14 September 2011

Audio and Video hosting for only US$1 a month

For those on the budget, you can click the link below to know more about this site that offers affordable and reliable audio and video hosting. In addition to this, the site provides you with plenty of tutorial and how to, steps by steps to setup, configure the tools used in online radio i.e. winamp, DSP plugin and so on. The instructions are explained in a simple step by step approach. here are some of the useful link to the site that might be of interest to you. Try it and find out.

As Low As $1!! You can start your very own radio station for only $1 USD a month. The company ( www.reliastream.com) offers an affordable rates, reliable servers, and excellent customer service will have you broadcasting in no time. Instant account set up once payment is made!!! . Now that what I called fast and simple.

NEW:  ReliaStream now offers Centova Cast and WHMSonic radio plans. All radio servers on powerful 1000 mbps servers. We also offer web hosting for only $3.99 per month!! Over 450 clients broadcasting on the ReliaStream network. Stop paying to much for your internet streaming.

05 September 2011

Main component in an Online Radio or Internet Radio

Web Radio: Radio Production for Internet StreamingThe Radio Station, Eighth Edition: Broadcast, Satellite and InternetProgramming for TV, Radio & The Internet, Second Edition: Strategy, Development & Evaluation

When you search and google online radio, you will be amazed the numbers of result you will get (if you google of course). This shows that online radio is very common, in fact it is a norm nowadays. Whether an individual, organization or government and private sectors, almost all of them have their own online radio as a mean of communication, promotion or simply conveying messages to the public or their client.
What are the components that involved in forming a system of online radio or internet radio? Here I have listed and show you the most common used component.
  • Audio Mixer preferably with built in USB connectivity for you to easily connect the mixer to a laptop or desktop via USB (equipped with USB cable) i.e. Alesis Multimix 4 USB or better.
  • Telecommunication Broadband (dialup or fixed) preferably with minimum of 512kbps uploading speed or more with modem. Wireless broadband can be used but not quite stable and it can interrupt your streaming or uploading of audio to shoutcast hosting server.
  • One unit of Fast laptop (preferably 2 core processor i.e. 1.6Ghz CPU or better) or fast desktop (preferably 2 core processor i.e 2Ghz and above).
  • One unit of microphone (preferably low impedance) i.e. shure SM58 or condenser microphone i.e. Audio Technica AT2020. Additional microphone is required for guest if required.
  • Subscribed to shoutcast hosting services. This is required for you to broadcast your online radio to the internet for the whole world to listen.
  • Download the free audio streaming application i.e. winamp at http://www.shoutcast.com/. Alternatively you can buy SAM Broadcaster at http://spacial.com/sam-broadcaster-shoutcast-discount/.
  • Download Free internet radio automation system i.e. download at http://www.radiodj.ro/wp-content/plugins/download-monitor/download.php?id=3. But if you already purchase SAM Broadcaster, this is no longer required.
  • Song material (preferably in MP3 format)
  • One unit of Headphone i.e. Shennheiser HD202 or Koss UR29 Studio Headphones.
  • One unit of Desktop Microphone stand i.e. Atlas Sound DS7 or similar.
  • Domain name registration. You can name for your online radio station i.e MyBigVoice.com, MelodyFmRadio.com or anything which reflect your online radio identity. You can register domain name of your choice at www.godaddy.com or any other domain registration provider.
  • Subscribed on website hosting i.e. http://webhostingworld.net or other hosting provider you preferred.
Well, that wrapped just about everything that are required to setup a simple or basic online radio system.  The next steps will be to perform connection, configuration and setup of the items listed above.

Affordable , reliable audio video broadcasting hosting : www.reliastream.com

01 August 2011


This is a simple setup with minimum devices for basic online radio or INTERNET RADIO. The iO2 EXPRESS contains high-quality components and circuitry suitable for the studio, compact and provides simple 2 channel mixer for audio-recording interface for home studios, as portable recording devices and also for basic or simple online radio setup.  
This device enables you to record at up to 24-bit resolution for input into virtually all DAW, recording, and performance software. Yet it is small enough to comfortably fit into your mobile recording rig, laptop bag, or backpack, yet contains high-quality components and circuitry suitable for the studio.

In short, you have a mobile recording as well as online broadcast studio (using fix or broadband telecommunication lines) with you all the time.

Main Features of iO2 Express:

a)    Record up to 24 bit resolution
b)    Built in preamp and true 48V phantom power.
c)    Analogue to Digital Converter as well as Digital to Analogue Converter.
d)    Plug and play with virtually any computer.
e)    USM bus powered with minimal laptop battery drain.
f)     XLR mic input and ¼” TS jack line level sources
g)    Direct connection to Guitar or keyboard or other line level music devices.
h)   MIDI in and OUT
i)     Headphones output
j)     Monitor output via ¼” balanced outputs.
k)    Channel gain trim control and master level control for optimum gain staging.
l)     Tricolor, stereo metering tree and lighted status indicators.
m)  Include Steinberg Cubase LE digital audio workstation software.
n)   Compatible with virtually all audio and MIDI software.
More information of iO2 EXPRESS can be found at http://www.alesis.com/io2express
However to enable the iO2 Express to send and receive signal, it requires the following setup depending on your OS:

1. Use the included cable to connect the iO2 EXPRESS to your computer.
2. Go to Start Menu = > Control Panel = >  Hardware and Sound = >  Sound.
3. Click the Playback tab and select USB Audio Codec* as the default device.
4. Click the Recording tab and select USB Audio Codec* as the default device.
5. Click Properties in the lower right-hand corner.
6. In the new window, click the Advanced tab and select 2- channel, 16-bit, 44100 Hz (CD Quality) as the default format.
7. Uncheck both boxes under Exclusive Mode.
8. Click the Levels tab and set the slider to "4."
9. Click OK to close the Properties window.
10. Click OK to close the Sound control panel. io2 

1. Use the included cable to connect the iO2 EXPRESS to your computer.
2. Go to Start Menu = >  Control Panel = >  Sounds and Audio Devices.
3. Click the Audio tab.
4. Under Sound Playback and Sound Recording, select USB Audio Codec* as the default device.
5. Click OK.
Before you can stream or broadcast online you need to subscribe shoutcast hosting packages i.e. 32kbps 300 listeners (minimum requirement), download winamp and DSP plugin ( you must have a broadband connectivity or fixed broadband line to access the internet). If the application is setup properly you will be able to stream and therefore broadcast through internet.

You can learn to setup by clicking  How to Broadcast to your Shouthosting Server using winamp ? 
Check out BSW for a wide selection of professional audio, recording and broadcast gear at great prices.

Minimum PC Requirements:

• Pentium III 450 MHz Processor
• 128 MB RAM
• Available USB 1.1 Port
• Windows XP (with Service Pack 2 installed)
Recommended PC Requirements:
• Pentium 4 or Athlon Processor
• 512 MB RAM
• 7,200 RPM Hard Disk Drive
• Available USB 1.1 Port
• Windows XP (with Service Pack 2 installed)
Minimum Macintosh Requirements:
• Any Apple computer with native USB support
• Mac OS X "Jaguar" version 10.2 or later
• 128 MB RAM
Recommended Macintosh Requirements:
• G4 733-MHz Processor or faster
• 7,200 RPM Hard Disk Drive
• Mac OS X "Jaguar" version 10.2 or later
• 512 MB RAM

13 July 2011

Requirement for Internet Radio Station

In principle, radio online is not far different from the commercial radio station. They are both using more or less the same technique or procedures. To some extent, the equipment used is almost the same. The only thing that keeps them apart is the size of the equipment used i.e. commercial radio station have more than one on-air studio, several production/editing suite, recording studio and ingest suite.

Unlike commercial radio, online radio usually requires one on-air studio only. This is because, one person can runs the online radio without much hassle as compare to commercial radio where they normally hire few personnel to look after the engineering as well as the programme  side. 
In other words, online radio is much simpler to manage (less man-power, lower operating cost and so on). All you need is as follows:
  • Studio equipment such as broadcast mixing console – usually 4 or 8 channel analogue with USB connectivity is sufficient. 
  • One or two studio microphone (dynamic will do fine, condenser is preferred).
  • Low impedance Headphones (usually 50 ohms).
  • Microphone’s stand (adjustable boom-arm type).
  •  Microphone cables and few audio cable for interfacing, PC desktop with USB, preferably  large hard-disk capacity for audio storage, more than 400GB is better ( in MP3 or others audio format) and audio card.
  • Winamp  (free to download) for streaming audio.
  • Audio broadcast automation software and your creativity.  
  • Broad band subscription (one year minimum)
  • Domain name registration ( name of your radio station e.g. samsonRadio.com or DoggieRadio.com)
  • Last but not least, shoutcast server hosting. 

    Click here for a wide selection of broadcast equipment
    at great prices. 

    Search Amazon.com for broadcasting 
  • Assuming you don’t want to run your own shoutcast server ( running your own server usually limits the number of listeners unless you have a very large fix or dedicated business broadband in the region of 10Mb or more) which is very tedious and can be expensive. My advice is better to rent or subscribe server hosting. Believe me, I have been there before, I know what I am talking about.
 Again, if you find it very troublesome to follow and execute the procedures, do not be despair, call us and let us guide you.

17 May 2011

Procedures to setup an in-house or small commercial Radio Station

Typical Block diagram of Broadcast Radio Automation System


This serves as a brief explanation in setting up an in-house Radio Station complete with the necessary audio/video distribution system and also an option to setup a small size commercial radio station. This simple guide however is not meant for complete or detailed procedures.

Setting up a commercial radio station involves many complicated aspects such as details engineering design, management structure, administration, program production and finances. Therefore a more thorough planning approach is required which involves complex broadcast planning and development. Furthermore it may also involve licensing issues as well as terms and regulations enforced by the current federal government.
The following pages are presented in a manner that is short, simple and in bullet point format as not to include too many technical jargons. 
If  you decides to proceed with the setting up of an in house Radio Station, it is advisable to consult a professional certified Broadcast Engineer as it may involves complex issues that need to be addressed accordingly so as to avoid unnecessary problems that may halt or jeopardize the whole project.
Engineering and Technical Matter:
Basically, an in-house radio broadcast involves two major engineering tasks mainly:
1.      Respective Studios / Suites.
    • On Air Studio (Studio I and II):

      • Ideally the on air studio shall be acoustically treated or soundproofed (insulated observation windows, Insulated twin doors). Air conditioning vent shall be located away from the microphones.
      • Suitable furniture shall be installed that are suited for studio environment.
      • The size of the on air studio varies but ideally not less than 10 ft x 12 ft. You can have a choice to either be one-man op (the main presenter /DJ operates the main audio console desk) or have separate control room (with equipment and technician to operate the main Audio console).

    • Archiving/Editing Suite:

      • Ideally the Archiving/ Editing Suite shall be acoustically treated or soundproofed. Air conditioning vent shall be located away from the microphones.
      • Suitable furniture should be installed to provide comfortable and relaxing environment.
      • The size of the Archiving/ Editing Suite varies but ideally not less than 10 ft x 10 ft. In general, it operates as one-man op where all the audio equipment placed inside the same room. The producer shall operate the mixing console themselves.

    • Recording Suite:

      • Ideally the recording studio should be acoustically treated or soundproofed. Air conditioning vent shall be located away from the microphones.
      • Suitable furniture shall be installed that are suited for studio environment.
      •  The size of the recording studio varies but ideally not less than 10 ft x 15 ft. You can have a choice to either be one-man op (the main presenter /DJ operates the main audio console desk) or have separate control room (with equipment and technician to operate the main audio recording console)
Typical example of recording Studio

  1. Studio equipment, distribution and transmission of Audio/ video within the building.

    • Audio Professional Radio Broadcast Equipment:
      • Radio Broadcast Audio Console (mixing console either analogue or digital), minimum of  3 ( one presenter and two guest) professional broadcast microphones per studio, three (3) Professional broadcast headphones, an amplifier and one set of studio speakers, one CD/DVDs player, DAT player, radio automation.
      • Optional: Logging machine or Hard Disk logging PC to record all broadcasts and usually this recording shall be retained or kept for at least 3 months. This is necessary if there is a public complaint or dispute or other matter concerning the broadcast.
      •  Optional: Radio Automation System – This is an additional requirement to provide audio source from the audio server (songs, jingle, station ID, commercial break, news etc) via computer system and can be programmed to run automatically throughout the days.
    • Audio Server:

      • Audio server is required if you install or engaged radio automation system in your on-air studio.
      • Main function is to provide audio source to Audio Automation Suite (Radio Automation System) and sound editor/recording suite as well as audio media storage for recorded material (usually from sound editor suite).
      • Connectivity to the audio server is via Cat 5e or Fibre optic cable.
      • Ideally the server or clean room should have air conditioning and security access system (preferably a dedicated room to house the servers only).
      • It should be equipped with matching U.P.S. to provide sufficient uninterruptible power supply to the servers.
      • The servers shall be installed in the equipment rack.
      • Dedicated room, size varies, but shall have enough space to house the servers and others additional servers or workstation if necessary in the future (upgrading).

    • Distribution and transmission:
      • The program output from the studio mixing console shall be routed or channeled using quality audio/video cables to the respective in-house Audio/Video equipment located inside the rooms through the ADA/VDA devices. Proper terminations of these cables with matching connectors are required.

    • Radio Automation System:
      • This system allows the radio program runs with or without producer in the studio. The professional of Radio Automation system can be very expensive (few hundred thousand ringgit). However a reasonably priced Radio Automation can be purchased via the internet. The system however shall be installed by professional broadcast personnel to integrate with the existing radio broadcast equipment.
      • Most radio automation is able to stream the audio to the internet (online audio streaming).
      • SMS facilities (optional): This is quite common nowadays where the station is able to accept sms massages from the listener. This facility can be provided by local SMS provider.
      • Email address for requests/audience feedback (preferably with internet link in studio).

    • Transmission equipment ( OPTIONAL – does not applies to in-house radio broadcast station)
      • To broadcast your program (radio output), you need to install radio FM transmitter, a limiter and FM omni-directional antenna (aerial) to broadcast the program to nearby fm receiver (FM Radio).
      • The transmission coverage area will be determined by the radiate output power of the transmitter and the type of antenna used as well as the placement of the antenna (the higher above ground level, the further the signal will travel). The higher the power of the transmitter the wider the coverage or the further the station can be heard. The transmitter output power will determine the type of license issued by the government authority, in this case, the MCMC.

26 April 2011

And you thought acoustics was only for concert halls!

by National Council of Acoustical Consultant

We expect our indoor environments – from home to school, from office to entertainment venue – to “sound” a particular way. The office should be free from distractions. Concerts and live performances should be dynamic and clear for every seat in the house. Industrial workplaces should not damage our hearing. Acoustics plays a pivotal role in the comfort and enjoyment of our everyday lives. Acoustics is equally important outside the buildings where we live and work.

With urban growth and industrialization have come increased public concerns over noise issues relating to transportation, industry, recreational facilities, and all types of development. Good acoustical solutions may go unnoticed; poor acoustics will be recognized immediately.

As our awareness grows, so do rules, regulations, and even confrontations over sources and control of noise. The acoustical consultant combines both Science – technical expertise and practical working experience and Art – insight, innovation, and creativity to shape the sound of our environment.
  • Acoustics — The physical science of sound and vibration. The acoustician seeks to understand and quantify the production, control, transmission and effects of sound.
  • Sound — Any audible vibration transmitted by longitudinal pressure waves through a material medium, such as air or water. The perception of sound is called hearing.
  • Noise — Any sound that is damaging, undesirable, or interferes with one‘s hearing of a desired sound.
  • Acoustical Consulting — An applied science dealing with acoustical issues in real-world settings. The acoustical consultant blends precise measurement, objective standards, and mathematical modeling with the practiced art of problem solving, creative design techniques, and a highly subjective human sense - hearing.

07 April 2011

Is Analog Audio Equipment dead or still kicking and alive?

These days, high tech and complicated audio system are mostly in digital domain. Although analog audio equipment is still around they are less popular. The main reasons are because of features. Digital equipment has more features, lighter, small in size and very convenient to use. On the other hand analog equipment is heavier, big in size and less features.

Digital equipment is made of either hardware or software based or both (a combination).

As an example, the digital audio mixer, Presonus Studiolive series, it is small in size, many features built in such as 31band EQ, Effect processor and many more that you can insert to all channels mic and Line input. It is a combination of hardware and software digital audio system.

Another example is your home PC. The PC can be configure as virtual guitar power amplifier i.e. Studio Devil Virtual Guitar Amplifier. All you need is an electric guitar, audio cable, quality loudspeaker and good sound card installed in the PC and you are ready to rock n roll. It is extremely easy to setup and the sound is as good as the analog guitar amplifier.

With all these advance features of the digital audio equipment, will the analog audio equipment quickly fade away and vanish? Not so fast, In spite of all the advance features in digital technology, analog is much alive and still kicking and can co-exist in the digital domain.

For example, have you come across The VPR Alliance? No? Yes? Not sure?
Basiclly VPR Alliance is a program of standardization and consistency guidelines for manufacturers who wish to make or produce analog products designed to fit into API's 500 series rack format" (it is a type of equipment rack with built in power supply).


6-slot lunchbox® with built-in Power Supply

This rack commonly know as lunchbook, house a variety of audio modules (compact size) including preamps, EQs, compressors and so on (kindly refers below).

With the VPR Alliance, the manufacturers who stick to the specification requirement of the rack can create Lunchbox modules set to one preferences or requirement. This format gives one the freedom to choose and match a variety of analog modules which lead into production of the desirable sound.

Personally, I am comfortable with analog audio equipment because I can actually feel them unlike the virtual digital equipment. The feel is not there, it all virtual, not real. In my opinion, Analog equipment is very far away from dead.

31 March 2011

FREE British Valve Custom guitar amp

Those who cannot afford to buy guitar amp can opt for VST plug-in guitar effect ( virtual Guitar Tube Amplifier). I have try using the Studio Devil British Valve Custom and it sound just like the real guitar amp. The amp have most of the basic features found in real guitar amp i.e. the usual round knob known to control gain, bass, mid, treble and so on. 

You can download Studio Devil British Valve Custom VST plug-in at www.studiodevil.com. It goes well with the Asio driver.You should try it and feel the power of the virtual amp. Great stuffs.

21 March 2011

LOW Microphone level

Whether you are using a normal microphone, headset microphone or a lapel microphone, you can set it up to work with your laptop. Some popular uses of microphones on laptops include chatting, recording a report, music, or other audio, online gaming and internet phone conversations.

There are many articles online that show you how to connect a microphone to a laptop. It does seem so easy and anyone can do it without much problem. Furthermore you don’t need much gadget to do it. All you need for simple system are microphone (preferable professional low impedance microphone i.e. shure sm58), microphone cable, a good sound card and a microphone input. Most laptops already have these features. However, most of us has no real problem with that but only when you get a low, poor quality audio out of the microphone that where the problem start.  

Now, how do we go about getting that good quality voice (much like the BBC kind of sound) into your laptop or desktop computer?

The answer to that question is an audio mixer plus phono stereo cable. This is what you really need in addition to the above requirement.  For this example, I am using a Behringer Xenyx 502, one mic input and four line input, small-compact analog mixer. The connectivity of this mixer to laptop is straight forward (see the diagram below). The diagram speaks for itself.

Additional Notes (for laptop without line input): 

Some laptop does not have line input, so  mic input is used instead. Therefore when you connect your stereo plug into this mic input, humming or buzzing sound can be heard through your laptop speakers. This is because mic input is for mono signal, not quite right with stereo input hence the buzzing. To rectify this matter an additional plug is required i.e. 3.5 mm Mono plug. Faulty cable can also contribute to noise in the signal, so make sure you have a good cable.

3.5mm mono plug
Just plug in the stereo 3.5mm jack into the input of the 3.5mm mono jack. Then insert the 3.5mm mono jack into the mic input of the laptop. The 3.5mm mono jack act as stereo to mono signal converter. Hopefully this will get rid the humming or buzzing sound.

PLEASE NOTE ; It is recommended to use line input instead of mic input of the laptop.
On the mixer, adjust the tone of your voice using the 2-band EQ. You should be able to get that desire voice (husky and warm voice) within few minutes of trial and errors and a good pair of ears. Be careful though not to boost the input mic gain (trim) too high otherwise you get a distorted voice. Set the Channel gain to zero (0), set the mic gain to about 12 o’clock and adjust the main mix until the mixer level indicator (LED) blink on or below zero. Below are the settings of the knob of the mixer for your reference.

Try it to believe.

18 March 2011

Basic Audio Gain Structure


Gain structure plays a great importance in audio system especially when you deal with sound reinforcement system. If you don not understand gain structure works then you won’t be able to get the optimum clean sound from your PA system.
To begin with, it is a good practice if you start looking at gain structure surrounding a mixing console.
You must always be aware of the gain structure surrounding a console. Look at the gain structure and how it works.

The microphone signal is amplified by 40 - 50 db by the mike preamp to bring it up to the operating level of the rest of the console. Any EQ is additional gain or reduction. Lets say you open the channel fader 1/4 the way up and then increase the gain by increasing the mic preamp gain. It is very likely that the higher output from the mic preamp will distort when it enters the input of the next stage, the EQ. You will then EQ it adding more gain and more distortion. Similarly with the group output fader if you have one. If you run this fader low all the previous stages will be driven to overload.

Always start with your channel and group faders at Zero
and adjust your gain at the mic preamp

You'd be amazed at the number of times I glance at a PA console and see the group faders at 1/4 and the channel faders at 1/4 and the mic preamps turned up!! and a worried engineer wondering why the PA sounds awful.

Installation Tips

By Auralex, USA.

The following is a list of tips and techniques brought to you, the customer by Auralex's engineering and consulting department. 

Tip #1

Temporarily Fastening Auralex Products To Your Wall
If you're looking for a way to temporarily fasten your Studiofoam or other Auralex products, try using T-pins (available at fabric/dept. stores). T-pins will support your treatment while the Tubetak or Foamtak bonds. When adhesives can't be used or when you need to temporarily mount the treatment to fine 'tune' your room, T-pins provide an easy solution. Traditional fasteners (screws, nails, tacks, etc.) also work in many situations.
To cut your Studiofoam, simply use an electric carving knife for custom designs, a finishing touch, super-smooth edges and a REALLY cool installation! Let the knife do the work!

Tip #2

Foamtak Installation Tips
  1. Hold the can approximately 12-18'' from the Studiofoam or room surface and shake the can from side to side to yield a ''spider web'' pattern.
  2. For the strongest bond: apply the Foamtak to both the room surface and the back of the Studiofoam panels, allow 45 seconds to tack, and apply the Studiofoam to the surface. For a more temporary bond, apply the Foamtak to only the Studiofoam or the room surface.
  3. Storing the Foamtak can upside down between applications may allow a more consistent spray pattern.
  4. Use the Studiofoam box lids as spray guards for a cleaner installation.
  5. Stacking two Studiofoam boxes may yield a convenient work surface.
Tip #3

How to bevel the edges of Studiofoam for a cleaner look.
The appearance of Studiofoam Wedge, especially 3'' and 4'', can be improved by beveling the edges to an angle similar to the angle of the wedge cut. This gives a customized look, and makes 2' x2' squares go together nicely. (See examples).
We recommend beveling all the corners first, before any other custom cutting is done.
  1. Lay the panel on a flat surface, with the pointed edges of the wedge just at the edge of the surface, for best support.
  2. Mark a point on the first and last wedge, the desired distance back from the ends. The suggested setback is equal to the distance between wedge tips.
  3. Place a straight edge across the tips of the wedges, from mark to mark, and lightly mark this point on the tip of each wedge. A fine tip marker works well for this; keep the marks as small as possible. Don't ''squish'' the foam by pressing down too hard.
  4. Align the electric knife at an angle, with the blade going from the mark on the tip of the wedge to the point where the wedge meets the solid part of the foam (this can be visualized as a lined all the way down the panel, at the bottom apex of each triangular cut.
  5. Keeping the knife at the same angle as you start, cut slowly through the first wedge, traveling straight across horizontally toward the next wedge. Guide the knife by keeping a straight cut at the bottom toward the next bottom apex.
  6. When you finish the first wedge, pause to make sure the knife is once again aligned with the mark at the top tip and the bottom apex.
  7. Continue through the remaining wedges; take your time and let the knife do the work, keeping a straight line at the bottom and staying right on the marks on the tips.
  8. The secret is patience, a steady hand - and a smooth, straight motion from end to end.

Tip #4

Painting tips for T-Fusors and Minifusors

Latex-based paints should be used. If you have any doubts about your paint product of choice, please test on the back (or in the cavity) of a unit.
  1. If you intend to paint T'Fusors a solid color, first use a primer. Note: if you are using spray cans, expect to use one can per T'Fusor.
  2. Great results may be achieved with stone simulation spray paints (Make-It-Stone for example). Once again, for solid coverage expect one can per T'Fusor (although you do not need to prime).
  3. Preferred methods- a light dusting or fleck with the stone type paint, achieved by holding the can approximately 18'' away from the T'Fusor and consistently waiving the spray pattern. A more solid coverage may be achieved by purchasing two slightly different colors of the stone paint and implementing light ''dusting'' layers. This technique yields a very textured look and will require approximately two cans of paint per four T'Fusors.

02 March 2011

Setting up a radio station

by Tugicom

First, you need to establish what kind of an area you need to cover. What range will my fm transmitter have, how much power do I need? We are all limited by laws of physics. Range is thus limited by several factors: Optical visibility.
This can sometimes be up to 40 miles, if you are looking out from a mountain top. Interference from other stations on the same or close-by frequency. Receivers are not ideal and are even becoming more crappy in this modern age of crappy chinese dollar radios. Such receivers have difficulty discerning your signal while there are other strong signals close by. Transmission power. Even if optical visibility is 20 miles, 1W probably won't get you more than a mile. If 50 Watt ERP is used, it's very likely that 20 miles of range will be achieved.
This is because 50 Watt ERP is ample power to propagate a strong signal 20 miles. If 1 Million Watts of power is used, it is very likely that signal will only propagate just over 20 miles. This is because the range is limited as described in point a) above(optical visibility). Assuming the antenna has a clear view, the frequency is clear and an average (poor) quality portable receiver is used, typical transmission power vs range figures are as follows:

It is not possible to have hundreds of miles of range on FM broadcast band (87.5MHz to 108MHz), even if terrain is perfectly flat and you have your antenna on the top of the mountain and you're using killowatts of power.

It is occasionally possible due to special atmospheric conditions, such as inversion etc. Such special conditions happen rarely and only last for a very short time so it is not possible to rely upon them in any way. 

In order to cover so many square miles it is necessary to setup a grid of transmitters and link them via wireless audio links, making sure they do not transmit at the same frequency as they could interfere.

31 January 2011

POWER - Which Watts are Which?

By Yorkville Audio
Images extracted from: http://affordableaudio.biz/

Amplifier power ratings these days tend to be in watts expressed as "continuous average" or "burst average" or "peak" or "music power" or "continuous music power", etc. In the old days, the nomenclature was "RMS" which stands for "root mean square" and reflects the results of a test for the amp's long-term, continuous output capability.

Other, more modern tests tend to net fairly similar results but are more complex and require more sophisticated equipment. Two ratings which are worth looking for are Continuous Average Power and Burst Average Power.

The first rating will be similar to what an RMS test would net and the second one will be higher, reflecting the amplifier's ability to repeatedly produce clean peaks which last for at least one complete wavelength.

26 January 2011

What is RF Power Meter?

You should be familiar with RF Meter if your job is to service transmitters. Each RF power Meters has it particular frequency and power range to measure specific transmitter. Conversely, it also has features such as plug in where you can adapt a different power and frequency range.  Basically, the RF power meter is specifically design for certain impedance level such as 30, 50 or 75 ohm and connected to the transmitter via coaxial cables.

You can connect the RF meter between the transmitter output and the antenna or dummy load (see fig below) or a power attenuator can be connected a head of the power RF power meter to reduce the power a level within the range of the RF power meter. Most RF power meters measure both forward and reflected power. If the impedance of the antenna or dummy load isn't equal to coaxial cable impedance, not all the power sent down the cable to the antenna will be radiated.

Some of this power will be reflected and travel back (along the coaxial cable) to the transmitter, where it is dissipated as heat in the transmitter circuits (mostly in the final power transistors). Therefore this can cause damage to the transmitter. This however can be avoided since the RF power meter can measure the reflected power from the antenna and immediate action be taken to avoid serious damage to the transmitter.   Some RF power meter have built in dummy load which is a plus since it eliminate the need for extra coaxial cable.