As we established in our previous blog, RF monitoring of the transmission line system is important because this essential, expensive broadcast component is subject to environmental and operational conditions that can lead to previously undetectable—and potentially damaging—changes over time.
We developed RFHawkeye because we saw the need for an advanced, cost-effective solution designed to provide continuous, real-time RF monitoring of the performance and condition of a broadcaster’s co-axial transmission line system. RFHawkeye captures continuous time domain measurements of the RF system while the station is on the air at full power, giving local or remote operators advance warning of deterioration, enabling early corrective action.
As an IP-connected system, RFHawkeye offers a valuable centralized monitoring architecture that enables RF engineers—including TV station group level management—to access this real-time data as easily from centralized, remote locations as it is at the tower site. At the NAB Show, we demonstrated this remote monitoring capability by using a prototype of this innovative solution to monitor the transmission line system at WGME-DT in Portland, Maine, and evaluate the results from our booth in Las Vegas.
As more broadcast engineers retire, RFHawkeye’s IP-based remote monitoring capabilities enable the industry to replace these traditional, passive RF monitoring skillsets. According to our VP of Sales Jay Martin, “Today’s younger workforce of centralized digital and IT engineers—that are replacing the traditional local chief engineer—will find value in RFHawkeye’s IP-connected architecture to inform them of potential problems.”
Additionally, RFHawkeye lays the groundwork for Dielectric to offer a new managed service that provides 24/7 remote monitoring of our broadcast customers’ RF transmission line systems from our Raymond, Maine facility.
“With an appropriate service contract in place, we at Dielectric can respond to problems from our service center, proactively warning local personnel of the need for inspections and repairs. We can also coordinate these efforts on behalf of our broadcast customers,” Martin added. “With 77 years in business, we envision that this new managed service will be particularly valuable to the industry in the post-repack period, while lessening the load for our broadcast customers.”