(Computer problems and an outing with friends prevented the normal posting, sorry.)
Hello Wasteland! Enjoyed t this morning's music? Ok, well for our lunch time break, we're going to answer a few questions sent to us by listeners.
The big one I get is why we don't expand our coverage or have a SPHERE version. Well, we're lacking three pieces of equipment necessary to do that. If you happen to have a nuclear power plant, a communications satellite, and a rocket that put it into geosynchronous orbit - and care to donate them to us - let me know.
We are already supplied with photovoltaic panels and those helical wind generators. However, this station was meant for civil defense flash messages, not long radio shows, and we've already boosted transmission power beyond the normal settings. There are no nighttime broadcasts because we're charging the battery banks.
Then of course, there is the matter of visible horizon. we've already set up a few extra towers about as high as two people without much special equipment can - we kind of improvised some pulleys and scaffolding - our first broadcast was a good five or six months after we go here. And we're already covering a pretty large area - nominally somewhere between 100 and 150 miles away, though that is dependent on atmospheric conditions, interference, even the time of day. Technically, we could get a better range at night - but how many of you would be awake to here it then. AM transmission is weird like that. Oh, and Hi-Fi FM would be pretty much line of sight, and thus a lower range, so once again - we think reaching the listener is more important than technical limitations.
So without a NEST sized antenna fed by a nuclear pile, we're a bit limited, and as usual - ask that our listeners make recordings and pass the information on.
As to the sphere - well, that is based on computers an order of magnitude more powerful than the old dust covered machines we have here. Heck, two of the three are still binary - which causes a few headaches, but well, you know what they say about a gift civil defense shack in the middle of nowhere...
Anyway - AM is inadequate to transmitting that kind of data, and the kind of connects we do need are kind of gone. EMP from the event, space junk, deliberate citizen anti-satellite actions, and the simple lack of maintenance communication to remind the probes to change orbit to avoid atmospheric slowing and debris means there is no satellite network. Some of you in big cities might be able to find hubs for the old undersea cables - provided you have the know-how, and natural disaster or other problems haven't compromised them yet.
For the rest of you, communication has shrunk to a pretty small area. Five to ten miles with small comm devices, two three times that with better grade stuff. The transmission equipment atop a NEST should have a horizon of a few hundred miles -but since they're not broadcasting, I'm guessing those antennas were melted during the event.
On to another question about broadcasting - we have no affiliation with those religious broadcasts from New Birmingham. What we have heard about them is mostly second hand, and frankly, less than glowing. However, we try to be non-partisan here, and some sort of functioning city-state is better than living hand-to-mouth or not living at all, so its really not our place to say anything about them. We're willing to host representatives, though its a long way between here and Alabama.
In fact, I should point out, we are not affiliated with anyone, and our only endorsement is better you work together than hang separately.