Low Power Radio
Low Power Radio (LPR) is a specialized form of AM radio broadcasting that was first used as a communications tool in the 1970s to inform travelers of traffic and weather conditions. More recently it has been used in state and national parks, airports and theme parks to provide information to specific audiences.
Because auto passengers traveling in the beach area are an audience with a means for tuning into AM radio, this low-cost and non-regulated communications tool offers a unique opportunity to reach a broad audience with relatively modest effort and share information about local history, coastal ecology, boating safety, wildlife and other information that can encourage tourism and the enlightened use of our natural resources.
The area from Magnolia Beach to Indianola is a well-traveled vacation spot along the central Texas Coast. Rich in history and still relatively undiscovered, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department recently rated the area as one of the top 10 beaches in Texas.
In addition to local residents and summer vacationers, the area is popular with Winter Texans who drop by on their migration from the northern U.S. or Canada to the Rio Grande Valley and back each year. Many of the messages in this project will be geared to these transients, but multiple loops will also be developed and changed periodically to appeal to residents and frequent visitors.
The LPR units being used for this project are ProcasterTM Low Power AM transmitters purchased from ChezRadio in Ontario, Canada. FCC approved as a low power “Part 15” device for unlicensed operation, they can be used to legally broadcast any audio content anywhere in the United States without the cost or limitation of a broadcast license.
Three kiosks in the area that show maps of the kayaking trail advertise the availability of local information on K-YAK 1610 AM and this supporting website. The radio station logo and website address are displayed on the restroom buildings at Indianola Beach Park.
Downloads of the "Your Area's Knowledge" broadcasts and text of the scripts are available on the Audio Files page of this program.