Friday, August 24, 2007

OpenFM: Open source FM radio station

Adapted Consulting has recently released an open source FM radio station for community radio in rural areas.

Some very cool features:
- Transmitter costs under $1200, which is one of cheapest transmitters available so far
- Dust, heat, humidity resistant
- Runs from 12V batteries charged by solar power
- Receives stereo input from a computer, which can be a Via ITX box or maybe even a Soekris
- Computer can run mixing and editing software such as Campcaster or Audacity
- Software is also provided for account and bill maintenance at the community radio station, fetching of rss feeds from the Internet, and publication of news feeds.

This is great, but it will be even more wonderful to see FM PCI card transmitters that can run from the Via or Soekris box itself. This should reduce the total cost drastically.

Apparently, these are the same group of people who wrote the book on wireless networking for the developing world. They have an office in Toronto as well.

They also have a solution called Iota PC for rural telecenters that supports basic caching functions for wikipedia, google alerts, email, rss feeds, and website mirroring. And a reporting tool called TeleScope, which generates reports on the hourly usage, connection speeds, websites visited at the telecenter, etc.