Technorama Tuesdays – and let’s start with new studios

Ahead of TR23 in December, we’re back with three highly relevant TR Tuesday sessions.  Mark it in your diary right now:  second Tuesday each month through to end of the year.

We started with September, and the replay is available here.

Tuesday 12 September 1830 AEST

The theme for TR23 is “Building Your Next Facility”, so we kicked off with a look at some studio rebuilds that have happened recently.

Brian King has completed a major rebuild at 3ZZZ. In fact, Brian never stops as his Facebook page shows.  He’s replaced the central distribution and switching core with digital infrastructure, converted existing analogue studios to use digital distribution from the edges out, and has completed fitout of the large 3ZZZ studio to be fully digital and integrated with the core.

Mick Kerr is about to move 96five Brisbane to a new location, but ahead of the move the station had need to update one of the existing studios and Mick did that in a two-day blitz!

Ian McOwan recently completed a massive rework of two studios at Seymour FM, opened on 29 June of this year.

And because he never stops, Brian King has also recently completed a total overhaul of a studio at Plenty Valley FM in Melbourne.

In each situation we ask the questions:  what was the need, why did they do what they did, and how did it work out for everyone?

Four very different studio implementations for four completely different organisations – so what can we learn?

Join us and find out!  Watch the replay here.

Coming up in October and November

October:  Raspberry Pi: hands-on projects that you can use at your station.   On 10 October  Evan Wyatt and Terry O’Connor will take you through some working projects that can help you extend how your station works.   And we’ll also tell you about the upcoming Training Day at TR23 on Friday 1 December when you can get some hands-on experience with the Raspberry Pi platform.

November:  Stump The Chumps returns on Tuesday 14 November.  Our intrepid team will take your questions live.  You get to throw the curly ones at the panel, let’s how well they know their stuff.

Timing reminder:  the October and November sessions will start at 1830 AEDT (yes, Technorama-land will be on Daylight Saving)

Got questions?

Drop a line to [email protected] and we’ll do what we can to help.

Are Technorama Tuesdays open to everyone to attend?

Absolutely.   There’s no charge to attend, and the registration links will be via this page and the CMTO website.

So put the dates in your diary, bookmark this page, and come back to the site as each date gets closer.

Recover your membership: support Technorama in the best way possible

Calling all supporters of Community Broadcasting Tech

Has your Technorama membership lapsed?  Our old membership system allowed many people to escape unnoticed, and we miss you.

Renew Your Technorama Membership Today

Experience the benefits of being a Technorama member and stay up-to-date with the latest trends and innovations in technology with access to a network of Technologists. Renew now and continue to have discounted access to exclusive conferences, webinars, and resources.

Benefits of Technorama Membership

  • Reduced-price access to conferences and webinars featuring industry experts.
  • Access to resources and tools to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and innovations in technology – we’re about to introduce some additional facilities, courtesy of our cut-over to MembershipWorks
  • Networking opportunities with like-minded technologists
  • You become a counted member of the community broadcasting technologist community
  • CBF will love you
  • Technorama will love you!

And the best news?  You don’t need to be a tech.  If you’re interested in tech outcomes, networking, broadening your understanding, asking questions, getting answers, and generally supporting Technorama’s mission to build the community of technologists who support community broadcasting: we’d love to have you on-board.

Renew (or sign up) your Membership today

Don’t miss out on the benefits of being a Technorama member. Renew your membership today and continue to stay ahead of the curve in the community sector.

Not sure if you’re a member?  Check here – use the “lost password” process if you can’t remember you details.  When you get to the membership update form, look right down the bottom to see when your membership is next due – search for “Next renewal”.  If the date  in that line is after today, then you’re current.

If your membership has lapsed, then you can update directly from the form.  If you don’t have a membership at all, click through to here – where it takes just a few seconds and $10 (most likely – ensure you select the correct rate), after which you instantly become a member of the greatest community broadcasting tech group in Australia.   Well, our rules require the committee to approve a new membership, but unless you’re an axe-murderer that’s a formality.

If you’ve been lapsed for a bit do you have to pay back dues?  No.  We’re just happy to have you return, and the system should charge no more than the one-year rate even if it recognises you as a past member.

Bonus – renewing members save on TR23

Anyone who reinstates their lapsed membership in the month of September 2023 will receive a further discount on attendance at TR23, in addition to the discount that members normally receive.  So… what are you waiting for?  Do it now!



Technorama 2023 announced – 1-3 December 2023

TR23: Building Your Next Facility

Your committee is very happy to be able to announce that our annual, NATIONAL, real, in person, warm-body gathering is back for the first time since 2019.  Wow.  Has it really been that long?

Put an immediate hold on the first weekend of this coming December, and start thinking about how you’re going to get to Chatswood NSW.

This year we’re returning to The Chatswood Club, which worked so well for last year’s Sydney leg of the TR22ROADshow, and ramping back to the full programming that you know and love.

TR23 Guest of Honour:  Patrick Sproule

Our Special Guest of Honour for TR23 will be Patrick Sproule.  Pat is Head of Content Technology Solutions for our ABC, and is in the middle of building the ABC’s new radio and TV facility at Parramatta.  Some of you will remember Pat from when he headed TV at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga, but before that he got his start (and the bug for technology) at community radio station 2AAA.

What’s on the agenda for TR23?

Watch this space as we break more detail on programming, content and participants but you can assume that all your fave components of the event will take place:

  • Friday night welcome drinks, meet-and-greet
  • A very prominent and well positioned industry TR23 Guest of Honour
  • Practical and informative sessions focused around on this year’s highly relevant theme
  • Mix and discuss with participants from our partner Sector Organisations
  • Technorama Awards
  • Annual Dinner and Quiz Night
  • Show-and-tell from members and vendors
  • and much more

But wait – there’s more!

We’re also in early stages of planning two additional activities for participants:

  • Friday 1 December:  Education Day.  This year’s topic: clever stuff to do at your station with the Raspberry Pi platform


  • prepping for your Cert IV:   plans for delivering a Certificate IV qualification in Media Technology are moving along, and we are partnering with CMTO to bring the Recognition of Prior Learning process up to speed.

Definitely watch this space.

Programming detail, pricing, accommodation, travel offers, and lots more are in the pipeline.

TR23 is Highly Affordable!

One piece of good news, which we’re leaking right now so that you can get TR23 into household and station budgets:  we’re very confident that – despite passage of time and massive increase in pricing of EVERYTHING associated with conferences – we’re going to be able to hold the  all-inclusive, food-and-everything Technorama Member price below $130.

Right now (early August) we’re seeing airfares between $200-300 return to Sydney from MEL, BNE, ADL and HBA, on airlines that you’d actually want to use.  🙂   Hotels look to be around $200/night within 5 minutes walk of the venue. That’s off-the-web rackrate, and we’re working to get a conference roomblock rate to be even more affordable.

Become a Technorama Member right now

By the way, if you’re not yet a member of Technorama, or your membership has lapsed, how about joining?  Quick, easy, only $10 for station participants and you will save at least $15 on your TR23 registration.

Hold the date for a very relevant, affordable weekend, and a opportunity to learn from some of the best in the business.

Friday 1 December to Sunday 3 December for Technorama TR23.

This post will be relocated at 11:25 on Monday, 4 December 2023

Did you miss our mailouts?

The best way to stay in touch with Technorama, especially regarding TR22_Road, is to sign up on the home page.  That’s really easy: just fill in the details on the right, and you’re on the list.

But if you missed one of our incredibly informative emails, here’s the list of past and current TR22_Road mailouts:

6 Oct 2022:  TR22: Melbourne: two days to go

26 Sep 2022:  Brisbane:  it’s this Saturday

15 Sep 2022:  Two days to go: register now for TR22_Road SYD this Saturday.

12 Sep 2022:  Register NOW:  TR22_Road Sydney kicks off this Saturday.

31 Aug 2022: TR22: SAVE! Get Sydney Earlybird before Friday night.

21 Aug 2022:  Exciting news: TR22 Roadshow SYD/BNE/MEL open for registration


DR/BR lesson from 9/11: have backup on backup on backup – and a Plan C.

“Inaction is not an option.  It’s only a disaster if you don’t plan for it”.

Installation of the WTC pole. What do you notice? See below!

During the last few weeks we’ve been reminded about the events of 11 September 2001, now known universally as “9/11”, when the World Trade Centre twin towers collapsed.

Over many trips to the US I had personally visited the towers a few times, doing all the obligatory tourist things.  That included heading to the roof on my first trip.  As a broadcaster, I marveled at the antenna system on the top of 1 WTC, the North Tower, extending a further 110m from the roof of a building already 420m above ground.

From 1978, most of New York’s broadcasters had FM and TV transmitters at 1 WTC.  Being the tallest spot in the city (indeed: tallest spot in the US and, for a while, the whole world) made it an ideal site for STLs and remote links; not just for TV but also for the many AM broadcasters who needed to bounce their program feed from a mid-town studio to mast sites along the Jersey shore and elsewhere.

All broadcasters operating at the site had several layers of hardware backup in the transmitter room.  Main and standby transmitters, parallel link paths, duplicated processors, signal and control path switching, supported by backup power generation and multiple antenna arrays.  As you would.  No chance of going off air.  Sure: despite all the equipment duplication, there was only one mast on the building, but that mast was comfortably engineered to take all the services.

It was such an obviously appropriate location that almost every broadcaster had cancelled their legacy leases at the Empire State Building (and the WTC had paid for many years of those leases in a sweetheart deal to get the broadcasters to relocate from Empire to WTC). So Empire State was mostly fallow, a 1930s building just capable of, but not required to do, a 2000s job.

Surprisingly, backup-on-backup didn’t include site diversity.  Nobody seemed to have considered whether the building itself needed a backup; building failure was not on anyone’s radar.  There was just no plan to deal with the bizarre consequence: what would happen if the North Tower suddenly was not there.

“Suddenly” turned out to be 102 minutes, the interval between when the plane hit the north tower, and when the building came down.  It was all over in seconds.

In that moment, all New York free-to-air broadcast transmission and link services stopped, silencing every service that was on, or went via, 1 WTC.  Hardwire backup links and other services – ISDN, landlines, phone lines, still worked until, at the end of an already unthinkably bad day, the Verizon Central Office (telephone exchange) went offline with the collapse of 7 WTC.

The extent of all these cause-and-effect relationships was extreme, and totally implausible.  And yet, it happened.

The 9/11 incident contains huge lessons for everyone in our industry.  So here’s a real gem:  at the Audio Engineering Society 115th convention held in New York on 10 October 2003, a group of broadcast engineers staged a panel titled “REBUILDING OF NEW YORK BROADCASTING” in which they took the audience through the events of the day, what broadcasters did to recover, and many of the lessons learned.

Base of the North Tower mast; it adds another 30 storeys to the building.

All the people on the panel, even the Public Broadcasters, are part of the big end of town: consider that their audience reach required them to be on the world’s tallest building.  But here’s the thing: what they say is incredibly relevant to small community broadcasters – even small stations running 10 watts – because the learnings from any recovery exercise are universal truths.

This is one of those talks that you really need to give a listen.  The full session ran 2.5 hours, and most of it was captured in this recording.

Hint: the file isn’t very big (20MB) and is easier to navigate if you download it – although you can listen to it just fine from the link above.  I have not yet been able to find the slides that accompanied the talks but I’ll reach out to AES over the coming week.  Meanwhile, there are  plenty of generic pictures on the web.

To help put things into perspective, check out Wikipedia articles on

and you can look at maps of the area.

Also, here’s a fascinating 1967 article about the Empire State Building antennas, written before the WTC was commissioned and fully 11 years before WTC North Tower came online.

Notes on the recording

Many times the location “Kearny” is mentioned;  that’s a suburb of New Jersey, just west of lower Manhattan, home to many AM transmitters and backup FM.  You can see the towers around 282 Polito Ave Lyndhurst NJ (Westinghouse site, four mast directional), and another two sites literally a few minutes walk away at 1427 Valley Brook Avenue  (look for towers on both sides of the road).  There’s another directional tower set about 200m south of Valley Brook.

At least two of the AM tower clusters have an FM array at the top of one mast. Wouldn’t that work?  Well… it looks really high and effective; a mid-band 1/4 wave AM mast is probably around 80m high.  That’s equivalent to putting an FM antenna on the top of a 25-storey building with nothing around to obstruct it.  Perfect, until you consider the wall of buildings that is Manhattan, and compare an 80m mast to the WTC pole, which was 110m high and had a 420m building underneath it.  Six times the height and right in the middle of the greater NYC/New Jersey area.

Listen carefully, and you will also hear occasional references to another tower in Alpine NJ, north west of New York City.  That’s the same location from which Edwin H Armstrong did the very first practical proof tests of FM broadcasting.

The Verizon Central Office next door to 7 WTC, and carrying significant amounts of broadcast traffic, was impacted when 7 WTC also came down.  Although much of the exchange appears to have been OK, cables and interconnects were affected.

7 WTC’s collapse was not from direct physical damage caused by the collapse of 1 WTC adjacent, but from fires started on multiple floors.  Some sources have attributed fires and the subsequent collapse to burning of diesel fuel, part of emergency power generation plant located quite low down.  The 7 WTC investigation suggested otherwise, and it’s very difficult to get diesel fuel to burn, but lack of water, bad sprinkler system design, and flying av-gas and flaming debris from the towers, created a perfect storm.  7 WTC is regarded as the only steel skyscraper ever to have collapsed due to fire.

What can you learn from the session?

Everyone on the panel was violently in agreement about some really valuable conclusions:

  • you can’t be too prepared;
  • you need a plan;
  • you need to test the plan;
  • you need to consider what’s the impact of being not on the air; and
  • your plan needs to cover eventualities that can’t possibly happen, because they can happen.

Enjoy, and comment in the Technorama Q&A.

Panel participants were:


  • David K. Bialik – Systems Engineering Consultant
  • Howard Price – ABC (the American corporation)


  • Joe Giardina – DSI
  • John Lyons – Durst Organization
  • Kevin Plumb – WABC, WPLJ
  • Steve Shultis – WNYC Radio
  • Thomas Silliman – ERI Inc.
Video of the attack

There are many programs and stories which have been told about the events of 9 September 2001.  None that I have seen comes anywhere near delivering the clarity and impact of “9/11: Life under attack”.  It is beautifully crafted, and tells the story through the eyes of people who had the presence of mind to hold a camera and keep it running.

At the time of writing, the program is available on ABC iView and also on YouTube.  It’s worth looking at both: they are two quite different edits all the way through to the end (tech note: you can sync the closing credits, and the overlay is identically timed, but the backgrounds are different).

Final word on backup

So did you notice the photo at the top of this article?  Who is this person who is standing at the top of a pole, over half a kilometre off the ground, leaning over into space while holding on with one hand, and with only a shirt and workboots as protection?  Wow.  You would not want to sneeze.  Even more bizarre?  The photo was shot from above.  Someone even more crazy was higher up, hanging in mid-air to take the pic.

DR/BR: Could your station recover from a cyber attack?

As an Australian TV network deals with a massive cyber-attack – one of the worst such corporate attacks to date, and still playing out as this article was being written – right now would be an excellent time to consider your station’s state of readiness.  Technorama President, John Maizels, reports.

The broadcast industry is a ripe target for cyber criminals.  Viruses, malware and bloatware are all nasty, annoying, and have repercussions.  But the worst possible form of attack is Ransomware.  Your station could be next.  This article is about how to avoid that, and might be the single most important advice that Technorama could give you this year.

Let me say at the outset: this is a lot of stuff to take in, and you could easily feel swamped by the time you get half way through.  Keep going.  If you only take one tip, and start with that, you’re ahead of the game.

The key questions are:  how prepared is your station for a cyber-threat, and how likely are you to be able to survive a direct attack?  Does your station have an active plan B?

To be really blunt: does everyone in your food-chain speak the language of business recovery and business continuity?

Many stations don’t have a plan

If you don’t have a solid strategy to handle a disaster, you’re not alone.  The trick is to start somewhere, and start now if you haven’t already.  In fact: start before you’re ready!

Step one is always to be informed, so this article asks the important questions, and suggests some beginning strategies.  Bigger answers will come later, but right now your best defence is to know that there is a challenge to be met, and what form that challenge might take.

To help you along, the Technorama brains-trust has mapped out some aspects to consider about cyber-threats and your station.

This article will be updated from time-to-time, as tips and hints come to light.  If you have a suggestion, or an experience to share, send an email to [email protected].   But let’s start with the obvious.

It’s about your mindset

The first step to readiness is to admit that a cyber-attack can happen.   Not only can it happen, but broadcasters are an obvious target, and your station is a broadcaster.

The outcome of an attack on a broadcaster is very visible, instills fear into the rest of the community, and the stakes are high enough that the demands can be high too.  Don’t assume that because your station is “community broadcasting” that the attack will be lessened, or that the attacker is ready to give you a discount.

The word “attack” might seem extreme, but that’s what it is so don’t mince words.  Consider that if it’s possible to attack a major television network with a cyber-security team in place, that it can happen to a community broadcaster.  It can happen to you.

It’s reasonable to assume that if you are hit, there will be consequences.  But don’t assume that your attacker is going to play fair.  Even if you pay the ransom, your files might not be unlocked and your systems might not be restored.  Money (or whatever the ransom is) might not even be the endgame.

Assume that if you haven’t thought about cyber-attack and recovery, any situation is going to be messy.

At the same time, Radio is much simpler to fix than Television. It’s not hard to get back on air, there are low-cost recovery methods, and you should not be broadcasting silence for very long at all.

How can you mitigate an attack?

Have the correct mindset: ensure that your colleagues, the board/committee, and anyone who has access to your gear knows that there is a real risk of virus, malware, and ransomware attack.

Then do everything you can to not be that target.

Plan to be attack-ready!

A key piece of advice is to have a plan in place, no matter how unlikely you think an attack might be.  Your station might be collateral damage in an attack intended for another organisation (eg: if you’re using the same software or systems).

Identify your critical assets, and know what the impact would be if those assets are compromised.  Then create an incident plan.  It doesn’t have to be complex or extremely detailed, but it does need to exist.  By having a response plan, you start from a position of preparedness and calm, which in turn will reduce fallout and promote confidence.

Assume that your station is a target.

If you’re a broadcaster, you are visible.  If you are visible, someone might decide your station is worth going after.

Create a reasonable “under attack” mindset and culture.  Ensure that everyone knows it’s not a matter of if, but when, and that every user of station facilities has a part in the protection strategy.

Encourage everyone to be aware of the consequences of a mis-click, an imported USB key, and the various attack vectors that cyber-criminals use.

Know your pressure-points

Look at your current environment, and be both realistic and brutal. Ask the question: do you have a single point of failure?  This is not just a technical question.  You can be attacked many ways, and your recovery depends on strategies with:

  • hardware/software/infrastructure: can you manage hardware and software in a way that ensures the problem isn’t made worse?
    • do you have spare hardware to cope with recovery?
    • is at least some of that hardware completely isolated from the live network?
  • people:  when the attack occurs, is there a defined list of people to call, and a sequence in which they will be called?  Who needs to know?  Who is capable of leading the recovery?  And if that’s one person, or someone who isn’t available: the station is exposed.
  • location:  is there a defined backup process for anything physical, and can you implement a recovery offsite?
  • protocol: does everyone understand that a cyber-attack is possible, and what to do if they are the first-noticer?

Security starts on the inside

Control who has access to your network, and which parts of the network they can access.  Control what resources can be reached by non-technical people.

Separate internet and on-air traffic.  At the very least, put your automation systems and internet access on separate VLANs, and ensure that the external internet can’t touch the automation system.

A smart way to manage networks is to construct the network with multiple NICs (network interface controllers) on critical machines. Create an internal and external network and ensure that network traffic can’t be cross coupled.

Ensure there is no reason for anyone to connect an external device directly to the broadcast network or a machine on the broadcast network.

Set clear IT policies.  Ensure everyone understands what is and isn’t a threat.

  • You can’t be infected with a virus from a WAV or MP3 file.  Audio files are audio, and not executable.
  • You can be infected with a viral carrier that is disguised as a WAV or MP3 file – and such a file won’t be playable audio.  If a file won’t play when dropped into an appliance player (eg: VLC) then maybe have a look more carefully.
  • You could easily be infected with a file that is trivially disguised.  For instance:
    • tune.mp3” is safe.  It can’t be executed.
    • tune.mp3 (lots of spaces) …exe” might not be noticed as an executable file, and is a threat

The Windows default, which is to hide file extensions of well known files, is one of the craziest decisions that Microsoft ever made.  You can change the defaults of file lists so that extensions are visible.  If the file is a .exe, you probably want to know.

The best policy is for your people not to download anything on-station unless it’s from a known, trusted, source.

Don’t go overboard

I’ve been in many stations where browsers, desktops, accesses and even office suites are so locked down that it’s hard to function.  That’s not desirable, and it’s not a good outcome.  Neither is it sensible (especially in small stations) to restrict access to only one person.  Balance your approach.  And before you tighten security, ensure that somewhere, in a trusted place, there is the password-containing envelope that can be ripped open in case of emergency.

Your aim is to secure the station, not cripple it and alienate all your volunteers.

To publicise or not?

If you do suffer an attack, there are two obvious PR strategies straight off the bat:  tell everyone, or keep it under wraps.  Your attacker would like nothing more than to have the work publicised – that’s how terrorism works, and if everyone else is fearful of an attack, the ransom toll can be steeper.  On the other hand, if your station is plunged into darkness, people will want to know what happened.

Turning a bug into a feature – being very open, even to the point of joking about it – is a powerful alternative.

The golden rule of PR is to have a strategy.  Everyone marches to the same tune.  So when you create your attack mitigation plan, ensure that a defined PR approach is part of what you do.  At least then you can relax on that aspect.

Prevention and Mitigation Basics

At the very least, you should do the basics.

  • Have a reputable anti-virus package installed on all your internet-accessible computers.
  • Have a backup strategy that involves taking backups once a week at the very least.  Daily incremental backups is an even better strategy.
  • Test your backups.  Backups are useless unless you know that a restore will work, and that you are comfortable with the restore procedure.  Backup and restore instructions should be written in a way that a non-technical person could follow, and be successful.
  • Have a complete set of backups stored offsite, and store these in a way that the backups are completely isolated from your active network – in fact, isolated from all other infrastructure.  If you have to bring a backup into play because your network is compromised:  don’t put your only backup on the compromised network!


If you’re hit: what are some considerations?  Most importantly: don’t panic. Don’t do anything that is likely to compromise whatever is still working – if the station is off air, you don’t want to make the situation worse by extending the off-air period while trying to shorten it.

Some simple tests:

  • check backups before restoring.  Are they clean?  Do they work?  Are you restoring the most recent appropriate version?
  • ensure that the machine to which you are restoring (and any machine that touches the backup) is clean before you attach backup media.  If you’re not sure: don’t do it.
  • Ensure you are restoring data, not programs.

Things you can do to protect your station

Have a Plan B.  That sounds so obvious, so ask: do you have one?  If the station is hit with a cyber attack, does everyone from the on-air presenter up know what to do next and who to call?

If you rely on automation, have a standby machine that is completely disconnected.  Even an old playlist is better than no playlist.  An old PC with a duplicate of your libraries is a good piece of insurance.

If you have a digital studio infrastructure, confirm that the console can’t be brought down by a cyber attack on another part of the network.  Consoles that rely on network attachment, and a Windows-based configuration controller, might be a point of risk.

Include appliances in your backup plan

Part if your recovery arsenal should be some tools that aren’t based on files, or connected IT. What does that mean?  Simple: be ready to play material from a source that can’t be compromised by a cyber attack. Appliances are your friend.

An appliance is a device which does exactly one job and can’t be tricked into being something else.  Examples of an audio appliance include CD player, DVD player, or a box which can play from a hard drive or USB stick.  Think in terms of old-school devices:  CD, cassette, vinyl, tape, and Edison cylinders are totally immune to computer viruses. Any of those will keep your station on the air.

If you have an analogue studio with CD players and turntables, you have massive protection already. It would be very hard for a cyber attack to knock you out completely.

In these days of substantial digitisation, your station might not have any of those playback devices in the studio.  So ask: if the network goes down, what can you use to deliver emergency program, and what is your strategy for program continuity?

Of all the devices available today, a DVD or BluRay player is the obvious choice as an emergency program source.  Cheap, easily available, and can’t be hacked.  Put one in the master racks for the rainy day.

Ideally, your emergency playout should bypass studios and all your other infrastructure.  Have cables and suitable interface available to connect the audio output from the appliance directly into your studio switcher.

Then ensure that you have a generic standby program sitting on a CD/DVD/BD, and that you have spare batteries for the remote control.

When all else fails

Don’t forget: your OB kit can double as an emergency studio.

Where next?

Technorama members, and everyone who has subscribed:  the Technorama Community Radio Tech Q&A Facebook Group is a great resource. It’s an excellent place to ask questions and get advice.

CBAA Awards: enter before 17 July

Although Technorama is running TR20V, we’re holding back on our Technologist Awards until much later in the year when we expect to run an in-person event.

Recognition of the work of technologists is vital, and you still have opportunities to be noticed.

With the challenges the sector has faced, we have seen amazing innovation and community connection and engagement. The CBAA Community Radio Awards celebrates stations achievements and their people. We want to celebrate their innovation, perseverance and community champions.

Entries are now open for more than 30 categories including: “Excellence in Technical Services” and “Excellence in Technical Innovation”. For more information about the award guidelines and how to enter online click here.

Who won the 2019 Excellence in Technical Innovation Awards?  Creative Automation Solution by Technorama member Alastair Ling from Edge Radio in Hobart, TAS.

Take a look at other previous winners here.

TR20 moves online – hold 4 July!

TR20V: not in this room!

The Technorama team has listened to your suggestions about getting together. Stand by for TR20V, a full-on Technorama conference experience. TR20V will be a special one-day event, with presentations, panels, discussions, tech stuff, vendors, and a chance to mingle with your mates and make new friends – all without leaving your home or stepping on a plane.

There will be something for everyone, with the full conference program to be announced in mid-May.

We’re even planning the dinner, and we’ll conclude in the evening with our customary Trivia Night!

Work on programming has started, and we’re keen to know what you think should be included.  Click here and tell us on the survey link.

Watch the Technorama website and your email! Registrations will be opening soon.

Tonight 31 March – Everyone Remote: Technical Distancing

Technorama Tuesday delivers the goods

When the universe sends lemons, it’s time to make lemonade.

Closing the station doors to keep volunteers safe creates interesting challenges… but there are solutions.   Even though everyone might be staying home and avoiding the station, there’s no medical rule that says your station has to sound sick.

On Tuesday 31 March Tim Borgas (SACBA) offers ideas and tips to help your station’s operation as healthy as you are.  Think tech, programming, gear, remote operation, and how to sound GOOOOOODDDD during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Register here and join from home!   You don’t have to be a tech for this one;  everybody is welcome and will take away a few good thoughts.

Did you miss a webinar?

You can catch previous Technorama Tuesdays – including last months excellent session on documenting your station.
Just follow this link to get access to whole series.

Technorama TR20

As you might have guessed, the COVID-19 pandemic completely kaiboshed our plans to run TR20 in Toowoomba in late May.   We waited as long as we could to make a decision, until events overtook us and force our hand.

But there’s good news:  we’ll be back as soon as we’re able.  And our lemonade machine is working overtime on the Plan B, because all good technologists have a Plan B.   Watch this space.

Info and tips on COVID-19

We’ve been busy creating info to help you deal with the nasties, and doing our best to cut through the fog with real science.   Check the Technorama website for useful stories on not destroying microphones with Glen 20, how to deal with pop shields, why barrier filters might be the wrong idea, what the virus really does, and a neat simulator to help you and your station mates understand why social distancing is a great option.   Check out  COVID-19: helpful support information and save a few lives.

For the team,

John Maizels
President, Technorama Incorporated
[email protected]

PS:  tell your friends and help get the Technorama messages out!

COVID-19: helpful support information

One of the toughest questions you should ask when dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic is: “how do I know this information is right”.  Over the last two weeks, we’ve seen convergence of information, and development of authoritative sources.   And we’ve policed our own discussions to try to ensure the best possible info.

We’re here to help

The Technorama Facebook Q&A group has been described as “the most useful source of advice for getting ready to deal with working to prevent the spread of the Corona virus.”  We try.

Q&A is a “closed group”, which is a standard Facebook mechanism intended to improve signal-to-noise ratio.  We ask a few questions of applicants to confirm that they have an affinity with Community Broadcasting (as described in the policy page).  Anyone who answers the questions is admitted very quickly, and we are monitoring the group to ensure that.

Medical information?

Your first point of contact for medical questions related to COVID-19 could be:

All of these organisations represent best effort to provide good information.  Even where mistakes or inconsistencies occur, they are all heavily internally reviewed and subject to feedback.

Technorama cannot provide medical advice (and we don’t) but we can point you at information sources which appear, to us, to have a good basis in science.   It’s also in our remit to give you access to the best tools that we can find.

Other useful links

In the spirit of that, here are some additional links that we believe are truly useful:

This lovingly crafted video shows how a well-researched creative team can work miracles.  In 8 minutes it explains the science behind the pandemic, how the SARS-NCOV-2 virus works, and why all the stuff we’re being told is important.  After watching the video, you should be able to explain why isolation and handwashing is so effective and necessary.

Melting Asphalt created a simulation tool to help you visualise how a pandemic occurs and propagates.  What’s fascinating is that it provides knobs that you can adjust to change the way the outbreak moves.  There’s even a challenge to see if you can quickly find a balance where the disease stops.  The model steps you through many stages, and you can reset, start again, and step through as often as you like.





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