Monday, March 28, 2016

Militia Radio

Whether the presence of militias make you feel patriotic or remind you of Isis, you should know there are non-governmental paramilitary groups in all 50-states. Membership is estimated at between 20,000 and 60,000. You may not have seen them, but they are there. More here.

Not only are they there, but they are really into walkie-talkies. As it turns out, there are websites that track this sort of thing. The Militia radio band of choice is MURS Channel 3 ( 151.9400 MHz FM simplex ). The reason is probably because MURS is the longest range VHF radio service that can be used without the need for a radio license. Anything better would require getting a license from the man... and you knwo how they feel about the man.

Below is a more specific list of channels. You might want to try a band scan ans see what you can hear in your own neighborhood. Posse Comitatus could be practicing marching drills in your local park.

  • BAND| CHANNEL |FREQUENCY MHZ| DESCRIPTION
  • === | ======= | ============| ======= ======= =======
  • UHF |HAM U975=| 446.9750 FM | MILITIA HAM SIMPLEX
  • UHF |HAM U025=| 446.0250 FM | PATRIOT HAM SIMPLEX
  • UHF |FRS 3 ===| 462.6125 FM | MILITIA PATRIOT FRS COMMON
  • VHF |MURS 3 ==| 151.9400 FM | MILITIA PATRIOT MURS PRIMARY
  • VHF |HAM 42 ==| 146.4200 FM | PATRIOT HAM SIMPLEX
  • VHF |HAM 485 =| 146.4850 FM | MILITIA HAM SOUTHEASTERN SIMP
  • VHF |HAM 53 ==| 146.5300 FM | PATRIOT MILITIA HAM SIMPLEX
  • VHF |HAM 55 ==| 146.5500 FM | PATRIOT HAM SIMPLEX
  • HF =|HAM 10 M | 028.3000 USB| MILITIA HAM EASTERN
  • HF =|HAM 10 M | 028.3050 USB| PATRIOT HAM NATIONWIDE
  • CB =|CB 3 AM =| 026.9850 AM | MILITIA PATRIOT CB COMMON
  • CB =|CB 3 USB | 026.9850 USB| MILITIA AM USB OR LSB
  • CB =|CB 14 AM | 027.1250 AM | MILITIA CB SOUTHEASTERN LOCAL
  • CB =|CB 32 LSB| 027.3250 LSB| MILITIA CB SSB SOUTHEAST
  • CB =|CB 36 USB| 027.3650 USB| MILITIA PATRIOT CB
  • CB =|CB 37 USB| 027.3750 USB| PATRIOT CB SSB NATIONWIDE

Friday, March 25, 2016

WOKO Soap Box Derby

The WOKO on air today went on the air in 1962 as WJOY-FM. The station was also known as WQCR from 1972 to 1990, when it became WOKO, the country station in Bernie Sander's back yard. It is not related to the former WOKO which started in the 1920s in New York City and operated for many years in Albany; that station is now WOPG. Is that that New York WOKO that entered a soap box derby back in 1959.

It is however interesting to me that they chose the British spelling of "Radio Centre."  It's been  250 years since the colonies and United Kingdom were ruled by the crown. According to many sources, it was the either the 1806 or 1828 edition of Webster's dictionary that was so responsible for standardizing these "Americanized" spellings. His dictionary came to be seen in the UK as Americanized and became less popular.  Incidentally the word "Center" passed the tipping point in the US in 1910. SOURCE [HERE]

In 1939 WOKO published a radio guide which highlighted their new Radio Centre on Elk Street. If it was new that year, then it was already 20 years old when that Soap Box racer hit the pavement. SOURCE [HERE]

Harold E. Smith bought 1460 WOKO-AM when it was still a New York City station.  He moved it to Peekskill, NY then later in 1931 Albany, NY. In 1934, he bought 1400 WABY-AM.  When the Radio Centre was complete his CBS and NBC affiliates now shared studio space. (WOKO was CBS, WABY was NBC) Though they never shared a radio tower.  The WOKO transmitter was on Central Avenue, and the WABY transmitter was near Colonie, NY. It is probably one of the earliest instances of radio stations sharing studio space but not programming.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

DIGITAL RADIO STUDIO

This is a surprisingly complete tutorial on how to build a digital radio studio. We define a radio station in many different ways today. Clyde Broadcast manufacture radio studio equipment in the UK. Btu they don't turn this into a sales pitch. it's just a mart way of looking at all the interconnected parts of your studio.

PART 1


PART 2



Wednesday, March 23, 2016

An Unknown Call Sign

I found this posted online for auction. It was listed as "unknown" call letters. As you might expect, that was all too enticing a mystery.  Clearly the important part is that mic, since over it is a call sign. But the photo is washed out. The scan seems to be of decent quality so I blew it up. Then I added contrast and then started playing with the color filters.
So that first letter is pretty rough, probably a "K". But then the next three letters look like "TSF" making the calls either WTSF or KTSF (assuming this is a US station.) But KTSF is a TV station that signed on in the 1970s. There also were no radio stations of note under the calls of WTSF. I am for the moment... stumped. Unless one of those blobs is a number and not a letter.. i.e. experimental calls.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Morse code via Apple Watch

I first read about this here.


Patryk Laurent, cat the Brain Corporation in San Diego developed an application that uses Morse code to send Apple Watch messages. He's an radio ham of course.