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Reviews For: Orban Optimod PC - 1101 computer card

Category: Audio Accessories for Transmitter & Receiver

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Review Summary For : Orban Optimod PC - 1101 computer card
Reviews: 1MSRP: 1,500
Orban Optimod PC- 1101 pci or pcie computer card offers state of the art microphone tailoring in the professional broadcast arena
Product is in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
VE3BGE Rating: 2011-01-22
For those interested in state-the-art microphone [performance. Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
In recent years a great deal of excitement has been generated by amateurs turning their attention to tailoring their transmit audio. This has now, as everyone knows, reached the point where the radio manufacturers now include transmit audio tailoring into their transceivers. For someone like me, who has been a ham for many decades, it was nice to discover that one could 'play' around with external audio devices attached to those out-of-the-box modern transceiver. I have gone through many iterations of approaching my transmit audio in the desire to find my ideal transmit sound. This started with W2IHY boxes which are now in common use and moved into outboard 'black boxes' followed thereafter by the use of DAW (digital audio workstations) made by companies like Motu, M-Audio, RME and others. These DAW devices utilize firewire and usb connections to one’s computer and then make use of software ‘plug-ins’ that are available from a wide variety of companies Some of these ‘plug-ins’ are free and others very expensive ( e.g. those from WAVES) .Playing with 'plug-ins' offers the user a tremendous amount of fun because in essence they are like trying out endless available 'black boxes'. Even if one cannot afford to purchase some of the higher end plug-ins the opportunity to demo them for fixed periods of time is very enjoyable. I have owned a lot of gear over the years and have a photo album full of photos of my purchases. The only items I regret having sold were two wonderful Orban optimod processors, which were external hardware through which I passed my transmit audio before feeding it to my radio. Recently I came across the PC-1101 Optimod PC computer card from Orban. It was not cheap but certainly a lot less expensive than my previous purchases of outboard stand alone AN/Shortwave optimods. I have been very impressed with the reports I have received using the PC 1101 card. While it is a rather sophisticated device I have found it, after a thorough reading of the manual, easy to use and tailor to amateur radio requirements. I had some interesting conversations with one of the engineers at Orban about their producing an amateur radio optimod card. This card would not require all the bells and whistles present in the current PC-1101 card, a card which is dedicated to professional broadcast facilities. The result of producing an amateur radio optimod card would thus reduce the selling price of the card to the amateur radio fraternity. The engineer at Orban found the suggesting interesting, as he too was a ham, but obviously as a professional broadcast company there was a certain reluctance in having to provide technical assistance to amateurs. Orban is already swamped with engineering questions from their commercial radio and TV clients. In that light I suggested that this might be an interesting project for someone like Bob Heil who could perhaps distribute and support an Orban amateur optimod card. All in all the PC 1101 PCIe card I purchased has been a delight to use. While nothing can beat a broadcast voice the card at least gives me a unique quality sound. It's proven to be a very interesting addition to my station requiring only the addition of an inexpensive microphone preamp and a microphone to drive the card. The entire manual is available for downloading off the Orban website where the full details of the card are provided. There are even the odd videos posted on sites like Utube.