Fred B. gives us a sign… from 1991


If you’ve attended an SBE Ennes workshop, you’ve probably met Fred Baumgartner, who generously donated countless hours of time to the company.

Now retired, Fred recently visited a transmitter site he built a million years ago (well, maybe 30), having not been there in decades.

At the time, Fred thought the sign shown here might be a good idea and would help prevent vandalism. As far as he knows, he has achieved this goal all these years.

An informative warning sign to deter vandals.

A 2022 version of the panel might remove the tower information, since you identify towers these days, as you know. The reference to the videotape is dated, of course; and Fred wonders if anyone would answer the phone these days.

Many big lights also illuminate the building at night – there is nowhere to hide.

Fred hid the camera, an inexpensive model, in a PVC pipe that looked like a vent; there was a nice view.

The return path was for ENG, so rather than sending color bars back to the station, it was the camera feed. There were also cheap cameras in the building itself so you could see smoke or an intruder. This was all before IP, of course.

The purpose of Fred’s panel was to make sure bad guys were aware that someone…a real person…was keeping tabs on things and could track down a would-be vandal if they misbehaved.

Fred’s experience is that without such a sign, a concrete block fortress can seem mysterious, depersonalized and isolated – a tempting and perhaps unguarded target.

Of course, if someone really wanted to shoot the tower lights or steal the copper, they could do it. But like the lock on your front door, the sign is all about keeping good people good.

Free meter

Portsmouth, RI, Engineer, Ihor Slabicky saw our mention in the May 11th column of the Darkwood website and their free volume meter apps.

Ihor reminds us that engineers can also visit the Orban website for a free meter. Click here to download your free Orban Loudness Meter.

This free sound level meter is offered by Orban.

(Quick quiz: What does URL mean? Answer at the end.)

[Read Another Workbench by John Bisset]

Well, aren’t you a site…

Speaking of URLs, Paul Sagi writes from Malaysia with an interesting site.

PCrisk is a cybersecurity portal, informing Internet users of the latest digital threats. The content is provided by security experts and professional malware researchers.

For example, an interesting article on malware removal can be found here.

Meanwhile, Dan Slentz has another site you’ll want to check out. Engineers are supposed to fix everything, right? Well, this site offers free repair guides for “everything”, written by everyone!

You’ll find repair support for computers, phones, electronics, household products, cameras, and even medical products, with nearly 90,000 manuals. Sorry, no transmitters… yet!

The URL is simple:

keep it cool

Dan also read about a small 6,000 BTU mini-split air conditioning system from Oslo. He writes that small stations or low-budget operations can face cooling issues in makeshift studios. The problem is the sound generated by a typical wall or window air conditioner. This model isolates the compressor and the exchanger from the fan.

As you can see in the figure, the device straddles your window sill. The cost is less than $600.

The OSLO Mini-Split air conditioner straddles the window sill.

A useful function is the resumption of operation in the event of a power failure. The Oslo corresponds window sills with a clearance of up to 11″.

For more information, search for “Saddle Air Conditioners” here.


More and more telephones and tables are found in studios. Dan also found a useful cell phone/tablet stand for under $20 on Amazon. It accommodates thick cases, has a weighted base and is compatible with both iPads mobile phones and tablets.

This height and angle adjustable desktop stand promises comfortable viewing.

Enter “LISEN cell phone holder” in the Amazon search block.

Answer to the questionnaire

URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator. As the site explains

“A URL is nothing more than the address of a single given resource on the Web. In theory, each valid URL points to a unique resource. These resources can be an HTML page, a CSS document, an image, etc. In practice, there are a few exceptions, the most common being a URL pointing to a resource that no longer exists or has moved. As the resource represented by the URL and the URL itself are managed by the web server, it is up to the owner of the web server to carefully manage this resource and its associated URL.

Your advice helps guide others on their journeys through radio. E-mail [email protected].


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