The University of Michigan, an encyclopedic survey ... Wilfred B. Shaw, editor.
University of Michigan.
Page  1564


THE many activities of the University Broadcasting Service are centered in the studios and offices which occupy the entire fifth floor of the Administration Building. Here programs originate for both immediate and delayed broadcast. Remote pick-ups may be fed into the central control room by wire from any campus location or, conceivably, from any spot in the United States. Some materials arrive through the mail in the form of tape and disc recordings and some come from other universities through the NAEB Tape Network.

These programs are disseminated from the fifth floor. Nearly all programs prepared by the Broadcasting Service are scheduled for broadcast on WUOM-WFUM. By means of a microwave "studio-transmitter-link" these are relayed from the campus to the main transmitter on Peach Mountain, some fifteen air miles away. Some programs are fed over telephone lines to nearby stations which contribute their time and facilities to the University as a public service. The WUOM signal itself is simultaneously picked up and rebroadcast in its entirety by the University's relay station in Flint, Michigan, WFUM, and certain programs are rebroadcast by student-operated "wired-wireless" stations in dormitories on campus.

Campus studios. — The facilities in the Administration Building include four modern, air-conditioned studios with adjacent control booths, a recording room, a music library with thousands of selections on tape and disc, and seven offices for the staff. An observation room which can accommodate thirty-eight people adjoins Studio A. All control booths are elevated so that the director of a show can have a clear view of the studio, and all are equipped with control panels, turntables, and talk-back equipment. The maintenance office contains equipment to monitor programs on the air. Over 200 tape recordings of WUOM programs are mailed out each week to stations throughout Michigan. Twice a year thousands of Teacher's Manuals and student books which are used in rural schools in conjunction with the University's "Radio Classroom" broadcasts are sent out, and monthly program bulletins go to some 9,500 addresses.

The penthouse on the Administration Building houses a unit of equipment designated as "REL #694." This is actually a radio station in itself and has its own call letters, KQA-61. By parabolic antenna atop the building, KQA-61 beams its signal on line-of-sight toward a special receiver at the transmitter on Peach Mountain. The use of this studio-transmitter microwave link has saved the station 86 per cent of the cost of the telephone line which was used earlier.

By means of a varying number of wire "loops," engineers are able to bring into the WUOM studios programs originating anywhere on the campus. One permanent loop connects the master control room with Hill Auditorium where the station maintains a small permanent studio. Others go to Auditorium A in the Angell Hall Annex, to the Lydia Mendelssohn Theater and to the Rackham Building, as well as to other classrooms and auditoriums. During the sports season, loops connect the WUOM studio to the football stadium and to the Yost Field House and the baseball stadium. Their use enables the Broadcasting Service to cover a wide variety of academic Page  1565and athletic events during the course of the school year.

Another ten circuits lead from WUOM's control room to the local office of the Michigan Bell Telephone Company. These facilities are used to feed University broadcasts directly to radio stations or networks anywhere in the United States. Frequent hookups are made with stations WJR, Detroit, and with WPAG and WHRV, Ann Arbor, and occasional campus broadcasts are fed directly to the national networks. In the 1952-53 and 1953-54 football seasons, live broadcasts of Wolverine football games were relayed to twenty or more stations throughout upper Michigan.

In the WUOM recording room are seven Ampex tape recorders and two Presto disc recorders. Two hundred and fifty tapes a week have been made in peak periods; the average for the fifty-two weeks of the year probably would not fall below 100. Although the majority of these recorded broadcasts go to Michigan stations, a few get far greater coverage. The Broadcasting Service is repeatedly called upon by the Voice of America to prepare special programs using the University's foreign students. The Department of the Air Force used interviews with University AFROTC cadets which were recorded at WUOM, on several of their nation-wide broadcasts. Special one-time broadcasts have been made for radio stations in Berlin, Frankfort, and Tokyo. When the University's Field Station at Okayama, Japan, celebrated its fourth anniversary, a special broadcast in the Japanese language was prepared for Radio Sanyo.

WUOM Transmitter. — Construction began on the main transmitter and tower in June, 1947, and the first broadcast was made one year later. A request to the Federal Communications Commission for increased power was granted on January 4, 1950. At that time WUOM went to 44,000 watts (effective radiated power). On April 5, 1955, the FCC granted approval to change the antenna and boost power to 115,000 watts.

The antenna is a Collins 37-M-12 bay ring type with deicers and has a gain of 12.7. It is mounted on the side of a guyed tower.

The transmitter building at the foot of the tower contains a General Electric BT-4-B transmitter, which consists of a 250-watt transmitter, 3,000- and 10,000-watt amplifiers.

Emergency facilities include a studio with microphone tape and disc units, standby STL receiver, and basic living accommodations.

The transmitter building and tower are on top of a hill in the University's Stinchfield Woods near Portage Lake. Owing to its height (400 feet above average terrain, a 400-foot tower, and the 12-bay ring type antenna) the WUOM signal dependably covers a one-hundred-mile radius around Ann Arbor.

WFUM, Flint. — Early in 1952 the Regents accepted the gift of Radio Station WAJL(FM), a 250-watt station at the Hurley Memorial Hospital in Flint, Michigan. On July 15, 1952, the station went on the air under the newly assigned call letters, WFUM. Since the installation of REL #722 receiving equipment, WFUM picks up and simultaneously rebroadcasts all programs carried by WUOM, thereby extending the listening area of the Broadcasting Service. Transmitting equipment at WFUM consists of a General Electric BT-1-A unit of 250 watt power, and a General Electric BY-2-B double bay antenna. The station has an effective radiated power of 400 watts, and broadcasts on a frequency of 107.1 megacycles.

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