SNMP Around the Station
A piece of software that goes along with ArcPlus is called AutoLoad Plus, and the most recent version allows you to instruct ArcPlus to automatically issue a command or to run a macro in the event that a predefined limit or status changes. Macros are created in the AutoLoad Plus software, using predefined statements selected via drop-down lists, on a per-channel basis. You can also use a visual format for creating scripts, known as Jet Flowcharts. These run on the computer that runs AutoPilot.
Like the Mini Control Silver, the Burk system can also speak via SNMP with other agents. For example, Eisenhamer uses AutoPilot to communicate over the LAN with multiple PowerWare UPS units and the Broadcast Tools TempSentinel. After retrieving and loading the appropriate MIB in to AutoPilot, you can use its MIB browser to pick the OIDs that correspond to parameters you wish to monitor (Figure 6). After that, you configure the channel type (meter or status) and label, units and limits (Figure 7).
The SNMP protocol has been around for many years and is now really finding its way into the broadcast engineering vernacular. (Better late than never!) I'm seeing more and more equipment that supports SNMP: transmitters, remote controls, audio codecs, microwave receivers and transmitters, and ancillary equipment such as air conditioners, UPSs and of course networking equipment like switches and routers. The SBE now offers an online course about SNMP as well.
Irwin is transmission systems supervisor for Clear Channel NYC and chief engineer of WKTU, New York. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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