Jam 1575 University of Hull
Jam 1575 University of Hull
JamRadio (formerly Jam 1575) is Hull University Union’s student campus radio station. As of 2012, the station broadcasts twelve hours per day throughout the year. It was originally broadcast on 1575 medium wave (MW), but now airs solely on the Internet. The station is overseen by a subcommittee of Hull University Union’s Media and Marketing Committee. All presenters, DJs and executive committee members are students of the university and JamRadio is a member of the Student Radio Association.
In September 2013, the station was rebranded and relaunched as Hullfire Radio.
The radio station, then known as “URH” (which stood for “University Radio Hull”), began in 1979. It originally broadcast on an induction loop system around Hull University’s residence halls and through speakers within the University Union.
Induction loop system
The original induction loop system was installed in the Lawns (a hall of residence at Hull University) as a third year project by engineering students. By 1983 the system was fully operational. To cut costs, the students used Coca-Cola bottles as insulation. As a result, by 1993, the loop induction system was no longer functional. In 1994, the engineering team carried out a comprehensive survey of the system and were able to partially restore it to several of the Lawns halls, as well as fitting a new transmitter to Ferens Hall. The induction loop system was abandoned in 1997 after the award of the LPAM licence.
The radio station broadcasts events around the university such as Student Question Time, a student version of the BBC series and club nights from the union. The radio station’s programming consists of mainstream music by day, tailored for students and specialist programming by night.
In the summer of 1997, Paula Giles successfully applied for the Low Power AM (LPAM) license from the Radio Authority and P Squared installed the extra audio equipment and transmission infrastructure prior to the on-air launch in September.
That year the radio station changed its name to Jam 1575, when it became the first student radio station in the UK to broadcast on AM using a newly formulated Low Powered AM license (LPAM).Three other radio stations, two at hospitals and another student station, were awarded LPAMs by the Radio Authority (now Ofcom) at the same time. Bruce Davidson was the first station manager. The station was licensed to broadcast only to the campus, although the signal could “drift” further. The transmitter runs at 1 watt and is located in the loft area of the Student Union building.
Jam ceased broadcasting, temporarily, on 4 October 2004 because of technical problems.
In October 2007, Jam 1575 relaunched itself as JamRadio, an Internet-only music streamer using the website ilovejamradio.co.uk. The frequency of 1575 was abandoned and AM transmissions ceased.
In February 2010, JamRadio began union playout in the new concourse lounge. This was decommissioned when the lounge was removed for renovations in late 2011.
Jam’s studios are in the Student Union building on Salmon Grove, off Cottingham Road, towards the north of Hull. These premises were originally used as a printing press with a large ventilation system, leading to reports that loud music from the bars below could be heard while presenters were on air.
When Jam was founded (as URH) the station consisted of two rooms: a large office in the front and a single studio in the rear. In the early 1990s, the studio was split into two by Dave Walters and Scott Doak, who originally planned to install a garden shed as a “booth,” but changed their minds and installed a single partition instead. In the summer of 1996, the studio was switched with the office, as this room could fit the studio woodwork and a mixing console donated by the UKRD Group. For the first six months, the new studio was not partitioned from the main Union Reception area, causing background noise issues.
During Easter 1997, Peter Jarrett and Liam Burke constructed a studio/hallway wall, creating the “Jam Corridor”. Ian Hennam glazed the window (which had remained unglazed due to a glass cutting incident).
The two studios were refitted in January 2005, with installation of a Soundcraft broadcasting desk and a Behringer production desk. Broadcasts were resumed on 31 January 2005.
In 2007 Jam acquired a new studio in the office directly outside the main studios and relocated the production room from the back office to the new studio. This left Jam with two small offices separated by a temporary wall. Saf Suleyman (Station Manager December 2007-May 2008) decided to dismantle this wall, creating a large office behind the studio for the radio station exec and storage of equipment.
During summer 2009 refurbishments were made to the main studio by Jon Lawley (Head of Engineering 2008-10) and Paul Smith (Head of Production 2009-10). These included a new carpet and the re-alignment of the studio desk. The previous layout had the two presenters facing the wall, making it difficult to accommodate a third presenter or to interview a guest. The U shaped desk was dismantled and re-assembled in the room’s centre, allowing presenters to talk to guests across the desk and giving a clear view through the window into the back office, facilitating live performance.
As of 2012, the radio station had two studios, one for production and the other for broadcast, separated by an office.
Jam was the first radio station in the world to use “Myriad” playout software. Liam Burke and Peter Jarrett, who now head the company P Squared, began writing Myriad while at Jam because Hull University Union would not fund a playout system. The first version of Myriad was called “URH”. Dave Walters (then with Classic FM and now Technology Controller for BBC Audio & Music) helped design the first versions. Myriad is now used by many commercial and independent local radio stations. Jam currently uses P Squared’s Powerlog system to log all broadcast material for a period of at least 42 days in accordance with Ofcom guidelines.
In recent years, Jam ‘left the studio’ on a number of occasions for outside broadcasting of special events, including union hustings, union election night and community events such as the turning on of the Newland Avenue Christmas lights (now a yearly Jam tradition). Jam has also broadcast live from presenters’ houses.
Many of the sweepers used on-air were produced by Sean Bell at production company NYPD, but between 1999 and 2001 idents were produced in-house using Mark Somers who at the time was a presenter on the local commercial station Viking FM. Then, independent voice artist Mark Gale was used, and one of the sweepers proclaimed, “Blasting out one watt of pure jam power from the roof of your union to the radio in your room!“. In 2010, The jingles were all professionally re-recorded by jinglemasters, and all voiced by Thomas Ellis. Jam has a number of celebrity idents, including Peter Andre and Porky Pig.
On 25 February 2011, JamRadio collaborated with the BBC to raise funds for St. Andrew’s Hospice, Grimsby, UK. The event coincided with the BBC Humberside’s Candlelight Appeal.
Telephone: +44 (0)1482 346311
Fax: +44 (0)1482 346511