Broadcasting in the 1931-1932 School Year

Nov 17, 2011

The Purdue Exponent - Thursday, September 17, 1931

Station WBAA Announces New Staff Organization

J. C. Bailey, R. H. Thockmorton, D. L. Conkright and E. F. Badger Receive Studio Advancements.

Station WBAA, the official radio broadcasting station of the University, last night announced the set-up of their organization for the semester through R. H. Throckmorton who is to be program director of the station this season.

J. C. Bailey, who was program director of WBAA last year has advanced to the osition of program advisor and will supervise the entire staff while Throckmorton will be directly over the remainder of the announcing staff which is to consist of D. L. Conkright, chief announcer, and three announcers who have not been chosen as yet. E. F. Badger has been appointed studio manager and will be in charge of two studio assistants who will be freshmen.

While the definite broadcasting schedule has not been arranged as yet. it is planned tentatively to start broadcasting about the time of the first football game and following the football broadcast series, the usual Monday, Friday night schedule of programs will probably be followed in a manner similar to last year.

In connection with the legal difficulties which the station gets into, an attorney has been employed to stay in Washington, D. C., to handle these problems as they arise.


The Purdue Exponent - Saturday, September 26, 1931

WBAA to Open Broadcasts With Game Next Saturday

New Staff Will Take Charge for First Time; Station to Operate on 1400 Kilocycles

Station WBAA, the official radio broadcasting station of the University, will go on the air for the first time this school year with a broadcast of the Coe-Western Reserve game on October 3. It will use a power of 1000 watts and a frequency of 1400 kilocycles.

Further additions to the engineering staff have been made, and the staff is complete with the exception of several freshmen who are yet to be chosen. The new staff officers are R. R. Brunner, chief engineer in charge of operations; L. E. Yoder, technical consultant; J. W. Hammond, J. R. Gall, and G. E. Ebbeler, station announcers, and R. C. Bierman and R. L. Bookwalter, remote control operators. The remote control operators will be on the scene when broadcasting athletic contests and will give first hand accounts of the games.

The station will continue with its policy of broadcasting on Monday and Friday nights from 7 to 8 o'clock. Any freshman having had radio experience may obtain an interview with Mr. Brunner by applying at the station on the third floor of the Electrical Engineering Building.


The Purdue Exponent - Friday, November 6, 1931

University Radio Station Chooses New Announcers

E. G. Burgess, R. L. Leewis Get Positions; McCandless, Newhard, Solomon Selected Studio Assistants

E. G. Burgess and R. L. Lewis have been chosen as new announcers for WBAA, University radio broadcasting station, according to an announcement made by R. H. Throckmorton, program director of the station. The three new studio assistant who were also selected are: W. H. McCandless, J. S. Newhard, and J. M. Solomon. The announcers wee chosen after tryouts conducted since the first of the semester and the selection was based on quality of voice and ability to enunciate clearly.

The announcers have charge of the programs and make up the continuity so that the schedule will be completed in the required time.

The studio assistants aid during the program and have charge of keeping the radio log which is a record of everything that is broadcast and when it went on the air.

The Federal Radio Commission requires that each station keep such a log which must be turned over to them as a permanent record.


WBAA Staff Members Visit Chicago Studios

While in Chicago last week-end on an inspection tour, three of radio station WBAA's technical staff, D. H. Ebbler, W. H. McCandless, and R. L. Bookwalte, visited the National Broadcasting Company's studios and control rooms and radio station WCFL.

According to the three men, they were shown the greatest of courtesy by the entire staffs of both studios. It is quite unusual to be admitted to the control rooms, but since the visitors were connected with WBAA, they were conducted through the entire establishment by the engineer in charge (unreadable).


The Purdue Engineer, Vol. 27, No. 3, p. 75, December 1931

The Purdue Broadcasting Station by R. L. Bookwalter, E. E. '34

"The Voice of Purdue" was first heard on the air in 1922. At that time a 250 watt transmitter operating on 360 meters was used. The station was located in a small room in the basement of what is now the Engineering Administration Building. The work was under the direction of Professor R. V. Achatz and the programs consisted of daily market reports in the morning and 15 minute lectures by faculty members on Monday and Friday evenings.

In 1924 Professor Achatz resigned and Mr. J. W. Stafford succeeded him and is still in charge of the Communication Department. Shortly after Mr. Stafford took over the station it was moved to the first floor of the old Electrical Engineering Building and re-built, rated at 500 watts and 273 meters. At that time the length of the programs was extended to thirty minutes and included some musical numbers and readings. The presentation of athletic contests direct from the scene was also started, besides many special programs and midnight tests.

When the second unit of the new Electrical Building was completed the station was moved to the third floor of that building and the wave-length again changed, this time to 214.2 meters. The programs were also made longer and more variety offered. The station established a very unusual record for an inland station, having successfully reached Hillinchy, Canterbury, South Sea Island, New Zealand, a letter of verification having been received from the above address. On March 14, 1929, the station was completely destroyed by fire.

The new station occupies the same floor space as the one destroyed but is much more modern in every detail. The studio--a room about fifteen feet square--is especially constructed to give maximum dampening of the sound waves. The entire studio, with the exception of the floor and the two windows and doors, is lined with perforated celotex, a substance made of bagasse and having the capability of absorbing sound and preventing any echoes. This perforated celotex absorbs more than twice as much sound as does the plain material.

Beyond the studio is the operating room, and beside the door leading into it is a window which is constructed of two sheets of glass with a dead air space of about one and one-half inches. Opposite this window is a smaller one of similar construction between the studio and the corridor.

The studio contains a small grand piano, a small table for speakers and announcers, a wicker settee, several wicker chairs, several straight wooden chairs, an electrically operate double phonograph turntable for broadcasting phonograph records, several lamps, and four double-button carbon microphones. The floor is covered with a rug to increase the dampening effect of the walls and ceiling. Above the window looking into the operating room is a small red light which indicates when the station is on the air.

Besides the main studio, described above, broadcasts may be provided from Eliza Fowler Hall, Purdue Memorial Union Tower and Ball Room, Library Lecture Room, Memorial Gymnasium, and Ross-Ade Bowl. Special booths have been installed in the gymnasium and in the stadium for facilitating broadcasts of games.

Directly opposite the door into the control and operating rooms is the crystal-controlled oscillator, buffer stage, radio-frequency amplifier, and modulated amplifier. To the left of this unit is the unit contain- (paragraph ends here).

The antenna, which is located on the roof of the building, is of the "T" type. It is supported by two 87 1/2 foot towers and is about 145 feet high.

The transmitter was designed and constructed by Purdue students, and is also operated by students. The station operates at a frequency of 1400 kilocycles or 214.2 meters and utilizes 500 watts power at night and 1000 watts daytime and its call is WBAA.


The Purdue Exponent - Wednesday, February 10, 1932

WBAA Installs Equipment To Aid Frequency Control

Reports From Listeners Indicate Best Reception in History of University Station

Members of the staff of the University radio station, WBAA, are now installing new equipment which will consist of a frequency deviation meter and apparatus to control the frequency of the crystal-controlled oscillator by varying the air-gap between the crystal and one electrode. WBAA has been reported by the U. S. department of commerce as operating at a frequency of within 6 cycles of its assigned frequency of 1400 kilocycles; this is much closer than the limits set by the latest order of the Federal Radio Commission with respect to frequency deviation. The new equipment will make it possible to maintain the frequency within the prescribed fifty-cycle limit at all times. The staff of WBAA is trying to abide not only by the orders of the Federal Radio Commission, but to improve the service of the station to its listeners as much as possible within the funds provided.

During the past semester listeners to the station have reported the best reception in the history of the broadcasts. Letters reporting the reception of WBAA test programs proved conclusively that the University station has reached as many listeners as any other station operating with like power on the air oftener and on a regional channel. R. R. Brunner acted as chief student engineer during the past semester of the school year and alternates with L. E. Yoder who will serve as chief during the second semester. Other assistant and licensed student operators are J. W. Hammond, J. R. Call, D. H. Ebbeler, and C. M. Bueker.