Just a little note to let you all know that we're safe here. So far Felix has only dumped a bit of rain, threatened to blow the tin roof off of the transmitter shed, and made the usual light-jacket evening fairly cold, well really only probably in the mid 50's. It hasn't been so nice for the folks on the east coast though. First reports are just coming in to HRN, the national radio system. A lot of people live in just basic wood houses on stilts in the swampy rain forest there -- not a nice place to be in a category 5 hurricane. Tegucigalpa is bracing for a lot of rain and the mayor has evacuated the central market and steep regions of cobbled-together housing that washed away before in Hurricane Mitch. Tegus is in a narrow valley between mountains with kind of unstable slopes. The eye of the hurricane is expected to pass right over us about mid day tomorrow, but by then they're thinking it may be downgraded to a tropical storm.
Today, as Felix's winds were blowing in, I ran the first actual transmission on HRJZ, The Voice Lenca, 1580 kHz AM. Well, actually it was just a test tone, followed by a pretty distorted re-broadcast of the FM signal. The problem was that there was interference in the FM receiver from the AM transmitter being so close -- sort of a Catch 22 that can be solved by a better antenna for the FM receiver or by installing the microwave link that is the eventual design anyway. And, it's still running at just 250 watts out of the licensed 1000 watts. Between power outages and rain that have interfered with the main goal of getting the transmitters up and running at full power, I've been able to catch up on the lower priority jobs like designing the antennas for the microwave link, which need to be done before leaving.
I've got some problems with the tuning on these transmitters and the ATU as well. I'll put a technical discussion of that in the comments for this posting, so as not to clutter up the blog with technotalk.
That's it for now. I hope you all doing OK in the heavy heat that shouldn't be happening in Sept. in Illinois.
La Lucha Sigue! Bill