Daily Archives: 10/14/2004

Typhoon Tokage

The last couple days were wet and gusty. Tropical Storm Tokage developed over the weekend and passed through the Rota Channel on Monday, bringing heavy rains and wind to Guam and the Marianas. The rain continued through this evening, and it is still drizzling outside right now.

The bad news is tropical depression 28W is charging up out in the Marshalls and it is heading our way. Meteorologists predict it will be in the Marianas by Monday. Great – another typhoon.

Micro Radio Broadcasting

KPRG’s had some problems the last week or so. A loud, persistent hum permeates their broadcast and I find it difficult to listen to the station when it gives me a headache. On the other hand, I am loathe to cart around a pile of CD’s for my listening pleasure. I’ve been doing that, and it’s a hassle.

So maybe the time has come to get a mp3 player. I’ve looked around, and the iPod is a real winner; capacity, size, capabilities. Toss in the iTrip and I could be in business. I’d be listening to it in the car, at the office, exercising, traveling – whenever and where ever the music hits me.

That iTrip got me thinking about low power radio broadcasting, which led me to a story on Wired News about a project of the Walker Art Center called Radio Revolt. The folks at the Walker are distributing $20 preassembled kits that let people broadcast whatever they want on the FM spectrum – for about 200 feet. And that led me to the Prometheus Radio Project: A grass roots organization espousing the wonders of community radio and low power broadcasting. Low power radio is vehemently opposed by corporate broadcasting interests and federal regulations: It seems to be one issue that binds the right militia nuts and left wing radicals together.

Legally, under current Federal Communications Commission regulations, milliwatt microradios with a limited transmission range are about the only way individuals can launch their own radio stations. For the past four years, small stations have not been getting licensed through the FCC, due to big commercial broadcasters’ complaints that opening the airwaves to all would interfere horribly with the commercial stations’ broadcasts.

“Microradio transmitters obviously aren’t a viable alternative to commercial radio,” said artist Jennifer Allora, one of the creators of Radio Re-Volt. “But they can get people thinking about the privatization of radio, thinking about the public’s limited access to the ‘public airwaves’ and exploring ways to broaden the public’s access to radio.”

I recall a pirate radio station that broadcast in Tamuning back in ’96 and ’97. It was intermittent, but when it was on the air I could pick it up central Tamuning and parts of Tumon. It played classic rock non-stop, like somebody filled up a 100 disc CD changer and set it on shuffle. Does anybody else remember that brief pirate radio experience?

Solar Eclipse to Start Thursday, End Wednesday!

There’s a solar eclipse today, but Guam is just outside the penumbra. No eclipse here in the islands of Micronesia. Hawaii will get a good show though, with the tropical sun setting with nearly 50% obscured. That should make for a good photo.

One thing about eclipses, a solar eclipse at the new moon is always paired with a lunar eclipse at the full moon. The lunar eclipse will occur on October 27th over Europe, Africa and the Americas, so expect to hear a great deal about it in the next couple weeks.