» Portland Radio

The PDX Dead Air Thread

(20 posts)
  • Started 3 years ago by Andy_brown
  • Latest reply from Alfredo_T

  1. Andy_brown

    Our first honoree is KXRY 91.1/K296FT 107.1 beginning at 4:57 AM ★★★★★

    Had to make a drop off at PDX this morning. Listened to 91.1 on I205 on the way there, but at the passenger drop off area Rocky Butte blocks the signal so I listened to 107.1 on the way home along SE 82nd. Reception of K296FT isn't bad along SE 82nd except behind Mt. Tabor it suffers. Anyway, at 4:57 the audio stopped abruptly (not at the end of a song) and 107.1 went dead carrier. I checked 91.1 and it, too, was sans modulation. When I got home I checked their stream and it, too was dead. At the time of this post, all three sources are still without audio. I have full quieting on 107.1 (can't get 91.1 inside). It is now almost an hour, for which I propose a 5★ rating.

    A guideline for the thread might be one ★ for every twelve minute period with dead air or off air up to a maximum of 5★.

    Dead air (aka DFQ) is an old radio term not to be confused with "off air" or "off the air." Dead air means the transmitters are on air but there is no modulation (audio). You can tell the difference when you are in the primary coverage area because when you are tuned to the proper frequency you will have full quieting, a radio term which describes an FM radio signal reception good enough that it creates a static free silence when no voice or music audio is being sent over the frequency.

    A properly engineered station will have alarms that notify the chief operator that there is no modulation (audio). Since KXRY has no subcarrier information, dead air for over an hour is in violation of 73.1201 ( There was no ID given before the audio stopped at 4:57 AM.

    Nice job, KXRY.

    Posted on October 21, 2014 - 05:40 AM #
  2. Andy_brown

    KXRY Back on air at 6:06 AM with station ID. Total time dead air one hour 13 minutes.

    Posted on October 21, 2014 - 05:54 AM #
  3. Alfredo_T

    On Sunday night, I went past the PSU campus, and I noted the 98.1 MHz station transmitting a stereo pilot but nothing else. Perhaps, this is/was the low-powered campus station at PSU. It boggles my mind that they would cut the audio feed to the transmitter but not shut the transmitter off. Or, maybe they just broadcast dead air when the schedule is not filled and/or when the DJs don't show up.

    Posted on October 21, 2014 - 12:49 PM #
  4. Alfredo_T

    (Dis)honorable mention: KXOR 660. On Sunday afternoon, they were broadcasting a repeating pattern of digital noises that sounded like techno music (most likely, it was a failure of the STL).

    Posted on October 21, 2014 - 03:34 PM #
  5. jr_tech

    "KXRY Back on air at 6:06 AM with station ID"

    I have noticed early morning dead air on KXRY a couple of times in the last month or so, They seem to get it fixed in time for the Carl Wolfson program at 7:00.

    Posted on October 21, 2014 - 04:21 PM #
  6. Alfredo_T

    Today, in the noon hour, KWBY 940 kHz had extended dead air.

    Another (dis)honorable mention: KXPD 1040 kHz routinely has problems with the audio feed, which appears to be some kind of Internet stream. The audio stutters, breaks up, or sometimes it fades to silence and then fades back in somewhere else in the program (perhaps, the computer at the transmitter site is trying to buffer some amount of audio before resuming normal playback?).

    Posted on October 22, 2014 - 01:49 PM #
  7. Andy_brown

    KWBY today for how long? What is "extended?" We can't give out awards at the end of the month/year/ without some numbers. Were they without modulation continually or intermittently?

    KXPD That's not "dead air" but rather just poor engineering. Relying on the internet as a main part of the audio chain is a bad choice, but "stutters, breaks up" etc is not dead air. Just unlistenable.

    Posted on October 22, 2014 - 01:56 PM #
  8. Alfredo_T

    It was at least 10 minutes. I noted the dead air, went into my local post office to buy some shipping supplies, and when I came out, there was still dead air.

    Posted on October 22, 2014 - 02:08 PM #
  9. Andy_brown

    Posted on October 22, 2014 - 02:19 PM #
  10. Anonymous

    Is KRVM-HD2 eligible in this contest? It's been dead air for at least an hour (currently 2:45 PM) but I may not be able to clock it precisely. Will make some random checks through the afternoon...

    Posted on October 22, 2014 - 02:31 PM #