Cheap IRLP Amateur Radio
IRLP is the Internet Radio Linking Project. This article is about setting-up a low cost communication solution that blends both the new as well as some older (yet far less expensive) communication equipment.
The system can be used for music broadcasting, as well as emergency communication/relief work. It may be also used in developing countries where the communication infrastructure is censurized. In this case, radio stations transmitting from a neighbouring country (or from the high seas) can make sure the information still reaches the population of these censurized countries. It may also be used by land-based regular amateur radio-operators in countries that are not censurized yet who do not have much means to make lengthy broadcasts themselves and/or have regular digital radio (DAB, ...). In the latter case, they can use DRM or packet radio or even AM or FM (in case of AM/FM, at closer range).
All music genres (hereby thus including even less known music songs/artists) and information (e.g. international/unbiased news bulletins) should be available to everyone. The best way to do so is through the use of a free (24hr) internet radio station that collects all broadcasts and by combining it with digital radio receivers that can pick up the broadcasts from radio stations transmitting these internet radio broadcast via DAB, packet radio or digital radio mondiale (DRM), or alternatively via regular AM (it can then be picked up using regular AM radios or even crystal radios). The last option doesn't offer that good a quality though, and range may be reduced.
In order to accomplish this, and be able to present a great number of songs/news info to the listener, a cooperation between internet radio stations such as the World Music Network, Putumayo World Music, digital7, and Calabashmusic might be used..
Note that a handheld PC (UMPC) can also be used as a receiver and can be used in coordance with the project described. This device may also be used as the receiver radio and might also provide allot of other functions aswell. These include a hookup to a cheap base-education system and system for low-cost wireless internet access. These two latter may be achieved using some special (low-cost) technology implementations as do-it-yourself WiFi masts and diy projectors (see under "CAD models").
Alternative communication method
The alternative communication method depicted in the Wireless internet access system article can also be used. This as it allows much more potential as it is easier to achieve, a downside of this system (and the reason why this design exists) is that it may be more expensive to build and/or operate (operation is more expensive due to the high costs of broadband internet access, and the fact that internet radio broadcasts are often very large files to download -even with broadband-). For communities this might not be an issue as costs can be shared/spread, but for private people the wireless internet access system might be more interesting.
- Internet Radio Linking Project-article; although IRLP isn't used in a normal setup outlined above, it did inspire this idea as it too combines digital with analogue radio. It should be mentioned it could be used, as another relay between a radio station with internet access (to download the internet radio broadcasts) and radio stations that have no digital radio transmission capability whatsoever (only transmit via AM, ...), but are set up to receive IRLP broadcasts from another radio station with internet access.
- Packet radio
- Digital Radio Mondiale
- Cheap DIY cristal radio's
- Cheap DIY radio station set-up (which may be used to erect "base-stations" for use with the suggested project quickly and cheaply)