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Low-power FM

In The Forgetting Curve, the MemeCast is an underground radio show broadcast by a low-power FM transmitter.  Today’s commercial FM radio stations transmit their programming over thousands of watts of power. This requires big money (and a big transmitter) and can reach hundreds of miles (without interference). Low power FM stations (LPFM) are broadcast at around 100 watts of power, which means they can only cover 10-15 miles. You can build one yourself, and yes you can fit one in a lunch box. (See below.)

We actually have hundreds of low power stations across the country. Most, if not all, are community-based or individually run stations.  (That is, they are not corporate controlled stations.)  They talk about interests specific to a community, play music, etc.  These LPFM’s can play a really important part in the community.

For instance, after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, the area’s communications–radio, tv, phones, internet–were almost eradicated. A few hackers set up a LPFM (among other things) called Algiers Radio 94.5 to serve the community. The photo below is from Jacob Applebaum’s Post-Katrina blog.

 

 

A low power FM station in a lunch box

 

For more info on LPFM:

 

 

 

 

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