The World's Pioneering Micronational Broadcaster
For the Democratic Commonwealth Union (DCU)
and the world!

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Since December 1998!

Radio SMASH International

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History & Technical Information
(for aspiring Micronational Broadcasters)

For another detail of Radio SMASH in the DCU micronation, please visit the official fandom page here: https://umnations.fandom.com/wiki/Radio_SMASH_International
This is a new section that was produced after requests from other micronations on micronational broadcasting methods.

Throughout the long history of Radio SMASH International, many techonological applications that form the basis of studies in radio transmission, reception and broadcast have been tried, tested and studied to see what their full potential is. All of the equipment diagrams listed is classed as "licence exempt" because its low power does not affect other users on the bands they operate on - In fact most are available at car boot sales and radio supply shops as kid experiment kits or applications like short-range baby monitors, portable FM-in-car transmitters, etc. all of which at the time of writing are covered as "licence exempt" by both EU (under the UK Wireless telegraphy (exemptions) act 2006) and US FCC regulations for very low-power or toy applications..... This makes the equipment perfect for Micronational Broadcasting Applications. So how did it all start?.....

Around 1995, a few crude tape recorded radio variety programmes were produced by DJFM Industries with boredom setting in on the lack of variety on the dial in the Welsh Marches area - Many of these programmes developed and got built up into a complete collection of programmes ready to play continuously between 1996 -1998 (this is when most of the activity of the early DCU was recorded) - Most of the programmes were made using twin cassette deck hi-fi units to transfer music from CD and other tapes, as well as seperate portable tape recorders for recording voice or event programmes. 

The most extensive of these programmes was Radio ZERO, a compilation of both activities and music into a 45 minuite programme - starting in the summer of 1996 with Radio ZERO Number 1 (hear the beginning and end announcements of the first show here),:
Radio ZERO Number 1 intro & outro
-0:52
The Radio Zero programmes made were numerous, with various specials too, making at least 10 pre recorded shows by the end of 1998 that were looped on the air. Unfortunately due to the increased demand for the cassette tapes, many early recordings were recorded over to use again for other programmes - however, those programmes which were being perfected over time would eventually see wider use around Christmas 1998....
BIRTH OF RADIO SMASH (DECEMBER 1998):  After trialling various programme cassettes titled "Radio ZERO", DJFM Industries received it's first AM transmitter in an electronic projects kit. Despite the crudeness of the circuit design and very short transmission distance (a maximum of 2-3 metres polarised according to the positioning of the ferrite antenna) not to mention having to quickly reverse-engineer an announcer's microphone from a crystal earphone, in around 6 days, it was decided to start a fully-scheduled broadcast, complete with test sequences and announcements. Finally, on the morning of December 31st 1998, on 530-540kHz MW in Wormbridge, a voice spoke into the crystal earpiece microphone and said "THIS IS RADIO SMASH", with our theme "Why?" by Tracy Chapman playing for the first time live on air (a theme still unchanged since that day). The sound clip below is an excerpt fromt the beginning of that first broadcast and the historic moment when Radio SMASH was born. Shown on the left is a picture of that very same MW transmitter that is still occassionally used for experimentation purposes, as well as the circuit diagram from the booklet from the original electronic projects lab kit.
First RS MW Broadcast 31st Dec 1998
(First RS MW Broadcast 31st Dec 1998)
-2:00
RADIO SMASH MEDIUM WAVE ERA: Throughout the late 90's and past the millenium, despite the technically very poor transmitter in use, more and more efforts were taken to expand Radio SMASH into a fully scheduled service, with the best reach and fidelity as possible. The earlier Radio ZERO (and it's sister programme Radio CRUNCH) tapes produced between 1996 and 1998 were now placed on a tape carousel in numerical order to be played on a rotary basis to fill the schedule. Experiments were done also on the types of equipment used in order to get the most out of the transmitter set-up - eventually leading to a more recognisable Radio SMASH MW studio being formed (pictured right)

An off-air example of the early Medium Wave transmissions was captured on a pre-recorded tape looking at the live coverage of the 1999 Solar Eclipse - The sound clip below has been digitally enhanced, distinctly hears several Radio ZERO and Radio SMASH programmes being interrupted with live announcements about the solar eclipse.
RSEclipse1999NRExcerpt
-3:55

SECOND RADIO SMASH MW TRANSMITTER  AND THE BEGINNING OF OUTSIDE BROADCASTS

Due to the rise in events in the local area that could be covered, coupled with the receiving in the early 2000's of an improved medium wave transmitter from a second electronic projects kit that is powerful enough to allow simultaneous voice and pre-recorded content transmission, two Radio SMASH services were in operation at any one time. This was extremely useful, including in several live broadcasts, from a 2002 new year special of the improvised comedy "Space Idiots", as well as breaking news concerning a crashed airliner in the US. The first medium wave transmitter was now spare to use elsewhere, including simulcast transmissions at a local youth group.

Both circuits for the Medium Wave transmitters can be seen below - the second transmitter only barely reaches 5-10 metres maximum transmission range.

LAUNCH OF "RADIO SMASH 24"
Around the mid 2000's, a 24 hour FM service called Radio SMASH 24, with a mix of entertainment, archive material, sports and other features was launched using baby monitors that had switched inputs, a built-in limiter circuit, extendable antennas, as well as ajacent frequencies that could be tuned in on a normal FM radio to pick up the broadcasts much better than the Medium Wave transmitters previously used (all without any technical modifications to the sets) - The main Radio SMASH 24 Service FM transmitter is pictured to the right

An example of the 24 hour broadcasting format comes from Radio SMASH's sister station Radio Crunch, which makes a sign-off announcement at the end of their "Late Late Show", announcing a transfer to Radio SMASH, and stating a full list of frequencies about to be used - the widest number of frequencies ever used by Radio SMASH (99.65 -99.90MHz FM, 530-540kHz AM/MW & 49.65-49.85MHz or Channel 2 of Tomy Baby Talk) (1st clip on right)

Radio SMASH 24 was mentioned in published tape media at the time (this example coming from the blooper reel programme "Radio SMASH's Funny Parts Which Went Wrong") (2nd clip on right)

Eventually, Radio SMASH MW ceased broadcasting, until around August 2004 when the main FM transmitter shorted-out, forcing the abandoning of FM transmissions indefinitely - marking a breif return of Radio SMASH MW.
Photo Above: The original Radio SMASH 24 Service FM transmitter
1st Clip: Radio Crunch sign off to Radio SMASH 24:
Radio Crunch Late Show Pilot
(RADIO 0 PART 4)
-0:28
2nd Clip: Reference to Radio SMASH 24 on blooper reel programme "Funny Parts Which Went Wrong"
Radio SMASH 24 Reference RSFPWWW
Radio SMASH International
-0:16
PODCASTS, TAPE TRANSCRIPTION, FM STEREO TESTS..... THE START OF RADIO SMASH INTERNATIONAL
When Radio SMASH 24 was forced off the air due to technical difficulties, a brand new arena was on the horizon. With the internet becoming more readily accessible to people in the Welsh Marches area, very basic podcast programmes were produced to see if a very small student radio station could be set-up with micronational broadcaster support.
The trials in podcasting, whilst successful, still encountered problems - especially given the hostility to go area-wide by various people, Radio SMASH decided to go back to the roots of its success and the traditionally smaller audience. A trial tape transcription service was produced to distribute programmes to remote DCU territories - however it became obvious that new internet technology made this obselete.

In the end, it was a combination of internet podcasting, FM-in-car stereo transmitter technology and event broadcast solutions provider that transformed the broadcaster into the current Radio SMASH International.
Whilst it certainly isn't doing as much as it once did, it is hoped that with the experience gained from it's pioneering years, that it will continue and start providing an ever-greater motive force towards improving micronational broadcasting for the better.

Radio SMASH International and DJFM-ITV as state broadcasters for the DCU even today have proved their worth alongside other broadcasters whose aim is to serve the DCU population, guests and the micronational world.

Radio SMASH Ultra-Local FM set-up:

Around 2008,  Radio SMASH International experimented with FM-In-Car transmitters, which year upon year improved beyond imagination into a stable format. For the first time since the days of Radio SMASH 24, the devices were not only powerful enough to cover large sections of buildings, but also small and rugged enough to be carried about powered by two AAA batteries, as well as the capacity to be manually tuned and locked on to free frequencies whilst providing stereophonic sound - They are also able to be powered directly by shielded 5 volt phone adapters (mainly of the nokia brand) and are considered to be the cheapest full-functioning FM stereo transmitters (each set roughly around £15-20), which makes supplying of ultra-local transmissions, especially if relayed via internet to remote micronational outposts, very practical. The Wireless Telegraphy (Exemptions) Act 2006 that naturalised EU legislation on low-power devices make it possible to do ultra-local transmissions within reason

Radio SMASH International Today
From about 2014, Bambuser was a preferred method of live transmission and simulcasting due to the increasing distances between the DCU population, the ability to start a broadcast from any mobile device, as well as the ability to store the recordings for post-production and later airing on traditional methods.

Due to this, like the years before where the license exempt MW transmitters, now the FM Stereo I-trip transmitters were used to provide live-event and outside broadcast transmissions - one such event was a birthday celebration at a village hall in the DCU Regions of Influence to provide mood-music for guests.

Further improvements meant that it can provide a vital tool for Civil Defense and restbite. A standard DCU Sector (not much larger than a small village between 0.3/0.5km up to 1km (about 1/2 mile) maximum signal radius - basically the same as a commercially-available PMR446 walkie talkie) can be covered by one professional licence-exempt transmitter (see photo left) with a good long whip aerial layout for around £30.
Photo Above: An example of a standard 0.5W licence exempt FM Stereo Home Transmitter, as used under the conditions set out in the Wireless Telegraphy (Exemptions) 2006 Act
Radio SMASH International into the future
In June 2017, with further improvements being made for FM stereo transmission, Radio SMASH International experimented with putting two seperate programmes from the archives onto the seperate 'left' and 'right' stereo channels of the subcarrier, to see if stereophonic receivers could successfully seperate the two programmes being broadcast simultaneously. Whilst there was abit of 'bleeding' into the opposite sound channel on musical passages, a method was hypothesised that could mitigate pre-production to ensure that any significant 'bleed-over' could be cancelled out in the sound files played using a modern sound editor

On New Year 2017, was the last live Bambuser transmission of Radio SMASH ever made, using a semi-pre recorded programme that aired across the world, gaining a number of new listeners elsewhere - after that, the platform shut down from the 22nd January 2018.

In light of this loss of a vital dissemination platform internationally, Radio SMASH decided to go back to it's roots once again, experimenting with Shortwave and Longwave transmission methods. Tests began on the 20th February 2018 and despite the simplicity of the design, favoured a higher signal-to-noise ratio than the original Radio SMASH Medium Wave transmitters used at the genesis of the broadcaster's life - a segment of first (left channel) and second (right channel) attempts is here side by side:
Left: Newest AM transmitter in prototype stage
Below audio: First (left channel) & Second (right channel) test of transmitter with identical segment, showing increasing signal-to-noise ratio on Feb 20th 2018
Radio SMASH Shortwave Pilot Test 1 & 2 comparison 5MHz 20th Feb 2018
0:00/0:40

This article is being updated as we progress. Click back again soon for more information.....