The three productions rooms have similar layouts. This is production 3.
After TOC was finished work started on the roof. Thankfully Stephens' Media had radio stations located in the HSBC building in the past, so the roof was outfitted with a large platform and tower to mount STL dishes, and antennas. Also existing was a Patriot 3.8 meter C-band dish. This led me to believe the roof work would be easy. I was wrong.
First we had to schedule the freight operator to get all nine STL dishes (some 6') to the roof. One problem, the freight elevator stops three floors down from the roof, so we had to carry everything three floors up to the roof, including the dishes, tools, ladders etc. After all the STL dishes were installed we tested the satellite dish. When it had no signal, we found the mount was broken from the wind 300' off the ground! So we had to get a mechanical contractor to cut part of the mount, weld in new nuts, and then weld everything back together. All of this reminded us, when you're dealing with a high-rise building you will have challenges, and extra time must be planned to deal with the logistics of the building.
Finally the general contractor had the studios finished, so we worked with Vince Fiola at Studio Technologies to get the new furniture installed. After the furniture was installed I concentrated on building the WHAM studio because we had new equipment for it, while my other crews moved from studio to studio preparing each room as much as possible to install the equipment when it was brought from the old location.
Despite the best planning
Two guest mics (above) and the host mic in the Wease studio showing the low-profile design.
At this point I guess you could say reality set in. We had so many planning sessions before we started, but as we were going through the construction we learned more and more about all the shared resources. ISDN equipment, satellite receivers, the Prophet Digital, reel to reels, etc., were all shared between the stations. I don't care how much planning you do, you always find out something the day of the move. No one said this would be an easy job.
We were finally in a position to move some of the studios. The first studios we built were the two voice-track studios using the existing Audioarts D16 consoles. We used the VT studios as temporary control rooms and ran two of the FM stations that do not have live morning shows from these rooms.
Next came time to move the studios utilizing the Wheatstone Bridge router system. Ahead of moving any equipment I programmed the system for each input and output in the studios and rack room, which saved a tremendous amount of time. As each G4 console and studio cage were moved from the old building to the new, we upgraded the firmware and software to be compatible with the new TOC bridge router cage. Next, the IP addresses were changed on each console because it was not necessarily being used on the same station as in the past. Instantly all the channel labeling and source assignments appeared on the consoles and they were ready to go. The system worked flawlessly. The only big challenge moving the Wheatstone system was the fact that we couldn't purchase a complete new TOC bridge system, only one cage, and the necessary I/O cards to move the first station. So as each station moved, we moved I/O cards and eventually the TOC router cages from the old location to the new one at a time. It took a lot of planning.