#14 Low power FM to the people

My last tip was all about wind-up electronic gadgets that will help you survive the climate change cataclysm. When our political, economic, social and electrical grids all collapse from environmental destruction, you’ll still be able to power up flashlights, radios and even cell phones with your own physical strength. No batteries or electric plug-ins required.

Then I remembered that for wind-up gadgets of the communications variety to work, it takes two. At least.

After the cataclysm, will there be any radio stations to listen to on your wind-up radio? I’m thinking that all the cookie-cutter, Clear Channel dreck we hear on the radio will go bye-bye the day the cataclysm hits. I mean, if the people who produce that garbage weren’t being paid to do it, they wouldn’t show up at the studio. Right? I hope not.

Low power FMOn the other hand, people who create innovative, informative and interesting radio programming are going to keep on doing it no matter whether they’re paid or not. If you’re on the radio to provide a public service, you’re doing it because you love it. I bet you’ll keep doing it after the cataclysm. You’ll be more important then, while mainstream commercial radio will become even more irrelevant than it already is.

So start your radio show right now, to prepare for the cataclysm. Get together with a group of friends and set up your own low power FM station, one that will broadcast good quality programming that addresses local needs and interests. It’s going to take a few people, some serious time and a bit of money, so you’d do well to get on with the organizing now. The good people at the Prometheus Radio Project have lots of advice on offer.

What’s that, you say? What about a license? You may not know it but the airwaves are actually a natural resource owned by the people. We don’t need no stinkin’ licenses!

Seriously, after the cataclysm there’s not going to be any Federal Communications Commission around to keep you off the air and give away spots on the radio dial to the highest bidder. Problem is, if you wait until after the cataclysm to start your station, you won’t be able to find the equipment you need. Sure, do the cost-benefit analysis and apply for the license if you must, but don’t wait to start your own station. Fly the pirate radio Jolly Roger with pride! Even if all you’ve got is an Ipod.

My wind-up radio is cranked up and ready to tune in to your station.

Low power FM image: New Orleans Indymedia

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6 Responses to #14 Low power FM to the people

  1. timprosser says:

    Fortunately, there are over 700,000 amateur radio operators (hams) in the US alone (higher percentages in other developed countries). These people know how to put a transmitter on the air on a shoestring (alternative energies and emergency capabilities are a big deal with a lot of these folks), so you can expect that there will be broadcast radio in most cataclysmic scenarios. I see more and more crank-powered radios around, too, in people’s basement shelter zones if nowhere else. It is comforting to know that, short of an asteroid collision or something, we can expect to have wide area communications in any event.

    Low power FM does not require a license if it’s within the FCC limit (1 watt? – enough to cover at least a neighborhood, lots further from a mountain top). I am a ham operator, and have contacted people in every part of the world using 5 watts on shortwave frequencies, and I have a small solar panel and a car booster/battery box I can charge. Get a crank radio, folks. It’s a cheap investment that could be very important in a cataclysmic event.
    http://www.timprosserfuturing.wordpress.com

  2. blog52 says:

    So be kind to your ham-fisted friends too. They may well save us all after the cataclysm.

    Thanks for the comment, Tim!

  3. I don’t think any “cataclysm” is going to take place… it’s just something the governments of the world are using to scare you into submitting to world government. Yeah, the glaciers are all going to melt tomorrow, Osama bin Laden’s under my bed, and next thing people will be fueling their cars with piss. Which probably wouldn’t be a bad idea if someone could figure out how to do it… now, THAT’S a renewable resource.

  4. blog52 says:

    OBL’s under your bed? So that’s where he’s been hiding.

  5. […] Right click here to download the mp3, or here to read tip #14: Low power FM to the people. […]

  6. […] your life might depend on the pirate radio news you get via radio after the cataclysm. So exercise number three of the Cataclysm Workout (click […]

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