On Air Light - relay

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MichaelRose
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On Air Light - relay

Post by MichaelRose »

Good afternoon.

My OM has requested an On Air light installed for the main studio. Looking at my "other" properties, I see that my predecessor had installed HF100R SUPERELAYs to activate the lights. They do the job, but are now unavailable.

Do you prefer to utilize a "store bought" relay? Have any of you built a less expensive relay box for this type of operation? If so, are you willing to share the plans?

This will be fed from a PR&E Impulse console (if our grant gets approved, this will magically become a brand new AudioArts Lightning - fingers crossed).

Thanks for your input.
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Re: On Air Light - relay

Post by Deep Thought »

Are the lights regular 120 volt AC or are they some sort of DC lamp?

What is the tally voltage from the console? You should be able to do this with common solid state relays if the lights are AC and the console voltage is in the 5-30 volt range. If the console just provides a ground to indicate channel on then you'll need a small external DC supply.
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Re: On Air Light - relay

Post by MichaelRose »

I have not purchased the light yet. Waiting to determine whether I will be using a 12 or 24v DC, or a 120VAC fixture, depending on what type of relay setup I use. Still in the planning stages of a project I have never embarked before (first time for everything :? ).

If I am reading the manual correctly, the Tally is 5v.
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Re: On Air Light - relay

Post by TPT »

High school station manager picked up some nice looking on-air lights (old-style, E-bay purchased) he wanted to install.

Ran into a brick wall--well concrete block--studio wall. Maintenance folks didn't want to try getting AC to the light fixture.

I found 12 volt LED bulbs on Amazon with a standard "Edison" base --that is, they would go into a conventional light bulb socket.
The consoles supplied a tally for on air lights that sank to ground when the mike was on, but that circuit wouldn't handle much current. So I mounted a solid state relay in a plastic box, and used a conventional wall wart 12 volt supply to power the LED bulb and the SSR.

Then the school administration decided the 20 year veteran manager of the station didn't know anything about radio, and put an arrogant IT guy in his place. Who promptly decided to move the studios. End of that project.

However, the point of my story is you can probably easily duplicate the Henry devices using common parts from the usual suppliers like Mouser or Digikey. Most modern consoles use a transistor or IC to provide the tally, sinking to ground when the mike is on. These circuits will only sink a small amount of current. So either an SSR or conventional relay should be used to drive the light. Biggest expense will be the warning light fixture.
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Re: On Air Light - relay

Post by awsherrill »

The Henry SuperRelay is still available, except it's "new and improved" and called the SuperRelay II. I believe it does about the same thing. As Tom noted, you can duplicate its functions with some time and effort.

The Impulse console does have an on-air light tally that goes low when mics are on. The console has +5VDC available which will drive a small relay or SSR.

The last studio project I did, I needed a new on-air light fixture. I went looking at the various options from the usual broadcast vendors and was not thrilled by what was available, especially for the cost. We were building a showcase studio and I wanted something with a little "pop".

So I googled around and found somebody on E-bay/Amazon selling "on-air lights" that were really supposed to be a novelty item, kind of like the beer lights you can get for your man cave. I got one of those for about $30. It's a piece of engraved plastic that is edge-lit by 12-volt LEDs, and it was easy to modify it to make it a "real" on-air light.

Here's the installed product...
20180518_191317.jpg
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Re: On Air Light - relay

Post by TPT »

They make another version of that light that says "recording."
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Re: On Air Light - relay

Post by kkiddkkidd »

That is exactly the light that a client bought for a new studio. I used a SS LED Turn signal flasher to make it flash and a rail mount relay socket/relay to control it. They also wanted a way to lock it on for talk shows so I added a DPDT rail mount switch to bypass the relay for those times.

It looks good.
awsherrill wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 9:39 am The Henry SuperRelay is still available, except it's "new and improved" and called the SuperRelay II. I believe it does about the same thing. As Tom noted, you can duplicate its functions with some time and effort.

The Impulse console does have an on-air light tally that goes low when mics are on. The console has +5VDC available which will drive a small relay or SSR.

The last studio project I did, I needed a new on-air light fixture. I went looking at the various options from the usual broadcast vendors and was not thrilled by what was available, especially for the cost. We were building a showcase studio and I wanted something with a little "pop".

So I googled around and found somebody on E-bay/Amazon selling "on-air lights" that were really supposed to be a novelty item, kind of like the beer lights you can get for your man cave. I got one of those for about $30. It's a piece of engraved plastic that is edge-lit by 12-volt LEDs, and it was easy to modify it to make it a "real" on-air light.

Here's the installed product...

20180518_191317.jpg
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Re: On Air Light - relay

Post by Nathaniel Steele »

When I replaced consoles here, I replaced the 120V lights with RED Trailer LED's from Harbor Freight, and used a 12V "wall wart" power supply to drive them. The current is low enough that I was able to run through the boards built in tally relay. This replaced a system of dubious safety that had Relays on octal sockets switching 120V on exposed terminals in random locations....some under the cabinets, some in the ceiling, none in a covered installation (unless you consider the cabinet door or drop ceiling "covered").

First one was over two years ago, no problems with any.

More complicated was the Tally lights on the mic booms in the talk studio, I used a Din rail mounted relay board with 8 relays and a din rail power supply, and some headscratching, to get them to light white when the studio was routed to air, and override with RED anytime the mic was on.
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Re: On Air Light - relay

Post by radiowave911 »

I use solid-state relays to switch our lights. There is a light bar above the console that has on-air, phone, doorbell, and EAS lights on it, all driven by a SSR control box I built (same for production). The lights outside the studios are also 120V lights, switches by a SSR in a junction box in the ceiling above the light. Because there is more than one mic on our Radio Systems Millenium D LiveWire consoles, I built a simple diode logic circuit to take the tally outputs from the consoles and trigger a transistor that in turn triggers the SSRs. Been working since we move into this space in 2007.

I have a cabinet on the wall in engineering that houses the various 'oddball' circuits - the on-air and recording light triggers, the phone line ring detection and flasher, the door bell flasher, and tower light monitor. It has a 12v Meanwell power supply with more current than is needed. If I ever switch the OnAir and Recording lights to 12v, it has plenty of current to drive them. I am planning to rebuild the light bars, they will probably go to 12v LEDs as well, but will be locally powered.
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Re: On Air Light - relay

Post by NECRAT »

At my college, I am using our old pre-repack Harris Sigma ECDI relay interface for the on air lights. It's all in one with power supply and relay, and it'll look cool in the rack with the black and Harris logo on it.
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Re: On Air Light - relay

Post by grich »

NECRAT wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 1:49 pm At my college, I am using our old pre-repack Harris Sigma ECDI relay interface for the on air lights. It's all in one with power supply and relay, and it'll look cool in the rack with the black and Harris logo on it.
That sounds neat. I'll have to try that...except the boss will get mad when the transmitter dumps. :lol: Gotta squeeze a little more life out of ours.
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