Suds Coleman

In the late 1990s, my since departed uncle loved listening to a few different programs on WIOD Miami. He wasn’t big on sports commentary, which there was some amount of, but he really loved the programs by the late Neil Rogers and Rick and Suds.

It saddened me to learn this morning that Suds Coleman has passed after a battle with cancer.

I’ll never forget one broadcast of his in particular… As a kid, I didn’t really get a lot of the humor of the shows my uncle liked on WIOD, so I didn’t listen that often, but then he and Rick Riley were there to keep us company through Andrew.

Hurricane Andrew rolled into the Miami area on August 24, 1992. Almost immediately, the television stations went dark and a lot of the other radio stations vanished from the dial or fell dead air. However, of all the goofy places you would not expect to be unaffected… the two tower AM directional in the middle of the freaking BAY stayed up, and WIOD still had power. Their building stood on stilts (a VERY WISE design choice!) and everything stayed powered off their generator and fully on air.

Meanwhile, Rick and Suds were up there in the studio looking down, and from their vantage point, it looked like the bay was just knocking on the station’s door. It probably was, considering how vulnerable the area is to storm surge. The WSVN studio next door had three feet of salt water in it and they were off air. At this point they had lost all telephone lines and other means of communication with the outside world, but were still on the air…. and they were just providing commentary on the objects and satellite dishes from WSVN flying past their windows.

They didn’t have much to report other than that due to the loss of communications, but hearing them on the air from a darkened house buried in about 30 feet of uprooted trees with flaming pieces of debris from a nearby tree that was hitting the power lines somehow managed to convince me that we’d all go outside the next morning and everyone else would still be there.

It’s things like that which will always show just how valuable the local broadcasters are to the community, and I thank him so much for his contributions.

[Buttloads!]
… Back at’cha.

The Telos One X Six – that’s dedication

We had a Telos One X Six blow up on us, sadly.

A second unit that needed a power supply was sent over from our other stations down south. as I replaced the power supply, I admired what insane dedication to electronic design went into this monster. Image heavy post follows.

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Herblederble

We have these neat signs in our lobby at work with the station logos on them. Originally they were screwed to the wall, leaving holes in them (argh!). At times I had to take them off so they could be used in promotional videos and such then put them back.

The lobby was painted so they came down and I decided this time to put them up with3M Command strips. Yes, their URL is actually command.com … I’ll never forget using DOS…

I used the strips that come backed in that funky high grade Velcro that connects and disconnects with a crunchy snap action, so the signs can go on and off the wall in seconds as needed. Beautiful! I kinda went by memory of where they hung, and it all went great until……

I swear I put that calendar up in the same place using the same anchors in the wall but now it fouls the KKXS sign!

Oh well. For the amazingly weedy share that station pulls in and the amount of grief its satellite automation causes me, it can stay there, right above the calendar everyone in traffic uses and the Keurig nobody uses.

On another note, I clearly have a lot to learn about MySQL. Last night a change I’d made to its configuration led to a “No space left on device” screwage as it shot logs like a firehose. That’s why this site was returning THE VOID when accessed last night.

I love boring transmitters!

By this I mean the ones where you install it, then outside of routine maintenance, it just works and never asks for more. Boring….NVlt getting the 5.0 software update.Always move the Pusheen to the center before updating, otherwise you have to do it again. I don’t know why and I’m not questioning it. Yours doesn’t have a Pusheen on it? Uh, that’s a highly technical problem.Boring backplaneElsewhere, this Crown started losing its boringness. It started occasionally dropping output. I’ll be replacing it with a fully boring transmitter soon. I bet it’s not much more of an issue than a dried cap in the power supply.Note to self: print a Pusheen to leave on top of the new one.

Shitpost Multiball

The Simpsons Pinball Party has not exactly proven itself to be a very reliable game; I’ve never played one where everything is fully functional. Malfunctions sadly seem to crop up with the garage door and mini playfield, and failure of these make most of the game inaccessible! No multiball…. On this one the upper left flipper didn’t work, so there was no way to shoot anything up there.

Just for the record, the way you have to get to multiball is to get the ball up there (open the garage door then shoot the ball in there) and the VUK (vertical up kicker) inside will send the ball to the left flipper on the mini playfield. From there, pass it directly to the right flipper or use the orbit at the back to send it to the right flipper, then shoot the lock ramp which will put it in the couch.

Yes, this is as challenging as it sounds!

So is maintaining an old RVR / Armstrong tube transmitter. Cut to avoid page spam…

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Aktiv-schaum

Someday this stuff will be the new Solo Cup Jazz Pattern.

Also I have in my hands an Open Repeater Project controller to be set up to run a machine in Redding, and it seems I’m fully allowed to put a dumb macro on it that makes it say “TRI-COLOR FOAMING WAX”. What have you fools done 😀

Up the hill again…

There’s a company working to install a DMR repeater as part of their network up on one of our sites now. They chose a good time to do it – we have dry weather today, and a 20% chance of light precipitation tomorrow…. much better than the last time I was up at this site when it was unrelentingly moist, cold, and slippery mud was infesting everything. Yes, it was indeed nasty enough to necessitate the word moist, that’s how offensive it was. Now it’s just beautiful, and with the clear sunny sky I can see two of the other sites I work on from here… the one with the wind farm is showingly only little patches of snow and should be accessible again, and it’s starting to melt off of Shasta Bally over there.

 

I know the tall snow capped one at right is Shasta Bally – I can see our tower up there. One of the other peaks visible is Shoemaker Bally and I’m not sure which one is which.

This is beautiful sailing weather. Go hit the lake! 🙂

Tower crew at work. They just mounted the transmit antenna for their MotoTRBO Capacity Plus repeater up there next to that weird arm with the IP camera on it.

Speaking of which—

We do not know whose camera that is.

It just kind of appeared when one of the tenants was working on the site.

They did not ask us to reduce transmitter power to drop RF exposure levels to within controlled exposure limits.

The way I look at this lately…. if some fool’s gonna go do work without asking for a power reduction, they DESERVED to be warmed up a bit. 😉

JUST ASK ME FOR A POWER REDUCTION! I don’t bite….. particularly hard.

For that matter, if the camera they did not ask us for permission to install starts malfunctioning due to the RF output of the DMR repeater— welllllllll guess whose fault that is for putting it there. Bwahahaha. I’m turning into the freaking BOFH, aren’t I?

Be sure to water and fertilize your LDF4 lines so they can go into full bloom!

Panderphonics

Today I had to fix an issue in the studio of our uhhh… 18-30 oriented CHR Bullshittin’ With Bieber station and I heard a newer single from The Chainsmokers play that had the exact same synth loop as “Older”. Now That’s What I Call Bullshit!

#Shitposting

Welp now I’m in an angry shitposting mood.

Since the early 2000s I’ve noticed a trend in how music is commercially promoted and pushed for radio airplay. Payola has always been a big thing that’s rubbed endless shitty music in our faces, but this is different…. It’s almost like the industry got too complacent to give a shit.

Now, how do you get your music promoted? Just sound like someone else who’s been heavily marketed to where they earned, or more like, bought, high positions on the charts.

Back in the 90s there was some of this going on too, but it was “hey we have this amazing vocalist and that kind of talent is hot now…”

But alas, everything now is in a colossal backslide following a big stagnation a few years ago. Remember when Ariana Grande was given the Grammy for best rock artist because there were no active rock bands with any material being released?

Five Finger Death Punch is charting for sounding like fucking Nickelback.

These artists on the Billboard chart all just sound like lousy drunken dumpster fires.

I’d rather listen to the cooling fans on the Nautel transmitters than anything on this chart.

This is why I’ll never make it on the programming side of commercial radio (is that where the actual money is??).

Oh hell don’t even get me started on “yeah uh we have this mediocre ass single that we sent back to be remastered featuring 15 seconds of vocals from this shitty famous person, FIVE PLAYS PEE HOUR PLEASE”

Ok, it’s Pizza Mountain now

From now on I have a standing rule that our site with the three ArmNOPEs is Pizza Mountain, because if I have to go up there to fix anything the company is going to have to buy me pizza in exchange for doing so.

Our engineer from the two markets down south sent me this picture of where the transmitter for the “Power” CHR station… well, it had a power…. problem. Its latest trick was to roast the primary lead to the plate transformer.

A couple weeks ago I went up there at night and reset the breaker to put that thing on air. I had no idea the reason it likely tripped was that it was slow-roasting itself to death internally. OH WELL!

So that’ll be spinach, mushrooms, extra cheese, roasted garlic, and Canadian bacon, please…. I still have to fit one of the other transmitters up there with new motors for the input tuning caps in a “nobody’s made this gearhead DC motor in two decades” situation, gee, where have I seen this before?

So, to be fair, Pizza Mountain is a ridge you get to prior to reaching a taller mountain range to the west. I tried to drive up there to explore a bit but got SNOped out, oh well! I should go up there in summer and see what’s beyond here. I know this highway eventually goes over the other side and lands in the Mendocino Forest.

say, isn’t this what led the donner party to expand their culinary horizons?