Wed March 14, 2012
Why Did Classical 88.7 Recently Go Off-Air?
A listener asked:
"For the past several days, I have had problems with receiving 88.7 on my home receiver. All other stations are received without a problem. 88.7 seems to cut out for long periods and then will resume. Other times I turn my receiver off and when I turn it on programming continues. Do you have any explanation for this? If other stations gave me the same problem, I would think it is my receiver, but that is not the case."
Answer: It wasn't your receiver; it was us. During early March, the sun blocked our NPR network signal, causing Classical 88.7 to go silent for about five minutes at a time each day. Twice each year, in Spring and Fall, the sun moves behind the NPR satellite and overwhelms our network reception. In previous years, this hadn't been much of a problem, but it sure wiped us out this year, perhaps because this year is close to the 2013 solar maximum.
Also during that week, we were making FCC-required transmitter measurements and couldn't avoid taking KWTU off-air for a few minutes at a time.
Unrelated, but coincidental, was both Public Radio 89.5-1 and Classical 88.7-1 online streams going off-air over President's Day weekend, before our new website design went live. We worked out the problems with NPR Digital and feel confident that we're back on the track of better reliability both over-the-air and throughout cyberspace.
Let us know when you can't hear us: either by email or call us at 918-631-2577 (toll-free 888-594-5947.)