The Engineers

 

Top: Dan Roach

Below: Fred Lichota, Webster and Al Erdman

 

 

 

Engineers at CJOR - 840 Howe Street Vancouver

 

CJOR being one of the oldest radio stations on the west coast moved into studios in the basement of the Grosvenor Hotel on Howe Street in 1930. For over fifty years the stations operated at the top of its game but the engineering was described as archaic to many with the walls full of spaghetti wiring that was not coded or properly documented. It was a nightmare when the station had a sound problem between studios.

 

To be fair radio engineering was a new science and modern commercial stations were not designed and built in Vancouver until -

CKWX (1956), CFUN (1959), CKLG (1964) and CKNW (1971)

 

 

 

1910-1975

 

Arthur Horace Chandler 1926-1965

Vice-President of CJOR Ltd. (Chief Engineer)

 

Engineered for Arthur Helps and Town Hall Meetings and church services at Christ Church Cathedral. The sound from these services was acclaimed in the broadcast world mixing the sound from seven microphones. He received an award for the utilization of a taped broadcast in 1948 from Powell River. The tape ran fast because of a glitch. (The electrical power ran at 50 cycles not the usual 60 cycles). The Columbus Award judges commented on the rapid fire commentary saying it was remarkable. This use of a delay tape system was noticed south of the border and the Bing Crosby show was then taped for later broadcast rather than being done live to air. Art Chandler was well known to horse race fans as engineer to Jack Short at Exhibition Park.

 

Art was the brother and partner to George Chandler - the boss at CJOR for 36 years until 1962. At the time of George's death, Arthur and his two sisters battled with Marie Chandler for the company. They lost but CJOR moved into the hands of Jim Pattison after the BBG indicated they wanted a change in control.

 

Died May 31, 1975 at the age of 65 years

 

1910-1962

 

Wilbert Brockhouse Smith was born in Lethbridge, Alberta, graduated from University of British Columbia in 1934 M.A.Sc (electrical engineering). He became engineer for radio station CJOR in Vancouver.

 

Smith did much to encourage improvements in the technical side of broadcasting facilities in Canada, and helped form the Canadian Association of Broadcast Consultants, which often advised the federal Department of Transport (DOT) on frequency allocation and other technical matters. In 1939, he joined the DOT. He was engaged in engineering Canada's war-time monitoring service and, in 1947, was in charge of establishing a network of ionospheric measurement stations, several of which were in isolated parts of the North.

 

At the time of his death, he was superintendent of Radio Regulations Engineering with the Department, responsible for the engineering aspects of all matters concerning the use of radio in Canada, including equipment standards, radio relay systems (micro-wave) and broadcast facilities.

 

 

Bud Seabrook - Engineer CJOR - 1939 to 1950 - joined RCA in Montreal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1918-2002

 

Alan Frank Erdman - Chief Engineer CJOR 1955 to 1983

 

 

Much of the technical side of talk radio was born out of Al's brain at CJOR, as he grappled with problems that had never been adequately addressed. Originally, the six second delay was built up by recording on the front Ampex in Master Control, and playing back on the back unit. It so happened that the machines were six seconds apart (at 7.5 inches/second). Later Al built up the system of pulleys and wheels that allowed the use of just the front machine.

 

The telephone hybrids that allowed speakerphone ease, but with broadcast quality, were all designed and built by Al. When Stan Davis started manufacturing broadcast consoles, many of which are still gracing control rooms in BC's interior stations, each of those boards contained AFE 3 and AFE 10 line amplifiers. The AFE stands for Al Frank Erdman.

 

When Pat Burns moved his Hotline to Montreal, he discovered just how hard it was to get a talk show going without Al's expertise, and he begged Erdman to move to Quebec. Ever generous with his time, Al instead spent many hours on the telephone with the CKGM engineers offering advice and support.

 

Nowadays, the entire infrastructure of open line radio is available, purpose-built for the task, from broadcast suppliers... in CJOR's heyday, this was not possible. And a surprising amount of CJOR's technical equipment was conceived, designed, perfected and built by Erdman.

 

 

1983

 

Stan Davis and Associates - Engineering took over the role of engineers for CJOR/CHRX/CKBD - with the design of new studios at 1401 West 8th

Avenue in Vancouver.

 

BC Radio History