Remote Control Units

A case of PEBKAC (Problem Exists Between Keyboard and Chair)? Tell us about your war stories!
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PaulBWalkerJr
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Remote Control Units

Post by PaulBWalkerJr » Sat Jan 10, 2009 3:05 am

In a thread below about transmitter engineers, a few posts were made about the Remote Control Units and I thought Id share a story..

I was at WTIR 1300 from March to December 2005, we had the Genter GSC-3000 Robot Man...it didn't say much creative other then what it was supposed to but would say "Goodbye" if I got the password wrong when calling in to clear an alarm or when i hit the button to end the call.

One day, the GSC-3000 kept calling me and calling me and calling me... but no matter how many times I entered the right password, it told me I was wrong.. would hang up after 3 tries and call me back.. and it would keep calling till I got it right... which I still never did.

I had to go to bed, so before laying down for the night.. I verified we were on the air, had good audio and that we had no reflected power issues.. then I unplugged the line coming from the back of the Gentner GSC-3000 and went to bed.

As soon as I got up that morning I plugged the phone line back in and in less then 5 minutes, guess what called me? Yup, you guessed it.. the GSC-3000! I tried several more times, in vain to get it to take the password... so I unplugged & plugged the phone line back in a few times.

But in the process, I somehow busied out the phone line and all I got as a fast *beep beep beep beep beep* when calling. So I called FDN(Florida Digital Networks) who provided our service in the building, and they insisted it was BellSouth's problem. I then called BellSouth, and they insisted it was FDN's problem to fix. After yet a 2nd phone call and over 2 hours later, FDN finally said they'd come out, which they did.. and they fixed whatever the heck I screwed up.

All was back to normal!

And if anyone is wondering where our Chief Engineer was, he had passed away from a massive heart attack in May 2005 and we hadn't yet found a replacement, so I was flying solo because the only people we had access to were contract folks 90 minutes away and both of them were too busy to come and simply reset the Gentner GSC-3000

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NECRAT
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Re: Remote Control Units

Post by NECRAT » Sat Jan 10, 2009 3:11 am

PaulBWalkerJr wrote:And if anyone is wondering where our Chief Engineer was, he had passed away from a massive heart attack in May 2005 and we hadn't yet found a replacement,
That's awful. May he rest in peace. It was probably his ghost doing it...

I've seen ghosty things happen with transmitters.
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PaulBWalkerJr
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Re: Remote Control Units

Post by PaulBWalkerJr » Sat Jan 10, 2009 3:21 am

NECRAT wrote:
PaulBWalkerJr wrote:And if anyone is wondering where our Chief Engineer was, he had passed away from a massive heart attack in May 2005 and we hadn't yet found a replacement,
That's awful. May he rest in peace. It was probably his ghost doing it...

I've seen ghosty things happen with transmitters.
I don't think it was Steve's ghost, he would never do something like that... Steve's ghost would've helped me solve the problem, lol.

I had only been there 3 months when he died, so fending for myself wasn't always so easy.... but since the Chief Engineer was my immediate supervisor/boss who then reported to our owner, I didn't even have anyone supervising me.. I got away with some stuff, lol.

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Sam Buca
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Re: Remote Control Units

Post by Sam Buca » Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:30 am

Wait until you have phantom vswr problems, malfunctioning meters, or (insert impossible problem here). There were times where I disabled the callout numbers because the alarm reporting turns itself back on after an hour.

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BroadcastDoc
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Re: Remote Control Units

Post by BroadcastDoc » Sun Jan 11, 2009 9:46 am

Yeah, I've never disabled a remote for fear of missing an actual failure. Many times I would have loved to, however!
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countrykev
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Re: Remote Control Units

Post by countrykev » Sun Jan 11, 2009 10:20 am

Heh, I'm there with you on the fear of disabling the remote control. The only times I have was when I had a faulty temperature sensor at one site. Over the course of a week or so the transmitter decided to call me many, many times with a temperature alarm when I knew the temp was fine. I set the alarm threshold ridiculously low so it wouldn't alarm anymore, but it would alarm for other things.

Now I have disabled the alarm entirely when it keeps calling me for the same problem I'm on my way to fix!
What the heck am I supposed to write here?

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Re: Remote Control Units

Post by BroadcastDoc » Sun Jan 11, 2009 10:32 am

I have found that Auto-Load for the ARC-16's is a Godsend. You can set time thresholds for alarms, which was really the original weakness of the ARC's. Used to be every time there was a quick brownout or power-burp or recycle due to lightning or anything else, my phone would start ringing. Now I have a 10 second time out on power events before the transmitter calls. My rate of "false alarms" have dropped to almost zero.
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Sam Buca
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Re: Remote Control Units

Post by Sam Buca » Sun Jan 11, 2009 11:52 am

BroadcastDoc wrote:Yeah, I've never disabled a remote for fear of missing an actual failure. Many times I would have loved to, however!
The annoying remote was for an AM who used the mod monitor feed from a backhaul. If something went wrong, they'd definitely know it.

Now, an FM that has a 9.5 second delay and a separate headphone mix I'd never disable call outs because the jock wouldn't know if it went off.

PaulBWalkerJr
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Re: Remote Control Units

Post by PaulBWalkerJr » Sun Jan 11, 2009 12:07 pm

BroadcastDoc wrote:Yeah, I've never disabled a remote for fear of missing an actual failure. Many times I would have loved to, however!
Well, at the station for which I disabled the remote control.. I lived in the building, around the corner, down the hall and around the corner from the transmitter room.. and i had a radio above my PC monitor on a shelf that was tuned to 1300.... so if something went "kaboom".. I'd know about it lickity split.

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Muadeeb
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Re: Remote Control Units

Post by Muadeeb » Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:25 pm

Sam Buca wrote:
BroadcastDoc wrote:Yeah, I've never disabled a remote for fear of missing an actual failure. Many times I would have loved to, however!
The annoying remote was for an AM who used the mod monitor feed from a backhaul. If something went wrong, they'd definitely know it.

Now, an FM that has a 9.5 second delay and a separate headphone mix I'd never disable call outs because the jock wouldn't know if it went off.
That's when you take a Tascam SS-R1 or HD-R1 with two tracks on it -- one for Off Air and another for No Audio. Take the appropriate tally from your mod mon and have it fire the proper track. Now, either loop your CR Monitor audio through it, or have your router switch when it starts playing. I've had jocks come into Engineering to ask why the transmitter is talking to them.
Procrastination I can totally do. I'm good at it, I have a black belt in procrastination, it's an art form for me, I'm the absolute King of, well, I'll finish this thought la

jodyritchie
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Re: Remote Control Units

Post by jodyritchie » Sun Nov 21, 2010 4:59 pm

I take care of a station that is still using a Getner vrc 2000 it has had alot of problems Burk who now has the tech rights to it can not even answer my questions so i am going to replace it with a sine systems 1b.it also does time functions.Thank GOD

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Deep Thought
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Re: Remote Control Units

Post by Deep Thought » Sun Nov 21, 2010 6:07 pm

Zombie thread walks like zombie...

:mrgreen:

I'll see your VRC-2000 and raise you a VRC-1000.
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jodyritchie
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Re: Remote Control Units

Post by jodyritchie » Sun Nov 21, 2010 7:39 pm

You know the vrc 1000 and vrc 2000 are great remote controls.I had a vrc 1000 at wknf fm i took care of years ago.

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