2TripleB campaigned for funding with local council and are now home to a reliable, resilient broadcasting solution
Based in Bellingen on NSW’s mid-north Coast, 2TripleB are a community radio station who aim to serve their shire by keeping everyone connected with the latest news. They are the last remaining source of local news for the area, after the region’s newspaper shut down. Like many within Australia, the last few years have been plagued with fires, floods and covid, highlighting a need for better communication within the area.
With that in mind, Bryony Fearns, Board member 2TripleB, began scoping out the work required to become part of the Bellingen Shire Emergency Operations Centre. She and Andrew Walls, Chair of 2TripleB, approached the Kempsey community radio station, Tank FM, for advice.
Ross Delaforce, senior technician Tank FM, and the team opened their doors to 2TripleB. They were able to showcase some of the many advancements Tank FM have made with their broadcasting equipment over the years to become the station it is today.
After many meetings together, Ross put together a scope of work required for 2TripleB to upgrade the station. Being a mudbrick building, Ross also identified that utilising a digital network-based system would make the overall deployment easier.
Broadcast Components has partnered with Ross and Tank FM for over 10 years and were invited to design and quote on the two studio build.
The requirements included:
- Simple integration with the ability to grow with the station’s requirements
- Improved phone capabilities and reduced ongoing costs
- Remote broadcast capability
- Staged deployment to allow for training & problem solving prior to handover
- Timely & cost effective ongoing support from supplier
- Training and enablement of local resources to maximise long term effectiveness
Broadcast Components created an end-to-end broadcast solution which exceeded the requirements, inclusive of studio rebuild and transmission network reliability upgrade. After further meetings with the board this design was then simplified to remove some of the non-essential design elements to cater for the targeted budget, whilst not compromising on the overall vision of “reliable, resilient broadcasting”.
With a plan in place, Bryony Fearns set about campaigning on behalf of the 2TripleB team for funding. Bellingen Shire Council invested in 2BBB as part of the Bellingen Shire Emergency Operations Centre with part of their Bushfire Local Emergency Recovery Fund (BLERF). 2TripleB is the only local media hub that will be able to communicate information, news and safety alerts across the Shire in real time, especially during floods, bushfires and pandemics.
At the heart of this digital solution is a Forum Lite Mixing Console for each studio.
Studio 1 and 2 were replicated to allow for easy contribution from both studios and efficient handover. The Forum Lite offers 9 console snapshots (or profiles) to support a wide range of inputs and presenter requirements, as well as single button voice track capability.
With funding in place, and a design locked in, Bryony got to work getting 2TripleB ready for the Broadcast Components team. Paul Mersh, board member 2TripleB, was on the ground coordinating the IT crew and electrician.
Each studio, although replicated, was installed separately to empower 2TripleB to use the equipment and make any adjusts if required for Studio 2.
2TripleB’s focus on resilience and reliability is designed into the hardware supplied by Broadcast Components.
Over the course of a week, the Broadcast Components team fitted, cabled and configured the full studio whilst Studio 1 continued with programming as normal.
AEQ products feature Dante audio over IP technology, which offer dual ports for no single point of failure including network infrastructure. Additionally, we supplied dual power supplies in the AEQ equipment and UPS technology for power management and risk mitigation.
A stereo power over ethernet Dante interface means any analogue equipment in the production space can be brought into the broadcast chain within moments.
The remote control interface for the supplied mixing consoles has allowed the technical team to offer training and support to the less confident presenters from home and significantly reduced signal interruptions due to human interface issues.
The existing transmission chain features the primary transmitter 93.3MHz (via 850MHz analogue STL link) and an off air rebroadcast on 107.3MHz. To offer signal continuity, Broadcast Components deployed an IP codec backup so there is no single point of failure for FM broadcasting, and the secondary frequency does not rely on the primary. This AEQ Phoenix codec network can broadcast a replication of the station content, or in a catastrophic situation (where the station in not functional and non-accessible) the AEQ Talent can remotely broadcast directly to the transmitter.
Training was provided in two streams, technical and presenter. After initial training, Kye Ruigrok, Technician 2TripleB, and Vanessa Nugent assisted with further training of the presenters. Kye runs all Outside Broadcasts for the station and has readily adopted the AEQ Forum Lite mixing console and Dante Audio over IP.
This upgrade represents the largest development in the life of 2TripleB since it was built and launched in 1983.