In the beginning
Engineering at Radio Cherwell began under the leadership of Dave Weaver and several of his colleagues from Post Office Telephones as it was – now of course, British Telecom.
Since 1967, Radio Cherwell’s technical side has been developed by a team of enthusiastic engineers from different backgrounds and ages.
The original studio equipment was either built by the engineering team, or loaned. Over the years many hours have been spent building equipment to meet the bespoke requirements of a hospital broadcasting station or to provide equipment that was beyond the resources of the organisation to purchase.
Since the early-1990s Michael Clarke has led the technical development of the station and has implemented many innovative ideas. He is currently our Chief Engineer.
We have two studios equipped with Soundcraft SAC200 broadcast desks, a computerised jingle system, developed by Michael Clarke, plus all the other ancillary equipment you would normally expect to find in a modern broadcast studio. At the Chapel of All Saints in the John Radcliffe Hospital, we have a small broadcast mixer that enables us to relay the services.
Our portable studio and outside broadcast units are used to broadcast live shows from the hospital wards each week.
All these programme sources are controlled by a computer system which puts the right source on the ‘air’ at the right time, but also automatically records selected programmes for re-broadcast.
Radio Cherwell transmits its programmes from the studio to the patients in the hospital wards by streaming the digital audio over the hospital data network. Within each hospital the data stream is converted by PC’s into analog audio which is fed to the Hospedia Bedhead entertainment systems, and in the case of the NOC, into the multiplex nurse call and radio system.
The station output is also streamed over the internet to our internet radio service provider allowing up 1,000 listeners at any one time.
We are extremely grateful for the help and support we get from the hospitals OUH IM&T Services with our streaming on their networks.
From the very beginning our websites have been developed by our webmaster, David Smith. Full integration with our other IT systems reduces the amount of work required to keep them updated – which is a great help – as well as free support and hosting.
The audio engineering team are also involved in bringing concerts performed by local musicians to the hospital patients, either by broadcasting them live or recording them for later transmission. This is led by Richard Simmons who has being doing this for many years.
Radio Cherwell has a fully equipped Public Address trailer that we take to various events in the area. This comes complete with engineering and broadcasting staff to provide a tailor-made service to meet the needs of each event.
Our Engineering Team
To support all of our activities we have an experienced team of software, hardware and audio engineers but we are always on the lookout for more support – how about you? Click here to apply or find out more.