Southend Hospital Radio Technical Info
If you’re technically minded, here you’ll find a summary of our current technical set-up.
Organisations like ours stand to gain by the fact that technology is changing so rapidly, as traditional equipment is now becoming available at low
prices. We have to consider that we’re a charity, and therefore can’t afford to invest heavily in products which won’t last or can’t be supported be the manufacturer in
years to come.
With our current arrangement, we seem to have struck the right balance between keeping things simple enough to prevent operator error, but at the same time not unduly restricting creativity.
Southend Hospital Radio has since its inception in 1977, broadcast from the same building situated at the rear of the hospital grounds.
Originally known as Thameside Radio, we had a record library, one self-operated studio, a ‘talk’s studio’ and a master control room, or MCR for short, which was manned by a technical operator and a day manager. All programme sources either from within our studios or from outside, were routed through the MCR, monitored and controlled by a ‘TO’ for quality and level. The MCR could also be used for production.
Today, our studio complex consists of two studios, an office and a racks room (home for our signal processing equipment, computer servers and other auxiliary equipment).
The broadcasting studios themselves consist of two ‘self-op’ studios which are in fact self contained control rooms that have all audio signals available and can be put to air on channel 13 or channel 14 by our trained presenters without a technician being present.
About Our Studios
We currently have two studios. Each studio has a computer containing our current
database within a programme called Music Master Professional and can call any track into the players instantly.
As well as the computer playout system, studios contain the following:
- Mixing desk: Alice 828S console
- CD Players: 2 x Technics SL-PG360A
- Turntables: 2 x LAD GAJ 828P with OM-PRO
- Tape machine: Revox B77 Mk.II (HS, NAB)
- Cart players: 3 x Sonifex Micro HSx
- Mics: AKG D202 (presenter), Calrec CM1050 (guests)
News is taken from a satellite receiver, and local football commentary arrives on a dedicated digital ISDN link from the Roots Hall football ground. Live phone calls (2 lines) are handled by Sonifex TBUs.
All of our singles are stored on the servers and can be called into the three, on screen, single players. Any live phone call requests can be loaded whilst the patient is still talking and played instantly. The search facility on Professional is the same as in Producer, and again, programmes can be compiled for instant use, or saved for another day.
Programmes are delivered to the listener on a closed-circuit digital multiplex, which
also carries network and local radio plus TV sound, and a switching matrix allows either or both studios to be routed directly to one of our two allocated channels.
As with all things in life nothing’s for nothing, and without the kind donations of various
organisations, and the generosity of the public, our unique service would not be available.
Our engineers are Rick Poole and John Salim.