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Schoenfeld, Clay (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 48, Number 9 (June 1947)

Engel, Harold
WHA - FM is on the air,   p. 9

Page 9

    Dierksmeier photo by Camera Commercial
MEMBERS OF THE State Radio Council participated (left) in the recent WHA-FM
inaugural broadcast from
Radio Hall on the UW campus. Left to right around the table are Prof. H.
L. Ewbank, PhD'32, chairman ol
the UW radio committee; John Callahan, State Superintendent of Public Instruction;
Milton Dutton, '33,
director of the State Department of Agriculture; E. G. Doudna, '17, secretary
of the State Board of Normal
School Regents; and Clarence Greiber, '29, director of the State Department
of Vocational and Adult Edu-
cation. At the right the new 300-foot FM tower rears above Science Hall.
Its blinking red beacon gives Madi-
son a new landmark at night.
     WHA-FM Is on the Air
new to the University of Wiscon-
sin campus. Back in 1917 the late
Prof. Earle M. Terry and his stu-
ude, rauo enthusiasts iai          e the
ground-work for t e I e p h o n i c
broadcasting, w h e r e previous
radio transmissions had been in
the dot-and-dash code which was
unintelligible to the average per-
   These pioneers, who counted in
their numbers such leaders in the
modern communications world as
the late Commander Malcolm P.
Hanson and C. M. Jansky, Jr., '17,
founded the experimental station 9XM
which developed into WHA, now famed
as "the oldest station in the nation."
  Now Wisconsin is pioneering in radio
again. This time it is working in the
field of social applications of broad-
cast through the establishment of the
world's first state-wide educational net-
work of frequency modulation stations.
FM, as this system is popularly known,
is a new and improved method of trans-
mission which cannot be heard on the
ordinary receivers now in use.
  Just as in the days of World War I
when there were few homes with re-
ceivers to hear 9XM, there are today
relatively few FM receivers in the
hands of potential listeners. Undaunted
by this condition which can be remedied
only by the availability of programs, a
new FM station on the University
campus has gone on the air.
   Associate Professor of Radio
  WHA-FM, as the station .is called,
uses 3,000 watts power on a frequency
of 91.5 megacycles. The 300-foot tower
is expected to serve over a radius of
approximately 50 miles when work is
fully completed. Already some reports
have been received from  greater dis-
tances, but coverage studies will not be
attempted until a later date. This sta-
tion, which uses lower power than will
others in the network, will become a
feeder station for programs when the
other units are put into operation.
  The plan of the State Radio Council
calls for seven broadcasting stations to
be linked by FM radio beam through a
series of booster-stations. No telephone
wire connections are anticipated.
  Field studies to determine the exact
locations of the transmitters have not
been made, except for the one to serve
  What Do You Know?
  JOHN S. PENN, MA'38. -is writing
  a history of "the oldest station in the
  nation:" Wisconsin's WHA. What do
  you know about the early days of
  WHA? Did you hear any of the first
  feeble programs on a crystal set?
  Mr. Penn would appreciate any first-
  hand information. Drop him a card
  care of Station WHA, Madison.
the populous southeastern corner of the
state. It will be located on state-owned
land on Lapham Hill in Waukesha
County near Delafield. That station will
be known as WHAD       and will use
tu,uuu watts power on the vu.'1 mega-
cycle frequency. It is expected to be on
the air in the summer of 1947.
   Tentatively, it is proposed to locate
 the other state-owned FM stations as
 follows: Blue Mounds, Rib Hill, Calu-
 met County, La Crosse, Dunn County,
 and in the Ashland-Superior region.
   The development of the other sta-
tions in the network awaits the favor-
able action by the 1947 Legislature
through the state budget. Funds for
the completion of the project were re-
quested by the late Governor Goodland
in his recommended budget proposal,
and hearings were held on it by the
joint committee on finance. After funds
are appropriated, the schedule calls for
the completion of three more stations
by January 1, 1948, and the remaining
three by January 1, 1949.
  An ingenious radio linking system
has been   planned by   Prof. Glenn
Koehler, technical consultant and mem-
ber of the University radio committee.
It will make possible the origination of
programs through any one of the sta-
tions and the feeding of that program
to the entire network. This assures the
possibility of state-wide coverage for
programs coming from any part of
Wisconsin. It adds flexibility to the net-
work operation in that it provides
opportunities for a d d i n g regional-
interest features without disturbing the
over-all network service.

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