Electronics Research, Inc. has updated the design of its low-power integrated FM channel combiner, Model FI136. This compact and easily installed combiner is intended for use with FM translators and low-power FM facilities. It combines any two FM channels, with a minimum spacing of 1.6 MHz, into a single output to be fed to a broadband FM antenna.
The FI136 has 7-16 DIN, female inputs, that are rated to handle 750 watts each for a combined output power handling capability of 1.5 kW. The FI136 is available with a 7/8-inch or 1-5/8-inch output and includes a single port directional coupler at the combined output to allow for intermodulation product measurements.
The combiner is constructed from a lightweight aluminum housing with copper resonators. The design includes nonadjacent coupling which increases rejection of out-of-band emissions and features temperature compensation for stable operation even with varying ambient temperatures and at initial startup. The combiner is designed to allow for retuning with a minimum of disassembly. The FI136 includes mounting tabs for attachment to the transmitter building wall or ceiling, with customer supplied hardware.
ERI also manufactures the FI836 which is a high-power integrated FM channel combiner that is available to combine any two FM channels, with a minimum spacing of 1.8 MHz, with power handling capability of up to 30 kW at each input, 60 kW at the combined output.
The DB4005 is the latest monitoring product from DEVA Broadcast.
The company explains that the unit makes use of sophisticated DSP algorithms and provides SDR FM tuner-based signal processing. “Its powerful digital filters are a guarantee of precision and enable the FM signal to be accurately and repeatedly analyzed with each device,” the company adds.
A leading feature of the DB4005 is the MPX input, which allows users to monitor external composite signals, regardless of whether they are from a composite STL receiver/stereo FM encoder, or from an off-air source. In addition, the loudness meter allows for measurements to be shown as defined by ITU BS.1770-4 and EBU R128 recommendations — the DB4005 supports both standards.
DB4005 is easy to use and packs a host of features. These include TCP/IP connectivity, audio streaming, and automatic alerts for operation outside of predefined ITU-R ranges, as well as optional GSM connectivity. Onboard tools include oscilloscope, loudness analyzer, spectrum analyzer, de-emphasis, stereo decoder, RDS/RBDS decoder, data logger, FTP server and audio streaming.
Alarms include RF, pilot left and right audio levels, MPX, MPX power and RDS. Remote operation can be rendered via PC or Android and Apple smart devices.
The NAB says there’s no need for further industry testing before the FCC can allow AM stations individually to switch to all-digital operation on a voluntary basis.
It also opposes any notification period, instead favoring a simple immediate approach. It sees no need to put a carrier frequency tolerance standard in place. And it hopes the FCC will recommit to IBOC rather than reopen discussion of other formats.
In comments filed with the FCC, the broadcast association has reiterated its support for allowing all-digital on the AM band in the United States for those stations that want to adopt it. The NAB said that nearly all others who have commented to the commission have supported the idea.
In addition to reviewing the various reasons it had listed earlier (reaching more listeners, improving signals, allowing additional programming), the association now has made some specific additional points:
- It argues that no additional testing is needed because it considers the all-digital MA3 mode as proven, based on field and lab tests as well as the experimental operation of a station in Frederick, Md.;
- NAB disagrees with those who think testing is needed to determine potential interference to co-channels during nighttime hours. “The evidence shows that all-digital signals will cause fewer interference concerns than hybrid operations and eliminate any concerns about interference to adjacent channels. … WWFD has been broadcasting all-digital nighttime service for 20 months without any problems. Also, the rollout of all-digital is expected to be fairly gradual, which will provide the FCC and industry time to monitor and address any interference problems, as NPR suggests.”
- NAB agreed with Xperi, which told the FCC that although NAB Labs’ tests may not have exhaustively tested every conceivable all-digital AM operational scenario, “the success of the WWFD experiment confirms that there is more than an adequate foundation for FCC action.” The NAB said the FCC can simply address individual cases of interference as they arise, under current practice.
- The commission had asked whether to impose a carrier frequency tolerance standard on AM stations of 1 Hz as a way to improve all-digital reception. NAB says no, calling the idea “an unnecessary burden on AM broadcasters who will continue to operate in analog mode.” It agreed that tightening the carrier frequency tolerance would benefit analog and all-digital operations by reducing the impact of co-channel interference. “However, given today’s extremely challenging economic climate for radio broadcasting, especially AM service, such a new requirement would be a burden and counterproductive to the FCC’s goal of AM radio revitalization.” At most, it said, the FCC should table the idea for the time being.
- NAB supports a proposal from Nautel regarding the allowed operating power (nominal power) limits. Nautel wants the relevant section to be applied “to the average all-digital signal power including the digital signal power and the unmodulated analog carrier power” and not simply the “unmodulated analog carrier power” as proposed in the FCC notice. NAB called this “an important modification which makes good technical sense” and would make it easier for more AM stations to be switch to MA3.
- The broadcast association reiterated support for the plan to incorporate the NRSC-5-D standard by reference into the digital audio broadcasting rules — in other words, for the FCC to verify its commitment to IBOC. “Adopting NRSC-5-D as a formal technical standard will provide stakeholders the regulatory certainty needed to confidently invest in providing digital broadcasting service and products,” NAB wrote. “Contrary to the requests of Dolby and a few others calling for the FCC to start over with a reevaluation of alternatives to IBOC as the standard for all-digital AM service, confirming IBOC as the single standard for digital audio broadcasting will avoid completely upending the long-standing and ongoing progress of digital radio in the United States.”
- And NAB supports a simple notification procedure for AM stations’ conversion. It opposes a request from the Society of Broadcast Engineers for a longer prior notification period (such as 60 days) for converting to all-digital service to allow co- and adjacent analog channel stations to determine certain baseline data before digital service starts. “NAB submits that NAB Labs’ extensive testing and WWFD’s real-world experience confirm that such a requirement is unnecessary.”
The post NAB Says FCC Should Act Now to Allow All-Digital on AM appeared first on Radio World.
The Federal Communications Commission has announced a proposed fine of $20,000 against Entercom for broadcasting an Emergency Alert System tone in 2018 during a skit on WNEW(FM) just hours before nationwide tests of WEA and EAS.
The rules prohibit airing real or simulated EAS codes and attention signals unless it’s an actual emergency, a test or a qualified PSA.
Radio World reached out to Entercom and will report any comment.
In October 2018 FEMA scheduled a Wireless Emergency Alert test message to mobile devices throughout the country, and immediately followed with a live test of the EAS. But earlier that morning, in drive time in New York City, Entercom used an emergency tone during the “Karen & Jeffrey” program to lampoon the pending test.
The FCC said that Entercom has acknowledged airing the Attention Signal. It said the skit was produced by an employee who first had included the EAS Header Code in an initial version of the skit. “After the host of the radio show and the station program direction identified the use of the EAS Header Code as problematic and something that must be removed from the segment,” the FCC wrote, “the employee replaced it with approximately one second of the Attention Signal. The station program director approved the revised segment for air.”[COVID-19 and Emergency Alerting Best Practices]
It said this case is “specifically the type of behavior” that the rules seek to prevent.
“The unauthorized and inappropriate use of the EAS Tones may confuse people or lead to alert fatigue, resulting in people ignoring potentially life-saving warnings and information. We find that an average listener could reasonably mistake the airing of part of the Attention Signal for an actual EAS alert.” It said the rules prohibit such appropriation because non-emergency uses actually dilute their real meaning over time.
The FCC acknowledged that this was a single violation and a single transmission that apparently caused no downstream EAS activation. But it also pointed to the reach of the WNEW signal. “The fact that Entercom’s programming reached potentially vast audiences increases the extent and gravity of the violation and therefore supports an upward adjustment” in the proposed fine.
Entercom has 30 days to pay or reply in appeal.
The post Entercom Faces Penalty for Misuse of EAS Tones in 2018 appeared first on Radio World.
Tired of the boring-looking usual acoustic treatment panel?
Portugal-based acoustic treatment manufacturer Jocavi has introduced WoodQuad, a quadratic diffuser with a different look
According to the company, WoodQuad panels have an average diffusion coefficient of 0.63 per square meter and are produced from solid wood blocks. Intended for medium to large studios and control rooms, the panels were created in collaboration with studio and loudspeaker designer Dave Malekpour, from Professional Audio Design and Augspurger Monitors.
The WoodQuad’s design is intended to provide a more uniform sound field through mid and high frequencies and provide hemispherical scattering for wide angles of incidence. As a result, the panel reportedly provides large spectrum bandwidth diffusion in a single integrated piece and has the uniform scattering properties of a quadratic diffuser.
This panel is made of solid sustainable pine with a finish of five different colors of veneer — pine, cherry, oak, sucupira, wengé and mahogany.
The WoodQuad was originally custom-created for a New Hampshire studio owned by U.S. record producer and talent scout Angelo Montrone, founder and CEO of Majestic Music. Montrone was involved in records from artists like Natalie Cole, Matisyahu and John Cale and in 2013 established Majestic Music LLC. The studio is an 1800s farmhouse that combines a world-class recording studio and a bed & breakfast, with the aim of creating a creative incubator for artists to work in.
Jocavi, founded in 1992, specializes in developing and manufacturing acoustic treatment panels for the professional audio industry. The company is distributed around the world through 59 dealers as well as official sellers, and it established a branch in the United States in 2018.
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A Monday press release from the 501(c)3 public charity announced that the BFA’s executive committee recently held an emergency meeting to determine how best to address broadcasters’ needs during the crisis. The board voted to revise its emergency grant qualifications to enable those infected to apply for aid.
Under the new rule, to qualify, an applicant must:
- Be or have been a direct employee of an over-the-air broadcaster
- Be or have been infected with COVID-19
- Be out of work or have lost wages due to COVID-19
- Be in acute financial need due to hardships from COVID-19
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 212-373-8250.
Broadcasters Foundation of America Chairman Dan Mason said in the announcement, “Never in our history as broadcasters have we experienced an event that has caused this much hardship.”
The post Broadcasters Foundation Opens Grants to Those Affected by COVID-19 appeared first on Radio World.
With a mission to make codec herding easier, Tieline has released the TieLink Traversal Server. According to Tieline, it is “designed to facilitate simple codec discovery, NAT traversal, and connections throughout an entire codec network.”
A recent firmware upgrade for ViA, Genie and Merlin codecs provides their compatibility to the server.
Tieline VP Sales APAC/EMEA Charlie Gawley explained, “TieLink is particularly useful to networks with many IP codecs, because the ‘address book’ approach to grouping codecs greatly simplifies dialing for non-technical users.”
According to Tieline, the TieLink Traversal Server is a secure, independently hosted global server network, with multiple global backups. It centralizes the Tieline codec contact list management and provides self-discovery of codecs within customized call-groups.
It adds that users can view the online or offline status of all codecs in a group and whether it is connected or disconnected.”
TieLink Traversal Server is compatible with Tieline’s Cloud Codec Controller software.
John Records Landecker has never been to Las Vegas in his life. And with no NAB Show this year, he might not get there anytime soon.
But the lack of a physical event in April doesn’t diminish his accomplishment. The National Association of Broadcasters chose him this year for induction into its NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame.
The legendary top 40 radio jock has spent 50 years on the air and still works a weekly shift for WEFM(FM) in Michigan City, Ind.
He became a national name during his tenure at WLS(AM) in Chicago. The 50,000-watt station reaches audiences in some 40 states.IT STARTED WITH A DICTAPHONE
“John Records Landecker has had a profound impact on radio and has inspired generations of new talent,” said NAB Executive Vice President of Industry Affairs Steve Newberry. “His induction into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame symbolizes the personal connection between DJs and their audiences and how innovative personalities can influence radio programming.”
Most stories about Landecker start out explaining that Records was not just a clever addition to his name to play off his radio work. The origins of that can be traced back to his mother’s maiden name.
In fact, his autobiography is titled “Records Really is My Middle Name.” In addition, he has released six albums based on his bits and satirical songs accumulated through his career.
Landecker, 73, was born in Ann Arbor, Mich., just outside Detroit, and his earliest memories of radio are of several hometown AM radio stations that were fairly typical of that time.
“I didn’t really tune in for the music or even recall that part of it. But the announcers did everything. They hosted talk shows, read sports and weather, they did call-in buy and sell shows and remotes. I found it fascinating. So I began tape recording myself around the house,” Landecker said.
His father had a Dictaphone that Landecker was allowed to play with, and when he first heard his voice come out of it he was convinced that radio would be his career choice.
“I just knew it even at a very young age. Maybe it was part ego, but I wanted to be the guy on the radio talking to people through this magic box,” Landecker said.
Landecker landed his first job in radio during high school in 1964 following a live on-air tryout. “I went to visit WOIA(AM) in Saline, Mich., where my girlfriend’s mother wrangled an interview for me with the station manager. So I get there and the jock handed me some copy and told me to read it when the light came on. I did. Then he joked on-air about it later. But it was my ever so humble start in radio,” Landecker said.
He attended Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Mich., and later transferred to Michigan State University and majored in communication arts. While in college Landecker honed his craft while pulling air shifts at WTRX(AM) in Flint, Mich., WERX(AM) in Grand Rapids and WILS(AM) in Lansing, Mich.
Landecker, already inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2017 and saluted in an exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, fondly recalls the phone call that led to his first big break to major-market radio.
“I was still in school at MSU in my senior year and working nights at WILS when a man from Philadelphia called my mom and said he was looking for me. It was WIBG(FM) in Philly. I called them back and took the job. I thanked my mom profusely for relaying the message to me,” Landecker said.
Landecker says he credits two listeners of his show in Lansing for sending a tape of his show to radio executives that eventually landed him the gig.
“They were just radio aficionados in Lansing that I didn’t even know, but they were impressed with my work at WILS and thought I deserved to work in a bigger city, so they put together an air check and sent it on to Mike Rivers in Detroit at CKLW(AM). He eventually moved on to Philadelphia where the tape ended up with the top executives at WIBG. It was crazy that it worked out,” he said.HOME IN THE WINDY CITY
Landecker was forced to change his name to Scott Walker to begin his Philadelphia radio tenure, but Chicago came calling a few years later and so began a dizzying span of about four decades in Chicago where he worked for multiple radio stations, beginning with WLS(AM). His career also included stops at WLUP(FM), WJMK(FM), WGN(AM) and WLS(FM). In between were brief stints at Toronto and Cleveland radio stations and hosting duties for “Into the Seventies,” a syndicated show from TKO Radio Networks.
“Chicago was the best for me and became home. The WLS success was really a team effort. There was only one person on the air at a time, but we all helped each other behind the scenes. We fed off each other’s energy. Nobody does it alone,” Landecker said.
“And I worked with some incredible talent over the years. There was Larry Lujack at WLS and I worked with Bob Sirott and many others. Unbelievable talent. It was real radio.”
Landecker banged the phones and developed bits at WLS(AM) where he worked from 1971 until 1982 and developed the “Boogie Check,” a nightly feature of a quick succession of phone calls from listeners, all without the parachute of an on-air delay. “There was some risk taking. I relied on the staff engineers to get me out of trouble as soon as possible!”NEW OUTLETS
The old-school jock in Landecker has a hard time appreciating the current brand of commercial radio in this country with its “liner card reading” style of presentation, he said.
“I guess if I was any good at voice-tracking I could still be successful. I think radio is kind of flat right now,” Landecker said.
“That was really why I left WLS(FM) in 2015. There were so many rules. You only had a few seconds to talk. I had to execute the format and try to match to the PPM clock. It really wasn’t much fun. So I quit.”
For young people who aspire to communicate to the masses there are many other options like podcasting and social media, Landecker said.
“I just don’t think radio has the attraction now. There are so many different opportunities for young people to have a platform, it’s just not in radio. The days of knocking on the door of a program director and saying ‘Hey, I want to be in broadcasting’ are sadly over.”
Recently, Landecker has found a new outlet for his creative nature by taking to the stage for live summer theater in Michigan City and was expecting to be in another play this summer, at least before the coronavirus crisis erupted.
“I even took acting classes in Los Angeles, where my two daughters, Amy and Tracy, live. I went to the Lesly Kahn Studios for acting lessons a few years back. The average age was probably 22 and I was 70. I took a comedy intensive session and loved it. Acting really is a team sport and I feed off the energy of other people,” he said.
In addition to perfecting his acting chops, Landecker continues to work that air shift each Friday afternoon at WEFM(FM) in Michigan City with his friend and co-host, Mike Dempsey. “It’s really free-form radio. We talk about music or go out on remote. It’s live. I still get a chance to talk up the intro of a song and hit the post if I want. I still find it energizing. It’s just me being John Records Landecker,” he said.
And there is that famously fitting middle name again that still seems so appropriate. Turns out Landecker was bequeathed a name fit for a future member of the NAB Hall of Fame.
WorldCast Systems is letting all owners of Ecreso FM transmitters use its SmartFM technology gratis for one year.
SmartFM is compatible with recent generation Ecreso FM transmitters and users can activate it through a software upgrade or license activation.
According to the company, SmartFM can help stations save up to €4000 (about $4,300) per year when using an Ecreso FM 10 kW transmitter. Or they can save €400 (approximately $430) when using an Ecreso FM 1000 W transmitter.
“To support our customers during this tough period, it means a lot to us to contribute in some way. Covid-19 is impacting all industries, worldwide, including FM radio,” said Co-President, Nicolas Boulay. “During these uncertain economic times, limiting costs becomes crucial and for this reason, we are offering SmartFM.”
Worldcast says clients should contact their regional sales managers or email the company at email@example.com to activate SmartFM.
The post WorldCast Gives Ecreso Users Free Access to SmartFM appeared first on Radio World.
The author is chairman of Digital Radio Mondiale.
While our lives have been recently stripped to the minimum by a virus, our vocabulary has been suddenly enriched with new words, concepts and acronyms like lockdown, social distancing and work from home, for those who can.
Now work from home has become much more than the bonus it might have been occasionally in the past. The same is true about the current intense virtual socializing, conference calling and distance learning many experience.
When schools closed down hundreds of thousands of children and older students started to use the internet intensely to continue their education. But to do so these students need a computer and access to broadband and secure connections. In addition, we are already experiencing the limitations of WFH. The broadband is not infinite, and neither is spectrum, a rare commodity indeed.
Big players like Netflix and Amazon are already trimming their offerings to save some bits. Providers are also asking us to use this precious commodity with care. Broadband itself is also of different grades, better when glass fiber than copper etc.
And then there is the physical laptop. What if your mother is distance teaching, your father is conference calling, you are distance learning and your siblings are just skyping friends? How many laptops does a household need? Maybe not all these activities are simultaneous but the laptop (and the cell phone, too) are our gateway to a world blighted by an invisible enemy.
And this is where free-to-air radio broadcasting in its digital format can be of real help. Unlike analog radio, digital and certainly using DRM will allow you to use a receiver with a LED color screen, not smaller than what you have on a cell phone.Photo Credit: Radu Obreja
This screen transforms radio into an aggregating platform that delivers quality audio, no matter which band is used.
In digital DRM, audio is accompanied by data. It offers the possibility of carrying up to two audio channels and one data channel just on one of the existing frequencies. This is different from analog, which delivers just one audio program on the same frequency and no data. Data can be anything: A geometry lesson with drawings, a quiz, a poem, any text or picture or diagram, etc.
And if you use Journaline, an open, internationally standardized data application for advanced text information in digital radio systems, you will get hierarchically structured information, giving users easy and immediate access to topics of interest and in the desired language.
Users can browse all received information — both audio program-related but also program-independent text information — and select what is of interest. Journaline is not DRM specific and works with virtually any broadcast platform (i.e. DAB/DAB+) due to its low transmission bandwidth consumption. It even delivers a “Hot Button” feature that allows broadcasters to trigger backchannel interactivity, such as linking to online websites, initiating phone calls or sending short text messages.
Recently the data carriage feature of DRM was demonstrated during the BES event in India. It provides an easy, cheap, wide-coverage way of delivering public signage. Think of the screens placed in public places. They could be fed from a DRM transmitter with data only (warnings, phone numbers, simple instructions, or stock market information, pictures of politicians, celebrities, heroes etc.). The system is being tested and used in China.
If this is news to you, then my point is made. Digital radio has been introduced over many years and decades patchily. I don’t believe its full potential has been presented in a compelling way, or that it’s been fully explored.
Digital terrestrial broadcasting is limitless in the number of users it can reach with audio but also extra data. The graphic color screen is the big public alert that can save lives or the small blackboard that is available “live” or where previously stored material can be displayed later. If this sounds like a clunky computer service, it probably is. But it is a resilient and cheap service, it does not consume a lot of bandwidth or electricity and it can reach everyone over large areas (when broadcast in DRM shortwave and medium wave) or locally (DRM in the FM band).
Not many people would have imagined three months ago that we can be in the rare and extreme situation many of us are experiencing now. We must soldier on working from home. Information keeps us connected and alive.
Digital radio reaches vast numbers of peoples at the same time without a lot of intervention, delivering so much more than audio. Having it as a backup to internet, in some places, or as a main source of information in others, allowing access when there is no laptop available, is now becoming a necessity. What’s more, DRM digital radio delivers emergency information or disaster warnings over large or local areas, a feature which seems to be rising in importance.
The virus will not be forever among us. But when we get back to the new normality, we mustn’t forget this lesson about the great possibilities of digital radio. Full digital broadcasts and full-feature digital receivers are a necessity and not a cottage industry any longer.
We need this new and resilient platform called digital radio because in the invisible fight between viruses floating in the air and radio waves reaching us from a lonely transmitter far away, I will always bet on the radio waves.
Bringing together the sound of its 1035 main monitor with 96 kHz processing and integration with its GLM calibration software, Genelec has introduced the 1235A Smart Active Monitor, intended for music, film and post-production studios.
Launched in 1989, the original 1035 was a wall-mountable full-range monitor that was adopted in studios around the world, including Metropolis and Olympic in London and JVC and West Side in Japan.
According to Genelec, the new 1235A has similar frequency response both on and off-axis, and is said to have a wide and stable sweet spot. The 1235A also has a short-term SPL of 130 dB and low-frequency extension down to 29 Hz.
The 12.36 cubic foot enclosure of the 1235A matches exactly the dimensions of the 1035, and features dual high-performance 15-inch drivers, dual 5-inch midrange drivers and a low distortion 1-inch throat compression driver. The midrange and tweeter drivers work in conjunction with DCW waveguide technology to produce directivity and consistent imaging.
The 1235A’s remote-mountable RAM XL electronics module contains power amplification, crossovers and processing, with Class D amplification delivering 2,000 W, 800 W and 250 W for the LF, MF and HF drivers respectively. Input connectivity is provided via both analog and AES/EBU digital formats — along with an AES/EBU digital output — and the updated design of the 1235 also delivers a flatter on-axis frequency response and improved noise performance than was possible with the original 1035, according to Genelec.
With GLM software, the 1235A can be configured, controlled and calibrated for the user’s acoustic environment, tailoring the frequency response, level, distance delay and more as needed. GLM allows users of any type of Genelec Smart Active Monitors to create systems to suit all types of stereo, multiple stereo, multichannel or 3D immersive audio formats.
For those who already own 1035A and B monitors, they can be upgraded with the new technology of the 1235A. The upgrade, which includes installation of the new RAM-XL module, brand new drivers and a complete system calibration, can be completed with no structural changes and little downtime.
The post Genelec 1235A Smart Active Monitor and Upgrade Launch appeared first on Radio World.