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No Rest for the Weary in the Good Ol’ Days

Gary Street remembers working as a contract technician and school teacher

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.

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