interference

Engineer's Corner
10:44 am
Tue December 16, 2014

B101 Blanking 88.1 in Downtown Providence

WWBB "B101" is the "X" like antenna in the center.
Credit Aaron Read RIPR

Have YOU experienced blanketing interference to 88.1? (see below)  Please take a minute to complete our survey about it.  It'll help us quantify the extent of the phenomena and guide our work with B101 to help resolve the problem.

Click here: 

http://goo.gl/forms/v4UInPKZFt

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(Update 12/17 10:19am) B101 is back on OFP, and it's blanketing 88.1 again.  IHM engineers say they're testing a configuration and may be doing this for a half hour or so.

(Update 12/16 10:55am) Been in touch with IHM engineers; testing is done for the day and things are back to normal.  I'll be talking more with them in a little bit.

(Original Post 12/16 10:40am) On Tuesday morning (Dec.16), if you were listening to the radio in and around downtown Providence, you may have noticed B101's audio showing up across a lot of the dial, including 88.1FM.

This seems to be connected to B101's move to One Financial Center (aka the "Hospital Trust Skyscraper")

For the past few months, iHeartMedia (formerly Clear Channel) has been executing a complicated series of modifications to three of their stations: WBWL 101.7FM in Boston, WCIB 101.9 in Falmouth, and WWBB (aka "B101") 101.5 in Providence.    Specifically, WCIB and WWBB are reducing their signals' reach to expand WBWL.

That seems counterintuitive, but it actually makes a fair amount of sense; it aligns each station's signal with its respective market much, much better.   And as part of all this, WWBB/B101 is being moved to the rooftop of 1 Financial Plaza (aka "Hospital Trust Tower"), the second tallest building in Providence and right in downtown.  

This morning at 8:30am, they fired up the new transmitter, and suddenly B101 wasn't just on 101.5 if you were listening in downtown.

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Engineer's Corner
12:39 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

ARRRR - Pirate Broadcast on 102.9FM

Close up of a whip Antenna, believed to be the source of the 102.9 pirate.

UPDATE 01/21: Multiple letters sent with no response, and the pirate's still broadcasting.  A letter has been mailed to the FCC's Enforcement Bureau.   If you are an RIPR listener to 102.7 and you have experienced interference due to this pirate, you can submit your own letter to the FCC as well.

UPDATE 12/19: The pirate has been found!  Well, we're pretty sure we have found the pirate.  Using a directional antenna and a signal meter, we triangulated the position to a house a few blocks from the Locust Grove Cemetery in South Providence.  

A letter of notification of interference to RIPR was mailed to this address several weeks ago, but apparently this pirate doesn't care as there's still an illegal broadcast on 102.9 from this location.

UPDATE 11/5: Thanks to a fellow engineer who informed me there is a pirate broadcasting on 102.9FM and that is likely the source of the interference people have reported (see below).  Quite possibly the atmospheric changes made it worse, but the bulk of the problem is likely the pirate.

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