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Broadcasting for the rest of us

Radio is (or should be) fun.  Fun to listen to and for some of us, fun to make.  The lucky ones work at licensed operations, the rest of us are left to seek out the odd corners and, with limited privileges, make what radio we can.
     Licensed broadcasters are covered by publications and web sites that follow the ups and downs of our licensed compatriots.
     Perhaps we can be made to feel just a little better by the trials and tribulations of this chaotic industry.  Some of my favorite sources for following licensed broadcasters and the radio industry are:
Radio 411DCRTVF.M.B.Q.
Radio OnlineAll AccessRadio Ink
Inside RadioAd WeekVariety
Amateur Radio, or ham radio, provides some relief in both radio and television.  Primarily a point to point communication service, amateur radio offers an almost unimaginable array of opportunities for radio, television and even satellite experimentation
     The recently relaxed licensing requirements make amateur radio accessible for anyone from 8 to 80 and amateur radio communications have grown rapidly in the last five years.
     Handy link amateur radio include:
American Radio Relay
CQ• Practical Amateur Radio
Amateur Radio NewslineFCC Amateur Radio Service pageGordon West Radio School
Pirate broadcasters try to gain an advantage in range or reach by ignoring restrictions.  Some believe passionately that excessive regulation goes beyond protecting spectrum users and violates citizen rights.  Others just don't care to follow rules.
     No matter the intent of the pirate, the results are usually the same.  Radio transmitters are awfully easy to find and computer based RF analysis can even provide a unique transmitter fingerprint.  And yes, the FCC even works on nights and weekends.
     Publications and web sites for pirate radio tend to mimic pirate radio operations - hard to find and sure to be gone soon.  If you are interested in learning more about pirate broadcasting, your favorite search engine will be your best friend.
     Read the two following posts to learn more about two (in my opinion) better ways to have some fun on the radio!

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