Broadcasting in the 1928-1929 School Year

Nov 17, 2011

The Purdue Exponent - Saturday, September 22, 1928

WBAA Reconstruction Nears Completion

Reconstruction work on WBAA is progressing rapidly and should put the University radio station back on the air in a short time. The rebuilding, under the direction of J. W. Stafford, was necessitated by a fire of several weeks ago which damaged much of the equipment.

The station will conduct broadcasts on Monday and Friday evenings during the school term and will put all the major events on the air. Work will be finished in time to put some of the first tussels in Ross-Ade stadium through the ether.


The Purdue Exponent - Tuesday, October 2, 1928

New Wave Assignment Given Station WBAA

J. W. Stafford, manager of the University broadcasting station has received word from the federal radio commission of a new assignment in the reallocations of stations. The present rating of WBAA is 500 watts, 1,100 kilocycles, or 272.6 meters, and after 3 a.m. November 11 it will be changed to 1,400 kilocycles or 214.2 meters. WBAA is to share this wavelength with WCMA, Noble Butler Watson, of Indianapolis, a station of 500 watts power and with WKBF Culver Military academy, also one of 500 watts.

(Ed. note: The Exponent reversed the call letters. WCMA was the station at Culver).


The Purdue Exponent - Sunday, October 21, 1928

Commission Changes WBAA Wave Length

214 Meters and 1400 Kilocycles Power Assigned

Local Station to Share New Wave With Culver Military Academy and Indianapolis Stations

November 11, 1928, marks the change in wave length of the local radio broadcasting station, WBAA, located in the electrical engineering building, from 273 meters and 1100 kilocycles to 214 meters and 1400 kilocycles. The local station will share the new wave length with WCMA, Noble Butler Watson's Indianapolis station, and WKBF, Culver Military Academy, both of 500 watts power rating. The Federal Radio Broadcasting Commission is responsible for all the various changes, because of the abrogation of certain charters and the granting of several new ones.

Damaged by Fire

The studio from which the broadcasting is effected was destroyed by fire late this summer. Under the direction of Mr. J. W. Stafford, who is in charge of the station, the rooms have been repaired and broadcasting was resumed shortly after the commencement of the present term.

Favorable reports have been submitted concerning the quality of broadcasting transmitted through WBAA. Notably, the DePauw football game on October 6, evoked numerous complimentary messages. The Homecoming game is to be broadcast, with plans in the making for the Indiana game. Following last year's custom, concerts are rendered every Monday and Friday nights, both musical programs and speeches going through the air.

(Ed. note: The Exponent again got the call signs reversed).


The Purdue Exponent - Tuesday, October 23, 1928

Saxophonist And Baritone Entertain WBAA Audience

Congress Street M. E. Male Quartet to Broadcast Friday Night--Miss Pierce to Accompany.

William Diehl, accompanied at the piano by Miss Marguerite Clingenpeel of West Lafayette, rendered three saxophone numbers as the feature part of WBAA's broadcasting program last night. Finishing the program was Scott Osterday, baritone, accompanied by Miss Bernice Baugh at the piano. The program was reported to have been very well received, according to numerous messages which came in at the termination of the entertainment.

The Congress Street Methodist Episcopal church male quartet will furnish a selection over the air next Friday night. The quartet is composed of I. E. McCord, first tenor; Dwite Goodheart, second tenor; E. B. Boonstra, baritone, and Frank Pierce, bass. Miss Betty Pierce acts as accompanist for the group.


The Purdue Exponent - Saturday, October 27, 1928

New Broadcasting Aim Adopted By WBAA

Broadcasting station WBAA of the University announces the following policy for the year 1928-29 to conform to the demand for broadcasting of certain activities of the University, with a minimum of conflict with other programs and with the necessary limitations of funds, the employment of student assistants, and the licenses available from the Federal Radio commission.

Evening broadcasts will be continued at the regular periods on Monday and Friday evenings. Special events and sports will be broadcast at other hours as announced.

WBAA is established for educational purposes only and no charges will be made for any programs which may be selected. Urgent requests of an emergency nature such as flood warnings, bank robberies, etc., will be broadcast during working hours if authentic reports are submitted. WBAA is not organized to recommend or criticize ay particular make of receiving sets.


The Purdue Exponent - Saturday, November 3, 1928

Local Station Organizes New Broadcasting Staffs

Complete New Staffs of Faculty and Student Officers Announced for Present School Year.

WBAA, University broadcasting station which broadcasts regular programs on Monday and Friday evenings and all special events and University sports, has reorganized the station staff for the present school year. J. W. Stafford of the electrical engineering school has been reappointed general manager and Prof. C. F. Harding, head of the school of electrical engineering, has been appointed director. Programs will be in charge of Prof. W. A. Knapp and L. E. Hoffman, while publicity will be taken care of by T. R. Johnson and Mr. Woodworth. Harry Clark will be the sports announcer. Counselors for the station are: Pres. E. C. Elliott, and Deans M. L. Fisher, C. B. Jordan, Mary L. Matthews, R. B. Moore, A. A. Potter, and Carolyn E. Schoemaker.

Student officers have also been appointed and are as follows: assistant general manager, P. V. Tierney; program manager and announcer, W. E. Brown; assistants, R. C. Shaw, B. G. Neikirk, A. F. Choulnard, R. C. Bierman; chief engineer, P. C. Sandretto; assistants, E. B. Huffman, E. J. Schacte, J. Bailey; station aides, F. J. Buch, H. J. Hormel, J. W. Kirshner, A. E. Lemon, C. W. Phillips, B. D. Rinehart, H. Sonnebon, P. W. Elmer, C. Kaliker, A. C. Lemper, M. M. Mazloum, D. J. Rendell, H. W. Shute, L. D. Whitelock.


The Purdue Exponent - Saturday, November 3, 1928

Harry Clark To Announce Todays Game Over Radio

Harry Clark, former cheer leader at the University, will have charge of announcing the Case game of the University radio station, WBAA, this afternoon at two o'clock, and will go on air 15 minutes before same. On Monday evening at seven o'clock, the local station will  broadcast an address by C. W. Bennett, head of the safety division of the Northern Indiana Public Service Co. Mr. Bennett is from Lafayette and will talk on the subject of Safetyize the Home".

WBAA will broadcast these programs on its regular power of 500 watts on a wave length of 272 meters.


The Purdue Exponent - Saturday, November 3, 1928

Clevett Broadcasts Talk Over WBAA

"Chief" M. L. Clevett, assistant director of the athletic department of the University, spoke over radio station WBAA on the subject of some of the types of games suitable for parties and picnics, as a feature of the regular Friday evening program of that station last night. The musical part of the program was made up of selections by Miss Nedra Sharp, singer, who was accompanied at the piano by her sister, Miss Portia Sharp.

Booklets containing suggestions for games to be used for entertainment at parties, much in line with "Chief" Clevett's speech, are available at the radio station, and may be obtained by writing in.


The Purdue Exponent - Sunday, December 9, 1928

WBAA Test Programs Heard Across U.S.

Test programs broadcast recently from WBAA have proved vary successful according to letters received here from radio fans inPennsylvania, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Jersey in the East and Kansas, Washington, and Colorado in the West. Three programs which lasted from 11 to 2 were broadcast using a new wave assignment. Those who wrote of the results of the tests also showed a keen interest in the athletic achievements of the University's teams, and a great many fans, especially those in neighboring states favored the establishment of a more powerful station here. Among the letters received was one from a former Lafayette man in Seattle, Wash., who wrote very highly of WBAA and the University in general.

"Applying Engineering to Everyday Life" will be the subject of an address to be delivered Monday night at 7 o'clock from WBAA by W. T. Miller of the school of mechanical engineering.


The Purdue Exponent - Friday, January 4, 1929

Radio Set In New Zealand Picks Up Waves From WBAA

Local Station's Test Program Encircles Half of Globe--Reception Shows Accuracy.

J. W. Stafford, general manager of radio station WBAA and in charge of electrical communication instruction in the school of electrical engineering, has officially announced the successful establishment of radiophone communication (on 14000 kilocycles) with Thomas A. Allen, (unreadable), Canterbury, South Island, New Zealand. These islands are southwest of the North American continent, below the equator, and in the South Pacific ocean. This late test program, November 17, 1928, was in charge of student commercial operators, W. E. Brown and P. C. Sandretto, senior and junior electrical engineering students respectively.

Special mention was made in the receiver correspondence of the various humorous remarks of Mr. Bierman, assistant program manager, and of the program items, including the announcement of Mr. Stafford's local office phone number for sending in requests, all of which were correct.


The Purdue Exponent - Friday, January 4, 1929

WBAA Will Broadcast Monday-Friday At 7

J. W. Stafford, general manager of WBAA, the University radio broadcasting station, recently announced that the time for the regular programs will be from 7-8 p.m. on Monday and Friday evenings. He has also published a resume of the procedure to be followed by anyone wishing to submit a program for approval. According to the resume, the program should be mailed in detail to the station, in care of Mr. Stafford, and it should contain the name, address, telephone number of the writer, the most convenient time for calling him, the approximate time required for the program, the nature of the program, the names and respective parts of the broadcasters. Stipulations in the license and limitations in the policy prohibit the broadcasting of religious, political, or advertising programs. The repetition of individuals on two different programs will depend on the kind of reception of the former appearance and the other requests on hand.


The Purdue Exponent - Thursday, February 14, 1929

Personnel Of Radio Station Changed

At the beginning of this semester the University radio station has been made the scene of a few changes. Those who announce have been changed as well as those who assist in the technical work of the station.

Professor C. F. Harding, head of the electrical engineering school, is the director and J. W. Stafford, electrical engineering instructor, is the manager. Harry Clark announces the basketball games. The assistant manager and program announcer is W. E. Brown. P. V. Tierney, who was chief announcer, remains as chief advisor. Those who assist in the arranging of programs and general announcing are B. Bierman, J. B. Bailey, and R. C. Shaw.

The chief engineer, or operator of the station, is P. C. Sandretto. Mr. Sandretto is assisted by E. B. Huffman, P. V. Tierney, R. S. Niekirk and G. L. Nord.


The Purdue Exponent, Friday, March 15, 1929


Originates Near Batteries; Blaze Goes Beyond Control

Loss Estimated By Authorities to Be $10,000--No Plans for Rebuilding Announced--Fire Blackens Outside of Building.

Fire originating in the monitoring or battery room of WBAA, University broadcasting station, yesterday afternoon destroyed the entire equipment of the station. The fire was discovered about 3:15 o'clock by one of the students connected with the station, and had at that time gained so much headway that all efforts at combatting it with the fire extinguishers in the electrical engineering building were of no avail. The loss is estimated at approximately $10,000, $5,000 damage to the building and $5,000 damage to equipment, completely covered by insurance.

Fire of Chemical Nature.

At the inquiry held immediately following the blaze, testimony of students who were first to the blaze seemed to indicate that the fire was chemical in nature, the heavy clouds of black smoke effectively squelching any attempt to subdue the blaze. The battery rack, where the blaze originated, had been inspected fifteen minutes before and found to be in perfect condition, all connections made and fuses inserted properly. It was the opinion of those in charge of the station that the blaze resulted from the catching fire of the hydrogen fumes resulting from the charging of the "A" batteries, this flame in turn igniting the batteries and celotex-lined walls.

Outside of Building Damaged.

The fire precludes the possibility of operation of the station, since all equipment is a total loss, and the rooms themselves are ruined. The overhanging cornice and limestone front of the building were also considerably damaged by flames shooting from the window of the station room and up over the roof. No definite plans had been made at a late hour last night for reinstallation of equipment.

Note of Appreciation.

The staff of the school of electrical engineering wishes to express its hearty appreciation for the loyal cooperation of students, staff of the University physical plant, and both the West Lafayette and Lafayette fire departments in their prompt and efficient work at the fire in the E. E. building yesterday afternoon.

The prompt detection and report of the fire by Mr. Shaw, followed by the work of Messrs. Sandretto, Kierney, Nelson, Miller, and Stults and other students rendered the loss a minimum.

It is desired especially to commend the members of the staff and graduate students who volunteered so promptly and effectively in protecting life and property.

-------C. Francis Harding, Head of School


The Purdue Exponent - Wednesday, March 20, 1929


Fate has dealt the University an unkind blow in depriving it of the radio station which is its major means of communication with Indiana taxpayers, but it may have dealt a blessing in disguise. Ever since the station has been in operation, alumni and friends throughout this and surrounding states have been requesting that the service of the station be enlarged, that more power be used in order that the station may be capable of reaching the entire state with its programs. Letters and requests for increased service were received continually and had to be disregarded, since with the limited outlay available to the men operating the station, no expansion was possible. In addition, a few narrow-minded local citizens attempting to receive Honolulu on a crystal set raised such a howl over the WBAA broadcast that all broadcasting was discontinued over the hours when most fans are listening--after eight o'clock in the evening.

The time is ripe for a change for the better. Purdue University, a leading technical institution, must show that leadership by equipping itself with a radio station worth of being called a Purdue activity, a station which will rank among the important ones of the country. There is plenty of information which can be supplied to taxpayers, information which can only benefit the University in every respect. The taxpayers want it--and can have it for an outlay of something like $7,000. Why not do the job up right, put in a 1000 watt station, and give the public value received. In radio, the broadcasting radius of the station is in direct proportion to the initial outlay--and goodness knows we need a REAL RADIO STATION!


The Purdue Engineer, Vol. 24, No. 6, p. 196, April 1929

The Future of WBAA by E. B. Huffman, E. E. '31

For the past few weeks a question in the minds of many has been, "What will be done with the Purdue broadcasting station since the recent fire?" Quite a number of years ago WBAA had its beginning in the Old Electrical Engineering Building where a modest station was built and operated by a group of students. When the School of Electrical Engineering moved to the new building, a new and better station was built and made a part of the Communication Department. This station was operated successfully until the fire of March 14th which completely destroyed the equipment. The station recently destroyed had a number of enviable records, having been heard a number of times on both the East and West Coasts of the United States and, on one occasion, in New Zealand. However, this might be classed as a freak performance. What the staff desired most was to be able to reach the farthest corners f the State of Indiana under any kind of operating conditions.

From past experiences, the conclusion has been reached that 500 watts, the power of the former station, is not sufficient to accomplish this object. A broadcasting station operating on most any wave length at the present time is subject to interference from other stations operating at the same frequency. To combat this, the tendency seems to be a general increase of power. This increase of power aids in two ways; it serves to spread a strong signal over the desired area, successfully eliminating interference from distant stations operating on the same wave-length, and, at the same time, provides a means of combatting static and power interference. It has been estimated that a power of at least 1000 watts is necessary in order that WBAA may be able to reach the people of the state consistently.

The staff of WBAA have always been handicapped by lack of funds. The Purdue station was not up to the standards set by other universities. Our neighbor, The University of Illinois, has recently installed a new 1000 watt Western Electric transmitter, the equal of many of the best commercial stations on the air today. Ohio State, Wisconsin, and many other universities have powerful stations. Does it not seem that Purdue, ranking first among the engineering schools of the Middle West, should have a broadcasting station worthy of its title "The Voice of Purdue University"? Hoosiers are justly proud of Purdue and enjoy greatly listening to events taking place at Purdue, particularly, the athletic contests.

This leads to the question, "Will a thousand watt installation replace the former equipment?" This point has not yet been definitely decided. Nearly enough insurance money will be collected to replace the former equipment, but now is the time to build a station that will be able to earn for itself a nation wide reputation, a station that the people of Indiana will be proud of and able to listen to any time it is broadcasting. Eventually, the main studio will be located in the Memorial Union Building, with another in the Electrical Engineering Building. As in the past, lines will come in from the Memorial Union Ball Room, the Library, Ross-Ade Stadium, Memorial Gymnasium, and Fowler Hall, permitting the broadcasting of almost any campus event. The station itself will remain in the Electrical Engineering Building. Altho the former antenna will be used, it is probable that a new motorgenerator, capable of supplying a thousand watt installation will be purchased soon. Regardless of whether a five hundred or a thousand watt station is authorized, construction of new equipment will start immediately. Everything will be built in such a manner that it can be easily changed to accommodate the higher power, and it is expected that by next fall Purdue will have a new radio station far superior to the old one.