Posted on January 30, 2013
I didn’t mean to keep you waiting but it was time to shut down all the part 15 transmitters, and that requires a long roundabout trip through the Internet Building.
I will describe the shutdown routine in a minute, but it was only by brave chance that we made it to the end of the schedule, because of storms passing through the area.
At midday the only weather symptom was a dark sky, still and brooding. Our programming was streaming to the world and radiating on four frequencies.
The weather map held steady for hours, a tornado watch zone from Kansas into mid-Missouri, but not moving closer.
But about 3 PM the yellow tornado grid shifted right on top of us here on the Mississippi River at the Illinois border. Stillness continued.
At 5 PM a huge rush of wind rattled everything and rain swept around, so I prepared to leave the air for equipment safety, but the intervals between static pops on the radio and the arrival of thunder were relatively long, so I did not eject.
Calm returned although distant lightning continued.
Sign off time was reached at 7:30 PM and I crawled under the big World Desk to turn off the AMT3000 at 1550kHz.
Next the full length of the building to the Upper Management Lounge where the AMT5000 was putting on 1680kHz.
Then back to the Vacuum Room to shut down 107.1 FM, which feeds the signal for 1680.
Not done yet, as we descended into the deep archives underneath the building to close the carrier current station at 970kHz, broadcasting experimentally with 1/4 Watt.
After all that I faced the task of sitting here at the keyboard describing everything, which is still going on.
Th programming today was excellent, as usual, but the only way anyone will ever know about it is if I tell them in person. There’s no way anyone was actually tuned in to these feeble signals.
But I was. It was the best radio on the dial for me all day, and that’s why it’s an absolute necessity.