New Hampshire Public Radio

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Twice the space and an open road to future expansion

Installing the STL dishes on the roof

Installing the STL dishes on the roof

A larger multipurpose studio is available for live performances or producing a show with a live audience. An audience of up to 70 can be accommodated here. This works well for a town-hall meeting or membership drives. The multipurpose room is also wired for video.

A technical operations center, engineering shop and IT work area round out the space. The racks in the TOC were integrated into the cooling system to provide a constant airflow for the equipment.

Peeking inside the TOC

Peeking inside the TOC

As mentioned before, the studio core is built on a 6” raised floor, which is built from two layers of plywood sandwiching three layers of sheet rock. This solid mass is then supported on rubber blocks to isolate it from the building floor. The studio walls are then built onto this foundation.

Near the studios is a newsroom that houses about 20 people. NHPR produces two daily talk shows and regular new inserts, and the desks in the newsroom are arranged into team groups.


Hoisting the satellite dish to the roof<br>
  <em>Photo by Scott McPherson</em>

Hoisting the satellite dish to the roof
Photo by Scott McPherson

Redundancy was an important consideration for the project. The entire facility is supported by a 150kW generator supplemented by a 35kVA UPS. The UPS will power the facility for about eight minutes at full load. Equipment loads are also distributed among the power system to minimize an outage. Even the HVAC system for the sixth floor has a backup system in case of an extended power outage.

The redundancy plan is also applied to the audio network. The SAS 32KD with two frames is the heart of the routing system. Audio sources and destinations are distributed between the two frames to reduce the chance of an audio failure if one frame were to fail. The built-in nature of the audio router provides many options to distribute audio as needed to route around a problem. While all the transmitters carry the same programming, this routing flexibility allows NHPR to deliver any source to any transmitter as it may need.

Even the STLs have redundancy. The satellite system is the primary STL for all the transmitters located around the state. These are all backed up by Moseley Starlink SL9003Q systems. As a tertiary backup, the station uses the Comrex Access or Matrix.


While the new facility has some changes, such as stand-up furniture instead of sit-down and an integrated routing system, other aspects are familiar. The Comrex STAC was chosen for on-air phones because the staff had been using a Gentner TS612 previously. The STAC operates similarly, which simplified training on at least one piece of equipment.

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