In August 2016, The Big Lottery – Awards for All Fund released notice of the award of £7,367.00 to Radio Lonsdale for the purchase of IP Audio Codecs, IP Internet Telephones and a Wibe-Pro Intelligent Aerial. This equipment has brought Radio Lonsdale’s Outside Broadcast kit bang up to date and means mean reliable, two way, communications from almost any remote venue.
Since then the Field Codec has been out almost every weekend, as we cover both Barrow AFC’s football and Barrow Raiders’ rugby league. The WiBE dome aerial, detailed below, even meant rock solid audio from the Westmorland Show in September 2017. We now also send our live fundraising activities from Morrison’s and ASDA, in addition to live concerts from the Forum, to our patients back at Furness General Hospital – bringing a slice of local life to their bedside.
Here is a quick breakdown of the equipment to be purchased with this funding:
Tieline Commander G3 Rack Mount IP Audio Codec
This rack mounted IP Audio Codec fits into the 19″ rack units in Studio 1. In short this unit receives digital audio from the studio’s Plusnet Broadband network and converts it to analog audio signals which are fed to the mixer via XLR cables.
Tieline Commander G3 IP Audio Codec Field Unit
This smaller remote field unit takes audio from our microphones, mixer or laptops and converts it to a digital signal before sending it via a broadband cable connection, WIFI or 3/4G mobile telephone network to the rack mounted Codec at the studios. Like the studio Codec, this unit provides two way communications both On and Off Air, so that the commentator or remote venue presenter can take live instructions from the studio producer.
The audio levels and signal strength at both ends of the connection can be monitored at either end, meaning that remote broadcasts without a studio anchor will now be a realistic option when volunteer numbers are low.
Siemens Gigaset IP Telephones
The Siemens Gigaset IP telephones use either a broadband internet connection, WIFI, 3/4G mobile network or can be connected directly to our new hardware Codecs. These will mean a quick set up of a reliable, two way communications system on arrival at a venue. They’ll be very useful for informing the studio that you have arrived at the venue and are currently setting up the Codec systems. They’ll also be a useful quick indicator of the strengths of the communications signals at a new venue. The studio IP telephones can also be used for free calls to other IP phone users, in any country, and will be useful for contacting suppliers of our audio equipment!
In an emergency they could even be used as a two way commentary broadcast or used at a second live venue, how’s that for confidence that our membership will continue to grow?
Wibe Pro Intelligent Aerial
The Wibe-Pro Intelligent Aerial will be used whenever the 3/4G signal is weak at a remote venue and hard wired Ethernet systems are unavailable, at an away sports ground or The Westmorland Show, for example.
The aerial is plugged into the Tieline Commander G3 Field Unit and replaces the small aerial provided. The Wibe-Pro can be clamped to a table or raised on a 1″ diameter pole to provide greater height and a stronger signal. Alternative SIM cards can be inserted in either the Wibe-Pro or the 3/4G module in the G3 Field Unit to match the mobile telephone networks in the area of the venue. The aerial locks on to the strongest transmitter signal and not the nearest – hence it’s ‘Intelligent Aerial’ moniker!