Rootio Radio Station
Grassroots Radio for Community Input and Output
Rootio is an open-source radio broadcasting solution that is a combination of off-the-shelf hardware, cloud software, and a smartphone app.
Rootio or Grassroots Radio for Community Input and Output is a prototype and open-source radio broadcasting solution that is a combination of off-the-shelf hardware, cloud software, and a smartphone app. Rootio can be heard through a traditional FM receiver. It is possible to participate in the radio through a simple phone call.
Rootio is the main distributor and is supported by a peer network of radio station hosts. Rootio is located in Portugal.
The price of hardware for an established antenna and broadcasting station is $1,700 – $1,800 USD with plans to lower costs to near $800 – $900 USD. Interview with representative
The price of hardware for a bucket system and antenna is roughly $500 USD. FM Transmitter: $250 USD, Samsung smartphone: $75 USD, Connectors and computer fan: $10 USD, Antenna: $30 USD, Cable: $100-$150 USD. These prices vary slightly across regions.
For users without access to electricity, low capacity (15-30 W) power generation technology will also need to be purchased.
In certain cases, users interested in broadcasting will need to pay for an FM broadcasting license. Rootio has worked with Ugandan officials to eliminate that cost for their users.
Individuals who have the ability to operate the combined smartphone and FM transmitter.
This product needs a Low Power FM Transmitter Antenna to work. Customers can make the antenna by themself following this guideline
Open-source code is available on Github.
As of June 2017, four bucket stations have been running in Northern Uganda. Rootio hopes to launch 12-20 established antenna broadcasting stations in the coming future. Rootio is developing the capacity to quantify the number of listeners on their network.
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)
The Rootio Radio Solution comprises the transmitter antenna + station called “radio in a bucket”, the cloud solution to push Internet content to radio+antenna transmitter and app for content management and technical admin of infrastructure. While the “bucket Rootio Station” includes an FM transmitter, there are no particular specifications. This means that the implementing team can use any FM transmitter that fits in the bucket. The android App is designed and tested only with a Duos or Pocket Galaxy Samsung smartphones, so is suggested to build the “bucket Rootio Station” with these Samsung smartphones.
While guidance on antenna assemble procedures is available here, guidance on “radio in a bucket” assemble procedures are yet to be published.
Technical support is provided by Rootio. Email: email@example.com.
Replacement components may be found locally.
The lifecycle depends on each element of the solution and quality of electronics connectors and methods of power generation.
Rootio hopes to increase the reach of broadcast stations and increase the number of users.
Resilient Africa Network has performed a third party evaluation of Rootio.
Lightning is an issue with large antennas. Users must remain cautious with all electrical components and follow standards, guidelines, and local and country regulations.
Large broadcasting towers accompany the radio in a bucket concept and the cloud/app offering.
Csíkszentmihályi C., Mukundane J., 2016. RootIO: ICT + telephony for grassroots radio. IST-Africa Week Conference.
Users are required to comply with the in-country FM regulatory framework to install a radio station. Commonly a license provided by local/country government is needed to broadcast.v
The number of broadcasters and the number of listeners reached.
Watch this video to learn more.
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