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Monthly Archives: April 2014

  • Throwback Tuesday: Getting Schooled

    How Ward-Beck equipment is helping to educate the broadcast professionals of tomorrow

    Welcome back to Throwback Tuesday! This time, let’s take a brief look at Ward-Beck Systems’ historic partnerships with educational institutions. It’s no secret that technology is evolving at a rate that threatens to leave Moore’s law far behind in the dust. At such a time of change, it is crucial that those hoping to break into the audio and broadcasting industry get practical experience with industry-standard equipment.

    As early as 1981, the Conestoga College of Applied Arts and Technology installed a WBS L2402 console in its Radio & Television Department, where helped many students to develop hand-on experience and gain practical knowledge they can put to good use in the world of professional broadcasting.

    Students pursuing a Master of Fine Arts or Science in Television Production at Brooklyn College are encouraged to make use of the Brooklyn College Television Center, which includes a Ward-Beck console in its armada.

    By using these consoles as part of the curriculum, students can bridge the distance between academic experience and the workplace. Westphal College of Media Arts & Design has Ward-Beck equipment in its recording studio classroom, which is used by students and even recording professionals, truly bridging the divide between education and the industry.  And hey, some of you might remember us talking about the 48x48 Ward-Beck matrix intercom used by ABC to broadcast the Olympics. Well, Algonquin College’s instructional lab has one of these installed in its instructional lab. It might be old but it’s still going pretty darn strong.

    The use of our equipment in institutions of learning is not limited to radio alone. Having installed it in 2008, the University of King’s College School in Halifax makes use of a Ward-Beck console for its Journalism Department.

    The College of Sports Media, which offers an exclusive sports broadcasting course, has a state of the art radio studio which includes a 12-port WBS console.  Stephen Leacock Collegiate Institute has 24-track Ward-Beck console and attached voice-over booth in the audio control room of its Leacock Television Network Studio. There are further Ward-Beck equipment functioning in the studios of various learning institutions such as Mohawk college (see pictures here), Niagara College, Seneca College, Centennial College and Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.  Technology may have moved on, but these old products are working as well as they did in their prime, educating broadcasting students worldwide.

    Practical experience does far more than help students become accustomed to studio production technologies. The use of industry-standard equipment in college studios also helps students to mature as media professionals, and learn the intangible skills required by a broadcasting career, such as professionalism and adaptability, in settings that replicate real life situations. In the end, no textbooks can teach that. Only practical experience can develop such skills, and Ward-Beck Systems is proud to be one of the companies whose equipment has a hand in shaping the media professionals of tomorrow.

  • What's in the Vault?

    Looking back through the archives at WBS always proves to be a rewarding experience. As a company that dates back to 1967, there is quite a bit of valuable historical information filed away in our storage cabinets. Sorting through some of the stuff we found over the last weekend, here is a quick look at how Ward-Beck products have evolved over the years!

    Below, the POD-8,  Stereo Distribution Amplifier currently offered by Ward-Beck:

    And coming into focus, a schematic of the M608/M608A, a WBS Audio Distribution Amplifier from 1980! Can you tell the difference? ; )

    Let’s do another round before we call it a day, with something a little different from the norm. Here is an M8245A power supply, 2 of which are used in the rackmount frame for our 8200 series of cards.

    And here, a little blast from the past: a schematic from 1970 of an M648A power supply.

    And now here’s a little pop quiz for you. Below you can see the POD-2, our Stereo Switcher offering, and nestled underneath it, a schematic for a Switcher from way back when. Can you figure out from the sneak peak of the schematic what the name of the switcher was, and what year the schematic is from?

    (Hint: The schematic is from the same year as the Olympics held in Montreal.)

    We’ll reveal the answer at the end of the week, so tune in Friday for the answer, and for the next installation of What’s In The Vault!

  • 75 to 110 in 1.75 inches: Introducing our new series of high density impedance panels

    Our IMP balun series (75 to 110 or 110 to 75 Ohm converters) are upgraded and are now offered at higher densities for the XLR to BNC models. Priced at only $37.50 per slot, these panels offer incredible value for broadcast installations and systems integrators.

    If you previously used our IMP lineup, you will notice that we have introduced the higher density IMP16M, IMP-16F and IMP-8M/8 to replace the IMP12, IMP12A and IMP12B models. The new IMP16 lineup will give you the same high quality performance while allowing you to conserve much-needed rack space.

    Need a 10dB loss pad in the female XLR versions? These can be factory added at $7.50 per slot (check out IMP-1F/10, IMP-16F/10 and IMP-8M8F/10 for specs). Our in-line IMP-1M and IMP-1F are also available at $37.50 per unit with a similar charge of $7.50 to add the 10 dB loss pad to the IMP-1F.

    The highest density IMP-20 series comes complete with a full set of 3-pin pluggable screw terminals. Ease of installation and ability to use circuits as 75 to 110 or 110 to 75 Ohm converters makes the IMP-20 series an installers dream. No soldering of connectors needed; just strip and terminate in the rugged 3-pin screw terminals, plug them in and you're done!

    Our IMP panels are available from our distributors worldwide. Find a dealer near you or email sales@ward-beck.com.

    Below is a chart to help you select the IMP product that best suits your application.

  • Tool of the Day: Cable Sleeves

    The tool of the day at our WBS plant is the cable sleeve, which we slip over the end of wires to insulate and separate them near the termination.

    We’ll try to conduct a short tutorial on cable sleeving and while can’t guarantee it’ll be electrifying, we hope you’ll get a charge out of it anyways. Currently sitting on our WIP racks are some POD6 miniature headset amplifiers, getting ready to be shipped out. Now, Watt are we going to be doing to these pretty little boxes?*

    *Getting sick of our puns yet? It hertz us more than it hertz you.

    Continue reading

  • Throwback Tuesday: the ghosts of NAB past

    It is the second day of exhibitions at NAB 2014 and our team is psyched to show off what we've been working on for the past year. Come check us out at Booth N1202 to get the inside scoop on our new releases!

    With that being said, now seems like a good time to take brief look back at some previous NABs that Ward-Beck took part in. We’ve combed through some old magazines, and dusted off some press clips that might interest you Ward-Beck history buffs ; )

    Tomorrow, we’ll be posting up some pictures of the Ward-Beck team presenting live at NAB, so stay tuned for that!

  • Birth of an MF8212 frame: A Step by Step Look at Production

    If you're a DIY electronics enthusiast, you might find this interesting. We've been putting out quite a few new products at Ward-Beck recently, but one day, not long ago, these products were mere lines drawn on paper by our talented design team. Our in-house metal shop and production facility takes these drafts, and translates them into reality. With that in mind, we thought you might like a little insider look into what goes into putting together one of our products.

    Now, the below arrangement might just look like a bunch of screws and panels and spare parts to you...

    But, to the trained eye, these are the origins of an MF8212, the standard WBS frame for our 8200 card series which deliver modular solutions for the distribution and conversion of audio and video signals.

    Let's give our production team a little crack at it, shall we?
    Continue reading

  • Counting the days 'til NAB 2014!!

    Six more sleeps till the "Big Day" when exhibits for NAB 2014 opens on April 7. Are you going to be there?

    Above is a sneak preview of the new products we are excited to be introducing at the show! Please drop by our booth N1202 to meet and greet and see for yourself.

    Onsite staff:

    Kevin Lyver
    Ali Sharifan
    Wayne Young

    and, if you want to reminisce about the good old days...

    Eugene Johnson the senior citizen will be there as well :)

    We will also have products and representatives of our partners on display: DK Technologies,CP Cases, Replay, Soloshot, Vela, Technalogix, Rushworks, Vanco, Panasonic Professional Imaging and more!

    Hope to see you all there. Let's get this show on the road, people!

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Address: 945 Middlefield Road, Unit 9, Toronto, ON, M1V 5E1, Canada.

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