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Inspiration sometimes strikes when you least expect it. While waiting for a flight out of Las Vegas McCarran Airport, the ticket and gate counters caught my attention. They looked appealing, solid, stainless steel with resin tops and accents. This high-tech look was similar to what I was searching for. If those fixtures could stand up to the daily rigors thousands of passengers can throw at them, they had a good chance of surviving in a radio station environment.
McCarran staff referred me to Bill Shiver, president of Volume Millwork in Houston. The company name is indicative of what the company does: construction of large quantities of cabinetry and fixtures. Most of the manufactured goods are custom ordered by the airline industry all over the country. Although not the customary assignment, Shiver was willing to build a one-of-a-kind for us.
Shortly thereafter I was working with the company's design engineer on the unique needs of broadcast furniture and provided him with drawing dimensions and photos of the S.A.D. model. CAD layouts were generated for approval. The final version would be sent to the shop's computerized cutters. The cabinets would be constructed from plywood and finished with stainless steel. A horizontal weave pattern was embossed into the steel, which provided an interesting finish, hid scratches and provided a background for accent lighting.
Hiding scratches and wear was also a consideration in the selection of color and internal texture of the resin countertops. The Luxite countertops were also built from scratch. Resin was mixed with the chosen finish and poured into forms and allowed to cure before finishing. The main countertop surface was such a large area, it had to be built in four pieces and assembled into one solid piece on site.
The truss could have been custom built as well, but I found the perfect size and weight with the Quick Truss from Milos Structural System. The factory built and welded the sections to my specifications and shipped them to Houston for assembly. The sections connect with barrel connectors held in place by retaining pins.
Attaching to the structure was easy with the Milos Cell clamp. It attaches around the vertical pipe and is secured with a wing nut. It has a ¼" mounting hole on a flat surface. This has been perfect for mounting everything, including the two-piece Victory LCD mounts. Pressing a release clip and lifting up and away can easily remove the display.
With all of the computer displays in the contemporary control room, it is easy to become overwhelmed by a dedicated screen for every source. Some monitors needed to been seen all the time, others just on occasion and do not justify a dedicated display. This would significantly cut down on the clutter.
The three monitors to the right of the console are fixed: Media Touch on-air playback on the bottom, Vox Pro in the middle and VRC transmitter remote control on top. The monitor on the left is switchable (using keyboards shortcuts) and has all of the primary sources plus backup on-air playback, call screener, liners and Internet access. On the opposite side of this truss is another monitor with independent switching for the talent/host position. An Adder eight-input, two-output keyboard, video, mouse (KVM) switcher was utilized. If the same computer is selected at the same time by both positions, control is automatically determined by which keyboard or mouse is in use. Located in the center support pedestal is the switcher, KVM extenders and VGHA distribution amplifiers.
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