Bad Radio Engineering

Wow, some engineer is really screwing the pooch at AM 1290 in West Palm Beach (the EIB station). Minutes and minutes of dual programming then minutes of dead air. At the top of the hour, news came on doubled up with something else.

11 thoughts on “Bad Radio Engineering”

  1. I’ve heard something similar happen locally, which suggests to me that it’s a common mistake with a certain automation system. And since the offending station here, as in Palm Beach, is owned by iHeartMedia, I’m guessing it’s occurring in some of their other local clusters.

      1. Ah, another former DJ. 🙂

        We had one DJ (who was also the county constable) who put on an album side and headed to Clancy’s hamburgers right as my uncle (who co-owned the station with my dad) pulled in. He was of course fired, but rehired a week later. ^_^

        Back then we required on-air people (usually high-school students) to be able to read pretty well because they had to read news that came in over a teletype machine which had a vqry hiwh error rate. These days, on-air people don’t seem to be as educated, or at least that’s what I gather from watching CNN.

        1. Sort of a DJ. It was a classical NPR station, with taped announcements of the pieces to be played. I was just the engineer who got to open the station up at 6 AM, in high school.

  2. Maybe Are because you you planning live on in heading West up Palm to in the close Cape proximity to to see Rush the Limbaugh, next you SpaceX can launch have anytime him soon? personally Hey show and up I at thought that you EIB got station rid and of kick that that Florida engineer’s house? ass!

    I suspect that station, like this blog has gone digital…

    1. Wow, for a second I thought you were having a stroke! Most likely it’s an automation error. I’ve heard that too in KC, but usually, it only lasts a few minutes until someone runs in and fixes it.

      1. My high school had a 5 watt FM radio station, and one of my college-application resume-enhancing activities was to volunteer as a radio engineer. I studied for the 3rd Class Commercial Radiotelephone Operators License, passed the exam, and signed up for the lunch hour classical music program.

        Basically, what I did was show up in the radio shack (actually a penthouse room on the 5th floor of a school with four floors of classrooms), mount a reel of audio tape and press some buttons. That and make entries in the transmitter logs that the crystal was at the right temperature (tape, oven-controlled master oscillator crystal — hey, this was 45 years ago). And eat my lunch at the control room desk.

        One day the call went out that the station needed a substitute engineer for a more active, contemporary music program. I had to spin records. Not knowing any better, I set the needle in the grove (did I tell you this was 45 years ago) and pushed a button.

        The phone rings — it is the station’s Chief Engineer (another student) scolding me, “I heard that ‘wow’ when you queued up that record!”

        I guess I may have gotten training on that. The turntables (I think we had two of them) had felt surfaces that you could put on a record, place the needle and hold the record to “slip” it when you pushed the switch to get the turntable spinning. When you were ready, you let go of the slipping record to get instant music at the correct pitch.

        Of course, a 5 watt FM station, the Chief Engineer was the only one listening at the time.

        1. Yes, that was my experience as a 16 YO. I’d hold the record until the announcement was done for the track, then release it. I don’t remember the power on our station; it was in the basement of the high school, but it was the local NPR station. Pretty sure it was at least 5 kW. Every DJ has to have a 3rd-Class license. I had a 2nd-Class, so I could do more stuff. You needed a 1st-Class to be chief engineer, but it wasn’t something I aspired to. But I learned a lot of electronics before I got my engineering degree.

          And as a teenager, I was making minimum wage, which at the time was $1.60/hr. But gas cost $0.30/gallon (this was just before the “energy crisis”).

Comments are closed.