¥ Guerrilla Radio
¥ Guerrilla Television
Under FCC Low Power Transmission Regulations, it is legal to broadcast on the AM band without even obtaining a license, if you transmit with 100 milliwatts of power or less on a free band space that doesn’t interfere with a licensed station. You are further allowed up to a 12-foot antenna or the use of carrier-current transmission (regular electric wall outlets). Using this legal set-up, you can broadcast from a 2 to 20 block radius depending on how high up you can locate your antenna and the density of tall buildings in the area.Carrier-current broadcasting consists of plugging the transmitter into a regular wall socket. It draws power in the same way as any other electrical appliance, and feeds its signal into the power line allowing the broadcast to be heard on any AM radio tuned into the operating frequency. The transmitter can be adjusted to different frequencies until a clear band is located. The signal will travel over the electrical wiring until it hits a transformer where it will be erased. The trouble with this method is that in large cities, almost every large office or apartment building has a transformer. You should experiment with this method first, but if you are in a city, chances are you’ll need an antenna rigged up on the roof. Anything over twelve feet is illegal, but practice has shown that the FCC won’t hassle you if you don’t have commercials and refrain from interfering with licensed broadcasts. There are some cats in Connecticut broadcasting illegally with a 100-foot antenna over a thirty mile radius for hours on end and nobody gives them any trouble. Naturally if you insist upon using dirty language, issuing calls to revolution, broadcasting bombing information, interfering with above ground stations and becoming too well known, the FCC is going to try and knock you out. There are penalties that have never been handed out of up to a year in jail. It’s possible you could get hit with a conspiracy rap, which could make it a felony, but the opinion of movement lawyers now is a warning if you’re caught once, and a possible fine with stiffer penalties possible for repeaters that are caught.If it gets really heavy, you could still broadcast for up to 15 minutes without being pin-pointed by the FCC sleuths. By locating your equipment in a panel truck and broadcasting from a fixed roof antenna, you can make it almost impossible for them to catch you by changing positions.There has been a variety of transmitting equipment used, and the most effective has been found to be an AM transmitter manufactured by
Low Power Broadcasting Co., 520 Lincoln Highway,
Frazer, Penn. 19355.
Call Dick Crompton at (215 NI 4-4096. The right transmitter will run about $200. If you plan to use carrier-current transmission you’ll also need a capacitor that sells for $30. An antenna can be made out of aluminum tubing and antenna wiring available at any TV radio supply store (see diagram). You’ll also need a good microphone that you can get for about $10. Naturally, equipment for heavier broadcasting is available if a member of your group has a license or good connections with someone who works in a large electronics supply house. Also with a good knowledge in the area you can build a transmitter for a fraction of the purchase price. You can always employ tape recorders, turntables and other broadcasting hardware depending on how much bread you have, how much stuff you have to hide (i.e., how legal your operation is) and the type of broadcasting you want to do.It is possible to extend your range by sending a signal over the telephone lines to other transmitters which will immediately rebroadcast. Several areas in a city could be linked together and even from one city to another. Theoretically, if enough people rig up transmitters and antennas at proper locations and everyone operates on the same band, it is possible to build a nation-wide people’s network that is equally theoretically legal.Broadcasting, it should be remembered, is a one-way transmission of information. Communications which allow you to transmit and receive are illegal without a license (ham radio).
There are a number of outlaw radio projects going on around the country. Less frequent, but just as feasible, is a people’s television network. Presently there are three basic types of TV systems: Broadcast, which is the sending of signals directly from a station’s transmitter to home receiver sets; Cable, where the cable company employees extremely sensitive antenna to pick up broadcast transmissions and relay them and/or they originate and send them; and thirdly, Closed Circuit TV, such as the surveillance cameras in supermarkets, banks and apartment house lobbies.The third system as used by the pigs is of little concern, unless we are interested in not being photographed. The cameras can be temporarily knocked out of commission by flashing a bright light (flashbulb, cigarette lighter, etc.) directly in front of its lens. For our own purposes, closed-circuit TV can be employed for broadcasting rallies, rock concerts or teach-ins to other locations. The equipment is not that expensive to rent and easy to operate. Just contact the largest television or electronics store in your area and ask about it. There are also closed-circuit and cable systems that work in harmony to broadcast special shows to campuses and other institutions. Many new systems are being developed and will be in operation soon.Cable systems as such are in use only in a relatively few areas. They can be tapped either at the source or at any point along the cable by an engineer freak who knows what to do. The source is the best spot, since all the amplification and distribution equipment of the system is available at that point. Tapping along the cable itself can be a lot hairier, but more frustrating for the company when they try to trace you down.Standard broadcasting that is received on almost all living room sets works on an RF (radio frequency) signal sent out on various frequencies which correspond to the channels on the tuner. In no area of the country are all these channels used. This raises important political questions as to why people do not have the right to broadcast on unused channels. By getting hold of a TV camera (Sony and Panasonic are the best for the price) that has an RF output, you can send pictures to a TV set simply by placing the camera cable on or near the antenna of the receiver set. When the set is operating on the same channel as the camera, it will show what the camera sees. Used video tape recorders such as the Sony CV series that record and play back audio and video information are becoming more available. These too can be easily adapted to send RF signals the same as a live camera.Whether or not the program to be broadcasted is live or on tape, there are three steps to be taken in order to establish a people’s TV network. First, you must convert the video and audio signals to an RF frequency modulated (FM) signal corresponding to the desired broadcast channel. We suggest for political and technical reasons that you pick one of the unused channels in your area to begin experimenting. The commercial stations have an extremely powerful signal and can usually override your small output. Given time and experience you might want to go into direct competition with the big boys on their own channel. It is entirely possible, say in a 10 to 20 block radius, to interrupt a presidential press-conference with more important news. Electronic companies, such as Jerrold Electronics Corp., 4th and Walnut Sts., Philadelphia, Pa., make equipment that can RF both video and audio information onto specific channels. The device you’d be interested in is called a cable driver or RF modulator. When the signal is in the RF state, it is already possible to broadcast very short distances. The second step is to amplify the signal so it will reach as far as possible. A linear amplifier of the proper frequency is required for this job. The stronger the amplifier the farther and more powerful the signal. A 10-watt job will cover approximately 5 miles (line of sight) in area. Linear amplifiers are not that easily available, but they can be constructed with some electrical engineering knowledge. The third step is the antenna, which if the whole system is to be mobile to avoid detection, is going to involve some experimentation and possible camouflage. Two things to keep in mind about an antenna are that it should be what is technically referred to as a “di-pole” antenna (see diagram) and since TV signals travel on line of sight, it is important to place the antenna as high as possible. Although it hasn’t been done in practice, it certainly is possible to reflect pirate signals off an make equipment that can RF both video and audio existing antenna of a commercial network. This requires a full knowledge of broadcasting; however, any amateur can rig up an antenna, attach it to a helium balloon and get it plenty high. For most, the roof of a tall building will suffice. If you’re really uptight about your operation, the antenna can be hidden with a fake cardboard chimney.We realize becoming TV guerrillas is not everyone’s trip, but a small band with a few grand can indeed pull it off. There are a lot of technical freaks hanging around recording studios, guitar shops, hi-fi stores and engineering schools that can be turned on to the project. By showing them the guidelines laid out here, they can help you assemble and build various components that are difficult to purchase (i.e., the linear amplifier). Naturally, by building some of the components, the cost of the operation is kept way down. Equipment can be purchased in selective electronics stores. You’ll need a camera, VTR, RF modulator, linear amplifier and antenna. Also a generator, voltage regulator and an alternator if you want the station to be mobile. One of the best sources of information on both television and radio broadcasting is the Radio Amateur’s Handbook published by the American Radio Relay League, Newington, Conn. 06611 and available for $4.50. The handbook gives a complete course in electronics and the latest information on all techniques and equipment related to broadcasting. Back issues have easy to read do-it-yourself TV transmitter diagrams and instructions. Also available is a publication called Radical Software, put out by Raindance Corp., 24 E. 22nd St., New York, N.Y., with the latest info on all types of alternative communications. Guerrilla TV is the vanguard of the communications revolution, rather than the avant-garde cellophane light shows and the weekend conferences. One pirate picture on the sets in Amerika’s living rooms is worth a thousand wasted words. With the fundamentals in this field mastered, you can rig up all sorts of shit. Cheap twenty-dollar tape recorders can be purchased and outfitted with a series of small loud-speakers. Concealed in a school auditorium or other large hall, such a system can blast out any message or music you wish to play. The administration will go insane trying to locate the operation if it is well hidden. We know two cats who rigged a church with this type of setup and a timing device. Right in the middle of the sermon, on came Radio Heaven and said stuff like “Come on preacher, this is God, you don’t believe all that crap now, do you?” It made for an exciting Sunday service, all right. You can build a miniature transmitter and with a small magnet attach it to the underbelly of a police car to keep track of where it’s going. This would only be practical in a small town or on a campus where there are only a few security guards or patrol vehicles. If you rigged a small tape recorder to the transmitter and tuned it to a popular AM band, the patrol car as it rode around could actually broadcast the guerrilla message you prerecorded. Wouldn’t they be surprised when they found out how you did it? You can get a “Bumper Beeper” and receiver that are constructed by professionals for use by private detectives. The dual unit costs close to $400. If you’ve got that kind of bread, you can write John Bomar, 6838 No. 3rd Ave., Phoenix, Arizona 85013 for a catalogue and literature. Even though there are laws governing the area of sneaky surveillance, telephone taps, tracking devices and the like, a number of enterprising firms produce an unbelievable array of electronic hardware that allows you to match Big Brother’s ears and eyes. Sugar cube transmitters, tie clasp microphones, phone taps, tape recorders that work in a hollowed-out book and other Brave New World equipment is available from the following places. Send for their catalogues just to marvel at the level of technology. R. B. Clifton, 1150 NW 7th Ave., Miami, Fla. 33168; Electrolab Corp., Bank of Stateboro Building, Stateboro, Ga. 30458; or Tracer Investigative Products, Inc., 256 Worth. Ave., Palm, Beach, Fla. 33482.By the way, you can pick up Radio Hanoi on a short wave radio every day from 3:00 to 3:30 PM at 15013 kilocycles on the 19 meter band.