19 Apr

Air America comes to Seattle — well, Beacon Hill, anyway

The first micro-powered “affiliate” in the informal network I proposed on Friday is up and running on Beacon Hill in Southeast Seattle. From 3am to 8pm daily you can hear Air America on 87.9 FM, if you are in the vicinity of Stevens Place Park at Beacon Avenue South and South Stevens Street. This is very near the new Beacon Hill Library—in fact, when the new branch opens soon, I think you may be able to hear the signal there, too. Anyway, Stevens Place Park is a nice little park with a bench under a big maple tree, where you can sit on sunny days and listen to the radio.

Anyone else setting up a station? Remember, it costs less than $50 and it’s legal. This is not pirate broadcasting. Anyone can do this. Set one up, play whatever you like. The airwaves are yours.

(Oh, by the way, you can get those AM or FM transmitter kits right off the shelf at Fry’s. So what’s stopping you?)

14 thoughts on “Air America comes to Seattle — well, Beacon Hill, anyway

  1. It’s not just the transmitter–I’d also have to invest in the equipment to get some content for a broadcast. (I just can’t envision doing radio with dial-up. “KHAM”s Air America feed will be going off the air so my wife can make a phone call.”) Of course, I suppose I could just let the kids put together a radio show….

  2. Well, sure, or you could put together a show. It’s a lot of fun to microcast. I don’t suppose you can get the signal from the Stevens Place transmitter at your house, can you?

  3. Fred Meyer has little car transmitters for $16. I’ve got mine up on the north end of Capitol Hill. YMMV with the cheap-o electronics, but they’re definitely good enough for a few hundred feet. πŸ™‚

  4. Those car FM transmitters are really low power so I’m amazed yours is even reaching half the building. πŸ˜‰ A transmitter like the small Ramsey ones ($44 at Fry’s) will reach a couple of blocks from the transmitter. But, hey, if you are in an apartment building, you can tell all your neighbors and give them something to listen to. Welcome to the micro-network!

  5. I know for a fact that there are many micro/low power broadcasters, and some not so low power that are broadcasting “Air America Radio”. I know someone at Hobbytron.com that works in the transmitter dept, (they have a lot of Veronica, equipment, good stuff that works very well) and thru the grapevine I have heard that people are ordering like crazy and doing just that…broacasting Air America Radio. “Sirius Satellite Radio” also carries their feed 24/7 (XM Satellite does NOT) and their feed has level control, Compressor/limiter. Something the internet feed really does not have. With Clear Channel and the like, many markets will never hear Air America Radio. I listen on Sirius Satellite, the audio quality is pretty good, far better than online, even with broadband. If this website can get linked with other sites like DIYmedia.net, this many actually catch on!

  6. Thanks for the comments and the mention of DIYmedia.net. Believe it or not, I hadn’t visited that site before.

    I don’t suppose you are the Doug May I went to school with (I’m trying to remember which school… either Decatur, Jane Addams, or Nathan Hale)?

  7. You have a very unique website, I’m glad I found it! It was the Air America Radio ‘Mirco’ link that caught my eye and brought me here. I have found in life, that when ever I have had a good idea, there are dozens of others with that same good idea. (You are not the only when wishing/acting to take back the airwaves, and thank God for that.) Air America will never be heard in San Diego (my area.) Clear Channel owns most every thing here, and leases Mexican stations on the border from Mexico that play the same old stuff to boot! The FCC has a very active field office here which keeps the low power stuff non existent!. It is estimated by the FCC, that there are 400 to 500 low power broadcasters operating in the US at any given time, most using less than 10 watts, but still coving a medium size town. 1 watt will rarely go further than 1 mile in distance, but it can give someone a 2 mile radius (one mile outward in each direction and sound as strong as the big boys. Diymedia.net website is one of the few remaining sites (still being updated) that deal with unlicensed broadcasters. There was a lot of hope for low power community broadcasters in the Bill Clinton administration, but George W. Bush and Michael Powell ended all that. Truth is most unlicensed operators that “don’t” draw a lot of attention to them selves and don’t cause problems with interference, don’t get caught. I knew someone 20 years ago in the San Fernando Valley of California that ran a automated station for over 6 years, using tapes (top 40 format) with great jingles too! (Boss Radio type.) He was running about 5 watts and had about a 6 mile radius. \Antenna was on a small hill about 75 feet high. The company he worked for (a taped music service,) which was one of the best known in the world at that time, went out of business, thus no new tapes for his home grown station. He never was caught, but finally just ended it when his employer went bust. As for politics, the Republicans are masters at using the electronic media. Fact is Air America probably won’t make it because the right wing media control so much of the radio market, I sure hope they do make it however! As for me and school, San Diego, a long time ago. Continued success with your great web community.

  8. I was going to do a blog post about the new 1090. Yes, the microcast is no longer playing Air America, as of last night. It’s playing something else instead. Walk by and check it out. πŸ™‚

    I’m also hoping to do some live shows when I get time. I’ll post them here when that happens.

    By the way, I got your e-mail on the DC stuff and set it aside, then promptly forgot about it… I need to go look at that again. (I am SO absent-minded…)

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