Pocket FM is a flexible FM broadcasting solution for easy deployment, installation, and setup. It was developed to be adaptable to scenarios with complex characteristics like refugee camps, areas with civil wars, and disaster zones. It serves as an interface between internet and radio by receiving cloud-based radio programs via a satellite connection and then re-transmitting them using FM waves.
The Pocket FM costs 2,700 Euro per unit. Taxes and transportation not included are not included in price.
Goal #9: “Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation, by developing quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure (…) to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all” and Goal #16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
The target users are trained individuals (i.e. radio professionals) and organizations interested in information dissemination in situations and regions where communication is difficult including refugee camps, areas experiencing civil wars, and disaster zones.
Pocket FM is built with a FM transmitter based on a Raspberry Pi computer and a circuit board at the heart of its technology.
This is a proprietary product provided by Media in Cooperation and Transition (MiCT), a German Non-Profit Organization based in Berlin with offices in Tunisia and in Iraq.
The radio is provided directly through their web page. The package includes: Pocket FM 3rd generation, 15V/9.6A AC/DC power converter, FM broadband antenna, antenna mount, 20m antenna cable and audio cables
AM or FM
Where is the information that is being transmitted in the radio coming from? Radio station, cloud-based content, mobile or other source.
Is there an option to access this device remotly/online? If yes, specify the technology (Internet, GSM, etc)
How can users access the radio content broadcasted by this device? Radio receiver (personal radio), Internet (computer, phone), etc
What is the range/distance that the radio can reach when transmitted?
Does the device has capabilities to manage content remotly/through the Internet? If yes, specify the technology (Internet, GSM, etc)
Pocket FM features a 25W FM transmitter which can, with the included antenna system properly installed, reach out in a radius up to 8km. The device measures ca. 20x20x13 cm, is made from black aloxized aluminium, and the casing is a fanless, passive cooling design, which protects the box from dust and moisture. The transmitter is powered with 10 up to 15V, so it can be used with the included power adapter as well as with a car battery or in connection with a solar system, and includes a satellite receiver, a Wi-Fi module, a GSM/3G module and a position tracker. The device can also be audio fed through standard RCA analog-in.
Custom software runs on Raspberry Pi and been combined with various digital features to allow for remote controlling of the device via SMS, GSM/3G, satellite connection or WiFi, as well as determining the precise location of each device through GPS. This offers a way of transferring essential information by receiving cloud-based radio programs (i.e. internet-delivered content) via a satellite connection and then re-transmitting them using FM waves. A nearly unlimited range of programs can be broadcasted in difficult-to-reach, poorly connected regions or emergency situations worldwide. Powered by a small solar panel, the solution requires minimal maintenance and can run practically without interruption.
Pocket FM has a warranty policy for those who acquire the transmitter.
Product technical specifications are: – Weight ca. 3.4 kg – Measurements ca. 20 x 20 x 13 cm – 25W FM stereo transmitter – Power supply DC 10-15V, ca. 5A maximum power consumption – GPS – DVB-S tuner – Wi-Fi – Stereo RCA analog-in – GSM/SMS remote control – 3G data connection – Browser based remote control (provided with software update)
Pocket FM has been developed by Berlin based NGO MiCT and is in prototype testing in Syria, Iraq and Sierra Leone since early of 2015.
Tested by manufacturer.
Pocket FM energy can be provided by traditional energy grid, solar panel, battery or an hybrid solution for back-up energy availability. MiCT facilitates purchase of the necessary hardware from partnering industry manufacturers of solar and wind energy systems. Additionally, a satellite dish can be added to a Pocket FM to re-broadcast provided programs to a larger network of remotely installed Pocket FMs.
To install a radio station is required to comply with in-country FM regulatory framework. Commonly a licenses provided by local/country government is needed in order to broadcast.
Number of broadcasters, number of listeners reached.
There is available on YouTube a video interview by the MiCT participants on the project.
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