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Blues Radio International - Articles

Why So Retro?

WHY BROADCAST LIVE BLUES ON A RETRO MEDIUM LIKE SHORTWAVE RADIO?

If you are reading this on a webpage, you are part of a fortunate minority- less than one third of the world's population-that has internet access. Blues Radio International brings the healing power of live Blues to the rest of the world. Shortwave radio does not discriminate based upon wealth or access to computers. Shortwave radio cannot be censored by any government, and no one can prevent a radio signal from being heard. While we have a substantial number of urban listeners, our signal travels to the most remote regions of the world, and reaches those in the desert or in the middle of an ocean. 

WRMI simultaneously streams all of its programs in real time at www.wrmi.net. For CD quality sound, you can listen to nearly one hundred of our past live Blues broadcasts from our archives.




How Shortwave Radio Works

HOW SHORTWAVE RADIO BROADCASTS COVER THE EARTH AND TRAVEL INTO SPACE

Broadcasts in the portion of the frequency spectrum used by Blues Radio International have the capability of being heard worldwide due to a phenomenon unique to shortwave radio. Shortwave signals can bounce downward off of the ionosphere, allowing transmissions to "skip" thousands of miles between continents.

Due to the multi-layered structure of the ionospheric layer, propagation can take place on several different paths, with several different skips, simultaneously. This effect peaks shortly after sunset in the broadcast location. Our transmissions are scheduled after nightfall in South Florida, when the ionosphere is charged for increased range. The Blues Radio International broadcast frequency and time are optimal for maximum international coverage.

Space weather also can affect our broadcasts. During periods of increased sunspot activity, massive amounts of electrical energy are emitted, affecting communications on earth. One effect is to increase dramatically the range of of shortwave transmissions.

Our broadcasts also are intergalactic. Unlike internet transmission, which is earthbound, AM broadcast signals actually travel into outer space. The first radio broadcasts, over a century ago, have now traveled over 100 light years to the nearest planets thought by scientists to support life forms. At the end of the 21st Century, it is possible that other civilizations will be enjoying terrestrial Blues on Blues Radio International.

WITH SUCH A POWERFUL TRANSMITTER IN MIAMI, WHY CAN'T YOU EVEN HEAR THE BROADCAST IN PARTS OF SOUTH FLORIDA?

Curiously, the same special conditions that allow shortwave signals to reach the world create gaps in coverage near even powerful transmitters. Listeners close to South Florida with reception gaps may access the broadcast through the WRMI internet stream at www.wrmi.net.