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Tips for clean and neat wiring, mic support arms, missed cues
Clean and neat wiring
We've all seen the extremes of wiring in a facility. Some are rat's nests, and some are works of flowing art. Most are in between. But it's not just the wire path that makes the job look good and work well. Attaching connectors and placing wire ties are part of the plan, too. In the old days, cable lacing was a major part of wiring installation. This mostly lost art looks amazing when it's done right.
A few years ago while working on a studio installation project, one of the installers — an ex-navy man — was telling me about some of the electronics training he received and how he still applies the practices to his studio installation work. This includes soldering skills, applying heat shrink and cable preparation.
But not everyone has that training available. What standards do you observe in your wiring? I was referred to a source that addresses this topic in great detail. It's from NASA, so you know it has to pass some high standards since there aren't many second chances in space.
The publication is titled Crimping, Interconnecting Cables, Harnesses, and Wiring (NASA-STD 8739.4 with Change 4). It sets requirements for interconnecting cable and harness assemblies that connect electrical/electronic and electromechanical components.
To say the document is thorough is an understatement. With diagrams and descriptions that you would expect from a technical agency, I would put this publication as one of the must-haves in a technical library.
I guess these guys really are a bunch of rocket scientists.
With this ring...
The E-V RE-20 is a popular radio mic, and many accessories are available for it. One accessory is the Popless Voice Screens VAC-RE20 pop filter. Robin Cross, chief engineer at KCUR-FM, noticed the arms that support the screens were drooping over time. To cure this, he tried several ideas. He finally settled on adding O-rings around the arm that holds the filter. After trying a few sizes he settled on rings with a 0.5" inside diameter. He also found that using a larger outside diameter ring increases the clamping effect. He ordered a bag of 75 rings from Grainger (part #1CGZ2) for less than $10.
He says the best way to install the ring is to remove the arm from the slot, put the O-ring around it, then reinsert the arm and work the ring into place. Placing the ring and then inserting the arm is too difficult.
No more missed cues
The new generation of satellite receivers is much more than a simple audio delivery device. They now include store-and-forward capability, which moves the function of capturing the feed to be played back later from the automation system to the satellite receiver.
I had heard that some stations were having difficulty with some delayed programs missing closures at the end of the program. (They're not really closures any more, they're cues, but we still think of them as closures to trigger an event.)
The problem occurs at the end of the recorded program when the automation system doesn not receive the last closure. Usually, the closure is sent slightly late. For example, if the program is set to end at 58:50 but the finals closure is sent at 58:52, the receiver does not capture that final closure because it stopped recording at 58:50.
Kevin Trueblood, an engineer with Mid-West Family Broadcasting in Madison, WI, suggested a solution. He has considered adding a hard-synced closure in the automation system to occur at 58:53. If the XDS satellite receiver misses the last scheduled closure at 58:50, the automation system will see the hard-synced closure at 58:53 and begin the break at 58:53. Three seconds of silence is better than minutes (or more).
If the 58:50 closure is recorded on the satellite receiver, the automation system starts the break at 58:50 and ignores the hard sync because it's already in the break. He warns that the automation system must be configured to accept this series of events without accepting the potential double closure.
This idea has not been tested yet, but he was planning to implement it soon. Perhaps you have another solution. If so, send it to us or post it at forums.radiomagonline.com.
Do you have a tech tip? Send it to us at radio@RadioMagOnline.com
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