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Shine a Little LED Light on the Subject

Or choose color to set the mood in the studio

Illuminating the inside of equipment racks has been simplified with LE (Lighting Ever) LED light strips, available from big box stores like Lowes and Home Depot.

Fig. 1: A roll of Lighting Ever LED Light Strips helps illuminate equipment racks.

Fig. 2: Ensure that the strips stay adhered to the rack by using 3M-brand VHB double-sided tape.

Broadcast technician Phillip Smith at EMF’s K-Love/Air1 stations showed me this innovative way to illuminate a rack. The LED strip lights, seen in Fig. 1, can be cut and linked so the whole inside perimeter of the rack can be illuminated. Chief Engineer Jeremy Preece says one length of LE Light Strips measures 5 meters and contains 300 LEDs.

Although the back of the strip lights has an adhesive, Phillip took a belt-and-suspenders approach to keeping them in place by affixing them to the racks using 3M VHB double-sided tape. A roll is seen in Fig. 2.

So how well do the LED lights illuminate? See Fig. 3 and 4. Illumination for only 24 W at 12 VDC (a power adaptor is provided with the LED strip).


The lighting described above comes not only in white light but also in colors your choice of red, blue or green.

Fig. 5: Add pizazz to your studio with the colored light strips.

Over at CBS Radio’s “New Country 105.1” KNCI(FM) in Sacramento, Calif., Director of Engineering Jason Ornellas and Chief Engineer Joe Foft used the blue LED strip lights to add some mood to the KNCI studio, affixing strips under the lips of the pedestals in the control room. Their handiwork is seen in Fig. 5. Little touches like this spiff up the studio at minimal cost.

Send us your own tips for making studios look classy on a budget.


Stu Wright hosted mornings at South Carolina’s WORG until the station was sold March 31.

He notes that in 1967 — 50 years ago — the Beatles released the iconic Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album. There was never a single from the album, at least in the U.S., although a few songs, including “A Day In The Life” and “When I’m 64” were still played on AM top 40 radio. Stu remembers himself and his teenage friends laughing at the prospect, of being, well, 64. Fast forward to 2017 and guess what? Their tune has changed.

As a 47-year radio veteran and now an independent voice talent, Stu jotted down a few things he learned in nearly five decades of radio.

● You’ve been in the biz a long time if you know what “cue burn” is.
● Especially in broadcast engineering, nothing is ever simple or cheap.
● A corollary: maintenance is cheaper than repair.
● When the radio station is sold and new owners say, “There will be no changes,” there will be changes.
● Contract engineers: When traveling a long distance by car, figure your time on 50 miles an hour.
● Another travel tip: Always have enough cash (yes, cash) to get home; it can pay for gas and food. Stash a $20 bill (or more) in your wallet for emergencies.
● You cannot borrow yourself out of debt.
● When interviewing for a job, never be tardy. Ten minutes early is better than 5 minutes late.

What nuggets of hard-earned broadcast wisdom can you add?


Fig. 6: A short piece of RG6, terminated with alligator clips, helps measure LNB voltage quickly.

Fig. 7 (inset): A friction-fit F-connector speeds LNB voltage measurement.

Bible Broadcasting Network’s Steve Tuzeneu shares a test jig that makes testing LNB voltage out of a satellite receiver easier. Fig. 6 shows a short piece of RG6 hooked up to two alligator clips on one end, and with a slide-on F connector as pictured in Fig. 7.

The slide-on connector makes hooking this up very fast. The alligator clips attached to a voltmeter will help the engineer determine if a satellite receiver is putting out the proper voltage to power the LNB.

Workbench — Radio World’s iconic and most popular column — relies on your good, practical ideas and those of your colleagues. Send in tips big or small; help your fellow engineers and qualify for SBE recertification credit. Email [email protected]. You can even (gasp) fax them to (603) 472-4944. And discover a trove of past tips by clicking on the Columns & Views tab at, then choosing Workbench.

John has spent almost five decades in the broadcasting industry and yet he 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 Year Award.