Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Promotional Video for upcoming Minimum Wage Media Crowd Funding Campaign is now complete

There was a steep learning curve because I had never done digital video editing before, and at first I couldn't envision doing such a project all by myself. There was also a two week detour as I looked into a potential new LPFM station for Ayer, MA, since the LPFM filing deadline was moved up to November 14th. But after a month of plodding along, at least I can now say that the video portion of the upcoming Indiegogo.com proposal is complete. The rest should be easier.

When the entire campaign is ready on line, it will be announced here and many other places.

Friday, October 4, 2013

87.9 returns; Troubadour on a single stream

Liberty & Justice 87.9 returned to the air at approximately 6 AM on Friday 9/27 through a computer with a new hard drive and operating system. Also, due to apparent processor limitations, I had to cut back to only one stream for Troubadour 1700 at 64k. Encoding two 64k streams, Sound Solutions audio processing, plus broadcast automation is a tall order for any single computer. Note the current stream URL:

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Liberty & Justice 87.9 off the air due to hard drive failure

Liberty & Justice 87.9 has been off the air for nearly a week due to a damaged hard drive. The trouble shooting and replacement process has been far more troublesome and time consuming than it should have been, thanks to the egos and proprietary obsessions of certain computer manufacturers during the late XP and Vista eras. The Emachines computer that manages L&J 87.9's air product "came" my way as a nearly new unit. It wasn't my purchasing choice. In less than three years, it has blown both a motherboard and a hard drive.

After experiences with three of their products, and reading tales of woe from others, I'm convinced the Emachines line exists solely as a dumping ground for substandard parts from otherwise quality vendors such as Seagate and Intel. My advice if you own one: don't replace the failed part with an Emachines OEM. Find a similar replacement directly from the part manufacturer. Anyway, since I can't use the recovery discs I have decided upon an expensive upgrade to Windows 8. Either way, I would have to rebuild all the software from scratch. The station may be back on this weekend. If not,
it will be early next week.

The timing of this development couldn't have been worse. Between this and other pressing matters, no work on the proposal mentioned below has been done in nine days. It is extremely frustrating!!

Also, due to the disappearance of title streaming several months ago, I have added an additional stream (at least for now) for Troubadour 1700 that restores the feature. The new stream URL is as follows:

Both the new stream and the older one are now encoding in AAC+ and the quality is superb.

Sunday, September 8, 2013



This is the "goal of goals" and I am determined to make it happen one way or
another, either through outright purchase of the facilities, an "LMA to
ownership" arrangement, or by challenging the FCC license renewals of
two local stations. (All Massachusetts radio stations have their FCC
licenses up for renewal in April 2014.) It all depends upon the level
of support we achieve, which of course, depends upon how effectively we
publicize the effort far and wide among our target demographics and
among entrepreneurial professionals.

Are you tired of local radio station ownerships dominated by fundamentalist Christians,
neo-conservatives, and those of the lowest common denominator of
American mainstream "thought"? Would you like to finally have a local
radio management that is anti-war, anti-corporate, pro-economic
justice, pro-natural, organic, and local food, pro-vegan, pro-health
freedom, anti-GMO, and pro-small business entrepreuerialism,
craftsmanship, and the arts? Then you need to support this effort.

If you would like to see the return of folk music to the local radio dial
(in the spirit of WSLE and WADN), along with new age music, world
music, and Americana (and possibly on weekends, 1960's and 70's oldies
and forgotten FM tracks, 1980's country, Brazilian roots music, and other
forms of GENUINE music), then you need to get behind this effort
and spread the word.

Our crowd funding effort on Indiegogo.com will be announced here when it is ready.
Currently, I am bolstering my professional and social networking in anticipation of it.
Stay tuned!

The continuous hack attacks against LibertyandJustice1640.com have been dealt with

As we approach the two day mark of LibertyandJustice1640.com being hack
free and no longer blacklisted by Google, I think it is safe to say
that we are largely out of the woods. I certainly hope it stays that
way. I had to hire professionals at some expense to clean up the
damage, plug the holes, and watch the site around the clock for the
next twelve months. There is also evidence to indicate the attacks have
been going on for years. This is the only site I own that has had to
endure such persistent hacking, which of course, makes me suspicious.
I want to welcome back everyone who could not access
LibertyandJustice1640.com over the past month. I assure you I had
no intention to infect your computers with malware!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Frequency Change for Liberty & Justice 87.5

As of early this morning, Liberty & Justice 87.5 changed frequency to 87.9 FM. The hip hop pirate in Nashua that had been operating at 87.9 has not been on the air all year, and it's becoming evident that most OEM car radios of the past ten years can't tune 87.5. I still plan to reintegrate the two version of L&J, abandoning any old channel 6 band frequency, if I can ever find the time. Between all the technical problems I'm encountering (such as the loss of the right channel at 95.1 with a transmitter that's only a month old), the constant extreme weather, and working an unrelated slave job seven days a week, I'm exhausted! I've got a stack of over 20 new CD's to add to the Troubadour playlist and the process is taking forever. Everything is so stale, but we're going to have to live with it a bit longer. Computers don't save work. They create the illusion you can do a project that took ten people to do 30 years ago. It's a lie.

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Audio Streams have been restored
Troubadour 1700/97.9 -
Liberty & Justice 87.5 -
Liberty & Justice 1640/95.1 -
The new server is in Orlando, FL. The old one was in Portsmouth, NH.

The listen by phone service from Zeno Radio has been updated and is now functioning. The number for Troubadour 1700 is 786-265-1649. The number for Liberty & Justice Radio is 786-265-1650. For L&J only, when prompted, press 1 to hear the Thom Edition, press 2 to hear the Alex Edition.

The ability to listen at TuneIn.com should be restored in the next day or two for all three streams.

Unfortunately, for some reason, this new server is not streaming song and program titles in Winamp. Different servers mean different software and different settings. It's typical. I'll try to see if the feature can be enabled. If not, I am also working at getting song title (and possibly artwork) streaming for Troubadour (at least) through its page at Tune In.  

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Audio Streams have been down for weeks. We hope for restoration sometime between June 11th and 15th.

6/11/13  Due to some difficulties with a now-former provider, the host of our audio streams has been busy trying to regroup and save his business. As soon as he is able, we will work to get the streams back on line with a new URL that is already in place. Thanks for your patience.

Also, I am pleased to announce that the micro FM signals at 97.9 and 95.1 were restored to their original coverages a couple of weeks ago thanks to new transmitters. Tweaking of the antenna for 97.9 is a project that has been on my "to-do" list since the frequency change last fall. A further (very) slight improvement in coverage should occur once it is completed. If you would like to donate to our transmitter fund, you may do so here.

As for plans for the stations, I have decided for a number of reasons that the two editions of Liberty & Justice should once again be combined to a single service, with one AM and one FM frequency, billed as "The Mulpus Brook Talk Alternative." First and foremost is my increasing lack of time, combined with the demise of Oracle Broadcasting, leaving one less service to choose from when filling two schedules. The reworked station will offer the best of the best and emphasizes the issues of agreement among progressives, democratic socialists, non-violent anarchists, and populist libertarians, especially concerning economic justice, health freedom, and official transparency... and of course, it will be totally anti-corporate! The 87.5 frequency will likely be dropped. Just when the FM dial should be expanding downward from 88.1, more and more manufacturers are starting their FM dials at 87.9, especially with OEM equipment in cars. So fewer receivers are able to tune the frequency. The signal at 95.1, however, should be slightly enhanced because my plans call for greatly reducing the length of its transmission line. Now... to find the time to do all the work this recombining project involves!

By the way, 102.9 is also back on the air broadcasting local NOAA weather most of the time, but also available for special events at any time (such as the anti-Monsanto protests that occured on Memorial Day weekend).

Monday, February 11, 2013

Blizzard Nemo destroys three Minimum Wage Media FM Transmitters

2/11/13  On the evening of Friday, February 8th, as the recent New England blizzard was reaching the height of its furry, I was taking advantage of a rare night off from my job to add a large amount of music to the Troubadour 1700 format. In the midst of my work, I detected the smell of either burning plastic or a burning electronic component. I first assumed that I had placed a cardboard box (with a line of cellophane tape across its top) a bit too close to the wood stove. A quick inspection of the box revealed that although it was a bit warm, no tape was melting. I then turned on one of my radios and discovered that all of my FM signals were off the air with the exception of 102.9, The Voice of the Resistance. Unlike the three other FM's, the 102.9 signal utilizes a vertical dipole that is sheltered from the weather under a wooden roof. As I moved toward the 87.5 FM automation computer and transmitter, the smell was particularly strong. The computer was functioning normally, but when I put my fingers on the transmitter, the entire unit was hot to the touch! I immediately shut it down, and when I took it apart, I found three surface mount chip resistors that were cooked. The smell was powerful enough to give me a low level headache for 24 hours. When I inspected the transmitters for 95.1 and 97.9, they were only slightly warmer than usual with no visually obvious destroyed components. Yet it was evident that their final output stages were largely destroyed and they were providing hardly any measurable signal output.

I was able to get 87.5 back on the air rather quickly with a lower powered back up transmitter I had right in the house. When I tested the connection to the antenna with an SWR meter, it indicted a normal connection, or at least a normal connection had been restored by that point, even though the blizzard was still raging. Later, I was able to connect another lower powered backup transmitter for 95.1. Again, the SWR meter indicated a totally normal connection to the antenna. Finally on Sunday afternoon, with access to my shed cleared, I was able to fetch an audio connector I needed to restore 97.9 with another small backup transmitter. Again, everything was normal with no signs of any distrupted connection to its antenna.

At this time, it remains a mystery as to what exactly caused the destruction of the output stages of these three transmitters. All three use the same style of thin, low profile quarter wave ground plan antenna. Due to the thin elements, it is possible that in the hard, wind whipped snow, ground elements and the vertical whip elements touched each other at various times, or bad connections in all three occurred for long enough periods to destroy the output stages of the transmitters. Another explaination would be that electrical energy from the storm hit all areas of the property at the same instant and struck all exposed, elevated, metalic objects. But there was no trace of thunder or lightning during the entire blizzard, and the two AM transmitters were unaffected, which is unusual, because 1700 AM has a history of a weak connection in its antenna system. It is usually the first to be affected in wet windy weather. The AM antennas also reach a bit higher in elevation than the FM's. So it is more likely that the behavior of this particular FM ground plane antenna in wet, windy, cold conditions had something to do with it. But the exact cause I still can't determine.

The back up transmitters have either somewhat or significantly reduced signal coverage, depending on the frequency. The backup operating at 97.9 has only slightly more power than the typical Satellite-Radio-to-FM Converter and reliable coverage is now limited to 3/4 of a mile. I would like to buy new transmitters and sell the old ones for parts because it would save the time required for diagnosis and repair, which would be significant. I also have little experience with surface mount components and finding the correct replacements for them. To make matters worse, no schematic of these transmitters appears in either the user's manual or on the internet. I simply do not have the time to diagnosis and repair them, even though they represent a combined investment of $450.

If you are able, please consider a contribution to our replacement FM transmitters fund on our advertise and contribute page. Thanks for your consideration.