BEEP tone at the top of the hour on radio stations

BEEP tone at the top of the hour on radio stations

Post by Robert Cas » Tue, 15 Feb 1994 03:05:02


 remember back in the '60s and early '70s, some AM stations would broadcast
a short BEEP indicating the top of the hour.  Sounded like a 1kHz tone,
lasting about a second.  Like on WWV (a shortwave time standard reference
station).  What sort of equipment was used to insert this BEEP?  I had
assumed that it was an accurate timing of the top of the hour.  Haven't
heard any stations do this anymore.  Maybe PDs decided that the BEEP
was more annoying than useful to the audience?

I have imagined that the equipment used for the above beep might have
been just a filtered and gated WWV reciever (filter the audio to a very
narrow passband around 1kHz, have a local timing system mute the output
of this filter to create a small time window of plus or minus, say, 1/4
minute to allow the beep to go thru when WWV does transmit it, mute for
the rest of the 59 1/2 munutes to keep any possible noise from leaking
thru the filter and messing up the radio station's programming.)

I remember WKBW Buffalo, NY used to do this BEEP back around 1970.
Think some of the NYC news stations had it too.

 
 
 

BEEP tone at the top of the hour on radio stations

Post by Dan Hugh » Tue, 15 Feb 1994 13:04:27


WBBM-AM, NewsRadio 78 (AM 780 clear channel), a CBS affiliate, still uses
the beep at the top and BOTTOM of every hour.  

The networks use a beep tone (CBS uses a cricket click) to signal their
affiliates that a newscast will begin in one second.  Most stations
listen to that tone in cue, then key into Program to air the news but not
the cue tone.  Used to be that most stations aired that cue tone, too.
--

 
 
 

BEEP tone at the top of the hour on radio stations

Post by Mitch Kaz » Tue, 15 Feb 1994 13:04:28


writes:>

Quote:>Haven't heard any stations do this anymore.  Maybe PDs decided that the BEEP
>was more annoying than useful to the audience?

I still hear the hourly beep on WMAQ-AM and WBBM-AM in Chicago.  The beep
(actually more of a "ping") before the top-of-the-hour CBS newscast broad-
cast by our local CBS affilate (WDWS-AM) isn't as useful for setting your
watch, however, as they're often running on a 7-second delay.
--
Mitch Kazel (N9HDQ)                                PHONE:  (217) 333-1259
Department of Journalism                             FAX:  (217) 244-3348

 
 
 

BEEP tone at the top of the hour on radio stations

Post by Donald D Forsli » Tue, 15 Feb 1994 13:04:29


> remember back in the '60s and early '70s, some AM stations would broadcast
>a short BEEP indicating the top of the hour.  Sounded like a 1kHz tone,

Time check hacks at the top of the hour haven't entirely disappeared.  CBS
Radio still uses one that sounds like a "ping" of a sort of electronic
tuning fork being struck.  The same device is used by the VOA in Washington
and by a public station here, WOI-AM.  If anybody wants the circuit diagram
and parts list, I have them.  WGN is Chicago uses a system that develops a
pleasant "chime-like" sound through the combination of the outputs of three
oscillators.  This system is also used by KOA in Denver.

A common triggering device is made by the ESE Company and is called the NBS
Master Clock.  One of the features of the unit is a diversity receiver which
listens to WWV at 5mHz, 10mHz and 15Mhz and locks on the strngest signal and
then fires the local time tone device when WWV beeps the top of each hour.

I have details on this unit, if anybody wants them

Cheers.

--

 ***"I hope life isn't a big joke because I don't get it."***Jack Handy

 
 
 

BEEP tone at the top of the hour on radio stations

Post by Michael Ki » Tue, 15 Feb 1994 13:04:35

In the Chicago area, tones are being used on WBBM-AM (Newsradio
78), WMAQ-AM (All-News 67), WGN-AM (AM 720), WLS-AM/FM (Talk
Radio 890/94.7) {WLS' signal is on a cart though}.

I'm not sure who else would count in that total -- but I
do know of those.

M
--
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