KAMP Radio suffers some mishaps over the weekend
KAMP Student Radio went silent this past weekend.
The radio station experienced technical issues early Saturday morning that lasted all weekend, according to Shannon Kurlander, journalism and theater arts senior and general manager of KAMP.
The issues started when the wiring to a speaker in the KAMP studio in Park Student Union began smoking at around 2 a.m., Kurlander said.
“We have a speaker in the station … and it’s just an on/off switch that plays the music out loud for anyone that’s hanging out here at KAMP,” Kurlander said. “One of the KAMPers was turning it on and it sparked a bit and there was smoke from it.”
Alex Topete, an undeclared freshman and mobile DJ with KAMP, was at the station when the malfunction occurred. Topete said that he and a friend were about to leave the station when they noticed the wiring problem.
“The volume control mouse started smoking, and once we saw the smoke, we heard sparks and the smoke picked up,” Topete said. “[The University of Arizona Police Department] and Tucson Fire Department both showed up, and five to ten minutes after cut the wires.”
The sparking didn’t start a fire in the studio, Kurlander said, and no one was injured in the incident.
In a listserv email sent out to KAMP employees at 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, Kurlander wrote that the station’s live streaming had stopped broadcasting, and while the electrical issue with the speakers hadn’t caused any damage, it was thought at the time that the two events were connected.
Later, Kurlander said, they realized that wasn’t exactly the case.
“UAPD was in here helping with everything,” Kurlander said, “and when they came in and were unplugging stuff for the speaker incident that we had, they accidentally unplugged something else that had to do with our streaming.”
Once they realized that was the case, Kurlander said, the KAMP staff worked to figure out what had been unplugged and get streaming back up.
An email sent out at 10:30 a.m. on Monday announced that KAMP had resumed live streaming.
Kurlander said that the lack of live streaming actually had the biggest impact on the station over the weekend.
“When the streaming went down, it was funny because actually it was a much bigger impact than we thought,” Kurlander said. “KAMPers couldn’t do their shows; we had no music to be playing online, so that was the bigger impact of it all, but luckily it was a quick fix and we got everything back.”
The wiring in the speaker that malfunctioned was several years old, according to Kurlander, and had been installed by the engineer of KAMP at the time. The engineer is a position on the radio station’s editorial board that, like all editorial board positions, is filled by a student.
“It was actually KAMPers and other people that had built this speaker system,” Kurlander said. “At the time it wasn’t properly made to last for a really long time, so it ended up being a matter of time before it had given out.”
Kurlander said that the station was working on plans to install a new speaker system using some of the equipment already in the KAMP offices.
“We’re looking to work on getting a new speaker system in this week,” Kurlander said. “It’s going to be updated, the wiring is going to be better.”
Topete said that he’s glad he was in the radio station that morning to prevent any possible damage.
“Maybe it would have started if we weren’t there and we’d wake up the next morning and the radio station’s gone, we wouldn’t have this place,” Topete said. “I’m just glad that we were able to save the radio station, even if it wasn’t that big of a deal.”