Media Freedom, Pirate Radio & The Digital Revolution.
Originally a blog about running a Pirate Radio Station in Boulder Colorado, USA from early 2000 to early 2005 when the FCC finally shut Boulder Free Radio (KBFR) down. Will continue to post though on the developments of underground radio in all forms, analog and digital (from pirate radio to Podcasting). The world is changing and it's going to be interesting.
Getting the van going. We've updated the hardware to include a laptop with 160GB HD full of music (about 1/2 of the KBFR library). We've also developed a system that allows us to tie into the internet via 802.11b (wifi) making the laptop a shoutcast server (using DNS and SimpleCast) that let's us send the stream of a show via internet to an STL (Studio Transmitter Link) that's hooked up via internet several miles away. The STL has a transmitter and antenna and broadcasts the signal. This lets us do a 'live' show at a local venue in a completely safe way (the act of turning on a transmitter is miles away and in no physical way connected to us).
We'll be testing it this weekend at a local club. Should be darned interesting to see if it actually works.
Great reference story on Boulder Free Radio: http://www.boulderweekly.com/archive/090601/
I think I'll work on writing a history of KBFR here. And then thoughts on what it means to do pirate radio.. and then, how we do it and avoid the long arm of the FCC and keep them from shutting us down.
Well hell... how the heck do we create a NATIONAL network of pirate radio stations and keep it alive?
That's sort of what we're trying to do with Boulder Free Radio... build a model for a local pirate radio station that says to the FCC: Hey assholes, these are OUR airwaves, the peoples. You're supposed to be making it better for the public interest, not selling it off to the highest bidder.
So.. RPR networks is board. RPR means Real Public Radio (unlike the decidedly NOT public radio oriented NPR). If we can create a network of 1000 pirate radio stations, share resources, information, shows, content, news and view.. all of it.. we can rival NPR. Hell, we can rival friggin clear channel. All it requires is a little coordination and cooperation. Should be an interesting experiment.
A good day at KBFR today. The local 'hot' venue (The Fox theatre) agreed to let us do a benefit for the station. One thing we hate is the idea of begging for financial support from our listeners on the net and on FM, so if we can do a single show a year and come up with about $6K, we can run for a full year and cover all expenses. This is goodness. Finding a local venue like this that supports pirate radio like Boulder Free Radio is a wonderful thing.