Wednesday, February 14, 2007

KLPI powers down

The station has a good history and We all hope they survive these dark days. Back in 1988 under their old KNLU calls they became one of the earliest college staitons to webcast. KLPI started out as WLPI-AM, a thesis paper on the subject of carrier currents that was written for a graduate Electrical Engineering class in 1966.

By 1969 the students from this class rented an office on Railroad Avenue with their own money and founded the start-up and operation of a real WLPI-AM. The station prospered and by 1972 switched to FM operation at 10 watts. But by December of 1982 they were running at 4,000 watts. But then after they applied to go to 20,000 watts things just fell apart.

Louisiana Tech University had a problem. Their transmitter was very old and falling apart. Normally a schools board of directors would choose (by not choosing) to allow the transmitter to die a slow death and refuse to take action until it went to that great parts store in the sky. But in their defence transmitters are not cheap, and can't exactly get picked up at Radio Shack. This was going to cost a cool 100 grand easily.

But while approaching senility the KLPI transmitter began to cause interference with research and experiments in the on-campus science labs. This forced their hand. They asked KLPI to power down to reduce the problem so they could get back to doing nothing and not fixing the problem.

As an Engineer I am absolutly flustered by "not-fixing" as a solution. The "do-nothing" option makes me batty. Read more here. So KLPI after 4 decades of forward movement... takes a step backward.