Spring is Officially Here?

dreamstime_xl_86642419At least that is what the calendar says! The first official day of Spring was March 20th. Here in Northern California, where spring storms bring a return to winter-like conditions, that is definitely being called into question. It’s supposed to rain on us for the next several days and our California pals to the East are still shoveling ALOT of snow (see the pictures below). Once again, the unpredictable weather brings having a battery operated radio with the weather band and considering one with weather alert to the forefront.

Flooding and mudslides are wreaking havoc not only here in the states (California has been hit hard), but even internationally. Peru was recently hit with huge flooding and mudslides that have left thousands homeless. There a severe weather alerts issued across the Midwest and the South for tornadoes and harsh weather. We think mother nature missed the memo about Spring, but C. Crane has not missed Mother Nature’s memo on why we should be prepared.

We’ve heard from many customers about how their radio alerted them to potential weather threats so they could plan accordingly. If you don’t have a plan make one. If you don’t have a radio, now’s the time to get one – don’t miss the memo! Make sure you’re ready for whatever Spring throws at you.

Why I Love to Travel with a Radio by Bob Crane

It turns out this guy named Art Bell and I were both on the island of Maui in 1970. I have fond memories of a youth well spent there so I decided to revisit with my extended family. There is little if any static on the island so AM listening is incredible. I found KNUR 550 in Wailuku at 5,000 watts. They play mostly business from Bloomberg but they have smartly altered the program to fit in with the local culture. . . great job! My wife and I were giddy to hear silly love songs from the Philippines for three hours on Sunday morning. The CC Skywave performed perfect for the week and batteries were still about full.

Art and I never ran into each other back then but I did get to see one of the last Jimi Hendrix concerts which they still talked about on the radio. The best part of this recent trip was getting together with my wife and family. . .still married too. . . and listening.

I’d love to hear about your favorite local station you’ve heard and why it’s your favorite.

laneinhawaii

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Get Ready for Some Baseball!

bb-blogIt’s that time of year, where baseball fans of all ages gear up for the upcoming season. Although it’s soggy and wet (and even snowing in some parts) here in Northern California, there are places like Arizona and Florida where the sun is shining. We will just have to live vicariously through those fortunate fans of the sun belt who are watching their favorite teams get ready for baseball..

For the folks that can’t make the trek to Arizona or Florida, there’s nothing like listening to baseball on the radio. We hear time and again from our customers that baseball is what started their life long love of radio. There are many who even take their pocket radio to the game because they prefer the play by play of their beloved radio sportscaster to the announcer in the stadium. Some of the most famous voices in radio are baseball announcers. Wikipedia has an quite a list of current MLB announcers.

Sports talk continues to be an area of consistent growth for radio. With pre-game shows, post game shows and every imaginable facet of sports being covered 24/7 by ESPN, Westwood One, Fox Sports plus many local independent stations, there isn’t a shortage of options when it comes to listening to sports talk radio. Often local stations are broadcasting high school and college games as well.

If you find yourself having trouble pulling in the game, call us up and we can help you figure out which radio might be the best solution for your specific situation.

 

 

Local Radio Still Matters

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Image used with permission from National Broadcasters Association

Do you remember when you could call up your local radio station and ask to dedicate a song?  Maybe you just wanted to start a friend’s day right with their favorite tune, or wanted that special someone to know you were thinking of them.  Regardless of your sentiments, there was the thrill of knowing everyone listening for miles around heard your name and theirs over the air waves.  And if you were lucky enough to get on air yourself, you tried to come up with something aside from “This is for Tony, because he’s so cool!”, but choked on the spot instead.

Today our existence is filled with signals and public sharing, so feeling like part of the world at large is easy.  Quick as a flash, half the planet can watch that video you posted of your grandchild sticking cereal up their nose.  But for a price.  You have to pay someone for that connection, and in some way they are using your profile to make money.

Luckily, some things have not changed.  Radio broadcasts are still free and quite prolific.  According to the web site www.wearebroadcasters.com, there are 15,516 full power radio stations in the U.S., that are listened to by more than 268 million Americans each week.

According to a response to a survey from PoytnerThe purpose of local is to see, know, care about and understand your community. C. Crane believes that local radio is at the heart of every community and this sentiment is consistently reinforced when we talk to radio listeners every day. We recently experienced it first hand when our Fortuna High Varsity Basketball team traveled to the North Coast Section playoffs – below is the testimonial from one of our staff:

My son is playing in the North Coast Section’s basketball playoffs this evening in San Francisco. I didn’t travel this time and was so bummed out that I wouldn’t be able to watch or hear the game. I have been unable to find any source of live streaming or local or online televised broadcast BUT our local guy Tag Wotherspoon will be down there covering the game on 95.1 FM so I’ll be able to listen. This is the only local radio station that covers any of the local high school sports and I am so grateful.

Local radio continues to serve their community – they announce the local events, tell you who is playing at what venues, help you decide where to go for dinner and the local news highlights what issues are specific to the area you are in. If you’re lucky enough to be a sports fan in a town with a professional team, you might find yourself watching the game on television, but listening to your local announcer call the play by play on the radio.  If you are further interested in this topic, The National Association of Broadcasters has a very informative web site with information on the status of issues that affect radio listeners.

C. Crane has many options for you to take advantage of those free signal broadcasts.  Our radios are made with the listener in mind, and we can help you determine which model would best suit your needs.  We know that radio has the unique ability to entertain, inform and connect and appreciate the opportunity to help you stay connected to your community.

Please share with us – Does local radio matter to you and if so why?

Amateur radio gives you the best news in a true emergency

A true emergency is something like what happened recently in Oroville and Sacramento Valley area – where an emergency spillway that has never been used in the previous 48 years begins to fail. This failure threatened the lives and livelihood of over 150,000 people and resulted in forced evacuation. Everyone thinks, if they have a cell phone they’ll be fine, but what we’ve seen time and again is that cell phones are an unreliable service under these circumstances. The lines are often jammed with “all circuits busy” messages. In some cases, towers are down due to flooding or power failures or a combination there-of. HAM radio coordinators really come to the rescue in these situations.

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Oroville Spillway Damage Feb 2017 – Photo Courtesy N.Brooks, Placerville CA (c) 2017

This particular emergency hit closer to home than usual – one of our employee’s brother and his family had to evacuate. It took them over 4 hours to travel what normally would be a 45-minute drive. Many of our close friends and loved ones have experienced loss due to flooding. One of our other employee’s daughter, who lives close to Oroville, California has HAM Radio to thank for keeping her family and friends safe and informed. “So happy the mandatory evacuations are over, and glad we live high enough that we never had to evacuate. I’ve never been one to watch news much, but I think I’ve watched more news in the last 48 hours than I have in the last five years! I’ve also never quite understood my husband’s love of amateur radio, but after listening to the Yuba-Sutter Amateur Emergency Coordinator, Steve Sweetman, I have a whole new respect for amateur radio, and I felt like I got my best news from the radio! Thanks!”

Steve Swteetman is the Amateur radio emergency coordinator for Yuba and Sutter counties. They volunteer their time and use their own equipment. Below is a summary report from Steve on the communications that were handled during the evacuations.

“On February 12, Yuba/Sutter ARES EC Steve Sweetman, K6TAZ, opened and managed a net to provide information and gather reports of road closures or problems during the Oroville Dam Incident evacuation. The net received reports from radio amateurs who were evacuating. Traffic was reported to be very heavy, with a trip that would normally take 20 minutes extending into “3-hour stop-and-go ordeal.” The net also gathered information on where evacuees could get fuel for their vehicles, where evacuation centers were being set up and road closures. “This became a critical need, as the thousands of people evacuated their houses with 1-hour notice. K6taz was operating from his house on a high hill outside Yuba City, He is was safe from flooding and housed 17 evacuees staying on his property.” The net ran on and off from Sunday 4pm until Wednesday 8pm. Total operating time was 48 hours and 322 contacts were made. He had reports that the information he was relaying was more informative than the radio or television. Steve was also monitoring the press conferences and would give updated reports. He was in constant communication with the Governor’s office of emergency services in Sacramento.”

 73’s
Steve Sweetman
K6TAZ

 EC ( Emergency Coordinator)
Yuba/Sutter  ARES

ARES Website
SKYWARN Weather spotter YU-19
AF/MARS Member AFA9SS
ARRL Official Emergency Station

Bob Crane, founder of C. Crane has always been a huge proponent of HAM radio because it is so valuable in these situations. Several C. Crane employees have their license as well.

In a day and age where what people have said is impossible is now happening, it seems prudent to invest in something reliable. Whether you choose to go as far as getting a license and investing in amateur radio equipment so you can communicate both directions, or you purchase a reliable radio like our CCRadio-2E that allows you to listen to the 2-Meter HAM band, you will never regret being prepared and having access to the best and most up to date information when you need it.

Below are some additional resources on the Oroville spillway:
http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article133932379.html
http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Releasing-water-at-Oroville-Dam-a-lingering-10941922.php

If you would like to get your license, please visit ARRL (American Radio Relay League). Not sure exactly what Amateur (HAM) Radio is or what you might here? – visit one of our previous blog posts to learn about it.

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World Radio Day – Radio is You!

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Celebrated February 13th just in time for Valentine’s Day World Radio Day! The theme this year is “Radio is You”.

This couldn’t sum up our founder’s belief about radio any better. Radio is you! Bob and Sue Crane, founders of C. Crane, continue to be avid radio listeners.  The main reason they love to listen is because radio can be a very personal medium.  Even though it reaches the widest audience of any medium in the world, there is an individual connection to it that is unavailable elsewhere.

This synopsis from UNESCO in regard to their theme this year for World Radio Day really says it all:

Radio is still the most dynamic, reactive and engaging medium there is, adapting to 21st century changes and offering new ways to interact and participate. Where social media and audience fragmentation can put us in media bubbles of like-minded people, radio is uniquely positioned to bring communities together and foster positive dialogue for change. By listening to its audiences and responding to their needs, radio provides the diversity of views and voices needed to address the challenges we all face. Radio informs us and transforms us, through entertainment, information and audience participation.  Having a radio means you are never alone – you always have a friend in radio.  

C. Crane is proud to be a friend to many in radio from customers to stations to hosts and shows! We hope you celebrate World Radio Day, and if not, don’t worry about it – it’s never too late to celebrate radio (we do it here every day!).

Tell us how radio is personal to you in the comments section and be entered to win the CC Pocket Radio! Please one entry per person. Drawing will be held 3/10/2017.

Congratulations to Lee Horner, winner of the CC Pocket Radio. Thank you all for participating!

What is NOAA and NWS?

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Eel River Delta Flooding in Ferndale, CA
  Photo Courtesy of Humboldt Office of Emergency Services.

NOAA is a government agency and stands for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Many people think NOAA is just weather but these folks have some of the most amazing super computers and satellites that help to provide data both above and below ground to monitor anything and everything related to weather and climate. They also monitor oceans and coasts; are involved in fisheries and marine sanctuaries; administer fleets of ships, aircraft and trains through their Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO) and maintain the nations nautical charts. And you thought they only issued alerts when there were weather related advisories!

The National Weather Service is a division of NOAA. They provide weather, water, and climate data, forecasts and warnings for the protection of life and property and enhancement of the national economy. This is probably what most of us are familiar with. In particular C. Crane uses the NOAA Weather Radio Service as part of many of the radios we manufacture. Several of our radios even have the ability to issue an alert if there is an emergency.

Over the years, we’ve received several letters, testimonials and reviews from folks who were extremely grateful to own a radio during an emergency and even a few who are certain that the warnings issued kept them out of harm’s way.

With all of the recent weather we’ve experienced here in Northern California, we’re reminded how important it is to be prepared and how much having a battery operated (or a wind up) radio assists with that goal. Below are some pictures of the flooding and downed trees we’ve been experiencing. Our Governor, declared a state of emergency for our county as well as many others in California due to all of the storms.

Tell us in the comments how radio (whether one of ours or not) has helped you during a storm or other emergency and be entered to win the CC Skywave AM, FM, Shortwave, Weather and Airband Portable Radio. Please one entry per person. Drawing to be held February 13th 2017.

Congratulations JB Quayle on your win of the CC Skywave AM, FM, Shortwave, Weather and Airband Portable Radio!

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Ferndale Road. Photo Courtesy of Annette Adams

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You may think this is the Amazon River, but it’s actually the Eel River at flood stage moving at 300,000 cubic feet per second. Photo Courtesy Bob Crane.

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Hiking in Avenue of the Giants. Photo Courtesy Seth Downey

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Watching the waters rise. Photo courtesy Deanna Tocyzl

 

 

Toast to Radio in the New Year!

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Rather than New Year’s Resolutions, which really seem to be more like resolutions we plan not to keep and beat ourselves up about, this year we’re recommending something different – Listen to more radio :). And while that is tongue in cheek, we are actually sincere in our intentions.

This past year we challenged our entire staff from management to customer service to shipping and everyone in between to listen to a podcast. What we found is was that for some it was easy, for others it was more difficult to find content that really resonated with them. The reasons behind this were as varied as the individuals themselves – for example, some listen to a lot of talk but they choose audiobooks; others prefer to listen to music exclusively. Some already have extensive listening habits and preferences and found it difficult to squeeze in something new. Some folks tried several and couldn’t seem to find something right for them. And then there were a few that chose not to share because, well radio is personal and can provide a sense of what that person may think or be interested in and that’s more than they care to divulge to others.

So this year we’re upping the challenge. Find one new podcast or radio show a quarter and you have to listen more than once before you throw it into the mix. Now this doesn’t have to be “new” from the standpoint as new to the market, but new to you. Below are some of the results of our team’s initial foray into podcasts. Please tell us in the comments what radio show you decide to listen to this year or if you try out one of the ones below (please keep in mind that the content of any of the shows in not in any way affiliated with C. Crane and they may have content – because the FCC isn’t regulating – that is not appropriate for all listeners)!

C. Crane Staff Podcast Results 

Here is the podcast I listen to pretty regularly, a couple times a week. It is Chalene Johnson, and there are so many episodes anyone and everyone can relate to. And she talks like she is sitting right in your car with you. http://podbay.fm/show/911042029

http://www.podcastone.com/shift-and-steer

http://www.podcastone.com/Steve-Austin-Show

http://www.podcastone.com/KCRWs-Good-Food

The Dr. Drew Podcast and Dr. Drew’s Loveline. I used to listen to the Loveline show religiously but it was cancelled recently!

Heather Dubrow’s World http://www.podcastone.com/heather-dubrows-world

iHeart: Jillian Michaels https://www.iheart.com/show/The-Jillian-Michaels-Show/

New Podcast: Have listened to more of Michael Harrison’s Up Close and Far Out http://www.podcastone.com/up-close-and-far-out

Love Podcasts (I have been listening to for quite a while but found some interesting new ones) They can be addictive because there is so much to listen to. http://www.lovelineshow.com/blog?categoryID=16

The voice after the last episode https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/voice-afterbuzz-tv-aftershow/id434703649?mt=2

Some beagle podcasts, The bachelor after the rose https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/after-the-rose-podcast/id998747927?mt=2, The Laura Ingraham show http://www.podcastone.com/The-Laura-Ingraham-Show-Podcast

I was striking out on new Podcasts. Most of them I found really irritating and often poorly produced (even “the professional” ones) and I was surprised. Either that or they were like listening to an episode of reality TV and I’m just not a fan.  I listen to some regularly – like Brendon Burchard http://podbay.fm/show/821746377 and Tony Robbins https://www.tonyrobbins.com/podcast/,  but I did find some new ones that I enjoy:

http://www.wnyc.org/shows/deathsexmoney/

http://www.stuffmomnevertoldyou.com/podcasts

and some more to try

http://www.levo.com/articles/lifestyle/10-best-podcasts-for-women

I have been listening to Podcastone for quite some time. I used to listen to Loveline but that show is no longer on air. Now I listen to The Adam and Dr Drew Show http://www.podcastone.com/Adam-and-Dr-Drew-Show and  Dr. Drew by himself http://www.podcastone.com/Dr-Drew-Show. As far as listening to a new podcast I am trying out Bulletproof Radio http://www.podcastone.com/bulletproof-radio.

Get Off Your Fat Blog and Take a Photo” – B&H Photography Podcast https://soundcloud.com/bh-photography-podcast/get-off-your-fat-blog-and-take-a-photo

Grammar Girl quick and dirty tips for better writing 528 GG Adjectives, Logic Fallacies http://podbay.fm/show/173429229/e/1470348900?autostart=1

http://www.kgoradio.com/category/podcasts/john-rothmann-podcast-podcasts/

https://serialpodcast.org/ – to learn more about this read the about serial link https://www.thisamericanlife.org/about/serial

http://www.alisonrosen.com/ariynbf/

http://www.jennakimjones.com/podcast/

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/philosophy-talk

http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts

 

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Happy Holidays from C. Crane!

C. Crane is celebrating the holidays with a silly Ugly Sweater Contest… who do you think should win?!

 

 

C. Crane 12 Days of Giveaways Winner

holiday-cheer

December 19th, 2016

Congratulations to D DePriest who won the final trivial question, Without looking it up… Name That Song! “Tis the season to be jolly”

Answer… Deck the Halls!

Thanks to everyone who participated in C. Crane’s 2016 12 Days of Giveaways!