If the pandemic does not spoil many of the fun and games of this summer, many of my friends will go to the MCH hacker camp in the Netherlands earlier this month. I have an idea for a game designed for events. A friend and I plan to secretly build a set of low-power FM transmitters around the camp as a digital station for players to find and solve the digital puzzles they will transmit. I even bought some cheap FM transmitter modules from China for evaluation, and sent chip music Rick Astley in a residential area in Northamptonshire and had a great time.
For me, I am a person who grew up on FM radio, and played a teenager’s voice in the sound of BBC Radio 1 FM. It is absolutely meaningful to do a puzzle in this way, but it’s me personally Reminder, as the years go by, I found that some of my friends hold different opinions on this matter. Of course, they thought it was a good idea, but they kindly reminded me that now children don’t listen to any traditional radio stations, but play their music, so few people have a way to listen to my number station. Even for me, it is something I only use for BBC Radio 4 in the car, and the rest of traversing the FM dial is to listen to a selection of easy listening, old songs and classical music. It is becoming a medium for the elderly, and inevitably like the previous AM, it will eventually decline.
There are two perspectives that may deter random hackers; first, see what it means from the perspective of broadcasting and radio spectrum, and then how it has affected some of our projects.
Turn to digital for the disappearing audience
In July, we marked the closure of the last few analog NTSC television stations on the North American continent. These adherents are the so-called “FrankenFM” radio station, whose sound subcarrier is located directly below the FM broadcast band, so it can be received by the receiver at the bottom of the FM dial to provide services to a niche audience. Strangely, if you live nearby, you will notice that it has not disappeared, because although analog TV has been discontinued, the FM carrier still exists due to a special quirk in the ATSC 3.0 digital broadcasting standard, which allows broadcasters to This channel emits a narrower digital multiplex next to the analog audio. But considering the demographic transition of young listeners from FM mentioned in the previous paragraph, have they won the right to stay in a radio band? Their lives are just as few as the NTSC TV channel that just closed
In the United States, there is a small move towards HD radio As the ultimate digital alternative to FM, whether it is simulcast with analog radio or only as a digital radio, the DAB standard has different influences in Europe and elsewhere.The Republic of Ireland completely abandoned DAB, and Norway has completely abandoned FM Regarding the new system, the government’s ambitious conversion plan in the UK has been met with indifference from the public, mainly because as the first adopter of DAB, the country largely adhered to its inferior first version. Therefore, as young listeners grow up and no longer use their radios, and many governments around the world are still urging the shift to digitalization, the feeling that the FM era is already numbered will only deepen.
Final simulation first project
So if FM is slowly getting rid of this mortal coil, what does this mean for our community? Do many of us listen to FM radio? Maybe one or two of us will do this, but the impact I think of is not the older hacker. The analog radio has a useful feature, that is, it can be accessed using simple and easy-to-understand components, so it is still one of the entry medicines for introducing young people into electronic products.
In the old days, an introductory project might be a crystal radio, although with the decline of AM radios and point contact diodes becoming rare, it may have been eliminated, but it is still common to make FM transmitters with one or two transistors , Or even a clock generator for the Raspberry Pi. Indeed, kids with Pi today may build a media server for the broadcast experience through a streaming media application, but what matters here is the method rather than the final result. The spark that ignites a lifetime of interest is different for everyone, and it is hard not to feel that one of the sparks is becoming dim. Perhaps in the comments, you have your own ideas about what can attract children who are interested in analog electronic products.
Header: Joe Haupt from the United States, CC BY-SA 2.0.