Tips on mic booms, mic spring, silent mic boom, lpb mic, analog cell phones, and metric screws
March 1, 2008
A cure for flying springs
Kirk Chestnut, CPBE, of Entercom Kansas City sent a tip that his coworker, John Morris, devised. The station uses several LPB silent mic booms and has a problem with the tension springs working their way off the posts and flying off the booms. It seems the ridge to hold the end of the spring is just not deep enough for their needs.
The fix? Replace the spring posts with 8-32 thumb nuts and a pan head machine screw. A 2¼" screw works well. This technique should work on other manufacturer's booms as well.
Kirk's submission makes him eligible to win a copy of Pocket Ref, as we announced in the February issue. Send us your idea by April 30 to be included in the drawing.
Feb. 18 was the sunset date for requiring analog cellular service in the U.S. That means any bag phones and Cellcast units you might have been using for remotes may no longer work, depending on your cell service provider. It presents a bigger problem if your main or backup transmitter control uses a cellular link. Many of the older systems (manufactured and sold as remote security systems) that relied on 800MHz analog cellular links will no longer work. If you are in this position, help is on the way from Telular. The SX-5e or SX-5T Phonecell fixed cellular terminal will function on current digital cellular systems. Both provide serial data, virtual POTS as well as IP connectivity and they have an SMA connection on the back for an external antenna, if your transmitter site is close to a cellular site. The SX-5e works on GSM cellular systems while the SX-5T works with CDMA systems. A new version, the SX-7T is due soon, which will include IP connectivity. Then there will be no excuse for not having Internet access at the transmitter.
Most of us are packrats. We save all sorts of things thinking we'll need them someday and a lot of times it has paid off. You can never have enough metric screws, so always remember to remove as many as you can from anything being scrapped.
In recent years I have noticed that many components — specifically switches and potentiometers are getting harder to find. Most new equipment uses tactile or rubber membrane switches. So what's a guy to do when a little box with an on/off switch and a pot for headphone level is needed? Good used switches and potentiometers should be saved.
Landry is an audio maintenance engineer at CBS Radio/Westwood One, New York.
Submit your ideas for Tech Tips or the Engineer's Notebook now through April 30 and you will be entered into a drawing to receive a copy of the Pocket Ref by Thomas J. Glover. Send your ideas to
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