Happy Independence Day

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We wish all of you a safe and fun holiday – C. Crane Family

Memorial Day

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While we view Memorial Day as the official summer kick off and enjoying a B-B-Q with friends or family, please remember to set aside some time to honor the service men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. That freedom extends into radio in the form of Freedom of Speech. Whether you agree or disagree with a host, your right to do so is largely a result of those who have gone before us to secure that freedom.

Gene Burns, an unforgettable icon in radio history, believed that talk radio played a crucial role in exercising and preserving our First Amendment Right. He gave one of the most moving speeches about the Freedom of Speech when he accepted the “Freedom of Speech” award at Talker’s. It was so long ago, there is no recording that we could locate (still working on it), but we did find some YouTube videos of Gene that make one realize that even though everything seemingly changes, everything really is the same…. Michael Harrison, founder of Talker’s Magazine and host of podcast Up Close and Far Out is also a huge proponent of Freedom of Speech. He said this in an interview on KNPR “I think talk radio is a very vital expression of the First Amendment,” he said, “And I think that the First Amendment, freedom of speech, is not a tidy affair. You cannot have free speech and have it be nice or the way you like it or only the truth or only things that are political correct. Free speech is the foundation upon which America is built.”

Take a minute this weekend when you’re listening to the radio or watching YouTube videos, about whatever content that you have the freedom to choose, to say thanks to all of those that died to secure your freedom.

May we never forget freedom isn’t free.

Why is Television so Hard to Hear?

This question came up during a recent tour at C. Crane with the Fortuna Senior Center. “My brand new television has terrible audio and I have to turn the volume way up and then next thing I know it’s blasting out my eardrums – do you have a fix for this?” There was a Wall Street Journal article on exactly this issue and we were able to share some ideas on possible solutions and some basic info on why this happens. While we’re usually known for radio, we do know a bit about audio as well.

Often it’s assumed that the sound issues are all related to hearing loss, but it turns out while that may be part of the problem, it’s not the whole story. With TVs getting thinner and thinner, speaker size, positioning and sound are often an after thought if even considered at all. This could be a big reason why personal sound systems are making a come back. We offer the AEGO Soundbar system to help combat poor audio. Not ready to make that kind of an investment? Here are a couple things you can try:

  1. Locate the speakers on your TV – depending on where they are (often pointing down on the bottom of the television), move your TV. Setting your TV on a wooden surface could do the trick because the sound needs something to bounce off of. Try out different combinations since even a table runner could muffle the sound by absorbing it.
  2. Play with the settings on your TV’s sound. Depending on the issue you are experiencing – illegible voice, too loud, too soft, etc. – you may be able to find a better audio setting on your television.

If none of those things, work you might want to consider our FM Transmitter that can bring the audio from your TV to your radio. Our CCRadio 2E has amazing sound quality and then the audio is right next to you. This is a pretty inexpensive way to improve the sound. Or if you don’t mind wearing earphones, there are many wireless and Bluetooth® options that might work with your new television.

Have you found this to be an issue for you? Share your solutions in the comments below!

 

The Reviews Are In

We thought you might like to see what others are saying about the CC Pocket Radio. It’s one thing when we tell you what we think, but it’s a whole different story when customers and media give you their feedback. Below are a few highlights.

Customer Reviews:

The Ultimate Travel Radio

This is a great little radio for traveling. Takes up no room in a suit case. You can listen to quality stereo and no matter where you are in the US you can get local weather forecasts at the push of a button.

By W. Young MURFREESBORO, TN

Couldn’t ask for more!

I LOVE my pocket radio. This is my fourth radio I’ve bought from C.Crane. It has great sound quality, is easy to use, long battery life, and I love their idea of having basic instructions printed on the inside of the battery compartment. You can’t go wrong with this rugged little radio!

By J. Scofield Hawthorne, Ca

You can view more reviews on our website or on Amazon.com

Media Review:

Crane CC Pocket Radio

“The CC Pocket is an excellent value… It’s a Walkman-style radio …with a built-in speaker for utility use…this is particularly useful if you use the radio for NOAA Weather Alerts …  The CC Pocket covers standard AM and FM as well as the 7 NOAA Weather Band frequencies and runs on 2 AA batteries. The CC Pocket Radio from C.Crane is a very cool new addition to their catalog.” Read more by RadioJayAllen here: https://radiojayallen.com/c-crane-cc-pocket/

Tell us your favorite feature on the CC Pocket Radio.

 

 

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.

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.

 

 

It’s Snowbird Season!

snowbirdrvFor those that may not be familiar with the term, a “snowbird” is an individual from the Northern United States or Canada that spends the colder months in the warmer climates of Florida, Arizona, California, Hawaii, or well, you get the idea.  After spending a balmy winter among the palm trees or cactus, they pack up and make their way home to family, long-time neighbors and hopefully, a house that is exactly as they left it months ago.

For those of you unfamiliar with the not-so-rarely sighted snowbird, they are a special species with a lot to offer the communities where they land.  Making a visit to the BLT blog for lifestyle & travel will fill you in on “30 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Snowbirds.”  Maybe one day you can join the flock.

If you are one of the millions of people that already call themselves a snowbird, you probably don’t need to be reminded of the many complications this human migration can bring.  In addition to a mile-long checklist to winterize the home up north and arrange for your absence, there is also preparation for the trip itself.  This includes saying goodbye to family with a strict promise to give them up-to-the-minute progress reports on your journey, lest you should fall off the face of the earth.  These days a whole lot of folks still do this by email or Facebook, which leaves you relying on the WiFi signals available at RV parks, or a free signal from an eatery across the road.  These signals can be spotty, causing a lot of frustration and keeping you from sending out those anticipated updates, or getting a weather report for tomorrow.  You have enough to worry about without receiving a verbal finger wagging from your adult children, or having everything strapped to the roof get soaked because you didn’t know rain was headed your way.

CC Vector Home WiFi Repeater System Item # VEC1 $149.99

CC Vector Home WiFi Repeater SystemItem # VEC1 $149.99

CC Vector RV WiFi Repeater System Item # VEC2 $169.99

CC Vector RV WiFi Repeater SystemItem # VEC2 $169.99

 

C. Crane has the perfect solution for unreliable WiFi with a variety of antennas and signal repeaters based on your situation.  Please visit our web site to help make your migration a smooth one.

 

 

 

 

What is Shortwave?

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Shortwave radio
is a radio transmission using shortwave frequencies, generally 1.6–30 MHz (187.4–10.0 m), just above the medium wave AM broadcast band. Many of SW’s properties are similar to AM like the ability for the signal to travel long distances.

Since the early 1900’s, there have been significant advances in radio. One of the biggest advances that has had the most impact on shortwave, is streaming on the internet and through internet enabled devices like smartphones and Internet radios. Many of the most popular shortwave broadcasts in the late 90’s and early 2000’s have almost disappeared from shortwave and switched to streaming. If stations are still broadcasting, they often no longer broadcast to the Americas or much of Europe.

At any one moment, there are literally hundreds of millions of signals now transmitted from a wide range of devices. Cell phones, garage door openers, AM and FM broadcast stations, police, fire, airlines, TV stations and even the AC power to your home all occupy a part of the frequency spectrum. Time, propagation and the ionosphere all have an impact on what you are able to receive. Because all signals are affected by these things, it is important to understand the basics of radio transmission.

If you really want to learn about shortwave, the best way to learn, is to listen to it. ShortwaveSchedule.com provides a list of all the signals currently broadcasting at the time of your search and is a great starting place for your shortwave listening quest.

Why Would I Listen to Shortwave?

  1. Governments often use shortwave “utility” bands. Utility bands are where the action is on shortwave and are used for reliable long range communication. Coast Guard Search and Rescue, coordination of US military aviation and spy networks all use this band. One reason it continues to be used, is it is very difficult to block these transmissions. Utility stations generally operate in upper sideband mode. Virtually none of these type of transmissions is on the Internet.
  2. During a big crisis, whether it be an earthquake or hurricane, your best source of real news can be shortwave. Ham operators do an excellent job of contacting emergency services and handling messages between people. You may have experienced “all circuits busy” situations or failed text messages in a large scale emergency situation due to cellular towers being down or overloaded. Amateur radio is the only communication that works well under all circumstances and for that reason, it will continue to be used for the foreseeable future.
  3. News from other countries will give you a new perspective on the world. Following shortwave closely over a few months will give you information that approximates the political information the President and staff have at their disposal to make global decisions. When you listen to shortwave you find out how difficult it is to make decisions with global consequences. The political bent of a country slips out providing you with an alternative point of view. There is a whole world of listening and very little of it may be found on the Internet.
  4. You might stumble across a Pirate Radio station

If you have the urge, you can even take to the air waves yourself by becoming a Ham operator through the American  Radio Relay League (ARRL). You don’t even have to learn Morse code anymore unless you go for an advanced classification.

SWLING.com is probably one of the most comprehensive sites in regard to shortwave and advocating for it. This article on Does Shortwave Radio Have a Future really outlines what’s available and what’s not and why.

Share with us the most interesting shortwave broadcast you’ve heard.

KGO Radio Announces Major Changes

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Update 4/4 – It looks like management has been listening. KGO has announced live and local programming and reversed their decision and are now keeping Ron Owens. The comments we’ve read about what people are hearing so far, are very positive.

4/1 – So many people this morning were upset and outraged at KGO’s announcement and the current layoffs that ensued. Phone calls were made, panic! People thought it was an April Fool’s prank, but it isn’t. We saw posts and comments of people who have listened for 10, 20, 30 years and more who woke up this morning to an odd sounding KGO radio. If you take the time to read the comments, you will see just how upset the listeners are.

Veteran talk show host Ronn Owens will be moved from KGO radio (his home for 40 years) to KSFO.

On their Facebook Page there is an announcement stating “The next generation of KGO 810 is coming Tuesday morning at 6 am”. We aren’t sure what that means, so we’ll be waiting to see just like you.

C. Crane’s very first radio ad, aired on KGO 810 and we continued advertising with them until their first format change several years ago when they laid off much of their local talent. We still have people call to this day, telling us that they first heard about us on KGO. We were fortunate to work with Mickey Luckoff and Jack Swanson in the hay day of KGO & KSFO. Both stations have a long history and are two of the greatest stations ever formed. We hope and pray the Cumulus management endeavors to carve a path with the creativity and talent that the radio hosts and the former management have previously done because we’d LOVE to advertise again!

Tell us in the comments how you feel about this change!

Tailgate Time

Radio is Community - Tailgate TimeIt’s a time when fans, friends and alumni get together to celebrate (whether that celebration is for the tailgating, the food or the football doesn’t really matter). They wear their team’s colors, often paint their faces and bring signs and cheer as loudly as possible to root on their team. In some areas this is “religion”. There are places like Auburn where people actually have settings using fine china, where several generations of family attend and even paint vehicles in the team colors. The rivalries are fierce and the camaraderie is strong. What you do for a living and who you voted for aren’t important, the only thing that matters is which team you’re there to support.

Radio is a community of its own and shares some of the same characteristics as these fans: a diverse, eclectic blend of people coming from all different backgrounds for a common reason. Committed to your favorite hosts, enough so to band together and buy advertising, to buy special equipment, to record shows so you can listen later, or pay for subscriptions so you have access on-demand. Passionate about the topics at hand and supportive of this forum for communication, education and entertainment.

Another way, radio supports community is by being local. It is local radio that carries the hometown sports – whether high school or college. For instance; it’s homecoming here in Fortuna, California and we’re a community that rallies around our kids and our local sports broadcasters are there for us allowing those who can’t make it to the games to listen into the play by play.

So grab your radio, put on your face paint, sport those team colors, and show up for your community, whether it’s football, radio or both!