For New Chromium Truck, Corplex Develops Its Own Technologies
From the outside, Chromium, the newest addition to the Corplex mobile-unit family, will look very much like the successful Iridium truck that debuted in 2008. Inside, however, the truck will feature several new technologies that Corplex VP Engineering Dave Greany worked with manufacturers to develop.
New for Chromium will be the Evertz EMR router, which will mate with the EQX router, a feature that is becoming standard in truck builds.
“The EMR router wasn’t ready for Iridium but will be ready for Chrome,” Greany says. “That allows us to do a lot of embedding and additional MADI streams.”
Greany gathered a consortium of his competitors — NEP, Game Creek, Lyon Video — and approached Wohler to pitch the idea of a powered speaker to work in conjunction with the router. The unit, which Greany designed, is similar to the SUM 8 audio utility monitor already used in trucks but will be able to decode MADI.
“Then, you would be able to feed all the speakers in the trucks with MADI streams, and it would simplify integration and give more flexibility to users,” he explains. “Instead of having eight channels of audio routed to them, users would be able to select from up to 64 channels on the MADI stream. And, instead of four co-axes with eight channels of audio, you have one co-ax with 64 channels.”
In addition, the audio can be daisy-chained from unit to unit, simplifying the wiring process and providing faster setup as well as the flexibility to easily add audio to secondary units, such as office trailers, edit suites, or green rooms.
“In the past, you’d have to run DT12 [cable] with 12 channels of audio or co-axes for two channels of digital audio,” Greany says. “Now you’re able to take in a single co-ax out of the EMR router with 64 channels of audio. You can daisy-chain it through office trailers and have all of this audio on one router. You can also put these Wohler units down, which also have an analog output, so you can use them effectively as a mixer. If people wanted to plug in some bigger speakers, they could disable the internal speakers and use the Wohler as an eight-channel mixer to mix to larger speakers.”
Greany also worked with HydroThrift, a cooling-systems–design company based in Ohio, to create a new type of air-conditioner for Chromium.
“We think it’s a design that’s better suited to the modern-day mobile unit, as opposed to what has traditionally been put on the front of trucks,” he says. “Rather than adapt something that existed before, we cleared the slate and started from scratch. I think it’s going to make a dramatic difference in comfort for people and cooling for equipment.”
In the new truck, all of the air handling will be overhead, instead of in the floor. That way, heat that rises will be recovered and sent back to the air-conditioner, instead of having to be driven back down to the floor. Unlike the traditional two-stage unit (two 10-ton units), the unit Greany developed is in four stages, so any failure will affect only 25% of the cooling capacity, not 50%.
“It also allows me to have a greater handle on controlling the climate in the truck because, during certain times of year, 10 tons might be too much, like if it’s 0 degrees out in Green Bay,” he says. “We did this at a significant expense, probably 40% more in cost, but air-conditioning is always a sore spot. We thought it was prudent to invest in something that we thought would be the right solution for our business.”