CKTZ’s New Emergency Back-up: Radio In A Suitcase

By Roy L Hales

On August 29, 2017, Cortes Community Radio, CKTZ 89.5 FM signed a memorandum of understanding with the Strathcona Regional District, on Northern Vancouver Island, British Columbia, stating we are to give them temporary usage of the station during  emergencies. This has been part of Cortes Radio’s vision from the beginning but up until a week ago seemed more of a goal than a reality. Everything changed on Thursday, December 6, 2018. This morning Derrick Harvey talks about CKTZ’s new emergency back-up:  radio in a suitcase. 

Jordan Community Radio station – courtesy Derrick Harvey 
The consule from Radio in a Suitcase

Radio In A Suitcase

In the podcast above, Derek Harvey explains:

  • How a radio station that fits into a suitcase is servicing +1,500 communities in Africa, the Pacific and Middle East.
  • How far can a tiny transmitter like this broadcast? Is it true that one station’s audience is 130 to 140 kilometres away? What determines the range?
  • What does this technology means to a community radio station like CKTZ?
  • Where is this technology deployed in British Columbia?
  • Why Derek thinks of television as pablum for the mind, but says  radio is good for the imagination. 
  • His years working with community television, radio and   UNESCO.
  • How a virtually unknown Canadian company that is doing big things 
African Community Radio Station – courtesy Derrick Harvey
Radio in a suitcase being used in  Jordan Community Radio Station – courtesy Derrick Harvey
Darrick Harvey presenting CKTZ with a radio in a suitcase

“Radio in a suitcase is a way that we looked at getting the hardware into the hands of people who wanted to create a community radio station in as small a package as possible, as portable as possible, least technically complex as possible and reliable. The entire radio station comes in two pelican cases … all operated off of twelve volts, so you can bascially plug it into the cigarette lighter of a car.” – Derek Harvey  

About the author:  Roy L Hales is the President of Cortes Community Radio, CKTZ, 89.5 FM.

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