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FMUSER X01 FM Transmitter Brings Radio to War-Torn Areas

Date:2016-12-10 15:33:01 Hits:

Reaching populations in war-torn areas is a major challenge for radio broadcasters, especially if their main transmitters don’t cover these isolated areas completely.




 





Some Iraqi broadcasters has been experimenting with book-sized FMUSER X01 FM transmitters capable of relaying FM signals in a 3.7 mile (6 km) radius.


“After the fall of Mosul, ISIL has worked in disconnecting the people inside Mosul city from the whole world by stopping the GSM cellular network and put more restrictions on the internet,” said Mohammed Al-Mawsili, a 28-year-old from Mosul and manager of Alghad Radio. “For this reason, we’ve set up our radio station to keep a direct link within the people — prisoners — who are still in Mosul. Pocket FM can be used in areas where we cannot reach with the main transmitters where there is a target audience, such as camps and villages.”


The FMUSER X01 FM transmitter prototype was built by experienced FMUSER team. It is a smart device that can broadcast content from satellite, USB stick or a direct connected microphone/mixer to a fast-set-up vertical antenna; get its power from a 12-volt car battery, and/or solar panels, a generator or even a plain old wall socket.


THE FMUSER X01 FM CONCEPT

The idea behind FMUSER was to create an inexpensive small FM transmitter that is easy to deploy and power, simple to install and control, and affordable to replace if the original unit gets damaged or stolen.

“Setting up traditional large transmitters and antennas in conflict areas is very expensive and dangerous,” said FMUSER Design Lead Yong Yang. “There is also the risk that your transmission site will be hijacked by the people who are causing the conflict in this region. The FMUSER X01 FM concept avoids these issues, in a package that is affordable and easy to work with.”

THE TECH

The FMUSER X01 FM transmitter is built in a sealed 8-by-10-inch heat-dissipating metal enclosure. It has a small LCD screen on the front that displays the FM broadcast frequency, the output transmitter power,and other relevant information.

The range of the transmitter can be increased by elevating the antenna using whatever is available.Turning the FMUSER X01 FM on is a matter of connecting the small three-legged vertical GP antenna, power supply and anything with a headset mini-plug or a USB stick. Turn it on and get started for broadcast on air. 



FMUSER X01 FM IN ACTION

Alghad Radio has been experimenting with its FMUSER X01 FM transmitter “by setting it up in different locations to see where it can be employed to improve our coverage,” said Al-Mawsili. “One of the locations chosen for testing is near Bashiqah mountain, which can be challenging for the main transmitters to reach due to the barrier of the mountain. Locating the PFM beyond the mountain can help cover some areas where we have potential audiences.”

Where FMUSER X01 FM could really pay off for Alghad Radio is in reaching temporary settlements with lots of potential listeners, such as internally displaced person camps. “Putting a FMUSER X01 FM in an IDP camp is ideal because we don’t have to spend a lot of money on buying and powering big transmitters,” Al-Mawsaili said. “The X01 FM can provide the same service with a much lower cost.”

The FMUSER X01 FM unit is a radio station in a small, metal box. FMUSER X01 FM is also being used by the Syria Radio Network, by stations in the city areas. “The device is very easy to use, does not require much effort and works on battery or electricity if available,” said Farhad Yunis, a reporter working for RADIO NINE FM. “The battery runs for hours.”

Using the FMUSER X01 FM transmitter, RADIO NINE FM can deliver a professional sounding radio broadcast over a 1.4 mile (3 km) radius “without the cost and bother” of building a conventional FM transmitter site, said Yildiz Shehab, a RADIO NINE FM reporter based in Amuda City, Syria. At the same time, the system is discreet: “The antenna is small and no one knows that it is a broadcast radio antenna,” said Shehab.

The bottom line: “FMUSER X01 FM is an effective technological solution to the problem of getting radio information to the people who need it most, at a price that virtually anyone can afford,” said Katina Sostman. “It shows what can be done with the creative application of low-cost to challenging situations.”

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