September 15, 2013 by Rebecca Kemble
On Saturday, September 14, 2013 Madison’s community-owned and -operated radio station WORT made history with it’s first solar-powered broadcast.
The broadcast was part of the anti-commercial, pro-community Boombox the Wasteland event that “seeks to reclaim and revitalize the unused space at Union Corners, on Winnebago and S. Sixth St., by creating an atmosphere of community and vitality. The live broadcast will infuse the day’s activities, which include roller skating, sculpture, planting, dance troupes, parades, grilling, arts and crafts, double dutch, skateboarding and hanging out.”
People were encouraged to bring their boom boxes and tune them to 89.9 fm to amplify WORT’s broadcast of an eclectic mix of a wide variety of music throughout the neighborhood.
The juice for the broadcasting equipment began with two photovoltaic panels atop an H&H van:
The electricity powered all the DJ, mixing and transmission equipment at WORT’s table:
WORT Operations Coordinator Norman Stockwell explains how the signals from the mixing board are decoded into digital form for transmission over a wireless device back to the studio:
The signals were sent through an internet hotspot back to the station, where they were sent back out through the airwaves via the transmission tower:
From the station the signals were transmitted back to the dozens and dozens of boomboxes scattered throughout the wasteland:
A grand time was had by all.