- January 19, 2019 at 5:32 am #108880
Today is Saturday and we feel like improving something here at KDX Worldround Radio.
Should we apply to the FCC for an increase in power? We probably wouldn’t get it, but couldn’t actually know unless we tried.
But do we need an increase in power? Not really. The part 15 limit we have is doing everything we need… both AM and FM comes in strong all over the campus here at Home School College.
Maybe we could find some great new programs to add to the schedule. But when?
Thing is our schedule at KDX is already overflowing with the very best programming available on this planet and if we did find something better we could always fire somebody, so we are on top of that game.
We could always add more women to the volunteer staff. Trouble is the jobs that really need doing are tasks that modern women won’t do, such as making coffee.
So, at the end of the day, KDX is a complete success and there’s nothing we can do about it.
- January 19, 2019 at 11:07 am #108884
More Success Stories
No one wants to look back on their radio career with regret and there’s no reason not to come out on top.
In the 1970s I learned that the janitors at the company where I did a popular program were making the same pay grade as me, so I asked for an increase to $8-an-hour and was turned down. At about that time I learned that newcomers like Rush Limbaugh and others were making millions per year, so I showed them all. I signed up to work totally free of charge for a public radio station for 4-years! It made sense at the time.
A couple of decades later my wife and I took on video production alongside the audio and print media we’d already been doing. Because music scores play an important part I taught myself practically overnight to compose music for computer generated instruments and right away we won a few awards! On the side I wrote a violin concerto and 4-symphonies but knew that the only road to fame was being dead. You’ve heard it… the famous composers are dead. So by stepping down as a composer and am still alive!
Conducting always looks like the ultimate musical job because you’re the headline guy up front telling the musicians what to do and leaving after the concert with a choice groupie that’s into conductors, but they always get offers to conduct orchestras in other cities and countries which means air travel and I don’t fly, so nix that.
Here’s one other benefit of the successes you accumulate in your life… you can be the guest on your own talk show!
- January 19, 2019 at 4:53 pm #108892
You just don’t know… If all the AM stations go defunct –which I still don’t believe they will, but if they do, it could prove beneficial to our hobby.. but then that would probably mean they’ll stop manufacturing cars with AM radios — which I also doubt would happen, with exception to Tesla, and perhaps battery powered cars.. but you know even -uh- who was it? BMW? they ended up going back to the drawing board with design of their electric cars after a huge backlash from owners complaining about all the interference they were experiencing trying to listen to their AM talk radio while commuting.
We don’t know what’s going to happen next, but it may prove to result as an advantage to our hobby broadcast, so no need to be crying about the sky falling until when and if it does come crashing down.
I realize you didn’t address any of that, but there seemed to be an undertone in your post above.. or perhaps it was just my imagination.
Either way, things are not always the way they appear to be.
- January 19, 2019 at 5:26 pm #108893
Things and Their Appearance
As often Rich Powers is thoughtful and fair in what he says.
Up above I hadn’t intended foreshadowing anything about the future of the AM band, and tend to think that well established stations will go on for many years, while less productive stations could disappear, and part 15 is the ultimate beneficiary either way.
And I respond to this: “Either way, things are not always the way they appear to be”
To which I say…
Things are not what they appear to be but don’t be fooled by that.
- January 19, 2019 at 6:04 pm #108895
Don’t be fooled by what appears to be. All three phrases say the same thing.
Like it appears my post here disappeared the first time I said it, but did it really? Don’t know, or care really, it wasn’t important anyway. But posted this reply again anyway.. didn’t I? .. or did I? It certainly appears that I have.. but appearances can be deceiving..
Ain’t there some story about a guy who woke up from a dream about being a butterfly, and hen wasn’t sure now if he was actually a butterfly dreaming he was a man…
Oh, it’s all so confusing.
Damn elusive butterfly.
- January 19, 2019 at 7:08 pm #108896
Seeing is Not Believing
Your highway picture, showing an actual highway in Chicago, reminds me of a situation I swear I encountered once although no one will believe me…
I came to the end of a road where the signs said
Dead End – No Right Turn – No Left Turn – No U Turn – No Parking
- January 20, 2019 at 5:45 am #108904
Total posts : 558
Well, barely on topic but since AM radio and cars were mentioned ….
I have NEVER, and never will, consider cars to be places to listen to a Part 15 station, AM or FM. Unless of course a station were to put in parking for their listeners, perhaps with food service and a free car wash. No one driving will listen to a Part 15 station. The highway passes through our listening area, and we have our “Adopt a Highway” sign out there. Curious people who tune in will get to hear us for about a minute and a half at 65 MPH. That does not count as a listener. Unless someone gets a flat tire they’re not even going to hear an entire 2 1/2 minute song.
Same deal if you’re driving mainstreet through town. Although you can only go 30 mph, main street is only 1/4 mile long and has no stop signs or stop lights.
No, our target audience is people not in cars using their radios. That and people listening on the cable TV channel that has us on in the background.
The concept of coverage to a “good car radio” is pointless. Unless the masses are starting to bring their good car radios into the house and hooking them up to speakers, a power supply and antenna. After which it won’t be “good” as you’ve lost the ground plane of the car’s body, and probably picked up some hum from the cheap Chinese power supply.
- January 22, 2019 at 8:09 am #108932
Total posts : 263
Tim’s observation reminds me of a situation several years ago when a would-be Part 15 operator approached me about setting up a station. At the time Saint Leo University was operating a Rangemaster that would cover the campus airing student run programming. Somehow he found out about the station and drove 70 miles from Ft. Myers and showed up unannounced on my front door step. Creepy. He told me he had backers that he could not disclose and wanted to promote a business. He carefully measured the car radio reception while driving on the highway passing the college. Now keep in mind the speed limit is between 45 and 55 mph. His before and after car radio range was about 2 miles before fading into the noise. I explained to him exactly what Tim pointed out and that was any meaningful message about his business would be there and gone in a flash. He could not wrap his head around that and continued driving back and forth from Ft. Myers still showing up on my doorstep to debate the usefulness of Part 15 for his business. Then he revealed that the station was inside a deed restricted community and the people he wanted to reach was on a highway about 1/2 from his house! Finally he stopped showing up. I now know what it’s like to be stalked I think.
- January 20, 2019 at 6:50 am #108905
Tim is Right and It’s Time We Learned
When he says: “I have NEVER, and never will, consider cars to be places to listen to a Part 15 station, AM or FM.”
At most a car is a handy machine for checking local range but, to enlarge on Tim’s point, all the other cars will be taking longer trips extending mostly OUTSIDE of signal range.
By persisting to believe that cars are potential listeners we show a flaw in our thinking about the world. We show that we see the world only from our personal point-of-view and have no skill for putting ourselves in the place of a different person.
As Tim says, if we hope to attract automobiles we need to provide attractive parking lots that they can’t resist parking in and then they need to be attracted to set their dials to your station otherwise all that parking wouldn’t accomplish anything.
KDX is thinking about a badly lit romantic parking lot where people can hold secret hand-holding and other lovey dovey without being detected. A romantic music format might seal the deal.
- January 20, 2019 at 8:06 am #108907
Yes I agree!
We have been hearing “to a good car radio” for so long. Where I am it’s residential so lots of houses and cars parked and some people may be in their car with the radio on but generally they are driving and it’s like Tim said.
I sit in my car a lot and listen but not on the car radio to not drain the battery. I take a portable with me and listen on that. I use the car radio for sound checks and to make sure my frequency is OK but not for any extended listening. At this time of year if it’s to cold to sit outside I go out and sit in the car but most people don’t do that. And people sitting in cars are on smart phones not the radio.
Yes, to a good regular radio is what you want.
Tim, If you build that Tecson AM radio kit let us know how it works sound and performance wise. A little review.
- January 20, 2019 at 8:53 am #108908
Understand your points completely, but I tend to have a different view.. living on a 2 1/2 long mile island for 40 years which also happens to be a heavy tourist spot, the traffic can get quite heavy in the summer and traffic can slow to a crawl for hours on end, and even if the traffic flow is moving there are tourist driving around and around and around again in circles vainly trying to find a parking spot.
If anyone listens to radio around here, you can bet it will be most likely via the cars radio dial, it’s not often I see people carrying a portable around anymore, and even if they did they would be lucky to pick up a part 15 signal anymore than about a block away, unless they have a high quality receiver.
What’s more, indoor reception usually would require extra attention by installing some kind of outdoor antenna unless their home happens to be with in eyeshot of the transmitter.
No, I have to disagree with you guys, a part 15 signal, if the installation at least has some semblance of being legal then it is just not capable of penetrating homes for people to tune in a listenable signal indoors on their radio – unless it’s at an apartment complex or something, or if the home dweller makes it a point to run wires outside to boost his reception capabilities, or happens to live within a block or so of the transmission. How many average joes have a decent AM radio? I’d bet the majority have little more than a clock radio to listen to.
- January 20, 2019 at 3:13 pm #108909
Total posts : 430
Most legal over-the-air Part 15 stations will get very poor range (measured in the hundreds of feet) on ordinary receivers. That includes both AM in the U.S. and FM in Canada.
Exfcept in a few, rare cases, the only useful listening range otherwise is via a sensitive car radio (unless, of course, you listen in on a communications grade receiver, with a directional outisde antenna).
If you live in an area that is tightly bounded by size, with people in their cars a lot, such as an island, then you have a shot at getting some listeners.
When I resided on Bowen Island, my target audience was the ferry lineup, which ran through the center of Snug Cove (the equivalent of ‘downtown’ Bowen).
That’s not to diminish the usefulness of a Part 15 station when you yourself (along with a few, nearby neighbors) are the target audience.
It really all depends on what you’re attempting to achieve.
- January 20, 2019 at 4:08 pm #108910
Rich Powers makes a good point that it depends on the location and if there’s a location where you have a target area where cars are not just driving by but there’s a big busy parking lot and a lot of people are sitting in their cars that’s a plus. Or you may not have a lot of residences right around you.
Always wonder whether any one I see sitting in their cars on the street or a driveway actually are listening to the radio and if any ever were listening to me. But like I said it seems they are with their phones not the radio.
- January 20, 2019 at 5:08 pm #108911
I think it goes without saying that the only ways a part 15 AM station can actually serve a small city is:
1. Multiple transmitter installs spread out around the area. Accomplishing it is something that can get real expensive really fast, not even counting the cost of the transmitters themselves.. every time I look down that path I see it getting extremely cost prohibitive, and complicated.. it would definitely require some kind of substantial community funding to achieve.
2. Use the terrestrial station as only a base or figurehead, and build upon that with streaming apps and/or cable side channels and perhaps publish a companion a local newspaper or something.. not as cheap as it used to be but still a little cheaper than option 1.
3. Pretend you don’t comprehend what a 3 meter antenna system is and just have at it.
- January 20, 2019 at 9:06 pm #108912
Carl of KDX radio said something a few years ago which couldn’t be more true:
“To reach your target area with a part 15 AM system you must locate the transmitter and antenna at the target location.”
Either that, or they have to come to the transmitter location.. probably in a car.. with a radio..
Yeah I can see how that sounds ridiculous, but I just want to clarify I think (I got a lot of I going on right now) that for a part 15 station, anyone, anywhere, the potential for a car-listening audience is always a present thing, especially if they already know of your station, seen in an ad, word of mouth, or yard signs spread about “Tune In the areas of coverage…..
I just got a thought! Next time you have a garage sale, instead of the sign just having an arrow and address, also include TUNE 1650 for Garage AM. Or something like that.
…where was I? Oh yeah, automobile audiences.. You never know, can you imagine a scenario with a few friends hanging out with nothing particular to do, when one of them says “hey lets cruise down to the south side, kick back and see what playing on Southside Radio AM? Or it could be any number of scenarios, but the potential car listeners is always substantial and present. And no, of course not for at 40-50mph.
Car radios are one of Part15AMs blessings. – Or if you don’t like that word then; advantages.
Or so I think.
I, I, I.. maybe I got too many I ‘s
- January 20, 2019 at 10:36 pm #108914
It would be very hard to serve a small city or even a large town even if money was no problem.
Where would you put the transmitters with the set up needed? On posts? in parks? etc.
How would they be all powered? and how would you get audio to them? Figuring that the same feed goes to all of them. You would have to know people spread out all over the place and get permission to install a transmitter, on their property.
It’s a good thought but I don’t think doable. Just a conversation piece.
I like the idea of the garage sale and advertising your station there with a sign and having it playing for everyone to hear.
Now that’s doable. You will get everyone in the area to know about your station.
- January 20, 2019 at 10:55 pm #108916
It’s a good thought but I don’t think doable. Just a conversation piece.
Come on Mark, haven’t I talked about Radio Sausalito? They’ve been doing it for the last 15 years very successfully with six Rangemasters. See my blog post ‘He just wanted to listen to jazz in the kitchen’ It’s just a compilation of news articles about them from the last 20 years, and also presents a basic overview of their operations.
- January 20, 2019 at 11:06 pm #108917
Oh, just a few quick quotes thru the years from Jonathan Westerling founder/owner of Radio Sausalito:
“…I didn’t plan to put Radio Sausalito on the air… When I was unpacking, there it was in a box. So I hooked it up to a computer because I wanted to hear jazz in the kitchen while I was cooking…”
“..It’s 0.1 watt. We’re talking baby monitor. We’re talking your cordless phone, basically. That’s how far it’s going to go…”
..”We have listeners in Tiburon, but at the same time there are people in Sausalito who can’t get the station.. ..the crazy thing about radio is if you crack open that microphone you have no idea if you’re talking to three people or 3,000 people.”
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