Gil Miller-MuroFALLS CHURCH, VA.
In the spring of 2008, Dawnbreaker Communications LLC. took delivery of its first HD SNG vehicle. After exhaustive research, and a comprehensive demonstration by Tom Jennings at Wolf Coach, I made the decision to go with the 2008 Dodge Sprinter design for my dual path Ku high-definition truck.
When I was first introduced to the Wolf Coach Sprinter design, I was immediately impressed by the amount of work it could accommodate and storage space available. I knew that with the Sprinter option I'd be sacrificing a certain amount of rack space, but I found that in targeting my business towards the news gathering market, the combined benefits of better fuel economy, being able to fit into tighter parking spots, reduced overhead profile and less expensive maintenance outweighed the negatives.
MANY CHOICES AVAILABLE
Once the Sprinter chassis was selected, the next challenge was in choosing the best equipment options for the RF, audio, video and power. Working closely with Wolf Coach, I decided to go with the L-Band option on one Tandberg 5740 and one 5784. I went with the L-Band option, as it allowed me to hub mount my Xicom amps, use a block upconverter and significantly reduce the amount of wave guide that needed to feed the 1.8-meter Ku antenna. Additionally, I included a 70 MHz to L-Band converter in case I ever needed to incorporate an older 70 MHz encoder on the truck.
I decided to go with Evertz gear for the processing and routing of all audio and video signals. We're using an Evertz 16x16 HD/SDI router with embedded audio. All signal conversions—such as analog to digital—as well as distribution, embedding and de-embedding are performed by a variety of Evertz cards. The decision to go with Evertz allows me to input or output analog audio and video, SDI with embedded audio, or HD with embedded audio. Additionally, the Evertz Vista Link option allows me to monitor or change settings on any card in the chassis or control the router with my laptop computer. Having this much flexibility with formats or monitoring has dramatically improved my productivity in the field.
The power supply option was probably the easiest decision to make, due to the size limitations of the Sprinter chassis. A 12 kW Onan Quiet Diesel generator provides sufficient power for everything in the truck, as well as multiple camera positions including two or three large HMI lights.
MORE TIME FOR CLIENTS
All of the systems in the Dawnbreaker Sprinter truck have performed beautifully. As we evolve into a digital world, many of the challenges that the broadcasters have to deal with today are not an issue for me. Aspect ratios, analog versus SDI, embedded or discrete audio channels and the monitoring of multiple formats are all effectively dealt with in my truck. Furthermore, the ease with which I'm able to operate the truck affords me more time to deal directly with the client or put out other fires that frequently arise in the field.
I'm very pleased with my decision to go with the Wolf Coach Sprinter design and look forward to many more years of providing my clients with the best Ku platform on the market today.
Gil Miller-Muro spent 14 years working as a broadcast engineer for networks, including Fox News and CBS, before forming Dawnbreaker Communications LLC. He may be contacted atwww.dawnbreakercommunications.com.
For additional information, contact Wolf Coach at 978-568-5100 or visitwww.l-3com.com/wolfcoach.
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