German group comes with 'Pocket FM' to support Syrian revolution

ASSOCIATED PRESS
BERLIN
Published
Philipp Hochleichter of the MICT organization talks behind Pocket FM Radio Transmitters in Berlin, Germany. As part of the Syrian radio networking project, MICT has designed small modular FM transmitters. (AP Photo)
Philipp Hochleichter of the MICT organization talks behind Pocket FM Radio Transmitters in Berlin, Germany. As part of the Syrian radio networking project, MICT has designed small modular FM transmitters. (AP Photo)

A group of journalists and tech enthusiasts in Berlin are working to spur the Syrian media revolution.

Their weapon is a shoebox-sized device which allows opposition radio stations in Syria to transmit inside hostile territory.

Dubbed PocketFM, the device is basically a low-powered radio transmitter. Coupled with a satellite dish to receive new programs, a car battery for power and an antenna it can broadcast FM radio within a five-kilometer (three-mile) radius.

That's enough to cover a town, or a city district, said Philipp Hochleichter, who oversees development of the device for the Berlin-based non-profit organization Media in Cooperation and Transition (MICT).

A $40 Raspberry Pi computer is the heart of the device. Hochleichter says, "We're not a hardware company that's got $100,000 to develop new technology."

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