WSQT On Run From…Fire?

The anonymous operator behind WSQT drops another audio gem about a suspicious fire at its transmit-site. I believe this DC-Indymedia feature here speaks of the same event. Perhaps WSQT was collateral damage, but “Mr. Squatman” already believes he is a target of special interest by the powers that be. This partially explains the hardcore buildout of the station. It’s heartening to know this is all going down in “the heart of occupied Washington,” as Squatman puts it.

Barnraising in My Backyard

Just in case posts are light for the next month or so, you have been duly warned.

No longer content to engage & enthrall scores of volunteers with a plain old radio barnraising, Prometheus and the UC IMC take the mammoth task of building a radio station over the course of a singe weekend in stride. We’re not stopping at the FM AIRWAVES; we’re setting our sights on freeing the whole SPECTRUM for use by democratic communications as we look to the future of radio! … While some of us construct the studio & raise the antenna to get WRFU on the air, others will set up access points to expand and protect [an] open source community wireless network!

Registration for all of this fun closes on November 6. We can use all the help we can get.

Scene Reports: California, Illinois

California: Skidmark Bob just interviewed Monkey of the infamous Pirate Cat Radio. Monkey scored an early copy of Stephen Dunifer’s TV transmitter kit and put Pirate Cat TV on the air six months ago; its 80-watt signal can be seen on Channel 13 in the San Francisco area. Programming consists of a growing catalog of DIVX .avi files on a homebrew server with a terabyte of storage, and the station is actively soliciting more content.

As for Pirate Cat Radio, Monkey says there’s about 30 DJs presently, and the dues-paying fundraising model takes care of their needs. At the end of the interview he says the station will soon “upgrade” from 220 to 1,000 (!) watts, mostly by moving to a directional antenna system. Read More

The St. Louis Experience

I cannot claim to have participated much directly in the National Conference for Media Reform, given that I was paid to observe: busy recording, editing, and uploading stuff as the radio-centric house organ of sponsor Free Press. All of the conference audio and video is now up on their server and should be publicly available within the next few days. I expect Be the Media! blog traffic will continue to trickle in for a while as well.

Personally speaking, the best parts of the conference were not even related to the event itself. Thursday night’s benefit party for KDHX at the City Museum blew minds. Think of a funhouse for adults, with live bands and beer: it puts the vaunted Arch to shame. Then there were all of the friends both old and new who’d come into town for the weekend. The ratio of extracurricular fun to sleep that was taking place should have killed me (14 hours of crash time upon return home helped). Finally, I had the chance to tag-team (with Free Speech TV and Sounds of Dissent) an interview with FCC Commissioner Michael Copps (audio forthcoming), who artfully mostly-deflected questions on microradio, IBOC, and other sundry subjects. Watching politician-sweat break out up close can be fun! Read More

UC-IMC Buys Post Office

~30,000 square feet, including massive open space, suites of offices, and crazy hidden nooks and crannies (where postal inspectors once kept secret watch on the staff).

$218,000 goes a long way in east-central Illinois. The IMC already has about a third of that on hand, and the rest, it is hoped, can be paid by renting out space to other groups and such. The potential for a performance space nearly dwarfs anything else available off-campus. The post office still maintains a station in the building, but as tenants ($1 a year for the next ten): Uncle Sam say hi to your new landlord! Read More