The Technorama conference, held in Campbelltown on the outskirts of Sydney NSW, was an opportunity for Australian community radio technologists to come together. Technorama also operates other resources for engineers in Australia’s community radio sector, including a popular Facebook Q&A group.
In one of the talks, 6SER Vice Chairman Russell Coghlan highlighted the benefits of having remote access for studio equipment. He urged delegates to only purchase equipment which includes remote access, noting that it is “not usually an expensive option.”
He said that remote control avoids the requirement to visit the station site. It “saves a lot of driving, petrol [gas] and time: and in many cases, it’s more enjoyable.”
In a wide-ranging talk, Coghlan gave delegates a virtual tour of the station’s systems.
6SEN, broadcasting as Capital 101.7, uses remote desktop software and screensharing to allow access to any computer in the station facility. Coghlan noted that this is also useful for training purposes and for support. Remote access is also available to check the status of printers in the building and other office systems.
The Italian-built FM transmitter for the station is remotely monitorable, and allows remote switching from main to standby equipment, enabling continuous broadcasting even in the event of a fault.
6SER also broadcasts on DAB+, and an off-air receiver is also available via the internet to allow monitoring even outside the signal area. Audio processing for both FM and DAB+ is configurable remotely, allowing tweaks to be made in real-world reception conditions.
In the studios, access to the mixing console and the radio automation is available. This enables the station to be effectively controlled via an internet browser in case of problems, and also allows control to be taken during periods of automation.
Coghlan also demonstrated remote access to the security camera systems, and even the air-conditioning system.
Presenters can also download completed radio programs, for self-appraisal purposes via the station’s logging system. This allows continuous feedback, as well as fulfilling legal logging obligations.
Russell Coghlan produced a 20-page booklet for the Technorama event with more details, and has kindly allowed Radio magazine readers to gain access. You’ll find a copy here.
The next Technorama conference is planned for June 2018: there’s more information at https://technorama.org.au/.