HARTFORD RADIO HISTORY
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WWEB

89.9 MHz., Wallingford, CT



         
We are in search of historical information on WWEB, the station licensed to Choate Rosemary Hall Foundation in Wallingford.  The station is currently on 89.9 and transmits with 10 watts.

        It is believed that WWEB first signed on in 1969.
        Contributor Rick Walsh described the studio set up in 1973:
   "The (3 pictures below) are all from the third floor north attic of the building that we called the Science building (now Humanities?)  The wide studio shot shows some album poster art...
     You can see the Bauer 5-pot slide board. Above it is a Shure mixer that connects to the wooden hexagon turret on top of the interview table in the adjoining studio.  I built that hexagon in shop. On four of the faces it had an XLR and a headphone jack.
     
To the right of the console was a turret with various switches. The key switch turned on the transmitter. There is a panel for the Magnacord reel to reel and below that some 110v switches for the turntables.
     
On top are the telco ringers and neon behives for the two lines – one a Choate PBX extension and the other a Wallingford CO line, the later was restricted to incoming only. As you can see the keyset is rotary and pre-modular. I remember we got in trouble with the phone company because I ran the two ringers through a relay contact to provide automatic muting when the mic was on – they got upset and suspended our CO line for a week or two.  I remember a similar run in regarding the two recorder couplers we had – one for each line.  Back in those days they had to generate the beep tone every 15 seconds.
    
The closet door in the studio had a beautiful arched fan window behind it. It would have been better if that window was visable as the jocks couldn’t normally see outside. In that closet was the phone equipment for the key set (1A line and hold relays – no lights).
    
The transmitter was on a cabinet to the right and behind the turntables (wish that was in the picture!)  It was made by Granger as I recall.   To the left of the console was a six foot rack that had the reel to reel, a patch panel, an EBS receiver (carrier drop detect – tube type from the AGC line – I built that and used my aunts old radio!) and a GE leveling amp.
    
The transmitter fed a 7/8” line up to the roof where a 2-bay horizontal V only antenna was mounted on a pole or small Rohn section. 
     In the recording/interview studio you’ll see a keyset with a type 3 speaker phone – I ordered that – I remember the set was red.  I convinced the installer to run the speaker and microphone box leads through the 25-pr set cord to minimize cable clutter (using spare leads in the set) – he obliged. You can see the mic and speaker  are sitting on little squares of carpet to reduce acoustic coupling through the table top.
    
I remember the installer couldn’t get the speakerphone working properly with the telephone set – because the set was arranged for the uncommon 1A system rather than the more normal 1A2 arrangement. He left for the day in frustration and that night I dove in to it – and fixed the problem (what he didn’t know was that I had the Bell System manuals applicable to this arrangement). He came back the next day and I told him it was all set – I had fixed it.  He was grateful and perhaps had some respect for a 16 year old kid.
    
As you can see looking through the studio window, the room with the table had some nasty I-beams from the roof running across it – on more than one occasion I recall hitting those.
    
In the wide studio shot to the right of the studio chair you can see a non-modular telco block and to the right of that four toggle switches. What you can’t see is a black telephone handset hanging there.. I remember building that arrangement. The toggle switches corresponded to the four guest headphone jacks in the interview studio. Using the toggle switches you could select which person you wanted to speak to directly in to their headphones (IFB) – typically to the host to let them know of callers waiting to be aired. This would interrupt the normal off-air receiver audio.  The carbon mic of the handset was what you spoke in to to cue them.
    
My first radio experience!"


1973 view of the WWEB air studio.  Photo courtesy of Rick Walsh.


Close up of the Bauer air board. Photo courtesy of Rick Walsh.


WWEB recording/talk studio c. 1973. Photo courtesy of Rick Walsh.

        The FCC on line database reveals that on November 5, 1979 the station requested a major change. However, what the
requested change was is not indicated although it was probably a frequency change. The records show that the request was dismissed in 1984.
        In 1990 WWEB entered into an agreement with the University of Hartford's WWUH to carry the UH programming during those times when Choae programming was not available.
        The FCC on line database reveals that on November 5, 1979 the station requested a major change. However, what the requested change was is not indicated although it was probably a frequency change. The records show that the request was dismissed in 1984.        In 1990 WWEB entered into an agreement with the University of Hartford's WWUH to carry the UH programming during those times when Choat programming was not available.
     The station's original studios were in the attic of the Science Building (now the Humanities Building) but in 1997 it moved to the basement of Hill House while the Humanities Building was renovated. A few years later it moved back to the Humanities Building with a studio on the 3rd floor and the transmitter in the attic.        

Above:  The WWEB antenna on top of the Humanities Building, 2005.


2011 Studio



WWEB's 2 bay antenna on top of the Humanities Building.






WWEB's old Harris MX-15 transmitter.



Air Studio



Entrance to the old studio area in the basement
of the Humanities building.



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