Archive for October, 2009

A Big Change for the Blue Ox!

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

Saturday, 11 October, Blue Ox Radio General Manager Viviana Hollenbeck and volunteers Cai Maver and Larry Rochester met at the station for what would prove to be an extensive rewiring of the station, an action was made possible by the generous donations of equipment from volunteers.

The station was signed off the air for equipment replacements and upgrades at 12:40 PM.

The following actions were then undertaken:

• Install new stereo encoder
• Install new microphone (more to come)
• Rewire broadcast board
• Install new cables
• Install equipment in a professional equipment rack
• Install new wireless keyboard and optical mouse
• Install new, larger monitor
• Install new broadcast booth speakers
• Test all the above and adjust as necessary
• Give broadcast booth a good general cleaning

The station was signed back onto the airwaves at approximately 6:15 PM, by volunteer producer Larry Rochester, with the following historic (for Blue Ox Radio) statement:

“This is KKDS-LP, 97.7 FM, Blue Ox Radio from Eureka, California, resuming normal broadcasting at this time, in full stereo!”

Sunday’s action was the culmination of Part One of our long-term plans to upgrade the station. Part Two will be the installation of yet more new microphones, running cables and installing a new cable patch board in our equipment room, which will have to be reconfigured to accept the new cabling and possibly new furniture. These new cables will enable the quick set-up and breakdown of remote recording in either the equipment room or the classroom of the Blue Ox Community School.

Making the switch from broadcasting in mono (which we have been doing for the last three years) to stereo will no doubt result in a degradation of our signal. This signal degradation – especially in Eureka’s out-lying areas – is due to a change in the signal to noise ratio that is inherent with FM stereo. However, we will continue to fine-tune our equipment to provide the best possible signal for our listeners.

Please bear with us as we bring the station up to speed!

All told, though, it was a good – no a GREAT – day for the “new” Blue Ox Radio.

Third Birthday Party Photos

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

The cake at our 3rd birthday partyThe volunteers at Blue Ox Radio have been pretty busy over the last few weeks: starting the school year, gearing up for a station upgrade and recovering from a few illnesses. We did make some time to upload a few of the photos from our 3rd birthday party though; take a look over at our flickr page!