It's so hard to believe. 2019 will mark 17 years that Edgewater Gold Radio has been streaming oldies on the internet. It seems like yesterday when Edgewater Gold Radio was born. Let me take you for a little journey back in time.
It was 2002 and I was living in Edgewater, NJ. I had just ended a weekend gig at WNJO, 94.5FM, and WVNJ 1160 AM in Teaneck, NJ. WNJO, switched formats to classic hits which wasn't my thing at the time and WVNJ was having some financial difficulty and adding too many infomercials to the programming.
I was bitten by the radio bug in the 60s and anyone who was bitten knows that the venom remains in your blood forever! One night, at a meeting with our condo board (I was on the board at the time) one member said to me that I should start a radio station for our condo community. I explained that it wasn't that easy and that there were strict laws in effect from the FCC that prevent individuals from starting a radio station.
After that meeting, my wheels began to turn...and turn....and turn. I did lots of research on types of radio stations. I came across Part 15 broadcasting. It stated that an individual can start a radio station without a license but must follow very very strict rules. The first rule is the transmitter must be Part 15 certified by the FCC. The power level is extremely low. One tenth of a watt for AM and even lower for FM.
I did more research and found a company that manufactured an AM part 15 certified transmitter. I spent about $600 and purchased it. (Yes this is why I'm not a rich man today!) Setting it up was sort of complicated. In order to get the most out of the tiny signal I had to set it up correctly. I placed in on my terrace, did all sorts of antenna configurations, tried to ground it to the electrical system in the condo. I purchased an automation program and voila after about two months, put the station on the air. The frequency was 1630 am and the name was "the Cove." After the name of my condo, Grand Cove.
So where did this "power house" go.....not far, not far at all! If I got a quarter mile out of it, that was a lot! After tinkering and tinkering , I was finally to get the signal out about a half mile!
At the time, I worked for a voice and audio production company. One of the engineers told me about internet broadcasting. It was in it's very early stages but would get me potentially many more listeners. He also introduced me to Live 365. A service that provides distribution of the internet radio signal/stream. I was all in! I signed up and began to understand the concept of internet radio streaming.
I prepared a playlist for my first broadcast, changed the name of the station to "Edgewater Radio" and launched my first broadcast. Oldies music and a few imaging liners made up the programming. The only place that listeners could tune in was at their desktop. I kept the Part 15 station running for awhile but the programming was separate. I later pulled the plug on the "over the air station." I continued to improve the internet station .The program ran from a cloud. I used this method for many years, continually adding programming, content and voices. I later added the word "gold" to the station name which informed listeners of the format off the bat.
Today, internet radio has come such a long way and continues to evolve. Accessibility has really improved thanks to "smart" devices and apps such as Tunein, itunes etc. The technology itself has improved. The automation system I use, does just about everything! I don't need racks and racks of equipment. I purchased software which does the processing and the station sounds great. Of course, I'm always tweaking and tweaking, what else does a radio geek do?
I've been on the air ever since with a brief two weeks off when Live 365 was forced to close due to uncontrollable royalty rates. I switched providers for a time but glad to say that Live 365 has returned and is thriving!
Persistence is key! Edgewater Gold Radio has thousands of listeners and there are new listeners discovering us everyday!