Okay, so you have all this analog gear that you removed from service because you installed AoIP equipment. Now, what to do with all this stuff until you can (A) get rid of it or (B) repurpose it somewhere else?
Omaha’s Spirit Catholic Radio Director of Engineering Mark Voris built an under-counter pull-out rack where the equipment can just sit in storage, or actually be used. Mark writes that his rack sure beats piling the equipment in a corner, on a shelf or in an equipment rack where it takes up space.
Mark has used L brackets to hang an individual piece of equipment when a rack wasn’t an option. If you are handy with a welder, you can manufacture one of your own. The drawer glides are from an old server rack Mark salvaged. These are made to handle a lot of weight. Mark used a couple of pieces of square stock for the rails.
This could also be an idea for rack-mounted studio equipment. Gear racked up in the studio — especially under the tabletop consoles — is prone to being bumped. Mount a drawer-type rack system like this to keep vulnerable controls up and out of the way as well.
Fig. 1 shows the under counter rack assembly that Mark constructed. Fig. 2 shows the rack drawer pushed back under the counter. Fig. 3 shows Mark’s L-bracket mount for single pieces of equipment.
Mike McClain writes that in a past assignment he used a snowmobile to service remote sites. Every year, he was required to train in snow machine safety and operation training.
They told the story of a tech who left the keys in the ignition of the snowmobile while he was inside the transmitter shack. Well, ravens are amazingly smart birds and they are attracted to shiny objects like keys. A raven stole the keys from the ignition, and when the tech came back to the machine, the keys were gone.
The moral, which applies to building and fence locks, too: Always take the keys with you; and for the snowmobile, carry a spare. Keep a spare set in the transmitter building as well.
Another story relates to maintenance crews working a land-use agency of the federal government. They would put a spare ignition key behind the lens of a parking light on the truck. If they lost the keys while working, they could use a rock or a stick to break the lens and get the key. Maybe parking light lens assemblies are too expensive these days, but a saving spare key in a good hiding place on the truck is still common at that agency.
Mike wraps up with another survival kit tip: A candle and an empty tin can provide a surprising amount of light and heat if you happen to get stuck in your vehicle. A magnesium fire starter and some waterproof matches are also in his “blizzard bag” for the winter months.
Gary Wachter is director of engineering for the Service Broadcasting Group in Dallas. Gary shares an additional heavy-duty rack shelf mounting solution.
Navepoint makes a large selection of four-point rack shelves. They have the usual rack rail mount in front, and adjustable slide rails on back to attach to various rack depths. This makes a solid mount for heavy and sensitive equipment. Slots allow for air circulation. The best part? They are $32 each. Gary used these throughout his new facility in Arlington, Texas.
You can find more information at www.navepoint.com. Front and rear pictures are seen in Figs. 4 and 5.
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Author John Bisset has spent 49 years in the broadcasting industry and is still learning. He handles western U.S. radio sales for the Telos Alliance. He is SBE certified and is a past recipient of the SBE’s Educator of the Year Award.