It’s new equipment season again! Radio World’s “Summer of Products” feature is all about new gear that has come onto the market in recent months, especially during spring convention season. Over several issues we have been featuring equipment that caught our eye.
INOVONICS RELEASES 223 PROCESSOR
Inovonics says that its new 223 Multimode Audio Processor is a quick, menu-driven, application-specific processor for NRSC, European or shortwave AM broadcast; monaural U.S. or European FM; Traveler’s Information Service; and analog SCA applications.
Features include gated and windowed “gain-riding” AGC, three-band compression with adjustable EQ, and a “lookahead” final limiter coupled with overshoot-controlled multiple cutoff output filtering to suit a variety of uses.
The 223 is an alternative to the Inovonics 222 AM NRSC compliance processor that has been in production since 1987.
The 223 is suitable for broadcast services including asymmetrical NRSC-compliant AM processing with 10 kHz, 9 kHz, 7 kHz and 5 kHz brickwall cutoffs; processing for TIS roadside information transmissions, stressing optimum-but-natural speech intelligibility; comprehensive monaural-FM processing for low-power and temporary installations; or an analog-SCA processing mode with smooth, peak-free response for spoken-word and background music services.
The company highlights its intuitive menu-driven user interface. All modes employ protection-limited pre-emphasis and bandwidth constraint specific to the service selected. The triband compressor section has selectable turnover frequencies, and its “smooth vs. loud” adjustment gives clear-cut control over program density.
The compact 1/3-rack-size unit integrates with other Inovonics INOmini products, which include RDS encoders and decoders, AM/FM/HD Radio confidence monitors with IP control and streaming audio, and other economic problem-solvers for broadcasters.
WHEATSTONE DEPLOYS LXE CONSOLE
Wheatstone’s new LXE is aimed at radio stations deep into IP networking.
The control surface is completely configurable, with programmable switches, rotary controls, buttons, fader groups that can be operated across a network from different consoles.
It is native to the WheatNet-IP network along with other AES67-compatible networks.
Wheatstone Systems Engineer Kelly Parker said the product is a response to broadcasters who wanted a more adaptable console surface. “By eliminating the usual hard-coded buttons and encoders and instead scripting out those capabilities much like we’ve done with our audio network, we can give them that.”
Individual channels include DSP, EQ and metering. The control surface features multiple OLED touchscreens and up to 32 motorized faders. Wheatstone says its GUI has prebuilt screens for metering, clocks, timers, dynamics, EQ, assigns, and more. All are touchscreen-accessible with gestures similar to those used on smartphones and other devices. Like the surface, the GUI is customizable. Using Wheatstone’s ScreenBuilder-LXE software, users drag and drop objects and define their functions via a wizard interface.
I/O includes analog, S/PDIF, AES/EBU, MADI, AoIP, SDI and AES67. The LXE is available as a countertop, sunk or split frame.
LAWO RELEASES VSM 16.1
German-based broadcast and audio system provider Lawo announced that version 16.1 of its VSM Release IP-based broadcast control system is available. The VSM Release 16.1 comes with new features and updates to VSM modules.
One of the updates is for Gadget Server 5, which now offers support for the Dante digital audio protocol. It has also added support for the Master Card status swap for Lawo DMS.
VSM modules vsmStudio and vsmPanel have also received updates. With the vsmStudio, which serves as the main configuration and administration tool for VSM Release 16.1, users can now double-click on GPIOs to navigate through the GPIO configuration. It also features a new user assignable button, allowing a user to change a button’s attachment, allowing panels to be configured during running time. The vsmPanel is a hardware panel that now supports HTML5 in the web browser page.
Lawo recommends that the system run on the Windows Server 2012 operating system.
OMT INTRODUCES PIXPLUS VERSION OF IMEDIATOUCH
Broadcast-assist software developer OMT is out with a new version of iMediaTouch aimed at smaller broadcasters of all types: LPFMs, small stations, educators, Internet, etc.
Called iMediaTouch PixPlus, the program offers many of the basic features of the company’s iMediaTouch Enterprise but without as many bells and whistles. It can be deployed on a single PC.
OMT says it includes core playback automation, device control and current day schedule management, as well as a “cart wall” for on-demand playback of beds, sound effect, IDs and any audio item from the library.
It adds that PixPlus has an SQL-based content management system along with advanced search capabilities and drag-and-drop functionality, audio ingest and editing, voice recording and other features.
According to OMT, PixPlus has extensive IP and web functionality including remote access, playlist and sales functionality and operation.
GATESAIR FLEXES FLEXIVA TRANSMITTER LINE
GatesAir is adding to its Flexiva line of solid-state FM transmitters in powers from 10 W up to 1 kW. It calls the boxes budget-friendly with a design that “boasts extensive capabilities, and replaces multiple separate boxes.”
With a compact 2 RU form-factor, the LX offer a multiband digital audio processor with composite clipping and a dynamic RDS generator; digital modulator; digital MPX/composite input over AES192; hot-swappable power supplies; direct-to-carrier digital modulator; and remote control via IP.
GatesAir says applications will include translators, low-power FM, gap-filling and lower-power broadcasters.
Chief Product Officer Rich Redmond said, “The Flexiva LX proves that providing a major-market sound for translators, low-power FMs and small-market stations does not have to be expensive.”
P-CUBE OFFERS NEW BANDPASS FILTERS
Maine’s P-Cube is offering a new FM bandpass filter aimed at the low-power FM market.
The company describes its new unit as a compact, cost-effective, bandpass filter that available in three- and four-section models.
The four-section model has “the added benefit of non-adjacent coupling for better rejections on either side of the pass band.”
The company has higher-power models as well as mask filters, directional couplers, coaxial adaptors, combiners and other assorted RF transmission support gear.
ENCO DEMOS MOBILE JOURNALISM TOOL
At spring’s NAB Show, ENCO demonstrated its iDAD app as a mobile journalism tool, allowing journalists to record and then stream audio from their iOS or Android device to the ENCO DAD automation systems for playout.
“The unifying element is making sure that these tools are accessible for our customers in the cloud, from any connected location outside of the studio,” said General Manager Ken Frommert in an announcement.
ENCO says it is laying the groundwork to expand further in mobile and browser-based radio production applications.
To start off, it will be rebranding its current tools, which include remote voice tracking (shown) for off-site audio production, remote content manipulation and remote control, by bringing them all together under the enCloud suite family name.
ERI INTRODUCES TWO FM COMBINERS
RF transmission support equipment manufacturer Electronics Research Inc. has produced a pair of combiners.
The Model FI136 is a low-power Tee combiner capable of combining two FM channels up to 1 kilowatt each, 2 kW combined. It is aimed at FM translators sharing an antenna. Frequency separation must be at least 1.6 MHz. The filter set is constructed of lightweight aluminum with copper resonators. Nonadjacent coupling increases rejection of transmitter out of band emissions. The combiner is temperature-compensated and includes a single port directional coupler at the combined output and directional couplers for the combiner inputs are optionally available.
The Model FI836 (shown) is also a two-channel model but its power rating is significantly higher at 15 kW per input or double that with a forced-air-cooling option. Spacing for the FI836 is a minimum of 1.8 MHz between channels though closer frequencies can be handled as a special order. The company says that the bandpass filters are integrated into a single compact floor-mounted cabinet that requires little or no on-site combiner assembly.
AUDEMAT DELIVERS CONTROL
WorldCast Systems’ Audemat signal monitoring and remote control line has developed a new remote box to replace the Relio line.
Called Audemat Control, it is an IP-based system with a 1 RU rackmount box as base. “It provides 64 digital inputs, 64 digital outputs and 24 analog inputs, four serial ports, two Ethernet ports, four USB ports, one audio output, one audio input and one modem. The unit offers I/O termination panels with simple screw terminal connectors to enable connection to real-world signals,” the company says.
The modem is removable, as is the onboard solid-state drive for improved maintenance and repair. The modem offers DTMF tone-compatibility for legacy uses.
Like previous Audemat products, it is compatible with the company’s ScriptEasy programming tool. It also has MasterView, a web-based app for customizing a GUI.
BELAR EMPHASIZES AFFORDABLE MONITORING
Belar is thinking affordable these days with the introduction of low-cost versions of its FMHD-1 and FMCS-1 monitors.
The FMHD-1 Lite and FMCS-1 Lite (shown) are said to be 40 percent lower in price and half-the size (height-wise).
Though the feature set is simpler, the company says, these models include popular features such as “all pertinent meters, alarms and enhanced monitoring features … including Belar’s Automatic Delay Correction software for managing HD Diversity Delay.”
Belar says that both units are aimed at IP remote operation.
CEO Mark Grant said, “Almost every significant RF component today is accessible from the studio, an office or even from home. … Engineering visits to RF plants happen less frequently, and there is little point in driving out to sites daily or weekly to adjust your processor, mod monitor and transmitter.” He said the new monitors give engineers a less expensive option without sacrificing performance.
DAVICOM COUNTS THE STRIKES
Last year Davicom brought out its DVLD-1 Lightning Detector. Expanding its offering in that market, the manufacturer now has released the DVLC-1 Lightning Counter.
The DVLC-1 is designed to be mounted on a tower leg and count direct lightning strikes upon the tower.
A 30-meter fiber-optic cable will feed alert information back to any installed Davicom remote control unit. It is strike-resistant and will not provide an electrical path for the lightning.
DEVA DEBUTS DB6400
DEVA Broadcast’s new DB6400 is a four-band processor that the company touts for its ultralow latency.
The processing section includes dual-stage wideband AGC with “intelligent gating,” a multiband adjustable range equalizer, multiband peak limiter and advanced distortion-controlled final stage.
There are onboard factory presets and user-customizable presets. The sample rate can be controlled externally by SNTP for automatic synchronization.
The DSP-based stereo encoder guarantees precision of the MPX signal with peak control and two independently configurable composite MPX outputs. A built-in RDS/RBDS encoder is part of the package.
Other features include a built-in IP audio player, which supports MP3 and PCM audio formats in the event of signal loss. Upon silence detection an email notification is immediately sent, allowing for an instant response on the part of the technical support team. Silence parameters are customizable.
The DB6400 can be operated via the front panel or remotely via TCP/IP and by using its web interface through iOS, Android or any other mobile device or a PC. There are security settings to keep unauthorized personnel from changing settings. A bypass and test tone mode is available.
Connections include AES/EBU, S/PDIF and optical digital audio inputs along with a USB interface for local connectivity.
HENRY BRINGS POWER TO ITS PODS
Henry Engineering’s new Power Pod is a multisystem power supply and audio input unit for use with any of Henry’s various “pod” products. It will provide power to the popular Talent Pod and Sports Pod commentator units, as well as the Guest Pod and MiniPod headphone listening stations.
Because these products use identical Cat-5 linking protocol, they can be “mixed and matched” to create a remote broadcasting or in-studio commentator system. A single Power Pod can provide power and audio input facilities to the entire system via the Cat-5 link, eliminating the need for multiple power sources, DAs and complicated wiring.
Each Power Pod can provide power for up to 12 MiniPods, six Talent Pods, five Sports Pods or 10 Guest Pods. In addition, the Power Pod’s audio input jacks can be used to feed audio to the system. With Power Pod, it is now possible to use Guest Pods for headphone monitoring without a MultiPhones Master unit. The Power Pod also facilitates use of the talkback feature on Sports Pods commentator units.
WAVES ROLLS OUT BROADCAST BUNDLE
Processing software developer Waves is bundling a number of its plug-ins that it feels will be of service to radio and TV broadcasters, packaged as the Waves Broadcast and Surround Suite. These are for radio operations that employ a major and/or multiplatform production effort.
The 18 selected plug-ins include noise reducers, loudness metering, surround processing and mixing.
Specifically included are Waves 360 Surround Tools, DTS Neural Surround plug-ins, WNS Noise Suppressor, NS1 Noise Suppressor, WLM Plus Loudness Meter, Dorrough Stereo and Dorrough Surround plug-ins.
The plug-ins are Mac and Windows-compatible and should work with AAX, AU, RTAS, VST3 systems — Pro Tools, Nuendo, Cubase, Pyramix, Audition, Premiere, Logic, Digital Performer and Reaper. Price: $2,499
LARSON BRINGS THE LIGHT
For the engineer on the go, here’s a handy illumination solution that could be helpful in almost any remote situation, including vehicles and at the transmitter site for emergency situations.
The Larson Electronics’ IL-LED-18-M generates 1,400 lumens. It has a magnetic mounting base and is rated at 100 pounds. Its stainless steel bracket allows it to be moved while attached.
The unit is configured to operate on 12 VDC and is equipped with an optional 16-foot coil cord with a cigarette plug, a 16-foot straight cord with a cigarette plug, a 21-foot cord with battery clamps, or a 21-foot cord with ring terminals.
Each light has six LEDs and creates a 60-degree flood beam while using 18 watts. Expected lifetime is 30,000 hours.
Larson states, “This LED light is IP67 waterproof, sealed against intrusion by dust and dirt and ruggedly constructed to withstand demanding environments, conditions, and applications. These units can withstand rapid temperature changes of –40 degrees Celsius to 85 degrees Celsius and are recommended for use in high humidity climates, very cold areas and rough saltwater conditions.”
RFE SHOWS DS 6000
Italian firm RFE has been showing off its DS 6000 compact 6 kW FM transmitter.
With a power efficiency of greater than 70 percent, the unit offers a signal noise ratio of under –80 dB and stereo performance of 60 dB.
Other features of the DS 6000, which weighs less than 55 pounds and promises low distortion, include AoIP and RDS operation as well as SNMP v2 and GSM remote control, the company says. In addition, the DS 6000 offers a removable, hot-swappable power supply, sixth-generation LDMOS VSWR and a LCD color display with touchscreen panel.