Custom Consoles Control Desks Go On-Air at Radio Botswana

David Kirk

Published: 23 January 2024

Custom Consoles Control Desks Go On-Air at Radio Botswana

Custom Consoles announces the completion and installation of control room desks for Radio Botswana at the network’s studios in the national capital. Totalling 20 desks and auxiliary technical furniture, the project formed part of a large-scale system upgrade by Dega Broadcast Systems.

“The assignment included radio presentation control desks plus associated facilities designed to provide the combination of dimensions and radio-specific features required for additional programme participants or studio guests,” says John Cleaver, Dega Broadcast Systems director. “Many of the desks incorporate noise-reducing worktop surfaces and concealed ducts for audio, mains and related control cables. Electrically powered height adjustability was specified in several instances, giving presenters the option of working seated or standing.”

“Among the desks provided for this project are a central control and production studio control room workstations, a hub desk, news studio control desk, an assignable control suite and a listening room console,” adds Gary Fuller, Custom Consoles sales manager. “We also produced an acoustically treated studio guest table. Drawing on our long experience in designing and building radio and TV studio control desks, we worked closely with Dega during the design phase and pre-build at our UK headquarters as well as actual installation at the network’s studios in Gaborone.”

The on-air console consists of two crescent-shaped sections of approximately 3.8 metres width. The central section is configured for use by a single presenter/operator facing five guests seated at a similarly curved outer section. The inner section is fitted with embedded audio mixing panels and includes support for loudspeakers and computer monitors. Presenter and guests each have access to microphones on individually adjustable booms. A 14U high equipment pod is located at left of the inner desk. Worktop level of this and other height-adjustable desks in the project can be set between 695 and 1,195 mm.

The production control room console and hub desk are of similar size and shape to the the inner on-air console, again with embedded audio mixing panels, loudspeaker mounts and computer monitor arms.

The listening room control console has a 1.8 metre x 750 mm worktop with curved corners. Equipped for use by a single operator, it accommodates desktop loudspeakers, a communications panel and computer monitor.

The studio guest table is a 3 x 1.2 metre unit accommodating up to six guests, each with an adjustable-boom-mounted microphone and acoustically treated surface to minimise script-handling noise.

A desk from Custom Consoles’ M-Desk Technical series was chosen for the news studio plus another for an assignable control suite, along with desks from the long-established Modular-R series. The news studio control desk is a 2.7 metre wide rectangular structure spanning four bays plus an integral 13U high equipment pod. Configured for use by a presenter and production assistant, or self-op, it includes desk-mounted computer monitors and microphones plus an acoustically treated presenter desk surface. A similar design was commissioned for the assignable control suite. This spans two bays plus an integral 13U equipment pod forming a total width of 1.8 metres.

Botswana has a high reputation for media excellence, its national television network (BTV) having been an early adopter of digital technology back in the early years of satellite broadcasting. Radio Botswana was established in 1965 in preparation for the new Republic of Botswana. Broadcasting in the Setswana language, its programme line-up includes news, parliament debates, education, culture and general entertainment. A sister channel to Radio Botswana 1, RB2 is a commercially funded channel focused on music and sport.

Dega Broadcast Systems ( has been providing technical installation services within the industry for over 35 years. Established in 1988, the company focuses on delivering a high quality service to its customers and establishing long term working relationships. Based in Basingstoke, Dega works predominantly within the UK but also carries out contracts overseas. The company directors are equal and all have engineering backgrounds. Each fulfils a similar role as a flexible executive active in the daily running of Dega Broadcast Systems and its projects.

Custom Consoles designs and manufactures project-specific and modular broadcast, process-control and security furniture. Its product range includes motorised and fixed-height desks and equipment housings. The company operates from a UK-based production facility equipped with 3D computer-aided-design facilities and computer-controlled cutting machinery. These resources provide the dual benefits of precise quality control and prompt delivery times. Custom Consoles' clients include governmental and corporate organisations in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australasia.

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