In 2016, KNOM dedicated its digital studies in memory of late General Manager Tom Busch. The digital system can be updated piece by piece, rather than replacing entire studios — or worse, the entire system — in the event of a failure.
As of this fall, nearly all KNOM’s monitors are two to five years past their expected life span. Several are permanently broken. Producers currently have to restart studio computer systems several times each day, running the risk of losing precious recordings.
The way KNOM studios are set up, only the monitor is in the studio while the hard-drives and computers themselves are located in a separate temperature-controlled rack room to prevent overheating. This is made possible by a vast network of crisscrossing cables, called KVMs, that connect via long ethernet cables stretched from the rack room through the ceiling or floor.
Contract engineer Van Craft has recommended replacing all the outdated studio monitors. Van has also recommended going from two monitors per studio to larger single curved monitors that don’t require the same cabled connection. This would allow KNOM to go from 16 monitors with corresponding KVM cables for each to only using 8 monitors without KVMs, greatly reducing clutter.
Additionally, KNOM is looking to update or replace its entire broadcasting software. Whether we continue using the current system or find one that is more efficient, the price tag is estimated to about $50,000.
Finally, KNOM also has an opportunity to create a small remote recording studio in its Anchorage office. This would enable staff and volunteers outside of Nome to support on-air operations through the secure private network already in use. The engineers estimate the studio will cost approximately $3,000.
If you would like to help with these initiatives, please let us know you’d like to designate your gift for the “Equipment Fund”.
Image at top: Engineer Les Brown investigates an aging monitor in one of KNOM’s recording studios.