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Use an iPod Mini to Broadcast Pirate Radio 558

StJefferson writes "Ever want to silence the urban assault vehicle beside you at the stop light, pounding out gangster angst at orthodontia-rattling volumes? Now you can, and here's how, courtesy Engadget."
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Use an iPod Mini to Broadcast Pirate Radio

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  • by American AC in Paris ( 230456 ) * on Friday July 02, 2004 @03:59PM (#9595124) Homepage
    Hey, I know! Let's find motorists with sociopathic tendencies and piss 'em off! What could possibly go worng?

    This isn't even a clever hack. 'Take your iPod antenna and put an even bigger antenna on it! Then--get this--find somebody listening to a radio and use your iPod to broadcast on the same station that radio is tuned to! Pwn3d! OMGWTFBBQ!'

  • blue butt chez (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 02, 2004 @03:59PM (#9595126)
    propz to my mini ipod homez
  • by Skyshadow ( 508 ) * on Friday July 02, 2004 @03:59PM (#9595127) Homepage
    So, how long before we're driving down the highway and suddenly all of our radio stations turn into debt consolidation or penis enlargement ads? Hell, with all the traffic traveling in groups like it does, you could be stuck like that for *hours*. Might be time to update the CD collection or install an XM antenna...

    As a side note, living in Oakland I've developed the viewpoint that it's far better to just ignore the boom cars and go about your business. It might be cool with the wannabes in Nebraska, but around here you're just begging to need an appointment with your local auto body shop to get a bunch of 9mm holes Bondo-ed.

  • by AmigaAvenger ( 210519 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @04:00PM (#9595138) Journal
    Ever want to silence the urban assault vehicle beside you at the stop light, pounding out gangster angst at orthodontia-rattling volumes?
    yeah, great idea for 1% of vehicles listening to 'gangster angst' that aren't listening to CD's... most vehicles that you pull up to and cause your own car to shake aren't going to be listening to radio. lower end frequencies aren't there compared to CD.
  • no, (Score:2, Insightful)

    by JeanBaptiste ( 537955 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @04:01PM (#9595148)
    the people playing gangsta rap at insane volumes are NOT using the radio to do it. CDs and/or mp3s.
  • by TexasDex ( 709519 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @04:05PM (#9595184) Homepage
    It's a shame that this doesn't work to silence CD players and tape decks. Or sattelite radio, for that matter.
  • Yeah... don't quite get the excitement over this one. This type of thing has been done for quite some time. There's much much better hardware available for this type of tomfoolery. Although I guess now that it's with a iPod it makes it newsworthy.
  • by Pfhorrest ( 545131 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @04:07PM (#9595213) Homepage Journal
    Except most people with a sound system powerfull enough to do that likely have a large disc changer in their trunk, broadcasting over short range to their car radio. You could always just broadcast over a slightly larger range and interfere with that signal.

    (As an aside, I've actually had radio stations I was listening to fade partially out and started hearing whatever someone driving past me was playing because of this).

    I think if stuff like this starts happening on a larger scale, we might start seeing more use of intelligent frequency-hopping radio devices, more like wifi networking that fixed-frequency broadcasting. Maybe get some of this damned FCC regulated frequencies crap fixed in the process.
  • by downbad ( 793562 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @04:07PM (#9595220)
    "Hey, there's one of those nerds with white headphones and a 5ft. antenna sticking out of his gameboy."

    Not to mention the fact that it's probably illegal. DMCA, FCC, RIAA - need I go on?

  • Hmm... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by thephotoman ( 791574 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @04:13PM (#9595271) Journal
    There are definite legal issues with that. I advise not getting caught.

    However, I generally find that most people who drive in my area use CDs or MP3s, as the radio simply sucks in this area. While they may play Viagra and penis-enlargment ads in D/FW, in Houston, they just babble incoherently...or play nothing but Britney Spears or Crap-Country. Even more, they're killing our sole classical station to make way for a Christian contemporary station (something else we don't need). Given this situation, it's highly unlikely that this plan would affect that many people around me.
  • by bcrowell ( 177657 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @04:16PM (#9595315) Homepage
    I have an iPod and an iTrip, and the article doesn't make much sense based on my experience. The iTrip is an extremely low-power device, and even when you're using it the way it was intended, to broadcast to your own car's antenna, it's actually too weak to override a commercial station. That's why the iTrip isn't all that great in an urban environment, where the whole commercial FM spectrum is packed with stations like sardines in a can.

    First, to become your own pirate broadcast station you'll need to increase the range and signal of your iTrip mini. Turns out, there is an antennae built inside the iTrip mini. All you need to do is remove the top sticker-like protection which hides the antennae and then using tweezers or your fingernail, pull the antennae out. We've found a 20% to 30% increase of range on average.
    Huh? A 25% increase in range is only equivalent to a 50% increase in power (the inverse square law). I can't see how a 50% increase in power is going to matter, when our iTrip has never been able to override even the weakest station on the dial.

  • by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @04:21PM (#9595358) Journal
    how long before we're driving down the highway and suddenly all of our radio stations turn into debt consolidation or penis enlargement ads?

    Won't happen. An FM broadcast can be tracked down easily, and you wouldn't be affecting a large enough number of people to make it worthwhile.

    Might be time to update the CD collection or install an XM antenna...

    You'll be more susceptible to unauthorized broadcasts with satellite than with terrestrial... once people get their hands on them. If this becomes popular, I'm sure they will start being sold.

    It might be cool with the wannabes in Nebraska, but around here you're just begging to need an appointment with your local auto body shop to get a bunch of 9mm holes Bondo-ed.

    Get a gun of your own, and a continuous-loop camera in your car.

    The big difference between Nebraska and Oakland is that the public in Nebraska wouldn't put up with that. If you are willing to just close your eyes, and pretend that nothing is happening, it won't ever stop. Sometimes people really do resemble cattle.
  • by slashjames ( 789070 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @04:22PM (#9595362)
    Sorry, the DMCA wouldn't apply in this case because you aren't breaking encryption to insert your material. However, the FCC and RIAA would be most interested in your activities.
  • by Gyorg_Lavode ( 520114 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @04:23PM (#9595373)
    ... how many people with those huge stereos didn't have the money left over for the CD player and so are actually using the radio? (Not many.)
  • Uhhhh.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by caffeineboy ( 44704 ) <.skidmore.22. .at.> on Friday July 02, 2004 @04:28PM (#9595413)
    How the fvck did that get posted?

    Let's forget about the fm capture effect for a minute (the most powerful station on a signal will be the only one de-modulated) and think. Don't most people with loud amps just have a CD player with "Ultrabass volume IX" or something rather than actually listening to the radio?

    Is this slashdot or some shitty zine put together by highschool age "hackers"?

  • by Enigma_Man ( 756516 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @04:28PM (#9595418) Homepage
    You'll be more susceptible to unauthorized broadcasts with satellite than with terrestrial... once people get their hands on them. If this becomes popular, I'm sure they will start being sold.

    Why, pray tell, is it easier to make unauthorized broadcasts on satellite radio band than any other band?

  • by NanoGator ( 522640 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @04:43PM (#9595536) Homepage Journal
    "It's a shame that this doesn't work to silence CD players and tape decks. Or sattelite radio, for that matter."

    Just remember there's nothing preventing you from being a victim of this sort of thing.
  • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) * on Friday July 02, 2004 @04:51PM (#9595598) Homepage Journal
    I later went back to look at the laws in my state governing self-defense. They are totally impractical. The legal system is set up in such a way that you really have to let the animals control the streets.

    That really is wonderful. Then the judge or the police say useful things like, "well you shouldn't take the law into your own hands" or "don't bother them and they won't bother you" and the ever popular "just ignore them."

    Small wonder there's so much gun violence in this country. We can't stand each other. Sadly, probably everyone knows of at least one annoying jerk.

    There are laws concerning noise pollution, which fall under disturbing the peace, but try to get anyone to actually enforce them when police spend half their calls on domestic violence.

  • by Bandwidth_ ( 91035 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @04:56PM (#9595647) Homepage Journal
    EMF is electro-motive force. EMP is electromagnetic pulse. Try looking up explosively pumped flux compression generators or vircators (or any high pulsed power microwave (no, not your home microwave 2.45Ghz setup) transmitter. It'll do you some good.
  • by azzy ( 86427 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @04:57PM (#9595649) Journal
    > Everyone on slashdot is a goddamn idiot.

    Yes, yes we are.
  • by sleighb0y ( 141660 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @04:59PM (#9595673) Homepage
    The idea that you are going to foil someone blasting their music in most cases is absurd. Who spends the money on an aftermarket sound system, only to listen to FM radio? Nobody wants to hear the latest furniture store jingle blasted at them, and who are they going to impress with that anyhow?

    A better use would be to take this in a store that plays a radio station acorss their PA sytem (non sat-based radio of course).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 02, 2004 @05:05PM (#9595723)

    What I don't get is that someone actually thinks a Basshole is actually listening to the radio. Really. If you have such incredible musical taste that you feel duty-bound to share it with others, by force even, are you really gonna let your selections blow in the whims of the FM dial?

    Any Basshole who thinks he's worth his boom tubes who gets snarked by some yuk with an FM-broadcasting iPod deserves what he gets.

  • by Panaflex ( 13191 ) <> on Friday July 02, 2004 @05:09PM (#9595756)
    Take it a step further and develop a noise cancellation system that cancels external noise inside a car. That would be patentable.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 02, 2004 @05:21PM (#9595836)
    so... let me get this straight...

    You pick a fight with a badass, then, when he takes you up on it, you realize, "Oh my god! I forgot! I'm a big fucking pussy!"

    What are you going to tell the police? "I provoked this asshole, now he wants to fight."

    Police arrest you both for fighting or just wasting their time.

    Ignore annoying people-- or run the hell away from them-- do not poke them with sharp sticks.

    Or, you know, maybe call the cops with a noise complaint.

    Chill out with this self defense crap, Travis. The guy was not threatening you-- he was annoying you. Then you decide to *follow* him and act all crazy honking your horn and shit. What do you expect him to think? What do you expect him to do?

    If that guy who chased you to the police station *had* gotten his hands on you, there's no way in hell you'd win with self-defense, even *if* your candy-ass won the fight. Because *you* started the fight. *You* got out of your house and followed a complete stranger to his house (is that legal?-- stalking?). *You* started acting crazy toward him with your horn-honking. *You* were a willing participant in whatever shit was going to go down next-- just because you hadn't thought it through doesn't mean you weren't.

    Read this page [].
  • "Pirate Radio" implies a high-powered transmitter (such as from ships off-shore or moving vehicles) trying to evade detection, being used to beam signals in an area at strength levels far, far in excess of the unlicensed threshhold.

    This type of transmitter generates at or below the 100 mw permitted for completely unlicensed radio transmissions by FCC regulations. It is not "pirate" as this form of unlicensed radio transmitter is completely legal.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 02, 2004 @05:58PM (#9596079)
    Ever here of the inverse square law, and the FM capture effect? At close range you only need a tiny signal to swamp a moderately distant commercial station, and the FM capture effect means that the signal that is slightly stronger, will be the one that you hear, not the sum of the two signals.
  • by Mustang Matt ( 133426 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @06:10PM (#9596153)
    They are too busy chasing me down because I don't have a front license plate.

    I've been pulled over twice in the past seven days so I think it's time to finally give in and install a bracket and the plate.

    The second officer was very authoritative but seemed respectful enough so I asked him what the purpose of a front plate was and if it was suppossed to make it safer for officers. His response was something like, I have no idea, I think they're silly but the law states you have to have it so you do.

    Seemed like a fair enough answer to me.

    The problem is though when I call the police because someone has broken into my car or vandalized, etc. The two of three times I've had to do this I am completely blown off. Not that there is a huge success rate at catching the people that do these things but there's going to be a ZERO success rate if no effort is attempted at all.

    I would have much rather had the officers there filling out police reports and taking fingerprints when I needed them instead of pulling me over and reminding me that our state requires a front license plate.

    That's what I get for living in an area with too low of a crime rate. They make up unecessary legislation so that the police will have something to do during their down time.
  • by Alaska Jack ( 679307 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @06:28PM (#9596269) Journal

    You have GOT to be shitting me.

    Bush is mostly responsible on two counts; 1, for cutting back on federal funding for local emergency staff- police, EMS and fire all have been hit hard in almost every town throughout the US.

    "cutting back on FEDERAL funding for LOCAL emergency staff"

    While you were smugly typing in your oh-so-wise critique of Bush, did it ever even occur to you how inane this is? It's the central frickin' principal of federalist government, you idiot!

    Also, as far as the Guard and Reserve go, did it ever occur to you that this would happen, and has, WHENEVER Guardsmen and/or reservist are activated? Including World War II? Would you have said "It's all Roosevelt's fault?" I mean, really, what would you suggest, telling policemen and emergency responders that they can't serve in the Ready Reserve? Vice versa? Disbanding the reserves?

    Sorry to go ballistic, but it's not too far off to say that people like you are what's wrong with this country. You have no clue (or just don't care) about the principles of limited and local government on which this country was founded. You just want more, more, more from an increasingly centralized, monolithic government.

  • by Glonoinha ( 587375 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @06:51PM (#9596426) Journal
    Ok. So what is a civilized person to do? I'm the bad-guy in all this. Help me. Let's hear your solution.

    Damn, we get off topic tonight, or what?

    On topic, you could mod your iPod to broadcast either white space (silence) onto the guy's radio, or broadcast maximum output and volume in the 12 to 30 Hz range (extreme bass, will blow his shit right up.)

    Off topic :
    As for the theatrics, you were asking for it. If I am driving around minding my own business and someone gets out of his house, gets in his car, follows me around and drives into my neighborhood and honks his horn at me, that is pretty much the universal signal for 'let the violence commence.' Look at it from his perspective - you obviously chased him down and signalled to get his attention. It worked, and now that you had his attention he was interested in finding out what exactly you had in mind. Don't grab a tiger by the tail unless you have the balls to see it through.

    What can you do? Lets see.

    a: You could take a deep breath and let him pass, even at a slow pace in 14 seconds he will be gone. Yes, this is being a pussy but that's ok, it is how 99.999% of us handle most confrontations most of the time (including myself).

    b: Go rent the movie 'Falling Down' with Michael Douglas. Taking charge and standing up to 'those people' sounds pretty cool, but if you go about it mindlessly the cops will shoot you.

    c: Learn from b: and also realize that 'those people' are usually people just like you and I, they just happen to be touching a raw nerve you have exposed. Take a deep breath. Ask yourself if it is really worth getting all worked up over. It really isn't but if you spend any time thinking about it whatsoever he will be gone before you are done thinking about it.

    d: I could go on but I won't, because anybody that reads /. and whines about boomers driving in their neighborhood is probably too 'civilized' to kill someone on principle. Until you are ready for a revolution, you are going to have to keep putting up with it. Sorry. Sucks to live in fear, but until you are ready to point a gun at someone and (if necessary) pull the trigger there's not much you can do about it.
  • by FredFnord ( 635797 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @07:35PM (#9596695)
    While you were smugly typing in your oh-so-wise critique of Bush, did it ever even occur to you how inane this is? It's the central frickin' principal of federalist government, you idiot!
    First... it's good to know that you're the authority on everything. I can relate, I am too. But don't be an asshole about it. You can know you're right about everything all the time and everyone else is wrong, but you don't have to be obnoxious when you're showing the light to the uninformed mortals around you.

    Second, not that you'll even read this let alone actually make the attempt to comprehend it: part of the idea of having a federal government is that the states are not all equal. Should a poor state have lousy law enforcement and end up with ten times the crime rate of a rich one? In your world, yes, it should. In my world, no, the rich states should subsidize essential services, such as law enforcement, for the poorer ones. In much the same way that richer areas in a state should subsidize the poorer areas' schools, so that people who grow up in the poorer areas only have a terribly lousy chance at escaping poverty, instead of none at all.

    It's a pity I mostly have to live in your world.

  • by autopr0n ( 534291 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @08:02PM (#9596851) Homepage Journal
    Most of these guys are probably listening to CDs. Who the hell would spend thousands on a sound system and use it to listen to the radio. I've never heard any loud bass that matched anything on the radio.
  • by Dun Malg ( 230075 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @09:30PM (#9597232) Homepage
    Make sure you wear Pb underwear, if you ever want to have kids.

    You're thinking of gamma and X rays. We're talking about reg'lar old radio waves. Radio waves live on the other end of the electromagnetic spectrum. Radio waves are non-ionizing (i.e. they don't hurt your DNA). An EMP can be almost entirely dissipated by a well grounded metal shield. Physics. It's not just for kids!

  • by vmircea ( 730382 ) <vmircea@tjhss[ ]du ['t.e' in gap]> on Friday July 02, 2004 @09:50PM (#9597298) Homepage
    well it isn't really pirate radio... i mean the signal goes all of 15-20 feet, so it's just for fun, you can't do anything significant with it besides amuse yourself and others
  • by rothfoto ( 779826 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @10:00PM (#9597331)

    in addition to the many other problems with this that have been posted like, most people playing really loud music in a car are using a CD player and the iTrip cant overpower a radio station that is tuned in well, there is another problem.

    unless you can see into the other person's car and see the radio station they are tuned into, its gonna be a real pain to go through a bunch of stations on your iTrip to try to figure out which one they are listening to. Chances are the person bothering you will be long gone before you can figure this out. Plus because this so called "hack" doesn't increase the iTrip's broadcasting power, just its range (and only slightly) you might never be able to find out what station tehy are on because as stated elsewhere, the main radio station will probably overpower the iTrip.

    I think someone was just really excited that they found an antenna under the 'special tape' and this was a way to let everyone know about it.

  • by Babbster ( 107076 ) <> on Friday July 02, 2004 @10:16PM (#9597381) Homepage
    It's not to give police officers something to do, it's to generate income. A ticket (especially since a large percentage are paid by mail with a guilty plea) is money in the bank. One officer in a radio car could generate hundreds of dollars per shift (with a "good" speed trap, per hour) writing tickets for traffic infractions. A burglary investigation, however, does nothing but cost money - in fact, it's made even worse if they actually catch the person since they then have court time, probation time and maybe prison time to pay for.

    Since most people know that burglaries are almost never solved (apart from catching the person either in the act, or fleeing the scene), the public understands why so few resources are dedicated to the crime. This sets up a nice little circle for the city/county in terms of money since the funds can be spent elsewhere and the public doesn't raise hell about it.

  • by Mycroft_VIII ( 572950 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @10:46PM (#9597496) Journal
    No throwing your vote away is voting for someone just because you don't think anyone else can win. It's a self fullfing prophecy.
    The only way to NOT throw your vote away is to vote for whom you honestly WANT to win. Elswise you keep electing the same crooks who have no worries they migh lose thier jobs if they don't shape up.
    When you vote lesser of two evils your saying "go ahead and keep screwing me, I won't do anything about it" and incouraging them.
    And ccw is Carry of a Concealed weapon permit.
    More and more states are making these available, some on a shall issue basis, as they see the benifits of lower crime in other states that have done so.

  • Ummm... what? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by emtboy9 ( 99534 ) < minus physicist> on Friday July 02, 2004 @11:07PM (#9597583) Homepage
    Sorry, but I am failing to see where this is either cool, tech, neat, different, or even anywhere remotely newsworthy.

    Sorry, but I was a little disappointed. I went to the site expecting to find perhaps some hardware hacking info on the iTrip for boosting its output, or something like that... but come on now... has slashdot really gotten to the point where "if you pull the antenna out of the case, your signal will improve!"

    I mean, really. That whole thing did not take any bit of genious, or even the slightest bit of creativity. Geez... thats what the iTrip is for. Broadcasting... and it isnt the best around for that either... there are better version, and in fact, you can even get fm broadcaster kits with a good deal more transmit power than the iTrip has...

    But still, I dont see whats so special here. They are using an iPod and an FM broadcaster to do exactly what they were meant for... nothing new or special here.

    Maybe just a slow news day or something...

  • by Mycroft_VIII ( 572950 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @11:19PM (#9597625) Journal
    And obviously you did NOT read his post. How can you call someone wrong if you don't know what he said.
    Now if you did read it, then try to say something related to what he said.
    Funding for local should be local. This cuts out the middleman (fed gov) and thier 'share' of the pie. Frankly I don't wan't the feds taking any of the money I pay towards local police and paying for porkbarrel projects with it. They can not take the money in the first and let my local gvt collect taxes to support the local police, FireFighters, and so on. This way we can get a few more of each for the same amount of $$.
    Bush didn't re-do somthing stupid, so it's his fault? Bush has issues don't get me wrong, but this idiocy of adding an extra step and overhead to police funding isn't one of them.


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