THE SEVEN YEAR “ITCH”

Flame CCR started full-time broadcasting in December 2009 so, according to “old wives tales” of “the seven year itch”, we should not be surprised to encounter a spate of equipment failures and problems in 2016/2017.

One problem we were well-warned about was the discontinuance of support of Windows XP. That hit us hard having built automated operation of radio broadcasting, and programme editing, upon eleven Windows XP computers (two per studio, a link to our transmitter, a link to our ISP, plus audio processing and e-mails/admin).

It has taken us 18 months to get through to the better world of faster PCs, with terabytes of storage, via computer upgrades, two new computers for essential service functions, and three good “second hand computers” for support roles. To maintain quality audio we have found good external soundcards. And we now have a solid computer network with remote access to it via TeamViewer. On that network are back-up drives storing 50,000 music tracks and programmes. Chris Perkins and I have spent many hours talking, scheming, and praying for guidance and are now thinking we are curing the “itch”.

We have found good deals on the Windows 10 operating system, but an annoyance, not only to ourselves, has been the large number of Windows updates. Not a problem for our own personal laptops, but a nightmare for continuous operation – Windows 10 does not allow us to limit channel updates and computer restarts to the restricted times when we are in the studio. Yet we need to be in the studio for telling our listeners that we are putting alternative audio to air for a long period of time (sometimes as long as 30 minutes) and manually restarting our PCs, playout software (and reloading our broadcasting schedule). We wish the Microsoft Windows team understood the use of computers for continuous unattended operation.

As an alternative to Windows, we have now set up four computers with Linux operating system which has been more stable. Fortunately the link software (FreeOB) operates on Linux and so does TeamViewer. Ten of our live broadcasting hours per week are now from a remote studio using this link software.

As an alternative to Microsoft Office, too expensive to deploy on a number of PCs, we are happily using LibreOffice. In the past few weeks we have proved that SourceConnect software enables remote interviews with high quality audio

But it is not just computers, one worry has been our internet link to our transmitter site and our ISP. After six years of good service from Virgin Media, they decided to update their network in 2016 discontinuing support of the internet modem we had come to rely on. Our need of a fixed IP address meant that we had to take a new, obviously untried, Virgin Media modem. We thought that step would be easy but after 6 months of great patience we gave up and started to try to extricate ourselves from a contract with Virgin Media (and now 14 months later we still have not completely succeeded). But the good news is that we have now found a good alternative internet supplier, and somewhere in the Virgin Media world we are marked as a “dissatisfied customer”.

Another current worry is our main broadcasting desk. It is the heart of our broadcasting operation, but like most of our equipment was “bought for little money, second-hand ages ago” and actually was the height of fashion in a small commercial radio studio in the late 1980s / early 1990s. That desk remains a worry for the rest of 2017. The “seven year itch” continues.

 

Ghana celebrates the 60th Anniversary of Independence

Ghana celebrates the 60th Anniversary of independence this weekend and the Merseyside Ghana christian community are celebrating in Liverpool this weekend.

Flame CCR will be joining them in celebration on Friday and Saturday evening so do check out our schedule pages flameradio.org

Ghana Flag

 

FLAME RADIO … WORLDWIDE … DOING THE “GO” in GOSPEL

Mixing_Desk_500_2                    HOW MANY LISTENERS DO WE HAVE ?

… an often asked question and one that is almost impossible to answer when it comes to our medium wave listeners. If you do listen on medium wave why not give us a call or send an email and tell us when you listen, and where you are? Always good to hear from our listeners, we need you and we value your support !

Typically we reckon that for every one person listening on the internet there are at least 50 still listening on medium wave. We do have clever software that will tell us when people are accessing our “webcasting” (techie speak for our internet broadcasts). So our statistical “nerd” spends an evening each month massaging data into more accurate information than the dodgy dossier. The result is a set of graphs on our office wall showing that our listening hours have increased to 3,000 hours (1,000 sessions) each month, a cumulative 74,000 hours (35,000 sessions) in the seven years since we started. Over the past 2 years we have majored on adding our internet broadcasts to as many internet radio portals as we could find, and hence our listening numbers have increased significantly to the point where people are listening 24/7 and an encouraging number of people listen for more than 4 hours at a go. The highest number of simultaneous listeners we have seen is 28 but normally 10 at the most. A time of day analysis shows that more people listen during the week than at the weekend but while morning listening is most likely there are still a significant number of listeners at night. As broadcasters we have to remember that there is always someone listening and it is worth it for that person … actually 4.1 averaged over the month on internet (and therefore probably 200 on medium wave ?).

WHERE are our listeners ? It is helpful to know that nearly 900 people listened via the internet in the last year with 350 contributing to 95% of our listening time. And they are all over the world … realising the 1999 vision of “healing waves flowing out of Merseyside”. Our radio playing software enables us to schedule our broadcasts round the clock, choosing interesting Merseyside original programmes through the night for people in different time zones. Obviously half of our listening hours (46% actually) are from the UK (24% from our broadcasting area and also Ashfield, Barnsley, Glasgow, N.Ireland, Ireland, London, Manchester, Mold, Newbury, Preston, Skelmersdale, Warminster, Wokingham and Wolverhampton). But we also have listeners in USA (28%), Germany (17%), Philippines (4%), Europe (4%) and other countries (Indonesia, Canada, Russia, Nigeria, Thailand, Brazil, Jordan, Ukraine, Tanzania, South Africa and China all have more than 10 hours of listening in the year). We can justifiably say “Flame Radio is round the clock, round the year AND round the world”. Some of the “radio-hams” in Scandanavia who contact us also listen easily to us on internet.

It is a great advantage to be able to say to anyone in conversation … “you can listen to us on internet via www.flameradio.org and can even listen to your favourite programmes via LISTEN AGAIN whenever you want to”.

AND OF COURSE Flame’s internet listeners benefit from full stereo super hi-fi quality listening, wherever they are … at home, out in the streets, on the move and even in the car / bus / train. We were recently delighted when a letter came from Peterborough saying the best Christian radio that I have listened to … hoorah for the 21st Century !

LISTEN AGAIN FROM FLAME CCR

LISTEN AGAIN is what it really says it is … enabling our listeners to choose when they want to catch up on a programme they have missed … and they do … in fact over 1,200 people took advantage of this opportunity last year. We regard LISTEN AGAIN as being Flame’s treasure store which is not hidden away but is freely available worldwide to people … 342 programmes totalling 237 hours. Proving that it is not only the BBC that gives its listeners this opportunity; Flame CCR also does, and allows download for passing on to friends.

DETAIL … every month we add six more hours of programmes, usually four Chat Rooms, a composite collection of Jennifer Nevill’s Middle East News, plus something we think people would like. Gordon Beaumont “Yesterday Once More” seems popular.

VARIETY is our intention … hence proverbs, interviews, preaching, missionary stories, devotionals, Heritage programmes, current affairs, debate, news, variety, drama, poetry, worship … it’s all there for you to enjoy in our 342 (and increasing) programmes.

OUR TOP TWENTY (with number of listeners in 2016, plus total number of listeners) :

BE MY GUEST – Tim Peters Tribute, August 2016                                             (72 in year ….. 72 total)

CHAT ROOM – Simon Hollowell (Simon Dan, reggae, Christian) 2015              (38 in year ….. 38 total)

CHAT ROOM – Adrian Plass (author, speaker, poet)                                         (35 in year ….. 59 total)

CHAT ROOM – Henry Vyner-Brooks re The Line (author)                                  (26 in year ….. 46 total)

REVIVE or DIE (by Derek Lindley) – part 1                                                         (26 in year ….. 26 total)

CHAT ROOM – James Byrne (ex spiritist medium, author, broadcaster)           (25 in year ….. 32 total)

CHAT ROOM – Alison & Lorraine (Birkenhead Filling Station)                           (25 in year ….. 25 total)

CHAT ROOM – David Woods (Church of God, North West)                              (23 in year ….. 48 total)

CHAT ROOM – The Bogside Artists part 1 (Greenbelt, Derry, Bloody Sunday) (23 in year ….. 23 total)

CHAT ROOM – Birkenhead Priory (Wirral)                                                         (21 in year ….. 30 total)

CHAT ROOM – Neil Roddy (drugs, Christian, musician)                                    (21 in year ….. 21 total)

CHAT ROOM – Phina Oruche (super-model. actress, Liverpool-born)              (21 in year ….. 21 total)

CHAT ROOM – John Hulme (Merseyside published poet)                                 (20 in year ….. 51 total)

CHAT ROOM – Doreen Kelly (prayer ministry)                                                   (20 in year ….. 20 total)

BE MY GUEST – Laura Higham (Multiple Schlerosis)                                        (19 in year ….. 19 total)

MIDDLE EAST REPORT – month of January 2016, Jennifer Nevill                   (19 in year ….. 19 total)

TILLY TUPPENCE POEMS                                                                               (19 in year ….. 19 total)

CHAT ROOM – John Hulme chatting poetry                                                      (18 in year ….. 18 total)

CHAT ROOM – Bishop Peter Forster (Chester)                                                  (17 in year ….. 17 total)

CHAT ROOM – David Gilbey (bass baritone, Wirral)                                         (17 in year ….. 17 total)

LISTEN AGAIN

A VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS FROM ALL AT FLAME CHRISTIAN & COMMUNITY RADIO

I f you are looking for inspirational music and teaching over the Christmas weekend and through the week then look no further than Flame CCR. We will keep you company, play the best in Christmas music and open the word of God to put the meaning back into this season of the year. Check out our schedules on the flame website and join us on Christmas Day and Boxing Day and through the week as we also review the year and look forward to God’s blessing as we approach 2017

christmas

NEW SHOWS, NEW TIMES & SHOWS ON THE MOVE

From Monday 28th November it’s all change as we bring in the new Winter/Christmas schedule with new shows and new times for you to enjoy. Check out the schedules on the Flame CCR website to see what is happening next. Every morning Monday to Friday we feature the music programmes produced by the Flame team. Our pause for reflection every weekday is at 10:30 and again at 21:00 and every afternoon music rules the airwaves but with a pause for chat and debate. Every weekday evening it’s programmes with a different slant and the late night music.

ENJOY : BE INSPIRED : ENJOY LOCAL CHRISTIAN RADIO WITH A MERSEYSIDE FLAVOUR FROM THE HEART OF THE WIRRAL

CHRISTMAS WITH FLAME CCR

and it’s competition time with the opportunity to win family tickets to several Christmas events around the region. Listen out each day on Flame for the questions and when you know the answers email flameccr@gmail.com or phone the studio on 0151 643 1696 for your chance to win an extra special Christmas present for the whole family. Prizes include:

St Helens Theatre Royal invites you on a magical carpet ride this Christmas time when the amazing panto Aladdin swoops into the theatre to take audiences on another sparkling adventure. So get ready to shout “Open Sesame” during a fun-filled evening of enchantment, hilarious comedy, wonderful songs and a story which would make even the evil Abanazar’s heart melt.

Winter Wonderland Manchester 2016 will take over EventCity next to theIntu Trafford Centre in Manchester which will be transformed in to an unbelievable wonderland extravaganza, featuring more than 50 family rides and attractions all under one roof – including new rides for 2016.

As well as the rides and the bright lights, the spectacular Christmas Circus also makes a welcome return delivering the finest collection of circus acts that will leave everyone marvelled and amazed with daily performances.
New for 2016 will be the Cinderella Mini Pantomime guaranteed to enchant your little princes and princesses. There will also be Ice Princesses, Fairies and Elves galore who love to play and chat and have photos taken with the children.

Epstein Theatre, Liverpool Each production is made up of dazzling sets, sparkling costumes, laugh-a-minute scripts, brilliant songs and exquisite trade-mark choreography all tied together with that extra added bit of Scouse style making their productions as special as Christmas itself.

Epstein Theatre, Liverpool Liver Birdsong – the brand new British musical by Tony Bradley and Rebecca Myers makes its World Premiere at the Epstein Theatre this year, in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Blitz, when Liverpool was bombed by the German Luftwaffe during World War II.

Join the Liverbirds – Maggs, Carla, Daisy Mae and Lil as they battle not only the Nazis but also their own threats, fears and jealousies. Will they overcome their troubles and find hope? Find out in this heart-warming musical; packed with 18 brand new songs, performed by a professional company of actors and accompanied by a live band.

christmas

CHARLES THOMPSONS MISSION

THE NEW MONDAY CHAT ROOM at 13:30 today with Jono McGrath in conversation with Peggy Massrey. Peggy is 96 and started going to Charles Thompson’s Mission when she was a child of 8 years old. In this recent interview, broadcast as our Chat Room this week, Peggy talks about being one of the children helped by the mission in the 1920s, meals, holiday camps, and then helping at the mission in her 20s. After the war Peggy married one of “the mission boys” and she goes on to talk about her life since then.

You can hear this Chat Room programme this week on Monday at 13:30 and again on Tuesday from 20:00 and repeated on Friday afternoon at 16:00 flameradio.org

THE FLAME LIGHT FANTASTIC PARTY

From 19:00 on Monday evening through to 07:30 on Tuesday morning we celebrate Jesus as the Light of the World as a positive alternative to the darkness of Halloween.

Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” John 8 v:12