HARTFORD RADIO HISTORY
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WNHU

From the station’s web site:

 

WNHU is the Univ. of New Haven’s non-commercial, official, FCC licensed FM radio station broadcasting live 24/7 from the basement of Maxie Hall.  Daily operations are maintain by a departmental general manager, student station managers, and directors, and a staff comprised of undergraduate students, graduate students, community volunteers and faculty members. 

 

WNHU’s signal eminates from the main campus, located in West Haven, CT, at a 1,700 watt frequency of 88.7 Mhz. The broadcast range extends over thirty miles in all directions, reaching practically all of Southern Connecticut and well as parts of northern CT and Long Island.

 

WNHU’s audio is also available as streaming audio on line, reaching millions of listeners in hundreds of countries.

In the fall of 2014 WNHU moved out of the basement of Maxie hall, where they had been for close to 30 years into brand new studios in a renovated house on Ruden St adjacent to the UNH campus.  The new facility occupies two floors and includes a studio for WNHU (FM), student station Charger Radio, a production studio and a new booth. In addition there are offices for students and the paid general manager as well as a technical/rack room and announcer's lounge.


A History of WNHU
By Robert W. Meister WA1MIK

 

Sometime in 1970 several students had thoughts of starting a radio station at the  University of New Haven's West Haven (CT) campus. I was one of three engineering students (who had FCC First Class Commercial Licenses) blessed with the task of filling out the FCC paperwork. This included taping together nine topographic maps, lying over them on the floor of the student center, drawing eight radials, finding the altitude of 50 points on each radial between two and 10 miles from the campus, and adding and averaging all of these, just to get the required Height Above Average Terrain value. (Of course, now you just input your latitude and longitude, and a computer gives you the result in seconds.) Other time-consuming manual calculations related to frequency and power also had to be done. We filled out representative logs, came up with hourly, daily, and weekly broadcast formats, etc. Somewhere in Washington DC there's a packet of paperwork that we filed for

the station. I left UNH in 1971 to go earn some money, leaving the station in the hands of current students to carry on.

 

Over the next two years, the station was granted a license to operate on 88.7 MHz at 1.7 kW ERP with a Gates FM-1H transmitter and a four-bay antenna. Studios were designed and built in a very limited space in a corner of the student center. Dick Gelgauda and others won awards in at least one broadcasting magazine for their innovative design and clever use of space. According to information on the web, the station signed on the air at 1600 EDT on July 4, 1973. The station showed up in the Vane A. Jones "North American Radio-TV Station Guide" 10th Edition, June 2004.

 

I returned to UNH in the fall of 1981 to continue my education towards BS and MS degrees. While studying and working there part-time as an instructor, the chief engineer position of WNHU-FM opened up in late 1982 (I believe Bob Russo was the prior engineer) and I managed to snag that job as well. My primary task was to fix the broken equipment and keep it working well. Someone wanted the space in the student center and the station was forced into new quarters in the basement of the Main Building, today known as Maxcy Hall. New studios were designed and built under my direction and I did all the wiring. The existing Ampro and Scully equipment, which had been extensively modified (I don't think anything in the first studio escaped modification) was returned to stock condition; that plus spare equipment from the original facility were used in the new studios. A remote control was added for the transmitter. I left WNHU, after two fun-filled years, at the end of 1984 when I graduated UNH. Tom Osenkowsky continues below.



 

Additional WNHU History

By Thomas G. Osenkowsky N1IXJ

 

I took over as chief engineer in February 1985 until my retirement in November 2009. A Harris FM3.5K transmitter and an ERI FMXL-1 single-bay antenna replaced the Gates FM-1H and four-bay antenna in April 1988. Under GM Bruce Avery, WNHU purchased two Autogram RTV-12 consoles for the main studio and production rooms, replacing the two Ampro boards. CRIS, the Connecticut Reading Information Service, added its reading service for the visually impaired to a 92 kHz SCA sub-carrier.


One of WNHU's rooms now serves as its on-campus studio for volunteer readers. The
former bomb shelter in the rear of the station was modernized into a small studio and walk-in storage closet. WNHU employed an SCA for the now-defunct Multicomm, whose satellite dish remains atop Bartels Hall, formerly known as the Student Center. WNHU also transmitted data for United Illuminating for control power management via an SCA. UI discontinued this service after approximately one year of operation.

 

The studios were fitted with Otari MX-5050B-II reel decks, replacing the aging Scully 280 units. Some years later, mini-disc units replaced tape cartridges and a ProTools M-Box replaced the Otari decks. Under general manager Hank Yaggi, the studios were completely remodeled. The wall between the main studio and newsroom was demolished, as were the walls between the two production rooms and hallway closet, forming one large production room. Student station manager John Martin and his family each donated funds for two AudioArts D-75 consoles. New custom fabricated studio furniture was installed, as was an upgraded ProTools system and Mac 5 computer. The Harris FM3.5K transmitter was replaced with a Nautel v5D

solid-state transmitter and the tower was re-guyed. The Gates FM-1H transmitter was scrapped. The bathroom at the WNHU studios was completely remodeled and modernized. A fire sprinkler system was installed by order of the Fire Marshall. WNHU is again under the Department of Communication and part of UNH academia.

 

WNHU's roster of General Managers since 1983 is Rose Majestic, Bruce Avery, Vin Burke, Hank Yaggi and present-day Bryan Lane. The carpet in the General Manager's office remains the same red/yellow scheme in its original form, a testament to the tradition of WNHU.

 


















The images below are from a 1974 Broadcast Electronics magazine article on WNHU.

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