Best radio?

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Best radio?

Postby petemccall » Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:51 pm

Have any of you guys tried to pick up English broadcasts in bush Alaska? Is this possible? What's the best radio brand and type?
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Re: Best radio?

Postby Johncn » Tue Jul 04, 2017 10:03 am

Hello,

I assume you are referring to broadcasts from England? Not broadcasts in English language? Most radio broadcasts in Alaska are in English.

There is a statewide series of repeaters that rebroadcast NPR and other Alaska Public Radio programs statewide. You can also listen online to AKPRN broadcasts here:

http://www.alaskapublic.org/

Commercial and religious stations also exist in the Bush. Some regional hub villages have their own radio stations that are quite popular in certain areas, and have programming as varied as rap, rock, country, polka and bluegrass. Among the most interesting are the shows that have existed for many years and pre-date rural phone service and in the Internet called "Bushline" or "Open Line" programs. These handle messages phoned in or emailed (or Tweeted) for "happy birthday" greetings, get well wishes, and "shout outs" from people in Village X to people in Village Y. There are also sometimes shows that offer local items for sale that listeners send in.

As far as shortwave broadcasts, reception is often quite good, and we know many Alaska residents who have "ham" sets, or listen to portable multiple-band radios to see what is being reflected off the ionosphere. ;-)

Neither Sirius nor XM offer service officially in Alaska, but many Alaskans we know have used addresses in the Lower 48 to buy a satellite radio and do get some portion of the broadcasts. Sometimes it's great. Depends on view of the Southern sky, basically. The farther North you go, the spottier the reception. I used mine in Unalakleet (near Nome) and got most of the stations.

Hope this helps. If I am missing some part of your question, feel free to restate it.

Regards,

John
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Re: Best radio?

Postby petemccall » Tue Jul 04, 2017 1:20 pm

Thank you for the response. I assumed most of the stations in Alaska are in English. I was wondering about Canadian or maybe Russian - English language broadcast. I didn't think about repeater stations and I know in the New Orleans area past 100 miles away your generally out of luck. I didn't even think about satellite radio. Is it possible in places on the western central cost? I might look into that. I'm not a radio person but I knew a shortwave can pickup stations all over the world. What type of radio do you recommend? A cheap general radio, a cheap SW radio or is it worth it to get an expensive one?

Kind of off topic but does DISH TV offer an internet service? Thank you!
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Re: Best radio?

Postby Johncn » Tue Jul 04, 2017 8:59 pm

Hello,

Well, having a shortwave or other radio in rural Alaska is not something EVERYONE needs. But, the multi-band radio I own and recommend for casual use is this one that retails for $80-$90, runs a long time on batteries when traveling, and accepts an external antenna connection for boosting range and variety.

https://www.amazon.com/Skywave-Shortwave-Weather-Airband-Portable/dp/B00QMTI6YK

Crane CC Skywave Shortwave Radio
Image

External Antenna:
https://www.amazon.com/Sangean-ANT-60-Short-Wave-Antenna/dp/B000023VW2/

You will want to wait until you get there to set up anything for your Internet. See what others use, get the facts once you are on the ground.

As far as Internet in general, there are multiple providers, but you don't want a satellite provider unless that is your only option. Depending on the village, get GCI or one of the other terrestrial providers if all possible. GCI has (and continues to) bring fiber connections to rural Alaska with their Terra projects, and there are other players in the last couple of years launching similar efforts involving undersea fiber cables. Don't expect the kind of speed, or low cost, or "all you can eat" streaming like you are used to with your cable provider currently, but Internet options are still far, far expanded beyond what they were in rural Alaska even a few years ago. You won't (in all likliehood) have trouble getting decent connectivity.

Regards,

John
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