It’s Built ‘Tieline Tough’
CITY, S.D. — I work for New Rushmore
Radio, which owns and operates six radio stations in the Black Hills of
western South Dakota. The New Rushmore Radio group evolved to its present size
over a period of several years as a result of changes in FCC ownership limits
and subsequent acquisitions. I was chief engineer at one of the ancestor radio stations
in 1966 and followed through in the same capacity during this period of
expansion until semi-retirement last July. Radio engineering remains in my
blood and I continue to work for the group part-time.
Peterson writes, ‘Program directors at our other stations in the group heard
the audio and recognized their potential for performing high-quality remotes.’
regard to broadcasting audio using remote codecs, I have seen the transition
from POTS and GSM wireless transports, to the use of IP using 3G and more
recently 4G LTE cellular wireless networks. To my knowledge, ISDN services have
never been readily available or used in our area.
I heard about Tieline codecs I asked around to see how they performed and heard
very good reports. We purchased the first POTS-enabled Commander G3 field and
rackmount codecs for KFXS(FM) 100.3 The Fox in 2008, in order to carry
play-by-play ice hockey remotes.
2012 we purchased a pair of codecs for KKLS(AM) The Hills 97.5 FM in order to
do play-by-play baseball, football and basketball remotes. We are in the
process of transitioning from a legacy POTS dial-up interface to the Tieline
system, which will be configured for unattended sports remotes.
have had a lot of success broadcasting ice hockey for hundreds of hours from
venues up to 1,000 miles away using POTS lines because these lines have always
been available at the sports venues. The Tielines provide studio-quality audio
over POTS that is highly superior to analog POTS systems using voice couplers or
studio hybrids. The POTS connections are stable and reliable over long time periods
and our on-air announcers love the Tieline codecs for their ease of use. The
return audio path is used to communicate with announcers and give cues to
anyone doing any type of remote broadcast.
we bought the first pair of codecs, the program directors at our other stations
in the group heard the audio and recognized their potential for performing high-quality
remotes. They would often request to borrow them for nonsports remotes when
they weren’t in use for play-by-play broadcasting.
to the demand for the Tieline units, we purchased another pair of Commander field
and rack codecs and an annual purchase was made until now each station has its
own set. All codecs are fitted for POTS and four of the six field units are
fitted with wireless 3G modules.
around 50 percent of our remote broadcast time would involve play-by-play sports
and the rest would include a mix of commercial sponsorship, charity and public
service related broadcasts. Due to the rollout of 4G LTE cellular networks and
the congestion we sometimes experience over 3G connections, we recently purchased
two Tieline 4G LTE USB modules. This allows us to connect using Verizon 4G LTE
modems and has been a welcome addition to our broadcast arsenal. Over time, I
foresee the purchase of more 4G-capable USB modules to increase our wireless
possible we test venues in advance and we know that 3G and 4G will work most of
the time within the immediate area. Cellular coverage can be marginal at times,
however, particularly at large events where a large number of people are using
data and in some terrain-challenged areas. We normally use POTS if it’s
available in those situations.
Commander field codecs certainly are tough. This year we experienced an
unfortunate incident during a remote broadcast when a lady lost control of a rental
car she was driving and crashed into our table outside a local restaurant from
which we were broadcasting. The remote gear was on the table and went flying. Unfortunately
our announcer suffered a broken wrist and ended up in the hospital. As for the
equipment, a set of headphones was totally destroyed, but apart from a scratch
or two, the Tieline codec hasn’t missed a beat.
notable event where the Tielines made their mark was the annual Sturgis Motorcycle
Rally. This is a massive event where up to 300,000 people from around the
nation converge for races, bike shows, vendor exhibits and outdoor concerts. We
broadcast throughout the week-long event and the flexibility of the codecs
allows us to go live from a variety of locations. We mainly use POTS because
cellular data availability can be unreliable with so many people using data
we first bought the Tieline codecs we have done hundreds of remotes and they
have proven their worth in the field many times over. Their robustness and
reliability on the road is well-established and they will continue to play a
major role in delivering our radio group’s programming from a variety of
contact Tieline in Indiana at (317) 845-8000 or visit