Any public radio station goes through much scrambling as the start of a pledge drive nears. KUSP’s charge towards the start of this Fall’s drive has been plagued by technical problems and I want to apologize to all our listeners for the disruptions.
Here is the story on two of the more serious lapses:
For several weeks the digital microwave system that carries our broadcast signal from the Santa Cruz studio to our main transmitting site has been acting up. The problem has been most evident in the late afternoon to about sunset, and would knock us off the air for varying amounts of time. After three weeks of mostly-fruitless troubleshooting efforts, our Chief Engineer recommended that we temporarily switch to our backup analog microwave equipment, which we tried to do on Tuesday, October 7. That switchover went very badly, as part of the backup system refused to work correctly with our HD Radio transmitter. We were forced off the air repeatedly, for fairly long periods of time, and our sound quality suffered until we aborted the job in mid-afternoon.
We tried again today — Wednesday, October 8 — with better results, though we still had several interruptions in programming. Right now we are on the air with our analog FM signal; our digital HD Radio broadcasts will be unavailable until we can find and fix the problems in the digital microwave equipment that we were chasing down in the first place.
Then, due to human error at the station, our recording process for “Marketplace” ran amok and resulted in the accidental broadcast of a week-old program at 5:30 today. Such a gaffe should never happen. We determined the cause and I promise I will do my utmost, as will my co-workers at the station, to prevent any future mistakes such as this.
Thank you to all KUSP listeners who are bearing with us!