Radio Currents Online - May 16 - May 22, 2005

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Radio Currents Online - May 16 - May 22, 2005

May 17, 2005 9:45 AM

Radio technology news updated as it happens.

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Speed Race: CW vs. Text Messaging
Los Angeles - May 13, 2005 - In a contest held on The Tonight Show Show, the speed of a Morse Code operator was pitted against the speedy thumbs of text messaging. CW contest operators Chip Margelli and Ken Miller showed that Morse Code was faster than text messaging. The text messaging team was text-messaging champ Ben Cook of Utah and his friend Jason.

The message delivered by both teams was, "I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance." Miller noted that Cook was entering the last two words of the message when the CW transmission was complete. Miller estimates that he was sending 29 words per minute.

The ARRL reports that the CW team used Yaesu FT-817 transceivers on 432.2MHz. Margelli sent his message with a Bencher paddle.

A video clip of the event is available at this link. The WMV file is about 13MB.

Amber Alerts via Cell Phone
Washington - May 17, 2005 - The Associated Press reports that the wireless industry has enabled Amber Alerts via text messaging as a free service in every state on most carriers. There are currently about 225 Amber Alerts issued each year. The alerts are distributed via the Internet, radio and TV stations and highway signs.

Cell phone users who want to receive such information can designate as many as five Zip codes to monitor, much like an EAS receiver can be programmed to activate for FIPS codes. Subscribers can also be notified of alerts issued for their states or metropolitan areas.

Subscribers with phones capable of receiving text messages can register at or through participating carriers' websites.


WOR Broadcasts with Axia's Livewire
New York - May 19, 2005 - WOR in New York, owned by Buckley Broadcasting, is now broadcasting from studios built with a Livewire switched Ethernet audio routing infrastructure from Axia Audio. WOR's purchase includes nine Axia SmartSurface Control Surfaces and Studio Mixing Engines. Dozens of Audio Nodes connect analog and digital audio sources to the switched-Ethernet-based Axia IP-Audio Network. WOR purchased its Axia IP-Audio network from Broadcasters General Store. Creative Studio Solutions installed the cabling and other systems.

A Facility Showcase on the installation will be in the July issue of Radio magazine.

Patriot, Thomson Form Partnership
Albion, MI - May 20, 2005 - Thomson has partnered with Patriot Antenna Systems to create new antenna/actuator systems that will be available mid-June. The actuators will be available in 24 and 36 inch models.

Boston Tests FM411
Boston - May 19, 2005 - FM411 is a new consumer service being tested in Boston before debuting nationwide. The idea is that consumers can register their requests for musical artists at and ask local radio stations to send them an electronic alert via IM, cell phone text message, or e-mail when their favorite music is about to play. FM411 makes this data available to radio station management, who can acquire the rights to notify individuals minutes before their station plays the listener's requested music. The service is free to consumers.

XM Exceeds Four Million Subscribers
Washington, DC - May 20, 2005 - XM Satellite Radio has exceeded four million subscribers. According to Hugh Panero, president of XM, the company has added one million new subscribers in less than five months. The company's goal is to have 5.5 million subscribers by the end of 2005.

Sales Call

  • OMT has sold an Imediatouch digital broadcast system to Azcar USA as part of its contract for the American Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS) digital radio facility at the Defense Media Center at March Air Force Base, CA. The OMT contribution to this project provides 18 broadcast channels, a fully automated multi-channel audio content acquisition, interface to a Sierra Automated Systems audio router, and the integration of a Burli news gathering system.
  • Logitek sold two Mosaic digital consoles to Westwood One for use in its NCAA studios in New York City. Westwood One purchased one Logitek Audio Engine, a Mosaic-24 console, a Mosaic-12 console and five GST-22 guest turrets.
  • Minnesota Public Radio has acquired a Broadcast Electronics FMI 703 transmitter package with HD Radio multicasting capability and optional studio signal generation for KSJN 99.5-FM, serving Minnesota's Twin Cities Metropolitan area. An identical BE HD Radio system will ship next month for MPR station KNOW 91.1-FM, also serving Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN. The orders were placed in March through John Sims with RF Specialties of Missouri.
    ProductsLynx Ships Aurora Converters
    Costa Mesa, CA - May 19, 2005 - Lynx's Aurora 8 and Aurora 16 A/D-D/A converter have begun shipping to authorized dealers. The Aurora 8 and Aurora 16 feature 192kHz conversion with front panel control of routing and sample rate options. Extended functions in the equipment are accessible via computer with the Lynx AES16, by infrared using compatible laptops and hand-held Pocket PCs and via MIDI.Click here to receive the Radio magazine Currents Online Weekly E-mail.