Tools, tips and new tech toys at Technorama conference

Community broadcasting technologists have gathered in Melbourne for this year’s Technorama Conference.

The conference is targeted at techologists from all ends of the spectrum, from those who are self taught, to those who have formal qualifications.

They are sharing tips, exchanging information and swapping expertise between each other, and this morning heard from keynote speaker Steve Ahern, who gave an overview of world technological changes for the broadcasting industry. “Smartphones and tablets are the world’s most powerful, portable, personal multi-media consumption devices,” said Ahern.

Yesterday participants took part in a ‘Test and Tag’ pre-conference training course.

Broadcast equipment suppliers are also at the conference to share experiences, answer questions and display products.

The change over of wireless microphones was one of the important topics discussed. Delegates were advised about the need to make sure microphones are compliant. Wireless microphones that operate above 694 Mhz now wont work. A useful website to find out more is

Studio transmitter links were also an item of discussion, with Ubiquity being mentioned as a good supplier of alternative wireless transmisison equipment. There were several examples discussed of stations using Ubiquity for wireless linking and Barix boxes for encoding/decoding on either end.

In an afternoon session on digital radio for regional areas, delegates heard that shires and regional councils are keen to spend money to fund digital retransmission facilities, but the ACMA does not have the legislative framework to be able to allow local councils to hold licences for that kind of transmission.

The introduction of an interactive buy swap and sell webpage for stations to trade equipment with eachother was also discussed, and Jon King surveyed delegates about the priorities for CBF grants. He asked what equipment priorities should be funded? Answers included: preventative maintenance and replacement, training and secondary studios, spare parts backup for remote stations, OB equipment and availability of an equipment bank for emergency replacements.

Transmission geeks will love this little gimmick. Download and save this FM Transmitter list file from the ACMA website then put it into Google Earth. It will give you an active data map of all transmitters in Australia.

Tim Borgas demonstrated a range of technology that has been evaluated by the SACBA Technical Group.

One of the most impressive pieces of software demonstrated was the Auria multi track editor, which is available as a paid app download (pics below). And for a good, cheap program fail alarm, download the silence detector software from this website.

More details about Technorama here.

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