What to do when you need a mount for your antennas, have a limited budget and don’t need hundreds of feet in height?
Fig. 1: A parking lot light pole is mounted behind the station.Fig. 2: STL, two-way, FM monitor and EAS antennas are mounted to the pole. Well, if you are Nebraska contract engineer Tom Russell, you consider a parking lot light pole.
When KFMT(FM) moved into a new office/studio complex recently, Tom noticed the landlord was removing and realigning some of the parking lot light poles. One was on the ground and about to be scrapped. Needing about 60 feet of height, Tom cut a deal with the landlord and had the pole mounted behind the station, as seen in Fig. 1. Fig. 2 shows the mounting of the station’s STL, EAS and two-way antennas.
An additional feature of the light pole is that it is hollow, so the antenna coax runs down the inside of the pole, protected from the elements.
Broadcast engineer Allen “Alleo” Branch services stations in Georgia and Florida. After reading our tip about the $300 Milwaukee Portable Inspection Camera (Oct. 21 issue), Allen states that Harbor Freight has a similar hand-held inspection camera for only $89.99. It’s the Cen-Tech Inspection Camera, item 61839, and provides a 2.4-inch screen and flex camera umbilical cable.
For $179.99, there is Cen-Tech’s High Resolution Digital Inspection Camera With Recorder (search www.harborfreight.com for item 61838), which features a 3.5-inch LCD screen with a recording and USB cable to export the video.
The holidays are right around the corner. Clip this tip to your wish list! Having a camera on a flexible umbilical can be enormously effective when you are troubleshooting in tight spaces.
Thanks, Allen, for letting readers know about the great deals.
Fig. 3: When organizing file folders, take a right-cut folder.
Fig. 4: … and flip it inside out to get a left-tab folder. I had the privilege to speak to about 20 broadcast engineers at last month’s Alaska Broadcasters Convention. (Yes, there are that many engineers in Alaska!)
Justin Ovsak is the assistant engineer to Paul Jewusiak at the Anchorage Media Group/Alpha Media stations in Anchorage. Justin handles a lot of paperwork, and while organizing files at the station, he came upon a useful idea that seems very simple yet may have eluded you, too, until now.
Justin only had a stack of right-cut file folders, seen in Fig. 3, but he didn’t want the folders all aligned to the right; alternating left-to-right would make searching through files easier. Justin realized that if he flipped half of the folders inside out, he would have an equal number of left- and right-tab folders, making for a much neater filing system. Easy? Yes. Helpful? Yes!
Justin is an Alaska native who graduated from the Art Institute in Seattle as an audio engineer. After spending some time at the Anchorage Museum as an AV/interactive designer, Justin joined Anchorage Media.
Another neighbor to the north, Canada-based Siborg Systems, is selling a neat tool that works in conjunction with your multimeter.
The LED Test Tweezers is a set of sharp, pointed tweezers designed for testing LEDs and useful for testing and troubleshooting microelectronics.
The sharp gold-plated phosphor bronze tweezers are able to grasp small components, either mounted or loose, and will illuminate when a component is in contact. LED Test Tweezers are able to test fuses, switches and shorts in a circuit; they can also be used as the probes for a multimeter using the special connector cable that is included.
The kit sells for $70, and you can find out more at www.smarttweezers.ca.
Now that TFT has shuttered its doors, how will TFT users get service support? And how will TFT EAS users make sure their gear is in compliance with evolving alerting rules?
Longtime company employee Darryl Parker is trying to help, even though he is no longer affiliated with the business.
“We have contact with former TFT engineers and technicians who are interested in providing support for TFT product lines,” Darryl told Radio World. “Employees who were laid off are seeking other full-time employment but can offer some time on weekends and off-hours to repair TFT products.”
The problem isn’t just EAS equipment, but modulation monitors and STL equipment, too.
You can contact Darryl via firstname.lastname@example.org or at (408) 219-5579.
We’ll keep you posted, but in the meantime, check out the service box ads in the back of this issue of Radio World for third-party support companies who may be willing to assist.
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Author John Bisset has spent 46 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 Year Award.