This past week we experienced another breakdown in the communications system. This time it is was on the voice side. At the Imlay City tower site voice channel bank number 5 had a power supply and power amplifier failure. Blumerich replaced both parts with new ones after having Motorola ship them with overnight delivery.
The good news out of this is that although there was a failure of equipment, no one noticed that there was a problem. This is because the voice system has plenty of capacity for traffic and although one of the voice banks went down, the system still had excess capacity to handle all of the radio traffic. The only time a failure like this would become noticeable would be if there was a huge influx of users in the area of the affected tower.
In the case of the Champion Bus fire a few months ago, had we lost a voice bank or two, there could have been a possibility of users getting a “bonk” when they try to transmit, indicating the system is too busy at that particular moment to handle their transmit request. The user would just have to keep trying every few seconds to get permission to make a transmission.
The power supply and power amplifier both are covered under our Motorola service contract.
So far in 2010, we are seeing more frequent breakdowns of various equipment at each of the sites than we have in the past. The age of the system is quickly catching up to it.