Make the whole house shake

A case of PEBKAC (Problem Exists Between Keyboard and Chair)? Tell us about your war stories!
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NECRAT
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Make the whole house shake

Post by NECRAT » Thu Dec 13, 2018 9:14 pm

So we've had a long standing, soon to be replaced issue in our building with something in our primary Synch rack that if bumped, makes the whole house shake. Well in the process of cleanup, Me and our other transmission engineer determine that there is cable wrapped up in this rack that required a surgical removal because apparently it was bundled in with the suspect line.

So here's a quiz for you: Take a guess when we "accidentally" discovered this beauty which caused a massive hit in the building. Was it...

A) Overnight, when no one is watching
B) During "GMA Day"... when no one is watching
C) During the Soap Operas... when a few are watching
or
D) In the middle of the 5pm newscast... when there are a ton of people watching. (Did I mention we're the #1 station in our market?)

That's how my day went today. :lol:
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"Arguing with an engineer is like mud wrestling with a pig. After a couple of hours, you realize the pig likes it"

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Shane
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Re: Make the whole house shake

Post by Shane » Fri Dec 14, 2018 1:59 am

I don’t know about you, but I feel a whole lot better now.
Mike Shane, CBRE
-Omaha-

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RGORJANCE
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Re: Make the whole house shake

Post by RGORJANCE » Fri Dec 14, 2018 5:40 am

Priceless story.

"Shake, rattle and roll"! " There's a whole lot of shakin goin on"!

Takes me back to the the early 60's when the main sync gen was on the bench and the backup died! Panic city. Before I could get to the equipment section, we got a phone call from each of our two competitors offering to bring over a gen......mentioned between hilarious laughter from them both!

I vote for 5pm news.

Fossil

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PID_Stop
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Re: Make the whole house shake

Post by PID_Stop » Fri Dec 14, 2018 11:25 am

Wow, way to bring back bad memories! I got well and truly initiated within days of starting at the station (1982): the other engineers had gone upstairs to get supper (we were in the basement of a shopping mall back then), leaving me all by myself to run the Muppet Show and whatever followed it. About five minutes in, every Ampex quad VTR, including the one on the air, started going nuts; every monitor in sight was rolling like the wheels in a slot machine. To cap it all off, the exciter decided it didn't like what it was seeing and dumped the transmitter... so on top of it all, alarm lights are flashing and a very loud alarm is adding to the chaos.

It was my good fortune to have scoped out what was in every rack the day before, so I knew where to find the main Tektronix sync generator -- no lights. Pulled the lever on the sync changeover switch, fully expecting things to get much worse, but the ancient backup Telemet sync generator, original to the station and a survivor of a fire in the late 1960s, pulled everything back together. Turned the transmitter back on, started breathing again, and made a quick trip to the men's room, which was thoughtfully located next to master control. (When we built our present studio several years later, the architect put the bathrooms clear across the building from the control room. Fie!)

Jeff

grich
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Re: Make the whole house shake

Post by grich » Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:54 pm

I usually won't be caught dead in an equipment rack during a newscast. Twenty-some years ago I bumped a prompter DA once during a newscast and made it blank for a second. Caught more hell from that (all from the on-air anchor) than the three times I messed up the station signal in front of three different GM's (don't touch the PVW/KEY bus on a Utah MC switcher when running severe weather crawls. :wink: )

In college, the HVAC was broken, and the TV control room was 90+ degrees. We were doing a session when everything started rolling...the sync gen lost lock. I reached down and power-cycled the gen. It relocked and we started over. The director of the department was instantly on me, admonishing me that I should NEVER kill power to a sync generator. But it was broken and I fixed it, I argued. The chief engineer, and my mentor Warren Stucki, approved my healing, which got me out of trouble (I think Warren was a charter member of SBE, and passed away a few weeks ago).

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kkiddkkidd
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Re: Make the whole house shake

Post by kkiddkkidd » Tue Dec 18, 2018 7:56 pm

What is this sync thing that you speak of...

Actually I know but for a radio guy all this talk of shaking, rocking and rolling makes me think that Elvis ain't dead.
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Kevin C. Kidd CSRE/AMD
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Shane
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Re: Make the whole house shake

Post by Shane » Wed Dec 19, 2018 12:30 am

You know, the sync. Where you wash the dishes!
Mike Shane, CBRE
-Omaha-

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RGORJANCE
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Re: You know, the sync. Where you wash the dishes!e

Post by RGORJANCE » Wed Dec 19, 2018 5:51 am

Yeah, them syncs get pretty big when you gotta wash those big white ones.

Fossil

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kkiddkkidd
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Re: Make the whole house shake

Post by kkiddkkidd » Wed Dec 19, 2018 8:12 am

One of our local retired TV SBE members told a story about a new receptionist type girl at his old station that received a bunch of calls one day when their sync generator went down. He said that he told her that they had lost sync and she replied that there were quite a number of sinks in the station. He told her that it was a special sync where they washed out all of the wiggles, squiggles and rolls out of the video before they played it... Everybody had a good laugh but he later heard her telling another viewer that a sink or something had backed up and caused the problem.
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Kevin C. Kidd CSRE/AMD
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AM Ground Systems Company
http://www.amgroundsystems.com
KK Broadcast Engineering
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Kent T
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Re: Make the whole house shake

Post by Kent T » Fri Dec 21, 2018 11:00 pm

Knowing Kent T's law that everything which goes FUBAR happens when most listeners/viewers are seeing and hearing it, 5 P.M. News is my gut instinct when this debacle happened. Keep Calm, level headed, and pray the engineers, can get it fixed or on standby gear fast, and friendly, and the show goes on. Back to our regularly scheduled programming.

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