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Power Surge Diminishes WEOS Signal

GENEVA — If you had trouble receiving WEOS on its main signal at 89.7 in Geneva or translator W201CD at 88.1 in Ithaca last week, don’t worry — it wasn’t your radio.  The station suffered a “snowstorm related power surge,” according to GM Aaron Read.  The surge resulted in WEOS broadcasting at very low power for nearly a week, but the signal’s back on track now.

Read explained it best on the Syracuse/Utica board on, so we’ll just quote his words:

In case you were wondering, a snowstorm-related power surge fried a -10dB attenuator between the Dexstar/Digit exciter and the PA in our Harris Z8HDC transmitter.  The end result being that WEOS was operating at perhaps 80-100 watts TPO instead of the usual 1700 watts TPO (4000 watts ERP) from January 2nd until the 8th.   Since our 88.1 signal relies on a solid 89.7 to rebroadcast, the 88.1 signal was miserable, too.

Unfortunately, this went down while I was 1500 miles away in Texas visiting the wife’s family (and bedridden for six days thanks to swine flu – get your shots, folks!!!).  Once I finally got back…on the 8th…a full day late thanks to United Airlines…it only took about two hours of diagnostic work with Harris tech support on the phone to get us back on the air at full power via a spare attenuator.  Ah the joys of being Chief Engineer, CFO, PD, SD, and chief window-washer in addition to be the GM.

On the plus side, Read says the recent year-end fundraiser at WEOS was a big success.  The NPR affiliate, based at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, made its goal of $40,000 in listener contributions with eleven hours to spare.

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