Field Report: Broadcast Devices DAB-300

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Taking control

A connector break-out panel is available to simplify connections.

A connector break-out panel is available to simplify connections.

The remote controls of the DAB-300 are what you would expect (for our semi-custom version we added some). By way of contact closures, you can change the inputs and there is status that reflects those changes so that you can tell what input is routed to the outputs. You are also provided with an input to set the unit to manual mode, as well as one to set it to auto mode. You will have to switch the unit to manual mode before changing inputs remotely. Unfortunately there is not a remote status to tell you what mode it is in.

Our plan was to use the DAB-300 not only as an analog composite switch, but as an AES3 switch as well. The two groups of switches in the DAB-300 operate in parallel and sync with each other. We have three analog composite sources, and each of those composite feeds has an AES3 replica. All six are fed to the DAB-300. When the unit is switched to the primary STL, our analog transmitters and HD Radio transmitter are fed by the same audio processor (and same program source from our studio HQ). When switching to our backup STL, again the AES3 feed is a replica of the composite feed; this extends to our tertiary STLs as well.

The composite switch that is built-in to our unit feeds a four-output DA that has a fixed gain of unity. Another feature that we asked for was a set of status outputs (by way of relay contacts) that correspond to silence on all six STL sources.

Broadcast Devices

The only caveat I have for potential users: Plug the DAB-300 in to a UPS. The unit has a switch-mode power supply that detects brief ac input hits. Unless the ac power is gone longer than about 3 seconds, the power supply will not come up. We're very pleased with the functionality of our DAB-300s as well as with our experience with the team at BDI, who worked closely with us to meet our requirements. I have been told now that the engineering is done, our particular application is no longer semi-custom, and is available to other users should they have the same requirements.

Irwin is transmission systems supervisor for Clear Channel NYC and chief engineer of WKTU, New York. Contact him at

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