Someone Donated $10 Million To KEXP - Page 6
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Thread: Someone Donated $10 Million To KEXP

  1. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by DavidEduardo View Post

    As previously said, I'm guessing that the off-air incident was such that all the redundancy in the world would not have prevented and which required a drive to the site.
    That may be true but this outage was PREVENTABLE had the engineering staff figured out where their points of failure were and eliminated them. You don't need millions of dollars to do that - just a little sense (cents?).

  2. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Piotrowski View Post
    That may be true but this outage was PREVENTABLE had the engineering staff figured out where their points of failure were and eliminated them. You don't need millions of dollars to do that - just a little sense (cents?).
    Well... again... it's easy to armchair quarterback from a safe distance.

  3. #53
    Well I will admit it. Every radio stations that transmits from Vashon was off the air for about 10 seconds during a brief morning power outage this Sunday morning, at 5:03am. Everyone except Voice of Vashon, they can run their 7 watts on a UPS till the generator starts.

    Last Saturday morning there was another brief outage that lasted 20 seconds. One of the stations I take care of had a generator failure during that one so good it only lasted 20 seconds. But that station was not the only one with a generator that did not start on Vashon. There was another station that had a bad transfer switch since the summer and were dragging their feet on the ASCO replacement.

    Last Saturday afternoon (after the outage) I went down and had to work air out of a recently replaced fuel filter so it would start properly. Good thing I did because the power went out again last Monday morning at 9:11am. All the generators started and ran with the exception of the station waiting for the ASCO switch, they were off the air for 20 minutes. That station has now put in a temporary switch last Thursday night (they had to go off the air to do it.)

    I'll admit over the last 3 weeks I have ad issue with program and T1 circuits and a bad DA. This was with 3 stations from different owners.

    The stations I work for don't like to publicly announce when they go off the air with an article about the failure.

    This morning I will be doing a mini transmitter tour to make sure things are OK (exhaust flaps closed, no wired blown fuses or breakers.) The good news is there are only two flashing stop lights and 3 stop signs to deal with. And the Homeless deer that hang out at the transmitter, they get pushy when you show up with no apples.

  4. #54
    Gosh, Steve... 20 seconds? Really?

    Not getting old or anything, are you? :-)

  5. #55

    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grounded Grid View Post
    Actually, people here have been VERY critical about stations that have had technical problems. You might have just missed my point about the Vashon stations being knocked out by an errant backhoe. People were pretty hard on those stations for not having multiple back-ups. Before that, there was the KOMO problem. Few would have foreseen that one, yet, in spite of what I understand is/was a first-class engineering department, they experienced a serious problem that had a dramatic effect on several stations.

    I take care of a few smaller-market stations that, today, think nothing of turning off their carriers so towers and antennas can be maintained. These are not bankrupt operations, either. They've just changed their view of whether an obsessive effort toward on-air performance is really necessary. In the past, you'd expect some compromise power level that would keep the station on the air and satisfy the tower workers they wouldn't get fried or cease to have kids. Now, they just shut it down, get the work done and move on.

    Soon after the DTV changeover, KIRO (I think) shut their over-the-air transmitter off completely, so workers could pull their analog equipment down from the tower That took something like a week, IIRC. This wasn't a bust for the company, as they still had their satellite and cable feeds going.

    There are others I know of first-hand, just in this general area. One is a high-wattage station that's frequently challenged, both in terms of its transmitter and program link performance.

    Another broadcaster, who has a decades-long history in this market has had recent problems with homeless folks breaking into their transmitter buildings. One recent cased took one of their stations down for a week, while the owner and police worked to evict people who had moved in. In that case, the property in front of the building had been turned into several people's front yard, effectively blocking access to the equipment building itself. While the weather was hot, they took an exhaust fan off one of the buildings, wired their own cord to it and, using the owner's power that they'd tapped into, were set it up as their private air conditioner. They also ran extension cords from one of the buildings to an encampment of tents, some 400 feet up the road. I was the engineer on-call and pulled in long enough to get pictures, then backed out of the job until the owner and police cleared the property, including a large collection of garbage, burned out cars and hundreds of needles. It took a week, including several visits to arrest repeat offenders and convince them a trespass order really meant they had to move, and stay out. They were very aggressive.

    An associate of mine has a similar problem in the San Francisco area. One of his tower sites is down a 5-mile road, mostly lined with homeless tents. When one of his stations out there has a problem, it's usually the result of vandalism. Over the past year or so, he's required a police or security escort, depending on whether it's night or not, before he'll go out there.

    None of this stuff was commonplace, back when radio was far more relevant than it is now. In any case, I think you can make a fairly reliable connection between a station's financial performance and management's budgeting for good engineering, monitoring, security and back-up scenarios.
    Which KOMO problem? The only major one I can think of was almost 10 years ago, when a fire took out the studios for a day. That sure made for some interesting radio. It would be a few years until I would find the thread on here discussing that. As for the power outage on Vashon last Monday, that explains why KOMO went off for about 10 seconds. That combined with some of the sounders firing out of order gave the impression that they were really having technical difficulties. Which other stations are really suceptable to technical difficulties? When they first moved here, KMCQ was probably the most technically challenged station in the market.

  6. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by Grounded Grid View Post
    Gosh, Steve... 20 seconds? Really?

    Not getting old or anything, are you? :-)
    If it's at night it can take 30 seconds or longer.

    These have been the first power bumps/outages since installing a new NX50 and Burk Arc Touch upgrade at two stations. So it was the real first live test of alarms and labels for a power outage. The PPM decoder monitor was not on the UPS at the transmitter so it would alarm during the brief outage when the generator started. I moved them to UPS power this morning so that's two less alarms when the power goes out.

    So this morning post power blip inspection was one modulation monitor fuse blown, unit provides a silence sense to remote control. Interesting it does not alarm when fuse is blown. Lets just say Harris.

    Switched two PPM detectors to the UPS power so they don't alarm during a power outage.

    Flip the generator exhaust flap so rain won't get in on a generator. Need to get Bids and paper work for that...Fun!

    Watched the silence sense go off at the one station that really didn't have an issue but was having an "Automation" issue in Seattle. But before I could get my Ipad hooked up to the Optimod and play Kokomo.....normal program audio came back, Darn!

    And then there were the cute goats at one site. I much prefer them to the prostitutes that would try to jump in my car when I drove to the 106.9 transmitter on capital hill when stopped at a certain intersection at night or after dark. Or the time some one in a car pointed a gun at me while I unlocked the fence gate at the same site. That was the fastest I unlocked and got inside the building.

    Looping this back to KEXP. Maybe the engineer was waiting for an armed person to escort him to the transmitter at capital hill. Might be wise to use the Buddy system when visiting a transmitter on Capital hill so you don't get mugged or electrocuted. Theft from the Ch11 transmitter from people just walking in through the open gate is legendary.

  7. #57
    Closing the loop on this thread: Steve brought this matter (aka rant) to one of the Broadcast Engineering forums on another site. The rep from Nautel (transmitter manufacturer) who regularly follows that site confirmed, it was indeed an SD card failure on the KEXP transmitter that caused the outage. Not sure why it took so long to switch the backup on, but the article posted here was at least accurate as to the cause.

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