Periodically we’ve been known to send EDMs (electronic direct mail) to tell our members and others what’s happening.
If you missed one, maybe it’s here in the repository.
Check it out.
Periodically we’ve been known to send EDMs (electronic direct mail) to tell our members and others what’s happening.
If you missed one, maybe it’s here in the repository.
Check it out.
Technorama is looking for your help. In over 40 years nobody has attempted a comprehensive analysis of what technology is in use at stations, so Technorama has taken on the task. Welcome to the inaugural national survey on technologies used by the community media sector. How to get started is at the end of this story.
As at May 2019 there are over 461 licensed community stations in Australia, with 104 of these new to the last decade. That increases the need to understand the range technologies that are used in stations across the country.
Whether you’re involved in the management or operations side of community radio broadcasting, or are the person who deals with studio technology first hand: your knowledge and assistance will improve the overall picture of how well equipped the community media sector is in the country.
John Maizels, President of Technorama, said “It’s tragic that nobody has done a survey like this in the past. We’ve been running on guesswork for the longest time. The Technorama survey will help everyone from stations to peak-bodies to get a validated view of what’s being used, and therefore what might be needed.
Information you provide will be used in many ways. It will inform and guide Technorama, support decisions on training options for the Community Media Training Organisation; help guide the Community Broadcasting Foundation’s grantmaking processes and provide the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia with valuable information on how the sector uses technology.
Your input to the survey may also guide other stations like yours in their technology choices, helping them to make good selections and avoid poor selections, bolster grant applications and assist their technical staff in formulating their budgets and equipment replacement strategies.
We’d like you to be honest, and we won’t publish any identifying information or criticise your opinion in any way.
Chris Deacon, Technorama Board member and Survey Coordinator said “We’re asking everyone to take a bit of time to give us the best picture they can. That might be a lot of detail, or a high level view, but every bit helps. The more information that is included in the survey, the better our analysis will be. Much of the detail should already be in your asset register, so there might not be much effort needed at all.”
The survey should take you around 40 minutes to complete and asks questions about your station’s resources and skillsets, technologies used in the studio and on the road as well as how your station sends programming to the transmitter.
President John Maizels stressed the benefits of the survey “We’re pretty sure that everyone who contributes will get many tangible take-aways from the experience. And the opportunity to build a big-picture for CBF, CBAA and Technorama is huge. It’s going to help CMTO identify training opportunities, will provide vendors with potential opportunity areas, and Technorama will use the information to plan our webinars and events“
You can get started right away: just click here to begin.
The anonymity process means you won’t be able to save and return to the survey, so please pick a time when you can do it in one pass. The survey will pause on a screen for 30-60 minutes but can’t be parked for longer.
Leap now: the survey will close on Friday 29th February 2020.
At the December Committee meeting, the Technorama Board appointed Hannah Murray to a casual vacancy on the Board. Many of you will know Hannah from her current role at the CMTO, and her previous role at the CBAA. As well as being steeped in technology, she comes with a wealth of experience in radio, music and event management, and is a passionate devotee of Klezmer. You can read about Hannah in her bio entry on the Board page.
For Technorama, Hannah will take on management of the highly successful Technorama Tuesdays webinar program for 2020, and is busy already mapping out next year’s series of events.
Hannah also joins the TR20 Local Arrangements Committee, working with Josh Pearson and the team to select the venue and then deliver the TR20 event.
We also bid a temporary adieu to Julie Spencer who is taking a sabbatical. Julie will return to active service with Technorama next year.
This month’s Technorama Tuesdays Webinar is another geek-mode episode. We talk detail and answer your tough questions. This time: links, and how to get the best out of them. Whether you’re connecting an OB, or feeding program to the transmitter, we have some interesting answers.
This one is for technologists and people who want to get into the weeds or ask the super-technical questions. As always, we also welcome managers, programmers, presenters, and anyone who is responsible for keeping the automation system sounding good.
What will we cover?
In this free 1-hr online learning experience you’ll:
This Technorama Training Tuesday webinar will be presented by Mike Tobin and will be moderated by John Maizels. Plus a team of experts waiting in the wings.
Tuesday 30 April 2019 at 18:30 (that’s 6:30PM) Australian Eastern Standard Time.
Nothing more than an hour of your time on a Tuesday night.
Check out this story here on the truth about changes to the 850MHz SOB blocks.
Read this article about the 850MHz Restack.
Technorama Tuesdays is an initiative of Technorama Incorporated, and is supported by the Community Media Training Organisation.
The rumours persist, and keep coming round. Let’s do our best to unmuddy the waters.
Let’s start by dispelling the rumours. FM link technology is not dead in Australia, and won’t go away any time soon. There is spectrum available for Studio-Transmitter Links (STLs) and Sound Outside Broadcast (SOB) links, and licences are being issued. To correctly quote Mark Twain, “The report of my death was an exaggeration.”
Most of our community is aware that some segments of the UHF band have been repurposed. Some of this, notably 809-824 MHz paired with 854-869 MHz, has been allocated to mobile broadband.
Also repurposed was the block from 849-852 MHz, traditionally used for STLs and SOBs. This spectrum was made available for two-frequency fixed links and land mobile services, and many of these services have been moved in from other parts of the band.
Taking a high-wide view, it’s hard to argue with these reallocations. Anyone who has applied for a two-way handheld service, or who is reading this page on a phone, might well be benefiting from the changes. It might even be you, right now.
Consolidation of services previously using the STL/SOB block has advantages. It’s like Spectrum Tetris: after the dust has settled, the remaining spectrum will be able to be managed more effectively. In most cases (especially where there were empty channels) existing licensees have been moved into the lower segment of the band transparently. Some stations took the opportunity to move from analogue FM links to class-licensed digital links. Other stations opted to stay in the STL/SOB block.
Despite some very good messaging from the regulator (and notwithstanding open publication of a clear long-term view, which is worth a read), many of our members are still confused about what they might do, what they must do, and whether they need to do anything at all.
So let’s answer a few questions, like: what’s the current status of the 850MHz restack? Are licenses still being issued? Is it sensible to replace an existing FM link with another one? Do all stations have to go digital?
The ACMA has been very helpful, and gave Technorama an update on 23 April 2019. Quotes from this document are in red-violet.
TR comment: this applies to existing users of the upper part of the band, the part that was sold to Telcos. It doesn’t apply to the lower segment of the band (845-849 MHz). If you’re operating there, you are protected. You can expect an existing licence to be renewable, and you may replace your equipment.
TR comment: if you’re there, you’re there. However if you’re not there already, just be aware that Embargo 64 was put in place to give existing users a measure of protection from potential users who have come to the party late. It doesn’t mean you won’t be allowed to jump on board.
Some of the negative press might have come from misreading of the Embargo. For instance, there are statements in Embargo 64 which indicate very clearly that existing apparatus licences in segments of the 800MHz band will not be renewed beyond defined dates. However the Embargo also states quite specifically:
This embargo does not apply to Sound outside Broadcast (SOB) assignments in the frequency band 845-850.5 MHz
Any applications for case-by-case exemptions are to be referred to the Manager, Spectrum Planning Section for consideration.
Clear message: read the strategy document!
Exactly what it says. Administering multiple documents gets messy over time, and is simplified when all of the rules and regulations are put in the one place.
If you believe that an FM link is the way to go for your station, and you don’t have a licence currently, you may apply for one. Exceptions may be made to the Embargo on a case-by-case basis, once the request is known, understood, and assessed.
If you’d like more advice on this topic, check out the Technorama Q&A Facebook Group. There are many people there who have successfully implemented FM links, and who would be happy to provide information.
Once again we’ve been able to offer young, female, and gender non-conforming people an opportunity to apply for the Represent! Bursary, and show how inclusive a group of technologists can be. The Bursary aims to improve the age and gender diversity imbalance that exists in the typical Technologist demographic, and allows an awardee to attend Technorama 2019 by covering all the costs. The Bursary is awarded through a merit-based assessment.
TR19 is very pleased to announce this year’s eight recipients and welcome as our guests:
A Totally Women Powered Radio project run by Radio Adelaide’s student radio in 1996 got Nikki hooked on radio. Since then she’s fed her audio addiction and been on a steep learning curve by doing a bit of everything: from music, art and political programs, to OBs, training, scheduling, IT and broadcast maintenance. Now, as People and Program Manager, she is a professional multi-tasker and trouble-shooter. In her spare time Nikki works as a Trainer for the CMTO and mentor for the National Features and Documentary Series, and loves sharing her knowledge and enthusing new people into the creative world of community radio. Nikki is also Secretary for the South Australian Community Broadcasting Association supporting 32 member stations across SA.
Charlotte is a community broadcaster, trainer and researcher with over 25 years of designing radio projects alongside diverse communities, primarily focusing on prisoner radio development across Australia and the UK. She is the current President of the SA Community Broadcasters Association, presents a weekly music show on sub-metro station WOWfm, and recently began coordinating a national sector development project with the CMTO.
Roz is the Station Manager at 7TYG, which covers the Derwent Valley in regional southern Tasmania. Roz has been with the station since its inception in 2009 in various roles, including technical support, and has been station manager since March 2012. 7TYG is moving and upgrading their transmission site this year and Roz is excited to attend TR19 to get a handle on all aspects of managing the logistical and technical aspects of the move.
Gemma is an experienced radio presenter and producer, having worked on the national CBAA Award winning show “Breaking Bands” for the past 4 years. She volunteers at her local radio station, 2RRR, and has recently participated in their Tech Blitz with Technorama. Gemma studied Music Production at UNSW, and has recorded and mixed for local bands.
Nathan volunteers at Radio 1RPH Canberra to assist with their IT needs which has included migrating the primary internet connection to the NBN. By day he is an ICT Network engineer. Nathan has been working in the public service for 3 years, having completed his Bachelor of Computer Systems and the Australian Government ICT Graduate program.
Declan is a volunteer for PBS 106.7FM in Melbourne. Having formally studied Audio Engineering, Declan is now completing his Advanced Diploma in Electronics and Communications Engineering to fully round out his passion for community radio and to be able to contribute to PBS more broadly both on and off mic. Declan hopes to learn as much as possible from Technorama prior to helping PBS in its upcoming move in the new year, and is happy for any advice or suggestions in relation to this.
Hannah is the Training Coordinator and Station Coordinator at Edge Radio 99.3, Tasmania’s only youth broadcasting service. She started out at Edge four years ago as a keen volunteer and quickly developed a passion for community radio. As well as the everyday running of the station she goes into schools as part of Edge’s youth outreach program to teach kids about media. “I’m looking forward to enhancing my tech knowhow at Technorama this year and being able to share my knowledge with our local volunteers!”
Sibylle wrote and produced her first radio story when she was eight years old; it was a murder crime story on the river Thames in London.
Many years and many other careers later, and by mere chance only three years ago, she came to volunteer at reception for Noosa FM 101.3 Community Radio. Being a big pet and wildlife lover she noticed there wasn’t a program on the radio station that would cater for like-minded people in the community. Co-incidentally the opportunity for presenter training came up and she decided to take the chance. In September 2017 she presented her first own program: “Pet Purri”, a music program concerned with pets and wildlife for the Noosa Shire.
In September 2018 she was elected VP and took on the coordinator position of the technical area of the station. Since April 2018 she has been President.
In 2018 Sibylle was the proud receiver of the Technorama “Rising Technical Star” Award.
The Represent! Bursary is an initiative of Technorama, and is supported by the CBF.
16 April 2019: Despite no dates on the website, Rydges really did mean 72 hours. The sale is over.
We’re still working on better deals, but word on the street is: book now. A better deal might not come, and if it does you can generally change.
14 April 2019: yesterday Rydges kicked off a 72-hour Flash Sale across their network.
During the sale, rooms are a flat rate $117/night (ie: the discount $130 rate, less 10% for Priority Guest Rewards members – and there’s no reason not to be a PGR member).
The catch is that it’s pay in full, in advance,. Not normally something that we’d recommend, but this close to the event it should be low risk. Plus you save around $50/night on the rack rate at the best and closest hotel.
Two warnings for their website:
The Rydges website cleverly avoids saying when the 72 hours starts and ends, so you might have another 48 hours… or you might have more time, or you might have less. Just assume the deal won’t last forever. Be quick.
By the way, this is really great news. If you were following Rydges website, their “Easter Sale” had two months of discount that finished THREE DAYS before TR19. Josh tried hard to get Rydges to cut us a break and extend the discount one week, to no avail. Ironically this deal is significantly better than anything we’d expected or have seen, so things have worked out.
Richard is a most experienced broadcasting engineer, with over 49 years in the industry. He looks after the technical support for many Sydney community stations, including 2SER, 2OOO, 2RPH, and smaller stations such as Radio Skid Row and 2RES, as well as extending as far as Vox-FM in Wollongong.
Richard has also worked on many innovative community broadcasting projects, such as the award winning Star Observer Digital, a queer pop-up digital radio station.
Richard Fleming is an all-rounder in radio broadcasting, and is best known for his studio build and integration work, for creating software solutions to support the stations in which he works, and for creating a mentoring/training process to encourage development of the next generation of broadcast engineer.
Richard was the winner of the 2017 Technorama Award for Outstanding Technical Contribution through Mentoring. In working with that diversity of stations, Richard has always been very generous with his time and knowledge in encouraging others in their understanding and interest in broadcasting and IT technology.
He is based in Sydney, and operates through Radio Support Services Pty Ltd.
This is very technical, but bear with us. Especially if you’re not heavily into the machinations of Social Media.
Last night we put a story on our Facebook page – the one we hardly ever update. That page is set to automatically trigger a post to our Twitter feed. The one we almost never send anything through. All things being equal, when we post news to the TR FB page, you get a tweet.
So what’s the problem? You got the tweet, didn’t you? Well, tweets are short – that’s the point. In this case Twitter truncated a long post, losing the useful part of the message in the process, and points everyone here where there was no sign of the rest of the message.
Hence, this article, created just in case you’re about to expire from FOMO.
Here’s what should have been in the Tweet:
Hey, you might be wondering what’s going on at Technorama. Well, most of what we do is announced on the webpage and through the Technorama Q&A group. But in case you’ve missed the news, here are some highlights:
Did you get all that? Good. Now you’re up to date!
Technorama is dedicated to training the next generation of technologists, and we’ve been looking for creative ways to do that. The Tech Blitz idea came from a very simple concept: it’s much easier for volunteers to achieve in a group and with a defined timeframe. The Studio Blitz aims to assist a station to spring-clean and refurbish its studio technology over a weekend, while training and skilling up a team at the same time.
On the weekend of 12/13 January 2019, we put that into practice at 2RRR. They put their hands up to be the test bed for the first outing of the Blitz packaged by the CMTO to be delivered as a pathways class.
RadioInfo wrote a great report on the class, which received outstanding support from the 2RRR and the participants of the first class.
You can read the RadioInfo article here. And then check out some of the great photos that came out of the day.
There are more blitzes planned for the coming year, and CMTO will shortly release details of how your station might participate.
And as RadioInfo hinted, Technorama is working on a similar approach to transmitter training. RadioInfo is right: many people talk about the need for technical training. Technorama is doing something about it, and the CMTO is making it possible for the training to be delivered. It’s practical and an example of a great ecosystem.
[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”21″ gal_title=”190112_Blitz”]