community radio power strikes a nerve

a community radio 100 watt transmitter

[ July 25, 2011 – update

Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts Community Advisory Committee Media Panel encourages community to support TOUCH  FM 106 and urges Greater Boston community to persuade the  FCC to provide more low-power AM and FM licenses due to the prohibitive cost of purchasing existing frequencies  and because  Chinese programming has replaced black content on the WILD AM high watt station.  ]

[ content below was originally published April 2, 2010 ]

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent United States government agency. The FCC was established by the Communications Act of 1934 and is charged with regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable. The FCC’s jurisdiction covers the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. possessions.

Regulation is cool but a democracy is a hard thing to administer.

Low-Powered FM radio stations are broadcasting to add value (some call it “distortion”) and content you can hear on ordinary radios  in  cars and homes.   A lot of people are enjoying this form of alternative free radio.

Boston’s FM Station named TOUCH FM 106.1  is on a mission.

These types of Low-powered radio broadcasts serve a unique tribe.  This tribe is comprised of content providers: musicians and program producers, who cannot get aired on commercialized corporate-owned stations, and their listeners.

FREE FM Radio content is a friend to most of us.

Now,  we call attention to the Conductor Mr. Charles Clemmons,  owner of Boston’s Touch FM 106 community radio station,  aka  “The Fabric of the Black Community.”  Touch radio signals have been peeked at by communications broadcast engineers.  He knows it and he’s Walking for Power.

Specialized equipment,  such as a Cushman CE-6030 Radio System Analyzer with a Tracking Generator and Power Monitor  will measure radio broadcast station power.  Cushman equipment helps  when adjusting  the RF signal.

It will monitor  a broad range of frequencies.  I remember the spectrum displays of the device.  The screens are green, the wave forms are somebody’s radio transmitter. They flow like an ocean wave near calibrated grid lines.   Its been  years since I’ve seen these ten thousand dollar puppies.

When used for good intention it will  insure one radio station is not distorting another one’s center frequency.    We used to whistle a 1Khz tone into a radio transmitter to tune them on the Cushman.

But, this instrument is blind to  the hunger of the  unsigned, unknown music artist seeking a break.

During Berklee’s Envisioning the 21st Century: Music Business Models public panel discussion sat Marsha Vlassic who has represented a celebrated roster of rock and pop acts, such as Ben Folds, Ozzy Osbourne, Neil Young, Lou Reed and others.   Vlassic is credited for pioneering music festival packages including Ozzfest and others.

“Without Radio it is nearly impossible for an unknown music artist to break through” she informed the audience.   She didn’t endorse community radio stations, nor was that the question she had responded to. The word IMPOSSIBLE is a strong point!

Web sites like this one exists to enable communities to program radio content on air and blast it underneath the cloud of the commercial megawatt powered stations.

For the tribe that doesn’t care about low watt FM radio stations,  you  shouldn’t be too surprised to see The Conductor of  Touch FM 106 walking from Boston to Los Angeles on a mission to educate you about the value of low power community radio stations nationwide.

He’s out there coming to a place near you.  ( )