THE BUREAU: Part Five, "The President Has Been Shot!" — with an RF Nomad Shortwave Radio Receiver

THE BUREAU by Ethan Persoff

From the weekly series The Bureau.

Welcome back to The Bureau, a weekly comics and audio series on Boing Boing that pairs an electronics music soundtrack with timestamped comic book panels — telling you a story of a single day at your job.

If new to the story, your day began early, first clocking in at 8:55am. You were forced to make a decision at 10:18am, then had an outstanding sandwich at 11:14am, and heard a loud shot of gunfire at 12:34pm.

This week greets you with reaction to the news. It appears the President has been shot. Here is your music soundtrack:

Featured this week: The RF Nomad Shortwave Radio Receiver

When selecting the right tool for the job, we recommend attacking the President with the one thing he can't stand: Uncontrolled Broadcast Media.

This is because there's a widely known self-destruct button connected to what he says and what he does, and how that might be accurately reported.

A recent diagnosis with Russian scientists determined the President's greatest phobia is radio. While you can shut your eyes to print, or cut the cable to TV, Radio is Everywhere. It passes through walls, it's an invisible chem trail!

So when people discuss targeting the president, it's commonly agreed upon that doing so with shortwave radio is one of the best methods available. Shortwave Radio has no FCC control and has no borders. It was used in the Cold War for espionage, and still has a dedicated broadcast community. Listen to and control your own shortwave receiver here.

But even shortwave radio itself is a filtered signal, bringing one to the immediate question, what about an UNFILTERED shortwave radio blast?

Here at The Bureau, we recommend a unique shortwave radio receiver called the RF Nomad, which provides exactly such a service. Russ Hoffman, the brilliant inventor of the Nomad, describes his device as such:

The RF Nomad [is] the squealy, squelchy, noisy, unpredictable vintage sounds of shortwave radio … But this is no ordinary shortwave; it's been designed to be extra noisy, extra squealy, extra gritty, and just downright nasty. No built-in output filtering means that a rich spectrum of harmonic content is available on the audio output jack. Audio levels can be driven to distortion.

Hissy interstation audio. Squealy heterodynes. Fading stations. Atmospheric noises. Faint voices in foreign languages from distant broadcast stations. Fire and brimstone. It's all in there, just like your granddad's old tabletop shortwave.

Even better, you can control the tuning of the radio with control voltage.

Great explanation of the RF Nomad here:

Note that you will need a eurorack power system to use an RF Nomad, along with an RCA-connector indoor antenna.

Alternately, you can pair a commercial dipole antenna with one if you opt for their Moog-unit, or 5U-sized module. This format is configured for a standard antenna PL-259 connector has a more industrial/commercial dial placement and wider audio headroom:

An RF Nomad in full sized Moog/Dotcom 5U Format

A 5U-format RF Nomad, with antenna reception in Texas, is used in the following sound examples.

RF Nomad is the voice of the Secret Service — Jump to 1 minute, 38 seconds:

A modulated RF Nomad signal wakes you up in the Morning Meeting:

A slow sweeping RF Nomad wash of static reception helps you as you leave for lunch:

And for this week's music, the RF Nomad is the voice of State Controlled TV:

Tune in next week for Part Six of The Bureau – Wednesday December 5, 1:21pm PST

View all Bureau installments

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