There are a number of schools and universities in Connecticut which operate unlicensed radio stations, either as carrier current stations, feeding their power into the campus electrical lines, or as "campus limited" stations operated AM or FM stations under the FCC's Part 15 which regulates unlicensed transmitters. , Avon Old Farms School, Avon, was operated as a carrier current AM station for many decades. It is currently off the air although there are plans to revive the station as an webcaster.
These stations serve as a training ground for students and can be operated inexpensively without the need for an FCC license. Many of Connecticut's licensed college stations got their start as campus limited stations, including WHUS, WRTC and WESU.
The call letters listed below were chosen by the school's themselves and are not FCC assigned call letters.
ICE RADIO: Manchester Community College. Internet-only.
Avon Old Farms School
WHRT: Sacred Heart University in Fairfield operates this student station along with their licensed WSHU public station.
WKIS: The Hotchkiss radio station broadcasts six nights a week. All disc jockeys are students and faculty members, and programs range from classic rock to hip hop to country to world music.
, Avon Old Farms School, Avon, was operated as a carrier current AM station for many decades. It is currently off the air although there are plans to revive the station as an webcaster.
WMCC, Middlesex Community College in Middletown. WMCC website http://www.middlesexcc.edu/wmcc/control.cfm/ID/3187
WPHT-88.3 Portland, Connecticut - Portland High School.
WSAM: (For more WSAM photos click on the "WSAM" link on left).
Over the years WSAM has thrived with as many as seventy students involved each semester.
In 1998 a legal, part 15 FM transmitter was installed to add FM coverage. Later that same year WSAM was given their own channel on the campus cable TV system.
In 1999 an extensive overhaul of the AM transmitter system was undertaken by LPB corporation who installed a master transmitter on 620 Khz and used linear amplifiers in most of the dorms.
In 2002 WSAM added webcasting and by 2005 the AM transmitters were shut down.
WSAM Air Studio, 1984
WSAM Air Studio
THE GOOFY STORY OF WSJH, SEDGWICK JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL 1969 A.D.
We were stuffed into the cafeteria, wolfing
down grub. Sedgwick - ninth grade. The BIG TIME.
450 pound Mr. Sheam was up at the P.A. mike.
"Shut the Hell Up All Of You! Period 4B is almost
over! Just - eat!"
We heard and obeyed. The whole lunch room went silent. Just the crunching of chicken gizzards was heard.
Brenda Liggle, two rows in from the rear west wall, lost a
fork to the forces of gravity. CLANK
"Hey you! Who do you think you are," bellowed Mr. Sheam. YOU! Row 3, table 5, seat 4!!! 354! Get that fork! Brenda Liggle flew out in tears. She was never heard from again.
Period 4B had 3 minutes left before the 4C kids stampeded in. Somebody turned the music back on. WDRC, 102.9 MHz FM, Hartford, was playing "Sugar Sugar," by the Archies. It's redundant bass line vibrated the huge rectangular room. The song was sickening Ken Brillo. He could not finish his chocolate glazed cream nut surprise. It was awful. "Why can't we listen to Jethro Tull," he chocked down his
bone dry desert. "I want albums," he blurbed. LPs!
Not 45 RPMs!
Ding! A light flashed on in Tom Bolab's brain. The light
exploded and went out! But not before he spewed the words, "Let's make our own damn radio station!
The 4C students blew in like hurricane Irene. We had to get out. Chairs and hotdog rolls flew aside.
It was Exit Time, lest we suffer the wrath of Mrs. Cotton,
the Detention Maker. We just made it out into the brick
hallway. Safe now.
A Sedgwick radio station? How to build it?
Some geek - Bruce Roberts, had an FM transmitter. We had to find a faculty member who saw it our way.
Bruce, the geek, smuggled in his precious Sony TC-350 stereo tape deck and the FM transmitter. The bullies in the school yard never saw him because he was so invisible.
Silently suffering anxiety attacks, Bruce, The Geek,
fumbled, trying to sit still in the MAIN OFFICE, AFTER SCHOOL. This was the Big Deal.
"Is Mr. Tracker out of his meeting yet?" Bruce whimpered to the 78 year old secretary who was actually part of the office chair. (Mr. Tracker was OUR CONTACT, our unexpected Man On The Inside.)
"No! No! No!" The old lady hissed. "And he won't be out in 80 billion years! Why don't you just go home, like
everybody else did!"
Long long after the cows came home, Mr. Tracker emerged. He was to observe Bruce, The Geek's WSJH set up. It was 7:PM. Maybe Bruce's parents were crying on the phone to the police. But, no matter.
In 4 1/2 minutes, Bruce and Mr. Tracker were down in the caf. Bruce launched his plan. Flicking switches, the WSJH prototype was alive. Then the Radio Shack P-Box Tandy 28-109 transmitter malfunctioned. A horrible blast of distorted Jim Morrison voice came through the speakers. It was over before it began. Failure.
But Mr. Tracker was ACTUALLY a nice guy. Man to Man, he looked at Bruce, and stated flatly, "I can't work with this. Try it again."
After nine sleepless nights, Bruce, The Geek, deftly solved the tech problem. The Big Test was repeated, and Mr. Tacker gave WSJH the GREEN LIGHT.
WSJH-FM, 98.1 MHz was now up on the launch pad.
Then THE GLITCH came. A teacher had to oversee the
operation. Mr. Brink was new on the teaching staff, and NOBODY liked him. So, in order to make him as unhappy as possible, the school staff assigned him TO US! And WE were afraid!
In the AV room, the Sony TC-350 deck and a Wollensak vacuum tube reel to reel monster were put in place. The 98.1 FM circuit was hanging on a wall mounted peg board. It looked like bugs on a piece of wood. There were 50 patch cords. But we knew what to do. We were ready. Ready to play 33 1/3 LPs prerecorded on tape! No more "Archie Sugar Sugar crud."
Late that afternoon it looked good. Good to go. John
Norris was at monitoring station WPE1HOH, a mile away. He could not hear our signal, but he was a qualified radio electronics ninth grade consultant. He read our tech observation notes and assured us all was well.
Just a day before station launch the Double Secret Probation Glitch came! We never expected it! Mr. Brink, the 1984ish, 6 foot 7 inch, Tower Of A Man, who knew it all everywhere, dropped the bomb.
"No announcing or talking of any kind EVER! EVER!!" He
yelled. "If I even see a microphone in here you'll all be off the air before you can even breathe another breath!" Alan Peninni flinched. We all turned
NO! WE hadn't thought of that. No announcing? Well...
There was no choice. We could air music but there would be no mike. Bruce, The Geek, walked his Sony F-85 mike home in it's bag, sadly, down Tunxis Road - that very same day.
But - WSJH was launched the next morning, at 10:43 AM - the first lunch period!! Despite the "no mike" blow, we all were ecstatic! We were ON THE AIR!
In the caf, Jethro Tull came through the P.A. system, which was hooked to an FM tuner on 98.1. We all heard it. Good deviation. Clean, strong signal. It was OK.
We ran it then, feeling VERY VERY IMPORTANT for a couple of weeks. Day by day. One day at a time.
Then it went bad. One fateful Tuesday, not even halfway through the school week, Bruce, The Geek, heard it. The mistake. And while he was sucking down his precious green jello! In the caf, during period 4B, the bad mistake happened.
Something was horribly wrong with WSJH! Everybody heard it and looked up at the P.A. speakers!
Static, buzz, hum, more endless endless static. More buzz more hum. It seemed to go on forever. Some utter fool was trying to hook up a mike to announce! No! It couldn't be happening. Not after all of that work!
Then the Words Came, "What's the difference between an apple and a peach?" Was it a joke? Was some kid trying to tell a joke?
Mr. Brink skidded out of the caf, down the brick hallway,
and made an impossible double right turn into the A.V. room. It was ugly. We were screamed at. But not before he ripped the FM transmitter off the
No signal anymore. Nada. Zippo. Just white noise coming through the cafeteria speakers. Everybody thought the mike-offender was Tom Bolab. He insisted
he was not. Then, unshaken, he went upstairs to the home-ec room. To iron his Social Studies paper because it had been crumbled up in his pants pocket. He had to make it neat for Mr. Stone. And he did this WITHOUT A PASS. HE WAS GOD.
Still in the cafeteria, the P.A. system had been turned OFF. Bruce Roberts, The Geek, was sucking down his last precious quivering chunks of green Jello. It was all he had left.
Westledge School, a private school in W. Simsbury, experimented with a part-15 FM station in the early seventies. More information is requested.