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Apr102016

Being a FiM (First In Maintainer)

I have been a FiM for both BA (Broadcast Australia) and BTS (Broadcast Transmission Services) since November 2015. Since then I've had a few jobs, mre than I expected. My first job was after a full town outage when after the power came back on a couple of the TV services didn't. We had the ABC TV services but SBS and all the commercial networks were off the air. After about 30 minutes waiting to see if things would just come back on a decided to ring the tech for WIN TV and report it. When I did that they said they will get their local guy out which I said that's me lol. After about an hour we had all the TV services back on the air, all was good. A simple 5 cent fuse was the issue for one transmitter and the other, well that turned out to be a little costly. The UPS (backup power supply) failed. 

Then while I was down in Swan Hill I received a call from BA saying the ABC TV service is off the air. The fault report they were seeing was a satellite input error. So I was looking at changing out the LNB on the satellite dish. Fun and games. When I got on site it turned out everything was off, no power. Here we go again, another UPS? yes. So now BA is having to replace another UPS unit here. One good thing is this was a different site to where the other one failed. At the moment I'm now waiting on a work order to have works completed as the new UPS unit needs a 15 amp power outlet. The old one only needed a normal 10 amp outlet. To get this work done we need a shut off request order so I can switch off the power to the site so the power works can be completed safely. Power off mains transmitter off and no ABC TV for the town. These are the fun and games you have to do just to get some things done. Safety first, ALWAYS.

When I first became a FiM I was told I might see about 2 or 3 jobs a year, so far I've had that many in the first few months. It's great being able to do this as you also leanr as you go along. They are always welling to show you as much as they can. The tech's are friendly and like I said willing to help you out. 

Being a FiM you are just the eyes for the tech on the phone. You tell them what you see or don't see and they guide you through anything that needs to happen. They have photos of the site so while your at the site they can tell you what you should or should not be seeing. It's not hard but you have to be able to do what your told to do. You can't just go off and do what you think is needed to be done. You are only their eyes and hands.

My first job was interesting but it was my first job and I now know what to expect when I get onsite. I now know what's going to be said and what is needed from me. I did stuff up but I've learnt a lot from it. In fact the tech I spoke to on that job was great and even said it was great to speak to a FiM that knew what they were talking about.

It's great to be able to learn. Getting back into amateur radio again was a great move. It's helped with my depression and I've meet some wonderful people. Always welling to help others out. That's what amateur radio is all about :) 

I little back ground. BTS is a partnership between WIN TV and Prime 7. They look after all the WIN TV and Prime 7 transmitter around the country. They also handle some ABC & SBS trasnmitter and also handle some Southern Cross 10 transmitters. Here in Balranald BTS look after only ther commercial TV networks, WIN, Prime 7 and Southern Cross 10. Broadcast Australia or BA as some might know them as look after, just about all ABC & SBS TV and radio transmitters around the country. They also to handle some commercial networks. BA have many very big transmission sites around the country. These sites house some of the country's most powerful transmitters. 200,000 watt transmitters are very common.

Below are there websites. Opening up the links will open up a new browser window.

Broadcast Australia

Broadcast Transmission Services 

 

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