A snapshot of SJAC 106.7fm St James Anglican Church In Mangere Bridge
SJAC was established in 2006 when a number of older parishioners were hospitalized with hip and joint problems and some of the children of younger families were experiencing childhood snuffles etc.
The problem was how to continue ministry to these parishioners when some of them would be away from worship for months.
The idea was born one night to broadcast our church services live to LPFM radio and invite people to tune in and using their prayer books, hymn books and Bibles to join in along with the service.
Contact was made with the LPFM Society and with their help we went to air. Our first choice of frequency went down like a lead balloon, there was another station on there that we couldn’t hear from the church but apparently they could hear us. We subsequently settled on 106.7 although we do cross with another station 10km away but we have managed to co-exist.
It was quickly discovered that we needed to run the station 24/7 or the frequency would be gobbled up by other lpfmers in very short order The advice and help we got from the LPFM society swiftly convinced us that we needed to belong and to offer our help to other newbie stations in turn. We remain members to this day. The availability of antenna testing equipment and modulation gear is invaluable.
It was decided we would run 24/7 religious music of all genre with some biblical teaching slots and encourage our local community to run short add spots.
This is the format we have continued with. Some months adding in some early easy listening and or country.
Prayers are offered at the beginning and end of each day with night prayer at 9.00pm. Our church prayer chain also broadcasts its list of people needing prayer for themselves or others. However names that could identify people are not broadcast. The NZ National Anthem at 11.55 pm.
So. The station began with some borrowed equipment and ran on a 5/8 helical whip for a week or so but this was inefficient so a move to a ¼ wave dipole followed which was much better but to clean up the fringe area we finally adopted the J Pole which we use today.
The station is now running an 1w NRG transmitter with an NRG limiter. Coax is rg58c/u.
The JPole gives us an SWR of 1.12 to 1 and has needed no servicing since it was put up in 2007
The height of the antenna is approx. 30 feet above ground and the church is 33 meters above sea level.
So effective height is about 40 meters ASL.
The station is run from a Toshiba laptop via a Phonic mixer to the NRG limiter. The automation software is DirEttore 1.9.1. Which serves us very well. Incidentally the Toshiba was a second hand one from a school and ran nonstop till mid-2010 when it needed a new hard drive. We used an Asus for a while but put the Toshiba back into service 6 months ago. Operating system Windows XP Pro.
The song library is on an outboard usb external drive. We are licensed to APRA, PPNZ and CCLI
There are other stations now encroaching on our coverage area which causes us some concern but we persevere.
Our coverage area is Hillsborough, Onehunga, Part of One Tree Hill, Mangere Bridge, part of Mangere Central. Part of Otahuhu north, to part of Ellerslie and around to Ta Papapa. As we look out over The upper Manukau, with the exception of Mangere Central and East, we can cover basically all that we see from the church site. This area approximately equates to the parish boundaries. So it works out well for us with some isolated interference spots. This equates to a circle of about 5 km radius. Pretty much what the radio mobile coverage plot says it should be.
For more information on SJAC 106.7 visit the church web site www.st-james-nz.org. and navigate to the station page there are some photos there as well.
Good LPFMing .