WDST, Woodstock, New York

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:

WDST air studio, Woodstock, NY
WDST air studio, Woodstock, NY

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.

WDST music library, located in hallway outside of studio
WDST music library, located in hallway outside of studio

The music library is extensive.

WDST main production room
WDST main production room

The production room, another R-60 console. I don’t know where the microphone disappeared to, perhaps it was borrowed by the morning show.

WDST technical operation center
WDST technical operation center

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.

WDST transmitter, Broadcast Electronics FM5C
WDST transmitter, Broadcast Electronics FM5C

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.

WDST forward power meter
WDST forward power meter

Forward power, almost five whole kilowatts of flame throwing power.

WDST antenna, Hallihan Hill, Kingston, NY
WDST antenna, Hallihan Hill, Kingston, NY

The antenna is a Shively 6810 2 bay half wave spaced.

It lives! The PRE BMX III

I have just finished putting back together this PRE BMX III console.

PRE BMXIII analog audio console, reassembled
PRE BMXIII analog audio console, reassembled

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:

PRE BMXIII module backplane
PRE BMXIII module 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.

Message from the General Manager

Or whatever those guys are called these days:

lumbergh

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.

Clogged sink
Clogged sink

The water was running slowly all night…

Wet ceiling tiles
Wet ceiling tiles

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.

Pacific Recorders BMX III console, draining
Pacific Recorders BMX III console, draining
Pacific Recorders BMX III console, draining/drying
Pacific Recorders BMX III console, draining/drying

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:

Studio furniture after water damage
Studio furniture after water damage

Some of the input module edge connectors; they didn’t fair so well:

PRE BMXIII burned edge connectors
PRE BMXIII burned edge connectors

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:

Pacific Recorders BMXIII buss select switch full of water
Pacific Recorders BMXIII buss select switch full of water

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…

Radio Mayak: Real Russia

I have been following a video blog called “Real Russia” which has the stated goal of portraying life in Russia “as is, no BS.” This is a quick video of Radio Mayak, a state owned/run radio network in Russia. The network originates from Moscow but has a local morning show in various cities. This video was taken in Ufa (Уфа), which is the capital of the Republic of Bashkortostan. It is a little beyond this blog post to describe the political divisions of Russia, if interested, one can wander around in Wikipedia and figure it out.

According to video host Sergey Baklykov, Radio Mayak has been on the air since the USSR days, which explains the very cool (and retro) interval music played at the end of the video.

My take away; radio is radio. Morning show personalities appear to be universal.  Radio studios have missing ceiling tiles and wiring hanging down no matter what country they are in (excepting perhaps Germany, but maybe there too).  Except for the language spoken, this could have been any radio station in any city in the country.