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User Report: Burk ARC Plus Touch Flexes Its Muscles

Features and flexibility of remote system earn praise from BBN

Radio World User Reports are stories by users who share their reasons for choosing a particular product.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Here at the Bible Broadcasting Network we have 46 stations using the Burk ARC Plus Touch for our remote control and monitoring. We ungraded from the VRC2500; therefore we are using the Plus-X GSC adapter as our physical interface for the wiring for metering, status and control. This eliminates a total rewire at our existing stations. This system was a positive upgrade because of its versatility and flexibility.

The value of any product is more important than just the cost. All technology has a price tag, and sometimes price will exceed value. With advances in the technical features and flexibility of the ARC Plus Touch and the Plus-X line of I/O adapters, the price is fair because of the value.

The direct internet connectivity of the product has been a great feature since any notifications can be sent over the internet. As you would expect, you can program each channel however your application needs to be set. In today’s world of smartphones and other portable devices with internet access, it is great to get an alarm notification without having to have a telephone ring during in a business meeting. However, we did add the optional voice interface.

It is good to have calls from the Touch as a dual notification system. A great feature when adding the voice interface is the vocabulary of words the unit has available. These words are audio files of a person speaking, not a crude text-to-speech interface. In addition to the built-in library, you can create your own custom library and incorporate both libraries. Also, if the internet is down and the phone lines are working you will still get notified of any problems at the station.

There is an option for using SNMP interface with your transmitter or other equipment. We have added this option at two of our stations because of the other equipment. However, when we did, we also added more data information from the transmitter than we would normally have because of the number of channels we could use with hard wiring options.

When I began at BBN, we were still using Gentner VRC2000 products. The Burk VRC2500 was a tremendous step up in technology. The one feature that the VRC2500 had that I miss in the Touch is the ability to program it off-line. With the Touch you need to make an internet, or local network, connection to the unit and use the Autoload Plus software while connected. You can then save the unit configuration onto your computer without making the changes in the Touch itself; of course the changes can be saved to the unit also.

In addition, we often change who will get the notifications because of the regular person taking vacation. This means connecting, editing and then saving. However, once that is done the new configuration can be saved with a different file name and uploaded when necessary.

Burk is very responsive to suggestions in the addition of features. There have been several that I have suggested that have been incorporated.

For information, contact Matt Leland at Burk Technology in Massachusetts at 1-978-486-0086 or visit www.burk.com.

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