The PISS

Note to self:

The PISS is a magical thing I came up with using a bog standard off the shelf outboard mixer along with the telephone hybrid to perform a few different functions including mix-minus, mono feed to the console, and stereo feed for recording (jock on one channel, caller on the other) to a computer for polishing up and re-airing later. I should really make a proper CAD diagram of this, but come on man it’s called the PISS, and it’s going riiiight in the shitpost category on this blog. The REC switch box thing is there because the USB interface in use was in the Arrakis MARC-16 console AND LET US NEVER SPEAK OF THAT SHITTY THING AGAIN

Better late than never– the arcy sparky harmonic filter

I forgot to post this over a year ago…

So we were working on the old Continental Electronics 816R that sadly later got nuked by the Carr Fire when we heard a voice come out of the power amplifier.

Uhhh, FM transmitters don’t usually do that.

In addition it kept arcing plate voltage to ground with an irritating snapping sound and restarting repeatedly so it needed some work.

Uh-oh!

Read more “Better late than never– the arcy sparky harmonic filter”

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.

Read more “The Telos One X Six – that’s dedication”

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…

Read more “Shitpost Multiball”

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!