What is Airband (Aviation Band) on a Radio?

© Frankljunior | Dreamstime.com – Air Traffic Control Tower And An Airplane Photo

This has become a popular question with our new CC Skywave™.

According to Wikipedia, Airband, also referred to as Aircraft or Aviation band, is a group of frequencies in the VHF radio spectrum that are allocated to civil aviation radio communications. VHF is a short range, line of site transmission. Our radio covers 118 – 137MHz for Airband. In most countries a license is required to operate airband equipment but that appears to apply only to transceivers, not receivers. In some countries it is illegal to listen to or monitor the Airband without authorization (even in the UK).

The language that is used to communicate on this band can be a challenge to follow. Ken Hoke’s article on Stuff Pilots Say, gives some great insight into the meaning of the seemingly cryptic language used on Airband.

The primary purpose of Air traffic control worldwide is to prevent collisions, organize and expedite the flow of traffic, and provide information and other support for pilots. It was difficult to find any “history” of airband but it appears that it was first used extensively after World War I and after 1921 at Croydon airport in London. Navigation and air traffic control have changed over time and many areas use higher frequencies and RADAR and other more sophisticated systems. The Airband radio frequencies still continue to play a part though, especially in ground communication with pilots. It is used almost exclusively in small airports that don’t have control towers. We have one customer who plans to use the CC Skywave for monitoring the ground to pilot communication at the local air races.

As to why we decided to include Airband in our radio? Here is Bob’s answer:

“When you are in a big airport you are sometimes subject to the whims of security and circumstance. TSA does a great job but when the process gets a little tense I yearn for more information. I want to know everything that will affect my tiny domain. When you listen to aviation band you can usually figure out more by reading between the lines on what pilots and the control tower are talking about. Sometimes you gain a sense of power and wisdom as you do with any knowledge.”

For more information on what you might hear or how to listen, visit the links below.

http://radio-scanner-guide.com/radioscannerguidepart3c-civilaircraft.htm

http://www.wikihow.com/Listen-to-Your-Local-Air-Traffic-Control

 

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?

Happy Holidays from C. Crane!

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

 

 

Earth Day is on the Horizon


Earth Day
 is an international event designed to raise awareness and concern for the environment. Started April 22nd in 1970, it is one of the largest grassroots movements in U.S. history.  C. Crane is fortunate to be based in Fortuna, CA, which is surrounded by state and federally protected areas such as the Headwaters Forest, Pacific Ocean Coastlines, the Eel River and so many more.  With so much abundant beauty it’s no surprise that people here feel strongly about conservation.

Many people in our area and elsewhere faithfully practice sustainability as a way of life. Where every day is Earth Day, so they are constantly looking for ways to reduce dependency on outside resources, and minimize waste. What used to be considered “hippie” counterculture has now worked its way into mainstream

The best thing about Earth Day is that everyone can participate. Take one of our pocket radios along if you are helping with a community project. The CC Solar Observer is a great outdoor radio for listening while you garden to grow food, raise chickens, or work your own sustainability program. Even something as simple as using rechargeable batteries with our Solar Battery Charger can help the environment since they use far less natural resources than disposable batteries.

We’re curious – are you a conservationist, and if so, how?

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Cheatham Grove Grizzly Redwoods State Park

The Big C. Crane Move

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Photo by Mary Bullwinkel

C. Crane’s big move to our new building has been a very memorable experience. Last Friday, October 30th, we celebrated our Ribbon Cutting Ceremony along with a big Halloween themed shindig for members from the Fortuna Community. Below is a wonderful article published by Talkers writer, Michael Harrison, as well as a few pictures taken from the event.

C. Crane’s Impressive New Building.

The family-owned-and-operated C. Crane company has been in business since it was founded at the Crane family’s kitchen table in 1983 selling AM antennas for the love of talk radio. Pictured, you see the staff of the AM/FM radio and accessories vendor posing during the ribbon-cutting outside C. Crane’s newly remodeled 14,000 square foot facility.  Local dignitaries and employees decided they might as well celebrate Halloween at the same since a big move like this is kind of scary.  Company founder Bob Crane says the new digs provide improved efficiency and better access for customers to the new showroom.  He says, “Our ability to design and manufacture new proprietary radio products has dramatically accelerated with the new facility.”

Read the Talkers article here: http://www.talkers.com/?s=c+crane&x=0&y=0

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Fire on Main Street in Fortuna, California

Early this morning a fire broke out on Main st. resulting in several businesses losing their buildings. Fortunately it was early, so no one was injured. We are a small community of about 10,000 and something like this affects everyone. It is truly devastating and heartbreaking. These are our friends that own these businesses and they employ other friends and even family members. One of our own staff is a volunteer firefighter and another’s husband is as well so this really hits home. Our shipping parking lot is blocked off to allow access for the fire trucks and we sent our shipping department home just because the air quality isn’t that great. Below are some pictures from nearby.

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Photo by Sean Sullivan

Main St Fire 6AM

Photo Jessyca Martinez

Main Street Fire 6AM

Photo Jessyca Martinez

Smoke from the highway

Smoke from the Highway – Photo by Lisa Wilson

More images in this article http://lostcoastoutpost.com/2015/jan/28/major-fire-downtown-fortuna-departments-all-over-h/

http://lostcoastoutpost.com/2015/jan/28/photos-demolition-fortuna-main-streets-star-hotel/

Flashback Friday- Graduation

Graduation is one of the most thrilling days in a young adult’s life. It’s the start of college or a time to find the new job you worked so hard for. Graduation is truly an achievement to be proud of.

All of us at C. Crane Company would like to congratulate the 2014 Graduates and their Families.

In celebration, a few of us at C. Crane shared our Graduation photos.

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Upper Left: Carolyn oversees the Purchasing Department while multitasking Customer Service at C. Crane. Pictured are Carolyn and her mother. Carolyn graduated from Lake High School in Hartville, OH June, 5 1983. Upper Right: Kim works in the Processing Department and is a Customer Service representative. Kim graduated from El Cajon High School in 1979. Lower Left: Deanna is a Technical Assistant and Customer Service representative at C. Crane. Deanna graduated from Fortuna High School in 1980. Middle Right: Katie was one of C. Crane’s first employees. She oversees our Web Department and has experience in almost every department. Katie graduated from New Life Academy High School in 1984. Bottom Right: Jessyca oversees the Advertising Department and is a Customer Service representative. Jessyca graduated from Montgomery High School in Santa Rosa, CA in June, 2004.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flashback Friday

C. Crane house before the remodel

C. Crane house before the remodel

 

Due to a rapidly expanding company C. Crane’s 10th street house in Fortuna was remodeled in 1996 to include a large Shipping and Receiving Department. We soon outgrew that area and shipping and receiving was moved to a much larger 2-story building near our original location.

Today we use the old Shipping Department as our meeting and break room.

A construction crew works on the C. Crane Shipping and Receiving department

A construction crew works on the C. Crane Shipping and Receiving department

Bob’s Planned Move Brings Transformation

Bob and Sue in the first C. Crane Office, 1990.

Bob and Sue in the first C. Crane Office, 1990.

Moving from San Francisco to rural Humboldt County, California in 1983 was not without a few oversights on my part. Due to poor radio reception my love for AM radio was met with a good deal of silence until the sun went down. It was only then that I could receive AM stations from several hundred miles away. I learned to adapt to the local earthquakes but not the absence of radio reception.

I went on a six month research project to improve the radio reception at my house until I finally found an AM antenna, the Select-A-Tenna. In the day time this antenna could receive a clear channel station from over 250 miles away. I was absolutely sure there were more radio-heads like me that wanted this antenna as much as life itself, so I wrote a letter to the address on the bottom of the antenna asking if I could sell them. The phone rang one day with the inventor and builder of this device. I garnered a somewhat exclusive distribution right to the West Coast for a capital cost of $350.00 so my wife and I began selling the Select-A-Tenna out of our home. We advertised the antenna on KGO Radio in San Francisco. At first, it did not go particularly well but we adjusted our advertisements and soon orders started coming in.

A plastic surgeon from L.A. was our very first customer. He heard the ad on KGO and called to order one. I was shocked when he asked me to put the antenna on a credit card. We weren’t set up to take credit cards so we had him mail us a check. Never considering failure we started shipping out hundreds of antennas with the bill enclosed hoping the honest talk show listeners would pay. Ninety-nine percent of those customer sent us a check! Word started spreading about the magic of the AM receiving antenna.

One unforgettable day in 1992 cars and RV’s lined our 500’ shared, one lane gravel road to the house making our neighbors less than thrilled. That’s when I turned to my wife and said ‘Sue, I think we need to get a store for the company”. We soon moved the business to downtown Fortuna.

The Original CC Radio

The Original CC Radio

During this time, my wife and I both had full time jobs and 2 kids to raise. Our little company continued to grow and was starting to get out of hand, so we hired others to help us. With the dedication of a few good people we hired, the C. Crane Radio Division was born.

C. Crane continues the quest to improve reception with a selection of excellent long range radios and antennas. Our latest model, the CCRadio-2E is one of the best radios for AM and FM reception and it’s the most reliable we have built so far.

Bob Crane

Flashback Friday

This is a photo of the Original Staff of C. Crane in 1991 at the original C. Crane headquarters in Fortuna, California.

Pictured above: Bob Crane, Sue Crane, Grandma Faye, Katie Kennard, Sue Long, Don Allen and Simon the dog

Pictured above: Bob Crane, Sue Crane, Grandma Faye, Katie Kennard, Sue Long, Don Allen and Simon the dog