Tag Archives: Tom Ally

Today: National Radio Day

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Tom Ally, who notes that today is National Radio Day:

(Source: National Radio Day)

About

National Radio Day is a time to honor one of the most longstanding electronic media and its role in our everyday lives. Radio delivers information, news, entertainment and company to millions of Americans every hour of every day. We invite listeners, broadcasters, producers and stations to celebrate on August 20.

History

Although there is not one authoritative source on the history of National Radio Day, it has been celebrated since the early 1990s on August 20. Perhaps it was decided that August 20 would be an appropriate day because 8MK (now WWJ) in Detroit, first broadcast on August 20, 1920.

According to Wikipedia, WWJ debuted as the “Detroit News Radiophone” and was “the outgrowth of interest in radio technology by the publishers of The Detroit News, combined with inventor Lee de Forest’s longtime promotion of radio broadcasting.”

Regular annual recognition didn’t quite take off until 2011 when NPR brought renewed attention to the day.

Now

National Radio Day is organized by Sabrina Roach, a Doer at Brown Paper Tickets, in partnership with non-commercial radio stations across the United States.

In July 2015, Roach called a meeting of radio broadcasters, producers and enthusiasts to discuss initiating a project to raise the visibility of non-commercial radio across the country. That effort put fresh energy behind the celebration of National Radio Day.

It’s also an ideal time to initiate a common project for full-power and low-power FM (LPFM) stations as hundreds of new LPFMs are getting on the air made possible by the Local Community Radio Act.

Click here to visit the National Radio Day website.

Shortwave Radiogram begins June 24-25, 2017

(Source: Shortwave Radiogram via Tom Ally)

Shortwave Radiogram begins 24-25 June 2017

The Shortwave Radiogram transmission schedule:

Sunday 0600-0630 UTC 7730 kHz

Sunday 2030-2100 UTC 11580 kHz

Sunday 2330-2400 UTC 11580 kHz

All via WRMI in Florida

Great to see that Kim Elliott isn’t skipping a beat moving from the VOA Radiogram to the Shortwave Radiogram in his retirement!  Let’s support him by tuning in!

Click here to visit the new Shortwave Radiogram website.

The Como Audio Amico and Musica via Kickstarter

The Como Audio Amico

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Tom Ally, who writes:

Saw this and wanted you to know about it since you mentioned loving his past Kickstarter [for the Solo WiFi radio].

I backed the Musica model instead of the Amico since it still has 18 days left and it had a CD player in it but thought you would like the portable Amico

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/819585793/como-audio-amico-portable-multi-room-wifi-music-sy

Thanks for the tip, Tom!

If I didn’t already own the Como Audio Solo, I would grab the Amico. It appears to be nearly identical to the Solo–save, in a vertical orientation–and includes an internal rechargeable battery option.

Here’s a full list of its specifications and features:

  • Multi-room: play different sources in every room or sync them all together
  • Internet radio accessing 30,000+ stations
  • Spotify
  • Bluetooth with aptX
  • High performance FM Tuner 
  • DAB+ (International version only)  DAB+ upgrade and VAT is included in shipping cost
  • NFC Android Bluetooth connection
  • DLNA WIFI Music player allowing easy navigation and playback through a USB or network-shared library of music files including AAC+, MP3, WMA, WAV, and FLAC
  • High-Res inputs: 1 analog and 1 USB
  • Dual alarm clock functionality
  • Snooze function
  • Sleep Timer
  • 2 X 30 watt RMS amplifier, <1% THD
  • 3″ woofer with four layer voice coil
  • 3/4″ dome tweeter
  • Independent Remote Control
  • Universal Switching Power Supply 110-240V

I continue to be very pleased with my Como Audio Solo–it pretty much lives in my radio shack and I use it daily to catch up on my favorite news and music sources. I distribute the Solo’s audio throughout the house with my SSTRAN AMT3000 AM transmitter–admittedly, an old school version of Como’s “multi-room audio sync”–!

When I need a battery-powered portable WiFi radio these days, I read for my Sangean WFR-28–thus, the Amico would be a pretty pricey impulse purchase for me at this point!

The Como Audio Musica

I find it fascinating Como has also introduced the Musica model which includes a CD player–somewhat of a unique feature in 2017.

Here are the Musica specifications and features:

  • Multi-Room: play different sources in every room or sync them all together
  • Internet radio accessing 30,000+ stations
  • Integrated music streaming services: Spotify, Tidal, Deezer, Napster, Amazon Music* (*Available Winter 2017)
  • On-board single slot-loading CD player engineered to meet stringent car audio standards
  • Supported CD formats: CD, CD-R, CD-RW/MP3/WMA
  • Bluetooth with aptX & AAC
  • High performance FM Tuner
  • DAB+ (International version only) – DAB+ upgrade and VAT is included in shipping cost
  • NFC Android Bluetooth connection
  • DLNA WIFI Music player allowing easy navigation and playback through a USB or network-shared library of music files including AAC+, MP3, WMA, WAV, and FLAC
  • Ethernet connection
  • High-Res inputs: 2 analog, 1 optical
  • Dual alarm clock functionality
  • Snooze function
  • Sleep Timer
  • 2 X 30 watt RMS amplifier, <1% THD
  • 2 X 3″ woofer with four layer voice coil
  • 2 X 3/4″ dome tweeter
  • Independent Remote Control
  • Universal Switching Power Supply 110-240V
  • Dimensions: 405 mm W x 143 mm H x 165.5mm D (including antenna)
  • Weight: 9.3 lbs, 4.21 kg

I still have (quite literally) hundreds of CDs. While many have been converted to AAC and MP3 formats, there’s still something to be said for CD audio fidelity and enjoying a proper album format.

If you’ve been thinking about purchasing a Como Audio device, you might consider the new Amico and Musica via Como’s Kickstarter campaign.

Cornell engineers invent two-way radio on a single chip

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Tom Ally, who shares the following news via the Cornell Chronicle:

Engineers devise two-way radio on a single chip

Two-way communication requires, of course, both send and receive capabilities. But putting them in the same device requires a filter between the send and receive circuits to provide signal isolation.

Without a significant filter, communication would be impossible.

“Your transmit signal is [10 to the power 14] times stronger than your receive signal,” said Alyosha Molnar, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering (ECE). “That’s 100 trillion times stronger – that’s a really hard problem.”

But researchers in Molnar’s lab have offered up a solution.

Molnar and collaborator Alyssa Apsel, professor of ECE, have devised a method for both transmitting and receiving a radio signal on a single chip, which ultimately could help change the way wireless communication is done.

Their work is described in “A wideband fully integrated software-defined transceiver for FDD and TDD operation,” published online Jan. 27 in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ Journal of Solid-State Circuits. Doctoral student Hazal Yüksel and Dong Yang, Ph.D. ’15, are co-lead authors.

Separating the send and receive bands is difficult enough, but the problem is compounded by the ever-increasing number of bands in the latest devices. From GPS to Bluetooth to Wi-Fi, each band requires a filter to stop the strong transmit signals from drowning out reception.

Molnar and Apsel have come up with an ingenious way to separate the signals. Their idea lies in the transmitter – actually a series of six subtransmitters all hooked into an artificial transmission line. Each sends its signal at regular intervals, and their individually weighted outputs are programmed so that they combine to produce a radio frequency signal in the forward direction, at the antenna port, while canceling out at the receive port.

The programmability of the individual outputs allows this simultaneous summation and cancellation to be tuned across a wide range of frequencies, and to adjust to signal strength at the antenna.

“In one direction, it’s a filter and you basically get this cancellation,” Apsel said. “And in the other direction, it’s an amplifier.”

“You put the antenna at one end and the amplified signal goes out the antenna, and you put the receiver at the other end and that’s where the nulling happens,” Molnar said. “Your receiver sees the antenna through this wire, the transmission line, but it doesn’t see the transmit signal because it’s canceling itself out at that end.” […]

Continue reading on the Cornell Chronicle.

Grace Digital Mondo+ Kickstarter

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Tom Ally, who writes:

I remember that article you wrote about Wi-fi radios and just saw this Kickstarter on Facebook that may interest you:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1209003580/mondo

[T]hey are saying it is supposed to ship out sometime next month. [S]ome of the things it has –over the old Mondo–is Bluetooth 4.1 and Chromecast built in.

Thank you, Tom! Here’s the product description from Kickstarter:

The home audio market is evolving, and Grace Digital is leading the way. We combined the latest Wi-Fi audio streaming technologies from Google, added Bluetooth audio streaming, and over 30,000 AM/FM/HD radio stations from around the corner to across the globe. The Grace Mondo+ can even be controlled by the Google Assistant on devices like Google Home, the front panel controls, free smartphone apps, or the included remote control. We wrapped the technology in a beautifully crafted cabinet, and drive the audio with custom made speaker drivers and high performance class D digital amplification, ensuring the best possible listening experience in a perfectly compact design. We hope you love the Mondo+ as much as we do!

This is an “all or nothing” campaign, meaning it’ll have to be fully funded for the production run to become reality.

As a Kickstarter supporter, the pricing is in line with the Grace Digital Mondo (we reviewed last year).

I am still quite happy with my Como Audio Solo, so will not plan to back the Mondo+ at this time. If I was interested, I would splurge for the $174 Early Bird package which includes a Lithium Ion battery pack. Shipping could be as early as April 2017.

Check out full details and a video on Kickstarter.

Thanks, Tom, for the tip! I would certainly welcome a review of the Mondo+ from any Kickstarter backers!