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The New Radio-in-a-Box from ABU: RIB Mark II


with an industry standard audio workstation, playout and scheduling software.

The RiB comes in two versions with 30W or 100W FM transmitters and is bundled with an antenna and feeder cable. Spare transmitters are provided as a standard accessory.

The unit has all facilities needed to make short audio productions, including editing capabilities using open source software which comes pre-installed in the portable audio workstation. Using the pre-loaded playout and scheduling software, the unit can also be programmed to play automatically from a playlist, without the necessity for manned operation. The unit can take multiple inputs from external sources, such as microphones for announcements and can easily be operated by less experienced operators using the integral audio mixer. It can also play audio files direct from USB flash memory or standard memory cards in addition to audio CD’s. The audio workstation can be used to make recordings from all these sources, edit and playout material directly without the need for any addition equipment.

In many cases disaster stricken areas have most of their crucial communication facilities such as radio stations and mobile telephony infrastructure damaged or in inoperable. The RiB can quickly and easily be transported by a vehicle, or by air to the affected areas, where it can be quickly deployed at the remote location using a power generator. If its antenna can be suitably placed the unit can easily cover a radius of more than 5km.

Such a radio station can be used for providing information to the affected public regarding relief measures, such as the location of rehabilitation, medical, food, clothing and shelter assistance centres.

The use of RiB can only be effective if such units are stored in strategic locations in disaster prone areas, so that they can be deployed in affected locations as quickly as possible. For effective application, it is also necessary that the affected population is provided with, battery operated, low-cost FM radio receivers.

This communication channel has been proved to be vitally effective in disaster mitigation efforts and activities.

The ABU has manufactured and delivered many RiB units,

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which are now in use around the world, mainly in South America, Africa and Asia. The ABU provides these units as a service to its members at minimal additional cost, apart from the equipment to cover overheads of assembly and logistics. This is just one of many activities in which the ABU has been involved in; creating awareness and promoting the use of technology for disaster risk reduction and establishing effective communication in post-disaster mitigation efforts.

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