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Global Internet Distribution of Cultural Media: how Internet Radio was oh so 5 minutes ago

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Global Internet Distribution of Cultural Media:
How Internet Radio was oh so 5 minutes ago

vTuner_AIRJ01F_image1Aluratek USB Internet Radio Jukebox

While at the local Frys’s Electronics I saw a bunch of Internet radios from Aluratek. Most of the models were in the $100 price range which is typical of appliance design internet radios.

However, there was one device available for $29.  This was advertised as a USB Internet Radio Jukebox.  A recent issue of Monitoring Times had a review of this device.  The reviewer in Monitoring Times was not too impressed with the USB Internet Radio.  My guess from the review was that what you really got in the Aluratek USB Internet Radio Jukebox was a standard USB memory stick with software.  So, I passed it by.

On the way home I was wondering what Internet source was feeding the Aluratek radios.  I knew about Reciva as a major site that feeds some Internet radios.  But what about the Aluratek?  Did Reciva feed Aluratek?

Oh Grasshopper

Well, who cares anyway.  I have all the internet radio I can deal with.  I have the Apple iPod Touch with all those great application plus I know about Reciva.  Between the iPod Touch applications and Reciva I have everything I need.  Oh Grasshopper.

“Quickly as you can, snatch the pebble from my hand.” The young Caine tries and fails. “When you can take the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave. -Master Kan

When I got home I did a bit of research.  What I discovered was that vTuner feeds Aluratek appliance Internet radios.  My conclusion was based on the fact that I discovered that the vTuner site cites Aluratek as a device maker partner.

vTuner Internet Media feed and receiver application

Go to the vTuner site and what do you find?  For $29 – as a one-time fee – you can download software to your PC to get access to Internet distribution of media.  So I suspect that the Aluratek USB internet radio is some version of this software on a traditional USB memory stick.

vTuner allows a 15 day free trial of the software.  So, I gave it a shot.  This is some really great stuff.

The differentiators – Reciva vs vTuner

At the time of this writing Reciva is pure audio.  vTuner adds video to the audio offering and tight integration with Real Player.  This is some really great stuff.

vTuner_TVCollegeRedefining the offering.  Internet Radio to Internet Media

At some point one needs to redefine the language with regard to these devices.  These are not Internet “radios” ( one infers a limitation to audio) but these are Internet media distribution services in the broadest sense of the word.  These devices collapse the traditional distinction between radio and television as differentiated by the appliance needed to receive these types of media.

Basically, anything that can be digitized, coded, and pushed down an internet pipe is fair game.  This includes radio (audio), television (video), web cams, scanners, and everything else that can be tuned into bits and recovered at the other end.

vTuner_RealLibraryA real win with Real Player

There is another real win with vTuner over Reciva.  And that real win is the tight integration with Real Player.

vTuner integrates with Real Player and offers a feature to record just about anything you are listening to or watching.  Real Player automatically tags the media that you are listening to or watching  and places it into its media library on your PC. This is really a great feature.

There are some media streams that are protected and can not be recorded.

“Enough is never enough” – Ferengi Rules of Acquisition

Here’s a partial summary of what you get with vTuner not in Reciva

Television (including distance learning)

There are many categories of television stations.  Some of the categories are College, Government, Public, Religious, Sports, variety, and a number of other categories.  Nearly one half of the 49 College television programming is Distance Learning. If you are into ad hoc or ala carte education then you might enjoy this

Web Cams

There are also a large number of web cams.  Want to see the live traffic in Hong Kong or Belfast Northern Ireland? Then take a look.  Want to look at Burbon Street in New Orleans? That is there as well.  Do you want to see research experiments in progress?  How about the Pitch Drop Experiment in Brisbane Australia?  Don’t know what it is?  Then find out.

Scanners

You can listen to about 100 scanners across the United States and a few across the world.

Amateur Radio Repeaters

At the time of this writing, there is one Amateur Radio Repeater streaming audio to vTuner

Conclusion

The term “Internet Radio” applied to infrastructure systems such a vTuner is a misnomer.  The general public hearing the term “Internet Radio” associates and infers the traditional meaning of radio with all its limitations.  The limitation of audio associated with ‘Radio” is no such limitation of Global Internet Media Distributors like vTuner.

So for now, go and download the free 15 day trial of vTuner and have some fun.

Watch for our follow-up posting on the societal and cultural implications on importing and exporting cultural media.

Resources

http://vtuner.com/

https://www.reciva.com/

Here is another USB-based device  http://en.muzee.net/index_flash.html

It’s a good bet that all of these USB devices are nothing but some version of the vTuner software made to run on a traditional USB memory stick.  The advantage is that all the configuration and saved stations are on the USB stick and can taken from PC to PC.  The downside, is that you have another device to deal with.  vTuner software is $19.95 at the time of this writing.  The question would be – If you buy the vTuner software on how many PC’s can you install the software?  If the answer is only one, then it’s probably better to have the USB stick.

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Written by frrl

May 17, 2009 at 8:59 am

Terrestrial Broadcast Radio: The end of an era?

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Terrestrial Broadcast Radio: The end of an era?

ipodRadio_CCraneWiFi

If you are a regular reader of this blog it should be no secret – I have an Apple iPod Touch and I am diggin’ it.  Before you spend several hundred dollars on a Wi-Fi radio you might want to see what the Apple iPod Touch – or some of your existing technology – can offer you.

What is Wi-Fi Radio?

“Imagine listening to more than 5,000 radio stations from all over the world in a radio in your home, office or hotel.

Internet radio stations offer an endless audio entertainment. Some of it is a simultaneous broadcast from NPR, ESPN, the BBC and so on. Others are Internet-only stations that serve both mainstream and niche tastes. The variety is staggering, all of it is free, and it is largely uncluttered by ads.

You tune into radio shows just like you have for decades, but the antennas of the radios are internal Wi-Fi that connect to a wireless home network. The reception is excellent: the wi-fi radio can pull in thousands of Internet radio stations from all over the world, without a single pop of static. It can also play podcasts, a copious source of free, generally ad-free prerecorded audio programs. The radio comes with several Internet stations already listed in the menus, sorted either by genre (Comedy, Kids, Latin, Hip-hop and so on) or by geographical location. At the service platform – wifi-radio.biz- you can easily add new stations of your choosing.”

What’s at the Apple Application Store for Wi-Fi Radio?

ipodRadio_iHeartRadioThere are an amazing number of free applications in the App Store for the iPhone and the iPod Touch that can get you linked into Wi-Fi Radio.  Of course, for the Touch, you need to have a home wireless network.  If you are going to use the Touch as a Wi-Fi Radio appliance surrogate then get a docking station.  My 50 Watt iPod Docking station was $50 – a good buy.

These are just a few of the Application that can link you into WiFi Radio

  • Shoutcast
  • Stitcher
  • iHeartRadio
  • FlyCast
  • NPR Mobile

All of these applications are free to download and use.  These applications provide you the capability to listen to literally thousands of radio stations.  The challenge of all of these applications is how to organize and present thousands of radio stations and internet streams in a usable form for search and selection.

ipodRadio_ShoutCastSome of the applications organize the stations by genre; some by city then genre; some apps organize by categories (sports, technology, world news); one application is focused on public radio broadcasts and archives of those broadcasts.  Some applications will tell you how many people are listening to the stream.

A clever feature in iHeartRadio is the “Shake It” city and genre selector.  You “Shake it” and two lists roll – and where she stops – nobody knows.  You can choose to listen to that city and that genre of try your luck again.

The benefit of the iPod Touch – small size and portability

No matter what audio stream you choose, the real advantage of the Apple iPod Touch is the small size and portability.  Choose your favorite station and listen via the built-in speaker or use the ear buds.  In either case, you can carry the Touch in your pocket or place it on the table where ever you are.  The device is small and portable.  You can’t do that with the Wi-Fi radio pictured at the top of this posting.

No Apple iPod Touch?  Then use your PC or Mac

If you don’t have a small portable device on which you can listen to Wi-Fi radio then the next best thing is to use your PC or Mac desktop or laptop.  Again, no use to buy the $159 Wi-Fi radio appliance.

The big boys

ipodRadio_RecivaLogo The grand daddy web site of streaming radio/audio stations is Reciva.

You can get to Reciva via this link – https://www.reciva.com/

Registration is free.  You can listen without registering.  If you register you can build a list of favorite stations and listen with one click rather than searching for the station each time you go to the site.

How many audio streams are on Reciva?

Listen to any station, anywhere in the World  Reciva brings the world of Internet radio into your home. We provide access to an extremely diverse range of Internet radio stations from around the world, with broadcasts from nearly every country on the planet. We provide both live and on-demand (“listen again”) content and we support Real Audio, Windows and MP3 streams.”

Site Information: Our directory contains 16747 stations (and 21242 on-demand streams) in 280 locations and 67 genres.  86,145 registered users.

Reciva by Genre’s

|60s |70s |80s |90s |Adult |Adult Contemporary |Alternative |Ambient |Bluegrass |Blues |Bollywood |Christian |Christian Contemporary |Classic Rock |Classical |College |Comedy |Contemporary |Country |Dance |Discussion |Drum & Bass |Easy |Electronica |Experimental |Folk |Gospel |Greek |Hip Hop |Indian |Indie |Indie Rock |Jazz |Jungle |Kids |Latin Hits |New Age |News |News Talk |News Updates |Oldies |Pop |Public |Punk |R&B |Rap |Reggae |Religious |Rock |Soft Rock |Spanish |Sports |Talk |Top 40 |Unknown |Varied |World |World Africa |World Asia |World Caribbean |World Europe |World Mediterranean |World Middle East |World Tropical

Reciva By Location – Shortwave listeners, please take note

|Afghanistan |Albania |Algeria |American Samoa |Andorra |Angola |Anguilla |Antigua and Barbuda |Argentina |Armenia |Aruba |Australia |Austria |Azerbaijan |Bahamas |Bahrain |Bangladesh |Barbados |Belarus |Belgium |Belize |Benin |Bermuda |Bhutan |Bolivia |Bosnia and Herzegovina |Brazil |British Virgin Islands |Brunei |Bulgaria |Burkina Faso |Burma |Burundi |Cambodia |Cameroon |Canada |Cape Verde |Cayman Islands |Chad |Chile |China |Colombia |Comoros |Cook Islands |Costa Rica |Cote d’Ivoire |Croatia |Cuba |Cyprus |Czech Republic |Democratic Republic of the Congo |Denmark |Dominica |Dominican Republic |Ecuador |Egypt |El Salvador |Eritrea |Estonia |Ethiopia |Europe |Falkland Islands |Faroe Islands |Federated States of Micronesia |Fiji |Finland |France |French Guiana |French Polynesia |Gabon |Gaza Strip |Georgia |Germany |Ghana |Gibraltar |Greece |Grenada |Guadeloupe |Guam |Guatemala |Guernsey |Guinea |Guinea-Bissau |Guyana |Haiti |Holy See (Vatican City) |Honduras |Hong Kong |Hungary |Iceland |India |Indonesia |Internet Only |Iran |Iraq |Ireland |Isle of Man |Israel |Italy |Jamaica |Japan |Jersey |Jordan |Kazakhstan |Kenya |Kiribati |Korea |Kuwait |Kyrgyzstan |Laos |Latvia |Lebanon |Liechtenstein |Lithuania |Luxembourg |Macau |Macedonia |Madagascar |Malawi |Malaysia |Maldives |Mali |Malta |Martinique |Mauritania |Mauritius |Mayotte |Mexico |Middle East |Moldova |Monaco |Mongolia |Montserrat |Morocco |Mozambique |Namibia |Nepal |Netherlands |Netherlands Antilles |New Caledonia |New Zealand |Nicaragua |Nigeria |Norfolk Island |Northern Mariana Islands |Norway |Oman |Pakistan |Palau |Panama |Paraguay |Peru |Philippines |Poland |Portugal |Puerto Rico |Qatar |Republic of Korea |Republic of the Congo |Reunion |Romania |Russia |Rwanda |Saint Helena |Saint Kitts and Nevis |Saint Lucia |Saint Pierre and Miquelon |Saint Vincent and the Grenadines |Samoa |San Marino |Saudi Arabia |Senegal |Serbia and Montenegro |Seychelles |Sierra Leone |Singapore |Slovakia |Slovenia |Solomon Islands |South Africa |South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands |Spain |Sri Lanka |Sudan |Suriname |Swaziland |Sweden |Switzerland |Syria |Taiwan |Tajikistan |Tanzania |Thailand |Togo |Trinidad and Tobago |Tromelin Island |Tunisia |Turkey |Turks and Caicos Islands |Uganda |UK |Ukraine |United Arab Emirates |Uruguay |USA |Uzbekistan |Vanuatu |Venezuela |Vietnam |Virgin Islands |Wallis and Futuna |West Bank |Yemen |Zambia |Zimbabwe

What is the future of Terrestrial Broadcast radio?

So all of this begs the question – What is the future of Terrestrial Radio?

This blog is being written near Chicago, Illinois.  The 50,000 Watt blow torch AM radio station in the area is WLS.  On a business trip to Detroit Michigan I could not hear WLS on a radio near or in Detroit.  Fifty thousand watts and all the infrastructure to produce 50,000 Watts of RF energy could not make the trip 300 miles from Chicago.

But, in the hotel room with wireless internet I was able to listen to WLS in crystal clarity on my laptop – via Reciva.

The New Paradigm

Way back in 1997 Clayton Christensen of Harvard Business School wrote a book: “The Innovator’s Dilemma When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail”.

From the work of Christensen came a number of new terms.  Among these were “Disruptive Technology” and “Disruptive Innovation”.

… a disruptive innovation is a technology, process, or business model that brings to a market a much more affordable product or service that is much simpler to use. It enables more consumers in that market to afford and/or have the skill to use the product or service. The change caused by such an innovation is so big that it eventually replaces, or disrupts, the established approach to providing that product or service.

Of course the disruptive technology is the Internet.  And what it disrupts, in this case, is the traditional delivery/distribution mechanism of “Radio”.  The term Radio is now in quotes as the disruptive technology put’s the term into question.  What is radio?

TerrRad_QuoteRaisonWhat do we mean by “Radio”?

It is important to make a distinction between the medium and the message.  Traditionally, these have been conflated.  Ten or twenty years ago when one heard the term “Radio” it generally denoted a delivery mechanism and an appliance that was designed specifically to receive that delivery.  What was delivered was a variety of audio content based on the market served.

So, “radio” mostly signified a form of delivery.  Shortwave Radio was also about delivery and also denoted a special type of content or programming.  You can read the sidebar’s for the special focus on Shortwave Radio.

So what happens when you radically separate content from delivery mechanism?  What happens when you free the content from the constraint of a particular delivery mechanism?

Disruption

The game changer is all about the opportunity of radical change in distribution and the radical reduction of cost of distribution.  Prior to the public Internet, radio RF was the only viable global delivery mechanism.  Distribution of content by RF can be expensive.  There are huge capital and infrastructure maintenance costs in RF distribution of any content targeted to a global audience.

When I posted the information on the radio station WLW – a 500,000 blow torch –  I found an article with an anecdotal comment that the street lights dimmed with this station went to full power.  That gives you some idea of the power required to run a one-half million watt radio station – the cost of distribution of the stations audio content.

Cost of distribution

With the Internet, what is the cost of distribution?  If WLW wanted to distribute it’s audio content via the internet what would be the ratio of costs of Internet distribution vs distribution via 500,000 Watts of RF?  The difference in cost is staggering.

What happens when the cost of distribution is reduced by many orders of magnitude and all distribution is worldwide by default?

It disrupts markets.  For example, WLS programs to the local Chicago area market within a competitive space of other local radio stations.  But what happens when it is as easy for a listener in Chicago to use an Internet Radio to listen to any radio station in any city in the United States or any city in the World?  The competitive landscape for WLS programming has now changed radically.  Geographic boundaries are erased.  WLS competitors are no longer limited to local radio stations.

The same disruption of distribution is now well known to newspapers and magazines.  Traditional newspapers and magazines are now affectionately known as the “dead tree edition”.  No longer do local newspapers compete only on a local basis only.  A person with a internet connection can view newspapers from a thousand different cities.

Who wants to wait for a magazine to be published on paper and delivered to your door step or the local news stand?  Again, its about distribution – cost and speed.  If I can get the information at the speed of light why would I prefer a delivery mechanism that only delays the information?

And the US Post Office?  The medium on which information rides is slow, cumbersome, and inefficient.  Again, I can send e-mail at the speed of light at nearly zero cost.  The US Post Office will charge me 40+ cents and take days to deliver my message.  What is the future for this business model and service?

New Vision; New Mission; New Goals; New Strategy

Let’s get back to radio.  If the playing field has been leveled on distribution so that no radio station has an advantage on distribution and geographic boundaries are erased then what remains?  Content.

Traditional shortwave radio stations will most likely be at a greater disadvantage than local stations.  The unique programming of traditional shortwave stations could be seen as irrelevant post Cold War. The advent of ubiquitous global communications over the past decade made possible by the internet has made the mystery of other cultures evaporate.  What is the reason for the existence  of shortwave radio?

“Radio” minus its unique distribution mechanism (RF) will collapse into the aggregate category of “content provider”.  These “radio stations” will enter a new competitive landscape along with “television”.  Like “radio” traditional “television” stations separated from their unique mechanism of distribution will also collapse into the aggregate category of “content provider”.  The same for traditional newspaper and magazine publishing – they are all (merely) “content provider’s” when stripped of their unique delivery and distribution mechanisms.

Digital Convergence of all content providers

Once distribution and delivery from all content providers converge in the digital internet pipe there is nothing to distinguish between “radio”, “television”, “newspaper”, “magazine” or anything else that was once distinguished by the method of delivery and specialized appliances for reception.

This creates a new competitive space for all content providers where there was none before.  This will cause all content providers to re/think and re/invent themselves.  At least it will present to them this opportunity.

What business are you in?

For these content/programming providers to redefine themselves might be the key to their survival.  How an organization or company defines itself limits them or positions them for new opportunities.  For example, at the turn of the 20’th century what business were Railroads in?  If Railroads had the idea that they were in the Transportation business as opposed to the Railroad business (=tracks and engines) then how much better would they be positioned at the dawn of aviation.

What about the Oil companies?  Are Oil companies in the oil business or are they in the “Energy business”?  If Oil companies understand themselves as fundamentally in the Energy business then they are well positioned for the future beyond the nations dependence on oil.

The same analogy can be applied to traditional radio stations.  For a radio station – what business is it in?

New Competitors

There will be some surprises.  A classic book on corporate competitive strategy is Michael Porters “Competitive Strategy”.  In that book Porter lays out five competitive forces that determine the intensity of competition of a particular market or industry.  One of those 5 forces is the threat of new entrants.  Some of the barriers to entry of new competitors are: high capital requirements and proprietary technology.

Decades ago the barriers to entry of new competitors into broadcast radio included huge capital requirements.  How much does it cost to build out the infrastructure for a new 50,000 Watt radio station?  Today in 2009, anyone with the technical knowledge of a high school student can set up a audio stream on Shout Cast and make the stream available globally.  Capital cost is negligible and technology is simple and free.  The barriers to entry in this area are nearly erased.

So the surprise might be new competitors that incumbents have never considered.  The same surprise was experienced by traditional brick and mortar bookstores when Jeff Bezos and Amazon.com bust onto the scene in 1995.  The business model of selling books at a discount on-line (enabled by the disruptive technology of the Internet) caught traditional booksellers off guard.  It took them many years to catch up to a competitor who entered the market from outside the traditional bookseller industry.

Ding – What do we do now?

One of my favorite quotes from Apple CEO Steve Jobs is: “I want to put a ding in the Universe”

Well, someone did, and it’s called the Internet.  Probably the most disruptive technology of the 20’th century.

Conclusion

So forget all this.  Let the corporate strategists figure it all out.
Let’s just have some fun listening to the “radio” – or whatever it is now.

If you have an Apple iPhone or iPod Touch – iHeartRadio, ShoutCast, FlyCast, or Stitcher in the App Store – free.
If you have a PC or Mac desktop or laptop –https://www.reciva.com/ is the hottest game in town.

References

The sidebar is from this article from a decade ago in Monitoring Times (January 1999) –  To their credit International Broadcasters were thinking about disruptive technologies and re/evaluating what business they were in against a changing and uncertain environment.
A Tuning Point for International Broadcasting: what does the future hold for shortwave.

Clayton Christensen’s web site –http://www.claytonchristensen.com/

A (old)  classic book on Corporate Competitive Strategy –
Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors (Hardcover) –  Michael E. Porter

One of the best books I have read on how to deal with strategic uncertainty.
The Strategy Paradox: Why committing to success leads to failure (and what to do about it)  by Michael E. Raynor

More on WLW the 500,000 Watt blow torch of  Cincinnati
http://www.oldradio.com/archives/stations/cinc/wlwpix.htm

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

Written by frrl

May 14, 2009 at 6:57 am

Review of the Apple iPod Touch: First Date

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ipod_touch_2_0

Game Changer

If you are a traditional user of mp3 players you should know that Apple has fundamentally changed the game with the Apple iPod Touch. 

The game-changer in the iPod Touch is the presence of WiFi/Internet connectivity that is seamlessly integrated into the device.  This positions the Apple iPod Touch someplace between a traditional mp3 player and the iPhone.  Steve Jobs has called the iPod Touch “training wheels for the iPhone”.  Yes!

Location sensing without GPS

If the WiFi/Internet connectivity was not enough, when connected, the Apple iPod Touch has some clever technology the provides it the capability to determine it’s location – without GPS. 

Location sensing based on your IP address can be scary accurate in some cases.  Your mileage may vary – but for me, the Apple iPod Touch, on the basis of IP address alone, was able to determine my location within 3 houses. 

Location-based determination based on IP address alone is a demonstration of types of information that your Internet service provider can aggregate to find your geographic location.  Folks that believe that they are Internet surfing in anonymity with dynamically assigned IP addresses should take note.

It is also a testament to the innovation of Apple that they have leveraged this capability to make some very smart location-based applications  A couple of these applications are the supplied mapping program and the Google Earth Application.  You can download the Google Earth application for the iPod Touch for free from the App Store.

Touch Screen User Interface

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Written by frrl

April 19, 2009 at 9:13 am

Limited Space Antennas – The Small Transmitting Loop Antenna

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isoloop_aeafullviewThe AEA Isoloop

My basement has a collection of limited space antennas.  They don’t work well in the basement.  Oh yes, I forgot, they are there in the basement in storage.  All these antennas have a story to tell.  They were used, at one time or another, in one of my limited-space or stealth-operating living locations.

The AEA IsoLoop HF Antenna was an antenna I used off the balcony in a Chicago high-rise.  The IsoLoop was a little more stealthy than my Texas Bug Catcher with its 10ft length at about a 45 degree angle hanging over the edge of the balcony within sight of my neighbors.

The AEA IsoLoop is a small loop transmitting antenna that covers 14 Mhz to 30 Mhz continuously tunable.  Being continuously tunable is a good thing and its a bad thing.  It’s a good thing as one antenna can go any where between 20 meters and 10 meters – anywhere.  The bad thing is that it’s tunable and can go any where between 20 meters and 10 meters.  Got that?  It’s tunable – which means you have to make some sort of adjustment for each band on which it operates..  Unlike a multi-band antenna that is resonant on multiple bands at the same time, a small loop antenna, like the screwdriver antenna is resonant on one swath of  frequencies at a time.

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Written by frrl

March 21, 2009 at 5:56 am

The Tarheel Screwdriver Antenna: one up on the Texas Bug Catcher

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The veteran – The Trusty Texas Bug Catcher

tarheel_groundmountrailing1I am not sure how it got it’s name, but if you have a Texas Bug Catcher antenna mounted mobile you are bound to pick up a few – bugs that is.  If you have an air coil then cleaning those bugs out of there could be a chore.

tarheel_groundmountyardMuch safer is to mount the Bug Catcher in a stationary location.  Yes, it is possible and I have gotten good results.  Perhaps it’s overlooked, but a Texas Bug Catcher makes a good portable antenna, limited-space antenna, and a good stealth antenna for those  communities where antennas are considered an eyesore. 

I been using a Bug catcher for more than a decade.  I first used it on a balcony bolted to a steel railing in a Chicago high rise on the 40’th floor – 400 ft up.  When I moved to a location on the ground I used it in the backyard and on camping trips. 

tarheel_groundmountFor portable or backyard use all you need is an 18 inch galvanizedpipedriven into the ground with a sledge  hammer.  Mount the Bug Catcher to the pipe using common mounting hardware you can find at a truck stop or Radio Shack that sells CB mounting hardware (3/8-24 stud)

The Catch to the Bug Catcher

If you take a look at the Bug Catcher you can see the pain points of this antenna – it has taps.  Yes, it’s “continuously tuneable”, you can set the taps any place you want.  But after you have the tap points set – that’s it – those are the taps points you use until you change them.

Pain Points = Tap Points

First, the tap points will be the only ones you can use  until you change them.  Second, finding the tap points can be painful.  Heaven help you if you don’t have an antenna analyzer.  It is going to be a long process of set-and-test until you find the tap points of the center points of the band portions that you want to work.

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Written by frrl

March 15, 2009 at 1:53 am

Play for Free – The Baygen Freeplay Plus AM/FM/SW Radio: yes Virginia, there is a free lunch

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baygen_freeplay_1

Introduction

Sometimes you just need to buy stuff just for fun. When the Baygen Freeplay Plus radio came on sale from C-Crane Radio ( http://www.ccrane.com ) for $89 including shipping and no tax we could not resist.

The Baygen plus has to be the best eccentric para military, gloom and doom radio you could possibly possess. It seems that the Baygen would add to the ambiance of listing to Coast to Coast AM on broadcast AM. Brother Stair on shortwave, and also Dr. Gene Scott on shortwave. It should be noted that Dr. Gene Scott passed away a few years ago but can still be heard on radio preaching and asking for money.

The Baygen is the optimum listening device for information on flying saucers, alien implants, shadow people, rods, trans-dimensional beings, time-travelers, magnetic therapy, end-time prophecy, and the odd mix of Dr Gene Scotts lectures of biblical theology and flying saucers – all of which makes up much of the Shortwave bands. You will probably find a melted Baygen in the ruins of the David Koresh compound at Waco Texas.

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Written by frrl

March 8, 2009 at 8:19 am

A FM Radio for one-dollar – How is this possible?

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dollar_logo1We love Walmart

On the way out of the Walmart store – right where you check out – the place where smart merchandising people place items for those people who are impulse buyers and those who are unable to delay gratification – I saw a FM Radio for the price of one dollar.  For the exchange of one dollar in United States fiat currency I could have in my possession a FM radio.  Wow.

The radio runs on 2xAAA batteries, came with a earbuds, tunes the whole FM broadcast band, and has a light.  Wow.

The radio runs on 2xAAA batteries, came with a headset, tunes the whole FM broadcast band, and has a light.  Wow.

In a few moments, the prize was mine.

Can’t break old habits.

I have heard people tell stories of when they were a kid they liked to take things apart to see what was inside.  If you are a kid, maybe 5-10 years old, then its fun taking things apart but unfortunately sometimes they did not go back together.  Maybe your parents told you to stop doing this – taking things apart to see how they worked.  But for many kids, myself included, one could not resist taking things apart to see what is inside and what makes it work.

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Written by frrl

February 28, 2009 at 8:06 am

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