Purpose, Brief History & the Upgrades

I started this radio station as both a R&D experience to help in future projects with another station I co-engineer and to make the station a benefit to others either online or from within the building where I live. I entertain and educate myself with the content I choose to share. I also have encouraged others to provide me input on what materials they would like to hear.

I moved into Edgewater in November of 2021, during the peak into the Omnicron outbreak of COVID-19. I understood that with my neighbors in my building being ever more isolated that having a radio station could be a huge benefit of quality of life during this period of fear in the uncertainty. I had acquired an FM transmitter that is part 15 FCC certified for low power private use.

Later I added software to the hardware for streaming the material to a provider where I can embed the player and make the station available to anyone in the world that enjoys what gets programmed.

I have focused on unique music and educational programming; the stuff that does not ordinary get on the top charts or in the socially institutionalized education. And the reason is to help folk experience music and education outside of the mainstream social box. I focused on materials that empowers, educates and sends a positive message to the listeners.

First hardware used was in addition to the FM transmitter an old Pentium III laptop from 2002 era and that worked fine for a long time. At some point during that venture, when the streamer software kept crashing, someone within social media offered and sent me a memory upgrade from 256mb of memory to 1.5gb of memory. That resolved the crash issue with the stream. I kept the laptop going until the hard drive started to fail. At that point I tested for a month the use of a Raspberry Pi1B (first Pi release.) I found that I had to decode the media files to raw WAV files for clean continuity of audio to both the transmitter and the stream. The quality to compensate for lack of processor resources teetered on a grey area of being audibly ledgable. I decided and got the resources from a friend to use a Raspberry Pi 3B and since then I’ve experienced a solid and high quality audio for both stream and transmitter. Below are some photos of the computer setup with the script I currently use for rotations and text to speech radio jingle.

#!/bin/bash

# documentation for handisradio.com

# Generate computer spoken words of radio jingle contained in 'radio.txt' file and make a wav format from it
espeak -f radio.txt -q -a 100 -s 100 -w radio.wav

# play the newly created radio jingle
mpv radio.wav

while :
do

# generate playlist with all possible found media formats on radio disk

 find "$PWD" | grep .mp3 > play.pls
 find "$PWD" | grep .wav >> play.pls
 find "$PWD" | grep .mp4 >> play.pls
 find "$PWD" | grep .mkv >> play.pls
 find "$PWD" | grep .webm >> play.pls
 find "$PWD" | grep .m4a >> play.pls
 find "$PWD" | grep .3gp >> play.pls
 shuf play.pls > ./p.pls

# generate playlist with radio jingle every 6 songs
 
awk '{print}; NR%6==0 {print "radio.wav"}' p.pls > ply.pls

  mpv --no-video --playlist=ply.pls

done

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