30 September 2011

Off the beaten track: FM radio's manifestation in 2011

In one of my earlier posts, I had written about how I  used to enjoy shortwave listening. This post is somewhat related to this hobby.

Like most Indians, I used to be very homesick when I worked abroad in the '80s and '90s. Thanks to my SONY ICF-7600DA receiver. It gave me a very good company.

Besides, it could easily be charged by using my car battery even during my outings without any problem. Whenever I bought a new car, I used to remove the cigarette lighter from the dashboard and replace it by my SONY receiver and Nikon TW2 camera.

There were problems of reception quality at times, paticularly when listening to FM and AM frequencies, which any way was quite normal, as DXer would know.

When working in Southern Africa, in late '80s and late '90s, I used to receive a number of FM radio stations such as Radio Jacaranda and Radio Lotus. Radio Lotus used to air on 87.7 MHz. I remember with nostalgia, as to how I used to long for its Sunday morning programmes containing old Telugu and Tamil film songs. Though the reception from its 10 kW transmitter from distant Durban was not of good quality, I used to solve the problem by fiddling around the antenna of my receiver. I liked Radio Lotus mainly because it brought back pleasant memories with its film songs which were popular during my boyhood years in India.

As I had a lot of spare time especially during weekends, I could quench my thrist for writing. I used to contribute to  `Short Wave Magazine', published by P W Publishing Ltd (which also used to publish `Practical Wireless') on an almost regular basis, thanks to columnists Ron Ham and Brian Oddy and my portable typewriter.

Difficulty in accessing FM stations is a matter of history nowadays, thanks to post internet technology.  Today we can listen to any broadcast or telecast from any part of the world just at the click of a mouse.

One such broadcast is from Radio Jaagriti from the beautiful islands of Trinidad in the West Indies. This radio station is a project of Trinidad Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha. It's a pleasure listening to Hindu devotional songs with 100% audio clarity without any technical problem, even in my simple notebook.

Well, coming back to our local scenario here in India, I am yet to come across an exclusive FM station broadcasting good devotional songs in Chennai (where I am permanently settled) or in Gujarat (where I work). 

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About Me

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Chennai, Tamilnadu, India
I am a retired K-12 Education Management Professional. I have worked at different levels in K-12 school systems, textbook publishing, elearning and Education NGOs. I have held memberships in The Association for Science Education (UK), American Association of Physics Teachers and The Malaysian Institute of Physics. I hold a 1st class B Sc Degree in Physics followed by B Ed [English and Physical Science] and M A [Childcare and Education] degrees. My published works include 59 articles in teacher development magazines in India and the US and a book entitled `Creative Classrooms and Child Friendly Schools' (listed in Amazon). This book is almost an anecdotal account of my professional experience in six countries (including Cambodia where I worked as Technical Adviser to the Ministry of Education, Youth And Sports). I served as mentor in the Certificate of Teaching Mastery Program offered by Teachers Without Borders.