AFR success / disaster recovery



American Family Radio (AFR) knew they needed additional redundancy for their network operations. But the faith network also wanted to choose a package that would offer them, if necessary, the flexibility of quickly relocating their main studios. Thinking outside the box, they chose to include a mobile satellite system – a Holkirk Communications’ QDV-120 supplied by LinkUp – as a backup for their current satellite delivery system.

Client: American Family Radio

Director of Engineering: Shane Rakestraw

The equipment:

– Holkirk QDV-120

– Terrasat BUC

– Novelsat Modulator

– XDS Encoder

What our client has to say:

Shane Rakestraw is AFR’s Director of Engineering. Shane says the Florida Panhandle’s Category Five Hurricane Michael in 2018 was a big wake-up call for the broadcast network. “We realized that our services could be interrupted for any number of reasons – from equipment failure to a natural disaster. The solution LinkUp provided is perfect. It will allow us to continue broadcasting in the event our main antenna is down.”

The antenna can be used during natural disasters and emergencies when typical communications are down. The system allows AFR to continue broadcasting to its 200 radio stations for disaster recovery in the aftermath of extreme weather conditions that may cause a network to abandon their facility; specifically hurricanes, flooding, tornadoes or fire.

Another big plus? The unit’s mobility. “It’s also portable, so we can easily move it to another site if necessary, as part of our overall disaster recovery plan.” Shane went on to add, “With so many stations relying on us for their programming, the Holkirk made sense for us.”

The best part? Within weeks of receiving the unit, the Holkirk was already proving its mettle. “We actually used the demo for troubleshooting an audio issue we had with a show produced outside of the office. Very handy.”

What LinkUp says:

LinkUp President Mark Johnson gives these units his stamp of approval. “The uses are really limitless,” he says. “Essentially, anytime you need broadcast capability but can’t rely on regular communications, the Holkirk can do the job.”

More about the Holkirk:

Part of the Milexia company, UK-based Holkirk Communications Ltd. has developed a portable flyaway mobile satellite system that can be easily transported and deployed by one person.

Field proven, the Holkirk units’ modular construction means you can go from case to live transmission within minutes. Each unit contains ruggedized pieces and parts that give you connection for both video and data communications – even VOIP – from anywhere, at any time.

This line of compact antennas include lightweight models made of carbon fiber, as well as more budget-friendly models. The panels and connections snap together without tools, and a magnetic GPS assist makes it easy to point and align. In a matter of minutes, your network can send files over the internet, make phone calls, or send live video or audio.

An added bonus: these units can be run from a battery or generator, giving you the ability to stay connected when there’s no power.