Dead Air

I usually listen to podcasts on my drive to work.  A little micro power FM transmitter attached to my iPod broadcasts the program to my car’s radio tuned to 103.3 Mhz.

This is what I heard when I turned off the iPod transmitter today in the parking lot at the office:

… and I’ll be back after I wake up the engineer. Talk to you soon…

Then dead air.

Naturally I was curious about this station that I had not noticed before, apparently having some technical issues. Intrigued, I remained in the car and listened to the dead air.

The carrier was not full quieting, but strong enough to maintain the stereo pilot except when other cars drove past me in the parking lot.

Every now and then some hum or a tone, playback device being rebooted?

It was getting close to 9AM so I figured I would soon get a legal id if the mic in the studio was still working. I figured it was since the DJ (if that’s what he was) had the ability to alert the listeners that something was wrong before going silent.

After about 9 minutes of dead air, music returned to the air with a country version of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, in progress. This was followed by a legal id of “The Redwood Empire’s True Country 103.3 KUKI, Ukiah.”

I’m happy they were able to end the nightmare and return to the air quickly.


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