is field-upgradable, and in most cases includes a free motherboard upgrade.

So just what will a non-upgraded DSE do this year? The DSE will operate normally. All that will be affected is the automatic time stamp.

For folks who don't want to upgrade, roll the date back to 1980 (a leap year, and a nice round number to subtract) to take care of the dating issue.

Want more information? Contact Dean Tiernan at Orban. Dean's number is (510) 351-3500. Online, Dean can be reached at dtiernan@orban.com

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Planning a new studio facility? When your electrician pulls the BX cable for your rack power, label the cable with the electric panel number and the circuit breaker number. If that outlet strip is fed through a UPS, add that information as well.

Wrapping white electrical tape around the end of the BX and identifying it as it is routed from the electric panel to the rack will save time identifying the circuit later.

. . .

Fred Krock at KQED-FM in San Francisco has a Burk ARC-16 with wire-line modems. Recently, he experienced a situation where the studio could not Raise or Lower any remote control function.

Fred diagnosed the problem to defective line transient suppressors at the transmitter site. Apparently at a low receive level, the ARC-16 cannot decode the command functions, although metering still works. After talking to the factory, Fred obtain a couple of numbers you'll want to write in your manual. The output line level should be --9 dBm, and the incoming line must be at least --30 dBm.

It turns out that the transient line suppressor supplied by Burk has four 27-ohm resistors in series with the line. One of these resistors changed value to 5,200, probably due to a transient.

Several months ago, we reported about the Optilator, a fiber optic transmitter and receiver combination that effectively blocked transients using a few feet of fiber optic cable. It was developed by Runnels Electronics in Florida, lightning and transient capital of the world, and you also read about it in the Dec. 22, 1999, issue of RW.

Several remote control makers and broadcast suppliers offer the Optilator, or you can contact Stormin Protection Products in Florida at (888) 471-1038.

. . .

Ham operators are familiar with Automatic Position Reporting Systems. Using a GPS receiver mounted in a vehicle, the vehicle's location and coordinates are broadcast to local computer terminals via packet radio.

The "CGC Communicator" reports that a Canadian ham recently used APRS to track down his stolen van! Apparently some teens used the vehicle to haul stolen items from a number of robberies. When the ham noticed his vehicle missing, he used his computer to track the location.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police were contacted, and made the arrest, then got a demonstration of APRS and the power of ham radio.

. . .

Planning a new transmitter facility? When Gary Morgan, chief at WSOC-FM in Charlotte, N.C., planned his new site, he included a 220VAC outlet.

The socket permits the quick installation of a low-power transmitter for emergency operation. These l kW self-contained exciter/transmitter combinations are frequency agile, and can be shuttled to whichever station has the need. Preinstall the proper AC socket to assure quick installation if the transmitter is ever needed.

Submissions for this column are encouraged, and qualify for SBE recertification credit. Fax your submission to (703) 323-8044, or e-mail to jbisset@harris.com


The High Cost of Compressed Air

A discussion developed at one of my NAB transmitter workshops about cleaning these specialized devices. A participant complained about the high cost of cans of pressurized air for "dusting" transmitters, computers and other gear. A similar discussion showed up on Dave Biondi's radio-tech@broadcast.net listserv with some interesting comments.

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