Grant applications: how to be better!

What does it take to create a successful CBF grant?

That question has had more airtime on Technorama’s Q&A Facebook group than any other topic.  It’s a heated debate.  Grant applications take time.  Not getting the grant is a painful experience.  “We didn’t deserve to lose” is often heard.

But maybe your application did deserve to lose.  Maybe you didn’t provide the right information.  Maybe you didn’t use words that best sell the need, the benefit, and your competency?

Technorama to the rescue!

Just like asking for a job, there are good and bad strategies to any grant application.  In this Technorama Tuesday webinar, timed the day after applications open for 2024 Round One, we’ll take you through what makes a good submission, and why some submissions just don’t make the cut.

By the way, it’s a common fallacy that big stations with huge resource win every time over small stations.  It’s not about resource, it’s about what you say and how you approach providing the information.

We have some REALLY GOOD TIPS to give you in your quest to  help your station benefit from a limited resource.

Sign up right now with this link

Tuesday 16 January

Join CBF Grants Support Team members Dean Linguey and Liz Landray with John Maizels  as we tease out all the stuff that  you need to know to create a better – and hopefully winning – grant application.

We’ll look at important and relevant topics including

  • Where does the CBF funding come from
  • Who makes decisions and how
  • Examples of good and bad applications
  • The SmartyGrants process and tips for managing the forms
  • Thoughts for managing quotes and suppliers
  • What is a good Return on Investment strategy?
  • How to present your case persuasively and effectively
  • What to do if you’re a small and under-resourced station
  • Where do you get help for input and reviews

And lots of other thoughts as well.

Sign up right now with this link!!

Are Technorama Tuesdays open to everyone to attend?

Absolutely.   Doesn’t matter if you’re a raw beginner or seasoned technologist, there’s something for everyone.  We never charge for our technology webinars, and the registration links will be via this page and the CMTO website.

So put the dates in your diary, bookmark this page, and come back to the site as each date gets closer.

Got questions?

Where do I find previous sessions?  Replays of previous sessions are online at the Technorama website.   Check out the past sessions page.

If you have a Technorama organisation question, drop a line to [email protected] and we’ll do what we can to help.

Volts, current and not becoming dead

The article below (“Beware Low Amp Current”) caught my eye, and I thought it was worth reposting to the group. I don’t like the term “Low Amp Current” – ugh. But the situation described is very real: it’s current flow through the body that kills you, not the presence of high voltage.
Of course, anyone who knows Ohm’s law will point out that for a given resistance (your body) more volts means more current flow. So duh: you’re more likely to die if you contact a high voltage, but a 12V battery could do lots of damage if under some bizarre circumstances >50mA could flow through a body. Note that if the source of volts is high but can’t deliver enough current then you’re marginally safer. Think static electricity, which is very high voltage, miniscule current, and very short time interval. Nasty but much less dangerous than hanging on to 240V for a while.
But a static discharge of 500mJ is possible from a human body, and it only takes 2mJ to ignite hydrocarbon vapours.
Sidebar: your body chemistry is affected differently by different voltages. Even though both can kill, 240V is more severe on the body than 110V, and the impacts are different; that’s one of the reasons why our US friends have been able to get away with what we would flag as APPALLING safety processes in some very common media industry applications. Also: AC does nasty things to the body at lower voltages than DC.
Simple moral: It’s like driving or flying: don’t take risks, and don’t ever get complacent around power circuits of any sort.
Further reading: (see the section on “Energies involved” (see the section on “Lethality”)

Enhance Your Grant-Writing Skills with Our Upcoming Webinar

“Grant Writing for Your Station,” a webinar presented in collaboration with the Community Broadcast Foundation and the Community Media Training Organisation. As part of our Technorama Tuesdays initiative, this event on January 16th is designed to

empower you and your community broadcasting station with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate the grant-writing landscape successfully.

Why Attend?

Grant writing can often seem daunting, but it’s a crucial skill for securing funding and ensuring the sustainability of your station. This webinar will demystify the process, offering practical advice and strategies to enhance your grant applications. Our expert speakers will guide you through:

  • Understanding the grant landscape: Learn about different types of grants and where to find them.
  • Crafting a compelling application: Discover how to effectively communicate your station’s mission and needs.
  • Insider tips and tricks: Get insights into what grant assessors are looking for and how to make your application stand out.


Who Should Attend?

This webinar is perfect for anyone involved in community broadcasting, from volunteers and staff members to board directors. Whether you’re taking your first steps into grant writing or aiming to refine your skills, there’s something for everyone.

How to Register

Registration details will be available soon on our website. Keep an eye out for further announcements and make sure to reserve your spot for this not-to-be-missed event.

Join us on January 16th to transform your approach to grant writing and take a significant step towards the financial sustainability of your station. We can’t wait to share this journey with you!


The Technorama Team

2023 Annual General Meeting: detail for members

The 2023 Annual General Meeting of Technorama Incorporated will be held at 1730 AEDT Saturday 2 December 2023.   Because the meeting is being held in conjunction with Technorama TR23, the main attendance will be in-person.  However members may choose to attend by telepresence and the meeting will be run as a hybrid event.  Unless advised otherwise, remote connection will be via GoToMeeting with online voting for elections.

If you have any questions, please drop a line to [email protected] or reach out to us via the contact form on this website.   If you have a last minute membership access challenge, need to confirm attendance or apology, or if you have an admin challenge:  drop an email to [email protected] and we will try to help.

Ordinary business

No notice of motions (special or ordinary) has been received, so this year’s AGM will be a standard agenda.

To assist you with the process, further explanatory notes on the motions will be distributed shortly.


It being an odd year for the purposes of rule 14(5), the following positions are declared vacant and nominations are called:

  • Vice President
  • Treasurer
  • One ordinary Committee member

If you would like to stand for one of these positions, nominations must be received by 14:59:59 AEDT on Saturday 25 November (one week prior to the meeting).


Note: If you are a paid-up member of Technorama Incorporated, then you are eligible to nominate.

Who can vote in the election?  All attending members in good standing (ie: you were paid up as a member on 1 March 2023 when the AGM was announced) will be eligible to vote at the AGM.   Voting will be electronic, and fully secret ballot.

AGM Packet:

All the important files may be downloaded here:

Additional information for any member who wishes to stand for an elected role to Committee:

All the best,

John Maizels
Returning Officer


TR23 program is online!

Here’s what we’ve planned for for you at Technorama TR23.   This year, in keeping with our “what can we do to improve the event” policy, it’s a little bit of the same and a little bit of different.  It’s all good.  We’ve never had people leave a Technorama event unhappy about the content.

The grid will have some tweaks over the weekend, but it’s fundamentally locked in place.

The sessions that you’ve come to expect, and on which you rely for sector updates, are scheduled ahead of breaks so that you can continue the conversations in a casual setting.

Our Guest of Honour, Pat Sproule, will talk after lunch so that you’ve had plenty of opportunity to re-start your body and suitably caffeinate (or not).

As always, we’re innovating and this year we introduce a twist on the format of general sessions.   Most topics will be introduced by one or two experts, to give you the background and some useful theory on the subject.  That will be followed by comments from experienced hands to give you the practical side of how to deal with the topic in the real world.  Then we’ll open the floor for discussion, questions and idea exchange.

Check out Sunday morning, where you’ll notice we have two blocks that are cryptically titled “unconference”.  This is a well known idea:  the session is based around ideas and polling on Saturday.  Literally, it is what you asked for.   Each of the two unconference sessions will have two threads, so that’s four topics we’ll cover on Sunday morning because it’s what you’d like to discuss.  Come to TR23 with some of those ideas and we’ll see what happens. And if the unthinkable happens – no suggestions – we have some tricks already up our sleeve.

The grid includes the schedule for Education Day, which is this year focused on the Raspberry Pi, and practical projects for your station.  Bottom line:  it’s $50 for a day of hands-on training where each student will have their own Pi to play with (but not keep – sorry – but we will send you away with an SD card ready to boot up on another Pi).  It’s a packed day where you can’t possibly fail to learn something useful.  To register for Education Day, just tick the box when you sign up for TR23.

By the way, note the word “draft”.  This is pretty much what we expect to happen, in the order we expect it to happen, but… things happen.  We’ll keep you informed.

Here’s the grid.

Technorama TR23 Draft Program

Technorama 2023 Program
Friday 1 Dec
Education Day - Project Planning
0800-0900Doors OpenArrival and Registrations
0900Introduction, housekeeping etc
Raspberry Pi BasicsHow to set up and run the Pi.
1200LUNCH Participants will do this on their own dime
Rasspberry Pi projectsPractical stuff you can use at your station, including the OB link, intelligent studio clock display, and much much more.
1700Training day wraps
1830TR23 Opening Night welcome drinks and nibbblesMeet your mates, meet new people, talk about stuff... with some solid nibbles and a few drinks.
AftewardsExtra dinner, or kicking on in Chatswood CBD.If you're still hungry: find a place to eat (at own expense)
Sat 2 Dec
Starts atTopic
08:30Registration openArrival, badge collection and on-site registrations
09:00Welcome/recog country/housekeping/mechanics
How the program works
Meet our Guest of Honour, Pat Sproule
Building the next facility: the story arcYou start here, and end there. We explain the intermediate steps
Planning the facility
Report from the CBAAState of nation: Roadmap 2033 and technologist outcomes
10:30Morning Tea
Designing your facility for SocialsRadio (and television) stations are no longer just broadcasters. We are media organisations, and generating socials-friendly content is a survival requirement.
Selecting your stuff
CBF updateRoadmap 2033, changes to CBF funding, and how to deliver the best possible grant application
Building the spaceA new facility is more than four walls. What's best-practice technique to ensure good physicals?
What happens nextRecap of the morning and throw to lunch
Our Guest of Honour presentationOur Guest of Honour started as a teen in a regional community station. Pat will talk about his arc, one technologist's career, and where the industry is headed
What's new/show and tell: directions in technologySmaller, lighter, faster, cheaper, and both simpler and more complex. What you need to know
15:45Afternoon tea
Welcome Back
Support: how do you manage it?Skills, new skills, incident tracking, attracting volunteers etc
CMTO updateThe Certificate IV course for broadcast technologists is on the way. So is RPL. You need to know about both.
What just happened? A summary of the day
17:30AGMPossibly downstairs
19:00Gala dinner, quiz nightEat, drink and be merry. Our expert Quizmaster Frank Lee Speaking and his assistant Noah Ward return to challenge your table!
17:00 END OF DAY 1
Sun 3 Dec
08:30Registration Open
09:00Welcome, advise the BYO/Unconference TopicsEither you picked enough topics or we do something else. Either way: excitement!
Stuff that everyone forgetsThe voice of experience: how to keep your station out of technology trouble.
The CBF Grant process: a roundtable reviewGrantWriting discussion: what works well and what works less well. The CBF wants you to be more successful.
1030Morning Tea
Designing for SocialsYou know you should: what represents best studio and tech practice in the socials age?
Planning, Cabling and DocumentingIf your rack is a rats-nest, find out how easy it is to tame it into a thing of beauty
Unconference breakaway: two sessionsSplit into two groups and participate in one of the popup topics suggested from Saturday.
What just happened?We review the morning and TR23
Technorama and your futureHow you can be involved
Upcoming webinars
Apply for station training
Quick Q&A
13:00Farewell/GoodbyesAnd complete the survey!
END OF DAY 2 and TR23Hold some time - there might be tours announcedKeep checking this schedule and TR mailouts

Did you miss the Monday Mailer?

In case you missed any of the Technorama Mailers, you can get to them here.   And while you’re at it, let us know if you are a member and the email didn’t arrive.  We’d like to work out why.

If you’re not a member and the email didn’t arrive, then most likely you’re not on our list.  No problemo.  Sign up via the form on the home page (you might have to hunt if you’re on a phone, but the form is available via the hamburger on the homepage).

What’s in the mailer (and it’s not always on Monday)?

  • info about TR23
  • how to register for TR23
  • how to join Technorama
  • info about our next Technorama Tuesday
  • info on the Annual General Meeting
  • info on other events and gatherings
  • other news that’s fit to print


TR23: what you need to know and how to register NOW!

This year’s theme is “Building Your Next Facility”.  You might be updating a studio, considering an OB kit, about to gut and rebuild old spaces, or be contemplating a move to somewhere new.  TR23 is where you’ll get real answers to real questions.

With so much tech upheaval during the post-COVID era, and so many processes changed as a result (both operationally and from a thought-bubble point of view), this is a good time to go back to square one and ask “what do we do now”?

When and where?

TR23 runs from 0900 Saturday morning 2 December until Sunday 1300 on 3 December (with an AGM, a dinner and a bit of sleep in between).  The program for TR23 program has been crafted to bring you a story arc that will position you with best ability to react to change, expose what decisions you might make about new and old technology, and help you identify what you need to get right as you build or rebuild.  And the event is being run conveniently at The Chatswood Club (where we ran TR22 Road), just four minutes walk from Chatswood Railway and bus interchange.

Hear from the people who know

Our TR23 Special Guest of Honour, Patrick Sproule, is Head of Content Technology Solutions for the ABC.  As the ABC’s senior technology executive, Pat is right now leading a greenfields build of radio and TV studios for the ABC at Parramatta, so he’s very on-topic.  He’s also very down-to-earth and has personally built studios and a TV OB truck.

You’ll get to hear first hand what’s happening at the big end of town, and then you can contrast that with information from the the Sector – for instance, 2SWR recently opened a new facility in Sydney, and 96.5 in Brisbane is just starting a significant relocation only a short while after rebuilding an existing studio in a weekend.

What’s on the grid?

Details on program flow and the schedule for TR23 can be found here.

What topics will be covered in these TR23 sessions?

We’re hot on the trail of what’s important.  As an attendee at TR23, the sessions will cover:

  • Where do you start with a new build:  gathering requirements, planning the facility, and what program forms do you need to support (traditional, podcast and video!)
  • Finding funding
  • Designing the studio, with walls, access, sound treatment, aircon, cabling, lighting and futureproofing in mind
  • Choosing the equipment: analogue vs digital
  • Documentation – before, during and after
  • Tips and musts for the actual build, including doing the cabling, studio physicals
  • Integration with socials, especially with video
  • Technology directions in studios, transmitters, consoles and signal distribution
  • Stuff you haven’t thought of (because there’s ALWAYS a heap of that)
  • Networks, storage, infrastructure and cloud
  • Power management
  • Broadcast automation
  • and… the million dollar question:  after you’ve built, how do you support?

Who is going to be presenting the tech stuff?

Experts, that’s who.  And practitioners who can show battle scars.  It wouldn’t be Technorama if we didn’t have a room full of people who can answer real questions from real experience.

Who else will be at TR23?

Our sector partners are an important part of any Technorama event, giving you the opportunity to hear directly about policy and funding changes that affect you and your station:

  • CBAA and CBF will be on-hand to discuss Roadmap 2033, what it means right now, and update you on funding opportunities for your station
  • CMTO is working on the new Certificate IV Broadcast Technology course, and Technorama has partnered with CMTO to deliver evidence-based assessments directly into the new qualification.

Fancy checking out new toys?

We’ll have a bit of a show-and-tell with selected supplier partners, who will be available to show you a practical thing or two between sessions and at breaks.  Again, you won’t be disappointed.

What would you expect this to cost?

Your $130 full registration for TR23 (member rate; just slightly more for non-members and industry) includes all the above, admission to two functions, plus lunch  on Saturday and coffee breaks.  The actual price to you is automatically generated on the registration form, but we can promise you that there isn’t a lower-priced or more cost-effective event of this class anywhere on the Sector calendar.  This is truly exceptional value for your station.

Register now!

The best place to start for registration is the link at the top of the Technorama home page.  That’s because there’s also a reminder to first become a member if you haven’t already joined us – you’ll save way more than your membership.

Don’t forget Education Day

On Friday 1 December we have a special treat for people who are quick:  hands-on Raspberry Pi training.

Yes, this is a Pi. A Pi400 to be precise, and you get to play with one at Training Day.

We have Pi projects that do station and studio switching;  generate a wall clock with status display;  create an OB or Studio/Transmitter link;  run your station automation, and be your station’s desktop of choice.

All this and more just $50 for the day.  Sign up is simple:  Education Day is an option on your TR registration.   A few places still left, but be quick.  If you’ve already registered for TR23 but forgot Education Day, drop us a line to [email protected] and we’ll help you sort it out.

We’re not giving away hardware this time (it’s a bit expensive) but every attendee will be allocated an individual Pi400 to use for the day so that you get maximum benefit from the experience.  You’ll be able to take away code and lots of pointers to documentation that will help you on your future quest.



Technorama 2023 Annual General Meeting

This is formal notice that Annual General Meeting of Technorama Incorporated for the 2022/2023 Financial Year will be held during Technorama TR23.

Time: 1730 AEDT  Saturday 2 December 2023

Place:  Level One Auditorium, The Chatswood Club, 11 Help Street Chatswood 2067

This will be a hybrid meeting, and members not in physical attendance will be offered the opportunity to dial in.

The cutoff for special business motions has passed.  If you wish to submit an ordinary motion, this will need to be with the Secretary by COB Wednesday 15 November.  AGM documents  (with forms, instructions and nomination process) will be distributed as required by our rules on 17 November.

Elections:  This year, under the newly updated rules,  we are electing Vice President, Treasurer, and one ordinary committee member.

Nominate! Information on how to nominate for these positions will be advised to members on 15 November.

Our previous Annual General Meeting was formally delayed to allow discussion on proposed new rules, and the updated rules were accepted at the meeting.  If you’d like to read the updated rules, the document is here.

We hope all members present at TR23 will take the opportunity to participate in our governance.   Naturally, we’ll tell you all the good things that we’ve been doing and plan to do, and we’ll answer your questions.

All are welcome to sit in on the meeting, but you will need to be a member to nominate or vote.

If you’d like to discuss taking a role on Committee, drop a line to [email protected] or contact John Maizels or Josh Pearson.


Updated 2023-11-12

Technorama Tuesdays – Why Pi could change your life

This is Life of [Raspberry] Pi: the IT you REALLY need

In the second of our TR23 lead-up Technorama Tuesday sessions, we focussed on the Raspberry Pi.

Watch the video

The replay of the session from 10 October can be viewed if you click here.

Why Pi?

The Raspberry Pi is an amazing little critter.  We haven’t seen upward compatibility like this across a computing platform range since IBM released the System/360.  And by the way, the Pi is in many ways more powerful than those mainframes.  All Pi models can run the same software, from the the Pico (which costs under $15), right up to the fully self-contained Pi400 that has  everything you need for a powerful studio computer – just add screen(s).

The Raspberry Pi platform can do all kinds of jobs you might have never considered. So it’s time to consider, and Technorama is here to help.

Tuesday 10 October

In this Technorama Tuesday, Pi experts Terry O’Connor and Evan Wyatt took us through some projects that you can easily implement at your station, including

  • local and remote station program switching
  • studio clock
  • streaming audio encoder
  • high quality studio/transmitter link
  • audio edit workstation
  • interfacing to Axia and other platforms
  • open-source projects that you can tackle with confidence

Terry and Evan will give you a heap of tips including where to buy your Pi, what you need to get going, how to find resources, and who to ask.

But wait there’s more!

If you like what you hear and you feel like some hands-on training: watch this space. On Friday 1 December, ahead of Technorama TR23 in Chatswood, we’re running a full day of up-close and personal experience with the Raspberry Pi – at a price you can’t ignore. Put that date in your diary and keep an eye out for the announcements.

Sign up for the Training Day ahead of TR23

Registered attendees at TR23 have the option of signing up for Raspberry Pi training on Friday 1 December.   Only 10 places will be available, and it’s first come first served.  Check the option on the registration system.

Technorama Tuesdays: November

Stump The Chumps returns on Tuesday 14 November.  Our intrepid team will take your questions live.  You get to throw the curly ones at the panel, and challenge them to prove how well they know their stuff.

Timing reminder:  the October and November sessions will start at 1830 AEDT (yes, Technorama-land runs Daylight Saving)

Are Technorama Tuesdays open to everyone to attend?

Absolutely.   Doesn’t matter if you’re a raw beginner or seasoned technologist, there’s something for everyone.  We never charge for our technology webinars, and the registration links will be via this page and the CMTO website.

So put the dates in your diary, bookmark this page, and come back to the site as each date gets closer.

Got questions?

Where do I find previous sessions?  The replay of the September Technorama Tuesdays session on new studios  is available here.  And you can get to past session via the past sessions page.

If you have a Technorama organisation question, drop a line to [email protected] and we’ll do what we can to help.

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