Interested in being a pirate radio operator? Here's some helpful advice to get you started
Feb 02, 2013 (Daily Camera - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Thanks to its website, Green Light Radio DJs can broadcast from anywhere -- some do so from as far away as Durango or even Jamaica, as was the case with the Mr. Anonymous show for a stretch last year -- with just a microphone, a mixer and a laptop.
But the online stream's pirate radio counterpart requires a bit more equipment to make it onto the airwaves.
Most notably -- and most difficult to conceal from authorities who might wish to shut down a pirate station, such as the Federal Communications Commission -- is a large antenna hooked up to an FM radio transmitter.
When it comes to explaining how the station's pirate signal got off the ground, what equipment is used and where that equipment came from, Green Light pirate guru Rocky Flats offered only this advice: "Google it."
"You could seriously Google 'how to start a pirate radio station' and find out everything," he said. "That would be my advice to everyone out there. I never knew any of this. I never went to school for any of this. I went online and researched it and had the passion and the drive."
Flats, noting Green Light's often spotty signal, said the key to blanketing all of Boulder in pirate sound is the height of the antenna, but he leaves his explanation at that.
The Green Light Radio website has a "learn" section, which was lifted from the old website of Boulder Free Radio, Flats said. Besides offering suggestions on where to send letters advocating freedom of the airwaves for low-powered FM radio stations, the section has a do-it-yourself portion that provides plenty of advice on how one might become a pirate radio broadcaster.
Helpful tips include what you'll need to set up a studio transmitter link setup. Specifically, an FM transmitter, which can be purchased online from retailers overseas, a large antenna (later strategically hidden) some cable, a small mixer, and a cheap laptop computer installed with software that allows it to be controlled remotely.
The site recommends that all of the gear be placed in a sealed waterproof box, possibly with a deceptive label taped on, strategically placed on private property outdoors, but easily accessible. DJs can then broadcast their content online via a Live365.com account or other online radio network--as Green Light does -- as the laptop in the box picks up the online stream and sends it out via the attached transmitter and antenna.
"By separating the pirate DJ from the transmitter, and giving the house where you've got the transmitter plausible deniability, you can play a cat-and-mouse game with the FCC for years," the website states.
Contact Camera Staff Writer Joe Rubino at 303-473-1328 or email@example.com.
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