Talking House AM Broadcast Journey – The Start
Posted on January 10, 2013
Thought I’d use the blog function here to post about my ongoing effort to get a Talking House V AM transmitter optimized and on the air.
First, the background:
Web radio is wonderful, but rather tedious to tune into. Requires internet access, requires a device with working sound and requires a way to find the programming. There are other needs and cost therein which make the net experience not so optimal and rather expensive, especially in light of what cellular phone companies charge for data plans and inability for most to afford to radio over such.
Traditional radio, especially AM is widely available. Probably every house in the United States has an AM radio be it on a clock radio, on a boombox or in their car. Most households have several AM capable receivers.
AM radio is true, tried and tested. Listenership is there still. People refer to AM broadcasts for news and talk radio in most markets. Still most areas are totally underserved, lacking a local AM station and lacking local content. Too much of the AM band is filled (like FM) with the same programs syndicated on hundreds of stations clogging up the radio dial. This is especially true of the 50,000 watt blow torch stations people can hear for hundreds of miles away and in some case 38 of the 50 states.
Beyond the repetitive left vs. right rehash, there isn’t much on the AM dial. Music? Hardly any. Thought provoking content, none.
As the economy globally continues to sputter and dim, citizens will have less access to fewer resources (i.e. cable television, satellite radio, internet, etc.) to access news and information.
All of that led me to an old familiar do-it-yourself movement of microbroadcasting and the discovery of Part15 as a legal means to accomplish such.
In the past I’ve been one of those rogue characters with a transmitter wired and stored for emergency broadcasting and occasional transmissions to test the equipment. My range perhaps 2-3 miles point to point and collectively maybe 6-9 square miles. This is on the FM band and not a very optimized setup with all gear and antenna indoors. A true novice setup with little knowledge of how to do things “properly”. 5 watts of output.
So, in the past month, I’ve decided it was time for my neighborhood and ideally the surrounding city and adjacent towns to get a listenable alternative to the noise on the dial.