Feedback from other engineers with an issue

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Do you prefer feedback on an issue

Yes, I find it very helpful to have another tech notify me of an issue
13
65%
Yes, it's helpful but not for every issue
6
30%
Yes, but only if via text/email
1
5%
No, it's annoying or I don't personally like it.
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 20

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NECRAT
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Feedback from other engineers with an issue

Post by NECRAT » Thu Jul 10, 2014 5:48 pm

Clarification. I mean engineers at OTHER stations than your own in the market, but folks you know.

So here is an interesting poll question. Let's say your station is having a technical issue. Minor or severe.
Do you appreciate it when another engineer calls/texts you about an issue?
Sometimes engineers may find another technical person's help , helpful versus the general public.
(All I hear is noise... vs. I hear AES data over analog...)

Other engineers, however, may take it personally, like one is talking down about their work or coming off that they are better than the other.

Take the poll, I'd like to see what the general consensus is here.

I'll give my input later.
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Re: Feedback from other engineers with an issue

Post by ChuckG » Thu Jul 10, 2014 9:19 pm

Four eyes see better than two!
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Re: Feedback from other engineers with an issue

Post by BroadcastDoc » Thu Jul 10, 2014 9:37 pm

I have a ticket system, and the three (including myself) techs use it all the time. The best part of it is that we all update it with things we find in the troubleshooting process and the eventual fix. We've generated quite the knowledge base with it!
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Re: Feedback from other engineers with an issue

Post by w9wi » Thu Jul 10, 2014 11:24 pm

I'm taking it what's meant is calls from engineers *at another station*, right?

I've only seen that happen once here but I don't think it's from lack of cooperative spirit.

Personally I'd rather see such things happen by email/text. If I need the help I'll see it -- if not, it won't interrupt what's going on.

I second Doc's comments about ticketing systems. We've built a useful knowledge base as well. Further, if like many of us TV guys you have multiple engineers working at different hours, it provides a convenient way to share information on an ongoing issue.
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Re: Feedback from other engineers with an issue

Post by RGORJANCE » Fri Jul 11, 2014 6:45 am

It is very important to have someone call me, and I don't care if it is a tech, or the guy on the street. Texting, in my opinion, seems to be kind of an annoying way to communicate-----yet, here I am texting.

Seriously, talking about a problem provides a lot of additional information that cannot be sent over a smart phone. I like the idea of the "ticket technique". Since many of us work alone, information regarding a problem doesn't always get into the light of day.

Since I started in the "fixing world" back in the early 80's, I have placed a spiral notebook at every xmttr site and left very detailed notes on trouble shooting visits, as well as routine visits. One of the best compliments I ever had was when another engineer got called in to fix a dead xmttr problem because I was on another emergency. He spotted the notebook and started reading thru it. He discovered that I once had the same tricky problem and was able to get the thing fixed really fast due to the notes. His trouble shooting time was pretty much zero. I got a call the next day thanking me for the notebook.

Coming into a facility after a previous engineer had "done his thing" by not leaving notes, removing the manuals and wiring notes because he "wanted job security" is frustrating and extremely "not professional". I saw way too much of that since getting into bcstg back in 1956. I think it was that kind of practice that steered me in the direction of trying to provide as detailed a record as I could.

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Re: Feedback from other engineers with an issue

Post by NECRAT » Fri Jul 11, 2014 8:48 am

w9wi wrote:I'm taking it what's meant is calls from engineers *at another station*, right?
Doug, that was what I meant. Sorry I clarified the initial post.
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Re: Feedback from other engineers with an issue

Post by KPJL FM » Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:04 am

What is this 'multiple engineers working at different hours' that you speak of? :roll:
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Re: Feedback from other engineers with an issue

Post by Deep Thought » Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:35 am

As much as is possible I use Fossil's system of notebooks but I am usually in a different situation than most who are called out for a repair visit. I can say that when I get there it can save a LOT of time if the local guy has documented previous repairs (and regular meter readings...hint...hint...hint) and that can translate into saved money for the client.

Back to the topic at hand though, I have called stations when I noticed serious technical issues and am about 50/50 on "thank you" and "get lost" responses. One I called turned out to have the exact issue I described but was trying to hide it from a potential buyer and threatened me with legal action if I told anyone else. :roll:

But in the long run we should all at least try to work together to keep interference at a minimum.
Mark Mueller • Mueller Broadcast Design • La Grange, IL • http://www.muellerbroadcastdesign.com

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Re: Feedback from other engineers with an issue

Post by rftranstv » Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:19 am

I hope to find out about a problem from someone on my staff or from someone who works here before i hear about it from another stations engineer.

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Re: Feedback from other engineers with an issue

Post by Shane » Fri Jul 11, 2014 7:05 pm

It's nice to hear it from staff first but what is most of the staff doing during the workday? These days it's often working on something that precludes their listening to the stationS. Capital S for emphasis and to say that at many clusters there are too many stations for the staff to keep track of if they are busy doing, say, production.

So having said that, I'll take a call from a colleague engineer at a different company anytime. Even if the call is from John Q. Public, he may be having a reception problem I can help him with.

When I was Chiefing (is that a word?) the Capstar Madison cluster I really appreciated getting a call from across town that one of my stations was splattering all over the band. No one in the building was aware because anyone listening to the station on an air monitor might not have noticed anything for being only able to listen on-frequency and the other AM station studio was co-located with its transmitter so their monitor was not going to pick it up.

I later met the fellow at an SBE meeting and we had a ready made icebreaker from the experience!
Mike Shane, CBRE
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Re: Feedback from other engineers with an issue

Post by ChuckG » Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:55 pm

Deep Thought wrote: One I called turned out to have the exact issue I described but was trying to hide it from a potential buyer and threatened me with legal action if I told anyone else. :roll:
Yeah, not fun. I ran into that doing a due diligence inspection for a potential buyer. DA would not change pattern, only power level. The RF contactors looked to have been damaged and the coils were simply disconnected. Came back up in day pattern no matter which button was pressed.
Funny part is they think nobody will notice. And that YOU are the problem. :lol:
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Re: Feedback from other engineers with an issue

Post by ChuckG » Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:14 pm

RGORJANCE wrote: Texting, in my opinion, seems to be kind of an annoying way to communicate

Fossil
You and me both. First I have to grab my reading glasses so I can read the phone. Then type out a reply using keys not meant for adult-size fingers. Not a fan. My wife on the other hand couldn't live without it, she does a lot of her casework on an iphone.

Now excuse me while I tell someone to get off my lawn. :lol:
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Re: Feedback from other engineers with an issue

Post by TPT » Sat Jul 12, 2014 7:14 am

Back to the topic. I own three stations, but I am "on staff" for a group competitor in the market.
Somewhat unusual situation...my business partner and the GM of that group owned another station in the market, which was sold off more than a dozen years ago. The three of us have known each other for years.

Not long ago the long-time chief of the group left suddenly, I was contracted in as a fireman. They brought back a former DJ and engineering go-fer as chief. He'd picked up considerable experience on the engineering side at an out-of-market group, but was still shaky on some things, especially old tube-type transmitters.

Has worked out well--we get together and brainstorm when one of their collection of antique transmitters get "issues." I check in every so often to see what else is cooking. Since most of his problems nowadays are IT related--which he studied at the local liberal arts college, he's getting along fine.

Now I just have to drag him up to my transmitter building to go through all the junk we hauled out of their studios....E-bay here we come! (Transmitter building is a 60' X 40' block building built as a commercial garage, lots of storage room.)

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Re: Feedback from other engineers with an issue

Post by BroadcastDoc » Sat Jul 12, 2014 10:17 am

I remember long ago I was running an old RCA backup with an MX-15 exciter. I got a call from the Engineer over at the competitor letting me know ("Between us Engineers") that I had some pretty healthy spurs up and down the dial.

The MX-15 was suffering from the dreaded dried caps. I can say that I totally appreciated the call, and that had started a pretty decent relationship where we would help each other out with problems.

I have no problem calling people to ask for help, nor do I have a problem with people calling me for whatever reason. There are fewer and fewer of us every year, and we're not doing ourselves any favors by giving each other grief!
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Re: Feedback from other engineers with an issue

Post by themarcshow » Sat Jul 12, 2014 11:50 am

I once contacted our state's public broadcaster to let them know of an issue with their station in my area. (I monitor them for EAS). This station is a translator and is about an hour from their studio.

I was listening to them in my car and thought the L/R balance seemed off. I was able to use a modulation monitor to verify that, take pictures and record an mp3. I sent it to them and a day or two later the problem was fixed.

I think it wound up being a loose connection one one side of the balanced audio. I received a nice thank you from them about helping out.

I'd prefer to have someone notify me if they find something that needs fixing.
Brad Beahm
Operations Manager Platte River Radio
Hastings, Ne
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