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Author Topic: Having a radio station and lacking interest  (Read 776 times)

Offline Kage

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Having a radio station and lacking interest
« on: October 25, 2019, 0727 UTC »
Ever since I was a kid I wanted to be a radio DJ. I built small FM transmitters as a teen starting out with rigging in audio to the internals of another FM radio and using the local oscillator to rebroadcast a few houses down from mine. Grew up and pirated FM with higher power, got up to 10 watts or so on FM and a 40' tower. Covered most of my town. Had friends come over and we'd do shows and had the local Taco Bell guy a mile away call in just to hear his voice echo over the cell phone and his radio.

I got paranoid after a while and part of that was my own doing trying to get the word out and I was always getting high and/or drunk at the time. Had a bad cough syrup habit but that's another story. Anyway.. after learning not only did my friends know about our FM station.. the whole damn town knew which surprised me. Doesn't help it is a 11k population so word gets around, but not in the way I wished.

So I switched up, went to AM because my strength is electronics and having fun with electronics. Got on medium wave and still have it setup for the occasional power switch flip to start broadcasting. I'm saving it for winter though when conditions are best and FCC is stranded.

Thing is the lack of interest now. Radio in general is dying. Any of us who deny that are clinging to memories. I sure know I cling to those FM days in the late 90s to 2008 or so. I had a lot of fun then and we had a ton of listeners. I had a phone patch, aka: cell phone with cord spliced into the mixer, but hey.. it worked!
My point here is the medium itself is dying because in general most broadcasts on AM/FM are talk radio and music, and not good stuff. It's all syndicated garbage, no local calls, no requests.

Us pirates aren't doing so great either in my opinion and I know I will take hate for this but I tune into shortwave on 69xxkHz and it's always the same boring music I can get on FM radio, the DJs don't talk much and some of them resort to computerized voicing.
What happened to broadcasting with actual talk, maybe a friend or co-host? No offense to those who don't, I believe everyone with the ability should get on the air, but the programming has become stale lets face it. We get out our tablet computers or phone to see what song is playing if we don't know just to type up a reception report. Yeah hooray you emitted RF and we could hear it. There are some really good pirates still around and I won't name names, but they can carry a program and often blast a radio. So if you got low power make that programming count or else you just become another log note.

Sorry I don't mean to sound like a dick. I just remember pirates of the 90s and so, there was more effort rather than running a play list. I say this because I realized that is exactly what I was doing with my AM radio station on 1710kHz. Wondering why I didn't get more listeners, then sat back and thought... would I continue listening to this just because it's on the radio? 

I'm just wondering what is the way forward? I seem to be going backward with AM now instead of FM broadcast band pirating simply because it's literally getting to the point where FM radio has killed itself and no one wants to listen to Hotel California one more time without shooting their brains out. At least AM offers more fun, which is so damn backward when you think about it. What has become of all this?
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Offline Kage

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Re: Having a radio station and lacking interest
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2019, 0752 UTC »
Yeah I know TL;DR. I was just ranting. Just angry about the solar cycle I guess :P
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Offline IZS4

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Re: Having a radio station and lacking interest
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2019, 1637 UTC »
I have always wanted to have my own radio broadcast also. I enjoy listening to music you don't hear often or even for the first time.Commercial radio stations now play the same set of music over and over again. I typically listen to podcasts more than the radio now. I even miss the pirates that would talk about crazy conspiracies and such.
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Offline redhat

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Re: Having a radio station and lacking interest
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2019, 1726 UTC »
Radio is a fairly mature medium and its hard to do compelling programming that hasn't been done before.  There are a lot of folks out there who operate I think just to scratch the itch.  Its not about the content per se as it is the act.  Pirate radio is a fluid media, and always in flux.  If the rumblings I've been hearing are any indication, activity should pick up in the near term once winter gets a firmer hold on conditions.

To be fair, whatever someone deems good or compelling programming is very subjective.  What you may consider such, I may consider boring, etc.  I would love to do talk radio, but its just not in my skill set.  I stuck whith what I could do pretty well, which was a new music sort of show.  The key for me was to keep the listeners involved and feeling like part of the process.

Nostalgia is a powerful drug.  We all pine for the good old days, but often times THESE are the good old days  ;D

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Offline Azimuth Coordinator

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Re: Having a radio station and lacking interest
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2019, 0938 UTC »
I'll get this sorted out as soon as I can get this Flux Capacitor to work..    From what I see in the Logs there a quite a few choices to listen to I hope that there is something for everyone to enjoy I think most Op's just have a limited amount of time to put together a show and get it on the air so going "live" may not be an option for some.. I'm in that group but I try to make it interesting.. 

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Offline Σ

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Re: Having a radio station and lacking interest
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2019, 1140 UTC »
As a listener I appreciate any operator that takes the time and risk to put a show on the air. Since I rarely/almost never listen to standard AM/FM broadcasting I don't mind if you play what they play because it is commercial free (of legitimate ones anyway ;) ).

Part of the thrill for me is in the hunt for a pirate station, part is the content - listening to someone else's playlist, unusual or B-side songs thrown into a playlist or genres I don't normally listen to - and part is the camaraderie of the HFU chat while these stations are broadcasting.

Despite the lack of conditions I am amazed at how many stations are regularly on the air. During the day on a weekday? Yup, no longer a rarity. Four or five at night? No longer an unusual occurrence. Mix Radio International often is played while I am in my office at work because they are on during the day on a weekday. I get disappointed when they aren't on the air!

My listening habit is fairly passive and I don't end up logging or QSL'ing a station. The majority of the time, thanks to a very busy lifestyle, I am usually actively engaged in something else (working on a project in my workshop, spending time with family with the radio on in the background, etc.) while listening. As a result I do end up listening to the content so when someone is playing standard stuff, I am good with that. When someone plays something unusual, I am good with that, too.

So, thank you to all the operators who do take to the air. It makes the hobby fun and I am glad I can share my KiwiSDR receiver with others who also find it interesting as well.

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Offline OgreVorbis

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Re: Having a radio station and lacking interest
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2019, 1020 UTC »
Ever since I was a kid I wanted to be a radio DJ. I built small FM transmitters as a teen starting out with rigging in audio to the internals of another FM radio and using the local oscillator to rebroadcast a few houses down from mine. Grew up and pirated FM with higher power, got up to 10 watts or so on FM and a 40' tower. Covered most of my town. Had friends come over and we'd do shows and had the local Taco Bell guy a mile away call in just to hear his voice echo over the cell phone and his radio.

I got paranoid after a while and part of that was my own doing trying to get the word out and I was always getting high and/or drunk at the time. Had a bad cough syrup habit but that's another story. Anyway.. after learning not only did my friends know about our FM station.. the whole damn town knew which surprised me. Doesn't help it is a 11k population so word gets around, but not in the way I wished.

So I switched up, went to AM because my strength is electronics and having fun with electronics. Got on medium wave and still have it setup for the occasional power switch flip to start broadcasting. I'm saving it for winter though when conditions are best and FCC is stranded.

Thing is the lack of interest now. Radio in general is dying. Any of us who deny that are clinging to memories. I sure know I cling to those FM days in the late 90s to 2008 or so. I had a lot of fun then and we had a ton of listeners. I had a phone patch, aka: cell phone with cord spliced into the mixer, but hey.. it worked!
My point here is the medium itself is dying because in general most broadcasts on AM/FM are talk radio and music, and not good stuff. It's all syndicated garbage, no local calls, no requests.

Us pirates aren't doing so great either in my opinion and I know I will take hate for this but I tune into shortwave on 69xxkHz and it's always the same boring music I can get on FM radio, the DJs don't talk much and some of them resort to computerized voicing.
What happened to broadcasting with actual talk, maybe a friend or co-host? No offense to those who don't, I believe everyone with the ability should get on the air, but the programming has become stale lets face it. We get out our tablet computers or phone to see what song is playing if we don't know just to type up a reception report. Yeah hooray you emitted RF and we could hear it. There are some really good pirates still around and I won't name names, but they can carry a program and often blast a radio. So if you got low power make that programming count or else you just become another log note.

Sorry I don't mean to sound like a dick. I just remember pirates of the 90s and so, there was more effort rather than running a play list. I say this because I realized that is exactly what I was doing with my AM radio station on 1710kHz. Wondering why I didn't get more listeners, then sat back and thought... would I continue listening to this just because it's on the radio? 

I'm just wondering what is the way forward? I seem to be going backward with AM now instead of FM broadcast band pirating simply because it's literally getting to the point where FM radio has killed itself and no one wants to listen to Hotel California one more time without shooting their brains out. At least AM offers more fun, which is so damn backward when you think about it. What has become of all this?

Yes, I see what you mean about all radio being homogenized. Even a lot of pirates play very generic music and don't put much effort into making an interesting show. That's not to say that there aren't some pretty unique and interesting ones out there. I think a lot of them do it mostly to get reports (like ham radio) rather than actually focus on the content. Which isn't a bad thing necessarily if they are concentrating on the technical aspects of the hobby.

Radio has sort of killed itself, but that's kind of a good thing for the pirates. Eventually these bands will become so rare that the FCC won't care as much about policing it. I hope...

I am kind of surprised that there aren't more talk orientated political pirates out there. You would think that a big reason for being a pirate would be to get fringe ideas out there. I wonder why it's mostly music?
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Offline redhat

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Re: Having a radio station and lacking interest
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2019, 1856 UTC »
I am kind of surprised that there aren't more talk orientated political pirates out there. You would think that a big reason for being a pirate would be to get fringe ideas out there. I wonder why it's mostly music?

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Offline JimIO

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Re: Having a radio station and lacking interest
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2019, 1932 UTC »
I don't think any pirate would be more or less likely to be busted because of programming content. Somebody should test that...    8)

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Offline Sealord

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Re: Having a radio station and lacking interest
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2019, 1950 UTC »
I don't think any pirate would be more or less likely to be busted because of programming content. Somebody should test that...    8)

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Offline JimIO

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Re: Having a radio station and lacking interest
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2019, 2011 UTC »
I put "Colonel Steve Anderson" into the search and it only returns your message.

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« Last Edit: October 29, 2019, 2016 UTC by JimIO »

Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: Having a radio station and lacking interest
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2019, 2017 UTC »
I don't think any pirate would be more or less likely to be busted because of programming content. Somebody should test that...    8)

It may be coincidental, but YHWH was busted after he started to air programs critical of military servicemen. It may also be coincidental, but he was located near a major US military installation.  He also ran a very predictable schedule and was on the air often, so there is that.


Quote
I put "Colonel Steve Anderson" into the search and it only returns my own message.

https://www.diymedia.net/kentucky-shortwave-militia-pirate-arrested-in-north-carolina/109/


The FCC has its hands full with FM pirates. IMHO the most common reason for the bust of a shortwave pirate is interference.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2019, 2019 UTC by ChrisSmolinski »
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Offline JimIO

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Re: Having a radio station and lacking interest
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2019, 2036 UTC »
I was talking about "normal" people. Colonel Steve should have been locked up before he ever got on the air.

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Offline Rizla

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Re: Having a radio station and lacking interest
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2019, 0157 UTC »
I don't know about radio ever "dying", per se. Things change, but the airwaves are still there.

Who knows what the future will bring, and what supposedly old tech could become very relevant.

In a "Road Warrior" scenario, it would suddenly be totally relevant. (Not that I believe that, just saying "who knows".)

Personally speaking as someone who listened way back when, one could postulate that  XFM  and Wolverine produce programs every bit as good as, if not better than, many 1980's stations, with more interesting and varied musical content (to these ears anyway).

I love trying to figure out the theme of the shows, and what the tracks are.

There may be fewer drunken comedy one-off stations these days, but look at the logs.  I seriously doubt it.

As for the lack of political talk, I think the commentators above got it right... politics make it more precarious? I still wonder why more
people don't do it, even once.


« Last Edit: October 30, 2019, 0202 UTC by Rizla »
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Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: Having a radio station and lacking interest
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2019, 1032 UTC »
As for the lack of political talk, I think the commentators above got it right... politics make it more precarious? I still wonder why more
people don't do it, even once.

There have been political pirates. The Crystal Ship, for example, frequently had political commentary. There have also been several pro and anti Trump transmissions the past few years, and I believe there were similar stations during the Obama administration.  But certainly they are the exception rather than the rule. My guess is most radio hobbyists get enough politics in their Facebook and Twitter feeds  :)
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