Update #2 – More details on Deez Nutz' Bust; Stations-in-a-Suitcase @ Flea Markets?; AM IBOC – Listen For Yourself

A couple of additional data points to add to the first reported FCC pirate radio enforcement action of the year: Kent, WA’s Deez Nutz 93.7 received not one, but two visits from the FCC on Friday, January 9.
The person who lives where the station was housed was not home at the time of the first visit, but the FCC agents on the case contacted the landlord of the property and “instructed” them to dismantle the antenna and cut the coaxial cable feed line.
That is unique, especially considering the fact that the agents apparently had no warrant authorizing the destruction of Deez Nutz’ gear. Later that evening the agents returned and hand-delivered a warning letter to the station’s host tenant. They did not seize the transmitter itself.
From the unconfirmed rumor mill: a recent thread on the alt.radio.pirate newsgroup notes that someone is circulating on the hamfest (amateur radio convention) circuit in the Southeastern U.S., selling “suitcase size Micro FM broadcasting stations.” While other posters to the thread confirm that the guy exists, the only detail they can provide is that he works out of the back of a U-Haul-style trailer.
If the rumor is true, I wonder if this guy is selling a product similar to this 30-watt “station in a suitcase” marketed by a Canadian firm. The price (nearly $4,000!) is way too steep for what you actually get, but hey, maybe people will pay a premium for easily-assembled gear designed with maximum mobility in mind. Those who can afford the initial price tag can also purchase some cool add-ons for the rig, like a solar power conversion kit and a 100-watt amplifier.
And finally: one of the flagship AM radio stations involved in the tests of the IBOC digital radio standard is offering the public a chance to compare its traditional analog AM sound to its new “HD Radio” signal. WOR 710 in New York has published .WAV files online of program snippets as broadcast in both analog and digital mode.
The files, which feature both talk and music, make for an interesting listen. While there is definitely more dynamic range to the audio of the digital signal, it comes at the expense of artifact noise, leaving one with the impression that they are listening to a mid-bandwidth webcast or poorly-encoded MP3 file.
This, apparently, is the best that IBOC can do for AM. A comment spotted on another Usenet thread summed up my own sentiments well: “And they call this ‘FM quality?’ That’s like calling an Easy Bake Oven ‘gourmet chef quality.'”