The Blare Blog

Center of the Bla Bla Galaxy

Clothing is optional but masks are mandatory

August 2020

Monday August 31, 2020 7:49 AM CDT -- Dead Dog Day
I don't like nostalgia but yesterday I was unwittingly pulled into a jetstream of ruminations from the past. The susceptibility to such wistfulness is no doubt sharpened by the eerie quiet surrounding the pandemic. There are really only two colors of memory in the nostalgia palette... regrets over things that didn't go well but cannot be redone, and those once in a lifetime triumphs that will never be equaled. Both are negative in memorial but we are little more than the sum total of the string of our experience over time and when it fades entirely from mind it's probably a sign of dementia, so we're put in the awkward position of suppressing memories that constitute mental health so long as we know them. On Dead Dog Day you exhume the beloved animal and hold a gathering of friends and family to reminisce about those halcyon days when Rover ruined all the furniture and peed on guest's legs.

Sunday August 30, 2020 7:10 PM CDT -- A Movie About News and Communications
A race between stage coach, courier by horse, carrier pigeon and new fangled "wires".
The Story of Paul Reuters

Sunday August 30, 2020 6:29 PM CDT -- Another Person Once Known
Sunday has a different tone here at the Internet Building in FCC Region 2, because KDX goes offline for maintenance most of the day. This opened some extra time for web crawling and we chanced upon a memorial page of local names that have died from Covid19. Right away we recognized a schoolmate from many years ago who, unknown to us, had become an attorney. The thing I remember most vividly about him is that he was a gifted comic and carried on a splendid floor show when the instructors were turned elsewhere.

Sunday August 30, 2020 11:49 AM CDT -- Someone I Knew
During a routine browse of radio industry news it came to my attention that someone I knew in the early years died in February. Contact with him ended years ago after having twice been crossed by the individual. For several decades I have remembered the guy as someone who couldn't be entrusted with information he could benefit by misusing. If he knew the company's trade secrets, for example, he'd probably sell them to a competitor... that sort of thing. My policy on forgiveness is now put to the test. The policy isn't very deeply arrived at, simply allowing that upon death absolution is automatic. But this morning I feel like some decision has to be made in my head to consciously express forgiveness and this is not happening "automatically". In my thoughts he is still the same person he was during his life but upon thinking further I believe I know what's going on... it's a matter of habit. All through the years I've become accustomed to seeing things a certain way and suddenly feel obligated to enforce a complete turnaround defying the law of inertia: an object standing still tends not to move. What might be true is that death itself is the automatic factor... ending completely any opportunity for reconciliation.

Saturday August 29, 2020 7:54 PM CDT -- Program Adjustment
Since 2007 KDX has carried Free Talk Live from Keene, New Hampshire, with Ian Freeman and Mark Edge, watching the program grow from a handful of affiliates to over 200 licensed stations and numerous streaming carriers. The format has been straight foreword: listeners may call about anything. It is the only talk program in the country live seven days a week, even on holidays. At first KDX carried all three daily hours by delay but more recently started carrying the live stream from 6 to 9 PM CDT. Somewhere along the line Free Talk Live started promoting BitCoin and their format entirely transforms on some days into a veritable infomercial for the crypto currency. This was not the program we'd agreed to air so our scheduling of the show was reduced to Saturday evenings, except when BitCoin dominates. Other things began to annoy... a new co-host joined the program, an adult man under the juvenile name "Captain Kickass". We became more aware that the program steadily promoted their own invention called "The Free State Project", encouraging listeners to move to Keene, "The Liberty Capital". KDX is entirely neutral about where people decide to live and we do not advocate "moving" on a larkish quest for "liberty". Most recently the program has begun harsh mockery of the "alleged pandemic" as they put it and considers mask mandates an intrusion of personal liberties. Too much, we decided, and have reduced the program to one-hour weekly so we can morbidly tune in to see if they make it through the ongoing health crisis.

Saturday August 29, 2020 4:54 PM CDT -- Contortions in Conservatism

We overheard Thom Hartmann on his program talking about the classic definition of 'conservatism' which was a preference for a hierarchical class system with an authoritarian leader at the top, somewhat the civilian version of a military chain of command, notably a socialist form of governance. However conservatism today has come to mean a 'rise of the deep south' as it where; a resurgence of the Confederacy with its racism and slavery. We're having something of a new civil war over it. The Republicans have the advantage for now with near full ownerhip of the media for spread of propaganda and the Democrats have only the fact that they're not quite as bad and hope the public will prevail against a broken election system.  The Coronavirus should be mentioned but that will have to come later.

Saturday August 29, 2020 8:39 AM CDT -- From the World of Processed News
Ariana Pekary had a job with MSNBC
Why I'm Leaving MSNBC

This link was sent to us by Correspondent Boomer with this note:
I found this article off of one of the radio news sites I believe, I've had the link to send to you for days, so now I don't remember the source.

I don't know if it's important to the Blare Blog.

It's an open letter saying journalism at this station isn't about reporting the news fairly, but instead going with the programming agenda of the network above all.

There were rumors that a talk radio personality here in town left their station because the station wanted to take a more conservative stance, and that's not the relationship that the host has built with their audience, so they declined. - Boomer

Friday August 28, 2020 1:18 PM CDT -- Flame Throwers
50 kW AM Stations in U.S.

Friday August 28, 2020 11:58 AM CDT -- The ThingsYou Hear

Listening to progressive talk radio brings all kinds of goodies not heard on right wing hate radio. For example I just heard the nickname being applied to a member of the White House crime family... 'Nepotism Barbie'!

Friday August 28, 2020 11:46 AM CDT -- Two Towers Down
Hurricane Laura Tower Damage

Friday August 28, 2020 9:16 PM CDT -- End of Week Management Doings

KDX Worldround Radio is a private radio station operating from home like a kind of real estate transmitter left behind. That may be a bit esoteric... Anyway, with a radio station in the house it's one more appliance to watch. Only Tuesday I learned for the first time that refrigerators can break, according to a family member who had it happen, sinks can leak raising both the water and sewer bill, TV sets require watching, otherwise they just take up space in the room, toaster ovens grill cheese sandwhiches until the day when they stop, pencil sharpeners are vital for people who know how to write notes, electric shavers keep faces looking clean, lawn mowers help keep up appearances as neighbors sniff each others grass, air conditioners postpone expiration, computers look at the online world through virtual windows, and the radio transmitter, another of many household appliances, gives meaning to radio listening. But the transmitter needs programs and we've found another good one.

It's called "Political Misfits" and comes from Radio Sputnik live daily with hosts Michelle Witte and Bob Schlehuber but during the same hours as the Thom Hartmann Program, so my job is to find another time slot so KDX can carry the newly found show. I'm sitting here. I'm thinking about it. I'm jotting down some numbers because it falls on me to keep the transmitter stuffed full of programs so it never goes silent.

The thing most other programmers do is fill their transmitters with music. I hear a lot of music while tuning around to see what other stations are doing. When I hear all that music I know that someone is sluffing.

Thursday August 27, 2020 7:57 PM CDT -- Career As Concierge
Our pool boy job fair was well recieved so we will mention another career track for your professional train.

Thursday August 27, 2020 5:05 PM CDT -- Pool Boy as Career

With so many now unemployed and since Rev. Falwell, Jr's, scandal, people have been asking about opportunities in pool boyhood, and here's what we've learned:
Cabana Boys
KDX Worldround Radio does not have either a pool or pool boy, everything here is self serve.

Thursday August 27, 2020 10:22 AM CDT -- Where Does Your Radio Station Stand?

As a communications entity in its own right a radio station is able to hold an editorial position in the spectrum of
worldviews and beliefs, often but not always reflecting those of the owner. But a station's stance can be bought and
sold. By selling airtime a radio station is able to wear different hats and represent other points of view. As an
example KDX is a secular station, meaning that we are non-religious, but is available to carry paid religious programs.
This is not an inconsistency as we believe religion is not about "spirituality" nor an "afterlife" but is all about
money. The Constitutional right of religion is a right of ignorance and Americans are fierce defenders of their
ignorance. As a matter of fairness and encapsulated in the same Article of the Bill of Rights is Freedom of the Press,
enabling the voicing and publication of facts and knowledge through a metaphoric "press" which can include a radio
station or a hand written piece of paper. At KDX we use both radio and many scraps of paper.

Thursday August 27, 2020 7:08 AM CDT -- Rule by Regulation

Very little has been said about this permissive rule from FCC Part 15:

15.23 Home-built devices.

(a) Equipment authorization is not required for devices that are not
marketed, are not constructed from a kit, and are built in quantities
of five or less for personal use.

(b) It is recognized that the individual builder of home-built
equipment may not possess the means to perform the measurements for
determining compliance with the regulations. In this case, the builder
is expected to employ good engineering practices to meet the specified
technical standards to the greatest extent practicable. The provisions
of 15.5 apply to this equipment.

A few years back several of us at teamed up to design and build a shortwave transmitter for part 15 use
at 13.56 MHz. I built two of them, and I don't know how many were ultimately built by anyone else, possibly
more than five.

Only one other pertinent case to our knowledge was a guy who built two "homemade" AM transmitters, but by
the builder's admission his tube model was patterned after the Knight Kit and his solid state model was
a variation of the Ramsey AM25 (kit).

What these examples show is that 15.23 has loose-ends. One of the principle sources of learning how to
build transmitters at home comes from kit building experience. The language doesn't state that kits are
forbidden, but disallows them from being regarded as "homebuilt", regardless of where you build them.
Thursday August 27, 2020 5:55 AM CDT -- On Being a News Provider

Hurricane Laura is moving from the Gulf of Mexico into the north western shoreline of Louisiana and Texas with expectation of bringing hurricane winds, tornados, storm surges of 20', and may plow inland as far as Little Rock, Arkansas. As I type, the live program "Fault Lines" with Shane Stranahan and Jamal Thomas is signing on for the next three hours, coming from Radio Sputnik in downtown Washington D.C., already introducing the hurricane along with the Republican Convention and reports from the violence in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Because "Fault Lines" takes listener calls KDX is well positioned to receive informative reports from all these fronts. My job during the next three-hours will be to determine other resources available to us to continue coverage of these unfolding situations between 9 and 11 AM (Central) at which time Thom Hartmann takes it live providing further access to immediate information all the way to two this afternoon.

Wednesday August 26, 2020 8:06 PM CDT -- THE LINCOLN PROJECT

Wednesday August 26, 2020 3:33 PM CDT -- You Can't Be Socially Distanced From Yourself

All these days quarantined in a radio station has given plenty of time to plan experiments to refine the over-the-air operation of KDX AM & FM, especially since FCC Part 15 places serious responsibility on low power stations to limit coverage and prevent unintended electronic interference. By far FM is the most sensitive band where crowding leaves little room for proper operation, and we've learned better antennas at the receiver are more important than fiddling with transmission. In fact using audio wire in place of FM is probably the most advisable way to shuttle signals within the building.

AM is slightly more forgiving, and the only concern for us is solid coverage of our grounds with no intention to serve a "community" or even a "neighborhood". We have a requisition outstanding for an iAM Enhanced Radio Transmitter from Information Station Systems with a new manufacturing run scheduled for the future, and thoughts of adding a Range Extender ATU mainly as a lab experiment, since we don't need the added range promised by the device.

Naturally we are concerned about the new PIRATE Act which, while exempting compliant Part 15 stations, seems like it could be misused to persecute hobbyists by forcing expensive legal defensive reaction, prosecutors today being as apt to behave criminally as to protect society from crime. Editor's Note: I struck a line through the previous line, leaving it still readable because it is a generally true statement about a style of authoritarian swagger, but not fully accurate. There are, from time to time, humanisticly ethical prosecuting attorneys who come under tremendous fire from right wing police unions and other factions bent on driving them out. Cynicism is appropriate.

Other options include the idea of vacating AM & FM and re-settling on some other type of service such as Wi-Fi or even bands above those regulated by the FCC. It's a hobby on the brink of survival. 

Wednesday August 26, 2020 9:11 AM CDT -- Republican National Carnival

"My husband's trash talk is 'honesty'."
- Melania - wife

Wednesday August 26, 2020 7:30 AM CDT -- FCC Podcast
FCC Podcast

Tuesday August 25, 2020 11:24 AM CDT -- Republicans Will Abolish Fact Checking

A St. Louis Couple now charged with felonies for pointing guns at protesters have spoken from the RNC to warn America that Democrats will "abolish the suburbs". But their mansion isn't in the suburbs, it is located in the heart of the City of St. Louis almost 2-miles within the western city limits. Along with that, knowing that "Blacks" are the implied menace, there have always been Blacks residing in both city and suburbs so there's nothing "Democrats" could do to make that any different.
These People Are Actually Real

Tuesday August 25, 2020 3:46 AM CDT -- Choosing Sides in a Pandemic

Definition of a Republican - Someone who prefers to lie even when the truth is a matter of record.
Definition of a Democrat - Someone who borrows a platitude that doesn't exactly fit the re-use.
Definition of an American - Someone caught between jello and a soft place.

Monday August 24, 2020 6:27 PM CDT -- Time To Speak Up On the Air
You have a radio station. Why not use it for something important like saving the United States Post Office.
US Mail Not for Sale

Monday August 24, 2020 2:45 PM CDT -- Combined Wisdoms

From the KDX Board of Directors two members share a discussion about economics in a pandemic.
They say, "The prime time to manage your wealth is while you have it.
Once you go broke it will no longer be necessary to do."
- Buster Boatrocker, South St. Louis barber and Trumper
- Chancey L. Fitzkilpatsky, disgraced philosophy professor still shacking up with a student.

Monday August 24, 2020 11 AM CDT -- Word from Within a Sabbatical
Artisan Radio connects:

Hi Carl.  Hope you are doing well.

Thanks for the kind thoughts.

Your eloquent posts over the past week or so have expressed a lot of my
feelings towards Part 15 broadcasting.

There is a general malaise in the hobby/business.  General ignorance. 
Overactive egos.  Underlying ultra right wing politics.

Practitioners talk about doing community radio, but there is little
community in what they are doing.

I was never more enthusiastic than when I was broadcasting to a willing
and eager listening community on Bowen Island.  We did much more than
music, and when we did do music, it was special. Locally taped
concerts.  Listener requests.  It meant something.

Now I'm asking 'What's the point?'.  Broadcasting is a lot of work.  If
all I want to do is to listen to music, there are much easier (and
safer) ways to do it.

I guess I believe that radio should be more.  News, weather, sports,
entertainment and yes, music.  I don't particularly like television as a
medium, although there are certain shows that I enjoy.  Radio as a
medium is much more flexible and accessible.

I'm attempting to rekindle the enthusiasm I felt during my Bowen Island
stint, and decide how to do it.  Until that time, I will remain on
sabbatical, and be off air.

In the meantime, I will continue to read your blog.  It's a ray of light
in the Part 15 broadcasting darkness. - Artisan Radio

Monday August 24, 2020 10:32 AM CDT -- Name Changes

The names Talking House, iAM and Range Extender have been consolidated into a package called

Monday August 24, 2020 9:31 AM CDT -- More on Audio Codecs in the Signal Chain

Curious about the specifications of the live streams relayed during the KDX program day, we did some measurements by utilizing VLC Media Player to capture the streams of interest and look at the readout provided by this flexible app.

Radio Sputnik - Codec: MPEG Audio Layer 1/2 (mpga); Stereo; SR=44.1 kHz; 32-Bit; BR=28kbps;

Free Talk Live from the Liberty Radio Network - Codec: MPEG Audio Layer 1/2 (mpga); Mono; SR=22,050 Hz; 32-Bit; BR=32kbps;

Thom Hartmann Program - Codec: MPEG Audio Layer 1/2 (mpga); Mono; SR= 32 kHz; 32-Bit; BR=48kbps;

Monday August 24, 2020 6:57 AM CDT -- WCCO Nearing 100
Licensed to Minneapollis-St. Paul, Minnesota, 50 kW WCCO operates from a tower and transmitter located at Coon Rapids.
WCCO 90th Celebration

Sunday August 23, 2020 4:23 PM CDT -- Bannon Graduates Into History
Bannon Banished
Picture Credit - Huffpost
To some onlookers Steve Bannon appeared to be a boozing sot to an extent that made the thought of liquor a top priority and that was because he looked so happy about it. The trouble with being caught at major crime is the separation from a ready source of supply and we have that in mind whenever passing up a shady scheme.

Sunday August 23, 2020 4:12 PM CDT -- False Goosing Chase

There have been complaints from several who went seeking a copy of Lorenzo Milam's "Sex and Broadcasting" but were unable to locate anything salacious after much page turning. Sorry, I thought you knew... probably this quote from the back of the book will explain: "As far as sex goes, I would suppose you have been hard-pressed to find much raw naked diddling in this book. It's not that I am shy about offering you some passionate act of congress in the transmitting room, as the tube-blowers rage overhead. No: it's just that I really wanted you to buy this book, and my Great Aunt Beulah convinced me that a book with the word Sex in its title would double its sales, and quadruple its readership." - Lorenzo W. Milam Los Gatos, California, October 1974

Sunday August 23, 2020 3:28 PM CDT -- Carl Blare Elevated to Mob Chairman

Short the fanfare, radio derelict Carl Blare has become installed as the 1st Chairman in recorded history of the newly formed, reformed, rededicated, restarted and recycled Mob of Low Power Broadcasters.
Pre-Ceremonial Announcement Dance

Sunday August 23, 2020 1:47 PM CDT -- Inventions and Intentions

The microphone was invented by Dr. Michael Rophone in 1389. There was no known use for it until much later.

The transmitter was originally intended to aid in electronic trans-gender conversion through a process called mitting. Although it failed at this, it was later found capable of radiating electromagnetic signals that became known as radio.

Once the ground plane was determined it was only a matter of time until the airplane.

Saturday August 22, 2020 5:08 PM CDT -- A Couple of Questions
Q1:  Where were the parents and guardians of all the girls alleged to have been exploited by Jeffrey Epstein?
Q2:  What happens to all the children separated from their parents at the Mexico border?

Saturday August 22, 2020 4:15 PM CDT -- What God Wants

I'm going to max out my credit cards to make a down-payment on a radio station. God wants me to do it so it's bound to work out according to his plan.

Saturday August 22, 2020 4:08 PM -- Sweepings Under the Big Rug
Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth

Saturday August 22, 2020 3:32 PM CDT -- The Two Sanctions

The word "sanction" can be confusing because it can mean either of two essentially contradictory things: it can indicate something being officially validated by authority, or it can denote a penalty issued to bring compliance such as the way Trump uses it.
Example: Part 15 radio is sanctioned by the FCC; non-compliance results in sanctions.

Saturday August 22, 2020 3:20 PM CDT Stereo Tool Audio Processing

Professional broadcast stations utilize large electronic devices installed in metal racks so to produce the loud smooth audio heard by listeners. In recent versions of such equipment the inner software is by Hans Van Zutphen of the Netherlands, and so too is Stereo Tool, a computer software that does the same thing. There ought to be a Stereo Tool school as the software is fathoms more complex than most audio apps. Today I focused on the section known as "noise gate" and spent enough time to realize that in our case it is better to turn it off because our audiofiles are professionally produced and have no noise to be removed. The improvement is spectacular and sounds noticeably more "real life" even on small radios.

Saturday August 22, 2020 2:44 PM CDT -- What the "Sheriff" and his "Goons" Don't Know Could Hurt Someone

Having appointed themselves as a posse to hunt down those deemed in violation of FCC rules, not acting as true representatives of the Communications Commission but like little children looking for baby birds to step on, these lowlife bad actors mis-apply a single rule: selling uncertified transmitters is against regulations. But what Sean Cuthbert has done does not violate this rule because he is not marketing his devices to the general public but only releases a limited number for evaluation by his peers. The FCC Rules absolutely allow a pre-certification period while a transmitter is under development in preparation for seeking certification, and all this applies only to fully built transmitters. The play-acting goon-squad mis-applies another notion... they believe the FCC does not sanction transmitter kits, but they indeed do in a clearly printed section of of the FCC rules where "kits" are defined for the very purpose of recognizing them under that section. Ignorance is like gasoline poured on dry wood. These people are arsonists, metaphorically speaking.

Saturday August 22, 2020 2:24 PM CDT -- Been There Done That

This thread from a radio forum reveals that 2-years ago we covered some of the same ground recently covered here on The Blog.
Sean Cuthbert the "Fugitive"

Saturday August 22, 2020 1:27 PM CDT -- Sean Cuthbert Reviewed by Radio Jay Allen
AM C-QUAM Transmitter

Saturday August 22, 2020 1:06 PM CDT -- Owl Says Who

WHO is the World Health Organization and also WHO AM 1040 Des Moines, Iowa, plus famous rock band "The Who".

Who is asking?

Saturday August 22, 2020 9:39 AM CDT -- When It Comes Right Down To It

You know, Artisan Radio has a point. He hasn't actually made a point up to this point, but I take one anyway by his sabbatical while pondering what to do about his blog. I should probably also declare blog silence and be less blithe in public view. There have been threats, rumblings, trollings, and it's beyond paranoia when realizing that surreptitious underhanded deconstructive negative behind the back sneak-attackery is emblematic S.O.P. for so many neo-fascistic Trumpican Americans. Difficult to imagine they'd be so jealous over a little talent. Even if the genealogy of their bad genes can't be traced owing to undocumented parentage there's no reason I or anyone else on the side of professionalism should be made the brunt in as much as we've never even met their mothers. It's not something you can ask God about because he speaks with lightning bolts and makes you wish you'd kept your mouth shut. At times like this it seems like the Covid came at the right time, and I mean that in a cheerful way.

Saturday August 22, 2020 8:00 AM CDT -- Undercover Investigation Uncovered

Detective Rock Jocko, long time friend of KDX, has issued a Preliminary Report on his investigation of part 15 low power radio hobby forums. According to early findings one forum collects data on hobby broadcasters and spies on them through a cooperating network of amateur radio licensees always on the hunt for stations that might be violating FCC rules. Information is shared with FCC inspectors and has resulted in a few legal actions. "Don't print any of this," said Detective Jocko, but too late as I already had.

Saturday August 22, 2020 7:38 AM CDT -- We Don't Exist in a Vacuum
So writes Boomer:
Hi Carl Blare,

I was looking up Part-15 stations as you have been. There are more out there, or that have existed, than I've seen on our forums, and I guess they're doing independent radio, or maybe they looked at forums, and saw radio people scrapping about ye old ground leads and decided not to ever join.

I'm not surprised that people don't form alliances on low power radio forums and complete projects together. I think the psychology would be that if you're into striking out on your own to broadcast, you already know you don't want to follow the crowd, otherwise you'd just be a passive listener, like 'they' want you to be. I wouldn't give up hope for doing a group project, I just think it might be a bit harder. - Boomer
In fact we are tuning in right now on a station that's made some part 15 history!
From Friday Harbor Washington
The owner of Friday Harbor Tiny Radio is Ken Norris who was the first to broadcast from around town interviewing merchants and tourists via his cellular telephone relayed over a transmitter on a boat.

Keep It Quiet God Damn It

Saturday August 22, 2020 5:58 AM CDT -- When It All Comes Together

The individual elements have been floating around in the head for a long time, and finally this morning they've coalesced into the one idea I've been groping for. Already having a radio station combined with other media parts including a website and highly popular blog, we've wondered how we could add a webcam (web camera) into the mix for a total media conglomeration. A few small ideas included hanging a camera on a bird feeder or maybe pointing one (camera, not bird feeder) at a model train passing through a kitchen area, but now we've come upon something that's already been around for a long time called nominally "Slow TV". Let me show you what it is. For the next 10-hours watch this, then come back for the rest of what I'm saying:
Slow TV On the Chicago 'L'
As a matter of fact a friend of mine (Trek Zabota) has been shooting underwater video at reefs around the world and has hundreds of hours of marine life skimming and swimming which we've talked about putting on KDX-TV. As I see it Trek's approach is standing still while the world moves around you. The other approach as seen in the Chicago 'L' video is to move into the world while it effectively stands still, a way of virtually traveling. People love to travel... to see the scene passing and passing while heading somewhere called "else" (somewhere else). If we had our own traveling camera that would be our KDX Webcam and the audio, the sounds along the way, could fill the overnight slot on all the KDX radio stations. Now we do need a self driving car.

Saturday August 22, 2020 4:48 AM CDT -- Carl Blare Dating Opportunity

Eligible bachelor Carl Blare, group radio station owner, goes on the dating market with promise of social distancing during a trip to a Dollar Store to try on masks. Qualified ladies must have age notarized and send voice tape saying your name, favorite record artist, and name of a book you've read. Carl may ask you to stand on your front lawn while he does a drive by.

Saturday August 22, 2020 4:44 AM CDT -- FM Transmitters Offered by Stream Finder
Stream Finder is a radio station directory.
FM Transmitters

Friday August 21, 2020 6:51 PM CDT -- Return of Blare OnAir

On this fine day deep in the virus crisis we began wondering if our microphone was still working. At a more personal level we wondered if the voice remembered how to speak. The result is this special edition:
Blare OnAir Oral Aural Test

Friday August 21, 2020 5:13 PM CDT -- Guest Commentary

If you're one of the fortunate people who have good health insurance,
but have never been sick,
then you're letting a great opportunity go by.
You should become sick as early as possible
to be able to take advantage of your lucky situation.

- Buster Boatrocker, barber, South St. Louis Missouri, and Trumper

Friday August 21, 2020 2:47 PM CDT -- Day Going Well? A Newly Spotted Asteroid Might Hit Earth
Oh Geez

Friday August 21, 2020 1:47 PM CDT -- What Else Are We Up To At KDX?

The question comes at an opportune time. In fact we're working on something quite interesting. We'll be opening up a new AM station at 1660 kHz right alongside our presently existing station at 1680 kHz. The transmitters for both stations will be located at the same indoor location in a back room of the Internet Building and the antennas will be approximately 15-feet apart. The "reference" system is to be an iAM Transmitter with Range Extender and whereas the other system is an SSTran AMT5000 with our own designed Wintenna, we'll be able to substitute other transmitters and test antenna modifications in comparison. We'll have a tour guide and enforce social distancing.

Friday August 21, 2020 1:34 PM CDT -- One More Notch in Continuing Education

Confusion over the real definition of the expression "friendly fire" has been cleared up now that we know another term: fragging.
Friendly Fire

Friday August 21, 2020 1:11 PM CDT -- True to the Cause

As with any publicly spoken entity KDX has its missions and causes, among those being a strong adherence to rail transportation for its indisputable efficiency in moving people and freight. Toward this end KDX will be bringing radio programs in support of the rail industry.
Rail Group On Air
Amtrak Routes
The Roundhouse
Vacations by Rail

Friday August 21, 2020 12:40 NOON CDT -- There Goes the Weekend
Trump Lies

Friday August 21, 2020 11:41 AM CDT -- And Another Thing

There's always something to complain about which gives me plenty to write about. This time it's some unknown staff member on the Thom Hartmann team who often forgets to turn on the radio stream for Thom's daily show. At 11 every morning the KDX Zara Automation System switches to the Thom Hartmann Program but if it isn't there the machine switches ahead to the 1-o'clock program and leaves Thom without KDX as an affiliate. For once someone else messed up and it wasn't me.

Friday August 21, 2020 10:48 AM CDT -- Think Better (not Thick Butter)

On a regular basis we run a full inspection of the KDX infrastructure to be sure everything is running properly and this morning we took a look at our "Genre Generator". Yes, the radio stream software does more than transmit audio programs, it also puts out currently-playing meta-data and genre labeling. We've been posting "News" and "Talk" as our offerings, but taking a look at the Icecast Station Directory where we're resident it happens there are somewhere close to a thousand recognized genres and many radio stations claim a bunch of them so they'll show up in many searches.
Genres at the Icecast Radio Directory
I guess I got swept into it because I've adding a whole batch of genres to the KDX listing including a few that Icecast doesn't mention. My favorite is "Linear", admitting a truth about the kind of radio we are as compared with "Non-Linear" radio on demand (podcasts). As it turns out the Genre Generator has a character limit and only allowed a few additions. Later on we might think better of it.

Friday August 21, 2020 10:10 AM CDT -- A Moment At the KDX Operations Desk

Blithely going about programming chores on a fine summer morning when a Warning from AVG AntiVirus-Free pops up telling we have a Tracking Cookie on our computer, asking "Should we remove it?" Panic quickly took hold and we turned all attention to going after that cookie. AVG popped another screen asking if we'd like a free trial of the actual cookie killing capacity, and our tone became disgruntled as I said, "It's YOU! AVG is the tracker! Trying to sell us more software at a moment when I'd been quite blithe!"

What I was working on before being so rudely disturbed is more important and worth mention. There've been some significant speeches at the Democratic National Convention and KDX will be carrying some of them grouped together starting at 1 PM CDT this afternoon when we'll hear Former President Barack Obama, former First Lady Michelle Obama and Representative Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez. At a different time we'll carry Candidate Joe Biden's Acceptance Speech and Senator Kamala Harris' remarks.

Will we be doing the same for the Republican National Convention next week? Maybe. Everyone likes a good freak carnival.

Maybe that sounds biased. Perhaps we come across as partisan. What it really is is that we just don't like crooks. A lot of Americans like crooks. Crooks are popular. Many Americans are crooks because of the examples they follow. It all comes full circle - we have crookies and their cookies.

Friday August 21, 2020 7:53 AM CDT -- From Person to Personnel

KDX is a one man show. The "one man" in charge searches for and schedules the programs heard and the net result is a station that appears to be highly peopled with many hosts and guests, each production adding to shared work of many individuals for whom KDX is simply one point of dissemination in a constellation of outlets. The amalgam of programs heard on KDX give the look of a journalistic enterprise, a news station representing many world voices. But at the most local level KDX falls short of being an absolute news bureau because it is quickly apparent that one person cannot summon enough energy to keep an eye on all of the unraveling events and arrange timely on air reporting as we occasionally try to do during hurricanes, pandemics and other catastrophes including political conventions. But knowing that one person is not equal to such a task leaves unanswered the larger question... how many people would it take? Sure, we fantasize about growing into a news machine contributing to the global pool of reliable information and my best answer is to imagine that we'd need to hire an expert to determine how many other experts would be needed and how much office space to house them all. At the end of the day we'd need janitors to empty all the waste baskets. Of that much I'm sure.

Friday August 21, 2020 7:25 AM CDT -- Wrench in the Works

Life is a breeze once the program schedule is set up for your radio station. Not! At least not when the programs come from many sources each of which has its own time tables with hosts taking vacations and changes being made abruptly without notice. Our example of a scheduling breakdown blew this whole week out of alignment with "Loud and Clear" from Radio Sputnik missing from the daily output, leaving KDX with two unfilled hours everyday. Nothing said on the RT website, no advisory email, and if host John Kiriakou perhaps mentioned "going on vacation" on last Friday's show we didn't hear it. Will "Loud and Clear" be back next week? We'll only know on Monday at 3 PM when the show is either there or not there. Could we contact Sputnik? Certainly if we had a staff member assigned to the task, but I'm too important to spend my time chasing small details. Being important goes only so far because I'm still the one who must find a substitute program to fill the two hours.

Friday August 21, 2020 7:14 AM CDT -- PSA Sarah Cooper
Your Right to Vote

Thursday August 20, 2020 3:56 PM CDT -- High Level Decision Regarding the Intelligent Scheduling of a Radio Station

When we talk about "low power radio stations" we are talking about the milliwatt energy radiant from antennae as well as online streaming stations, stations that can be home-made. Along with all the decisions involved in such operations is the matter of whether it will be "on the air" 24/7 or during select part-time hours. At KDX we have tried both and decided that either one is the best idea. If they like your station it will be gratifying to find it available at all hours, and, if they like your station they will miss it while it's off and be ever so happy when it comes back on.

Thursday August 20, 2020 3:34 PM CDT -- I Tried Telling You

For years I've been bashed and ridiculed for insisting that dogs (and all pets) should be provided with a habitat suitable to them, not simply a human household. In the case of dogs that facility would provide the activity necessary to promote flourishing health. It gives me smug satisfaction to find that Germany agrees with me.
Dog Walking Twice a Day

Thursday August 20, 2020 10:17 AM CDT

Thursday August 20, 2020 9:11 AM CDT -- The Social Instinct

The desire to broadcast is an extension of the normal social instinct. The normal social instinct is the desire to be heard by others and, through feedback, become informed that your message is welcome. Very frequently our message is promotional as we put music on display with the objective of being admired for our splendid musical taste. Back in the early days prior to working in radio I held concerts in my room to which I invited a group of girls who listened to recordings on my Hi-Fi system. It was like being a DJ with a live studio audience. Or, really, that's actually what it was. The addition of a Knight Kit AM Transmitter extended those events out into the neighborhood which enlarged the possible audience size, there being space in my room for only about five chairs.

Thursday August 20, 2020 7:38 AM CDT -- A Radio Station in Texas

From the Large KDX Switchboard of American Low Power Radio Stations:
KLSR 1650 Rowlett Texas

Thursday August 20, 2020 7:33 AM CDT --
Save Rusty Tools and Radio Parts
How To Remove Rust from Metal

Thursday August 20, 2020 7:12 AM CDT -- Filling In the Blanks

For the past several years we have been prevented by other priorities from building a radio tower on a select location at the far south end of the campus here at Home School College and earlier this week found a 90-ton tree fallen directly on that spot. Now we know why circumstances stood in the way and kept us from erecting what would have been an elaborate contraption holding a significant amount of communications equipment. If it had existed it would now be very very crushed.

Thursday August 20, 2020 7:00 AM CDT -- Don't Be Mean and What Does It Mean

We watched a fascinating video on YouTube about a philosopher in his later years sharing the view that he remains puzzled by the meaning of life and finds himself unable to figure out what that meaning might be. I (Carl Blare) should probably ring him up and explain the way things are...

Life means nothing left to itself but humans have the opportunity to assign meaning to their own life by answering the question: what do I care about? If you care about good radio, for example, plunge into the radio business and do something to make ideal radio available to potential listeners. It would mean a lot.

Wednesday August 19, 2020 6:06 PM CDT -- Approval for UK Talk Radio Station

Late last night after KDX signed off we scrolled around looking for talk streams and found a station located in the UK with thoughtful program choices.
DeProgrammed Radio World

Wednesday August 19, 2020 1:49 PM CDT -- Randy Rainbow is Never Far Behind

Wednesday August 19, 2020 7:17 AM CDT -- Radio That Once Was

Variety 1640 may or may not be any longer in Marlborough, Massachusetts. All that remains is a dead link at

Tuesday August 18, 2020 8:36 PM -- Small Radio Stations of America

Over several years we've maintained a panel of links to each part 15 (FCC authorized low power) radio station that we happened to encounter, amounting to about 88 stations. As the summer wears on we'll check them one by one to see who is still around, beginning with AM 1700 in Portland, Maine, where there's nobody home at

Monday August 17, 2020 6:49 PM CDT -- Where Is It Safe to Step

At 3 PM CDT KDX made the daily switch to Radio Sputnik for 'Loud and Clear', a best journalism program from downtown Washington DC but got some other programs for an hour-and-a half until audio went dead and we jumped in the chair to get the ship turned toward RT America for a newscast, but the newscast came in at ultra-low-level and not even Stereo Tool was able to pump it up. "This is a streak of bad luck", I knew. It seemed like a wrong time to climb a ladder so I didn't.

Working outdoors on a brush management project I called it quits as the neighbors began a cookout and the dog spotted me as a security breach, upon which I hear drops on the air conditioner signalling rain which was not predicted. Everything on top of reading that the moon may be drifting away from the earth. Why do they blame it on the moon? Perhaps it's the earth that's drifting away.

Monday August 17, 2020 4:05 PM CDT -- Teletubbies Listen to KDX
The Rite of Spring

Monday August 17, 2020 2:29 PM CDT -- Destined Failure

One essential service was promised by the two top low power radio blogs, and that was long overdue review and criticism of the several forum sites devoted to so-called "part 15", something we've done at some risk as threats and disapprovals have been made known. For now The Blare Blog continues the mission as the Artisan Radio Blog is parked on a side-track.

Having participated in the forums for more than a decade I've noticed an unwillingness for the participating members to work together on group projects and the reason is very simple. Each operator envisions a rock station playing his favorite music with steadfast faith of an audience-in-waiting out there just beyond the edge of a legal signal with hopes that some new antenna discovery will carry that signal a few more thousand feet all the way to the Deltavillle Market. Such ideas as forming a longwave radio network or an association of small broadcasters went only so far as realizing that time would be shared to include someone elses musical taste and that was always a deal killer. The idea of throwing together to buy time on WBCQ to promote part 15 radio on 50 kW shortwave included the declaration by the initiator that he alone would choose the music for the program with no input from others as to whether there would even be music, and silence from all of them over the fact that the promoter of the idea was a prominent radio pirate with mention on Wikipedia of his illegal station. The radio bug is to this class of hobbyist an egocentric show of personal musical preference completely blind to the fact that each of them likes approximately the same music but stubbornly want to be the one with the "best" playlist. In an imitation of professional licensed radio they talk in terms of "serving the community" but to them that means that the community by coincidence is served by the music provided by their proud playlist. These geriatric radio children would not want to be informed that the public have their own cultural tastes and already have access to every song that matters to them.

Therefore the task of attracting groups of these sole-operators to cooperative social forums is an unliklihood because they don't have any interest in other stations, only their own.

Sunday August 16, 2020 7:57 AM CDT -- Everything Reconsidered

Since Saturday the Artisan Radio Blog is sending this message: 
"The blog will be on sabbatical for the forseeable future while we figure out what we really want to do with it."

I understand this completely and, in the "gone unnoticed" history of this Blare Blog have twice closed the Blog prior to this current incarnation and everyday consider closing it again for a whole set of reasons.

The chief reason this Blog exists is a steady devotion to the practice of operating a radio station which is much more than a frill because it provides excellent programming I'm able to choose on my own behalf; the local stations in this area being almost devoid of anything worth hearing. Through the Blog there is a sense of being something of a lighthouse amid a peer community of fellow broadcasters and a source of deserved promotion for the manufacturers who risk providing the specialized equipment required to place a signal on the dial; a risk because of the embarassingly small growth in this niche market.

From day one back in 2007 my personal philosophy has been - if the future of this hobby depends on me alone then it has no future - and in some ways the low power radio hobby has declined to near terminal stage mainly because its frontline advocates consisting of a handful of badly moderated forums have given the pastime a wrong face. In large part these blogs have been a righteous reaction against the subpar forums and the other discouragement existant in the small and dwindling number of active practitioners, leaving us talking to ourselves.

What ultimately happens with the Artisan Radio Blog is a matter of philosophy and psychology. Those are the two engines that drive The Blare Blog. Philosophy (policy) justifies the effort, psychology (intent) moves it to action.

Sunday August 16, 2020 6:18 AM CDT -- Outdoor Cats Must Be Stopped
Cute Fuzzy Bird Killers

Saturday August 15, 2020 4:58 PM CDT -- Deep In the Covid Era

If people have extra time because of Covid isolation they don't show it in ready social responsiveness. What I think I see is that everyone has withdrawn into a last burst of ordering everything from Amazon before it's too late. Even though I have a pretty good ear for listening virtually no one has expressed to me their inner feelings about having life snatched away from them. I'm not sure whether people are drowning in despair or having an extended carnival vacation. Frankly I can't imagine how anyone could get through this without having a personal radio station with which to serve others from a safe location as we do here at KDX. There's probably a second virus infesting them by way of depending on what are called "leaders" having their own massive breakdowns going into rigged election season each side striving to have the best riggings. Speaking of dogs as we do from time to time pet sales are way up as people detach from human succour and seek companionship where there's no argument. Dogs and cats are up to the task so long as food holds out.

Saturday August 15, 2020 4:53 PM CDT -- I Found You a Copy if You Want It

Amazon doesn't need me to pimp for them, but this book is a must have if you care about radio.
Sex and Broadcasting - A Handbook On Starting a Radio Station

Saturday August 15, 2020 8:46 AM CDT -- What Is Radio?

The word 'radio' is a portmanteau of the words 'radiate audio'.
Radio is a souped-up public address system.

Saturday August 15, 2020 7:13 AM CDT
Meet Mother

Friday August 14, 2020 8:44 AM CDT -- Passing It On

The Artisan Radio Blog is back online after equipment failure and posted this:

I have it on good authority that Donald Trump may be ineligible to run for President of the U.S. because he was born with the IQ of a rock.  This brings into question whether he is animal, vegetable or mineral, and therefore a true citizen.

Pass it on.

He might be a mixture as we know he likes to make suggestive remarks about his daughter which is animalistic, probably not much vegetable given his intake of McDonalds beef burgers, so we're left wondering what kind of rock his IQ is made out of.

Thursday August 13, 2020 7:29 PM CDT -- Above It All
KDX-FM Tower

Thursday August 13, 2020 3:47 PM CDT -- Back On the X-Band

It's been awhile since KDX generated anything on the AM band and this has put the entire load on our C.Crane FM2 which does a remarkable job. Now, today, while having more rain causing us to find indoor projects we did the engineering to rejuvenate the AMT5000 Transmitter. It only took about 5-minutes to get it done.

Thursday August 13, 2020 3:32 PM CDT -- Consiousness as an Experienced Illusion
Philosopher Daniel Dennett Believes He's Written a Book

Thursday August 13, 2020 10:21 AM CDT -- Programmers Arise

Been paging around in one of my copies of 'Sex and Broadcasting - A Handbook for Starting a Radio Station for the Community' by Lorenzo W. Milam. There'd be no point in paging around in the other copy because they're both the same. Here on Page 69 are a collection of tips for making your own programs in house, occasionally leaving the house in doing it.

You read in the newspaper that a local realtor has been accused of discrimination: Call up the realtor. Interview him on the air. Call up the person discriminated against. Interview him or her on the air. Make your questions biting and tough. Try to remain unbiased. Let them talk as long as it is interesting. You have done a public service, community, in depth discussion of an issue of some importance.
- Lorenzo W. Milam, 1975

Thursday August 13, 2020 9:04 AM CDT
If you go out and walk around during an electrical storm you could be struck by lightning.
If you open school during a global pandemic you might become infected.
- Carl Blare says

Thursday August 13, 2020 8:40 AM CDT -- Major FCC Violations Start As Day Dreams

As of now we're only at the early daydream stage fascinated with the gray area between RF power levels. The lower boundary is detailed in the Part 15 Rules which specify 100 mW as the maximum unlicensed power allowed on the AM band. Anything above that level requires a license, and the lowest legal power allowed by license is 250 Watts. Therefore the power range from 100 mW to 250 Watts is all gray.

Thursday August 13, 2020 8:31 AM CDT
Anything we do with our time, however pointless, is a reflection of life overall.
- Carl Blare, earlier this morning

Thursday August 13, 2020 6:25 AM CDT -- The Most Abused Words

EVERYBODY says "gunna". You never see a word "gunna" in print. But start listening to people speak. The PhD's say it. Bureaucrats say it. Housewives say it. Radio announcers say it. I even say it after deciding not to. "Gunna". I am gunna stop saying gunna. It's not so easy to express in print because the pronunciation shifts a little bit and you might read it as "GUN-nah". But if the spelling is changed to "gewna" or "goona" or "gena" the subtle variations still may not be just right. It's a verbal mistake that has to be said just the right way. It's an unintentional contraction of "going to". I am going to get this said. If I can't get the point across I don't know what I'm gunna do.

Wednesday August 12, 2020 11:47 AM CDT -- Storm Gods

This morning's storm announced itself by going dark and thundering at ever closer distance. Off went KDX at 10:15 AM CENTRAL left only with local broadcasters and what little they provide. AM 550 was vacillating between trivia questions (who was the drumist for the Eagles) and sports startups (new soccer team), AM 1120 even more detail on sports startup, NPR FM was doing extended coverage of school opening despite nothing being known or decided. Everywhere else was music, Jesus, and right wing hate lies. Well, I did find a LPFM classical which was playing a serene Vaughan-Williams but as time went along a depressed announcer started talking about the music in switching languages: English, German, Irish and ancient, followed by a melancholy Elgar work. At this point I started praying to the Storm Gods to please back off a little on the weather so KDX had a chance to squeak. The prayer was answered.

Wednesday August 12, 2020 3:50 AM CDT -- A Loss of History

Everything that happened is speeding away while we greet the unfolding of new days each of which pass through town on the way out of memory. Histories are kept as a way of preserving whatever importance attaches to passing experience but tend to fall into disrepair for want of a permanent fulltime librarian. Newcomers think they're on the way to making it as they replace hasbeens in departure. History museums are too boring to visit more than once or twice and are mainly very large buildings with shoe boxes full of photographs showing people standing still long enough to have their picture taken. Great grand children have no idea who their ancesters were and have no interest in knowing. The vast universe is emptier by the minute.

Tuesday August 11, 2020 4:40 PM CDT -- Trump Interviewed on Axios
Plenty of Charts

Tuesday August 11, 2020 12:46 NOON CDT -- When Weather Matters

Yesterday afternoon we were taken by surprise when the wind went wild and blew everything in several directions all at the same time. The ferocity was such that without hesitation KDX-OGG Radio SuperStream and the website were shut down for equipment safety. Shortly thereon rain and lightning pelted the campus and storming raged for several hours even though the front of the push moved east into another state while we monitored local broadcasts to learn that some locations suffered extensive damage with trees and wires down at wind speeds estimated somewhere above 60 MPH, a condition referred to as a land hurricane. The least prepared station was the local NPR affiliate that reported storms "moving into the area" while two commercial stations had already tracked the storm several counties to the east. Hours later we were informed that the storm was extremely widespread and ostensibly did even more damage in Iowa than in the lower states.

Sunday August 9, 2020 11:46 AM CDT -- All Matter May Not Matter

Sunday August 9, 2020 10:41 AM CDT -- What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains

My brain feels alright... um, what were we talking about?
Ralph Nader Radio Hour

Sunday August 9, 2020 10:03 AM CDT -- All Words Matter

The illogical poorly thought emotion driven push to capitalize the B in black causes one to rethink our entire "English" language upon which we depend as a means of communicating with one another. Every attempt has always been made by official academic committees to carefully define the rules of grammar and word definitions so as to enable the precise usage of words and phrasing to convey meanings, descriptions and intentions and there are always informal pressures brought to bear by movements, causes and creative re-definitions which inevitably morph the understructure of verbal composition bringing unending change. Such may be the current bending of the rules to capitalize "Black".

The language used in the United States was hoisted from Great Britain during the big mutiny at the founding as the fore-fathers fore-went the cumbersome notion of establishing a new language amidst the struggle to detach from England while killing Indians at home. A failed chairman of the ALPB was heard to say, "Every foreigner who expects to migrate to the United States ought to be required to speak "American." He was less than charming in response to being told that we have no "American" language per se, in as much as we ignored the authentic choices such as Navajo or Apache and have persisted in a raggy rip-off of British.

The dark-skinned people (so far the D in dark has not been upgraded) kidnapped and forced here to heavy slave labor were denied the use of their own languages and force-fed English along with Christianity but entered into the secret hacking of a special version of English that's come to be known as Ebonics (no relation to Ebola) as taught in Black studies classes.
About Ebonics
Linguists might agree that words are precious and all of them play their part in forming thoughts and mental imagery in a way that can be spoken, written and passed around as a social connection within our species. In this spirit I hereby advance the feeling that all words matter and to best show it we ought to capitalize the first letter of all of them.

Sunday August 9, 2020 7:47 AM CDT -- All Horses Matter

The creatively fertile mind considers all possibilities and combinations however trite in the daily search for something clever. This morning I thought I had a twist on a common expression that would earn some points, I was going to say: "The horse I am beating is not dead." Before thinking too much about it I figured it would top the time-worn "you're beating a dead horse." But I went on to consider the political consequences of either version and decided they're both inappropriate in a culture that universally respects horses as the regal animals they are. The mistreatment of any horse reflects badly on the beater and we should do away with such expressions.

Saturday August 8, 2020 10:19 PM CDT -- Race Relations That Don't Relate

Having just read about an uprising at a big city public radio station about alleged racist treatment of numerous black employees we set forth on this reflective discussion from our own experience.

The fact that the station in question had 'numerous' black employees should stand as an accomplishment but it doesn't seem to be going well. Oh, the news item where I found this information used the new capitalized 'Black', and I'm wondering if the dictionary committees have formally made the change official or whether the journalist is merely acquiescing to avoid having his report accused of bias. For the duration of this story we'll capitalize.

Thinking back over stations of my employment there are two that passed through racial turbulence... a classical music station was put on the spot during license renewal period because of letters in the station's public file complaining that employees and board members of the station were entirely Caucasian, putting the station under obligation to hire Blacks and to make the change as obvious as possible. A new receptionist went on display in a very conspicuous central lobby location, the desk intentionally moved out of a nearby corner, and a new announcer was added to the staff carefully selected to be noticeably Black on the air. The license renewal went through and both of them disappeared.

A TV station where I'd long held the position of 'extra' booth announcer was faced with the same renewal problem and I got a call from the manager telling me I'd no longer be needed, which was disappointing, and I soon learned the reason was a new Black fellow who'd been given my job. For whatever reason the station came up short and called me back to work giving me the situation of working alongside the Black gentleman with whom I got along fine. License renewed, Black out the door.

An impression I have with regard to the present public radio fracas is that a cadre of Black employees want to override supervisory decisions and out-manage management through kind of a coup or mutiny. If true, that would be reverse racism. The Spartacus Effect.

Friday August 7, 2020 8:56 PM CDT -- OPUS Didn't Last Long for KDX

Two or three days after naming OPUS as the standard codec for KDX streamcasting we reverted to OGG-Vorbis and there are at least three reasons:
1.)  OPUS does not generate metadata as do all the other codecs;
2.)  To meaningfully benefit from the purported better quality of OPUS a station would need to play audiofiles of a higher sample rate and bitrate than the day to day MP3 files provided by the majority of program suppliers;
3.)  As an inbuilt limit the OPUS codec upsamples audio to a minimum sample rate of 48 kHz while the more usual sample rate of 44.1 kHz is imposed by Stereo Tool the sound processor and by most audiofiles.
In the final analysis there is no actual benefit in using OPUS as the codec for KDX.

Friday August 7, 2020 5:32 PM CDT -- Codecs to Get You Bent

Boomer with MP3 in mind:

Hi Fig,

Good stuff about mp3, I've used it extensively for all kinds of encoding, playback, posting shows on line, and never had any kind of negative feedback to worry about. In my life it's been about as big of a deal as the mattress police.

On the web I still use mp3 for streaming and archive of the better quality version of shows, with the quick download, phone version as 32k Opus, which sounds way better than 32k mp3 at any setting. Opus is still messing with their sound, I don't think the newer versions sound as good.

Well, I don't have to worry about Opus much at all, except for my own use, and for any CD, vinyl recordings and radio bits I use Flac, it's lossless. It's more future proof than any compressed super format that might come out, so you don't have to worry about your sound having been bad all along, and there's no further loss when going from compressed sources like mp3 or audio from videos. I can crop out sound bites from videos, edit them and save as Flac, with all the metadata and album art if needed.

Most music found on line is mp3 though, so I have lots of that, and try to get 320k in that, for least loss hopefully.

Funny this should come up on your blog now, Radio Survivor has done a show on mp3 this week.
Radio Survivor Does MP3
One of the few sites I always visit. - Boomer

Friday August 7, 2020 12:59 NOON CDT -- How to Pick a Dog

Why do I talk about dogs, not being a dog owner myself? For many reasons. Closest to home there are relatives who keep several dogs which are clearly part of the family. Most neighbors keep dogs and walk them like a never ending pet parade. At least two of our correspondents love their dogs so much that Bruce named his radio room DoggStudio2 and Boomer actually underwent a species change and is a dog. That's not the end of it.

Several years ago I had an internet attorney friend located in Alabama who had dogs and wanted me to get one because, as she said, "Walking a dog is a perfect way to meet women". At the time I had lost my wife and was being coached on finding a new partner. In our back and forth I gave the opinion that dog owners should be required to take a college zoology course and provide a separate habitat for their pets. I was sternly disagreed with.

Even earlier before marriage I looked everywhere for women with time to share and one of them told me I'd be happy if I got dogs, she even offered to accompany me to the pet store or animal rescue. Truth is, I think she wanted dogs herself and in fact eventually got two big ones.

Skip ahead to our socially distanced days of quarantine and join me out behind the Internet Building handling yard waste with dogs on the west and south, either of which barks an alarm whenever they catch sight of me. The dog of the west has an overly loud bark that would fit better out in a wide-open space not too close to anyone, and the southern dog has a perky little yip that's appropriate for an over-the-fence signal.

Brilliant idea I have! When dog shopping buy on the basis of bark! Fit the bark to the situation. That won't mean much to the social climbers who hope to be seen with a lavishly expensive designer dog, but if the bark is right even that could be good. Take me along as a dog consultant! Only $500 this week only.

Friday August 7, 2020 9:33 AM CDT -- Fresh Look and Refresh On MP3
from Artisan Radio

I think we're getting hung up on terminology in the MP3 discussion, but
there are important distinctions here.

MP3, OGG, etc. are encoding methodologies.  Methods (i.e., the
mathematics) for encoding may or may not have been published, but it has
nothing to do with licensing status.  In the case of MP3, the encoding
method was patented, despite being well known, and you had to pay
royalties to use that method.

Open source is something entirely different, and refers to the method to
develop software, any software.  With this method, literally anyone can
contribute to development, the source code is published, and free to use.

So, given those two, rather loose, definitions, let's take a look at MP3

Regardless of the royalty status of the MP3 method, MP3 codecs can be
either open source as defined above, or proprietary (the source is not

There were open source implementations of MP3 long before the patents
for MP3 use expired.  You just couldn't use them legally without paying
royalties.  Of course, there were also proprietary implementations of
MP3; royalties just had to be paid to the patent holders.

Now that the patents have expired, open source implementations of the
MP3 codec can indeed be used without paying royalties. Proprietary
implementations as well should be cheaper, as royalties are not in effect.

I don't know if that helps sort things out, but I had to try. - Artisan Radio

The chimes of Blare: If memory is correct I suspect that during the time when MP3 was under patent a great many users employed it openly without bothering with royalty thus causing a sense that the codec was openly available. Already having made use of it for KDX, I noticed that when Radionomy took over Shoutcast they introduced a $5 fee for streamers to license use of MP3. But so many were already using it I'm not sure who paid and who didn't, then the patent expired and on we went.

Friday August 7, 2020 8:33 AM CDT -- Sound Purists

Being an avid sound purist can get in the way of being a broadcaster. The best place to strive for ultimate sound quality is in a room with a closed-circuit system that uses wires to connect all the components. Here at KDX we have built an "ultimate system" for enjoying dazzling classical orchestras impeded only by the quality of the originating CD. None of it has anything to do with our radio station.

KDX Worldround Radio is very realistic about the several wireless realms delivering our programs to listeners with their various systems ranging from poor to decent. It's a lot like plumbing. There are narrow pipes along the way and the programming needs to make its way to the other end as much intact as possible. One signal needs to serve several different pass-bands imposed by AM, FM, Wi-Fi, low bandwidths at some destinations, slow computers at others, and besides, most of our programming is not coming from the New York Philharmonic Orchestra; the majority of it is plain speech which sounds perfectly intelligible without overdoing the kilobits per second.

Our signal processing is a trade-off between low bit-rate so as to accomodate the many slow connectors at the far end vs. the best sound achievable within the cramped modulation space. The art of quality radio and stream quality is a form of modern day alchemy.

Friday August 7, 2020 6:57 AM CDT -- Is the Source Open or is the Domain Public

The MP3 discussion raises for my mind some basic questions about what these various ownership categories mean in strict legal terms. What I know with some confidence is that 'public domain' confers ownership of a patent or copyright to the general public to use as they will. But how does this compare to 'open source', which I think means that a presently 'owned' work of any kind is made freely available for use under certain reasonable terms and conditions while the owner retains control of the property. But when a proprietary piece of intellectual property such as the MP3 audio codec passes beyond patent expiration where does it stand compared to either public domain or open source? Is there a name for such a category? The Blare Blog is open to the public during limited hours but is copyright (c) 2020 by worldround We do not charge royalties but there's nothing keeping anyone from sending generous stipends to our money room. Slightly higher west of the Mississippi.

Friday August 7, 2020 5:16 AM CDT -- Rich Powers Comes Back On MP3 and New Report On Radio Shoes

I'm  a little puzzled over Artisans clarrification stating MP3 as royalty free but not open-source. Perhaps I have the terminology wrong. All I know is the article suggest mp3 is now open-source in the same regard as FLAC, Ogg, Vorbis, and Opus are ("..the other free open source file formats..".) -- Or rather, that is what I interprited it to say. 

Excerpts from article:


...The expiration of Fraunhofer’s patents means that as of April, the MP3 is no longer tethered to the host of encoding licenses that hindered its development since the first patent was filed in 1987. In practical terms, that means that anyone making a piece of audio software can now support encoding and compression for MP3 files without having to pay a licensing fee.....

In actuality, there are already several other file formats, notably FLACOgg Vorbis, and Opus, that don’t come with the same licensing restrictions... the new “de facto standard” could easily be one of these other free, open source file formats..... 


Anyway.. Here's some unrelated late breaking news: Nike (the shoe company)  has very recently released their own Part 15 device; 


"FCC Part 15 Digital Emissions Compliance

We, Nike, Inc., declare under our sole responsibility that this product complies with Part 15 of the FCC Rules. Operation is subject to the following two conditions: (1) this device may not cause harmful interference, and (2) this device must accept any interference received, including interference that may cause undesired operation.

WARNING: This equipment has been tested and found to comply with the limits for a Class B digital device, pursuant to Part 15 of the FCC Rules. These limits are designed to provide reasonable protection against harmful interference in a residential installation. This equipment generates and radiates radio frequency energy and, if not installed and used in accordance with the instructions, may cause harmful interference to radio communications....

Consult the dealer or an experienced radio/TV technician for help. The user may find the following booklet prepared by the Federal Communications Commission helpful: The Interference Handbook...."

So what is the Nike ADAPT?.. Believe it or not, It's a shoe that ties and unties itself via commands from a smartphone or watch. Hmm.. interesting but I'll pass.. I'd feel very silly asking "a radio/TV technician for help" to tie my shoes if it malfunctioned. - Rich

Thursday August 6, 2020 8:25 PM -- Renaming Countries
Thailand is now Thighland
according to Donald Trump

Thursday August 6, 2020 3:01 PM CDT -- Closer Look at MP3

Artisan Radio submits:

I have to correct Rich Powers' correction.  MP3 is not open source per
say.  It's just that the patents expired several years ago, so it can be
used royalty free.  That being said, there are open source
implementations (and some that are not open source). - Artisan Radio

Thursday August 6, 2020 2:01 PM CDT -- Bad Movie Follow-Up

With full expectation of being discouraged by more bad movies, I last night happened upon a fairly good movie titled "The Sonata"
(seen at The picture offered a worthy excursion into the psychic power of classical music coupled with the age-old human tendency toward superstition and I'd wish to credit the playwrite behind the story, but none is listed in the otherwise burgeoning cast and crew... only a 'script supervisor'.
Cast and Crew
The strength of classical music is that it conveys a wide bandwidth of human emotions and psychologies certainly far more than any other musical genre. The score for this picture was equal to the job but otherwise does not stand on its own. As far as superstition is concerned it has been over-utilized in movies and usually amounts to a meaningless leap into ugliness but in this case takes on more the inbred tendency for people to have ancient fears and terrors inherited from religious lore and incessant repetition through literature, folklore and motion pictures. What I still do not understand is the point behind the final outcome that the entire plot conspires toward, but the average viewer isn't likely to notice.

Thursday August 6, 2020 12:22 NOON CDT -- ONLY 3-YEARS LATE WITH BREAKING MP3 NEWS

Correspondent Richard Powers files this report:

Mp3 has been open source for a few years now. - Rich

Carl begins to spin excuses: Well, uh, a lot of others have not gotten word either based on things I've been reading. I blame too much out-dated stuff still posted on the internet that never gets updated.

Wednesday August 5, 2020 3:39 PM CDT -- Bad Movies Make Better Radio

As a human animal I, like you all, suffer from conflictions such as wanting every evening to see a movie at the expense of paying attention to my radio station. In fact I typically sign off the radio so my programs don't go out without my hearing them.

But more often than not I slam the STOP button only 10-minutes into a movie and declare that I do not care about this story, don't wonder how it comes out, and wonder how so many lousy movies get made.

Without a decent movie the only remaining option is to switch back to radio which never has a bad program because I personally choose what gets aired on KDX.

It'll happen again tonight and you know what? This time I'll let you know the name of the bad movie and say something about why I dislike it.

Wednesday August 5, 2020 3:38 PM CDT
The Old Farmers Almanac Radio Report

Wednesday August 5, 2020 11:59 AM CDT -- I'll Do Ya One Better

It was Senator Joe McCarthy (R) of Wisconsin who back in the 50s promoted the misnaming of the Democratic Party as the "Democrat" Party with an emphasis on "rat". The practice carries on today with people like Trump and Hannity.

Well how about this. Instead of 'right wing' why not Rat Wing.

Wednesday August 5, 2020 11:28 AM CDT -- Station Logs

Zara and other radio station automation systems are capable of saving logs showing every peice of audio played mentioning the date and time, possibly aiding the obligation to maintain documentation for copyright and performance licensing purposes and for streamers the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. The logging runs only if it's initially set up by the administrator, and it's wise to periodically check to be sure logging is actually taking place.

B.U.T.T. the Stream Encoding utility is also able to generate logs showing every audiofile streamed.

More logs are produced by the stream server Icecast, an access log giving a continual report on connections made to the stream, and an error log reporting incidents that don't function properly.

KDX Worldround Radio has just completed a reorganization of our log keeping method and now collect all of these logs in a single folder making them easier to locate.

Wednesday August 5, 2020 9:20 AM CDT
Tower Going Up

Tuesday August 4, 2020 6:45 PM CDT
People are finding out that Tump's lies aren't true.
- Buzz Burbank - RELM Network

Tuesday August 4, 2020 6:17 AM CDT -- On the Way Out
Michael O'Reilly FCC Commissioner Nomination Rescinded

Monday August 3, 2020 11:50 AM CDT
Honest Government Ad

Sunday August 2, 2020 9:30 AM CDT -- New Radio Network Signs On
Verdant Square Network
As featured on the Stuph File Program with Peter Anthony Holder

Sunday August 2, 2020 9:08 AM CDT -- Here's the Plan

The low power radio station operating with 1/10th of a Watt under FCC Part 15 of the Rules tends to fantasize about power increases so as to reach more listeners with vital programming but there's no money involved so the FCC would rather not be bothered. But I was just thinking... the Traffic Information (T.I.S.) tad higher power category employs close to 10-Watts so... just hear me out. O.K., the T.I.S. service is licensable by government entities, and I once heard an intellect, maybe Eric Hoffer or R. Buckminster Fuller, say that the family is the smallest governmental unit. Ask yourself this one question: Are you a member of a family? If so you may qualify for a T.I.S. license. Let me know how it turns out.

Saturday August 1, 2020 6:43 PM CDT -- So any way, this guy who knew me during the recording studio days asked if I had pictures of the Carl Blare self-built tape central control room and I do, so I went looking for them in the rooms and floors of boxes comprising every transaction and event ever to transpire during the years but those pictures for the time being exist only in my mind. What I did find was some writings from a time of failed romances and I see now what I was trying to say. The idea was to use words to make the reader as sad and defeated as I felt and several times I was pretty good at it and owe a lot to the ladies for putting me in a state where my writing improved so much, although I didn't recognize it at the time. Now I can look back and realize how much child support I've saved which pays the way for KDX Worldround Radio and without which this Blog would be coming from under a bridge. It's funny how sticky old journals can be... I'll never clean them up for publication, they'll only be scribbled scrap paper when the whole mess goes on yard sale by the bitter relatives who mistakenly think I'll leave a million dollars, so I should recycle the paper and let Charles Bukowski reign as the uncontested beer fueled resident of the bookshelf. I'm feeling generous.

Saturday August 1, 2020 11:52 AM CDT -- A Loss

Lorenzo W. Milam was all about radio. Over the past several years I'd hoped to get him on the telephone for a proper radio interview about everything he's done to further the spread of community radio in the States. But the time has run out as word comes from the Radio Surviver team:
The Death of Lorenzo W. Milam

Meeting Lorenzo in person happened by accident one night when I delivered a tape to KDNA, a station started by Lorenzo and his friend Jeremie Landsman. He was an astoundingly
impressive person.

Along the line I came to have a copy of Lorenzo's "Sex and Broadcasting - A Handbook On Starting a Radio Station for the Community" in which Tom Robbins (American novelist) wrote, "Once Lorenzo said to me, 'Tom, who's gonna chop your suey when I'm gone?' And it's true. Noone has chopped my suey in a won won ton."

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