Tri-Cities TN/VA: Few clouds, 33.8 °F
As if we didn’t have enough to keep us busy – on November 3rd, while correcting a problem, our engineers re-booted the computer that runs ENCO, the main operating system for WETS-FM and its new HD radio channels. Almost immediately, we started getting calls from listeners who told us they could no longer pick up our music channels, WETS-HD 2 and WETS-HD3. However, the station staff had no trouble picking up all three HD signals on the HD radios in our homes and vehicles. What was going on here?
It quickly became evident that whatever had happened affected only HD radios manufactured by Insignia, the “house brand” of Best Buy. No other HD radios were affected. This was not only puzzling – it was very troubling. We had given away dozens of Insignia personal HD receivers during our fall fundraiser, with many more to be ordered and delivered. Practically everyone who pledged and asked for the radio did so in order to hear our new music services – 24 hours daily of Americana and related genres on WETS-HD2, and classical music (with some late night and weekend jazz) on WETS-HD 3. Now they couldn‘t hear the music on the radio we sent them!
Our chief engineer, Mitch Sandidge, began making calls – to Insignia, to Harris Corporation, manufacturer of both our main transmitter and our digital transmitter, and to iBiquity, creators of the HD radio process. No one had any answers. They had suggestions, and Mitch and assistant engineer Dave Edwards tested and checked everything that anyone thought might be causing the problem, but nothing seemed to work.
Mitch knew it had to be something that was in our computer – the problem began when he and Dave re-booted the ENCO system. Obviously something did not come back up with the same settings it had before. Finally, Mitch tracked down an obscure setting that did not re-set to its default position. He re-set it and now our music channels can be heard on all HD radios.
We still don’t know why this setting affected only Insignia radios. Mitch is talking with their people in case they have this problem in the future. It was embarrassing for us to have sent out so many radios that didn’t receive the very services that prompted their recipients to pledge to WETS in the first place. But the problem has been corrected an you can now enjoy the three separate programming streams offered by WETS when you want to hear them. Switch from classical music to news, or news to Americana, as your mood dictates.
There are still a few glitches to work out, but we’re getting them fixed quickly. Programming is still evolving, but we plan to post our schedules on this website soon. And we will also be setting up live audio streams from WETS-HD2 and WETS-HD3 so you can enjoy the new music services online.
We’ve got more information on HD radio. We are very proud to provide the first HD radio service in the Tri-Cities, and we welcome the opportunity to provide three full-time and distinctive public radio programming services. Your support makes public radio possible. If you have not made a pledge to WETS in 2011, please do so online before the end of the year. Contributions made on or before December 30 will be credited to the 2011 tax year.