Mesh FM

Kevin writes about Infinity Broadcasting starting an AM broadcast made up entirely of podcasts, submitted, filtered, and checked for FCC acceptability.

Bah, I say.

1: Set up a submission site to add your podcast.

2: Set up a community filtering system. I’m thinking something along the lines of kuro5hin. Those podcasts that are popular (as rated by listeners) gain a slot and maintain it. Yes, there would be first mover advantage, but you would guarantee turnover somehow (e.g., chopping the lowest rated 25% or 50% from the schedule every month).

3: Get people to hook up their computers all across the campus to tiny FM transmitters on the same frequency. These can now be picked up at any local electronics store pretty cheap, or in kit form even cheaper.

4: Enough people add on to the mesh, especially in a relatively small space, and you have a campus-wide (or nation-wide) radio station.

So, who wants to work on it?

(Anyone have links to similar projects. Lazy request, but 30 seconds of Googling didn’t turn anything up.)

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  1. Posted 4/27/2005 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    It might be possible… since FCC doesn’t allow for high powered transmission, but allows for low powered ones, we could build a MESH network of low-powered FM transmittors.

    As seen on FCC’s web site:
    Unlicensed operation on the AM and FM radio broadcast bands is permitted for some extremely low powered devices covered under Part 15 of the FCC’s rules. On FM frequencies, these devices are limited to an effective service range of approximately 200 feet (61 meters).

  2. Posted 4/28/2005 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    So, we would need to place a transmitter about every 100 feet along the spine. That wouldn’t be too hard.

    Two ways this could happen. We could try to get people with offices (faculty, grads, staff) to volunteer some of their computer to retransmitting MESH-FM. Or we might have to have some low-end computers that plug in either to the network or to the wireless net and retransmit the podbroadcast.

    I wonder if you would have to stream it or if you could do a download every, say, six hours. The problem with the latter is that you would have to be exactly synchronized or it would be a mess.

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