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Not the Same Old STL
Though there are others, finally I'll mention the Tsunami series by Proxim. Like the other radios I mentioned, this is an Ethernet radio (though the throughput is limited to only 622Mb/s) and it makes use of indoor/outdoor units. Notice that it also supports 802.1Q (VLAN tagging) plus 802.1P QoS (packet prioritization).
Radio systems of this ilk have extensive remote monitoring and control capability, not the least of which are Web interfaces and SNMP control. This type of radio is designed for a large enterprise and as such may look like overkill initially; however, I believe when you look at the price points versus capability you'll become a believer like I have.
Once you've specified the radio you'd like to use, you'll need to find the emission designator (from the data sheets that go along) that matches with the payload you want to carry over the link. This is an important piece of information to have for prior coordination.
As you likely know, before you can get a radio channel licensed for your station's use, you have to go through the prior coordination process. Prior coordination is defined by the Commission as: "A bilateral process conducted prior to filing applications which includes the distribution of the technical parameters of a proposed radio system to potentially affected parties for their evaluation and timely response." According to 101.103(d), prior coordination must be completed prior to filing an application for regular authorization, or a major amendment to a pending application, or any major modification to a license.
Now in case you think that sounds slightly intimidating, it really needn't be; and even better, there are lots of firms that will do that work for you. A few to keep in mind are Comsearch, Micronet, V-Soft, RFEngineers.com and Terrestrial RF Licensing Corporation.
There will likely be a process between you and the frequency coordinator, where you match the emissions designator, and channel bandwidth to the specifications for the band you ultimately want to use. Again, this isn't difficult because radios that are specified to work within FCC guidelines already have those design parameters built in.
All the bandwidth
Let's now take a look at just what you can do with all the bandwidth delivered by one of these Ethernet radios. There are quite a few companies making IP codecs. For our purposes let's focus on nailed up links - like you would use on a 24/7/365 basis for an STL.
Comrex offers the BRIC-link as a means by which you can haul audio over IP links (such as the radios I described earlier). The unit is small - two fit side-by-side in 1RU. Each device operates in a full-duplex fashion. Audio ins and outs are on 1/4" TRS connectors (analog or AES); mini-DIN connectors are used for contact closures and other ancillary data. The unit has an embedded Web server, displaying connection status, network diagnostics, and audio level meters for monitoring of levels in and out. Coding options are Linear, FLAC, AAC, HE-AAC and HE-AAC v2. Also, Comrex has recently given the BRIC-Link the ability to utilize the BRIC Traversal Server.
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Also in the March Issue
- The "And More" of Automation
- FCC Enforcement Items to Watch
- Testing AM Antennas
- New Products
- Field Report: Cloud Microphones Cloudlifter CL-1
- New Products at the 2014 NAB Show
- Side by Side: IP Codecs