In the normal flow of our broadcast year, WOAS-FM 88.5 would be easing into the new school year by broadcasting music by artists with some connection to the Porcupine Mountain Music Festival. After our July maintenance hiatus, it is always fun to test the station’s equipment by featuring PMMF artists ahead of the festival. With the cancellation of Porkiesfest due to the you-know-what pandemic, the plan was to get the bugs out of the system by broadcasting a limited schedule in the two weeks prior to the first day of school. The plan was working fine until Monday August 17th when the WOAS-FM 88.5 signal went dark.
As any radio station engineer will tell you, predicting a radio station equipment malfunction is kind of like predicting an earthquake (though some would argue it is probably easier to predict an earthquake). When the inevitable occurs, one must methodically examine what is working in order to find the thing that isn’t working. When our channel went dead, the normal checklist didn’t reveal any smoking gun (or circuit, in this case). To add to the mystery, the WOAS-FM programming was still available via our web-stream at www.woas-fm.org and on the studio’s monitors.
Our long time engineer, Jim Bradley, deduced that WOAS was still broadcasting, but the audio was being dropped somewhere inside our transmitter. As of August 24, we are still investigating whether or not we will be able to fix the unit ourselves or send it in to the manufacturer for an overhaul. The worst case scenario would be a total replacement of this unit.
The bad news? WOAS will not be available at 88.5 FM until we figure this out but there is also good news. WOAS-FM can still be seen and heard on our website at www.woas-fm.org simply by scrolling down on the opening web page and clicking the ‘live stream ‘ tab. We are still here and still broadcasting, just not ‘over the air’ at this point. What form our broadcast schedule will take this year is the other great unknown. Be assured that we will be following the school safety guidelines and working out a way to be YOUR SOUND CHOICE during this unprecedented time of national crisis. Stay well, keep in touch with WOAS-FM as we work toward a fix with our little problem. We are also pleased to announce the following in regards to our license renewal. Following is a copy of the post-renewal filing notice that we have been airing during our broadcast year shakedown:
On October 1, 2012, WOAS was granted a license by the Federal Communications Commission to serve the public interest as a public trustee until October 1, 2020. Our license will expire on October 1, 2020. We filed an application for license renewal with the FCC. A copy of this application is available for inspection at www.fcc.gov (http://www.fcc.gov). It contains information concerning the station’s performance over the last 8 years. Individuals who wish to advise the FCC of facts relating to our renewal application, and to whether this station has operated in the public interest, should file comments and petitions with the FCC by September 1, 2020.
Further information concerning the FCC’s broadcast license renewal process is available at WOAS, 701 Parker Avenue, Ontonagon, MI 49953 or may be obtained from the FCC, Washington, DC 20554 or www.fcc.gov .