WKQK 94.1 FM Is Back To Country Music

Memphians might remember “Froggy 94” back in the 90s before the station switched to Top 40 and Oldies in the early 2000s. It played country music and competed with the familiar KIX 106.

As of Friday, September 26th, 2014 the FM frequency will once again play country music. I walked into the Entercom studios just before producing the MUS football game to hear the station switched formats.

If you tune to the radio (or live stream) right now, then you’ll notice that the former oldies format (94.1 KQK) is now “The Wolf.”

What’s even more interesting is there are no DJs and little commercials! It’s strange to say the least, but not totally unexpected given recent trends.

I will give more details about the format change along with my impressions on my upcoming podcast this Wednesday.

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A Note About Scooters Plus & Electric Bikes

In Season One of my CFOR podcast, I talked about wanting to do a show about e-bikes, or electric bikes. Since then, scope of the show has been narrowed to be all about radio. However, this blog post is going to detail my recent experience with this form of alternate transportation.

For folks who don’t know anything about e-bikes, they are essentially bikes with electric motors powered by a battery.  The purpose is to assist in one’s pedaling, either to gain a speed boost or perhaps not ride to their destination while dipping in sweat.

Last weekend, I decided to replace an old bike for an e-bike. Instead of ordering on-line, Scooter Plus became my shopping destination.

Long story short: This was a mistake. I will tell the whole story now.

As me and my friend Elliot went inside the shop, we didn’t see anything remotely looking like a traditional bicycle. However, there was scooter-ish looking e-bike hanging on the wall for $825.

On impulse, I bought the Roketa ES-44. After leaving the store, I rode on it and actually enjoyed the experience. With the exception of being pulled over by a cop (who assumed it was a moped) for not wearing a helmet, there was no shame for making this purchase.

The following days tell a different story.

Last Sunday, I prepped up for my trip to work in East Memphis/Bartlett. Before leaving, my bike didn’t power on even though the battery was fully charged. After checking the power connections, I noticed a hairline crack in the battery casing.

Despite that, I rode to work and partially back in the night. Now, the battery wasn’t recharged before the return trip home and died during my trip. For future reference: if you are going to make a 10+ mile trip on an e-bike, always charge the battery completely.
With a dead battery, I proceeded to pedal the Roketa ES-44 like a normal bicycle. It seemed to work until the chain completely broke off. Unfortunately I had to lug a 100 lb. e-bike for 6 miles until getting home.

This story gets even better. Knowing that this equipment will need repairs, I made plans to bring it back to Scooters Plus on my off-day.

However, I still had two more days of work and needed to use the bike. On Monday, the fully-charged bike will have to do on just throttle power.

Everything seemed good until I past the intersection of Central & Highland. Approaching the University of Memphis, the tail end of the bike started to sink. In short, the tire had a flat. Interestingly enough, the air cap was missing, even though it was never removed by myself.

Thus, I couldn’t bear to keep this thing much longer in its current condition. I hoped to return it back to Scooters Plus.

Bad news was I couldn’t get a refund. Despite my issues, the store was unwilling to take it back because of their policy. However they told me  that they could repair it or replace it with the same thing without any costs because of the 90 day warranty.

I wanted my money back, but instead I am stuck with a faulty e-bike and have to wait until a few more days for it to be “fixed.”

The lessons learned from this experience are not buying anything from stores with return policies like Scooters Plus, not buying cheap Chinese e-bikes, and getting e-bikes that don’t look like scooters.

Once the Roketa ES-44 is repaired, it is going to be sold. Despite the initial problems, it should look and run like new but I am sore over this whole experience.

Episode 11 – Reviewing The Old & New

In this episode of CFOR, Chris gives a first “retro” review of his first shortwave radio, the Worldstar MG-6100.

During the break, you’ll hear music from The Rope River Blues Band’s “I’m So Over God’s Horizon”

In Part 2, he comes back to the present to give impressions on the ever popular Tecsun PL-660. Also, listeners may hear a bit of news about Radio Exterior de Espana and Clear Channel Communications.

Chris breaks down the fine details about these two amazing radios in this podcast so sit back and enjoy.

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Episode 10 – How I Got Into Radio

This 10th episode of CFOR kicks off a brand-new season. In the starting entry into Season 2, Chris explains in depth on how he got interested in radio as a hobby. This extracurricular activity eventually compels him into pursuing it as a career.

Listeners also get a taste of “Sounds of Shortwave,” a cassette tape that cam packaged with a book titled, Listening to Shortwave. This book/tape from Radio Shack is one resource that helped Chris become more involved with shortwave radio.

For a written account, you can click here to learn more about how Chris got into radio.

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Subtle Changes Coming To CFOR Podcast

20140223_131624For folks following the Chris Freitas On Radio podcast, thanks for listening and your support. Throughout today, I have thought of a few things that will make this show a bit better.

For starters, I am going to change the category of CFOR. It will no longer be a tech show, at least not as broad in subject matter.

Instead, it will be strictly be about radio. The podcast will be something like my Shortwave Tonight & Shortwave Weekly projects before this one. However, it will not be entirely about shortwave.

Shortwave radio will be a part of the subject matter, but I will also talk about FM, AM, satellite, podcasting, and internet radio. Anything that deals with the medium, I will discuss it.

One of the big reasons for this change is because I realize I get a sizable audience when talking or writing about radio (especially shortwave). I haven’t lost interest in gaming or technology but I feel that keeping consistent in format is the best way to progress this show. It’s something that I’ve failed at so far, but I want to improve in that area.

It was never meant to have a large following, but it seems the audience that’s paying attention to it is a group of people interested in radio broadcasting. It also shows in my posts as they have been linked to sites such as Reddit, Facebook, and Google.

So, I am structuring this podcast around the medium of radio. This also makes since from the namesake, Chris Freitas “On Radio.”

Also, I plan to have more guests on the program and co-host with me. This will mean that I will contact folks involved in radio. Whether it will be hobbyists, announcers, producers, etc., I want to have them on CFOR now and then. It also makes the show more fun and enjoyable.

As part of this refocused mission, Episode 10 will change. Originally, I set out to produce an episode on e-bikes. I am shifting gears to talk about how I got started in the radio. You can read up on the article, but I will go more in detail on this upcoming show.

Worldstar RadioAfterwards, I plan to do some reviews including some “retro radio reviews” of ones that I’ve used long ago. I’ll include written reviews alongside the podcast version as well.

All the social media links, hosting sites, feeds will stay the same. The podcast will still continue. I am just “fine tuning” the format and adjusting content towards my audience. Perhaps I’ll gain some new listeners in the process.

Episode 9 – Goin’ Take Ya For A Ride

On Episode 9 of CFOR, take a ride with Chris as he travels along the Shelby Farms Greenline. He talks a bit about the history and details about this trail on his first day on the job.

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Here are some pictures he took last year of the Greenline:

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Crossing the Wolf River on the Greenway!

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Taking the scenic route back home!

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