Seattle's home for dance

Transmitter Replacement Update – December 22, 2017

tl;dr = New transmitter is still on the way, temporary solutions held up until this week.

tl;dr = New transmitter is still on the way, temporary solutions held up until this week.

Update, 9:30PM December 22 :: Our engineer has us back up as “analog only”. Thanks Buzz! 🙂

As you probably remember, back in September, our transmitter on C89.5 started cutting out. It was once every few days at first, then daily, then every few hours. It became clear that we needed a new transmitter: C89.5 listeners came through and helped us raise approximately $50,000 to replace our transmitter.

After the bidding process which is required of public institutions when making large purchases, we got the bids back on Thursday (December 21). The general manager was reviewing them as I was leaving for the holiday, which means that the new transmitter is not yet in place. This has been our top priority. I’ll try to give a more specific update on Tuesday after I talk to our general manager, as I’m not that well educated on the process.

Here is what’s been going on:

  • Sept :: Transmitter started failing.
  • Late Sept :: Transmitter failed, would only stay online for a few hours at a time.
  • Late Sept :: We borrowed an analog FM Exciter from another radio station, which was not a perfect match for our amplifier, but it worked.
  • Early Oct :: The process to acquire a new transmitter was started immediately after our emergency fund drive.
  • Early Dec :: Our old exciter was sent back to us, repaired, so we could return the borrowed exciter.
  • Mid Dec :: The old excited started failing, progressively got worse, quickly.
  • 22 Dec :: Biting my nails (cue Renegade Soundwave)

(I’m not the best source for timelines and specifics– our general manager and engineer are. I’m writing this at home, as the station is off the air again, and I’m just going by what I believe is correct. I’ll update the above timeline if I discover I have anything wrong after getting a full update.)

Our engineer is trying to decide what to do now. He had a bandage on the refurbished exciter, which was running it on a Uninterruptible Power Supply, so there’d be no variations from the power grid. That worked for a few days. It’s not any more. He has been driving up to Cougar Mountain multiple times a day to restart things. It’s supposed to snow up there tonight.

I’ll update you as soon as I get clarifications on where we are in the full process, and where we are with new temporary repairs.

Thank you for your understanding and support.


Richard from Cafe Chill

I work behind-the-scenes on Café Chill. I like to make friends with crows.

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