In a unique solar-powered application for audio capture on the PGA Tour events freelance broadcast engineer Mike Pappas is using Telecast Fiber Systems' 5060 Viper II module paired with a Uni Solar solar panel in a flexible, self-powered system that can be placed strategically in virtually any location for six channels of analog audio on a single optical fiber.
"One of the main problems with golf coverage is that you're covering a lot of ground, most of which has no access to power," explained Pappas. "Typically, for network coverage, we would use a golf cart to power our equipment, but that's like going duck hunting with a bazooka. Instead, we've combined solar panels with Telecast's 5060, the only high-quality, throw-down, digital module that could provide the six channels of audio necessary for picking up effects anywhere on the golf course."
Pappas is using four of Telecast's modular Viper II 5060 systems to replace miles of 25-pair telephone cable. The dry-pair link previously used proved to be susceptible to lightning. Audio quality was also sacrificed as it was transmitted over the long distances required for golf coverage.
"For all intents and purposes, we've created a highly reliable, self-maintaining system that gives us great audio," said Pappas. "With just one cable and one connector, it is easy to set up and very resistant to damage from water or other hazards out on the course. We literally plug it in, and it's ready to go. To my knowledge, we're the first to use the Viper in this application, powered by solar panels. It's pretty cutting-edge stuff."
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