The Broadcasters' Desktop Resource

The Tale of the Unexpected Tenant

[June 2013] Transmitter site security is always important. Not only that any unexpected access is unwanted, but there are physical and RF concerns to be had.

Imagine showing up at your transmitter site, and discover that there were four other radio stations suddenly in operation out of your transmitter building?

One of our readers has shared the pictures on this page, after being surprised one day recently.

Neat Clean Engineering

Whether you own the site yourself or are a tenant, you likely appreciate neat clean wiring, and equipment carefully installed. That way, it is easy to check on operations and prevent interaction between transmitters.

With that in mind, suppose you opened the transmitter shack door and found this pile on your workbench?

Surprise! We’re your new neighbors!

If you look closely, you will find there are four transmitters in these piles, a remote control, some filters, and other gear – all hooked to our reader’s electrical service!

In case you were wondering, apparently the senior landlord permitted access to the building although, when he checked, our reader noted that the stations were not licensed for this location, but somewhere “nearby.”

Look Down For RF

If you knew the pole outside the building was full, perhaps your next thought is “just where is this RF going?” As the engineer checked outside the building, he found his auxiliary antenna was replaced – with a three-bay antenna. Even better (well, in a manner of speech), the bottom bay was mere inches above the ground.

Check the perspective by noting how much of the mounting pole is above ground

It probably did not take a table or much calculation to realize there was more RF radiation than the FCC permits. But that did not seem to be on the mind of the company which installed the gear.

As you look at the pictures, you might find one or three other points worth commenting upon, including the apparent modulation levels.

Of course, our reader immediately notified his client. As this is written efforts are being made to regularize the situation.

– – –

A good friend, the late Richard Haskey, was famous for arriving at a site and, after his inspection, declare: “This is The Worst I’ve Ever Seen!” We are confident that he would have attached the comment to this site.

We should mention that our goal with this look at an undisclosed site is not to embarrass anyone but to take note of the many situations that may confront a broadcast engineer. We invite your pictures to show the strange, odd, or simply humorous things that happen in broadcasting.