Posts Tagged ‘Orban’

An Importer Upgrade: Lesson’s Learned

February 22, 2013 Comments off

A couple of weeks ago I decided to pursue an upgrade to our Nautel Export+ and Importers.  For those not in the U.S., this is the equipment that makes our HD Radio channels work, or digital radio.  The old Exporter and the Exporter+ units upgraded just fine.  It really isn’t that difficult.  The Importers were a bit different.

My upgrade worked out well.  First I had to update from Windows XP SP2 to SP3.  Well, the boxes are so old I had to find an executable upgrade package on the TechNet site.  I found it and it worked.  Why did Windows Update not work?  As mentioned the boxes were so old and all automatic updates are disabled due to the fact that the software used for HD Radio does not get the continuing testing required to keep up with OS changes.  The Nautel version 4.4.7 update specifies  Win XP SP3.  The most time consuming part was using Windows Update to get all the current, laugh here, patches.  Done.

Importer update:  This was straight forward too.  I skipped a version, 4.2.1, past 4.3.1, to 4.4.7.  All installed well and even my BTC (Broadcast Traffic Consortium) station came up just fine.  As we were pursuing an HD2 channel, I looked closely at the Capture Client for the secondary service and discovered that the second audio card was not there!  My brain started to wonder what happened.  The OS saw it and the Orban PC Remote software saw the two audio cards.  Now what?

After a reinstall of the 4.4.7 software, the reinstall of the Orban audio card drivers, and more checks to see what I may have missed, I did not get anywhere.  I contacted Nautel and this stumped them.  I decided to contact iBiquity.  They heard of some issue with the Orban PC1100 cards, but did not have an answer.  I contacted Orban and they did not have an immediate answer.  More suggestions of removing and reinstalling drivers and software.  I decided to dig a bit more.

At no time did anyone mention the PC1100 version.  I visited the Orban website and checked the download section.  I discovered at some point the software and drivers for the PC1100 audio cards was updated.  I usually keep up on updates, but, again, with HD stuff you do not touch it unless instructed to or forced to.  I figured I had nothing to lose, so I downloaded the software and installed in on a machine where the Importer services have not been required.  It worked!  I notified all parties involved.  Everyone assumed that this update was applied.  Well, again, I do not apply any updates unless there is a confirmed reason when it comes to the iBiquity equipment.  It is mentioned in all their documentation that automated updates and any other updates be cleared first.  Well, a bulletin or something could have been issued with the latest requirements and no one would have had to worry about this update.

I updated the other two Importers and all audio cards are seen and work.  Lesson learned.  Update that audio card and drivers if you have not done so.  This applies to anyone with a box that is at least 3 years old or older.  I see that Orban now has the PC1101 audio card out.  This is 2 audio cards in one.  Anyone have experience with this one?

Lessons are learned, and we keep learning everyday.  Keep your stuff updated within reason!  Hopefully my little exercise will help others not fall into this little trap.  Have a great weekend!


Radio Magazine Field Report: Orban 8600

December 30, 2011 Comments off

Self Plug time!  My latest Field Report in Radio Magazine:  The Orban 8600



Categories: Equipment Tags: ,

Thorn of the Week

Why not mention that I love the Aphex 230 Voice Processor.  I find it an awesome device.  Yet, this week it has been a thorn in my side.  I am having a rash of failures among some of my older units.  It is not the tube.  When sent in for repair it comes back with a packing list stating 2 capacitors and 1 IC replaced.  It does not tell me which ones and why.

The symptoms of the failure:  1.  Power LEDs behind the Aphex  logo do not light; 2. Audio does not pass; 3. Clip/mute LED either flickers or is on solid; 4. The De-ess LED is lit with flicker.  I suspect a power supply issue, but no definitive answer to that question.  I await a phone call to find out more details and if I can do field repairs to the units.   As a “precision” voice processor I do not want to make repairs and have not way to calibrate the unit, so part of the phone call is to determine feasibility.

If you have one of these units I am curious at what the age it is, and if you had/have any other issues with it.  I will begin a routine replacement of tubes on the oldest units as they are pushing at least 7 years if my calculations are right.  I figure that is a good amount of time plus I want to find out if there is an audible difference between before and after.

Many minor items are burning in the background.  I am making progress on the Orban 8600.  I am still in the poking around stages.  Plan on some review in a trade near you soon.  Have a great weekend!

Categories: Equipment Tags: ,

Watch Out for Defaults

March 7, 2011 Comments off

I posted I did a software push for our Orban 8500s to  I got it in the shorts for a couple of days when I couldn’t put my finger on why one station just did not sound right.  I dug a bit and found I was over-modulating.  What?  Turns out the update returned all the I/O levels to their defaults.  Luckily it did not change my diversity delay settings.  So I had to set all my outputs to FM+HD, and HD, and double check my AES output levels.  You would think it not be an issue, but when you have to match “the other end” things get changed.  Luckily I found it pretty quick.  Anyone else run into this?

AT&T is our suspect again on a remote control circuit.  It went away.  It came back.  It’s alive.  That’s all there is on that one.

I don’t know about your facilities and spending, but we continue to be stagnant.  March begins next week and no capital has been released, so it’s tough to start any new project.  I am beginning to line up  my ducks for a generator upgrade project.  Being in the state of confusion, I mean California, this will be a wonderful can of worms.  I bet there are some interested to see where this goes, so I’ll post as things progress.

Routine takes center stage again while we wait.  We can only purchase what we need.  I slipped in a few capacitors on a trip to the supply store and used and old Aphex Dominator as a training ground on dry caps in a power supply.  A little before and after is such a good tool by which to learn.  It’s almost like magic.

A morning show is to get bigger windows, so we taped out how it will go.  Of course we had to take money out of another project to make this happen.  Also, said morning talent a year later decides he wants a different microphone.  The Blue Blueberry which he demanded and said was the best I guess is not.  He now demands a Neumann TLM-103.  I received and installed a loan.  Next week I start the PO to purchase.  One week and no complaints.  Ironic that our standard microphone is a BCM-104 which I find sound a bit better.  Anyways, I didn’t need that parts and supply budget for that station, good luck getting anything else repaired this/next month!  Should I mention I have not mentioned to them how much a shock mount for that thing will be.

I received my first notice that we are entering license renewal season.  We are not due until 2013, but it is always to get a jump on cleaning up them public files and making sure your facility is running in compliance.  Take the time to do this.  It will be easier to prepare your filings if you get the busy work done early.  Here is a link to the FCC Renewal of License for Radio Broadcasts Stations.

Stay tuned for the next post whenever some interesting tidbit of fun comes my way!

Categories: Equipment, Management Tags: , ,
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