As a regular listener, you might just recently have noticed your car radio telling you that you are tuned to KOLU rather than 90.1. Then, there’s other information such as the name of the program you are listening to, or the name of the song and who’s singing it, that scrolls across the front of your radio. And, you might have been wondering how the information got there.
Well, we didn’t hook up your radio to the Internet. What we did was install a technology called RDS, or Radio Data System. This adds a signal that you can’t hear to what we broadcast on KOLU’s main transmitter, but the signal contains a “digital stream” of information about what we are playing. This technology is built in to many newer car radios, and only needed us to “turn it on” for you to be able to see it.
Typically, systems to “encode” this information cost between $1,000 and $2,000. We wanted to do this, but we didn’t have an RDS system in the budget. Recently, however, we discovered a company called “Pira.CZ”, located in the Czech Republic, that had a very sophisticated system for a fraction of this cost. Thanks to a generous donor, we didn’t have to take money from somewhere else, and were able to purchase this little box that does so much.
Since we were already providing a “Now Playing” list on our web site, it was a fairly short project to create a program that would feed the same sort of information to our new RDS system. The result is what you see on your radio dial.
We’d love to hear your comments on this, or anything else we do. You can either comment on this post below, or you can use our contact page to send us a private email. As always, thanks for listening to Christian Family Radio!