Re: Small radio station for next gather
24 Jul 1992 03:48:17

In article <> bc151@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Ken Fisler) writes:
>> ... radio transmitters
>>under a certain power level are allowed to broadcast without any
>>kind of a licence. (Five watts sounds familiar.)

>> Some problems, Ken. First of all, Low power broadcast band (AM
>> or FM) transmitters to be 'legally' operated w/o licenses are
>> _very_ restricted. Like maybe one tenth of a watt on AM with a 3
>> foot antenna. A setup like this might yield a range of 100 -200
>> feet MAX. On FM the power and antenna restrictions are even
>> tighter. At best, you might realize a range of 200 -500 feet
>> from the transmtter to a _sensitive_ receiver. No where NEAR 5
>> watts of power.
>I've heard different numbers regarding the power output and this
>is the first I've heard of a restriction on the size of the
>antenna. There has been consensus, however, that such a
>transmitter would not have power enough to be practical. I
>suppose the FCC itself, being the final arbiter, would be the
>one to consult.

My friend, those numbers ARE from the FCC.

The best you can hope for with legal, unlicenced signal is about what you get
with the average toy wireless microphone.


>> Fifth problem (and here is a biggie) portable radios and
>> 'boom-boxes' are strongly discouraged at gatherings. They are
>> disruptive and compete with the 'home-grown' music of guitars,

>If it's true that recorded (or transmitted) music/sound is
>largely unwelcome, then I suppose we'll just have to give up on
>the idea. I just thought it could be a help to a lot of people.
>BTW, what falls into the category of ''money exchanging''?

In order to have the legal right to gather in national forests, the
gatherings are (and must remain) non-commercial affairs. There can be
no buying and selling. Barter is OK, but the only money that can
change hands is contributions to 'the magic hat' which buys supplies
and supports a legal fund. If anyone trys to offer you money tell
them to stop.

The forestry service would just love to shut down these gatherings.
Commercial activity is an easy way for them to do it. Besides, it is
nice not to have to use money, isnt it?

>> What might work, but would be less universal, would be a CB
>> channel set aside for gathering info. The parking lots and other
>> 'coordinators' of the gathering often use walkie-talkies for
>> communication. I don't know what channel they use.
>Wouldn't CBs be considered transmitted sound? Rob did mention to
>me that CBs were used for some things at the last gathering.

I did not say anything about transmitted sound. I spoke of 'recorded
or amplified' sound and music. The walkie talkies are used to
coordinate parking and such and only by a few people who are (more or
less) in charge of such things. What the rainbows want to avoid is a
gathering full of boom boxes and such, each playing it's own
particular top-ten :-). I am sure that the 'transmiting' of your
station would not be the problem, it would be that in order to receive
it, one would have to bring radios along. If the station were
installed and publicized, it would attract boom-boxes and then there
would be no way to keepmthe heavy-metal and top-40 out of everyones

I have some problems with the swperatist attitudes of some rainbow
people, but on this point (and on many others) I agree strongly.
The gathering is like a shrine of nature to many.

All of this is coming from a guy (me) who is VERY much into radio. I
personally love it. But I realize that it is not appropriate there.

By the way, I really salute you for your inventive spirit! Keep it

>> Remember that the rainbow tribe has many in it
>> who are staunchly anti-technology anyway.
>Sounds like it. But I really wasn't trying to ply technology. I'm
>not particularly enamored of technology either. (But if I attend
>the next gathering, I'll probably drive a car.) For a lot of
>people technology becomes an end in itself. I was only looking at
>the station as a way for people to more easily help each other...
>you have to know of someone's needs before you can do anything
>to help them.

I know that your intentions are great, and we need that spirit in this
world. I think you would make an excellent pirate radio operator. If
it was not illegal.... of course :-).

>Bill, I hope you didn't think I was seeking to commercialize the
>gathering. If so, let me assure you that this isn't what I was

No, I didn not feel that you were trying to do anything but be
helpful. I just wanted you to realize what you were up against.
I, too, am an inventive soul. I have had ideas like yours and I know
the feeling. I hope you continue to think like that. You are A-OK in
my book.

Peace dude.

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>> Bill Pfeiffer
>> Moderator - & The E-Mail Broadcast Digest

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