We don’t need no water, let the… oh, wait… The actual roof is actually on fire you say?
YES: Ahh! Time to run around like crazy people!
This happened over the weekend at one of our clients in NY. The back story is this; over the last two weeks, the area has received almost three feet of snow. This roof is pitched slightly toward the back of the building. The roofing material is some type of PVC, which is very slippery when wet. Thus, at some point the snow/ice pack shifted towards the back of the building, it broke the natural gas pipe off where it entered the unit:
The next time the HVAC unit cycled on, there was giant torch on the roof with flames reportedly eight feet high. A local fire fighter just happened to be driving down the road and spotted the fire, thus likely saving the building from major damage. The fire department came and cut off the gas and electric. The building was evacuated for about 20 minutes while they overhauled and checked for internal fires.
A second unit suffered the same fate, only with less damage:
The fire in this unit was contained to the controller area. Same situation with the gas pipe, only it looks like the pipe was not broken all the way off:
The other two units are shut off while the gas pipes are dug out of the snow pack and checked for damage. At some point, they will be turned back on so that the heat can be restored to the second floor sales bullpen. Meanwhile, the sales people; they are complaining.
We threw a tarp over the unit with the cover ripped off because more snow is on the way:
WDST is a well known radio station in Woodstock, NY. Formatically, I would call it Adult Album Alternative (AAA) and it is one of my favorite stations to listen to. We also do the engineering work for this station. While I was there last week, I snapped a few pictures of the studios:
All of the studio use Audioarts R-60 consoles, which are in good condition considering their age. Lots of guest microphones and the windows look out into a performance venue.
The music library is extensive.
The production room, another R-60 console. I don’t know where the microphone disappeared to, perhaps it was borrowed by the morning show.
Technical Operation Center (TOC). WDST uses NextGen from RCS for music storage, playback and automation. Other equipment includes ISDN, POTS phone, Distribution Amps, Limiters, streaming computer, STL, etc.
The transmitter site is on Hallihan hill, across the street from the old ATT long lines site. The station uses a Broadcast Electronics FM5C transmitter.
Forward power, almost five whole kilowatts of flame throwing power.
The antenna is a Shively 6810 2 bay half wave spaced.
I have just finished putting back together this PRE BMX III console.
We basically ripped the guts out of this unit and in doing so, I was reminded of how well these things are built. The PRE BMX series consoles were truly wonders of audio engineering. It is a testament to their ruggedness and serviceability that so many of these units are still in use twenty to thirty years after they were manufactured.
This console suffered some pretty bad water damage to the backplane:
Which was replace, along with many switches and buttons. The Mic2, Mic3 and CD1 modules seemed to have taken most of the damage, there were several logic ICs and IC sockets that needed to be replaced on those modules. Of course, this was not inexpensive; the parts were somewhere north of $3K plus about 40 man hours of labor… that adds up fast.
The good news, I think that the studio was back in service last night.
Especially when that sink is located on the second floor, above the studio on the first floor. ‘Tis but a small thing really, one of those little details, but in light of the sink also being clogged, it becomes very significant. That, coupled with the fact that the building is uninhabited at night and disaster is afoot.
The water was running slowly all night…
It filled up the sink. It ran across the floor. It soaked the carpet. It seeped into the sub floor and out of the ceiling on the first floor and then into this nice Pacific Recorders BMX III console.
You know that burning electronic/plastic smell? Yeah, that’s it, mixed with stale funky water, wet wood and a nondescript mildewy odor; that is what the room smells like. Very pleasing. The furniture below the console was soaked too:
Some of the input module edge connectors; they didn’t fair so well:
The backplane for the power supply buss has to be replaced and these switches with the water bubbles in them, they have to go too:
We dried out the furniture with an industrial strength hair dryer. By three PM we had unsoldered all of the bad parts and cleaned off the modules and the console back plane.
Parts for repairs are on order from Mooretronix. I doubt this will be repaired before next Tuesday.
Somebody came in and was all “awww, this sucks bla bla bla.” Well, maybe, but I get paid by the hour and frankly, there are much worse things that I could be doing…