Software Crash leads to New, Temporary Format.
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A few weeks ago, the playout system we use to provide streaming airchecks stopped working. Part of the problem has to do with trying to use two players for two different stations on the same computer. Until we obtain a second system that can be dedicated to only Airchexx Live, the streaming airchecks format is suspended.
In place of our normal programming, we have something completely different. No streaming music, no simulcast of other stations, but a novel idea that we think will be entertaining as it relates to radio.
Here in the studio, we have a number of different radio receivers and tape decks. The newest receiver is something called a “Software Defined Radio”, or “SDR”. How it works is, there’s a piece of hardware called an SDRplay RSP dx. It comes in a little black box that connects to the computer via USB. There are no dials or knobs, no digital displays, just a PC board with 3 antenna connections, a connection for an external time reference and a USB plug. All the tuning and audio is achieved using some advanced computer software.
Here’s a screen grab of what it looks like:
Now, the really cool thing about this radio is that it tunes from 100 kHz up to almost 3 gHz. Everything from longwave, through the AM broadcast band, the HF ham bands up through the FM broadcast band, air bands, police bands, UHF/VHF ham bands, police, fire and even satellite – if we had a dish to receive satellites!
This receiver is more sensitive than any regular receiver on the market and it’s also got the best sound you’ll ever hear from the normal AM band. If we had an AM stereo station up here, we would be able to decode it.
In the interim period while we get up enough cash to purchase a new computer as a backup and dedicated Airchexx Live machine, we’ll be airing the audio from whatever frequency is tuned on the SDRplay. It should make for some very interesting listening. Especially at night, or when there are FM E-skip or Tropo opernings. Bored out of your mind? Click on our normal stream and enjoy a bit of radio listening in a different way. Be careful. You might get hooked!