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Stay Cool With Hot New Gear

Here's the next in our special Summer of Products series!

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 ssues we feature equipment that caught our eye. Send ideas to [email protected] with “Summer of Products” in the subject line.


In what could be a look at things to come, imaging and production library services provider Benztown and radio automation developer ENCO Systems are working together to make Benztown’s content immediately accessible through the GUI of ENCO’s DAD automation platform.

According to their announcement, “The new system enables seamless, intuitive and quick radio production and imaging that provides radio producers and air talent with immediate access to Benztown’s production library content, including automated customized content updates pushed out to stations per their specifications in real time.” The new automation system goes a step further by offering direct integration of content to production-oriented systems, with no extra steps involved in downloading content toolsets from other websites and apps.

Benztown President Dave Denes said, “This is the first time that production libraries have ever been integrated into an automation system for radio production.” ENCO General Manager Ken Frommert said, “The integration of Benztown’s production and imaging libraries with DAD radio automation represents an evolution of the flexibility and power built into our products.”



Manufacturer GatesAir has added two members to its Intraplex IP Link line.

The Intraplex Link MPX, pictured, is designed for high-quality digital AES192 FM composite signal STL use. The company says, “It is especially ideal for broadcasters that lack the network bandwidth to distribute a full AES192 digital FM composite signal, which typically requires 5 MBps of bandwidth, from studio to transmitter; and/or lack AES192 signal receiving capability in their legacy exciters. It is also highly configurable, allowing broadcasters to adjust bit rates for optimal bandwidth usage across a wide-area network, using less than half of the bandwidth required for AES192.”

The Intraplex Link MPX eliminates the need to install stereo generators, audio processors and other auxiliary equipment at multiple receive locations. Stations can send audio and data, including RDS information, in one bandwidth-efficient stream to multiple transmitter and booster locations.

Onboard is GatesAir’s Intraplex SynchroCast simulcast technology and GPS for aiding timing recovery in multipoint distribution applications. It can team with the Intraplex HD Link microwave STL to handle composite signals in a 950 MHz link.

GatesAir Chief Product Officer Rich Redmond called it an IP transport solution that simplifies program distribution by keeping the audio processing at the studio, with optimal bitrate usage to suit varying network limitations.

GatesAir also introduced the Intraplex IP Link 100P, a single-channel, full-duplex codec. It adds advanced signal monitoring capabilities and integration with SynchroCast systems that are absent from base IP Link codecs, providing another audio contribution and distribution option for simulcasting across transmitter networks.



AETA Audio Systems is expanding its ScoopFone family with a U.S. version of the range of professional mobile phones for broadcasters. In addition to HD Voice calls at 7 kHz audio bandwidth, the ScoopFone US allows VoIP calls; the user can transmit through HD Voice, 3G/3G+, as well as wired IP connections in one box. Coding algorithms available for IP are Opus, G.722 and G.711.

With HD Voice, the ScoopFone U.S. uses a dial-up connection over the 3G mobile network providing Quality of Service. HD Voice delivers higher voice transmission quality by extending the frequency of range of traditional or narrowband voice calls (300 Hz to 3.4 kHz) out to wideband audio ranges (50 Hz to 7 kHz). The 7 kHz wideband quality allows fuller signature character of the speaker’s voice. Unlike mobile data links, HD Voice delivers a priority connection with secure quality once the call is established — all, the company says, with lower cost and latency.

In IP the encoding mode is automatically selected depending upon the device being called, with a priority for Opus. A network-quality meter guides the user for adjusting the bitrate if needed. To simplify IP connections, an SIP account is available and active.

Like the ScoopFone HD, the ScoopFone US works with any microphone and offers mixing between one microphone/line and a second line input, together with an interface that journalists can operate easily under pressure. The unit is powered by rechargeable NiMH battery with an integrated charger or standard AA batteries.



WorldCast Systems says that its Ecreso FM 10 kW transmitter is based around a digital FM modulator that enables excellent audio purity and hosts a range of built-in features such as audio backup, RDS and stereo encoding and an FM limiter with MPX power control. It emphasizes the unit’s reliability, redundancy and overall efficiency.

The power amplifiers, power supplies and even the fan modules are hot-swappable and redundant. A passive six-way coupler, as well as built-in dummy loads, ensures that, should one of the six amplifiers suffer a fault, the transmitter can stay on-air indefinitely at 9 kW until the fault is rectified.

Efficient, self-monitoring power supplies and a new planar design contribute to an overall transmitter system efficiency of up to 76 percent, which the company says is the highest available in the FM broadcast market.

WorldCast Systems says a new architecture for the 10 kW system ensures ease of access, use and maintenance. The Ecreso FM 10 kW can be supplied with a warranty of up to 10 years.



ESE has launched the ES-410, a GPS-based frequency generator that generates a stable source of 10 MHz and 1 PPS using GPS satellites as a reference. The unit provides 10 MHz in both sine wave and square wave (5 V logic) form. Four sine wave and four square wave outputs are provided. The 1 PPS output is a 50 percent duty 5 V logic signal, with the positive-edge coinciding with the UTC seconds change.

An ESE TC90 timecode output is provided for driving remote time displays. A USB interface allows configuration of the time zone and other parameters, and outputs the time. Ships with an indoor/outdoor antenna and 16-foot cable.

If frequency distribution is needed, ESE offers the ES-210, a quad 1 x 6 1 MHz/5 MHz/10 MHz distribution amplifier. The unit provides four independent 1 x 6 frequency DAs in a single rackmount enclosure.



The Society of Broadcast Engineers has published the “SBE Broadcast Engineering Handbook.”

Co-produced with McGraw Hill Education, it is subtitled, “Hands-on Guide to Station Design and Maintenance.” For the radio and TV engineer, the book offers practical information on video, audio and broadcast transmission systems from expert writers.

Featuring “everything from basic principles and formulae to the latest technologies and engineering trends,” the book includes practical coverage of major broadcast technologies for radio, TV and related fields.

It contains sections on regulatory issues, RF transmission, DTV transport, information technology systems, production systems, facility issues, broadcast management, along with three reference annexes. Editor in Chief Jerry Whitaker, vice president of Standards Development for the Advanced Television Systems Committee, oversaw approximately 50 contributing authors. Price: $199.



Kintronic Laboratories offers 600 W and 1200 W FM combiners with two-, three- or four-input ports.

The company’s FM, STL, TV and telecom solutions also include isocouplers (translators), coaxial and waveguide isolation inductors, FM filters, patch panels, coaxial switches, controllers and indoor and outdoor temperature-controlled equipment racks.

For AM/medium-wave and shortwave products Kintronic Labs has RF components, directional antenna systems, dummy loads, antenna tuning units and control and monitoring systems.

Kintronic also has a new multiband, analog and digital broadcast software-defined receiver.

Kintronic Labs provides a number of services including AM/MW antenna, transmitter, tuning and ground system layout; nondirectional, directional and multiplexed antenna system design; and the collection of station data for FCC filings.



Codec maker Tieline is looking at codecs in a slightly different way with its ViA. The new product offers IP, ISDN and POTS I/O. The IP can be accessed via Ethernet, built-in Wi-Fi or USB cellular.

Tieline explains in a release: “ViA includes Tieline’s new proprietary Fuse-IP data aggregation technology, which lets you bond any available IP interface. Choose from two USB modems, two Ethernet connections or onboard Wi-Fi. For example, you can bond two USB modem data links from different telcos and let Fuse-IP technology automatically manage the data capability of each link.”

Tieline CEO Will McLean believes ViA will “fundamentally change the way engineers perform live remote.” He said ViA also is notable for its simplicity and usability when creating and monitoring live connections.

The battery-operable ViA is native IP but ISDN and POTS paths can be enabled with available modules that fit into open slots. These modules can also be used to create an IFB circuit.

ViA offers three XLR inputs, three headphone, an AES3 digital input and a stereo aux input. A three-channel mixer is onboard. An LED touchscreen facilitates local operation.

Aiding transmission is Tieline’s SmartStream Plus technology for redundant streaming. Signal quality features include Automated Jitter Buffer management, Forward Error Correction and advanced error concealment strategies.

Streaming formats include 24-bit, 96 kHz linear audio, Opus, Tieline Music or MusicPlus, LC-AAC and HE-AAC v.1 and v.2, AAC-LD, AAC-ELD, aptX Enhanced, MPEG Layer 2, G.711 (u-law and a-law) and G.722.

ViA can also be remotely operated via IP.



Brazilian broadcast equipment maker Biquad Broadcast will be a new name to many but it makes a wide range of audio broadcast gear. One example is its new DAP Uno processor.

The DAP Uno offers the processing characteristics and software features of the company’s DAP4 in a simplified, lower-cost model. It is designed for AM and FM stations, with 20 factory presets, “smart” AGC, five-band processing, a “smart” clipper, a digital stereo generator with greater than 80 dB of channel separation and a digital clipper.

In addition it has a USB port for interfacing with a computer. The digital MPX output is 24-bit/192 kHz. It is compatible with AES67, Ravenna, Dante and Livewire.



Pelican Products says it is working with TrekPak to create a better portable equipment case.

TrekPak is a specialist in sectional dividers. Pelican is making six of its medium and large equipment cases (1510, 1550, 1560, 1600, 1610P and 1650) available for optional TrekPak treatment.

A release explains: “The TrekPak system comes with pre-installed wall sections, divider panels, locking pins and a fool-proof cutting tool. … Case owners simply need to lay out their gear the way they wish for it to appear in the case, measure and cut the divider sections, and lock them in place with the provided U-pins. Each divider section is manufactured from a waterproof, closed-cell foam that is laminated to a rigid corrugated plastic panel. They are light, strong and almost impossible to tear or shred.”

The configurable system includes extra divider materials, and divider panels are available separately to switch up the layout any time.



Comrex has added a new product to its telephone system line. The VH2 is a two-line VoIP-based “hybrid” that the company says has been long requested by customers.

“With simple front-panel controls, VH2 enables users to manage telephone calls easily in excellent, studio-grade quality. Many broadcasters find VoIP trunks to be more cost-effective and readily available than traditional phone lines. VH2 also connects directly to several VoIP PBXs.”

The company’s Tom Hartnett explained on his blog that he puts hybrid in quotes “because it’s not doing the traditional phone line cancellation (not required in the VoIP world); but functionally it acts like a traditional studio telephone interface … Like a traditional hybrid you can bounce calls” between the VH2 and a companion VoIP phone, making outgoing or taking incoming calls on the handset and moving them to the hybrid with a button push.



Platinum Tools has some parts for engineers and IT managers who like to make their own cables, Cat-6A connectors.

Connector specifications are listed as: max cable OD: 8.5mm/0.335 inches; max conductor OD: 1.35mm/0.053 inches; and UL and ROHS compliance. The connectors are also compatible with Platinum Tools’ Tele-TitanXg and Tele-TitanXg 2.0 crimp tools.

Platinum Tools Product Manager John Phillips said, “Streaming media whether data, audio or video, is on a sharp rise and users are demanding more bandwidth. … That means bigger cable, such as Cat-6e, Cat-6A and Cat-7, and usually shielded. For maximum performance, connector and crimp tool choice is critical.” He said the Cat-6A/10Gig termination system exceeds those requirements.



Audio monitor maker Genelec has been showing an interesting new monitor — one that has an IP network interface built in.

The 8430A has an RJ45 Ethernet connector to go along with an XLR analog input. According to Genelec the monitor can handle AES67 and Ravenna audio.

The 8430A looks like a standard Genelec monitor. Its particulars are a 5-inch woofer and 3/4-inch tweeter with dual 50 W Class D amplifiers, one for each driver. Frequency range is said by Genelec to be 45 Hz–23 kHz.

It is also compatible with Genelec’s GLM speaker management system.



RF support equipment manufacturer Broadcast Devices Inc. announced the availability of an 8- or 16-channel passive A/B switcher.

This multipurpose device can cover many duties in a facility such as basic audio routing, emergency multi-pair backup switcher, 7/5.1 audio monitor selector, emergency studio switcher, emergency router bypass switcher, emergency digital console switchover and much else that can be dreamed up.

BDI notes, “Because the 8/16 switcher is passive in its switching function signals can be mixed in one switcher to include analog or digital audio and control signals.”

If more than 16 pairs are involved multiple units can be linked. It is shielded against RFI and its onboard power supply is designed for “harsh electrical environments,” while being flexible enough to handle foreign power systems.

The interfaces are Tascam 25-pin. XLR and BNC adapters are available.



Burk Technology has upgraded its SNMP remote site management software for its ARC Plus Touch and ARC Plus SL.

The company says, “Now with SNMP Plus, traditional and SNMP equipment can be seamlessly integrated over the same network.”

It explains that “SNMP channels behave like any other ARC Plus channel. SNMP data can be mapped to ARC Plus meter and status channels for monitoring and alarm generation.” ARC Plus command channels can initiate SNMP Set commands for control of connected SNMP equipment.

SNMP Plus enables creation of comprehensive automated functions on the ARC Plus that encompass all controlled equipment whether connected via parallel interface or SNMP.

It is available as an option on new ARC Plus Touches and ARC Plus SLs; it can be loaded into version 5 ARC Plus Touches and ARC Plus SLs in the field.



WinMedia is offering a voice-tracking module for its Mixing Module.

The WinMedia Voice-Track system is a multiple-voice tracking feature that can localize voice tracks for regional broadcasts. The company explains that with this module, broadcasters can prepare a single playlist and have on-air talent add their voice tracks to one of 32 available recording tracks.

Voice-Track is embedded in the WinMedia Mixing module and allows users to edit mixing points, control all voice-tracks simultaneously, and have talent record voice-tracks of the same length. With multi-zone capabilities, the on-air module triggers the right voice-track for each broadcasting zone from the playlist.



Arrakis Systems has a new trick — Simple IP, an IP networking protocol along with hardware to make use of the new digital audio network power.

Simple IP is AES67-compliant. Using the Dante standard, this device can send and receive audio to any other AES67 device — whether that is a console, switcher or other compliant piece of hardware.

Arrakis says that with Simple IP, users connect audio equipment to one of the Simple IP boxes (shown). These boxes have 8-in x 8-out mono connections; allowing users to connect up to eight audio channels in and out or 4-in and 4-0ut for stereo. Simple IP works with any of Arrakis’ ARC or MARC series consoles. Using RJ45 inputs and outputs connections can be made quickly. The same is true of other audio equipment.

Dante will work with any Ethernet switch, automatically auto-detecting the device on the network.

A free software Dante network controller app is available.