Change to normal service between November 2017 and February 2018
couple of photos of how the updated system looks.... this is Myriad
version 4, from P Squared, part of the Broadcast Radio Group...
on the audiowall, these are some of our public service announcements
from the Cabinet Office of central government, such as the Five a day
messages and road safety messages
and this is the list of songs being played out in the schedule on the log screen
You can see just in the 8 songs visible, that there's a range of differing music styles and artistes
The old computer installed in March 2007 to control our non-stop schedule finally gave out in November 2017. We were forced to use alternative sources for our music, such as CDs, minidiscs and the even older computer using PC-DJ software. We also relied heavily on our sister station Radio General's output when no volunteers were on duty
Thanks to a grant from the Warrington and Halton Hospitals' Charity, we were able to order a new computer, complete with updated software, which was installed in early February 2018. At last we're able to add more songs to the system, and resume recording of items such as Thought for the day talks, jingles and promotional items
When the new mixer was installed in April, it was so nice to be back on air... until....
...disaster struck, with a water leak through the studio ceiling, over the weekend of 26/27 April, which damaged the new mixer!
We took the
and its supply unit back to the supplier to be repaired. We
got the service back on air on 12 June 2014 - thanks to our volunteers
who did all the technical stuff! Thanks also to the Facilities
team at the hospital who sorted out the problem and also to the Trust's
Finance team for promptly recompensing the cost of the damage
facilities for production and admin - 2011
We were lucky enough in 2011 to be granted funding for equipment to set up in our small office. This means that we can more readily access the music database to add new songs or carry out maintenance to the schedule
Before, we had to wait until a presenter had finished their programme to gain access to the studio to do this
2010 improved studio layout following re-fit - sort of panning left to right... click on each pic for a larger image
shelves were taken down and the CD's packed away into fruit
boxes until we relocated the shelves to the other wall. We're
very grateful for Keith's help also for enabling our office
computer to be linked up via the intranet to relay Radio General's
coverage of rugby matches for
patients in Halton
One of the CD players and one of the minidisc players bought in 1999 failed within weeks of each other in 2009, and we've purchased the above replacements, because the remaining machines are likely to last a similar time. For the technically minded, the CD is a dual player, a Numark CDN22 and the Minidisc player is a Tascam MD-350
The screensaver on the left is a photo of the red "mic live" light above the studio door in the corridor, to alert anyone coming in or just passing that we're broadcasting live. The black keyboard controls the Myriad PC
We've updated the flooring behind the mixer to lessen the chance of static shocks built up from the nylon carpet tiles - thanks to volunteer Roger Sloan for obtaining the new tiles for us. We've also fitted curly leads to the headphones to avoid the risk of tripping over the long straight leads
This is the powerful PC installed in March 2007 which ran the playout software "Myriad" for the music we have on computer. We bought it with the help of a donation of £2,000 from the Halton Hospital League of Friends. We're now fully trained in scheduling programmes on Myriad, so it provides our service when volunteers aren't here overnight and at other times. Thanks to Mike Taylor of Radio General in Warrington for helping us to set up our database of songs on Myriad.
It lasted until November 2017
Here's a March 2007 view of both PCs - on the left running PCDJ (a free download from the internet) and on the right, running Myriad. When you enlarge this picture, you can see from the empty box on the right that it's so powerful it's suitable for high quality gaming use! We just want it for high quality music!
This is how the studio looked in 2006 with the 2 flat screen TFT monitors installed:
The Sony computer on the left was bought in 2003 through a grant from the Community Chest. Its TFT screen gives out hardly any heat, unlike the old SVGA monitor, and was bought with a donation from INEOS Fluor. This makes the studio a much more comfortable place in those hot summers - when they happen! Even so, the heat still got to our 14 month old computer in July 2006 and caused its demise....
Below is how the Radio Halton studio looked in 1999
The studio equipment was purchased in 1999, including the broadcast mixer bought with help from The National Lottery Charities Board who awarded us with a grant of £3877.15. Thanks to various donations we were also able to purchase 2 replacement CD players and 2 minidisc players the same year
We're grateful for engineer Ian Hilton for coming to our aid to repair the power supply to the mixing desk when it failed leaving us off air over Easter 2008
Registered Charity No 1068428