We have had a few questions that deal specifically with broadcast radio. That is, some form of one-to-many transmissions, occasionally on frequency bands specifically assigned to broadcast radio as well.

Should we consider questions that deal specifically with broadcast radio of some sort to be off topic for the site?

  • $\begingroup$ A quibble — you're describing it as being about one-to-many, which is done in amateur radio (for example, APRS has many one-to-many transmit-only stations). In the US the definition of broadcasting is transmissions to “the general public”, which is a narrower category. We don't have to stick to a particular definition of terms, but we do have to make sure exactly what we're declaring off-topic is well-defined. $\endgroup$
    – Kevin Reid AG6YO Mod
    Jun 23 '14 at 17:04
  • $\begingroup$ @KevinReidAG6YO Good point, and one I feel I cover to a greater extent in my self-answer. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Jun 23 '14 at 17:39

Yes. To quote Wikipedia's definition of amateur radio, it

is the use of designated radio frequency spectra for purposes of private recreation, non-commercial exchange of messages, wireless experimentation, self-training, and emergency communication.

Similar language is found in both national and international regulation surrounding amateur radio. The key words in the above snippet for the purpose of this question would be designated frequency spectra and exchange of messages, neither of which applies to broadcast operation (one-to-many transmissions with no intention or expectation of a response) in non-amateur frequency ranges. Broadcasting in a form receivable by the general public also does not, as I see it, involve any of wireless experimentation, self-training (with regards to the use of radio) or emergency communications, and it is doubtful whether it can be considered a private recreational activity.

Hence, while questions relating to non-amateur two-way radio communications may be on topic, and use of other types of radio equipment (for example, wifi networking) in an amateur setting may be on topic, questions relating to broadcasting should not be considered on topic as there is nothing about them that relate to amateur radio. Just because the site has "radio" in its name does not mean everything relating to radio is on topic.


No. Why being a stickler? Ask instead: where else should such questions be addressed? Electronics stack exchange is for general electronics, maybe you can discuss high power RF amplifiers there, but any questions about radio, licensing, etc. would be off topic there. If there is no other site and hardly ever enough traffic to warrant another site, then all radio related questions belong on this site. Consider also that the radio hobby started with the birth of radio, all that government regulation nonsense came in half a century later. So why the obsession about diminishing and confining the radio hobby onto its narrow selection of assigned bands and modes of use? Same for the discussion on CB, FRS, GMRS, where else are people supposed to ask questions related to that? Are CB, FRS and GMRS users not amateurs? Are they not hobbyists?

Why being a nit picker? Why not enjoy the hobby and curiosity about all bands and modes?


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