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. Here and in the next several issues we feature equipment that caught our eye. Send ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Summer of Products” in the subject line.
WHIRLWIND ANNOUNCES THS ANNOUNCER BOXES
The Whirlwind THS series of sports announcer boxes combine headphone amplification with various microphone control options in a metal desktop chassis. THS boxes are ergonomically designed to put control buttons within easy reach of an announcer even if the person is shuffling through stat sheets.
The THS 1 models of sports announcer boxes have single-button mic controls. The THS 1T is push-to-talk and the THS 1M is push-to-mute. The Whirlwind THS 2 has two mic control buttons, a latching mic on/off switch and a momentary cough switch.
The THS 3 and THS 4 are described as all-purpose, feature-filled sports announcer consoles. Both main and talkback microphone outputs are provided, with mic on/off, cough and talkback switches for control.
BW BROADCAST ADDS TO V2 TRANSMITTER LINE
BW Broadcast is now offering a 2,500 W member of its TX V2 FM transmitter line.
The TX2500 is available in 3RU with a slide-in power supply, BW Broadcast’s Gold Clamp technology, and built-in multiband audio processing.
The transmitter features a front-panel navigation system and help menu. The unit can be controlled and monitored remotely, including through a smartphone. Additional features include email alerts; silence detection; advanced alarms; analog, digital and composite inputs; and FSK ID keyers as standard.
HENRY OFFERS MORE WIDGETS
California-based Henry Engineering is doing what it does best: making nifty utility tools for broadcasters.
The latest are the AES DigiSwitch 3X1 switcher and Superelay II.
The AES DigiSwitch 3X1 is a switcher for AES digital audio signals. It can select up to three AES sources, one of which is selected to be sent to the output. Users can control the switcher via front-panel pushbuttons or remotely with any GPI contact closure. It uses passive relay switching to keep the AES stream bit-accurate with no added delay or latency.
An updated version of Henry’s Superelay, Superelay II is now compatible with LED “on the air” warning lights. It features a DC tally light output that provides up to 300 mA of current. The tally light can “sink” up to 1 amp of current for use with LED lights that require more than 300 mA. Both the AC and DC tally outputs can be used simultaneously. The Superelay II features a built-in flasher.
NAUTEL ADDS TO NX AM TX LINE
Transmitter manufacturer Nautel is adding two new models to its NX AM transmitter line.
The NX3 and NX15 (shown) are 3 kW and 15 kW units, respectively. Nautel says they are highly efficient in AC to RF factor, the NX3 rated at 82 percent and the NX15 at 84 percent.
The NX3 and NX15 are capable of providing RF spectrum analyzer and Smith Charts of the transmitter’s performance. MDCL is included for up to 30 percent additional power savings. And the transmitters can handle AM analog, HD Radio and DRM.
Both models are compatible with Nautel’s Advanced User Interface and its Nautel Phone Home service support system.
WHEATSTONE DELIVERS VOXPRO 6
Wheatstone is releasing its first whole number version of the VoxPro digital audio workstation since acquiring the company last year.
VoxPro 6 has new features focusing on editing including Gap-Buster for quickly eliminating long gaps in material such as interviews and phone calls. It can simultaneously record audio while editing or playing back audio.
It offers support for Hot Key and markers in multiple languages along with adding color-coding for the markers. The GUI also offers additional minimizing capabilities to “reduce on-screen clutter.” Not surprisingly, integration with WheatNet is enhanced.
VoxPro Lead Engineer Rick Bidlack said, “We’ve combined all the intuitive capability that VoxPro is known for with several new features, then we Wheaty-ized it to turn it into an even more powerful tool in the broadcast studio.”
AUDIOSCIENCE DEBUTS SOUND CARDS
Audio card specialist AudioScience has two new cards available, the ASI5810 and ASI5811.
Both are 192 kHz-capable half-height PCI Express cards.
The ASI5810 provides one stereo analog and digital input, one stereo analog and digital output, two record streams and four play streams. Audio formats include 8-, 16- and 32-bit PCM. The GPIO features consist of four opto-isolated inputs and two relay isolated outputs.
The ASI5811 adds a low-noise microphone preamp with a software adjustable gain.
Both analog and AES/EBU interfaces are standard on the ASI581x cards. AudioScience says that the analog interface is balanced and uses 24-bit oversampling converters to deliver more than 100 dB of dynamic range with THD+N better than 0.002 percent at sample rates from 32 kHz to 192 kHz. In addition, the AES/EBU input features a hardware-based sample rate converter with a range of 32 to 192 kHz.
The ASI5811’s balanced microphone input is designed to work with professional studio microphones requiring 48 V phantom power. Gain is adjustable from 20 dB to 60 dB. Processing effects for the ASI5811’s 32-bit floating point DSP include a compressor/limiter/expander, and a three-band parametric equalizer.
Each has SoundGuard technology to prevent damage from lightning strikes and voltage surges.
The cards are Windows 7-, 10- and Server-compatible, along with Linux-compatible. Both are compatible with AudioScience’s Multi-Rate Mixing technology for playback, recording and mixing. They will ship with XLR breakout cables.
The card is suitable for broadcast applications that do not require onboard audio compression, such as production. The microphone preamp allows you to create a low-cost recording studio for producing spots and promos.
NEW COMBINERS FROM BEXT
Transmitter and support equipment manufacturer Bext says that cross-coupling combiners are designed to maximize performance by allowing users to combine closely-spaced frequencies with excellent separation while minimizing insertion loss.
It says that in standard designed-combiners the traditional method used is to combine closely-spaced frequencies is by using a high number of RF filters, which has the undesired side effects of critical tuning, high insertion loss, bulky size and heavy weight due to the extensive number of RF filters necessary.
Bext says the cross-coupling combiner design in its new series of FM combiners accomplishes better performance by the use of an additional out-of-phase coupling which, when properly designed, creates a sharp cutoff without generating high insertion losses, or needing a more limited number of RF filters when compared to standard RF combiners. By using this design, Bext is able to offer combiners capable of putting two or more stations on the same antenna with good isolation among the transmitters, even when the RF spacing between them is as close as 400 kHz.
INOVONICS UPDATES 525 MOD MONITOR
The Inovonics 525 AM modulation monitor/receiver is a well-known member of many radio station equipment racks. Now the company is bringing the 525 into the digital network world by adding an IP network interface and creating a web application to take advantage of the new possibilities that IP networkability brings.
The 525N retains all of the 525’s features but it can now be operated remotely via computer, tablet or smartphone. The web app also provides greater depth of information than the small two-line onboard LCD display.
DAYSEQUERRA DEBUTS NEW TIMELOCKS
Processor maker DaySequerra is upgrading its series of TimeLock HD Radio diversity delay processors.
A release explains: “The original DaySequerra TimeLock algorithm, used in the M4 and M4.2 products, measures the time alignment of the MPS and HD1 streams with accuracy to one audio sample. The company’s new TimeLock algorithm maintains this precision with the added capability of working under the most adverse conditions, including situations where an FM station is operating in mono on the legacy analog side and in stereo on the HD Radio side.”
Series 2 of the M4 TimeLock extends delay capability to almost double that of the first series, reaching ±7 seconds. It has also beefed up SNMP capabilities for improved monitoring. The M4 TimeLock Series 2 and M4 TimeLock DDC Series 2 are compatible with Omnia, Orban and Wheatstone processors and the GatesAir HDE200 exporter and Nautel Exporter Plus.
President David Day said, “Proper synchronization is critical to ensure the best HD listener experience. Shifts in synchronization can occur at any time.”
NEW ANTENNAS RAISED BY DIELECTRIC
Dielectric has new products to please both low- and high-power broadcasters.
The DCR-U (shown) is aimed at the higher-power broadcasters while the DCP-K is for the lower range.
The company says, “The DCR-U is a broadband, circularly polarized ring antenna that minimizes tower footprint while doubling capacity. Its full bandwidth and high-power design characteristics — notably a pressurized tap point and 4-inch balun — support capacity and high-voltage requirements for multi-station operations.” It says the high-voltage protections are especially important for handling the voltage peaks that come with passing multiple analog FM and/or HD Radio stations through the same antenna.
The DCP-K is a broadband, circularly polarized panel antenna. It “reduces the number of cables required in the feed system by half. Instead of using the traditional hybrid feed system and dual-input panels, the DCP-K design incorporates a single input directly into the balun — thus reducing feed line count and connections, which equates to increased reliability.”
In addition, Dielectric says it will introduce an “innovative field-tunable, FM two-channel combiner that eliminates various traditional components from the design. This includes the absence of coaxial Tee junctions, as well as the associated coaxial line and elbows.”
Dielectric Senior Engineer Derek Small said, “Traditionally, a Tee junction, a pair of delay lines and filters are used to multiplex two channels. By removing the Tee and delay lines, we’ve reduced the combiner footprint for space-limited sites and improved efficiency.” He said the tunable common case design also protects a broadcaster’s investment in the event of a frequency change, allowing the station to use the same infrastructure instead of replacing filters and line.
NEW BROADCAST MIC FROM MICROTECH GEFELL
Germany’s Microtech Gefell has released one of those rare gems, a new broadcast microphone.
The MD 300 is a top-address dynamic with a cardioid pattern. Its frequency response has been “optimized for intelligibility” with a 2 dB bump at 2 kHz–8 kHz.
Internally it has an elastic capsule suspension to handle noise. Price: $650.
STERLING POLISHES MONITOR SERIES
Sterling Audio debuted the MX series of powered two-way monitors: the MX8, MX5 and MX3.
The company says that the series uses its proprietary WaveGuidanceVH, “advanced, dual-axis WaveGuidanceVH technology [that] gives MX monitors a very wide ‘sweet spot,’ with extraordinarily wide and high dispersion.” It says this provides a clear, articulate and centered sound, even when listening off-axis both horizontally and vertically.
The MX8 features an 8-inch multi-fiber woofer and 1-inch silk dome tweeter and is powered by a 125 W Class A/B amplifier. The MX5 has a 5-inch multi-fiber woofer and 1-inch tweeter. Power is courtesy of an 80 W Class A/B amp. The smallest of the lot, the MX3 has a 3-inch multi-fiber woofer and a 3/4-inch tweeter with a 20 W amplifier.
All members of the family have high- and low-pass filters The MX8 and MX5 have XLR, 1/4-inch and RCA inputs. The MX3 has RCA inputs.
Prices: MX8 $249.99 singly; MX5 $149.99, singly; and MX3 $99.99 per pair
ORBAN INTRODUCES PCIE CARD-BASED PROCESSOR
Orban’s Optimod-PC 5501e is a PCIe card-based FM audio processor designed for work with Windows computers. The company says that it provides the functionality of its Optimod-FM 5500.
Features include two-band and five-band processing, a stereo encoder with Orban’s Half-Cosine Interpolation composite limiter and a low-latency monitor output.
Dedicated on-chip DSP chips relieve the CPU of the heavy lifting.
Using an Orban OptiEXP PCIe expansion chassis, a single computer can shepherd as many as eight 5501e cards.
Both left and right analog and AES3 digital inputs and outputs are available. There two analog composite outputs and two analog SCA inputs plus two sync inputs: AES11 sync and word clock/10 MHz.
Orban says the card can also function as a standard Windows sound card, providing “a recording input and playback output, so it can accept a left/right audio input and emit a processed L/R output through the normal Windows Sound mechanism.” For example, a 5501e can accept the output of playout software that runs on the same computer. “Moreover, integration with Windows Sound allows the 5501e to be interfaced to an audio over IP distribution system using an Ethernet port and audio-over-IP distribution driver on the host computer.”
The 5501e can be controlled remotely and multiple cards can be monitored across a network.
MUSICMASTER CS STREAMLINES WORKFLOW
Broadcast software developer MusicMaster introduced a scalable solution for medium and large radio groups with multiple stations and users.
The MusicMaster CS client server-based music scheduling system duplicates features found in the MusicMaster Pro edition, including optimum goal scheduling and the rule tree. MusicMaster explains that client-server architecture puts all business intelligence on a powerful central server for a faster and more streamlined workflow.
The user-defined, multiple station enterprise library keeps song metadata and station-level rules and clocks in a single central SQL database, providing comprehensive management oversight while eliminating redundant data storage at individual station locations.
Founder, President and CEO Joseph Knapp said, “Your music flow is just as important to your listeners as your work flow is to us.”
DAS UPGRADES DASDEC SOFTWARE
Emergency alerting equipment specialist Digital Alert Systems has a new version of its main hardware platform for its DASDEC EAS/CAP emergency alert hardware boxes.
According to the company, version 3.0 “features dozens of new functional and operational improvements including the unique Alert Agent, a more enhanced and powerful way to selectively process EAS messages from a variety of sources, as well as to streamline menus and reduce compliance complexity.”
In addition, the company says, it is compliant with 2016 FCC requirements.
Not done with the updates, DAS has announced that version 2.0 of its Audio Management System is available. The company said that many of its tweaks were customer-driven. DAS VP for Business Development Bill Robertson highlighted a new auto-recue feature.
OMNIA GIVES AM THE .7 TREATMENT
Following in the footsteps of the Omnia Audio Omnia.7FM processor, the Telos Alliance has released an AM station version, the Omnia.7AM.
CEO and Omnia Audio founder Frank Foti explained, “The Omnia.7AM is a tool specifically designed for the AM spectrum’s unique challenges that AM broadcasters can start using immediately to improve their sound.”
A release said, “[T]he Omnia.7AM uses current, up-to-date technology to address the problems AM broadcasters face today. It employs some of the same features of the 7FM. All aspects of the processing infrastructure, bandwidth, and their output signals, however, have been specially engineered for maximum efficiency and performance within the AM spectrum.“
The release offered specifics: Omnia’s Psychoacoustic Controlled Distortion Masking Clipper analyzes and masks distortion perceptible to the human ear. [The]Dry Voice Detector applies processing for clearer voices on talk content, a big plus for AM talk radio.
Additional features include onboard real-time analyzers, oscilloscopes, FFTs, three-stage wideband AGC with adjustable sidechain equalization, program-dependent two-to-five multiband AGCs and limiters, dual independent power supplies, and relay bypass for a backup processor. The Omnia.7AM can also be remote-controlled via IP.