Radio Free Olympia is a 100 watt unlicensed (pirate) FM radio station operating on 98.5 Mhz since March of 2001.
Their website is interesting in as much as they have gone out of their way to honor requests from legitimate broadcasters to avoid interference. They started operation on 91.3 Mhz in the spring of 2001, until threatened by FCC in May of 2002.
They came back on the air for five days in September of 2002 after joining forces with some elements of Free Radio Cascadia in a protest against the NAB in Seattle.
Radio Free Olympia reformed in Olympia on 91.3 in May of 2003. On October 29, 2004, in response to a request from KBCS in Bellevue, a student run station at Bellevue Community College, they changed frequencies to 101.9 Mhz to avoid interfering with them.
On March 1, 2005, they again changed frequencies to 98.5 Mhz at the request of KSWW in Gray’s Harbor which operated on 102.1 Mhz to avoid adjacent channel interference.
I think they’ve set an excellent example in this regard, taking the necessary steps to remedy any interference. I think it’s important than pirate radio station operators do this because if they voluntarily address interference issues it undermines the one legitimate claim that regulators have against unlicensed radio stations, that is causing interference to legitimate operations.
Pirate Radio USA is a documentary on the subject of pirate radio. I just got through watching the trailer and it sounds like it casts everyone operating a pirate radio station as revolutionary underground anarchists.
I’m sure there are those, and they probably have the most legitimate right to operate. When we operated our pirate stations back in the 70′s we were just kids having fun. When we blew things up back then we were just kids having fun, now everyone with a firecracker is a terrorist.
Free Radio Network, another group dedicated to returning the airwaves to the public. These folks seem to write more from a pirate radio DXer’s perspective than a pirate radio station operators perspective. The website contains information on low power FM, shortwave, and other pirate radio station operations as well as some things happening on the legal front. It does not contain much in the way of do-it-yourself information.
I have added a link to Free Radio Berkeley‘s website on the side bar. Their website contains a great deal of information about low power broadcasting. Free Radio Berkeley started out as a pirate (unlicensed) FM station. Like many unlicensed stations the Federal Communications Commission attempted to shut them down.
However, instead of playing dead, they fought the FCC in court on first amendment grounds and so far have met with legal success forcing the FCC to recognize and legitimate low power broadcasters.
Their website contains information about the history of Free Radio Berkeley, legal information, technical information regarding how to build radio and television transmitters, and pointers to other groups active in the field.
The mass communications media of this country have fallen into the hands of a very few large corporate interest. It is extremely important that the public have access to broadcast media and that’s what makes this micro-broadcasting movement so very important.
Radio used to refer to signals broadcast through free space using electromagnetic radiation in the spectrum that we refer to as radio waves, consisting of everything from very long wave (high audio frequencies) which are used communicate with submarines under water to millimeter wavelengths just now starting to be used for short distance high speed data transmission.
In broad terms radio can transmit audio, video, data, facsimile, remote instrument data, and more. IN more common terms people are used to thinking of radio as bringing voice and music into their homes without wires.
Radio in the past has been a broadcast medium. That means that a signal is sent out that will be broadly received, received by many. It was such an expensive medium that a large audience was necessary to justify the expense.
In modern times it is now possible to originate a signal on the Internet that a number of people can listen to simultaneously from anywhere in the world that has internet connectivity. Because it is much less expensive to broadcast over the internet (netcast) verses broadcasting over the air, it makes it practical to target programming to much smaller audiences and thus many program subjects that would not have been able to garner a large enough audience to be commercially viable in the past, can exist on the internet.
For those of you that have an interest in the paranormal, one source of broadcasts on various paranormal subjects ranging from spiritual to UFOs to cryptozoology, is Paranormal Radio at http://www.paranormalradio.net/. You will need Quicktime to listen.
On Paranormal Radio you can listen to live broadcasts (there is a schedule at the website) or listen to various programs that they have archived.
If you know of other interesting radio on or off the net, write me at firstname.lastname@example.org, put “RADIO” in the subject so I’ll spot it amongst the spam, and I’ll get it up here for everyone.