RDS Via Moseley StarLink

Gotta watch those Fresnel zones!
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Rockford87
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RDS Via Moseley StarLink

Post by Rockford87 »

Before I start I should point out that although my father and grandfather were broadcast engineers, my expertise is more IT than RF. Recently I’ve been doing contract IT work for a 6 station cluster that has no engineer on staff. Among the many projects I’m working on for one of the stations is getting RDS data to the transmitter. This particular station is a Class A FM that was hastily thrown on the air about a decade ago. The transmitter building is a prefab tool shed with a 12k BTU window A/C unit trying to combat the waste heat from a 6kW Nautel NV5LT, average building temperature is 100°F. There’s no phone or internet service at the transmitter. Audio is sent to the transmitter via a Moseley StarLink SL9003Q. So the only option of getting data to the RDS encoder at the transmitter site is via the data port on the Moseley. Here’s how it’s currently set up:

Windows 10 rig running RCS NexGen outputs RDS info to a Windows 7 rig running Arctic Palm Center Stage.
Center stage is outputting the data via the onboard COM port.
The COM port on the PC is connected to the data port on the Moseley transmitter via a serial cable.
The COM port on the Moseley receiver is connected to the COM port on the Pira.cz 332 encoder via a serial cable.

According to the manual for the Moseley the default port speed is 1200 baud. Center Stage/PC is outputting at 1200 baud, and the encoder will accept that speed. However I don’t seem to be getting data to the encoder. I plan on heading to the transmitter site to hook my laptop to the data port on the Moseley to see if any data is being received. I’m just looking for some pointers from someone that has accomplished this particular task using the SL9003Q.
DaveSt
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Re: RDS Via Moseley StarLink

Post by DaveSt »

Have you tried sending commands from a terminal program? Also, to change the COM port speed in the Pira you need the SPEED=1200 or COMSPD=0 command. The default is 2400, so you would need to start with that at the TX site.
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kkiddkkidd
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Re: RDS Via Moseley StarLink

Post by kkiddkkidd »

Ditto on Dave's advice. It has been a long time since I hooked serial up to a Moseley system but recall it's factory setup being something oddball. The manual that I have handy mentions 300,8,odd parity. You may have already changed that to you needs.

Hyperterminal is still available as a "Private Edition". Putty also works well but is more complicated. Does this Moseley model have serial data indicators or menu functions on the TX and RX? If so, are they indicating activity?

If the serial parameters match, you may need to cross TX and RX data wires (null modem) on one or both ends but you need some indication of data being delivered to each individual piece of equipment.

Good luck,
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W9PXZ
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Re: RDS Via Moseley StarLink

Post by W9PXZ »

I think mine was on 1200,8,O,2. There are DIP switches on the audio cards to change it. I set mine to 2400,8,N,1 to make it something easier to work with. And yes, I did put a nice big label on the back to denote the change.
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Nathaniel Steele
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Re: RDS Via Moseley StarLink

Post by Nathaniel Steele »

I have almost the same setup, except no artic palm. Nexgen>Mosely>PiraRDS.

My serial port setup in nexgen is 2400,8,n,1. It was a long time ago that I set it up, but I remember messing with the wiring for a long time before getting it right. should have made notes. you may need straight through cables on one or both sides or crossed-over (NULL MODEM) cables on one or both sides to get it working. But it does work. If you have Internet at the site (Sounds like you don't though) You can also send the RDS over IP.

If you get desperate I can dis-assemble my custom serial cables (just belden 8451 with DB-9's on it, you only need TX RX and GND) and map it out for you, since I really should document it anyway.

Not on a friday though. Never touch anything on a friday unless it's broke and you have to fix it now.
Rockford87
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Re: RDS Via Moseley StarLink

Post by Rockford87 »

Thank you so much for all of the responses, and please forgive me for taking so long to respond. Back in June on the night I went out to get everything hooked up the power supply in the Moseley blew up. Luckily we had an extra Moseley which as it turned out also had a faulty power supply that previous employees didn’t bother to mention or send out for repair. That began a two month ordeal of just trying to keep that station on the air. The RDS problem was quickly overshadowed by automation problems at the other five stations. Since then the owner had internet service set up the TX site (which I was originally told was not possible) and I discovered the Pira encoder will not maintain a network connection. Turns out sitting in that building in 150° heat for 2 years may have caused some damage, who wouda thought?

So now I’m waiting to find out what the budget for a new encoder will be.
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Re: RDS Via Moseley StarLink

Post by TPT »

Have a Deva I'm willing to sell--similar capabilities as the Pira, though not as easy to program. PM me.
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