S.P.A.R.C. Museum

Society for the Preservation of Antique Radio in Canada

Photo of an antique Westinghouse radio on display at the SPARC Radio Museum

We continue to broadcast our vintage radio programs over the Internet. You can hear music favourites from the hit decades of big bands, rock and roll, and pop favourites from the 30s to the 60s. Also, listen for historical programs, commercials, and old network radio shows – music, comedy, and drama.

Hear favorites from yesterday … music, programs, commercials and more!

(requires Windows Media Player or other program that supports MMS)

Contact us to comment on the sound or content.

There is more info on SPARC’s vintage studio gear at: the SPARC Broadcast Studio page

Current Feature Running

Please use the link “LISTEN NOW”

Please use the “ON AIR NOW” link below, to find out more about the current program.


Other Upcoming Program SPECIALS – (in planning)

A series of Jack Cullen special shows! A video shoot was made recently that was connected with Cullen’s recording of Louis Armstrong’s appearance at Vancouver’s Kitsilano High School in 1952. We plan a feature on this as part of the series. The SPARC Museum has many connections with the veteran Vancouver broadcaster, Jack Cullen, who died in 2002. We hold a huge variety of his tapes and programs, his interviews with the stars, and some of the equipment he used on his broadcasts. Recently, a large number of Jack’s transcriptions was donated to SPARC. They were part of the Cullen record library held at one time by CKNW. A special series is now being worked on, based on these materials. For example, it will have an interview with him by SPARC in 1996, old Cullen shows, and a special “Owl Prowl” 45th Anniversary Special, so check our “ON AIR NOW” page periodically.

Some rebroadcasts of Dave McCormick’s “Discumentary shows from the 70s.

Our Broadcast Fare

A favourite is to play one of our many airchecks, recorded on our portable remote setups in the community. See our Gallery of some of Location Broadcasts – “Remotes” We may be originating live from one of our stereo control rooms. We have vintage turntables, reel-to-reel, and other sources wired (to be able to play for you any of our media content), and we’re always trying out our different microphones.If we can establish a reliable fast downlink at the Museum, you could be hearing us Sundays, live (and not transcribed) from the floor! (So far, that has not happened – streaming is just no good over a dial-up).

After some more time spent on our end, you will be hearing better program variety… Visit this page periodically to find out what’s cookin’ on SPARC’s Net Radio.

Program Sources

The program material may come from one of several sources:

  • An Air Check – a recording of a live broadcast event, as described above
  • Transcriptions of old radio programs – music, comedy, drama, and historical news events
  • Live broadcast possibilities –
    • Sundays from 10 to 4, from the vintage control room on the SPARC Museum floor
    • A live remote broadcast pickup from one of our events in the community. We have done this successfully, using cellular modems. See coming events on our NEWS page.
    • A live program coming to you from one of our several off-site studios. Several members have the ability to originate to the server.
  • A feed from a local radio station – (I admit, this is laziness on our part, but we don’t have a 24-hour staff!)
  • Silence! – Oops. Probably our CD or DVD or tape has run out. Please wait, or tune back soon.

We will always try to use a streaming rate that is a good compromise between bandwidth and quality. The streams will be stereo, although some of our program material and equipment facilities are monophonic. Anyway, mono material is usually perceived to be “cleaner” listening to a stereo stream, because there is no left/right difference information. All the same, we will endeavour to provide stereo program material, and indicate these times in the schedule.

Listening Hints

The Link, and your Favorites/Bookmarks: The ‘Listen Live’ link contains an IP address that may change occasionally. Therefore, save this entire page as your listening link.

Captioning: Sometimes, we use ‘Captioning’ – program info that is embedded in the stream, to inform you of content being played. Captions are more likely to be included during Program SPECIALS, or when we’re on-air live. This information can be seen if your Windows Media Player has Captions and Subtitles enabled… check this on Windows Media Player’s ‘Play‘ options. There should be a tick beside On if Available. There is additional information on Windows Media Player by inspecting File|Properties|Content.

If you have trouble listening, please help us out by describing your problem in an e-mail to our sparcmuseum@telus.net address. For example, we understand that Windows Media Player version 11 does not support the mms:// protocol, and that’s what our link here uses.

Good listening!

About the Server

Photo of the Internet Radio Broadcast library that streams for the SPARC Radio Museum

A small fraction of the Server Library

Photo of the Internet Radio Broadcast server studio that streams for the SPARC Radio Museum

The Server Studio

The server that SPARC uses for the programs you hear is presently experimental (Jan 2009). At the moment, we are using Windows Media Encoder 9, on our own server.

The control room photo shows where our stereo programs can originate, or be produced. Click on the photo to enlarge it… use your ‘BACK’ button to return.

Some of the equipment here:

  • Rescued Auditronics 218 console (see under Consoles on the Studio News page)
  • X-Y oscilloscope to ensure good monophonic feeds
  • Turntables: McCurdy, using Technics (SP-10MkII & SP-10D – the MKII can play 78s).
  • Reel-to-reels: AMPEX AG-440C, ATR-100 and Studer A-807. Scully 280B available.
  • CDs: TEAC CD-701, Marantz, and others.
  • DAT recorders available: Tascam DA-30 and Sony PCM-7010.
  • Denon cassette machines.
  • The short rack has a small jackfield. The lines to the server room terminate there.
  • Our McCurdy Series-S from CISL is over at the right.

Also shown is a very small fraction of our music library. On top, a home-built four-mixer console (“built by Peter”) can be seen.