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Independence Media – Relinquishing WYBE

Independence Media will receive a one-time payment of $131.5 million from the FCC in exchange for the WYBE license. As part of the Broadcast Incentive Auction, the FCC is purchasing licenses from broadcasters to make spectrum available for wireless broadband use.

Independence Media will terminate its broadcast, cable, and satellite television services after the FCC distributes the proceeds to television stations across the country. Independence Media broadcasts on channel 35 and operates on cable systems as MiND.  Independence Media, a nonprofit corporation, will remain in operation.

For more from Independence media, please see the PRESS RELEASE.

And for more comments from Independence Media, see the article from Philly.com.

MHz Worldview 35.5 – Back up!

mhzworldviewlogoBroadcast update on MHz Worldview [WYBE 35.5]

April 8th, 2016
We are happy to report that MHz Worldview [WYBE 35.5] is back on air. We are very sorry for the issues with the program stream, and thank all  the viewers for their patience.

April 7th, 2016
At this time we are having technical difficulties with MHz Worldview. We do apologize for the inconvenience to all our viewers. We will provide updates as they become available.

Thank you for your patience.

What is Spectrum Repacking?

Still wondering what “FCC broadcast spectrum repacking” really means? Me too! There are so many things happening in the electromagnetic frequency. Take a look at this simplified overview:

Radio-frequency-pictureimage credit: networkengineer.me

And here’s a spiffy animation that PBS created to help us all understand a little better.

Transmission Outage – 1/25/15 to 1/30/15

125mindTo all our viewers,

On Sunday (1/25),  the transmission was interrupted by an equipment failure and the MiND channels went down. We are very sorry for the inconvenience and interruption in programming services.

For those who subscribe to Comcast and Verizon cable services, you are receiving a stream of back-up programming. This signal tends to be stable, but can have issues when internet is taxed.

The signal was restored on Friday (1/30) for all channels. Please re-scan if you are an over-the-air viewer still experiencing signal issues.

Thank you for your patience while we repaired the transmitter equipment.

Behind the Scenes: Life with a Transmitter

Hey Everyone! We’ve been spending a lot of time down at our transmitter getting it back up to optimal shape. I thought it’d be fun to post some pictures of the action for all to see, so here goes!

TX Cabinet B - E2V IOTThis is our backup transmitter. Both of our transmitters are the Visionary-class IOT (Inductive Output Tube) based transmitters manufactured by Axcera. They operate at roughly 20Kw-22Kw at full power.

TX Fried Beam Supply Board 1TX Fried Beam Supply Board 2These are High Voltage beam supply boards that were damaged delivery of high-voltage power to our transmitter for proper transmission. Note the blue arrows pointing to the scorch marks where the high voltage damaged the boards.

TX Cabinet A High Voltage Power Line FailureThis is a piece of the high voltage wire that runs from the high voltage beam supply (specifically attached to the boards above). This was also damaged during the storm, as when the beam supply boards suffered the arcing and damage it caused the wire to arc in the conduit as well. Note the hole in the insulation of the cabling.

TX Surge Supression BoardsTX Engineer Working on Surge Supression Boards
Surge-Suppression boards (right): These boards protect our transmitter in the event of a sudden surge in power. These boards had to be replaced in both our Primary and our Backup transmitters as they were damaged during the storm.

Here our on-site engineer, Kevin, is replacing the surge-suppression boards in the backup transmitter. (left)

TX Crowbar Assembly TX Thyratron Cooling Fan This is a crowbar assembly (left). The crowbar assembly is used to prevent an over-voltage condition within the transmitter cabinet itself. This particular crowbar assembly utilizes a thyratron tube. The cooling fan (right) went bad in the backup transmitter, causing an intermittent fault in the crowbar assembly. The tube has to remain at a constant temperature in order to work properly, and as a safety measure the transmitter will not operate with out a working crowbar assembly.

TX High Voltage FusesWhen the beam supply boards failed, causing the high voltage cabling to arc in the conduit blowing a hole in the insulation, the fuses for the high-voltage switch were also blown. We had to replace three high-voltage fuses in the main power supply switch that feeds the backup transmitter itself.

TX Flow ControlAfter we replaced all of the faulty equipment that was damaged due to the storms, we had some final tweaks to perform on the coolant system to ensure optimal coolant flow.

TX Cabinet B Full Power TX Cabinet A Full PowerAnd after our unfortunate downtime of almost eleven days total, we have two very happy working transmitters again. I hope that you’ve enjoyed the peak into our world of transmitters, and how truly amazing they are. In a way, they are are just as (if not more) complex than your everyday automobile. Consider all of the parts, their points of failure, and how any one, or a combination of many can mean minimal or prolonged downtime.

Again, thanks to all of our viewers for the kind words, support, offerings of assistance, and most of all, dedication to MiND as we worked through this extremely painful period of our life.