How do you do an OB from a bike?

Last week, Radio Today wrote about 92.9 Perths efforts to raise money by doing a complete show riding bikes from Perth to Mandurah.

An extraordinary effort from the Breakfast show, but also an exceptional effort by the 92.9 engineering team.

Southern Cross Austereo’s Technology Manager Blake Beale has written for Radio Today explaining how the engineering team approaches a programming challenge such as a complete show being conducted from bikes which are continually mobile;

Blake Beale

The concept of doing an OB from bikes isn’t a new one.

In the past, any riders have been followed by a link truck\OB Van loaded with equipment, in order to link back to the radio station.

Always wanting to push technology to its limits, the concept of building a bike to replace the Link Van for this OB was born.

Dan Jackson, from the Southern Cross Austereo Perth Technology team came up with the concept of a lightweight and compact OB unit, running with the design and build of the bike to create a fully mobile, two-wheeled broadcast vehicle, to be driven by his own legs.

The equipment consisted of wireless mics (rice bubbles, or Britney type mic’s) and wireless in-ears, connected back to the base units mounted on the back tray of the Technical bike, all powered by remote control car batteries.

Wiring to a Comrex Access Portable with an integrated Mixer mounted on the handle bars gave Dan the ability to mix the OB feed live with individual mic and in-ear control for each of the talent.

This also provided ‘ears’ to others in the bike party, so they could hear what was going on.

The Comrex was connected to the internet via the Telstra 4G service, available in Metro markets.

As far as the talent were concerned, it was a normal OB, all of the hard work was put onto Dan as the sole operator\engineer and the technology that was tested beyond any OB done before.

The Weather wasn’t on the OB’s side, with rain trying to get in the way, but thanks to big clear plastic bags, the show went on, still allowing for full site and control of the mixer, right in front of Dan, the OB Engineer.

Blake Beale
Technology Manager
SCA Perth

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