SHEPHERDSTOWN, W. VA. — In late 2006 or thereabouts I was asked by a colleague to help him select an automation program to recommend to one of his client stations that was looking to automate its talk format. He presented me with literature from Arrakis Systems on the Digilink-Xtreme automation product. After thoroughly reading the literature and going online to investigate further, I was sold on the system.
We then commenced planning the installation and programming of the system. We of course got the satellite package since most satellite delivered programming was already provided with automation cues. I found the instruction manual to be complete and easy to understand. After some experience with the system I found it to be self-intuitive to program. I understand that the system continues to perform flawlessly at that station.
In 2008 I was asked to recommend an automation system to one of my clients and, of course, I recommended the Arrakis Digilink-Xtreme. Again as in the first installation, I was impressed as was the client, especially with the ability not only to automate their talk format but to automate pro baseball, pro and college football and basketball games and the ability to handle baseball rain delays without human assistance.
In 2016, I was asked by the folks at Shepherd University for a recommendation for an automation system to replace the existing system they had at WSHC(FM). I recommended the Arrakis Digilink-HD system because of the newer features included in the software.
The system was quite easy to install, just like Digilink-Xtreme and as easy to program. Fortunately, I was forward thinking and insisted that they order the package that included the Bridge Switcher, a hardware matrix box originally designed to interface with multiple satellite feeds. I figured WHSC should have the ability to place any of their three studios on air if need be. In 2017, they were able to make an arrangement with West Virginia Public Broadcasting to carry much of their programming.
In 2018 Arrakis Systems announced a new automation program called Apex that looked to be cost-effective, and offered more features than Digilink-HD and Xtreme. After talking to the company’s Melissa Freeman and Ben Palmer, I recommended to WSHC management that they transition to Apex. I am happy to say that Apex has been all it was supposed to be and more. The transition to Apex occurred in short order one afternoon while we aired programming from the satellite receiver through the studio console.
In less than an hour, we were back on the air with Apex software running the show.
Yes, we have had some minor problems arise from time to time. However, we have never been off the air due to an automation problem. When we have had an issue that we couldn’t resolve on our own, Arrakis Customer Support came to the rescue. I can’t brag enough about Arrakis Customer Support. They have been the nicest people to work with, extremely knowledgeable and in all ways very attentive to customer needs. Hats off to all the employees at Arrakis Systems.
For information, contact Ben Palmer at Arrakis Systems in Colorado at 1-970-461-0730 or visit www.arrakis-systems.com.