Thursday, 27 November 2008

Puketapu Radio interested in expanding

Volunteer broadcasters from Palmerston-based Puketapu Radio celebrate
after setting up a temporary FM radio transmitter in Waitati for the
Dunedin Fringe Festival on Sunday, 30 March 2008. This was probably
the first-ever radio broadcast from the township.
From left: Kevin Kearns, Lawrence McCraw, David Abernethy, Yuleine
Fisk, all of Palmerston (East Otago)

Photo credit: Blueskin News

Puketapu Radio is operated by the Radio Puketapu Charitable Trust and
is staffed entirely by volunteers from the local community and beyond.
We offer radio time to those who are interested free of charge.

Puketapu Radio is committed to doing what it can to support the
communities we currently reach and beyond via the airwaves and the internet.

We assist local clubs and charitable organisations with their
fundraising by giving them the best promotional services we can. We
can offer outside broadcasts and we can possibly sponsor teams, clubs
and individuals in their various pursuits.

It is our intention to be the undisputed local radio station in the
areas we currently can be received and beyond. To bring this about
would mean the siting of FM repeater stations in various locations.

It is most beneficial to the charitable community and service groups
if we are in a position where we can without any effort, take our
facility and set it up in an area or at a venue that needs help with
their fund raising whether their need may be urgent or not so urgent.

Our current outside broadcast facilities have been very 'hit and miss'
on many occasions, with a measure of embarrassment. We need to improve
our current mobile studio to a point where we have a purpose-built set
up in an appropriate small bus, caravan, high topped van, camper van
or something similar.

Another major problem we currently have is our roving VHF/UHF mobile
microphone system, as there can be many blank spots at outside
broadcast venues such as fairs, markets, school shows, A&P shows and
other community events. We can not give stall-holders, displays and
service organisations the coverage they need.

So as to be able to cover any location from an outside broadcast, I
would also like Puketapu Radio to invest in satellite equipment and
mobile broadband at a cost of around $5,000.00.

Today's regulations allowing low-powered FM mean we can easily set up
a temporary station in a given location without being required to have
a license. This means we could say set up in an area for however long
a period of time, and fund-raise for a project by getting the
community itself involved with the fund raising effort. Many years ago
I used to go to various locations with a group of friends, operate a
radio station for a week and raise money for local projects.

Of course to do the above requires money, and to this end we need an
appropriately skilled person who would be willing to act as fund
raiser for Puketapu Radio. I need to point out that we do not need to
fund raise for the day to day running of the radio stationl. Any new
fundraising will be specifically to purchase equipment and services
such as to build a
mobile studio to enable Puketapu Radio to achieve the above mentioned
goals. A very possible spin off to all this will be the generating of
extra advertising income.

With things today being somewhat depressed, I see Puketapu Radio being
a beacon of hope in people's lives. With new technology I can see many
possibilities that can only be good for everyone. If you would like to
have a regular radio show, offer to become a possible fund raiser or
if you are just an interested person, you can call Puketapu Radio at
03 465 1660.

by Lawrence McCraw

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