Have you ever accidently taken yourself off the air?

A case of PEBKAC (Problem Exists Between Keyboard and Chair)? Tell us about your war stories!
grich
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Re: Have you ever accidently taken yourself off the air?

Post by grich » Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:37 pm

Over the last 17 years, I've knocked our TV station briefly off the air in one way or another right in front of three GM's. If you're gonna make an impression on the big boss, do it right. :mrgreen:

Way back in '96 (?), when cutting our new Sage into the program line, reversed a patch cord while bypassing the old EBS rig. During NBC prime time. Back when NBC prime time had shows people watched. When most TV's were still mono. Good times...

As to the radio stations I work with:

remote/local switch - yep.
cut a mystery wire - yep.
bumped a transmitter - yep (loose contactor wires on a HT-10, dirty contacts on SX-1).

Many more examples, but I'm too senile to remember them all right now.

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Re: Have you ever accidently taken yourself off the air?

Post by eadler » Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:16 pm

How about "dropped a floor tile that caused a cable halfway across the room to wiggle at just the right angle to stop providing sync to a critical piece of equipment"...
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RGORJANCE
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Re: Have you ever accidently taken yourself off the air?

Post by RGORJANCE » Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:31 pm

Just recalled another one. Stopped in at a small AM "up Nort" back when. Fellow needed a bigt of help with a console. He asked me for a short bit of audio cable. Found a loose, unterminated end laying around. Grabbed the dykes, cut the wire and promptly shut the AM xmttr off. Hmmmmmmmm says I, hmmmmm says he! Well, that's a new one. Seems like someone had left an external "off function" laying around. Great when the previous guy leaves documentation around - somewhere else.

Fossil

Kent T
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Re: Have you ever accidently taken yourself off the air?

Post by Kent T » Wed Dec 19, 2012 6:32 pm

Spastic me tumbled into a transmitter, the Collins didn't like it. Had to re-fire the Plate On switch. The travails of the clubfooted broadcast engineer.

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Re: Have you ever accidently taken yourself off the air?

Post by NECRAT » Tue May 21, 2013 10:01 am

Here is a great one.
Main Exciter 1 is actually exciter 2, on every single patch field/router, and Main Exciter 2 is actually exciter 1, also on everything + Not being told about this little labeling discrepancy + rebooting the nVision ASI router = 0% power for about 20 seconds until I could switch to the other exciter. Whatever that is. (Fortunately, the second exciter is hard patched to the microwave backup path, so it is not affected by the router)

I see a "in the very near future" summer project for me!
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RadioGuy13
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Re: Have you ever accidently taken yourself off the air?

Post by RadioGuy13 » Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:27 am

I was hanging a new clock with atomic sync in the control room of a station I was doing first time fill-in work for. Searching behind the rack for an outlet, I see an ancient extension cord hanging out of the wall plug with barely a single prong touching. I pull it out, and the room goes dark, including the board, and every piece of equipment in the rack. Mic processors, reverb, EAS, automation system, RDS, etc. Moments later the CE bursts through the door and there I am, with the plug in my hand, deer in headlights look on my face.

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RGORJANCE
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Re: Have you ever accidently taken yourself off the air?

Post by RGORJANCE » Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:14 am

Another "war story" from Da Fossil:

Actually, this one is in reverse.....about putting the station back on the air.

Got called in to help with parts replacement and some TLC on a Gates 5 am. We needed to put the backup Bauer 5kw AM on the air while fixing the main. The CE went thru the procedure to put Mr. Bauer on....it wouldn't turn on (HV). After switching back to the main, we started looking at the "why didn't it work". Everything seemed to check out, and we went back to the aux. When he hit the HV, nothing happened, so I stepped in front of the aux, looked it square in the eye and gave it a resounding WHACK with my fist in the area near the relays behind the front panel. CLICK-KERCHUNK, and the Bauer is on the air doing fine, while the CE is doubled over, heading to the floor laughing his butt off. My response was---"that's why you are paying me the big bucks.....I know where to hit it"!

Learned long ago, at a tender young age, if all all else fails, kick the crap outta it!

Fossil

Kent T
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Re: Have you ever accidently taken yourself off the air?

Post by Kent T » Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:46 pm

Rebooting it literally in the right place is why we engineers make the money. Very good example.

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radiowave911
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Re: Have you ever accidently taken yourself off the air?

Post by radiowave911 » Thu Dec 12, 2013 7:35 pm

Yes...about an hour ago :)

Knocked the interlock plug out of the remote meter panel. Transmitter shut down (it's a closed loop connection - break the loop anywhere to shut down the transmitter).
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jeeisenz
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Re: Have you ever accidently taken yourself off the air?

Post by jeeisenz » Fri Dec 13, 2013 7:35 am

RGORJANCE wrote:Another "war story" from Da Fossil:

Actually, this one is in reverse.....about putting the station back on the air.

Got called in to help with parts replacement and some TLC on a Gates 5 am. We needed to put the backup Bauer 5kw AM on the air while fixing the main. The CE went thru the procedure to put Mr. Bauer on....it wouldn't turn on (HV). After switching back to the main, we started looking at the "why didn't it work". Everything seemed to check out, and we went back to the aux. When he hit the HV, nothing happened, so I stepped in front of the aux, looked it square in the eye and gave it a resounding WHACK with my fist in the area near the relays behind the front panel. CLICK-KERCHUNK, and the Bauer is on the air doing fine, while the CE is doubled over, heading to the floor laughing his butt off. My response was---"that's why you are paying me the big bucks.....I know where to hit it"!

Learned long ago, at a tender young age, if all all else fails, kick the crap outta it!

Fossil
This is somewhat similar to a MW-1A we had as a backup. Main, which was a DAX-1R was having issues..."PA_BRIDGE" fault If I recall. OK - went to go put the MW-1A on the air. Started it low, heard the KER-CHUNK of the relays - nothing. No voltage, no amps, no output. Try it on high - nada. Keep checking things and not getting anywhere. By this time I think it was like 12:30-1:00 AM...DAX is still popping on and off. Get frustrated and give the MW-1A a kick on its front door... *BING* - meters take off and box starts making power. No questions asked, I flipped the antenna switch (with both boxes off of course) - start the MW-1A on high, tuned it and went home to bed to work on the DAX the next day!

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Re: Have you ever accidently taken yourself off the air?

Post by Baylink » Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:43 am

RGORJANCE wrote:When he hit the HV, nothing happened, so I stepped in front of the aux, looked it square in the eye and gave it a resounding WHACK with my fist in the area near the relays behind the front panel. CLICK-KERCHUNK, and the Bauer is on the air doing fine, while the CE is doubled over, heading to the floor laughing his butt off. My response was---"that's why you are paying me the big bucks.....I know where to hit it"!
Way to go, Fonz.

Did you give out with the requisite "Ayyyyyy" as the meters came up?

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RGORJANCE
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Re: Have you ever accidently taken yourself off the air?

Post by RGORJANCE » Sat Dec 21, 2013 6:15 pm

Naw1 We were both laughing so hard we forgot about that. My initial comment when the lights went out and it got really quiet was "TL, what the @^%! did you just do"?

It's been ten years since that OOOPPPSSSS and we still get laughing fits when we talk about it.

Fossil

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Re: Have you ever accidently taken yourself off the air?

Post by NECRAT » Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:44 am

I kept one half of a 40kW Comark Transmitter at WWLP on the air once by keeping the transmitter room lights on. The older S series IOT transmitters used these meters with photocells and a small light bulb in them. The beam current meter on one of the cabinet's bulb decided to burn out. The older S series used to run two cabinets per HVPS, so one shut down , shut down the entire side. It dumped one night, I went into the TX room, turned the main lights on, heard it cycle back. Couldn't find anything obvious, shut the lights off **Kerchunk** the relay fired. I knew then what was going on, checked the lit meters and found the dead one.
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goglplx
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Re: Have you ever accidently taken yourself off the air?

Post by goglplx » Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:12 pm

How about a 50k clear channel directional changed back to full 50k non-directional. There was a tornado on the ground just outside our nighttime listening area and I was engineer on duty and was told to switch back to non-directional so other stations would get our EMS since we were primary EMS station. Everything went great except for one patch that didn't get made and after being off the air for what seemed like forever, (probably for 12-sec), I didn't hear signal pop back up on-air so checked array and STL all showing good..then saw the dangling patch. Sheesh!

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Re: Have you ever accidently taken yourself off the air?

Post by NECRAT » Tue Dec 27, 2016 4:01 pm

Well I can chalk another one up today.

Pressed the wrong key on the transmitter control touch screen, which quickly switched it off and into the load. Fortunately, I had the backup in non-rf mode, so I had us back on in under 15 seconds.

Still. Oops.

FYI, Today (like all Tuesdays), is my Monday...
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