Tag: AS220

Providence is getting it’s first Low Power FM station

In case you were wondering – remember LPFM or Low Power FM radio? It’s been going on the better part of two decades but construction licenses are being issued.

The station will be on 101.1MHz and be known as WPVD or WPVD-LP as the FCC knows it currently. It’ll have a power output of 100 watts Effective Radiated Power and be on the WSBE tower in Providence with studios at AS220.

The three groups that came together to form this station were Brown Student and Community Radio, AS220 and Providence Community Radio or ProComRad. BSR&C gets 50% of the programming, ProComRad gets 10 hours and AS220 get what remains.

I was at the meeting last night and I can say I had thought I might want to do a show I decided against it. Why? Because as soon as someone mentioned a board from the community to determine programming I knew that is a ship that will never sail for me. They can even do PSA’s. If you’re not familiar a PSA is a Public Service Announcement.

I’ll lend my technical assistance – after all yours truly does have a commercial radio-telephone license. Plus my amateur radio license.

They had said they’ll need about $25,000 to $35,000 for startup/construction. i did a little searching – the FM Exciter will likely cost about $2,000. The antenna can’t be much more than $1,000 and feed line maybe another $1,000. So for the transmitter side you’re looking at $4,000 then there’s the cost to rent the cherry picker to put the antenna up, and any hardware necessary.

Then there is the link from the studio at AS220 to the transmitter. They MIGHT just have line of sight so a microwave link is doable. That alone is about $8,000. Otherwise they’ll have to provide the operating expense of a pair from Verizon or maybe do it over IP. But that means a net connection at both ends.

Then setting up the studio – you need a mixing board, microphones, preamps, maybe a turntable, cd player, and a port to plug PC audio in. I’m thinking a couple thousand dollars there. So about $15K could get it on the air. Then you’d have about $20K for operating expenses.

I think that getting on the air is entirely possible, if the community doesn’t strangle it first. And I might have to buy a radio but oh wait – My Yaesu VX-7R has general coverage from HF on up through UHF. And the broadcast radio band falls right in there.

I Attended TEDx Providence 2013

I have watched a ton of TED videos online. So when I heard that a TEDx (The x means it’s independently organized) presentation was going on in Providence and I had a discount code for it, I signed up the other day.


I must say – the program was broken into three main areas, Social Enterprise, Food, and Art & Craftsmanship. In all there were some thought provoking ideas brought forward.

Having a bit of a hard time saying which presentation really caught my attention since all of them did.

I must say though – the presentation had 3 videos that are pulled directly off the TED site above. Okay, they needed to fill time. The speakers were, for the most part, very local.

For example we heard a talk by Umberto Crenca – one of the founding member of AS220, RI’s art leader. His story started with an amusing take on his early career in the art scene and included one critics rough assessment of Mr. Crenca’s work.

Then of course there was the talk done by Rick Benjamin, RI’s Official Poet to speak. Very thought provoking speech on poetry. Gives one a greater appreciation of the art and it’s ability to stimulate the mind, the heart and the soul.

Then we heard from Davide Dukcevich, 3rd generation at Daniele, Inc.

The history of Daniele  is very interesting, the family fled Yugoslavia into Italy and there began doing some Italian favorites. Then in 1976 they brought the whole thing to the U.S. and it’s made here in RI.

And then Barnaby Evans, the creator of WaterFire gave his speech. It was an amusing speech as he traced his childhood of building little green spaces with sticks and stones in essence, and creating little rivers by diverting downspouts. Then he explained the fascination with fire, the symbolism of death and rebirth inherent. I must say, I’m still captured by the WaterFire spirit, it’s very ethereal. I like it the later it gets when the crowd thins out.

In the Social Enterprise side we had a talk by Angela Jackson on teaching kids foreign languages like Arabic and Chinese and how it broadens their horizons. I know my high school Spanish opened my eyes to quite a bit. Three years of it I can’t really speak or understand it because I don’t use it. But I can read it. Weird.

Like I said, lots of interesting talks. Makes me want to see the whole weekend long one in California now.

Getting the Volunteer Examiner Group Together

So back on the 13th of this month I mentioned how I was trying to get some Volunteer Examiners up for a testing session on September 15th. And maybe do a quarterly session too.

I got my buddy Mike, KH6HZ to sign on. And I goaded another member of DC401/Braintank into getting his Extra class license.

So it looks like we’ll have our three Amateur Extra Volunteer Examiners. Yippe!

Trying to get an amateur radio testing group together

What a chore. People I knew who were VE’s have lapsed. I find it odd – I checked my status on the ARRL’s web site and can see I’ve been a Volunteer Examiner at three sessions in the past.

This all came up at a DC401 meetup the other night. DC of course stands for Defcon. We’re having a big event in September and one of those is an amateur radio license testing session.

At the meeting we had at least three hams, but I’m the only extra in the group with VE credentials from both the ARRL and W5YI Group. One of the tech licensees has his VE credentials but can’t really administer an exam. I told him to try to get upgraded in advance of the meetup – all he has to do is 70 questions in elements 2 and 3 to get his extra, no code required. I sent him the question pools and link to a testing site end of this month but he won’t be in town. So we’ll try August.

I asked a buddy of mine who I know had his VE creds at one point but I can’t find him in the database and he thinks it lapsed.

So any amateur extra VE’s in RI want to help out?