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Game Creek Hits the Road with RTS

Hudson, NH

In the process of designing a new mobile truck, one of the most critical and often under-appreciated systems is the intercom system. We can have the latest video and audio gear in the truck, but without solid communication to tie the infrastructure together, a crew cannot work effectively as a production team.

Jason Taubman,


of Design & New Technology for Game Creek Video, knows what critical communication means in a broadcast environment:

“Prior to launching Game Creek Videos’ latest and largest mobile unit for Fox Sports in the fall for


and NASCAR, we had many new design challenges in communication that were met with some of the latest capabilities of the

ADAM intercom system

; dual buss expansion, intercom over Ethernet with


, as well as time-tested traditional two-wire party line intercom. The ‘Fox Trucks’ as they are collectively known, initially rolled out the door as a three-truck system for


, and has grown to five trucks for


broadcasts.”? explains Jason

Utilizing a patented Time Division Multiplex (


) technique, the


grows linearly as users are added; the system comes standard with redundant power supplies, and redundant controllers, allowing for automatic changeover in the event of failure.


is available with a wide variety of interface cards in the industry, which includes the






, and

RVONVoIP interfaces

. It also has a wide variety of cabling options, including RJ-11, DB-9, jack fields, and many others.

“At the centre of the five-truck system are two trucks: the A unit, which houses the core engineering infrastructure, and the B unit where the majority of the production staff is located. To satisfy the intercom requirements for these trucks we equipped both trucks with

ADAM frames

, and linked them together with

RTS dual-buss expander cards

. These trucks are typically located side-by-side, but we had to allow for the possibility that some distance would separate them, so we used

dual buss expander cards

with single mode fibre to bridge the gap. This allowed us to place the trucks just about anywhere within a venue compound without fear of cable distance limitations. Additionally, the architecture of the dual buss expander provides for complete redundancy in case a fibre gets cut.“

RTS has been the system of choice for mobile broadcast for years. The combination of rock-solid reliability, use of cutting-edge technologies, and seamless integration of legacy components makes RTS an ideal investment for a mobile environment.

“In previous intercom designs, we were starting to bump up against the size limitation of 136 intercom ports in a single

ADAM frame

populated with

AIO-8 cards

. RTS solved this problem for us with the introduction of the


, which doubles the port capacity of a single slot from 8 ports to 16. Combining

RVON cards

(see below) with the

AIO-16 cards

, we created an intercom system with 192 ports in the A unit, and 40 ports in the B unit for a combined matrix size of 232 ports. The

AIO-16 card

also came with a surprise additional benefit:

intercom keypanels

connected to an

AIO-16 card

no longer need to be pre-programmed with a

keypanel address

; a process which has always been a bit of a thorn.”?

“Once we had the A and B units taken care of, we had to figure out how to extend

intercom keypanels

to three additional trucks and two remote locations around the track for NASCAR events without the expense and complexity of using full

ADAM frames

. For these locations we used


, RTS’


intercom solution. An

RVON-8 card

installed in an

ADAM frame

provides 8


codecs, which use Ethernet for transport. Combined with an


, we are able to send intercom channels in groups of 8 to remote locations over single mode fibre.”?

Coupled with the same


technology used with the


, the


takes analog audio and converts it to digital


audio. By being able, to convert analog audio systems to digital


audio the


expands the boundaries of digital audio to include analog.

“In some locations, we used an


to extend 8


, and in other locations, a mix of two-wire PLs created with RTS SSA-424s (two- to four-wire converts) and


. We are also making use of single

KP-32 keypanels

equipped with

RVON cards

in various locations throughout the compound where a single


drop is required.“

The RTS model

KP-32 keypanel

fits in a standard 19”? rack and is two rack spaces high. It has 32 lever keys: 30 keys are for intercom talk/listen assignment; one key is for call waiting response; and one key is for


/microphone/program selection and volume setup. The


combines all of the programmable features of the

KP-9x series keypanels

and the

KP-12 keypanel

. It adds significant new features such as digital signal processing and binaural


operation with left/right assignment of audio signals. The


also introduces large, super-bright, long-life fluorescent displays with adjustable brightness control, making it suitable for all types of ambient lighting from direct sunlight to darkness.

“The ability of new intercom technology to interface with old ‘legacy’ intercom components remains important, and RTS continues to offer a line of two-wire




products that work with the

ADAM intercom system

just like they always have. In this installation, we continue to support 12 channels of ‘wet’


and 16 ‘wet’


channels, with their associated external hardware provided by RTS.”?

For more information, visit the RTS Intercom website:

Photos & commentary courtesy of Jason Taubman for Game Creek Video

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