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WDET / New Transmitter/ Jesus Christ Superstar

Discussion pertaining to Detroit, Ann Arbor, Port Huron, and SW Ontario
sfpcc
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WDET / New Transmitter/ Jesus Christ Superstar

Post by sfpcc » Sat Feb 06, 2021 9:31 pm

Today I heard on WDET an announcement first apologizing for their buzzing signal due their use of a backup transmitter, (complete with the "What's the buzz tell me what's a happening song" from Jesus Christ Superstar.) Then they mention their plans to get a new transmitter. Has anyone out their heard about this? Does this have anything to do with the problems mentioned previously on an earlier thread about nearby interference?



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Ben Zonia
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Re: WDET / New Transmitter/ Jesus Christ Superstar

Post by Ben Zonia » Sat Feb 06, 2021 9:49 pm

I've never heard of very many transmitters that couldn't be repaired by a creative engineer. Sounds kind of contrived to me.


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Re: WDET / New Transmitter/ Jesus Christ Superstar

Post by MotorCityRadioFreak » Sat Feb 06, 2021 10:12 pm

Sounds like they are too cheap to repair it. Ouch.


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Re: WDET / New Transmitter/ Jesus Christ Superstar

Post by Mike Oxlong » Sun Feb 07, 2021 12:38 am

It may be possible engineering just want a new transmitter. Perhaps saying there's an issue with the old one will get those with the purse to pay for the latest model. Why mention it's fixable?

Kind of like a car.
Yeah, the old one still runs fine. And with a good detailing and a paint job, the car still has many years to go. Even so, would you pass up the opportunity to get a new car?


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Re: WDET / New Transmitter/ Jesus Christ Superstar

Post by MotorCityRadioFreak » Sun Feb 07, 2021 12:47 am

Mike Oxlong wrote:
Sun Feb 07, 2021 12:38 am
It may be possible engineering just want a new transmitter. Perhaps saying there's an issue with the old one will get those with the purse to pay for the latest model. Why mention it's fixable?

Kind of like a car.
Yeah, the old one still runs fine. And with a good detailing and a paint job, the car still has many years to go. Even so, would you pass up the opportunity to get a new car?
But they have a perfectly good transmitter "at home".


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Ben Zonia
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Re: WDET / New Transmitter/ Jesus Christ Superstar

Post by Ben Zonia » Sun Feb 07, 2021 1:16 am

You have to wonder if this is the best use of the donation money, if it can be repaired. They occupy a frequency normally occupied by a commercial station. What commercial station could take donations from listeners for a new transmitter?

I can think of plenty of AM stations that could use a new transmitter and antenna system, if that was possible.

The Joneses got a new transmitter today...

Ernie Durham might have played this one on his Saturday Night rare R & B show if he were alive today...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhb1RHS ... e=emb_logo


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MWmetalhead
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Re: WDET / New Transmitter/ Jesus Christ Superstar

Post by MWmetalhead » Sun Feb 07, 2021 7:11 am

Sounds like they are too cheap to repair it. Ouch.
I doubt a brand new purchase is cheaper than repairing what's there.

They probably want to give the best listening experience possible for their listeners. A new transmitter will mean no more splash over onto adjacent frequencies, no more light buzz in the background, etc.
Does this have anything to do with the problems mentioned previously on an earlier thread about nearby interference?
Yes.


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Ben Zonia
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Re: WDET / New Transmitter/ Jesus Christ Superstar

Post by Ben Zonia » Sun Feb 07, 2021 9:35 am

There's nothing to stop them from repairing and/or modifying the transmitter so that it doesn't splash over onto other frequencies.


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SolarMax
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Re: WDET / New Transmitter/ Jesus Christ Superstar

Post by SolarMax » Sun Feb 07, 2021 11:45 am

Lots of speculative "diagnosis" and "solutions" from armchair engineers here, who have no idea what the actual situation is that might warrant replacement of a transmitter and/or peripheral equipment.
How do any of you know if there's "nothing to stop them" from repairs or mods.
Gear these days has a much shorter time to End of Life regarding replacement parts and boards.
Stations, commercial and non-commercial, don't any longer have a roomful of staff engineers able to swoop in and do homebrew mods or extensive repair (if that's what's needed).
Pretty sure the station's professional staff is analyzing whether repair or new is the better long-term path.
IIRC, capital items like sats/transmission/antenna are funded separately from operations and programming, which are greatly donation-based. The TX site move from Maccabees to the Canfield site if I'm not mistaken was through CPB funding.



n8fnr
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Re: WDET / New Transmitter/ Jesus Christ Superstar

Post by n8fnr » Tue Mar 23, 2021 8:20 pm

Their page says the transmitter is 21 years old and no longer working. And they are on the backup transmitter.
https://wdet.org/posts/2021/03/13/90744 ... ansmitter/

" WDET’s main transmitter is 21 years old and broken. WDET lost HD transmission capability in 2012 and was never restored. Additional problems developed in the past few months. Since January 2021 we have been operating on our backup transmitter – which is 34 years old and is also not working properly.
Some FM listeners hear a buzz during the broadcast which is from very old capacitors that are performing erratically in the very old back-up transmitter.
We are restoring the functionality of the 21-year-old main transmitter by ordering a key part called an “exciter” from the manufacturer, Continental Electrical. They are still supporting old transmitters but parts are becoming obsolete. Continental has not built a new transmitter in 10 years!
We have been aware of this potential crisis and had budgeted for a down-payment on a new transmitter in 2020. COVID had other plans and those resources needed to be shifted to more immediate concerns.
The Solution
It is time to retire the backup transmitter and get a new transmitter – a costly endeavor but one that is essential to WDET remaining on the air and broadcasting with the strength and clarity that our community deserves.

Price Tag
$180,000



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MWmetalhead
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Re: WDET / New Transmitter/ Jesus Christ Superstar

Post by MWmetalhead » Tue Mar 23, 2021 8:33 pm

Good info; thank you!

I noticed the signal seemed fuzzier than normal on my main receiver lately. Now I know why.

The listening experience from a technical standpoint is by no means a bad one; there is just a light amount of fuzz in the background.

Speaking of public broadcasters, what's up with the broker listing sign along I-96 in front of the Detroit Public Television building? Noticed it a couple weeks ago. Are they looking to sublet a portion of the building or are they moving out & selling?


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Re: WDET / New Transmitter/ Jesus Christ Superstar

Post by Colonel Flagg » Fri Mar 26, 2021 8:28 pm

n8fnr wrote:
Tue Mar 23, 2021 8:20 pm
Their page says the transmitter is 21 years old and no longer working. And they are on the backup transmitter.
https://wdet.org/posts/2021/03/13/90744 ... ansmitter/

" WDET’s main transmitter is 21 years old and broken. WDET lost HD transmission capability in 2012 and was never restored. Additional problems developed in the past few months. Since January 2021 we have been operating on our backup transmitter – which is 34 years old and is also not working properly.
Some FM listeners hear a buzz during the broadcast which is from very old capacitors that are performing erratically in the very old back-up transmitter.
We are restoring the functionality of the 21-year-old main transmitter by ordering a key part called an “exciter” from the manufacturer, Continental Electrical. They are still supporting old transmitters but parts are becoming obsolete. Continental has not built a new transmitter in 10 years!
We have been aware of this potential crisis and had budgeted for a down-payment on a new transmitter in 2020. COVID had other plans and those resources needed to be shifted to more immediate concerns.
The Solution
It is time to retire the backup transmitter and get a new transmitter – a costly endeavor but one that is essential to WDET remaining on the air and broadcasting with the strength and clarity that our community deserves.

Price Tag
$180,000
Cry me a river.

I have worked for many a radio station that managed to get by on much much less. I don't think WFMK's entire move to the WITL tower added up to $180K. Sure, it was a long time ago, but there was a lot more work and construction involved. This seems way over inflated to me. Get a reliable second hand transmitter like all the rest of us end up doing, and stop whining on the air about it.


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Ben Zonia
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Re: WDET / New Transmitter/ Jesus Christ Superstar

Post by Ben Zonia » Fri Mar 26, 2021 8:58 pm

Colonel Flagg wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 8:28 pm
n8fnr wrote:
Tue Mar 23, 2021 8:20 pm
Their page says the transmitter is 21 years old and no longer working. And they are on the backup transmitter.
https://wdet.org/posts/2021/03/13/90744 ... ansmitter/

" WDET’s main transmitter is 21 years old and broken. WDET lost HD transmission capability in 2012 and was never restored. Additional problems developed in the past few months. Since January 2021 we have been operating on our backup transmitter – which is 34 years old and is also not working properly.
Some FM listeners hear a buzz during the broadcast which is from very old capacitors that are performing erratically in the very old back-up transmitter.
We are restoring the functionality of the 21-year-old main transmitter by ordering a key part called an “exciter” from the manufacturer, Continental Electrical. They are still supporting old transmitters but parts are becoming obsolete. Continental has not built a new transmitter in 10 years!
We have been aware of this potential crisis and had budgeted for a down-payment on a new transmitter in 2020. COVID had other plans and those resources needed to be shifted to more immediate concerns.
The Solution
It is time to retire the backup transmitter and get a new transmitter – a costly endeavor but one that is essential to WDET remaining on the air and broadcasting with the strength and clarity that our community deserves.

Price Tag
$180,000
Cry me a river.

I have worked for many a radio station that managed to get by on much much less. I don't think WFMK's entire move to the WITL tower added up to $180K. Sure, it was a long time ago, but there was a lot more work and construction involved. This seems way over inflated to me. Get a reliable second hand transmitter like all the rest of us end up doing, and stop whining on the air about it.
Could a station become a noncommercial long enough to have money to fix everything with donations, and then go back to being commercial? I'm pretty sure not.

It used to be that a commercial station in a decent sized market basically had a license to print money. Now it seems that only noncommercials are flush with money. Commercial stations are hobbling along financially these days. Some say radio is dead. But it seems noncommercial radio is not.


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Re: WDET / New Transmitter/ Jesus Christ Superstar

Post by MWmetalhead » Sat Mar 27, 2021 7:10 am

I don't think the station "whining" about it; they are simply making it known to their listeners that they are aware of the issue, what is being done to resolve it, and why a permanent fix has not already been instituted. Inclusion of the price tag is perhaps being done to induce listeners' financial support of the radio station.

In contrast, most commercial radio stations would have their lips completely sealed about such issues and would pretend nothing is wrong.


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Re: WDET / New Transmitter/ Jesus Christ Superstar

Post by SolarMax » Sat Mar 27, 2021 4:29 pm

Ben Zonia wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 8:58 pm
Now it seems that only noncommercials are flush with money.
Find us a manager of a noncommercial who's celebrating being "flush with money."
No? Can't?
Didn't think so.



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