RHZ Radio

2004 // Invention

RHZ Radio was an public experiment to make a technology that would make small local radio stations without a FCC license legal without breaking the law. It was a collaboration with artist and programmer Doug Goodwin.


RHZ Radio was a complicated internet and broadcast radio hybrid that was was specifically engineered to bypass the regulation of the law without breaking any laws. It is essentially a cast sculpture that uses the legal peramerters of radio.


Everyone in the USA has the right to a small broadcast transmitter that spans about a quarter mile and needs no license. There is no law against having transmitters work together, so RHZ Radio networked these transmitters over the internet.


Because RHZ was completely legal, all software was open source and all content was originally produced material that would be released under a Creative Capital license or would be already in the public domain. In the end RHZ radio had commissioned over 40 hours or original content including audio vegan cooking shows, do it yourself lessons, movie review, original music, Chinese talk radio with the Business Improvement District, and public domain radio dramas.


The experiment lasted for six months and had several events that would produce programming. In this picture we rented a karaoke DJ that came with a broadcast license. This was the only time commercial music was played over our airwaves.


In the end RHZ was sited for using an exterior electrical extension cord to our main transmitter tower which was not approved by a licensed electrician. This hitch, and the organizational strain of managing a half dozen radio transmitters with a half dozen owner/operators ended the project’s test run. RHZ is now waiting in development for finding and a community that can support it’s second run.