When Fundraising, Axia, Zetta and Mitel Collide

Fancy Display TVs for Community Radio Fundraising

It’s Hope-A-Thon time at Christian Community station Hope 103.2. This means it’s time to roll out the latest iteration of TallyMate. This time, we’re going hard on third-party integrations with data sources such as Axia, Zetta and Mitel all brought together on our display TVs and mobile devices.

Axia LogoAxia integration comes in the form of a blinking Mic-On indicator, and count-up timer. This allows everyone in the room on headsets and radio mics to see how long the talk break has run.

This integration is made possible by my new Livewire Routing Protocol (LWRP) client class. I create a subscription to the on-air light GPIO pin, which then triggers a callback on pin-state change and updates a tiny JSON file. All up, we have about 35 lines of Livewire integration code which took less than three songs to write, test and deploy. There’s also a few lines of Javascript which renders the data on the board.

RCS Zetta LogoRCS Zetta integration comes in the form of a countdown timer, indicating how long is left on the current item. This gives everyone a sense of how long is left on the current songs or spots, without running across the room to see our main Zetta interface.

Data is sourced via the Billboard/Now Playing service, which sends XML data via a TCP socket to my own Python client & parser. This client was built for OnAirHope, but I’ve modified it to write a local file for use by the display TV software. It looks for the current item’s estimated end time, and counts down to that.

Mitel LogoMitel integration is in the form of line and call queue indication. We can see how many phones are ready to take calls, and how many callers are in the queue. This extends outside our inbound call-centre – we can track the status of our overflow phone agents in separate office spaces.

I pull the data from our Mitel controller via the Mitel ACD data feed. I’ve published the full code online. Again, it parses a TCP stream and writes all the data to a JSON file.

TallyMateAll of this is combined with the fundraising data from TallyMate (with a fancy new design, too). It provides an at-a-glance look at the progress of our fundraising appeal, on a big-screen TV in our main call centre and temporary studio. Data is also pushed to our website. Anyone can view the display TV data via their desktop, laptop, mobile or tablet – it’s fully responsive.

I’m excited by the possibilities this sort of integration opens up. By integrating systems such as RCS Zetta, Axia’s Livewire and Mitel we’re hopefully making everyone’s lives easier and improving the output of our broadcasts.

The next integration project I’ve got on the cards is realtime status boards for our refurbished “content hub” office space. I’ll post another blog post with details of that as it progresses.

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I'm Anthony Eden, and I'm a broadcast technologist. I've been working in broadcast media since 2008 (getting my start in Community Radio while still at school), and developing software and websites for just as long. Right now, I work full time for Hope Media, and provide some freelance services through Media Realm.

Follow Anthony on Twitter: @anthony_eden or Google+