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RadioNet – not a network, but free

by admin

RadioNet, in short – a system that allows anyone to roam for free on the local radio network. But first things first.
About a year ago, while bored and listening to the radio from my phone, there was no way I could take my eyes off the RDS text bar. "Why isn’t the idea further developed?" – was going around in my head, because radio can be used to convey far more information than a song title. Then I was reminded of a long-forgotten (or is it seldom remembered?) TV thing – teletext. Here. This was close to what I imagined at the time about the possibility of transmitting data via radio waves. So, an idea came up: is it possible to make a receiver (and therefore a transmitter) which would receive and display information in the form of at least text pages?
I have only an economic education, so for a solution to the question had to turn to people more intelligent and knowledgeable in the matter. Among my friends I found a programmer and a couple of specialists in the field of telecommunications, and after some explanations and a description of the desired result, I got a quite reasonable answer: "Hm …", which was followed by a wave of discussions, disputes and calling each other incomprehensible ghouls. In short, in this heated and, what to hide, drunken argument we came to the conclusion that the idea not only makes sense, but also is simple enough to implement in terms of software and hardware.
So, it was decided to call it all RadioNet. In a nutshell, it is a system which allows anyone (if they had a receiver) to roam the local radionet for free. It’s a small system of pages where, supposedly, you can read something: news, weather, ads … in short, a newspaper. It is local because it depends directly on the transmitters and their coverage area. So, if the radionet will operate in several cities, in each city, you will see the information tied to this particular city (say, the news, bus schedules, etc.). The pages themselves are more like wap-sites – small amounts of text, and poky pictures even smaller. To work a radionet, without going into details, you need very little: the carrier (server), which stores all the pages radionet, the transmitter (and), which compresses the data, encrypts and transmits, and the receiver, which decrypts and displays the data.
The main problem in designing the system was the inability of the receiver to communicate with the transmitter and, as a consequence, the creation of hyperlinks to other pages. While on the internet the client always talks to the server, in the case of radio we can not specify which page we need to send at any given moment. The solution is very simple: the hyperlink tells the receiver to switch to the new frequency, which is where the requested page is. In addition, several pages can be stored on the same frequency, and the additional mark in the hyperlink indicates which page is needed.
That’s pretty much all the basic functionality. The main advantage of a radionet receiver is that it can be carried around like a phone or a newspaper, but its use is absolutely free, unlike the mobile Internet or the constant purchase of a new newspaper. To be fair, simple radio is also free, but specific information on the radio can only be heard at certain times, which is not always convenient.
And now the main thing: what we have now? And we have what was the reason for writing this article – the rudiments of a working prototype, which proves that the system can still work. It was assembled on the basis of… ahem… parts from a Chinese (yes) fake (yes, yes, yes) iPod (yes, yes, yes, yes). The prototype, in fact, can not do so much – so far it can display only one page, support for hyperlinks has not yet been implemented. But the fact that we have already got something makes us rejoice and be proud of ourselves. Finally, here it is in work:
By the way, the cost of parts of the device – only about 300 rubles, including forcibly imposed us unnecessary gigabyte of memory, voice recorder and the case from the alleged iPod (this is also in the retail).
I don’t know what impression you got from my description, but actually it could be quite useful if the radio network is widespread, especially if the receiver is not a separate device but is built into phones/players. For example, being on vacation in a foreign city, you can easily, even without knowing the addresses of sites, find information about attractions, transport schedules, places to rest. Speaking of the latter – advertising such places and should be the main (one) source of income, in the long run.
In addition, recently proposed the idea of including a local positioning system based on radio direction finding, because if the city will stand a pile of transmitters … but in general, for now, do not fantasize.
Tune in to our wave, we’ll keep you posted!

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