Starting a new radio station is fraught with challenges, not least of which is compliance with ICASA’s security regulations. This is necessary given the chaos that would occur should a dissenting force take a radio station hostage and use the service to broadcast undesirable propaganda.
Magic 828am is a medium wave (MW) commercial music radio station, broadcasting to Cape Town and the greater Western Cape region. Launched in October 2015 the radio station’s studios are situated in Golf Park, Pinelands, with a transmitter sited at the centre of a geographic triangle with Paarl, Durbanville and Malmesbury as the three corner points. The station radiates a 25 kW signal to major suburban areas of the Cape, unrestricted by mountainous terrain.
Magic’s daytime coverage extends from Cape Town to the Karoo and includes Vredendal to Cape Agulhas, Cape Point to Sutherland and Stellenbosch to Still Bay. Night-time transmissions reach the Eastern and Northern Cape, KZN, Gauteng and beyond. The essential format of the station is all hit music radio from the 1960s through to 2010, mixed with very little talk, sport and news. Listenership has quickly expanded and currently sits in the region of 70 000.
Magic 828am CEO, well known radio and television personality Tony Sanderson approached Powell Tronics in 2015 to discuss the station’s specific security needs. According to Powell Tronics MD John Powell, he was excited to be a part of the growing radio station’s success story and to contribute to an admirable local initiative. A decision was quickly taken by Powell to provide a number of security components to the radio station and transmitter site through one of its resellers.
Powell Tronics’ qualified installer, Tate Skordis of Vizual Security, was an integral part of the security solution, leveraging Vizual’s extensive experience in the security sector to ensure a fully compliant installation. Skordis explains that he was first involved in mid-2015 and together with Sanderson the two companies devised a solution that would ensure that only broadcasting staff would have access to the radio station’s inner workings.
The system incorporates the latest Morpho biometric control technology, together with Powell Tronics’ own time and attendance (T&A) web-based solution, ATOM, which is used to provide time management and obtain up-to-date HR reports on arrival and departure times of employees. The system is uploaded with photographs of all employees and generates automatic reports if someone does not arrive for their shift.
Powell Tronics was responsible for providing training to Magic 828am that allows them to manage the system in-house, from enrolment on the system to setting up reports. In addition, Magic 828am is using a Powell Tronics Golmar IP intercom unit, P-Tron door furniture and a Hikvision CCTV surveillance solution for use at both the radio station and the mast location.
Skordis points out that there are a number of general security and high security areas within a radio station. General, lower-level security is required at the entrance to the premises, while the server room and the remote site where the main mast is located are deemed to be high-security, sensitive areas.
An intercom is installed at the entrance to the reception area, allowing the reception staff to admit visitors into this area. Thereafter biometric readers are installed at the entrance to the studio reception, the station’s administrative section and server room area. All onsite security system monitoring and remote monitoring of the mast is undertaken by the radio station, while Vizual Security provides day-to-day servicing of the system.
Skordis says the system allows for future expansion to other sites and the two day installation was expedited in a straightforward and seamless manner. “The personnel are biometrically controlled from a central database and remote CCTV connections are monitored in real-time for instantaneous reaction. Overall, this is an extremely easy system to use and has provided Magic 828am with a high-end solution.”
“We are thrilled with the state-of-the-art security equipment. The system has operated without glitches and completely fulfils the role it was intended for. I am so impressed with this system that I am currently looking at installing a mirror one at my home. It is something that I would recommend for all business and home owners,” Sanderson concludes.
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