University Radio Falmer
|Slogan||"The Soundtrack To Sussex Since 1976"|
|Webcast||On campus: 10am-Midnight during term time|
University Radio Falmer (commonly known as URF) is the student radio station for the University of Sussex and one of the oldest and most well known student radio stations in the United Kingdom. With no playlist, the student DJs determine the music policy, as URF is run entirely by student volunteers.
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Previously the station broadcast on 1431AM in the Brighton area, but now only broadcasts on a live stream on the station's website. Prior to this, the frequency was 999 kHz with broadcasts contained within the university halls of residence via a 'leaky feeder' transmission network installed by Brighton-based Wireless Workshop.
Correction: It wasn't 'leaky feeder' for the 999 kHz operation, but the standard inductive loop system, which was the standard magnetic system available to student and hospital radio at the time. This offered reception on the campus, but beyond the boundary the signal fell away quickly, minimising the chances of off-site reception. This consisted of a WW audio processor/transmitter in the studio in Norwich House, from which underground cables extended out towards Park Village, and then on around the other areas of accommodation. Every so often the cable fed a tuned inductive loop 'aerial' which was mounted onto the wall of one of the buildings. A few of the larger blocks (e.g. Yorks and Lancs) had 'loops' on the roofs, which probably weren't truly inductive, and hence might have radiated the signal further than intended.
This inductive system was prone to frequent damage to the underground feeder cables, overhead cables, and the loops themselves. Later the MW transmitter was replaced by a freely radiating, low-power FM transmitter. But the last time I tuned in, an audio signal ground had dropped off somewhere, so you could only hear the difference between the left and right channel (i.e. the stereo bit, on the music). The irony was that the presenter was in mono, and was therefore completely inaudible on the broadcast.
Earlier, before my time, I believe the studio output was also fed down a 'line' between the University TV studio and the BBC Radio Brighton (now Sussex) studio, from where it was (somehow) fed to a separate University residence called Holland House, in Holland Road (?). However, because the news for URF was taken from commercial stations, an elaborate system was established to prevent this from entering the BBC system. I think a tone was sent down the line, to enable a separate news feed to be re-inserted at the Holland Road end. I am not sure if it ever worked, as intended.
At the 2009 Student Radio Association Awards, University Radio Falmer won Gold place for Best Technical Achievement for Project Sunshine, created by 2009 exec members Daniel Cooper and Kris Lipscombe.
At the 2011 Student Radio Association Awards, University Radio Falmer won Gold for Best Interview for the Luke Cooper Milibank Protest interview with Kit Bradshaw.
Past members have gone on to have successful careers in radio including working for the BBC, Sky News, London's Heart 106.2 and Brighton's Juice.
- - University of sussex Webpage
- - University of Sussex Student Union - Student Media
- - Their website's about page
- - The Student Radio Association
- - Information on the station's achievements