Wednesday, June 1, 2016

An odd way to remember a song.

I am sure that all American  denizens of the table remember the old EBS tests. They are now the EAS test, but the same principal applies.

The idea behind the EBS test is that a controlling station would send out the infamous tones. Lower stations in the EBS chain would receive these tones. Those tones would activate the EBS receivers at the lower stations. If it was a test, then it would be logged on the FCC logs as a test having been received. If it was a real emergency, then the audio from the controlling station would be broadcast through the lower stations until the emergency had subsided.

Back in 1980, I worked at the controlling station in somewhere in the San Joaquin Valley of California. We were supposed to monitor KCBS in San Francisco.  (One time when a levee broke outside of town I watched our news director through the glass window of the news room as he spoke with KCBS and listened to him on the EBS receiver as he spoke.)

Against all rules, regulations, and station policy, the guy who was on before me would tune the receiver in to the cross-town competition so he could check out what they were doing.

Usually I would reset the receiver to  KCBS as soon as I came in. One night I did not notice that the receiver was not where it was supposed to be. Several hours later when I did notice, before I retuned the receiver I turned the speaker on and the cross-town rivals were playing this song:



That was the only time I heard this song on the radio. I still enjoy hearing it.

7 comments:

  1. Cute story. Love the video.

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  2. Every time the EBS/EAS tone comes on the radio or TV my heart lurches, even though I know it's PROBABLY just a test. Does anyone else react that way? Thanks for the story Matt!

    I'm at work and can't watch the video right now, but I will as soon as I'm able. :)

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    1. Since I used to run the things they don't spook me unless I pick up that the message wording was different than usual. In 1983 DiFi, when she was mayor of San Francisco, activated the system to make a speech on the anniversary of the Great San Francisco earthquake. I listened for a minute, decided it was a speech and not an emergency, figured that I was not in San Francisco, so I said "screw it" and continued with normal programming.

      I have even been around long enough that I ran an old Conelrad test once. Maybe you remember them: there was a 1000 Hz tone (I guess just to alert people) and then the transmitter was turned on and off a couple of times. I only did that once.

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  3. Fay, I want to thank you again for the rotating photos at the top of the sidebar. I really enjoy them!

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    1. Fay is doing a wonderful job with that.

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  4. The video was very entertaining Matt!

    Fay, I watched yours and wondered how come *I* don't look like that in my yoga shorts. Or dance like that. My routine is more of a spastic "groan-and-grimace" whilst trying to keep my bum tucked in. My dogs are often horrified and hide under the bed. ;)

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