I thought since Cris has been so busy as of late I’d step in with an update. We just finished up upgrading to the Wheatstone blade system in Denver. For years we’ve used outdated Audio Science soundcards along with 32-channel Mackie boards for the production rooms and Wheatstone G6 consoles for our control rooms. While we stayed with the G6 consoles for the control rooms, we did upgrade the Mackies to Wheatstone E6 8-channel consoles. We got rid of the Audio Science cards in all of the rooms and now have a variety of Wheatstone Blades. We have the IP88AD in the production rooms and the Blade 3 in the control rooms. The new consoles required us to cut holes in the tabletops so we’d be able to drop them in. We actually had my husband come in and do it one night. Thankfully cutting the holes was rather easy. We were able to hook the consoles up and drop them in. Part of this project was also upgrading our computers. We went ahead and bought brand new computers for the production rooms because they get the most intense work. We decided to refurbish the control room and audio server computers. This meant buying new hard drives, RAM, and a second gigabit network card and a copy of Windows 7. The process was rather easy as we had a few spare computers lying around. I didn’t have to take anything down to do the work. Once we ran out of spares I was able to put the ones I did in service and basically take the computers I just replaced and do the same process. I found it went by rather fast and we were able to get the four audio servers done in a matter of days and the same with the control rooms.

One issue we have found with Windows 7 and our NexGen automation system is windows thinks a program has quit responding and forces us to close it down. We’ve tried waiting on it to see if it clears up but unfortunately, it never does. This proves to be an issue when we are recording. Without a secondary record device going, we risk losing it altogether. I’ve put everything to be Windows XP compatible and this has helped out some. As more and more broadcasters move to Windows 7 and beyond, we need to find a way to stop this from happening. So if anyone has any ideas about this I’m all ears.

The next step for Crawford Broadcasting is me typing up a how-to guide for our other engineers for getting all things Wheatstone set up. It’ll be a task but it’ll be good when it’s done.

I think that about covers it for this month. So until next time…73,

Amanda, KD0CIC, CBRE