Field Report: Audemat Relio

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KUT Radio, a service of the University of Texas at Austin has been looking for a transmitter remote control to replace the existing aging and maxed-out system. We wanted a remote that was state of the art, had a graphic user interface, multi-user, IP connectivity and dial-up capability. After looking at everything on the market and demoing one unit in our shop, couldn't find something we would be happy with. Then, at the 2008 NAB Show we saw the Audemat Relio. Now this had potential: IP, dial-up, multi-level multi-user, lots of channel capacity, graphic user interface and graphic programming. As an added bonus, 32 command channels, 32 status channels, and 24 metering channels took up 5RU. We requested a demo unit from Audemat, who delivered a fully functional system, not a pre-packaged demo unit.

Relio is a simple-looking unit with exceptional capability. It has 64 digital (status) inputs, 64 digital (relay) outputs and 24 differential analog (meter channel) inputs, as well as four serial ports (selectable RS-232, RS-422 or RS-485).

Audemat Relio

Out of the box Relio must have a custom configuration installed, which is built using Audemat's Script Easy utility. Script Easy is graphical: Drag icons out onto the desktop and connect them together to generate commands, build macros and build the user interface panels.

Because Relio is programmed via TCP/IP, the first thing is to configure the IP address/subnet mask/gateway. This can either be done using a serial cable and terminal program or by attaching a keyboard, mouse and monitor to the unit. I did get the unit to speak serial; however, for some reason it didn't like Hyperterminal at all and refused to respond. A different terminal program worked fine and I was able to program the IP address. E-mail notification, user logins, PPP dial in/dial out, phone alerts, router assignments, etc., can be programmed from the KVM interface or, once the IP address is assigned, through the built-in Web interface.

Script Easy

Script Easy programming starts with defining the system in the site section summary tab. Once the summary is completed, the configuration is applied. Then you can move on to the monitored equipment tab and define all the inputs and outputs to the system. Click the add equipment button, name the device and add the Digital Status, Digital Command, Analog Metering, SNMP settings and any Scriptlet for that equipment. Once all the equipment I/O is complete, move on to the cabling tab where the logical I/O is connected to the physical I/O panels. Click on Link Status for each section and Script Easy assigns each I/O to a port on the connector panel. Physical input/output ports can be changed by selecting a different port in the link to column.

Performance at a glance

No need for expansion modules
Web control
E-mail notification
64 digital/status inputs
64 relay/control outputs
24 analog/metering inputs
Graphic user interface

Metering, command/control and status functions are defined in the script designer. This is a graphical environment where you place the various elements on a page and connect them together. There are push buttons, digital commands, status, delays, analog inputs, counters, alarms and logic gates available. These elements can be grouped together to perform any number of actions from simply turning a transmitter on or off to complex switching operations such as main/aux transmitter switching with failsafe.

Scripts can be placed on multiple pages to simplify the overall diagram; e.g. the main transmitter on one page, aux transmitter on another, transfer switch on a third. The software is capable of linking elements across pages.

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