It all started with a tweet from Kevin McDougald of The View from Seven:
Source: Twitter and the CBC
Being an occasional shortwave listener and CBC fan, this CBC story interested me. The thought of owning a piece of Canadian broadcasting history, as impractical as it was, really appealed to me. I started daydreaming about what I'd do with the transmitter if I bought it, but stopped myself when I started seriously considering it...
Kevin has been following my antics for a while! So, I decided to share a story I've never shared:
I received the shredder in '08 when I acquired a lot of equipment from a shuttered dotcom. I had to barter a truck and crew to move it into my garage, because it was that huge. It's largely irrelevant to this story, but makes for an interesting side note. I was going to commission a plaque that read "got mielke?" to mount on the unit, but not many people would have gotten the joke...
Our story would have ended there, a what if that had been a brief blip in my imagination, if not for my old buddy Derick of Around This Town fame:
This, of course, got me thinking. What would happen..?
Well, nothing, really. We don't have the resources (or space) to repair and maintain the unit, let alone run it... but let's pretend.
Imagine this popping up in your rss reader or blogroll:
The GimmeSomeMoney campaign has been a huge success. Not only did we raise enough to pay for the transport, installation, and repair of the transmitter and antenna, we also prepaid the first year's lease on the new broadcast site in Headingley. All the legal stuff has been taken care of, and our first broadcast as Radio Jerk International will take place at 0200 UTC on 7310khz.
Contrary to popular belief, we will not be bringing back Maple Leaf Mailbag as we are not affiliated with Radio Canada International, nor do we have the rights to do so. On the same token, no, we have not coaxed Peter Mansbridge out of retirement. These are false rumours spread on social media.
It's certainly an interesting thought. I've toyed with the idea of running a pirate radio station over shortwave in the past, Lord knows I have the equipment and rebellious streak to do so, and the possibility of running my own independent station (legally) is intriguing.
It's also a lot of work and, despite my enthusiasm for the media, shortwave radio is as dead as Telex on this continent. There's also the chore of producing content on a regular basis, which would be an issue considering I can't be arsed to update my own established blogs on a regular basis...
I could always sell radio time to carefully screened clients. That'd be fun for a while. I'd sell time to all the left-wing nuts, anti-conservatives, and hippies, just to balance out all the right-wing nuts and ultra-conservative "religious" types so prevalent on AM and shortwave these days.
Yeah, that would be fun for a while, but it's just not me.
You got the radio frequency from a friend. 14426khz usb. Sure, this archaic technology was a pain in the ass to set up, but since the demise of Net Neutrality and ensuing crackdown on independent speech online, this is the only way to hear the latest word.
You plug the radio into the line-in jack on your PC and fire up the decoding program. After a few minutes, a series of odd clicks and digital noise bursts break through the static. A message slowly appears on the computer screen:
Conceit and Sociopathy
On Slipping the Leash, part three
February 11th, 2018
If I actually did buy the transmitter and restored it (myself) to its former level of functionality, I would probably misuse it. Seriously, I would probably use it to broadcast blog posts, missives, zines, propaganda, and subversive texts as radio faxes or SSTV images across the world. Legally or otherwise. 24 hours a day. My stuff and others.
That sounds a lot more like me.
So, if you had a powerful shortwave transmitter at your disposal, what would you do? Let me know in the comments! Winner receives online validation from myself!