Feet in the Fire

The most offensive tactic in the radio activists’ arsenal has been taking to the air without a license, thereby reclaiming a small spot on the dial where former radio listeners can become broadcasters.
But change appears to be in the air: recent reports from around the country point to a growing use of stronger tactics put to use. They involve turning commercial and public radio outlets against themselves.
Two methods of accomplishing this have been demonstrated recently. The first is the “signal hijack,” which can be accomplished in a variety of ways. All of them allow the rogue broadcaster to temporarily disrupt or even take over a licensed station’s signal. Continue reading “Feet in the Fire”

Hacking the Dial

In the wake of stepped-up enforcement efforts by the FCC and a move by the radio industry to quash new legal community radio stations, microradio activists are thinking of embracing strategies to broadcast that go beyond setting up their own stations.
This fall in Green Bay, someone hijacked the local public radio affiliate by breaking into its transmitter building, splicing a cheap CD player into the air chain and hitting “play.”
Though technically daunting and physically risky, the “station hijacker” was able to broadcast death metal for several hours before someone from the station noticed. Continue reading “Hacking the Dial”