theec http://ripr.org en 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>‚Äč</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: $18 Million Dollar Typos http://ripr.org/post/theec-18-million-dollar-typos <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>This time on The Engineer's Corner, I want to look back three weeks ago, and look back over fifty years ago. &nbsp;And how little typos can have a big impact when it comes to engineering.</p><p></p> Tue, 18 Mar 2014 16:46:24 +0000 Aaron Read 30642 at http://ripr.org TheEC: $18 Million Dollar Typos TheEC: FullChannel Proves Imitation is the Highest Form of Flattery http://ripr.org/post/theec-fullchannel-proves-imitation-highest-form-flattery <p>Our good friends at FullChannel cable, available to residents of Barrington, Warren and Bristol, are not only nice enough to put RIPR's&nbsp;audio on channel 799. &nbsp; But also their engineer, Jamie Griffin, has started his own <a href="http://us6.campaign-archive1.com/?u=d4b6fb3e7e340fcd2e21dd706&amp;id=b5f3050b42&amp;e=f677833176">"Engineer's Corner" email newsletter</a> for cable TV folks.</p> Sun, 23 Feb 2014 22:00:28 +0000 Aaron Read 29548 at http://ripr.org TheEC: FullChannel Proves Imitation is the Highest Form of Flattery TheEC: Prison Radio http://ripr.org/post/theec-prison-radio <p>A recent article in the <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/elements/2014/01/the-ipod-of-prison-sony-radio.html">New Yorker about radio in prison</a> piqued my interest. &nbsp;Besides providing a window into a world that many of us know little or nothing about, it caught my eye that these <a href="http://www.prototype.pw/SONY-SRF-39-FP-Clear-AMFM-Radio-or-equivalent_p_30.html">Sony SRF-39FP</a> ("FP" for "Federal Prison") radios are actually remarkably good receivers. &nbsp;</p><p> Mon, 03 Feb 2014 22:08:07 +0000 Aaron Read 28583 at http://ripr.org TheEC: Prison Radio TheEC: 88.1 Studio/Transmitter Link http://ripr.org/post/theec-881-studiotransmitter-link <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In light of ongoing issues with the Studio/Transmitter Link (</span>STL<span style="line-height: 1.5;">) for </span>WELH<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> 88.1, we have implemented a new </span>STL<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp; schema. &nbsp; If you heard a lot of </span><a href="http://ripr.org/post/theec-digital-chirps-881" style="line-height: 1.5;">odd audio dropouts on 88.1 today</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, that was the reason.</span></p><p>The good news is that we should have a pretty good temporary solution in place, and a solid path for a permanent solution is on the horizon (tentatively scheduled for mid-March). &nbsp; Best of all, I was able to put in a new(er)&nbsp;<a href="http://www.optimod.fm/">Orban Optimod 8100A</a>&nbsp;audio processor to replace the less-capable&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bswusa.com/Broadcast-On-Air-Processing-Inovonics-718-David-III-FM-Broadcast-Processor-P2989.aspx">Inovonics DAVID-III</a>. &nbsp;There's a little&nbsp;<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sibilant">sibilance</a>&nbsp;still, so I need to tweak the settings. &nbsp;But overall the sound should be much louder, fuller, and more consistent.</p><p>Read on for more details...</p><p> Tue, 28 Jan 2014 03:08:11 +0000 Aaron Read 28255 at http://ripr.org TheEC: 88.1 Studio/Transmitter Link TheEC: Browser Extensions that Spy on You http://ripr.org/post/theec-browser-extensions-spy-you <p>Taking a break from broadcast engineering this time on TheEC, and instead we'll look at the other side of my job: computers. &nbsp; In particular, here's a heads-up to a recent story that's lit-up the geekier&nbsp;realms of the internet, but may not have percolated to your inbox just yet. &nbsp;It has to do with BROWSER EXTENSIONS and how they might or might not...probably might...be spying on you.</p><p> Tue, 21 Jan 2014 16:49:01 +0000 Aaron Read 27944 at http://ripr.org TheEC: Browser Extensions that Spy on You TheEC: Digital "Chirps" on 88.1 http://ripr.org/post/theec-digital-chirps-881 <p><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">UPDATE (Jan.10):</strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp; Verizon sent a trio of techs today to examine the Digital Lines. &nbsp;They found a splice point on a pole near the Wheeler Farm end of the circuit where water had gotten past the weatherproofing. &nbsp;The splice was re-done, with fresh (and better) weatherproofing sealant applied, and a weather box placed around it.</span></p><p>That's likely the culprit here: the problems started during the snowstorm, so probably water got in there and expanded/contracted repeatedly as the water froze and melted. &nbsp;That expansion wreaks havoc with (relatively) fragile copper telco wiring.</p><p>As of 3pm we are back on our main STL. &nbsp;We've noticed the volume levels seemed to have changed somewhat with this repair, too, so we're still tweaking things.</p><p>----------------------------</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>ORIGINAL POST (Jan.3):&nbsp;</strong>Ever since the </span><a href="http://ripr.org/post/winter-storm-2014-continuing-coverage-and-closings-updates" style="line-height: 1.5;">hefty snowstorm and extreme cold on Thursday night</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, our 88.1 signal in Providence has been experiencing "digital chirps" now and then. &nbsp;</span></p><p> Fri, 03 Jan 2014 21:58:44 +0000 Aaron Read 27187 at http://ripr.org TheEC: Digital "Chirps" on 88.1 TheEC: 1290AM Heard in Norway http://ripr.org/post/theec-1290am-heard-norway <p>We've talked in the past about <a href="http://ripr.org/post/theec-skywave-propagation">skywave propagation</a>, but it's cool when you heard about real-world examples of it. &nbsp; Recently I've gotten several emails from "DX'ers" (Distant Reception enthusiasts) in Europe saying they've been able to hear <a href="http://www.lprri.org">Latino Public Radio</a> on 1290AM all the way across the Atlantic! &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Thu, 21 Nov 2013 21:50:53 +0000 Aaron Read 25177 at http://ripr.org TheEC: 1290AM Heard in Norway TheEC: 91.5 is Back On the Air http://ripr.org/post/theec-915-back-air <p>As of Tuesday November 12th, WCVY is back on the air in limited fashion.&nbsp;&nbsp; As you know, WCVY <a href="http://ripr.org/post/why-wcvy-was-air-few-days">suffered catastrophic damage to its equipment and facility from a roof leak during a thunderstorm in August</a>.&nbsp;&nbsp; The entire space had to be gutted to the concrete walls, and new electrical wiring and drywall installed.&nbsp; Much of the transmitter gear either took direct water damage (e.g. electricity shorting out) or took indirect water damage (e.g. rust and other corrosion), and eventually a lot of it failed completely.</p><p></p><p>We have put a temporary setup in place with a donated 30 watt transmitter on loan (with the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antenna_gain">antenna array's gain</a> factor of 2.1, it's really more like <strong>63 watts</strong> of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effective_radiated_power#FM_example">Effective Radiated Power</a>), and a special radio that's tuned to 102.7FM (there's a high-gain FM antenna on the rooftop tower) and puts out the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:RDS_vs_DirectBand_FM-spectrum2.svg">composite signal</a> directly into the new transmitter.&nbsp;&nbsp; This effectively makes 91.5 into a "repeater" of 102.7FM.</p><p> Tue, 12 Nov 2013 18:43:01 +0000 Aaron Read 24695 at http://ripr.org TheEC: 91.5 is Back On the Air ARRRR - Pirate Broadcast on 102.9FM http://ripr.org/post/arrrr-pirate-broadcast-1029fm <p><strong>UPDATE 01/21:&nbsp;</strong>Multiple letters sent with no response, and the pirate's still broadcasting. &nbsp;A letter has been mailed to the FCC's Enforcement Bureau. &nbsp; If you are an RIPR listener to 102.7 and you have experienced interference due to this pirate, you can&nbsp;<a href="http://transition.fcc.gov/eb/bccomplaints/unlic.html">submit your own letter to the FCC</a> as well.</p><p></p><p><strong>UPDATE 12/19:&nbsp;</strong>The pirate has been found! &nbsp;Well, we're pretty sure we have found the pirate. &nbsp;Using a directional antenna and a signal meter, we triangulated the position to a house a few blocks from the <a href="http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&amp;CRid=104470">Locust Grove Cemetery</a> in South Providence. &nbsp;</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">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.</span></p><p></p><p><strong>UPDATE 11/5:&nbsp;</strong>Thanks to a fellow engineer who informed me there is a <strong>pirate broadcasting on&nbsp;102.9FM</strong> and that is likely the source of the interference people have reported (see below). &nbsp;Quite possibly the atmospheric changes made it worse, but the bulk of the problem is likely the pirate.</p><p> Thu, 17 Oct 2013 16:39:04 +0000 Aaron Read 23358 at http://ripr.org ARRRR - Pirate Broadcast on 102.9FM