Listening in…at the Library is a project based at Sefton Libraries (Liverpool, UK) that 'tries to extend our ears into places they cannot get to, to listen to voices that we might not ordinarily hear, unburdened by preconceptions around how things look'.
Listening in... invited us to run a workshop showing local residents how to build an Open Wave-Reciever on Thursday 15th September 2022 at Crosby Library. We shared our radio recipes and then searched for radio transmissions, new and surprising experiences of the radio spectrum!
The workshop was a collaborative listening experiment, with participants hooking up their radios in special sites around Crosby. We experimented with super long antennas that were swung, hung and thrown. New types of diodes were tested, from silver rings to glasses, two pence coins and even a pair of pliers, plus the many ways that we became part of the circuit too - as the antenna, the diode and the ground!
Talk Sport radio station was consistently loud ... there must be an antenna boosting the signal near by, but come grey line time (sunset or sunrise) hopefully the radios set up at home will start to hear the magic of the Open Wave-Receiver - multiple layers of transmission all at once! (At "grey line" radio transmission moved more easily around the globe, bouncing off the ionosphere, meaning more radio can be heard). Everyone left with their radios, so we're looking forward to hearing more.
For added listening fun, we put together some late night VLF (very low frequency radio waves) antennas to explore the lower end of the radio spectrum, and we rigged these up at the end of the day for a little listen. We're also very pleased to find that the thinner width of this cable works just as well as the thicker cable, which significantly reduced the price of these! Success! The next step is to find an electrical recycling point from which we can source second hand cables rather than buying new.... Let us know if you'd like instuctions on how to make one of these.
Thanks for having us Dave, Faye, Jodie and all at the library!