Davis Live Radio


Davis Live Radio was a micropower radio station that aired nightly on the FM dial at 88.5, 89.7, and 95.7 MHz between 1993 and 1999. It had a line-of-sight propagation range of over 10 miles owing to its high-gain omnidirectional antenna and was operated by Mark Chang, a UCD graduate in Electrical Engineering and long-time Davis resident. Nightly broadcasts featured ultra-high fidelity stereo transmissions of live piano music, "Radio Karaoke" whereby listeners called into the station to sing along with live musicians, "Roving Reporter" live action reports and live interviews from around town (achieved with the use of an analog cell phone), and a highly interactive talk show with listener call-in forum discussions.

The apparatus used to produce DLR's FM radio signal was designed and built by Mark Chang after 18 years of intensive study in radio science and RF circuit design. It featured audiophile stereo modulation and extremely precise carrier frequency stability and virtually undetectable harmonic and spurious content, all attributes that were atypical of other pirate and micropower broadcasting equipment of the time. During his radio shows, Mark made frequent announcements inviting listeners to call in to report any evidence of interference caused by his station, but no direct interference was ever reported.

In the summer of 1999, however, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) sent a field investigation team to Davis in order to locate the source of Davis Live Radio's signal. The FCC van, having numerous antennas on the roof and FCC decals on the side, was seen in the parking lot of Ace Hardware. An employee of the hardware store reported hearing local law enforcement asking the field agents what the "Feds" were doing in town and they replied "We're hunting down a pirate radio station...". By this time, however, Chang had already taken Davis Live Radio off the air.

In early February of 1997, the campus station KDVS went unexpectedly off the air due to damage caused by construction dust in the building. During that time, Mark reconfigured his equipment to operate at 90.3FM and essentially "took over" KDVS' empty frequency for 2 weeks. See the California Aggie front page article from Feb. 10, 1997

In June of 2010, Davis Live Radio returned to the airwaves at 90.3FM for about 12 days while KDVS was busy repairing a problem with their antenna system.

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