The Rebuilding Spirit


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Facility Showcase, May 2010

With no freight elevator to the 3rd floor, building material was loaded by stairwell or crane.

With no freight elevator to the 3rd floor, building material was loaded by stairwell or crane.


Tampa Bay is the lightning capital of the United States. Add in power outages and brown outs also commonplace in the south Tampa area, we wanted to be prepared for anything. We invested in whole building surge protection and an extensive lighting protection system designed by Allsouth Lightning Protection of Tampa. Although the cost was significant, we believe in the long run program disruption and equipment failure could be even more costly if we were not adequately protected. In addition, we were able to replace our ever-growing profusion of small UPS brick type units; we stepped up to a Tripp-Lite 20kVA UPS, allowing us enough power to keep the studios and tech room running long enough to bring our new Kohler 50kW generator up to speed.

Being a user of the Nexgen Automation System, it was a very easy migration from one building to the next. We backed up the files off our 10-year-old 20GB file server and loaded the data onto a new Dell Poweredge 500G server that was already running at the new building. Then once the studios were operational, we began training the talent on the equipment at the new location. The actual cut-over occurred on Oct. 10, 2009.

Hiccups? The Tripp-Lite product stumbled out of the gate two weeks after putting it online. As of this writing, it is working again and back online. If I had to do it over again, I would have spent the extra money for a different manufacturer's product. Also, invest in solid, up-to-date virus protection for the computers. In this day and age, files can be imported without anyone knowing until it's too late.

With the current economic climate and rapid changes in the way we communicate, there are many uncertainties for radio and broadcasting in general. However, Spirit FM is prepared for the future of HD Radio, networking and any other new technology that tops the horizon.


Equipment list


Acoustics First sound panels
Adobe Audition
Broadcast Tools SS4.1III
Burk ARC-16
Cisco 2950
Comrex BRIC-Link
Dell servers, workstations and monitors
EV RE-20
Harris Envoy, NetWave, VistaMax, World Feed panels
Herman Miller Aeron chairs
Inovonics INO 531
Kohler 50kW generator
Middle Atlantic equipment racks
Moseley Starlink SL 9003 T-1
Omnirax studio furniture
Overly acoustic doors
Polk Audio in-ceiling monitors
RCS NexGen Digital
Symetrix 528e
Tascam CD-OU1
Telos Nx12, Zephyr Xstream
Tripp-Lite 20kVA UPS
Yamaha HSM-8


John Morris is general manager of Spirit FM, Tampa. Chris Sampson is chief engineer and operations manager for Spirit FM, Tampa.




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