Engineer's Corner http://ripr.org en TheEC: New STL at 88.1FM http://ripr.org/post/theec-new-stl-881fm <p></p><p><strong>UPDATE 7/22:&nbsp;</strong>After a weekend of solid operation, we've moved out of "beta" and into "gold", meaning when you listen to 88.1, you're hearing audio that's coming across the new microwave STL.</p><p>------------------------------------------</p><p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6ODMDtG6-I"><strong>Good news everyone!</strong></a></p><p>Longtime Engineer's Corner readers know that we've had, well, <a href="http://ripr.org/post/theec-digital-chirps-881">"issues" with the STL</a> or "Studio/Transmitter Link" for our 88.1FM signal in Providence. &nbsp; The STL is what carries the audio from our studios in downtown Providence to the transmitter/tower at the Wheeler Farm in Seekonk.</p><p>Now a <a href="http://ripr.org/post/theec-new-stl-dish-881-installed">couple weeks ago we revealed</a> that half of a new wireless microwave STL was installed, and that the other half would be installed soon. &nbsp;Today, we fired it up for the first time and the results were gratifyingly positive!</p><p> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 22:10:16 +0000 Aaron Read 36961 at http://ripr.org TheEC: New STL at 88.1FM TheEC: Zapped in Narragansett http://ripr.org/post/theec-zapped-narragansett <p>Not nearly as romantic as "<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_in_Austen">Lost in Austen</a>", but the hefty thunderstorms that roared through Wednesday morning dumped a lot of rain and dropped a lot of lightning, both of which conspired to take RIPR's 102.7FM (and MVYradio's HD2) off the air for an hour or two.</p> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 22:26:27 +0000 Aaron Read 36919 at http://ripr.org TheEC: New STL Dish at 88.1 - INSTALLED! http://ripr.org/post/theec-new-stl-dish-881-installed <p><u><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">UPDATE @ 1pm&nbsp;: 88.1FM is back at normal power!</strong></u> &nbsp;Pics are available on our Twitter feed <a href="https://twitter.com/RINPR/status/479266377044213760">here</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/RINPR/status/479288601365053440">here</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/RINPR/status/479292528861011968">here</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/RINPR/status/479311467628343296">here</a>. &nbsp; <em>By the way, many of these pics were taken with a stock iPhone 5S using <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AQUCPFC/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1">this telephoto lens attachment</a>. &nbsp;Pretty good for $45!</em></p><p>----------------------------------------------</p><p><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">On Wednesday June&nbsp;18th, beginning around 9:30 or&nbsp;10am</strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, 88.1FM will be running on the backup transmitter &amp; antenna for a few hours to install new equipment on the top of the tower. &nbsp; We must run on the lower-power backup for the health &amp; safety of our tower climber.</span></p><p>The backup operates using a one-bay vertically-polarized omnidirectional antenna and about one-tenth our normal power. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><br /><b>THIS WILL NOT IMPACT OUR 91.5 OR 102.7FM SIGNALS, NOR OUR WEBCAST.</b></p><p><strong><a href="https://twitter.com/RINPR">Keep watching our Twitter feed for updates.</a></strong></p><p> Tue, 17 Jun 2014 23:25:47 +0000 Aaron Read 35356 at http://ripr.org TheEC: New STL Dish at 88.1 - INSTALLED! TheEC: Logitek Audio's Mosiac Mix Board http://ripr.org/post/theec-logitek-audios-mosiac-mix-board <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This week Frank from </span><a href="http://www.logitekaudio.com" style="line-height: 1.5;">Logitek Audio</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> was in town to provide </span>RIPR<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;with a demo of their MOSAIC mix board. &nbsp;To turn a phrase, this is not your father's mix board!</span></p><p> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 18:36:03 +0000 Aaron Read 35075 at http://ripr.org TheEC: Logitek Audio's Mosiac Mix Board TheEC: Air Conditioning at 88.1FM http://ripr.org/post/theec-air-conditioning-881fm <p>Regular readers of the ENGINEER'S CORNER might recall <a href="http://ripr.org/post/theec-air-conditioning-1027fm">my story about air conditioning at our 102.7FM transmitter in Narragansett Pier</a>. &nbsp; Well now I'm pleased to report that we have air conditioning at 88.1FM WELH in Seekonk as well!</p><p>In many ways, this is an even bigger deal; 102.7 had a hefty vent fan system that could move a lot of air. &nbsp;Sure, if the air outside was hot, it means the air inside was hot, too. &nbsp;Usually you can't cool a room using outside air below about +10F degrees above outside air temps. &nbsp; So if it's 90F outside, it's 100 to 105F inside...ugh! &nbsp;</p><p>And at 88.1, we didn't really have even that. &nbsp;The transmitter site is an 8x10ft shed with a single 12 inch desk fan blowing air out one of the wall vents, and no insulation whatsoever on the walls or ceiling. &nbsp;Temps routinely broke 120F inside, even when it was only 70 to 80F outside.</p><p> Thu, 22 May 2014 14:17:53 +0000 Aaron Read 33986 at http://ripr.org TheEC: Air Conditioning at 88.1FM TheEC: NAB2014 in Vegas http://ripr.org/post/theec-nab2014-vegas <p>As promised, here are some pics of my six days and seven nights in Las Vegas for the 2014 <a href="http://www.nabshow.com">National Association of Broadcasters</a> (NAB) show, one of the biggest conferences in the USA, with over 98,000 engineers, managers, vendors and content creators all crammed into the truly massive Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC).</p> Fri, 02 May 2014 18:24:41 +0000 Aaron Read 32988 at http://ripr.org TheEC: NAB2014 in Vegas TheEC: Audio Dropouts on 88.1FM http://ripr.org/post/theec-audio-dropouts-881fm <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>UPDATED 5/8/2014.</strong></span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The morning of April </span>30th<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> saw several odd "dropouts" in the audio on 88.1FM, usually lasting 5 to 8 seconds each, happening as often as 2 or 3 times a minute, but more commonly once every 10 to 15 minutes.</span></p><p>There was also an odd "repeating audio" effect some people noticed, when the audio came back.</p><p>Read on for the explanation of both!</p><p> Wed, 30 Apr 2014 16:42:25 +0000 Aaron Read 32862 at http://ripr.org TheEC: Audio Dropouts on 88.1FM WCVY 91.5 update Apr.22 http://ripr.org/post/wcvy-915-update-apr22 <p><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">UPDATE 3:30PM</strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">​ &nbsp;Taking advantage of the downtime, we swapped in the new </span><a href="http://www.bwbroadcast.com/fm-transmitters/tx300-v2-fm-transmitter/52/product" style="line-height: 1.5;">BW Broadcast TX300v2 transmitter</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> to replace the aging BE </span>FX50<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> &amp; </span>QEI<span style="line-height: 1.5;">/</span>LPB<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> </span>FM150SS<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> combo. Mon, 21 Apr 2014 22:10:45 +0000 Aaron Read 32411 at http://ripr.org WCVY 91.5 update Apr.22 TheEC: Heartbleed and Donations to RIPR http://ripr.org/post/theec-heartbleed-and-donations-ripr <p>The <a href="http://www.theglobeandmail.com/technology/tech-news/explainer-what-the-heartbleed-security-bug-means-for-you/article17893562/">big news in computing this week is&nbsp;<strong>Heartbleed</strong>​</a>, a serious security problem with secure websites. &nbsp; Specifically, it's a two-year-old bug in the near-ubitiquous OpenSSL (Secure Socket Layer) protocol...most commonly recognized when there's a "https" (instead of "http") at the beginning of a website address.</p><p>It's a big problem, and I'll explain why in a second, but first I wanted to let everyone know that the RIPR&nbsp;donations website&nbsp;<u>is secure</u> and <u>never was vulnerable to Heartbleed</u>. &nbsp; They use a hardware-based implementation of SSL, not&nbsp;OpenSSL.</p><p><strong>So if you have <a href="https://secure.publicbroadcasting.net/wrni/WEB/form.pledgemain">donated</a> or <a href="https://secure.publicbroadcasting.net/wrni/WEB/form.pledgemain">plan to donate</a> to RIPR, you have <u>nothing</u> to worry about in regards to Heartbleed&nbsp;and that donation. &nbsp;Whew!</strong></p><p> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 17:11:41 +0000 Aaron Read 31844 at http://ripr.org TheEC: Heartbleed and Donations to RIPR TheEC: West River Runs High Through 1290 http://ripr.org/post/theec-west-river-runs-high-through-1290 <p>As many of you know, RIPR owns and maintains the 1290AM site on the Providence/North Providence town line. &nbsp;Our NPR satellite downlink is there, and we lease the frequency to our friends at <a href="http://www.lprri.org">Latino Public Radio</a>.</p><p>In the past, the site was largely a pond (Whipple Pond) with Douglas Ave forming part of a dam in the eastern corner. &nbsp; After the torrential rains of 2010, the dam broke and the pond drained. &nbsp;Now the West River flows freely through the site.</p> Mon, 31 Mar 2014 14:41:24 +0000 Aaron Read 31289 at http://ripr.org TheEC: West River Runs High Through 1290