Vintage Orban's Optimod brochure 1987
First Optimod 8200 brochure 1991
serious fans of Optimod’s around the globe, here is a memorabilia photo museum for the
father “status” of radio sound processing unit ever made Orban's Optimod 8100A1.
It’s very difficult to collect it due the vintage character of the unit, made it real
with the help of friends from US & UK. I appreciate if someone has any
info or photos about analogue Optimod’s; happily I add it here, also if you detect any
descriptions please let me know. 261fm(at)261.gr
PS: Salute to passionate audio engineers all around the world.
Just Before OPTIMOD 8000 Prototype
THE OVERLOAD PREVENTION SYSTEM
"overload prevention system" was, in a broad sense, a precursor to the Optimod
8000. I built it in about 1972-73 for a college friend who had bought a class A FM, which
was known at the time as KPEN (Los Altos, CA, 97.7). I had done an
earlier FET multiple-time-constant limiter project while doing my master's degree at
Stanford (broadband only). The OPS was based on this broadband front end followed by a
pre-emphasized clipper. It had very low measured distortion (unlike the Audimaxes and
Volumaxes of the time), so it was quite transparent-sounding on the air. The big
limitation was the pre-emphasized clipper, which prevented the unit from getting too loud
without HF distortion. On the other hand, it retained the brightness of the program
material despite the 75us pre-emphasis curve. Of course, since it had no overshoot
compensation, it was at the mercy of the 9th order elliptic low-pass filters in the
Collins stereo generator it was driving. In fact, the extreme overshoots induced by the
pre-emphasized clipper's waveforms was one thing that led us to investigate the whole
filter overshoot issue, and which led eventually to the 8000's overshoot compensated
clipper/filter. The 8000, of course, added an HF limiter, overshoot-compensated
clipper/filter, and a stereo generator to the system. But the 8000's broadband
compressor/limiter was closely based on the one in the OPS.
Bob mentions (KPEN) was the station I was contracting with at the time. I had seen this
apparently home-built limiter sitting in a pile of stuff at the transmitter site, and was
amused at the crude "ORBAN" name on the front. I thought it was a joke - someone
built a limiter in their garage and stuck the Orban name on it. When I was cleaning
the place up, rather than throw it out I brought it home, thinking that at least I could
use the chassis and/or parts for something. It sat in my garage for a couple of years, and
it wasn't until I heard Bob talking about the OPS that the light went on. That evening, I
dug it out, opened it up, and found this had indeed been built by
"Orban". Got it cleaned up, brought it into the office, hooked it up and it
still worked, aside from some very dirty pots! Bob did seem pleased to see it again.
It now (well, at least when I was last there) sits in a rack with every other model of
Orban processor made; a little museum of Orban history.
This is the first
“8000 Prototype” before commercial units. Is made on experimentation board. Including
AGC, Pre-Emphasis Limiter, Stereo Generator
OPTIMOD 8000 Prototype
With Non Linear Overshooting Low Pass Filter.
This is the
final “Optimod 8000” commercial unit and released to radio stations at about 1975.
Including AGC, Pre-Emphasis Limiter, Stereo Gen, and here for first time implement the
Linear Non Overshooting Compensated Low Pass Filter. For this final commercial release Bob
Orban cooperates with Mr. Eric Small of Modulation
Sciences and Greg
vise president of Orban Co. “Optimod
8000” is still on air at few radio stations around the globe.
OPTIMOD 8100Á1 & 8101A1 (with out Stereo Gen)
8100A1 Bob Orban together with Mr. Greg Ogonowski,
Vice President of Orban Co put the know how on all broadcasting processing issues. All
others modern designers just follow / copy their ideas. On this final Optimod 8100A1
implement 2 Band AGC, Compression, Limiting Variable Pre- Emphasis Limiter, Smart Clipper,
FCS Overshoot Compensator, Distortion Canceling Circuit, Linear Non Overshoot Compensated
Low pass Filters, Very Stable Analog PLL Stereo Coder. This unit is sill on air at lots
radio station around the globe and is a Status / Father of broadcasting processing units.
before finally death of Analogue Bob Orban hit with XT and lately XT2
version companion chassis unit Six Band Limiter for Standard 8100A1 for that which wants
more dense processing. This unit already successfully installed before years on all AM
Optimod’s 9000A, 9100B. XT2 comes as an answer to stop all designers at that time which
abuse his 8100A1 adding a modifying cards or put ahead other multiband units just to make
sound results louder but more distorted thus push on defamation Bob’s reputation without
his permission. Include on XT2 Mr. Greg Ogonowski Patented of Multiband Distortion
Canceling Circuit. XT2 will be still the absolute weapon on loudness war with lesser
Six - Band Limiter
8100A1/XT & XT2
Studio Accessory Chassis 8100A1/ST
ST chassis comes to split &
host the main 2band AGC cards # 3 & 4 of 8100 thus pre- processing is made on studio
prior to STL so protects it from over modulation.
for the history before final stop of 8100A1/XT2 on product line, original Edge meters
replace it with a more fast response Led Bar graphs panel.
my opinion 8100A1/XT2 is sounded more natural from all latest digital boxes. There is
NO WAY to make sound BAD an 8100A1/XT2 due the lesser tweaking knobs instead of all
digital box due the lesser knowledge of the user.
8100 AFC or Retrofit ACC - 022
is an great addition for your Optimod 8100A1 alone or with XT2 giving an absolute
competitive sound results, Card # 0 or Fm Filter Card or Retrofit ACC- 022.
Actually this Card designed with
help of Mr. Eric Small of Modulation Sciences at about 1987? And replaces the
final Safety Clipper of Cards # 8 & 9 with a pair of overshoot-compensated, low
pass-filters in order to significantly reduce (by 25 – 30 Db) “splatter” in the SCA
region of the baseband, it also reduces any residual overshoot by about 6% thus even on
extremely densely-processed program material can allow a higher level of peak modulation
at about 1Db with-out an increased risk of overmodulation. Results are better (cleaner)
from any conventional composite clipper unit. This card inserted between buffer out of
filter cards # 8 & 9 and input of stereo generator Card # 7. The frequency response of
the card is typically +0, -0,1 Db, 30 – 15 kHz. An 8100A1 containing this card will
therefore perform well within +-0,75Db specification limits. Card # 0 has been
specifically designed to be used in conjunction with 8100A1’s existing FCS Overshoot
Corrector. Card # 0 is therefore unusable with the older Optimod Fm 8000, or with other
manufacturer’s equipment. Just for your info, this card # 0 is on all latest digital
Optimod’s as a software of curse.
A Unique Strange 8100A1 with Blue
Mr. Marty Acuff tech manager of Orban, recalls.
The blue-faced 8100A/1's were
manufactured by Orban on an order
for Broadcast Electronics (BE) and sold by BE packaged with their
transmitters. The color matched the official "BE blue".
DIGITAL OPTIMOD 8200
Just a Digital Version of Analog
DIGITAL OPTIMOD 2200
Just a Digital Version of Analog
Hmm!! Let’s tweaking that box making it sounded real good and then may I go to
"piss" all digital fancy boxes :) But how opens that damn door?
Well yes I think at this time I setting it up really good. That’s on air sound I like,
is pure natural and warm, an analogue pleasure. So now I am ready to broadcast. I hate all
digitals, sounds to me “fake” with “brittle” HF contains. Digitals boxes make me
throwaway headphones after few min of listening. I am a "girl" so I have
very sensitive ears :)
Salutes to all analogues passionate.
Please don’t look at me;
become too shy girl when I am on air.
Orban's Dalmatian Dog? From 1987 Product Catalog.