Public Radio Is Important

pmdmc2017C. Crane recently exhibited at the Public Media Conference 2017 in beautiful San Francisco #PMDMC17 (Public Media Development and Marketing Conference). We previously exhibited in 2013. Once again we were blown away at the awareness these stations have in relation to their listeners. It’s much different than we see and experience in other environments where there seems to be more disconnect between the station and the listener. We believe it’s because these stations exist because of their member base. No members supporting the station equals no station or a “lesser” station.

What is Public Broadcasting and why should I listen?

America’s unique public broadcasting system is a collaboration of 1,300 local non-commercial radio and television stations that meet the standards of and are supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. They work with each other and with hundreds of national and local producers and community partners to ensure that Americans have universal access to high-quality non-commercial programming….

https://current.org/about-public-media/why-public-media/

https://www.metamorafilms.org/2016/08/10/why-public-media-broadcasting-is-still-important-in-our-world/

We speak with people every day who couldn’t imagine a day without their local public radio station. The variety of programming includes NPR, BBC, classical music and often local on-air talent (which you all know is hard to come by in these days of mega consolidation, syndication and automation).

You might wonder how C. Crane fits into Public Radio since we’re normally an advertiser and well….there isn’t really advertising on Public Radio. We fit in, in a few different ways.

  1. We build radios that help the listeners get the signal. Often these stations are in rural areas or have fringe area listeners who struggle to receive the signal – our radios are high quality and help them pull in the weak signal and sound great too!
  2. If the station’s power is too low (or maybe it’s HD so the coverage radius is small and limited to their vehicle or an app) – we offer our internet radio which in many cases is the perfect solution. If the stream isn’t already available, we are usually able to have it added within a short period of time.
  3. Our radios make great membership premiums. The most popular is the CC Solar Observer.
  4. In the event our products don’t make sense for a premium, we also have a radio for resale program. We offer this to both public and private stations where they can offer our radios direct to their listeners.
  5. This year there was also a lot of interest in our new CC Buds Pro – Earbuds for Voice. A LOT of people listen using earbuds daily and finding a good pair, where you can hear the voice at a reasonable price is hard to do. We see earbuds in our futures 🙂

We met the most amazing,  down to earth, community minded and radio loving individuals at PMDMC and were so honored to be a part of this event. Stay tuned for some really great blog posts based on some of the people we met and stories we heard at the show!

Do you listen to Public Broadcasting? Share your favorite Public Broadcast show/station(s) in the comments below to be entered to win the NEW CC Buds Pro! Drawing will be held July 31st. Please only one entry per person.

Congratulations to Mer on your win of the CC Buds Pro! Thank you all for participating.

Is AM Radio Still Relevant?

C. Crane started in 1983 selling AM antennas. We have progressed so we now manufacture a range of high quality radios of most types. We were one of the first U.S. distributors of Internet radios, but the vast majority of customers still prefer the instantaneous free convenience of radio.

If you don’t have time to read this but want to help keep AM stations capable of long distant night time broadcasts here is a link to KFI who has organized a petition to keep it the way it is: http://www.kfiam640.com/features/save-am-radio-1919/

Is AM Radio Still Relevant?

The FCC is proposing radical changes to AM radio signals. They have already adopted some of the proposed changes, but others that could have a more noticeable impact are still under review and are now open for comment. Currently smaller stations generally have to reduce power and sometimes change the direction they broadcast their signal so they don’t interfere with more powerful stations. What this means is larger 50,000 Watt stations like KGO, San Francisco; WGY, New York; KDKA, Pittsburgh; WGN, Chicago and many, many  more are capable of transmitting several hundred miles at night and early morning.  Those stations have a “protected” status during those specified hours.  They’re known as clear channel stations (not to be confused with Clear Channel Broadcasting).

This proposal is being called the AM Revitalization plan and some of the reasoning behind it stems from what is called the AM radio noise floor level. With the increase in all things electronic (think smart phones, televisions, Bluetooth and even LED light bulbs), the noise produced by all of these things has impacted AM Radio and not for the better. In many areas (you may be in one of them) the noise is so bad that AM, and in some cases FM, is almost not listenable.  Another argument in favor of these changes is to allow room for more local stations or to expand coverage for existing local stations.  In theory, this expansion would give listeners a wider choice of programming. A lesser understood impact may include these larger powered stations losing up to 46% of their listenership due to the change in the late night coverage where their signal currently travels hundreds of miles. One of the biggest concerns for losing this protection is the unintended consequences.  The FCC claim of how these changes will work out is actually a theory while the reality of implementation will be different. Unfortunately this is not a “try again” situation if the results are considered horrible by some listeners. It is a situation best served with the idea of “doing no harm”.

C. Crane has talked first hand with over one million AM radio listeners concerned with improving their AM reception. There is a considerable group of listeners who enjoy or by circumstance choose to use radio as their primary source of news and entertainment. They many times live in a more rural setting listening to distant stations. They are generally satisfied watching the world go by with radio as a companion. We would compare them to a sleeping bear that might take a remarkable exception to being poked with a stick. You might take this as a challenge until you meet some of these fine people and realize the misplaced destruction caused by eliminating their signal of choice.

There is a lot of discussion about AM being dead or being much less important than it was before cellular phones, WiFi, satellite radio and even FM Radio. There are many people who can’t afford, don’t have or don’t want access to WiFi or cellular services.  The proposed FCC changes could irreversibly affect those who rely on that AM radio signal each night to be informed and entertained.

You may not know why AM radio is very important to the United States, Canada, Australia and China but it is because all of these countries are too big to be covered with a free source of news. All of these countries also have a large relatively unknown group who listen at night. Taking clear channel stations away would affect a great many people.

Possible remedies to improve AM reception:

The FCC could consider a power increase for local stations one at a time. If you look at the comments on this topic, you can see it is too complex to make this kind of change with one general stroke of the pen. A one size fits all approach isn’t going to work. Guidelines can be developed to help the submission process and make this work better for all.

Local stations can stream when their signal goes down in power. The cost is low. A small subscription and/or advertising would be more than adequate.

New technology has given us at least one possible simple solution but it would take 10 years to implement. Bandwidth filters for receivers are quite good and inexpensive now since one chip supplier went into making AM/FM chips. They also make one that has a noise blanker that will likely work well on radio noise. So if broadcasters were able to keep their signal contained to bandwidth specifications and receivers matched it could work much better than it does now for the listener. If it works as well as we expect then the FCC could reduce the AM bandwidth to 8KHz and add more stations. Intelligent offsetting the stations geographically would mean less interference. All we would need is receivers capable of 1 Kilohertz resolution which would be mandated by the FCC.

Last reasons for AM stations

We all take the Internet for granted and in our opinion it is unlikely it will ever fail catastrophically. If it did fail the U.S. has no backup system which would plunge our great country into complete chaos. Until we are sure it can’t fail why eliminate 50,000 watt clear channel AM stations. They would be the only possible backup source of information capable of spanning the nation. Our military still installs and uses sophisticated High Frequency AM radios as a backup for a reason.

Here are some places you can go to learn more and form your own opinion

http://www.timesunion.com/business/article/A-wave-of-discontent-over-AM-radio-proposal-6854910.php#photo-9458937

http://chicagoradioandmedia.com/news/8012-fcc-s-proposed-am-revitalization-plan-could-have-impact-on-many-chicago-radio-stations

http://swling.com/blog/2016/02/am-radio-proposal-has-class-a-broadcasters-upset/

http://www.radioworld.com/article/questions-for-the-fcc-about-am-class-a-protections/277341

There are stations and individuals for and against these proposed changes. Some arguing that the only local programming is religious, some stating that in localized emergencies, only local stations report on it and others offering what seem like reasonable compromises or suggestions. One thing is clear: Times are changing and there is a limited opportunity to be heard.

We are curious on your take, tell us your opinion – please share in the comments, but if you really want to be heard, you can file a comment either electronically or through the mail http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/proceeding/view?name=13-249  Comments are being accepted through March 21st 2016 and replies through April 18th.

April is Earthquake Preparedness Month, Are You Ready for the “Big One”?

A two story house collapses during a 6.2 magnitude earthquake

A two story house collapses during a 6.2 magnitude earthquake

As I just drifted off to sleep that Sunday evening, suddenly I heard the wine rack rattling and felt the bed shaking and shifting. I quickly sat up and yelled to my husband “We are having an earthquake!” He calmly said “It’s ok. It will be over soon.” The light fixture continued to sway at least another 45 seconds after it was over. It wasn’t the “Big One” but it was a 6.9 and shook us pretty good. To my amazement the earthquake that struck on March 9th, 2014 didn’t cause severe damage to us here in Humboldt County.

California is not the only state that has the potential of being hit by the “Big One”. This past March Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming was rocked by a 4.8, followed by several aftershocks with magnitudes ranking over 3.0. This past Saturday, April 12th, Oklahoma was hit with over 48 earthquakes larger than a 2.5 magnitude. That same day Idaho was also shook by a 4.9.

These states aren’t the only ones being “rattled”. Chile was struck by a devastating 6.7 quake on March 16th that caused major damage. More than 100,000 people had to briefly evacuate their homes.

The destruction of an earthquake is shocking and not something that can be avoided. You may even think your state, city or town will never see a quake. However, earthquakes are becoming more common and everyone should be prepared for when a catastrophe occurs.

Here are some useful tips for preparing for an Earthquake:
• Create a preparedness kit that will last for (at the very least) 72 hours. Include canned foods, water, a radio, flashlights, batteries, blankets, clothing and shoes, a first aid kit, money, a pipe wrench for turning off the gas and water, and specialty items such as medications, infant food and pet food.

• Know the safest places in each room of your home, such as under a sturdy table or against walls.

• Know the most dangerous places in each room to avoid, such as near windows, mirrors, fireplaces or near any hanging objects.

• Create a plan for where your family will meet if separated during an earthquake.

• Secure your water heater by strapping it to wall studs.

• Know where the gas and water valves are and how to shut them off.

Below are some additional links to information that may help you and your loved ones be prepared. http://www.calema.ca.gov/NewsandMedia/Pages/Current%20News%20and%20Events/Earthquake-Preparedness.aspx

http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/earthquakes/supplies.asp

http://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m4240216_Earthquake.pdf

 

C. Crane’s 30 Year Anniversary- 30 Days of Giveaways, Day 28!

Congratulations to Friday’s winner Steve Yoth for winning the CC SW Pocket AM/FM/SW Radio, Dan C for winning the Power Vivid® BR40 LED Light Bulb (Cool White) and Dennis Whitehead for winning the GeoBulb®-II LED Light Bulb True Color.

Congratulations to Saturday’s winner Sam Stewart for winning the CCRadio-EP AM/FM Radio w/ Lighted Needle & Dial, B Anurag for winning the GeoBulb®-II LED Light Bulb (Warm White) and Anna G for winning the GeoBulb®-II LED Light Bulb True Color.

Congratulations to Sunday’s winner Julie Mendelsohn for winning the Senta-40 Wooden Headphones w/ Carry Case & Detachable Fabric Cord, Fred for winning the GeoBulb® Under Cabinet Light Bar II (Cool White) and Tom Blackwell for winning the GeoBulb®-II LED Light Bulb True Color.

Today’s Blog Topic is: What did you do over the weekend?

Today’s giveaways are the Senta Ally Bluetooth® Stereo Speaker w/ FM, the Power Vivid® BR20 LED Light Bulb (Cool White) and the GeoBulb®-II LED Light Bulb True Color. To participate all you have to do is leave a comment on today’s blog post. We will select three comments in a random drawing and post the winners Tuesday morning. Good luck!

Senta Ally Bluetooth­™ Speaker & Power Vivid BR20 LED Light Bulb

Senta Ally Bluetooth­™ Speaker & Power Vivid BR20 LED Light Bulb

 

C. Crane’s 30 Year Anniversary- 30 Days of Giveaways, Day 25!

Congratulations to yesterday’s winner Bob Confer for winning the CC Solar Observer AM/FM/Weather Windup Emergency Radio, Matthew Phillips for winning the Power Vivid® A15 LED Bulb (Warm White) and Matt for winning the GeoBulb®-II LED Light Bulb True Color.

Today’s Blog Topic is: What is your favorite movie?

Today’s giveaways are the CC SW Pocket AM/FM/SW Radio, the Power Vivid® BR40 LED Light Bulb (Cool White) and the GeoBulb®-II LED Light Bulb True Color. To participate all you have to do is leave a comment on today’s blog post. We will select three comments in a random drawing and post the winners Monday morning. Thank you for your participation!

CC SW Pocket AM/FM/SW Pocket Radio & Power Vivid® BR40 LED Light Bulb in Cool White

CC SW Pocket AM/FM/SW Pocket Radio & Power Vivid® BR40 LED Light Bulb in Cool White

C. Crane’s 30 Year Anniversary- 30 Days of Giveaways, Day 24!

Congratulations to yesterday’s winners Chris Anderson for winning the SoftSpeaker™-2 Pillow Speaker with Volume Control, Mark A. for winning the Power Vivid® BR20 LED Light Bulb (Cool White) and Suman for winning the GeoBulb®-II LED Light Bulb True Color.

Today’s Blog Topic is: What is your weather like currently? Are you in need of your NOAA Weather or Weather Alert Radio?

Today’s giveaways are the CC Solar Observer AM/FM/Weather Windup Emergency Radio, the Power Vivid® A15 LED Bulb (Warm White) and the GeoBulb®-II LED Light Bulb True Color. To participate all you have to do is leave a comment on today’s blog post. We will select three comments in a random drawing and post the winners Friday morning. Good luck!

CC Solar Observer AM/FM/Weather Windup Emergency Radio & Power Vivid® A15 LED Bulb

CC Solar Observer AM/FM/Weather Windup Emergency Radio & Power Vivid® A15 LED Bulb

C. Crane’s 30 Year Anniversary- 30 Days of Giveaways, Day 23!

Thank you all for the comments, they are very entertaining!

Congratulations to yesterday ‘s winners Carey Gilpin for winning the CCRadio-SW AM/FM Shortwave Radio, L. W. for winning the GeoBulb®-3 LED Light Bulb (Warm White) and Greg Becher for winning the GeoBulb®-II LED Light Bulb True Color.

Today’s Blog Topic is: What’s for dinner tonight?

Today’s giveaways are the SoftSpeaker™-2 Pillow Speaker with Volume Control, the Power Vivid® BR20 LED Light Bulb (Cool White) and the GeoBulb®-II LED Light Bulb True Color. To participate all you have to do is leave a comment on today’s blog post. We will select two comments in a random drawing and post the winners Thursday morning. Yum, Yum!

SoftSpeaker™-2 Pillow Speaker with Volume Control & Power Vivid® BR20 LED Light Bulb (Cool White)

SoftSpeaker™-2 Pillow Speaker with Volume Control & Power Vivid® BR20 LED Light Bulb (Cool White)

 

C. Crane’s 30 Year Anniversary- 30 Days of Giveaways, Day 22!

Congratulations to yesterday’s winners Keena Reed for winning the CC Gozo AM/FM Radio with Hi-Fidelity Audio, Robert Jackson for winning the GeoBulb®-II LED Light Bulb (Warm White) and J. Warren for winning the GeoBulb®-II LED Light Bulb True Color.

Today’s Blog Topic is: In honor of National Punctuation Day, what is your favorite punctuation mark?

Today’s giveaways are the CCRadio-SW AM/FM Shortwave Radio, the GeoBulb®-3 LED Light Bulb (Warm White) and the GeoBulb®-II LED Light Bulb True Color. To participate all you have to do is leave a comment or punctuation mark on today’s blog post. We will select two comments in a random drawing and post the winners Wednesday morning. Good luck!

CCRadio-SW AM/FM Shortwave Radio & GeoBulb®-3 LED Light Bulb (Warm White)

CCRadio-SW AM/FM Shortwave Radio & GeoBulb®-3 LED Light Bulb (Warm White)

C. Crane’s 30 Year Anniversary- 30 Days of Giveaways, Day 21!

Happy Monday!

Congratulations to Friday’s winners Dan for winning the Power Vivid® BR30 LED Bulb Bright White – Dimmable, Phillip Ellis for winning the SoftSpeaker™ Pillow Speaker and Bob Wilkins for winning the GeoBulb®-II LED Light Bulb True Color.

Congratulations to Saturday’s winners Elaine Garfield for winning the Senta Ally Bluetooth® Stereo Speaker w/ FM, Greg Altorfer for winning the Power Vivid® A15 LED Bulb (Warm White) and Rick Wiggins for winning the GeoBulb®-II LED Light Bulb.

Congratulations to Sunday’s winners George Hogetvedt for the Sun’s Dusk LED Accent Light Bulb, Hubenak for winning the CC SW Pocket AM/FM/SW Radio and Sona B for winning the GeoBulb®-II LED Light Bulb.

Today’s Blog Topic is: September 23rd is National Great American Pot Pie Day. What does Pot Pie mean to you?

Today’s giveaways are the CC Gozo AM/FM Radio with Hi-Fidelity Audio, the GeoBulb®-II LED Light Bulb (Warm White) and the GeoBulb®-II LED Light Bulb. To participate all you have to do is leave a comment on today’s blog post. We will select two comments in a random drawing and post the winners Tuesday morning. Thank you for participating!

CC Gozo AM/FM Radio & GeoBulb®-2 LED Light Bulb Warm White

CC Gozo AM/FM Radio & GeoBulb®-2 LED Light Bulb Warm White

C. Crane’s 30 Year Anniversary- 30 Days of Giveaways, Day 20!

Today’s Blog Topic is: What is your favorite holiday and why?

Today’s giveaways are the CC SW Pocket AM/FM/SW Radio, the Sun’s Dusk LED Accent Light Bulb and the GeoBulb®-II LED Light Bulb True Color. To participate all you have to do is leave a comment on today’s blog post. We will select three comments in a random drawing and post the winners Monday morning. Good luck!

  CC SW Pocket AM/FM/SW Radio &  Sun's Dusk LED Accent Light Bulb


CC SW Pocket AM/FM/SW Radio &
Sun’s Dusk LED Accent Light Bulb