Stok Footage

Continually experimenting with new ideas and techniques — Reconstructing, Developing, Modernising.

Listening to Wireless Radio

Long ago I used to listen to the radio on a big old “portable” whose dial included “Hilversum”, “Light Programme“, and other station identifiers from the late 1950’s or early 1960’s. My grandparents called it wireless (although several investigations into the nature of the wireless revealed lots of wire inside.) After leaving university my early morning ritual included listening to Farming Today on Radio 4, and then the delightful team of John Timpson and Brian Redhead on the Today programme for as long as I could before walking to work or catching the bus to work.

A quarter of a century or so later I listen to the best of Today as a podcast as I walk or take the streetcar to work, and there are a fair few other BBC podcasts to which I subscribe and listen.

While the podcasts have kept me sane, my wife has been straining to hear the content of WNED over the static and distortion as the AM signal can only just be deciphered by the time it gets to Toronto. Add to that a background of food preparation clattering and it’s easy to give up in frustration.

Technology has come to the rescue. A local radio store had the Revo Mondo WiFi wireless radio on its shelf, a piece of electronics which is small enough to be unobtrusive, and simple enough not to be frustrating, and pretty enough to live in the kitchen. After a few minutes of shuffling wireless base stations and punching in my WPA2 key we were listening to WNED, WNYC, and I allowed myself the pleasure of Gardeners Question Time this Sunday.

The live radio feeds delivered over the internet and my wireless network make the cable TV / internet bill seem marginally less grotesque. The old portable I used to listen to was pretty finicky sometimes, it could be little short of miraculous to get Radio Luxembourg some evenings. In these modern days it all seems so easy, until we use the microwave! (I’m sure that can be dealt with by judicious channel selection… maybe tomorrow!)

Next day: Setting the network to use channel 1 rather than auto selecting seems to have made the internet radio work happily even when the microwave is running. Thank you web!

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