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The Radio that never stops

By RiotPost - 7 October 2009 11

The ABC is reporting the development of an emergency broadcast system that will allow the government to remotely turn you radio on and inform you about an impending disaster. The Yellowbird alert system is being developed here in Canberra by Advanced Alert. So it must be a pretty powerful remote.

I think its a great idea and can see a lot of benefits from this idea, especially when the zombie hordes descend, but the paranoid cynic in me thinks of all the political uses it could be put to. Douple plus good style.

What’s Your opinion?


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11 Responses to
The Radio that never stops
Inappropriate 12:14 am 08 Oct 09

ramblingted said :

I don’t think I’ll get one…but can someone ring me if anything important comes on?

LOL! 🙂

bd84 9:26 pm 07 Oct 09

They should just make it a warning all Australians will understand “Run for your fking life mate, the fire is coming”.

Same for the fire danger levels from “She’ll be right mate” to the above level.

ramblingted 8:09 pm 07 Oct 09

I don’t think I’ll get one…but can someone ring me if anything important comes on?

Inappropriate 7:32 pm 07 Oct 09

Then everyone’s got to spend $50-1000 on a mobile phone, plus a plan (presumably with Telstra..) to keep it in service.

Mobile phone use in Australia is predicted to exceed 100% in ’08

http://www.itwire.com/content/view/1441/2/

Grrrr 3:53 pm 07 Oct 09

I think the “powerful remote” bit is pretty misguided. Think of it like a handheld CB radio .. switched on, quietly listening for signal on the channel you selected, not using much battery. Then, when a signal is received, it kicks into life and puts what it’s receiving out the speaker. Like that, but with technology optimised for low power use/long standby times.

Inappropriate said :

In 2001, there were 7.1 million households in Australia. Assuming 1 unit per household, how much will 7.1 million $10 units cost? Hrmmm. Makes that 10 million look kinda small.

Then everyone’s got to spend $50-1000 on a mobile phone, plus a plan (presumably with Telstra..) to keep it in service. Also, I would be suprised if the manufacturing cost for seriously large runs (millions) is higher than $2/unit for a basic radio like this.

Presumably not every household needs one. The households that are most likely to need one are probably the least likely to have great mobile coverage too.. You ignored Jimbocool’s statement about the limitations of mobile phones but that is the most important bit. Mobile phone towers only cover a small area, and during a bushfire they are probably going to be burnt down (and were in Victoria..)

Broadcast radio technologies can often cover massive areas .. and they could even have backups separated quite a fair way away. Think 100km radius.

Thinking of broadcast networks; perhaps the old Pager networks could be re-introduced for a public emergency network? I think there’s a few lying around at work!

Inappropriate 1:05 pm 07 Oct 09

jimbocool said :

he unit cost with this prototype is down to $10. Compare this system to the $10 million Telstra is charging the government to develop a mobile-phone based warning system (with all the limitations that mobile infrastructure has) for bushfires.

In 2001, there were 7.1 million households in Australia. Assuming 1 unit per household, how much will 7.1 million $10 units cost? Hrmmm. Makes that 10 million look kinda small.

el 12:32 pm 07 Oct 09

The only problem I see with it is most current radios are not likely to support this technology, so we’ll all be forced to run out and buy flashy new ones.

People still listen to radios?

Sgt.Bungers 11:21 am 07 Oct 09

There’s already systems in Europe that forces a car radio to change the station, turn off a CD or auxiliary device, when a traffic alert is being broadcast. That feature of course, is optional, and may be disabled on your radio.

The Yellowbird system I guess is the next step, and probably based on similar technology.

The only problem I see with it is most current radios are not likely to support this technology, so we’ll all be forced to run out and buy flashy new ones.

IMHO there’s no substitute for emergency sirens in populated areas that could be utilized in any number of emergencies. Why not look into the tornado sirens used in the US? Newer models can have voice recordings played over them, audible for miles.

jimbocool 11:20 am 07 Oct 09

I actually talked to one of the developers of this device only yesterday. The current prototype is about the size of fold up mobile phone and the intention behind the concept is that they be placed in homes in much the same way as a smoke alarm is (although not hardwired). When there’s an emergency, it can be switched on by the authorities and broadcast warnings. The thinking behind it is more for poorer countries, such as those in tsunami-prone south pacific, as there is no infrastructure cost (radio is everywhere) and the unit cost with this prototype is down to $10. Compare this system to the $10 million Telstra is charging the government to develop a mobile-phone based warning system (with all the limitations that mobile infrastructure has) for bushfires.

Rawhide Kid No 2 10:29 am 07 Oct 09

Possible only if you buy a special radio (at great cost from them I suppose). Other wise it will not work for your average stereo in in your home or car. It cannot turn you radio on. However having said that. They could use a system that could break into normal broadcast transmissions with a warning broadcast. They do this sort of thing in Europe for traffic warnings and the like.

DarkLadyWolfMother 9:34 am 07 Oct 09

It’s not April 1 is it?

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