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Tool Cases and Site Security
Each neighborhood has its own gearhead who has a wall in the garage with the outlines of tools drawn on it, and hooks to hang them on. I suppose "shadow-boarding" is a good name for this technique. The trouble is that not every tool really has its place there, and besides, you may not have a whole free wall that you can use that way. Kaizen Foam is a product designed to provide a different way to organize your tools.
Kaizen Foam is basically a sheet of foam with a sticky backing on one side. You do make the outline of the particular tool then you cut it out. If you need additional depth (the foam comes in different thicknesses) you then cut an additional piece exactly the same as the last, and you stick them together. The entire sheet (along with multiple cut-outs) then goes in a drawer.
If you carry tools out into the field (like so many broadcasters do) then a different means of keeping organized is needed. When I was in junior high, I made the classic tool box in woodshop (A frame on either end and handle between the two). When I got into the business I needed a tool case -- it had pallets inside to hold the tools in place. Of course those wore out in short order. What is available today? DeWalt has a couple of products that look good. For big projects -- ones that are going to have you on-site for a substantial period -- think about the DeWalt DWST20800. For every day running around, the DeWalt DWST08203 might be more appropriate.
If you combine the tool case and Kaizen Foam ideas, then you could make a solid carrying case, inside of which could live delicate items such as condenser microphones.
Another means of carrying tools around while keeping them organized is the Husky Tool Tote. I see these frequently now. Instead of carrying everything, they roll -- giving your arm and shoulder a break.
Nowadays, though, one of the most important tools to carry around is a laptop or a tablet of some sort. If you need a protective case for a device such as this, you should look at Pelican. The company has a page dedicated to its protective cases for tablets and laptops.
Remote site security
Clearly site security has always been important, and due to copper thefts, it may be more important now than ever. With typical Internet access at a transmitter site, it's easier than ever to know what's going on when you're not there. For example, DB Power has a Wi-fi/IP camera that can be used outdoors. It has night vision out to 20 meters, with motion detection; it has a built-in Web server, and can send alarms via e-mail. It can also upload images to an FTP site, which could be handy later on for prosecution ... But how well does it work in an RF environment? That would be a question I would put to any users. Have you developed a remote site security system that you'd like to share with other Radio magazine readers?
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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