While Arbitron’s Portable People Meter encoders are studio-grade gear designed with heat tolerances similar to other pieces of broadcasting equipment, the company says that in cases of extreme heat, the unit may overheat and shut down.
In a bulletin now on its Web site, the audience research firm guides engineers in how to prevent such an “Over Temp” warning.
And, of course, if the unit shuts down, it stops encoding. How would you know? First, an alarm would sound within three minutes of a break in the encoding process. At that point, you should immediately activate the back-up encoder, Arbitron advises, and then start to research the problem with the first unit and call your station’s Arbitron engineer.
“Encoders installed in temperature-controlled environments are unlikely to overheat,” notes the company in its bulletin [PDF]. The company also recommends making sure there’s enough ventilation above and below the unit in the rack.
Arbitron says it has developed several next-gen encoder prototypes, and some of those include internal ventilating mechanisms designed to increase the unit’s heat tolerance. The prototypes are in the late stages of development, according to the company.