Controlling Westwood One MAX using Broadcast Tools DSC20

July 8, 2008 by

Watertown engineer Michael Ring, whose work on rebuilding the WTNY tower was featured in our most recent Picture of the Week, writes in with some important information to help fellow engineers using the new Broadcast Tools DSC20 dual satellite controller. 

Since we're not engineers, we'll defer the floor to Michael, who writes about how he's using the new gear at WTNY in Watertown:

Anyone using this new box may need the ability to control it with closures.  I gave this information to Mitch Glider at Westwood One a couple of weeks ago, but they apparently have decided not to divulge it, but I think the broadcast community would find it useful, so please spread the word for me... I've been using it successfully for 3 weeks now.

The existing hookup used one receiver port for a Starguide, so the second was free.  The DSC20 can talk to the MAX via the existing serial cable provided a 9 pin null modem adapter is added.  (Radio Shack $10)  I found a "keep alive" query needs to be sent occassionally (seems like every 15 minutes or so)  to the receiver or the port will not respond unless multiple strings are sent. 

Below is a "marked up" screen dump of the DSC20 listing and instructions.

1)  Hook DSC20 to the MAX receiver serial port using a null modem adapter
2)  Enter required strings using default logon credentials and then the string. 
     example below...  string 01 sets Stream 3 to channel 7 (Bohannan 09/0)
       [13] is a carriage return/enter

3)  Provide a pulse at lease 4 times throughout the hour to the string "keep alive"  I am using our 24/7 ESPN affiliate's commercial break closure.  This is NOT to keep the receiver logged in, rather it seems the port "sleeps" with inactivity, and requires an extra carriage return to wake up.  I have not determined what the exact inactivity time is.

Memorize Variable Strings for Recvr Port 1

01. "admin[13]12345[13]SetAudioConfig -i 3 -c 7[13]"  09/0 Bohannan
02. "admin[13]12345[13]SetAudioConfig -i 3 -c 61[13]" TR NET Laura Ingraham
03. "admin[13]12345[13]SetAudioConfig -i 3 -c 34[13]" WSJ-1 Wall St. Journal
04. "admin[13]12345[13]SetAudioConfig -i 2 -c 36[13]" CBS Ch. 36
05. "admin[13]12345[13]SetAudioConfig -i 2 -c 38[13]" CBS Ch. 38
06. "admin[13]12345[13]SetAudioConfig -1 3 -c 21[13]" CNN East
07. "admin[13]12345[13]SetAudioConfig -i 3 -c 12[13]" MISC Dennis Miller
08. "admin[13]12345[13]SetAudioConfig -i 1 -c 41[13]" CBS 41
09. "admin[13]12345[13]SetAudioConfig -i 3 -c 11[13]" FOX (O'Reilly)
10. "admin[13]12345[13]SetAudioConfig -1 3 -c 33[13]" Marketwatch
11. "admin[13]12345[13]"  Keep Alive string
12. ""
13. ""
14. ""
15. ""
16. ""
17. ""
18. ""
19. ""
20. ""

Thanks again to Michael Ring for that advice... if you need to contact him with any other questions, his website is at .

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2 comments on “Controlling Westwood One MAX using Broadcast Tools DSC20”

  1. Please let me clarify Westwood Ones position on Mr. Rings comments. I did not "devulge" Mr Rings solution for two reasons. First is that I was not comfortable with using an external a closeure to "wake up" up the Max receiver. That was a point of failure thta I did not want to recomend to our affilates. The second reason is Mr. Ring sugeested that Westwood One pay him $3500.00 for this information. I was alao uncomfortable with that request. Don Winget the owner of Broadcast Tools has just relaeased a firmware upgrade for the Broadcast Tools DSC 32/64 dual satellite controller that will allow full operation of the WW1 Max receiver as well as address some issues for other receivers that may have a similar need. No "wake up" closure is required. Don is chareging $60.00 for the upgrade. It includes the chip,a null modem adapter and full installation and programing information. Please go to for more info

  2. To clarify Mitch's comment... I did NOT ask for $3500 as compensation. My email to Mitch is as listed below... I never required any payment of any sort from Westwood One, just credit for the work I did.

    "Hi Mitch,
    It was good talking to you. As I mentioned, I would like credit for the development of this technique. (Actually, some cash would be nice too, since my daughter's Syracuse University costs just went up $3400)

    Anyway... here is what I did...
    Existing hookup used one receiver port for a Starguide, so the second was free. The DSC20 can talk to the MAX via the existing serial cable provided a 9 pin null modem adapter is added. (Radio Shack $10)"...
    I then elaborated almost exactly what I posted on this board, obviously gratis. Obviously most of us would appreciate some sort of compesation for work we do that benefits a commercial company. When I contributed to Radio World, I received unexpected modest compensation that was a nice surprize. I was hoping perhaps Westwood One would show appreciation too. Whether this helped Don or not is anyone's guess. Next time, I'll just post solutions here.


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