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Wireless Digital Remotes From Last Century

KFYI Phoenix goes remote by getting creative

I just saw your latest issue of Radio World Engineering Extra with the cover story “New Twist on IP Remote Broadcasts” (June 11, 2014). This reminded me of a digital remote system we had in place at KFYI Phoenix some two decades ago.

A Comrex DXR.1 rackmount G.722 codec was interfaced to a surplus Proxim 910 MHz ISM band radio (Fig. 1). This was installed into a Ford Van with Will-Burt telescoping mast (Fig. 2). This provided a solid, clean, noise-free remote link.

In an unusual move, we mounted a Scala Paraflector (normally used for 950 MHz STL links) on the vehicle’s mast (Figs. 3 and 4, stowed and in use). This was quite unusual looking, but worked great! One definitely had no trouble finding it among the forest of TV truck masts (Figs. 5 and 6, Bill Clinton speech at Arizona State University, October 1996).

There was also a 920 MHz yagi and rotor mounted on the roof (Fig. 7). This could be used for a link back to the studio or getting a wireless feed from a nearby location and relaying it back to the studio with the big mast.

The large reflector also had a 450 MHz feed for the Marti transmitter, which could be changed out in minutes. With this combination, there was not a location in the Phoenix Valley that we could not get a remote shot back from.

Those were definitely the creative problem solving days! Today our station’s mobile vehicles no longer need a mast, just a tiny 4G/LTE antenna on the SUV’s roof fed by the wireless modem and Comrex Access.

Gary Wachter
Director of Engineering

Service Broadcasting Group
Grand Prairie, Texas

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