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Old carrier current broadcasting equipment at college radio station WHRC. Photo: J. Waits

College Radio Watch: Uncertainty at KUCR, New Stations, and Carrier Current History

There’s lots of college radio news this week, particularly following last Friday’s College Radio Day, which drew participation from 461 radio stations. Did you hear something particularly interesting or do something special at your college radio station?

Since I got my college radio start at a carrier current station, I was excited to learn more details about the history of carrier current radio this week. Although it’s often associated with college radio stations who helped to pioneer the technology beginning in the 1930s, I was intrigued to read in Radio World that summer camp radio stations also played a role in carrier current radio.

In his Radio World piece, Dan Braverman writes about the founding of WCRP at Camp Ramah in the Poconos:

“At summer camp I built my first radio station, a 10 watt AM flamethrower ‘broadcasting to the world’ from Bunk Three.

In fact, our antenna system — the camp’s electrical wiring — kept us legally and safely confined to the camp grounds. But to my bedazzled bunkmates, we were titans!

Now, 50 years later, Radio Systems, the company spawned from those humble yet personally exciting beginnings, has shipped its last low-power transmitter.”

An accompanying photo shows a 1992 plaque describing the proliferation of summer camp radio stations in the 1970s and reads in part,

“Today, over 350 camp radio stations, modeled on WCRP, operate at all kinds of camps including other Ramah’s, Jewish, Christian, Sports and YMCA camps, and camps for special and underprivileged children.

In 1976, a company was incorporated to build these camp stations. Today, this company, Radio Systems, manufactures broadcast equipment that is used at educational and commercial stations around the world.”

On one of my last visits to my college radio station, WHRC at Haverford College, I actually spotted some vintage Radio Systems carrier current equipment. But, now I’m especially curious to learn more about these summer camp stations. Did you participate in a summer camp-based college radio station? Let me know in the comments section.

More College Radio News

Mount Holyoke College Radio Station WMHC’s Commitment to Diversity (Mount Holyoke College)

The End of Carrier Current Radio? (Radio World)

WKDU Celebrates Marathon Anniversary with 84 Hours of Electronic Music (Drexel University)

Better Know a College Radio Station: Save KUCR (Bandcamp Daily)

Madison College’s Online Student Radio Station Now Live (The Clarion)

New Book Details Lou Reed’s Rebellious Time at Syracuse, including Getting Kicked off College Radio (Syracuse.com)

WBGU to Air Memories from Class of 1967 (Sentinel-Tribune)

College Radio Day at LBCC Honors VIP Records Owner Kelvin Anderson (Long Beach Post)

GVSU Hosts College Radio Day (Grand Valley Lantorn)

KTXT Celebrates College Radio Day (Daily Toreador)

WMSC Presents its 7th Annual College Radio Day (The Montclarion)

WTJU and WXTJ Celebrating College Radio Day (WTJU)

IBS Conference in Chicago on October 14 (IBS)

IBS Conference at Simmons College in Boston on November 4 (IBS)

6-Day Radio Production Workshop at Doaba College (Punjab News Express)

WVUM co-founder Robert Mann dies (Miami Herald)

The Blaze Places in Top 10 for College Radio (The Torch)


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