Monday, November 28, 2016

Troubadour 1710's computer hardware project has been completed

Work on Troubadour 1710's computer hardware was completed on Monday 11/28. Nowhere near the number of new parts thought necessary were utilized. A new hard drive was all that was installed. 24/7 operation has been restored.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Troubadour 1710: More off-air periods likely before the end of the month

Until the end of November, there may be periods when Troubadour 1710 is off the air due to work on the station's hardware. Some outages may last up to two days at a time. After much frustration and experimentation, a temporary fix was put in place around the 10th. But a more ambitious, permanent upgrade is proving to be inevitable.

I will be replacing the motherboard in the main Troubadour 1710 computer with a Gigabyte board that is commonly used for gaming and multimedia. The total cost of the upgrade, including an 8-core CPU, memory, power supply, 1T hard drive, and possible upgrade to Windows 10 will run in the neighborhood of $275.

If any of you could be kind enough to assist me in some small way with this expense, at a time when spending in other critical areas of my life has also increased, I would be very greatful. Visit our support page and help keep independent, neighborhood media alive.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

102.9 FM "Jill Not Hill Radio" is now on the air through November 8th

In recent days, I have resurrected Mulpus Brook FM3, our old facility for occasional specials and temporary use as "102.9 FM Jill Not Hill Radio." 24 hours a day, the station is airing speeches, interviews, and responses to debate questions by the most sane and genuine presidential candidate that most Americans will have as a ballot choice in 2016, Green Party presidential nominee Dr. Jill Stein, along with her running mate Ajamu Baraka. The broadcast effort is an attempt, in some small way, to counteract the mainstream media bias against third party candidates and their exclusion from the main debate stages.

Mulpus Brook FM3's signal coverage in Shirley Center/ North Shirley, MA is almost comparable to the range of our other micro signals. For everyone outside of our tiny coverage area, you can listen to the station's live stream.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Here we go again... another IP address change for the streams

The audio stream URL's for the two stations are now as follows:

Troubadour 1710:

Liberty & Justice 1640:

Perhaps with the use of an alphabetical domain name, there will be fewer changes in the future if my provider has to switch to a server with a different IP address.

Please edit any audio player bookmarks with the new info. Zeno Phone has been updated and Tune In should be restored for device access by the time you read this.

Once again, I apologize for the inconvenience. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Prospects for buying a local, licensed radio station

During the spring months of 2015, I embarked upon a scheme to bring my hobby radio stations, Troubadour 1710 and Liberty & Justice 1640, to downtown areas of North Central Massachusetts and the Nashoba Valley through a network of micro AM transmitters. It quickly became evident, however, that this objective would require way too much work and persistence, with insignificant gains in visibility, listenership, and financial support. It was also a potential technical nightmare, keeping all transmitters on air on all sites in remote locations that I would have no control over and no way to monitor. Furthermore, paying a monthly rent to use a transmitter site was totally out of the question because I have, at the current time, absolutely no money. My living expenses have also gotten worse over the past few months, thanks mostly to the real estate industry, whose pathological greed knows no end.

I love the freedom and do-it-yourself craftsmanship of Part 15 radio. But after 11 years as a Part 15 broadcaster, I begrudgingly have to admit that its potential remains solely in the hobby realm. At current power levels and confined mostly to the AM expanded band, it can only serve as a small pocket of defiance where a regressive local radio establishment has disenfranchised large portions of the population they were licensed to serve. Even a chain of Part 15 signals can never truly compete with that local radio establishment and offer an alternative that is just as easily accessed by the entire community. Furthermore, unlicensed stations have no standing with the FCC even when they are legal.

I experienced this in a big way back in July and it is the reason why Troubadour 1700 is now Troubadour 1710. Frequency moves by high powered licensed stations can catch you off guard, just when you thought the FCC was no longer granting frequency changes or approving new stations that could effect your Part 15 operation. When that happens, it often takes weeks of research and work, including the decision for a new frequency, switching over one or more transmitters to that frequency, publicizing the frequency change, and eventually changing over any internet URL's and email addresses that may have been based upon the old frequency. It's a disrupting process that wastes a lot of time better spent on programming or community outreach.

So, since midsummer, I have evolved back toward the goal of acquiring a currently licensed station, hopefully in the North Central Massachusetts region, where my programming and values are so DESPERATELY needed on the airwaves. But this time, in spite of my worsening immediate poverty, I actually have a concrete hope of eventually obtaining the funding I need... at least enough for a large down payment and start up costs for a small, modest office and "studio."

My parents have been trying to sell 5-plus acres of undeveloped land they still own in Connecticut. The land is located next to where they built a home in the early 1970's and had lived until 2013. Back in the summer, my mother said to me that whenever the land sells, they will give the proceeds to me. The land is currently valued just comfortably into the six digit range. My father had purchased all the land in the area, including the lot where he eventually built a house, back in the mid 1950's with $500 he borrowed from my mother's step-father. (Such were the days.) Since the conversation with my mother, I have assisted my parents by listing the property in a couple of on-line publications including the New Haven edition of Craig's List. There have been no serious inquiries since that time. I feel it will eventually sell, and hopefully to a real homesteader who puts up a nice little barn, grows his own vegetables, and keeps a few farm animals as pets. But given the location, just a few miles from the Fairfield County line, and the suburban, upper middle class mindset of those who have moved into the area in recent decades, it will probably sell to yet another overpaid consumerist with an unsustainable lifestyle. At this point, I'm so desperate, I'll take what I can get, even if I have to hold my nose during the process.

Right now there is an AM station in North Central Massachusetts that appears to have been merely a stepping stone in the owner's objective of building a network of small FM stations. It is redundant, unnecessary, and controlled by yet another religious broadcaster. Doesn't Fitchburg, Leominster, Ayer, and the Nashoba Valley FINALLY deserve a local, community minded radio station with competent, educated management whose brains have not been sucked out by a childish, toxic religion or a fascist political ideology? I sure think so. I may have to funnel the absolute best of Troubadour 1710 and Liberty & Justice 1640 into a single station for a while. Nevertheless, I am determined to do two things:

1) Wake people up through talk programming that exposes the total fraud promoted by the competing stations, along with insights into the kind of society humans were really designed for, plus the political and economic means required for establishing such a society.

2) Revive Walden 1120's music format in some form in the local region. This goal has remained unchanged since April 1997 when that poor station was unjustly driven to its inevitable death by a corrupt, mentally ill manager who should have never been allowed anywhere near a radio station.

In the meantime, I am merely trying to survive, day to day, and it is not easy. For a number of reasons, I am now food insecure but I am not starving yet either. The beans that come from my tiny garden plot and the (delicious) fruit from a wild apple tree a mile or so down the road make the difference between a meal and something short of one. I try to make food last as long as possible and I only go food shopping when I absolutely have no other choice. Everything else goes to paying high monthly expenses and outstanding dental bills that were too high to be covered entirely by insurance.

I've been hunting for better jobs and I finally have an interview for one lined up later this week. However, in order for me to respond to any ad, the employer's total compensation offer must work out to a minimum of $30k per year or $15 an hour for part-time work. NO EXCEPTIONS! If you are job hunting, you should have that requirement, too. If they don't meet it, don't work for them and don't buy from them! I am sick and tired of poverty and I am fed up with prosperous business owners who insist on paying poverty wages. (I'll take revenge on them through programming when I get my station.) This prospective job pays well over 30K during the first year and the firm's very business appears to be assisting working people. I'll see if they live up to their hype.

In the meantime, I can't predict when and if a buyer for the property in Connecticut will come along. So I am looking for an enlightened individual, group of individuals, or business with ethical practices who would be empathetic with my aspirations. It MUST be a flexible individual or company (not a straitjacketed ideologue), but nevertheless, obviously devoted to true progressive values such as world peace, economic justice and equality, natural health and health freedom, critical thought, freedom of expression, environmental restoration, free renewable energy innovation, exposing official lies and mass deception, co-ops and community supported agriculture, community involvement in the arts, etc., etc. I am looking for such an individual or enterprise who has the financial means to make an otherwise destitute pauper a qualified radio station buyer in the eyes of the industry. Any funds would be placed in an escrow account that would require signatures from both myself and the other entity in order to be dispensed, and they would only be dispensed if needed or as needed. The ideal amount would be roughly equal to the likely selling price of the property in Connecticut. If and when the property sells, the individual, group, or company can revert to sole ownership of the funds if they haven't been used, or be reimbursed for any that have up to the full selling price of the Connecticut property.

If any of you know of such a qualified individual, group, or company that can help me with the situation I have outlined here, I would appreciate it if you forward this post to them and have them contact me.

My thanks to all who have read this screed to its conclusion.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Troubadour frequency change to 1710 kHz pending

Sometime over the next several days, I will be experimenting with what will likely be a change in frequency for Troubadour from 1700 kHz to 1710 kHz. I now have the information I need from the transmitter manufacturer to move to that frequency. The new interference from WRCR is too great to tolerate indefinitely, so something has to be done. If all works well technically and the change is made, the station's branding and web address will remain "1700," although that may be a little confusing for people locally.

All AM radios designed and manufactured since the late 1980's should be able to tune 1710, along with the official expanded band which ends at 1700. Most antique radios built from the early 1930's to the early 1940's should also be able to tune the frequency if they are fully restored and aligned properly.

Currently, the only licensed stations operating at 1710 kHz are a network of 10 watt travelers information stations serving Hudson County, New Jersey. The FCC does not grant operation to any licensed facility on 1710, and those New Jersey TIS stations are there only through a rare waiver. For this reason, Part 15 broadcasters have been trying to get 1710 kHz recognized, either officially or unofficially, as a safe haven for Part 15 radio.

The prospects for full range reception on 1710 kHz should be even better than they were on 1700 before the appearance of WRCR.

Yet another URL change for the audio streams

Unfortunately, I have to announce another URL change for the audio streams of Troubadour 1700 and Liberty & Justice 1640.

Troubadour 1700's stream is now the following:

Liberty & Justice 1640's stream is now as follows:

Please update any native device apps or media player bookmarks. Zeno Radio's listen over phone service has already been updated and the Tune In app for portable devices should be updated by the time you read this.

Again, I have absolutely no control over these changes and they are even more disruptive and time wasting for me than they are for listeners.

The streaming is a donated service for which I am grateful. I have no choice but to tolerate it because such an arrangement is all I can afford.