This Week in Radio Tech

TWiRT

Troubles up High

Posted by Kirk Harnack [TWiRT]

TWiRT 235Fixing broadcast gear is difficult enough at ground level. What’s it like to troubleshoot, diagnose, and repair broadcast systems 300, 600, or 1200 feet above ground? Chris Tobin advises about what can go wrong and some common remedies, and we analyze an antenna repair by tower pro, John Hettish, while he’s 925 feet above ground.

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Topics: Broadcast Engineering

Tracy Teagarden

Posted by Kirk Harnack [TWiRT]

TWiRT 234We’ve called Tracy Teagarden, “the most interesting engineer in Las Vegas.”  He’s no stranger to dong things right, even in terrible weather, and hard-to-access transmitter sites. Tracy joins Chris Tobin and me to talk about two AM directional stations on the same property, along with some FM backup transmitters, difficult AC power on Mt. Potosi, and his own work with new VoIP systems.

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Topics: Broadcast Engineering

EAS Strict Time & Ransomware

Posted by Kirk Harnack [TWiRT]

TWiRT 233A Nashville DJ, complaining about an inconvenient EAS Test, unwittingly activates more EAS alerts across radio stations and cable systems. Video streaming technology has a few radio stations becoming video providers. And “ransomware” has taken several radio stations hostage lately, destroying music and commercial libraries. How should engineers act to prevent their stations from getting hijacked? Chris Tobin and Chris Tarr join us for a fast-paced episode of TWiRT!

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Topics: Broadcast Engineering

Open Source Automation with Fred Gleason

Posted by Kirk Harnack [TWiRT]

TWiRT 232Is free, open-source software a viable option for running your radio station? Fred Gleason, co-founder of Paravel Systems says it’s worth consideration. His Rivendell radio automation software is open-source, widely deployed, fully professional - and free to use. Paravel’s financial model is to charge for pre-configured hardware and for support, but both are optional. Fred talks to us about Rivendell open-source radio automation and call screening software.

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Topics: Automation

Digital Transmission Primer with Ward Silver

Posted by Kirk Harnack [TWiRT]

TWiRT 231I’ve often said, “This here digital’s the coming thing.” We all know it’s here now, and here to stay. Perhaps we’d be well-served to understand some techniques for transmitting digital information over radio frequencies (RF). Ward Silver, N0AX, is a teacher, a contributing editor to the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), and author of the book, “Ham Radio for Dummies,” as well as many others. We’re getting a lesson from Ward on Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM) as well as I & Q signals. Symbol constellations, predictive coding - we’re diving right in.

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Topics: Digital Transmission

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