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Written by on 9 October 2014


For the 1978 Orientation, the income by way of special grant (as outlined in the application lodged at the end of 1977 (Refer: Pink document 7) was $1,000. $300 was estimated to be spent on transmission equipment, $200 capital and equipment purchases, $200 on programme preparation, $200 on day to day running and administration and $100 in contingencies.

In the cover letter dated 8 November 1977 from N.A. Wyse, House Manager, accompanying the application (Refer: Pink document 8), compliance with the existing rules (as outlined above) was reiterated and reiterated the problems encountered with the new sprawling Canterbury University campus and the fact that major student flatting areas of Christchurch were locating a long way away from the new campus.

Mr Wyse referred to the discussions with Radio Avon who had “offered to assist us in the training of our staff, and also be in the supply of programme planning assistance.  Also we will probably be hiring or borrowing the Radio Avon transmitter, used by Avon for their short term licences at Ferrymead and Queenstown, and used by us in the 1976 broadcast period”.

The letter recorded that Radio U had recently been accepted as a full member of the “Intercollegiate Broadcasting System of America.  This is a society of the University of College Broadcasting Stations, the majority of which are FM broadcasters throughout America.  Their Handbook provides a wealth of information on the operation of a small university radio station, and should be of considerable assistance in the preparation of programme and systems for Radio U”.

The writer raised concerns at the “restriction placed upon us” as to the broadcasting of “controversial topics.  We do feel that students have a right during enrolment to learn about matters of concern, not only within the University, but within Society generally.  It is hoped that permission may be granted for a pre-recorded discussion to be broadcast regarding such things as bursaries”.

A further short term broadcasting licence was therefore sought.

The archive contains the 1977 version of the application with handwritten amendments

Refer: Pink document 9

Attached to this application are the handwritten notes of an unknown source who comments on the previous year’s licence.


The writer is not identified but is shown in the top right hand corner as Peter K.  He comments that “local recording will either be on location or in a selected area… all such material should be edited but methods will vary.  The lower quality programme material will require a lot of time (because of its expected bulk).”

The methodology was that a number of sub-editors would transfer the source material from cassettes (or whatever) on to reel to reel tape.  The tape would then go for technical editing.  Once all sources had been fully prepared, they were to be put together as a programme tape.  “This should be as near continuous as possible to enable smooth changes and fades from one source to another.  In effect one would attempt to record a complete programme without pause”.

In relation to equipment, the writer sought portable tape machines, cassettes or light reel to reel, as higher quality as possible and preferably mono.

For sub-editing, the writer sought a good reel to reel to dub on to, a high quality cassette deck.

Sub-editors’ tapes will need to be made in a consistent manner to avoid delay, confusion and swearing at the technical editing stage”.  “Tape” was identified as expensive.  He sought a rugged reasonable quality tape.  With an allowance of cassettes being approximately two or three a machine to enable the sub-editors time to transfer content off the cassettes and on to reels.  He recommended that 1800 feet in tape (long play) on seven inch reels be employed for the sub-editing stage.

For final programme tapes he suggested either 3600 feet on 10 inch reels (total 12 hours) or 1800 feet on seven inch reels (total six hours).  If these tapes were to be kept as a permanent record (ie. not reused) they would need five ten inch tapes at 2.6 days per tape or 10 seven inch tapes at 1.25 days per tape.




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