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Readers Weigh in Here

Low-power thoughts


Thank you for the Tesla article (“Teslathon Isn’t About Expensive Cars,” April 8). As noted in the article, Tesla was truly the father of radio. I am glad to see such an article to instill his work on the bones of younger readers.

The article mentions the similarity of Tesla’s resonant transformer (i.e., the Tesla coil) to the design of spark radio transmitters. However, I would like to point out the design also resembles the schematic of most switching power supplies, a technology that is far more “current” (pun noted but not deliberated) than spark transmitters.

Rolf Taylor
Rocket Engineering and Consulting
Annandale, Va.


In your April 22 edition, reader Paul C. Hedberg writes that the majority of LPFMs “are doing niche ethnic programming.”

The Radio Mall database only lists seven stations meeting that description. It does list 257 carrying Christian programming. Most of those are owned by churches. This should come as no surprise, as most people live a relatively short distance from the church they attend.

Dave Dworkin
Radio Mall
Minneapolis, Minn.

Editor’s note: Radio Mall maintains a database of 16,500 FCC-licensed radio stations on the air in the U.S. and its possessions.


On Wednesday, April 8, a mysterious suitcase was reported to the Dunnellon, Fla., police department, fearing it might be a bomb. Within minutes WDLN was on the air with live reports of the unfolding event.

Reporter Frank Stevens was 1,000 feet from the scene at the local Sonic parking lot, continuing to report events as they happened. The local McDonald’s arches went dark as Dunnellon police evacuated everyone in the building, along with other small businesses in the immediate area. The bomb squad was called in from the Marion County sheriff’s office in Ocala, after examining the suitcase with an X-ray device, then decided to detonate the package in the parking lot. It was amazing to see 40 or more people hovering over a portable radio that someone just happen to have. It was not long before Sonic removed its satellite music service and broadcast WDLN over their PA system.

Although it turned out to be just clothing, what if it really had been a bomb? What if it went off, injuring or killing people? Radio would have been right there with instantaneous information as it was happening to keep the citizens of Dunnellon informed as to the dangers.

Was it perfect? No. Could it have been better? Of course. It was a test that we neither passed nor failed, but we did finish as a good learning experience for local law enforcement and local radio, and demonstrated the importance of a good working relationship.

Dunnellon is served by a local LPFM station and a local newspaper that is published once a week. Everything that happened on the night of April 8 was reported in the April 16 edition of the Riverland news; but if you were around a radio, you knew everything that was happening as it was happening.

Radio did shine on April 8 in Dunnellon, Fla., on a local LPFM station doing its job for the citizens of Dunnellon. With the 2015 hurricane season coming up in Florida, WDLN demonstrated the importance of live and local radio in emergency situations.

Frank Vela
Chief Engineer
Crystal River, Fla.


Responding to “Let’s Take It Back to the Dealer,” April 22 issue:

I’ve lamented for years that radio has done a terrible job of marketing itself. That continues. You can bet the satellite radio companies did a lot of marketing — and today, when you go into a dealership, there’s at least one Sirius display. What about radio? 

In 2013, I bought a new Toyota truck with the “standard” audio system. The sales person never mentioned I could connect my phone to it through Bluetooth. I had to figure that out for myself.

Most major cities have a broadcasters group; it’s time they come up with a plan to infiltrate the dealerships like Sirius did.

“KXXX — Now in stereo in the 2015 Toyota Tundra — no cost!” C’mon — we need to get on the offensive and work some deals, don’t you think?

Dave Mason
Assistant Program Director
San Diego, Calif.