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.

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.