Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Impossible Remote.

Before ACCESS, a remote from the top of Mount Washington in February would have been nearly impossible (or at the least, too expensive!) But when WOKQ asked Steve Vanni of Technet about the possibility of delivering such a remote, Steve thought of ACCESS and the impossible became probable.

Not wanting WOKQ's morning team to suffer embarrassment by attempting the unknown, Steve ventured to the summit in January with ACCESS for testing. The Internet connection provided is the same link used for delivering weather information, but as this information doesn't require high bandwidth, it was unclear how reliable it would be. Since ACCESS is also not a bandwidth hog, optimism was high. The summit Internet is connected via microwave to the Mount Washington Museum in North Conway where it connects there to a Verizon DSL. It should work. And it did!

So for the actual remote, Mark Ericson (left) and the WOKQ morning team, along with Steve, who engineered the remote, made their way to the top via snowcat. Steve states, "I set up the ACCESS and it just worked. Which was really nice, since it allowed me the freedom to really enjoy the experience. We were on the summit for about 24 hours, but during that time period the entire range of available weather was experienced. It snowed. There were nearly 100 mph winds. The sun came out and it warmed up. It was clear and we could see forever. The clouds came in and we could look down into the clouds. It was amazing. As for the codec and the remote? No sweat. It went extremely well."

How cool is that!? Below zero, but who's counting!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Miraculous ACCESS!

Springfield, MO -- Corbin Campbell, Engineer for Midwest Family Broadcasting, recently sent us the following:
"Just wanted to drop you a note and thank you for letting us demo the Comrex Access for our radiothon for the Children’s Miracle Network. I already have a pair of Accesses for a weekly show that we do in Branson, MO once a week but we have never really taken the Access out on remote. I figured since this was going to be a high profile event and several of the top people from CMN were going to be here for the radiothon, I wanted to give them the a remote that they wouldn’t forget.

We basically set up a mini studio at the hospital since there was going to be lots of traffic and several interviews. We used two wireless mics and two wired mics for interviews and fed everything through a Mackie mixer. We used the Comrex IP for the primary and the dialup as a backup. The folks from CMN were extremely impressed by our remote setup and couldn’t believe the audio quality. What even got them was the fact that we were using DSL and the Internet, not ISDN or T1, to get the audio back to the studios with little or no delay.

Our General Manager was also impressed as well as several of the sales people. They are already worked up about being able to do remotes anywhere there is access to the Internet. The biggest problem was when I had to tell the talent that the Comrex was going away. I calmed them down by explaining to them that myself and the Operations Manager are working on buying several of these units for remotes.

As for CMN, they were expecting to only raise $30,000 to $40,000. The end total for the radiothon was $132,000!

A warning to any engineer that tries the Access, the hardest thing about demoing these units is having to send them back!!!

Thanks again and we are looking forward to purchasing more Comrex Accesses for Midwest Family Broadcasting."

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Bathrobe Broadcast

Greenville, SC -- When longtime WORD-AM Morning Host, Russ Cassell, learned that he had prostate cancer, he knew that he would overcome the debilitating disease and get back to the business of broadcasting. Through the power of prayer and strength of will, Russ did just that. The procedure was short, simple and uncomplicated...or so everyone thought.

What the medical team did not foresee was the development of necrotizing fasciitis, a soft tissue infection commonly referred to as "flesh-eating bacteria." What would have been a rather routine and speedy recovery turned into a lengthy home stay during the slow healing process.

As we all know, you can't keep a good man down! As Russ himself told local Greenville TV station WYFF Channel 4, "No offense...but you can only watch so much television." Eager to get back on the air but medically confined to his home for recuperation, Russ turned to Jerry Massey, Director of Engineering for Entercom's six radio stations in Greenville. As luck would have it, Jerry had been demoing the Comrex ACCESS Rackmount and, given the circumstances, we were happy to extend the demo to get Russ back on the air with his morning show partner, Lisa Rollins.

As you can see, Russ was very pleased with the capabilities of ACCESS. So much so, in fact, that DOE Jerry Massey subsequently purchased ACCESS units for all of the stations in his Greenville cluster!

Russ is still broadcasting from his home studio but we hope he gets well soon so he can get back in the studio where he belongs!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Somewhere...Beyond the Sea!

San Diego, CA -- As the immortal Bobby Darrin crooned away in the background, listener's of The Keith DeGreen Show on Clear Channel's KFYI/Phoenix were witness to a little bit of history with the commencement of DeGreen's departure for a voyage around the world. DeGreen, who broadcasts his show each Sunday from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., shoved off while live on the air via his Comrex ACCESS codec.

His global voyage began on April 1st aboard his new 55' Nordhavn Motoryacht outfitted with all of the latest bells & whistles including an ACCESS Rackmount Stereo BRIC IP Codec. Getting IP connectivity on the open seas is no small feat. So, for this, DeGreen and his crew turned to KVH and their Inmarsat Fleet 77 domed transmitter/receiver with gyroscopic tracking which provides this IP-over-satellite connection.

The Global Adventure with domed satellite transceivers

Prior to the April 1st launch, DeGreen and his crew put ACCESS through it's paces to insure it would provide a solid transmission medium for his broadcasts aboard his boat, The Global Adventure. Shortly before departing, Keith wrote us with the following update:

"On Sunday February 15, 2007 we were the first -- using our Comrex Access rack-mount unit and a broadcast studio we built in the pilot house of our ship -- to broadcast a regularly-scheduled radio show from a private ship at sea. The program, Keith DeGreen's Global Adventure Finance Show, was heard on NewsTalk 550, KFYI, Arizona's largest talk radio station during its regular time from 8--11 AM AZ time. At the time, our ship, The Global Adventure, was about 12 miles southwest of San Diego, in Mexican waters.
After each broadcast, the radio show is promptly posted to our website at We also post new photos, videos of our journey, plus commentary, on the website daily. Our stated mission is to explore the politics, culture, economy and investment opportunities at ports of call around the world -- and to provide no-nonsense investment advice on our show and website.

On Sunday, March 18, 2007, we again broadcast the entire show while at sea -- this time from about 20 miles due west of San Diego. The Comrex access unit performed flawlessly both times. However, an automatic shut-down program within our KVH 77 SAT-COM antenna took us off the air briefly on a couple of occassions. When that occured a pre-recorded evergreen show at the station kicked in. We are working with KVH to override that shutdown function in order to facilitate uninterrupted use of the KVH unit for up to three hours at a time, and we're confident that this will not occur again.

On April 1, 2007, we will shove off from San Diego on the first leg of our open-ended journey. We will broadcast from approximately 1200 miles out to sea on Sunday April 8 -- a little more than half way to Hawaii. We will make landfall at Honolulu on the 11th or 12th of April, and on Sunday, April 15 we will broadcast live from the Hawaii Yacht Club in Honolulu.

We plan many other exciting broadcasts from at sea, and from interesting ports of call. Our itinerary just between now and the end of the year includes stops at The Marshall Islands, Micronesia, The Philippines, Taiwan, several ports in China including Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Brunei, and Singapore. After the first of the year we plan to visit India, Sri Lanka, The Maldives, Dubai, Yemen, and to enter the Mediterranean via the Suez Canal by April 1, 2008. We will interview business leaders and officials at each port of call, and will be constantly taking photos and videos, writing commentary, and having fun -- and it will all be online at"

Well, Keith....Bon Voyage! It sounds like an exciting adventure! We're thrilled to be a part of it!