NBC Namedropper Trigger Configuration Help

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PID_Stop
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NBC Namedropper Trigger Configuration / METAR server

Post by PID_Stop »

For those of you who have been missing the temperature on the Today Show graphics since last week: the current known working METAR IP address is now 140.90.101.79. It's changed several times over the last few months, and Evertz got me this latest address this morning -- and both of our Namedroppers are showing temperature again.

Jeff

grich
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Re: NBC Namedropper Trigger Configuration Help

Post by grich »

NECRAT wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 12:03 pm
The standard NBC installation was a Harris turn-key install. Primary 7.3 meter dish, with a secondary 5 or 6 meter dish. Larger affiliates had the PUP installed in them. At some point NBC added a site controller that had a Fluke Infotouch screen as the interface. In my office sits my old stations Infotouch display, as stations were allowed to either keep them or destroy them after decommissioning.
Our site layout required the primary and secondary dishes be installed on platforms or pillars in the parking lot putting the bottoms of the dishes 20' above ground. Adds fun to maintenance.

Fluke terminals didn't like static. :wink:

grich
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Re: NBC Namedropper Trigger Configuration / METAR server

Post by grich »

PID_Stop wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 12:36 pm
For those of you who have been missing the temperature on the Today Show graphics since last week: the current known working METAR IP address is now 140.90.101.79. It's changed several times over the last few months, and Evertz got me this latest address this morning -- and both of our Namedroppers are showing temperature again.

Jeff
One of the biggest pet-peeves I have of the Namedropper is the METAR server setup. I wish Evertz gave us the option of a URL rather than IP address here.

The NWS METAR site is tgftp.nws.noaa.gov, which currently resolves to 140.90.101.79. I can use Filezilla to drill down through their folders and grab the actual coded text file Evertz uses. When the Namedropper temperature stops working, I bypass and reboot first. If that doesn't work, I ping tgftp.nws.noaa.gov and see if the IP address has changed.

Gregg

w9wi
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Re: NBC Namedropper Trigger Configuration Help

Post by w9wi »

We did put a URL in a few weeks ago when the Weather Service changed the IP. Wish I could remember how -- will try to remember to look it up tomorrow.

(not at work right now because a Chyron crash led to a 4am phone call:( )
--
Doug Smith W9WI
Pleasant View, TN EM66

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PID_Stop
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Re: NBC Namedropper Trigger Configuration / METAR server

Post by PID_Stop »

grich wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 2:19 pm
The NWS METAR site is tgftp.nws.noaa.gov, which currently resolves to 140.90.101.79. I can use Filezilla to drill down through their folders and grab the actual coded text file Evertz uses. When the Namedropper temperature stops working, I bypass and reboot first. If that doesn't work, I ping tgftp.nws.noaa.gov and see if the IP address has changed.

Gregg
I did not know the URL... but that means I can just ping it to find out what the IP address du jour might be without going through Evertz. Thank you very much!

Jeff

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Re: NBC Namedropper Trigger Configuration Help

Post by NECRAT »

grich wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 2:10 pm
Our site layout required the primary and secondary dishes be installed on platforms or pillars in the parking lot putting the bottoms of the dishes 20' above ground. Adds fun to maintenance.
Ask WCSH in Portland Maine about the fun of working on the NBC dishes...
I've heard the stories from the Ascent (USSI?) guys about those particular dishes.

Image
http://www.necrat.us

"Arguing with an engineer is like mud wrestling with a pig. After a couple of hours, you realize the pig likes it"

grich
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Re: NBC Namedropper Trigger Configuration Help

Post by grich »

Yeah, that's got us beat. :lol:

You don't want to spend much time under that dish in the winter when snowmelt from the deicers have created the perfect killer icicle. :wink:

Euclid
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Re: NBC Namedropper Trigger Configuration Help

Post by Euclid »

To find the IP of a URL, try pinging it from a terminal window (CMD in Windows). For example:
ping tgftp.nws.noaa.gov

I just did it in Unbuntu Linux and received this reply:
64 bytes from 140.90.101.79 (140.90.101.79): icmp_seq=1 ttl=239 time=18.6 ms

I expect that you will get something similar in the Windows CMD window.

Of course there are other ways to do this.

If you are inside a firewall, the firewall may block the outgoing ping or its reply.

Euclid
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Re: NBC Namedropper Trigger Configuration Help

Post by Euclid »

The Namedropper supports a local temperature probe as an alternate to using a METAR server. We do this at WRC / NBC Washington. Evertz sells the probes. They are a serial port device. They can easily be extended a long ways (> 100 meters) with simple RS 422 wiring.

The problem with using a local probe is that it needs to be installed in a place and manner that it gets an accurate reading during the day parts that you use it. NWS has standards for measuring temperature, where to mount the thermometer, and the correct structure that should surround the thermometer. Incorrect installation may cause huge errors. It also measures the temperature at your location. The real temperature at your location may be different that at the official NWS location.

rftranstv
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Re: NBC Namedropper Trigger Configuration Help

Post by rftranstv »

I think ours is setup to pull from our weather system I could be wrong tho as I didn't set it up and rarely touch it except to load the new graphics package a few months ago.

Euclid
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Re: NBC Namedropper Trigger Configuration Help

Post by Euclid »

The Namedropper has a variety of configuration and control options. Here are some of them:

Overture - This is a pair of programs. One is for creating bugs, banners, clocks, temperture displays, crawls, etc for the Namedropper. The second manages file transfer to and from the Namedropper and the insertion and removal of events. The first versions of Overture that I installed were on CD. I believe that I got the later ones as files from Evertz.

FTP - This is a subset of plain, old, simple FTP. Some basic FTP commands work. This is just another way to transfer files into and out of the Namedropper. I use the old command line program since I am very familar with it. When prompted for user name and password just hit return. YOU SHOULD HAVE YOUR NAMEDROPPER INSIDE A GOOD FIREWALL !!!

Front Panel - Events can be inserted and removed form the front panel. I only use this control method for test. Also many, but not all, configuration items may be set here. This includes the IP address, Gateway, and Net Mask.

Web Page - Many configuration items can be set from the Namedropper's web page. Many of them are the same as the front panel settings. There are some that are not available on the front panel. Some items available on the front panel are not on the web page. (This Namedropper beast is powerful but not simple!) The Audio Override configuration may only be available here!

Vistalink - This is the Evertz equilvelent of Miranda's iControl Navigator. Almost any parameter of the configuration of almost any Evertz product can be set here. Configurations can also be saved to files and restored from files. There are two versions. One is a limited, standalone version. The second is a very powerful server based version. The Namedropper is included except for the Audio Override feature. The guys over in Network in our building have been kind enough to grant a couple of us local guys access to Vistalink.

I'm sure I've missed a few things. The Namedropper is powerful, but not simple. It can even send EAS messages under the control of Trilithic or other EAS equipment.

grich
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Re: NBC Namedropper Trigger Configuration Help

Post by grich »

Euclid wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 9:18 pm
The Namedropper supports a local temperature probe as an alternate to using a METAR server. We do this at WRC / NBC Washington. Evertz sells the probes. They are a serial port device. They can easily be extended a long ways (> 100 meters) with simple RS 422 wiring.

The problem with using a local probe is that it needs to be installed in a place and manner that it gets an accurate reading during the day parts that you use it. NWS has standards for measuring temperature, where to mount the thermometer, and the correct structure that should surround the thermometer. Incorrect installation may cause huge errors. It also measures the temperature at your location. The real temperature at your location may be different that at the official NWS location.
We used a local temperature probe with the Inscriber version of the Namedropper. I put the probe into a Davis Instruments louvered enclosure since it was about the same size and shape as the NWS digital probe enclosures, and it did pretty well. I hated that Inscriber unit and those gawd-awful Matrox video cards. We had to send it to Canada once for repair and it got misplaced in Customs for six months.

FixItInPost
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Re: NBC Namedropper Trigger Configuration Help

Post by FixItInPost »

Thanks for all of the great replies everyone! I actually have a new question regarding Namedropper.

This is the box that just wont stop! After all of the drama with getting the triggers to receive properly, I now have an issue with LTC.

When we set it up initially, we just set the time manually until we could pull a cable run from our time/sync generator. Once we finally did, the LTC functionality of the box did not seem to work.

I spent a week on the phone with Evertz trying to resolve this. They finally relented and sent us a whole new setup with both the namedropper and LTC break out.

Guess what, it doesn't work with the new one either! The cabling on this end has been verified by two engineers, and is properly configured as referenced by the Evertz manual.

I'm not happy, but I'm pushing on in trying to find a solution. Does anyone have any ideas? All help much appreciated!

Euclid
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Re: NBC Namedropper Trigger Configuration Help

Post by Euclid »

The Namedropper can probably use analog timecode, VTIC (Vertical Interval Timecode), or NTP (Network Time Protocol). There is probably a menu item somewhere that allows you to make the selection.

===========================
I've never even tried to use analog timecode. Instead I have always used NTP. Enabling the Ethernet port is almost essential so I did it and went to NTP a long time ago.

You should already have done the Ethernet setup for your Namedroppers. That allows you to access the Namedropper via Overture, Vistalink, FTP, and its web page.

Check that the IP address, netmask and gateway are correct, As I recall, you can set these from the front panel.

Then set the IP address of the NTP server. I think this can be done from the front panel, web page, or Vistalink. We set it to our engineering NTP server but you can also use one of your company NTP servers or an external NTP server. Now the Namedropper should stay syncronized with you NTP server.

The one problem that I have encountered is that the Daylight Savings Time offset item in the menu will turn off when the Namedropper is rebooted. I change the local time offset instead. I'm on the east coast so I set the offset to -5 hours for EST and -4 hours for EDT. I normally do tyis from the front panel but it can probably be done from the web page or Vistalink. (If you are using timecode that is local time, you probably should use an offset of 0.)

grich
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Re: NBC Namedropper Trigger Configuration Help

Post by grich »

FixItInPost wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:34 am
Thanks for all of the great replies everyone! I actually have a new question regarding Namedropper.

This is the box that just wont stop! After all of the drama with getting the triggers to receive properly, I now have an issue with LTC.

When we set it up initially, we just set the time manually until we could pull a cable run from our time/sync generator. Once we finally did, the LTC functionality of the box did not seem to work.

I spent a week on the phone with Evertz trying to resolve this. They finally relented and sent us a whole new setup with both the namedropper and LTC break out.

Guess what, it doesn't work with the new one either! The cabling on this end has been verified by two engineers, and is properly configured as referenced by the Evertz manual.

I'm not happy, but I'm pushing on in trying to find a solution. Does anyone have any ideas? All help much appreciated!
Do you have a TC reader or a scope you can connect to the TC line at the Namedropper end to verify signal presence/quality?

We feed ours with timecode and I don't recall having too much trouble with setup, although it has been almost 10 years ago. I will try to remember to look up our setup when I get back from vacation next week.

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