Another reason is that we bought an FM station a few months ago, and it too goes through that old Autogram board. This is a problem in that the Autogram has been used for AM only for 60 years. Now we’re trying to get it to crap out FM stereo on top of AM mono and it just doesn’t sound right. It’s what they call “out of phase.” It sounds okay most of the time, but every once in a while on the FM when you really know a song or a commercial, you can tell that there’s a little whine on the end of the final syllable.
Also, I’m really the only one who knows where all the wires go and what processing machine does what. Our engineer can help me with rewiring the Distribution Amplifier (although for the first time I’m gonna try that by myself tomorrow) and he can help with the tower and the transmitter and hooking up the satellites… but in the end the flow of sound inside the building is pretty much mine. So I’m drawing maps and diagrams with little notes so that if I kick off one day that the station can still keep going.
That is a major fear of mine, you know – that I die suddenly and in all of the confusion WJOB goes away. Either my family can’t deal with the enormity of it all and they just sell it. Or it gets so complicated that they just chuck it all together and we go dark for a while. Then they sell it. These really shouldn’t be things that the three or four of you who read my blog worry about. Neither should I. But I do and do too and that’s the reality of the situation.
So to sum it up, I have been talking away the evening with an engineer who lives hours away about how to rewire a distribution amplifier. You would think that with no formal electronics education that I should leave that to a professional. But at this time, after owning WJOB for almost 13 years, I picked up a few things along the way. And one of those is how to wire a distribution amplifier and calibrate the transmitter and adjust the modulation. I even installed an FM transmitter with our engineer when we bought the station a few months ago. It was fun. Now I can take it apart and adjust it myself and instead of sitting in a bar laughing with my friends I would almost rather adjust the decibel levels and install increased processing on the FM feed. So there.
These are the kinds of things on my mind right now. It’s just another aspect to My Radio Life. Some parts are cooler than others. It’s much more interesting for the three or four of you to read about me fighting with some local politician or to hear about what some very excited caller had to say. But the truth of the matter is that as I sit down to write you Another Thousand Words about My Radio Life and to maybe even slop out couple of poems, the things that come to my mind are connector cables and ground wires, satellite feeds and stereo modulation. Get some sleep. Here’s the schedule for tomorrow.
Andy Qunell – 6:05. Barbara Muckel – 7:05. Al Hamnik – 7:20. That should do it for Another Thousand Words. Good night.