engineer http://ripr.org en TheEC: New STL at 88.1 - IN BETA! http://ripr.org/post/theec-new-stl-881-beta <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 88.1 - IN BETA! 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: 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 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: 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: 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: 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 TheEC: Air Conditioning at 102.7FM http://ripr.org/post/theec-air-conditioning-1027fm <p><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_conditioning">Air conditioning</a>.&nbsp; Cool heaven for those who have it, blazing hell for those who don't.&nbsp; It didn't used to be terribly common in broadcast engineering, but it's become moreso in the last ten years.&nbsp; The reason is that, more and more, <a href="http://omniaaudio.com">audio processors</a>, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RBDS" target="_blank">RDS encoders</a>, <a href="http://www.comrex.com/products/briclink.html">audio encoders/decoders</a>, studio/transmitter links, <a href="http://burk.com">remote control systems</a>, and even the <a href="http://nautel.com">transmitters themselves</a>, have all become increasingly "computer-like" with <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integrated_circuit" target="_blank">IC's</a>, hard disk drives, power supplies, electrolytic capacitors and the like.&nbsp;&nbsp; All things that fail quickly when operated in temperatures above 80 or so, and the warmer it gets, the faster they fail!<br> Wed, 14 Aug 2013 13:23:17 +0000 Aaron Read 20046 at http://ripr.org TheEC: Air Conditioning at 102.7FM