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?

The solution

So what do you do when the factory service loaner for your STL receiver (which is working fine other than having a dead display so you can’t get to the settings) arrives deaf and sounding like a dirty skipping CD?

You place the 3d printed Pusheen atop the transmitter and prepare to launch your revolt against a toxic society and eat the damn rich

Regarding my previous shitposting, the cable length from the filter output to the LNA input turned out to be maddeningly critical.

Six feet:

Three feet:

About 18 inches:

I’ll take it! My concern was mainly attenuating crap around 1 GHz that I suspect is some kinda leakage off WiSP radios…

The lever you have pulled, “brakes”, is not in service at this time

Response of filter cavity

Response of preamp: not shown as it was a boring flat line

Response of cavity followed by preamp

Response of my brain after working about 28 hours in the last two days:

Yeah I’m just gonna throw this crap in there and say Good Enough For Radio Work and go collapse for the weekend (where my mugs are safe to drink from thanks)

Yeah about that

Pay no attention the fact that this STL transmitter antenna installation looks like something generated by Shiv Integer ….

Not seen here– there’s a second pole with one more on it…. And no means of preventing the pole from turning….

Then at the other end, months ago, the vertical and horizontal got mixed up… Surprise, after fixing that, some meters now move farther to the right…

You poor STL, show us on this Smith chart where the confused engineers hurt you….

thanks i hate it

hi there, i need a combiner care package from Microwave Filter Company, thanks

Sadly, we DO actually need antennas pointed three different directions, but that’d let me eliminate one of the dishes (not seen in the picture here) that’s mounted all janky and was able to be spun around by the wind.

Oh that’ll wake you up

The RMT for this month came through just GRRRRRRRRRRR-EAT!!!

Warning: Replaying these files on any broadcast station or cable TV system is a violation of FCC rules. Yes, there are people who would be ignorant enough to try it otherwise (oh hi Bobby Bones show).

This is the end result with Billy and Patrick being very very confused…

The actual audio received by the SAGE Endec:

Had this been an actual emergency, uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

FNORD!

AaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAA

there are no words. Someday I will try to come up with words in the process of writing a notice of retirement, but that day is not today.

The really fucked up one is an Armstrong tube transmitter from the mid 1990s.

The tape wadded splices are in the ~8000 volt plate supply. Also in this collection, a Nautel that ate a BNC lead that then ate several expensive RF transistors.

🎶 I am barely breathing, I can’t find the air 🎶

feeling exceptionally cyberpunk might delete later

or not because this is just perfectly me

Nautel nightlights.

Weird old Italian STL receiver I put in service after a nice new Armstrong XLink went deaf

Additional folderol. The crazy manifold is a concoction by Steve Wilde. The voltage reading on the service panel at exactly half voltage is from the days that PG&E lied to us and said the power was fine while wires sizzled away downed in the snow