Late Monday 10/12, as a early-season storm blew on to the Central Coast, KUSP’s Big Sur translator at 95.3 went off the air. A technician living in the area inspected our equipment (following directions sent by cell phone from our Santa Cruz-based Chief Engineer, Brant Herrett) and determined there had been a major failure in the transmitting equipment beyond his capability to fix. KUSP’s spare equipment inventory had already been strained to the limit by failures in our HD Radio transmitter on Mount Toro (about which I had blogged here).
Consequently, we have nothing in our inventory to put into service in Big Sur and (given the storm situation) some uncertainty as to when our principal engineers can get there to start repairing what’s on site and now out of commission.
We are reaching out to other stations to see if there is any equipment we can borrow or rent in order to get our Big Sur signal back on the air. It should be obvious that the middle of a pledge drive, with a major storm brewing, is about the absolute worst possible time for us to be off the air, especially in a place where our broadcast signal is so important to listeners. No apology we can offer to the people of Big Sur will be adequate.
Our engineering team will do the best they can with what they have, as always. And I’ll try to update this blog as the situation develops.