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Jeff Rosenberg is president and chief engineer with Modulation Magic.
SOUTHBOROUGH, Mass. —Modulation Magic is a systems integrator based in Southborough, Mass. We install a large number of turnkey systems incorporating studios and transmitter sites for our broadcast clients. Increasingly in recent months, we have been installing Audemat’s Relio facility management system to enable full supervision and monitoring of the complete installation.
As well as installing Relio as part of new transmitter rollouts, we often are called in to replace existing remote control systems. We have evaluated a number of solutions from a range of established suppliers and find that the Audemat Relio is the best choice. It provides extensive monitoring capabilities; it is versatile and easy for broadcast engineers and operators of all abilities to use.
Hardware for the IP-based Relio is a rack-mount unit that offers a large number of inputs and outputs, making it suitable for all sizes of current installations and flexible should the need to add new equipment arise.
In addition to the 64 status inputs, 24 metering inputs and 64 command outputs, there are serial ports, USB ports and two 100 Mbps network ports. Thanks to the SCSI (48- and 64-pin) connectors, we can offer high-density pin-outs from the connection panels within only 1 RU of rack space.
The killer application of Relio is the Scripteasy software suite, a powerful graphical application that has simplified the configuration and control of the most complex site we have installed. This puts the Relio head and shoulders above the competition.
There are two elements to Scripteasy software: the Designer module, which enables users to program conditions and outcomes using drag-and-drop functionality; and the customizable Masterview Module, a dashboard view of everything that is being monitored at the remote site.
With the Script Designer, we use common logic based around status, metering inputs and mathematical expressions to create detailed scripts that produce a desired output such as an alarm or command. In this way, we can deliver a comprehensive service to our customers by means of preconfigured scripts that help protect the site from issues that could cause an off-air situation.
We program the system to prevent outages in circumstances such as switching from primary to backup transmitters and prescribe the steps to be taken (such as switching STL and audio paths) if one of our established error conditions are met.
The Masterview application is customized and presented to our client as a tailored, at-a-glance view of their site where alarms and potential issues are identified and dealt with. Alarms and status can be sent to the relevant engineer via e-mail, SMS, SNMP traps or even a voice message to ensure that immediate action can be taken if necessary.
We have found that the Relio system is easy and quick to install. Our customers are happy that little space is required for the system; the optional breakout boards can be mounted right in the transmitter if desired.
As Relio is IP-based, it can communicate with an extensive range of product types. For legacy equipment that relies on serial or other protocols, a prewritten API can be supplied (Scripteasy Easylink) to allow connection to the equipment and access to a huge number of parameters that cannot be accessed by traditional I/O connections.
Audemat products are regularly an integral part of our designs and Relio often is installed alongside the Goldeneagle range of signal monitoring units and, for larger installations, the Broadcast Manager, which aggregates the alarms and status of an extensive network into a centralized management system that can be monitored from a single seat.
We have many satisfied customers running the system. I believe this is largely due to its flexibility and to the power of the Scripteasy software. As a “smart” approach to facility management, the Relio with Scripteasy does not just process contact closures, it performs processes; and you can program it to think just like an engineer.
For information, contact Fabricio Sanabria at Audemat/WorldCast Systems in Florida at (305) 249-3110 or visit www.audemat.com.