CKUA’s Director of Engineering and IT, Rod Setter, is preparing to retire after many decades of stellar and dependable work. We’re proud to say that CKUA is on the air more than 99% of the time, both in transmitter service throughout province, and online. We lose very little time each year to outages related to technical difficulties, weather, etc.
This is a testament to the hard work of many people at CKUA, most notably Rod and his team. We caught up with Rod to ask him a few questions about his time at CKUA:
When did you begin working at CKUA?
“I’m part of what they call the boomerang club. I worked at CKUA from 1979 to 1985, and then I came back in 1997 and have been at CKUA since then.”
How has your role changed over the years?
“When I started, things were more hands-on, and I did a lot of traveling to transmitter sites in the 80s. Now my work is more in the studio, and more focused on IT. The change to digital technology means that there are fewer chances to repair equipment. The cost of circuit boards means that we do more maintenance than repairs. ”
Do you have a favourite memory from your time at CKUA?
“When we were building the Grande Prairie transmitter, I went up the tower as the sun was setting. That was back when farmers used to burn stubble. The sunset was beautiful in the west, and I sat beside the bright red beacon light and watched the burning stubble. It was a really neat experience.”
We know that tech people who work in radio often have to climb towers and deal with intimidating or even dangerous equipment. Was that the case for you?
“One time I was working on the Red Deer tower, and the antenna was mounted on 3″ pipe that was about eight feet out from the tower. I slid out to try to work on it. Heights don’t bother me, but I don’t like hanging out way over the edge of the tower.”
If you could send a song out to our listeners, what would you choose?
“’Hilfiger Heaven’ by Bill Bourne.”
Thanks for everything, Rod!