Reader Gary Street sent this memory as a response to RW’s call to share broadcast engineering experiences. He describes a trip to mountain (remote transmitter site) to see why the AM and FM were off air after a thunderstorm.
It was an August evening and I had to take a trip up the mountain to the remote transmitter site to see why the AM and FM were off the air after a thunderstorm had passed through.
Upon arriving around 8:30 p.m., I opened the transmitter building door and could see that the 5 MW main and 1 MW backup AM transmitters were dead. I checked the Sintronic main FM and standby FM and both were also dead.
I worked all night just to get the main AM and FM transmitters back up. The 5 MW AM transmitter was up just in time for the morning DJ to start his shift at 6 a.m., which was convenient since it was a daytime station.
It was at that point that I discovered that the audio processor back at the station had taken a hit and wasn’t working. So I locked the transmitter shack door and headed off the mountain, back to the station to repair the processor.
At 7 a.m. I had the AM audio restored and it was up and running.
However, I’m only a contract engineer, I had another job on the schedule. I taught electronics at a vocational school and bell for the first class was at 9 a.m. I made a stop for fast food and coffee.
I made all my classes that day but afterward I went home and practically died.
The next day after school I went back to the mountain and repaired the standby transmitters and waited for the next storm.
Those were the good old days at WNRG(AM) and WMJD(FM), Grundy, Va.
Share your engineering experiences or horror stories with us via firstname.lastname@example.org