(Update 02/03 5:00pm) B101 has officially moved to One Financial Plaza (aka Hospital Trust tower) in downtown Providence as their new permanent home. A "license to cover" has been granted by the FCC.
What does this mean for your listening to 88.1FM?
If you live within approx. 1.5km of One Financial Plaza (see map at right) and you are experiencing blanketing interference to RIPR, then the FCC rules (47 CFR § 73.318(b)) mandate that WWBB must "satisfy all complaints of blanketing interference which are received by the station during a one year period." That period began 1/27/2015 and ends 1/27/2016 but please don't delay!
You can contact Troy Langham at (918) 664-4581 or FCCcontact@clearchannel.com to log a blanketing interference complaint and request assistance from their engineers. Make sure to mention it's under "FCC rule section seventy-three dot three-one-eight". Give your name, physical address, and a way to contact you (email or phone).
Also, please take a minute to fill out an RIPR survey about blanketing interference. It will help us define the scope of the problem and provide useful info for our discussions with iHeartMedia's engineers and corporate offices.
UPDATE DEC.1, 2014: our demo unit of the BW Broadcast DSPXmini-FM SE audio processor arrived today. It's been installed on 88.1FM and initial tweaking is complete. The sound seems markedly improved. I'll be fiddling with it further to adjust it across different programs.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE: About a week ago, your intrepid engineer made some changes to the airchain on our 88.1FM that should've, in theory, been wholly beneficial and with no potential for downside. However, around that same time I started getting reports of an odd whistle...or just high-pitched static...that would come and go with no apparently rhyme or reason.
These reports aren't widespread, but there's been enough that I'm no longer inclined to think it's just an odd run of people happening to have poor reception. The only commonality is that it seems to occur only when reception of 88.1 isn't very good to begin with. Not necessarily "poor" reception at all, just not "super-solid".
Friday night and mid-day Saturday (Nov.14 & 15) ended up being a bit of a saga for what was supposed to be a routine upgrade for our 102.7FM signal in South County. So first off, an apology to our RIPR listeners on 102.7FM, and to MVYradio's listeners to the 96.5FM signal in Newport. There were several dropouts, periods when RIPR was on backup transmitter (and thus 96.5 was off entirely), or when both transmitters were down.
Exactly what happened could be described as an avalanche of minutiae, but I'll lay it out as best I can.
Starting on Monday Nov.17th, the clocks for Morning Edition, All Things Considered (both weekdays and weekends) and Weekend Edition will be changing.
Today's Engineer's Corner is co-authored with our Operations & Production Manager, James Baumgartner. He and I are the ones directly responsible for organizing all the clock changes' impact on Rhode Island Public Radio, and we've put together this synopsis of what the changes mean for our listeners.