Cory Cumming, Chief Engineer, WLNS-TV/WLAJ-DT /
04.24.2014 12:10 PM
WLNS Stays on Target with Dawnco Meter
(L-R) Scott Andres, WLNS-TV assistant chief engineer; Ken Orlich, maintenance engineer; John Moore, station IT director; Fran Warchala, antenna installer; David Slater, maintenance engineer; Cory Cumming, chief engineer and Rich Hanovich, maintenance engineer
LANSING, MICH.—Last year WLNS-TV purchased four new Dawnco five-meter satellite antennas and DawnNco’s BestBuddy Turbo S2 satellite meter to help us set up these systems.

The satellite meter we’d been using was rather antiquated and not that reliable, so I wanted something more modern and easy to use. Thanks to the new meter we were able to install and align our dishes in an amazingly short amount of time. The Turbo S2 identifies satellites by name and also gives you C/N and signal level data, making antenna peaking nearly effortless.

One of the biggest differences between the S2 and the older satellite meter was in updating satellite information. With satellites seeming to appear and disappear at rather frequent intervals, being able to load new orbital information is really a key requirement for any satellite meter. The Dawnco S2 makes this easy. Its spectrum analyzer function is also easy to read, another bonus feature when you’re aligning a dish.

In addition to carrying a full slate of satellite-delivered network programming, we also record a large volume of syndicated programming for the stations. And just as with most television stations, in addition to this regular programming we also have some peak traffic periods that keep us busy.

A case in point was this year’s “March Madness.” Our sports department is really voracious when it comes to special feeds, pulling in content from just about any bird they can book time on. Manually hunting for some of these lesser used satellites used to take too much time; however, now with the Turbo S2 we can quickly identify just about any satellite and keep the sports director smiling.

Dawnco’s Turbo S2 satellite meter
Obviously, we place a lot of dependence on our satellite antennas and receivers, and if a downlink system should fail it’s imperative to get it back on line quickly. Having the proper diagnostic tools to do so greatly enhances our ability to make sure that all of our satellite-delivered programming is available and Dawnco’s Turbo S2 has proven to be a really big help in that regard.

The Turbo S2 arrived in a very well-constructed carrying case and has proven to be very rugged, in one case surviving a 20-foot fall to the ground. (I wouldn’t want to have had such an accident with our old meter.)

The Turbo S2 is protected by rubber armor on all sides, so this explains a lot about its robustness.

It’s also completely portable, operating on rechargeable batteries (which provide quite a long run time), and can supply power to the antenna’s LNB too. You can take it right to the dish to immediately troubleshoot a cable problem, allowing you to rule this out before looking at other areas in which the problem may lie.

Dawnco has been our source for satellite gear for a long time. They’ve always provided excellent information and planning assistance when we’ve needed it and the Turbo S2 is just one of the many quality products we’ve purchased from them.

Cory Cumming is chief engineer at WLNS-TV/WLAJ-DT and has been in broadcasting since 1989. He may be contacted at

For additional information, contact Dawnco at 248-391-9200 or visit

Post New Comment
If you are already a member, or would like to receive email alerts as new comments are
made, please login or register.

Enter the code shown above:

(Note: If you cannot read the numbers in the above
image, reload the page to generate a new one.)

No Comments Found

Tuesday 03:07 PM
WMUR-TV Says FAA Drone Rules Preclude ENG
The FAA’s current rules and proposed ban on flight over people, requirement of visual line of sight and restriction on nighttime flying, effectively prohibit broadcasters from using UAS for newsgathering. ~ WMUR-TV General Manager Jeff Bartlett

Sue Sillitoe, White Noise PR /   Friday 11:15 AM
DPA Microphones Expands Its d:facto™ Vocal Microphone Range
Wall Street Communications /   Friday 04:20 PM
SMPTE 2015 NAB Show Preview

Featured Articles
Discover TV Technology