What is an aircheck? Do I have to be a professional DJ or in the radio industry
to trade them?
A: An aircheck is a radio industry
term for 'recording'. Airchecks are recordings off of the radio, tv, anything
that can be recorded from, and can be stored on media like CD, Minidisc, Cassette
Tape, and VHS Tape. Anybody and everybody can be an aircheck trader, not just
people who work in the radio industry.
Q: What is trading airchecks and an aircheck trader?
A: Trading airchecks is self
explanatory. People trade airchecks using various websites and email to send messages
to eachother regarding requests, etc. and they use the mail to mail the aircheck
packages to eachother. An aircheck trader is another term for someone who trades
and collects airchecks.
Q: I would like to trade with you, but I don't have a collection, can we still
A: Sure. Just because you are new and/or you don't have an aircheck collection
of your own, we can still trade airchecks with eachother. Instead I will request
new airchecks off of your tapeable radio/tv stations. Before contacting me for
a trade if you never traded with me before, check my aircheck archives to see
if I have airchecks at least six months old listed from your local tapeable stations.
If I do, then we can trade, but if there are airchecks that are younger than six
months old, we can't trade, becuase those airchecks I have from your local tapeable
stations are too recent.
What do I need to record airchecks?
A: What you really need to
record airchecks is less than what you think. First, you need is of course a radio,
either a boombox or a tape deck for your stereo that can record new tapes if you
want to trade cassette tape airchecks. If you want to trade minidiscs then you
will need a minidisc recorder (either a portable recording walkman or a minidisc
deck for your home stereo) with access to your local FM radio dial to record airchecks.)
To trade video airchecks, you will need a VCR that can record in either SP or
EP/SLP mode, and access to your local cable system's cable to record. I will accept
recordings off rabbit ears antennas of local stations unless the stations comes
in crystal clear color without any static or distortion.
Q: How do I record airchecks?
A: Recording airchecks are
easier than you think. To record an aircheck, put the radio on the requested station's
frequency, and orient the radio's antenna so the station comes in crystal clear
stereo, or the clearest you can get it without any static. Then start your recording
machine (may it be a cassette tape, minidisc, or CD recorder). Record the aircheck
all the way until it ends without pausing it at all. For cassette tapes, when
the tape side finishes you turn the tape over immediately and record the other
side of the tape until it finishes. This is to prevent the possibility of repeated
programming and music in the aircheck.
Q: When should I record airchecks?
A: For recording airchecks
for yourself, it is up to you, do whatever you want. I do though recommend you
record a new aircheck from all radio stations in your area at least every six
months, so if a station changes their format, name, frequency, etc. you will have
an aircheck of the station before its change. But, for recording airchecks for
other aircheck traders, you need to ask them what time is okay with them, and
do everything in your power to follow their trading rules, failure to do so would
most likely result in you sending replacement airchecks out to them or you being
banned from trading with them depending on the severity of the issue. For recording
their airchecks, most will say record their airchecks during normal programming
(which is usually 10AM through 10PM). Others will ask you to record the weekend
mixshows from a station, or to record a morning show or another special program.
If no specific time to record is given at the time the other trader requests his
airchecks, assume he or she wants normal programming recorded.
Where should I record airchecks?
A: The best place to record
airchecks is as high as possible, as close to a window as possible. You will definately
get better reception from the top floor of your house (using a boombox or indoor
antenna) or outside (with a roof antenna on your roof) versus recording in the
basement or in a room in the middle of the house (using a boombox or indoor antenna).
Now if you have a roof antenna with a cord running from it to any room in your
house (like a basement, room in the middle of your house) then it is fine, because
the reception is coming from the roof antenna instead of an antenna in the room
of the radio receiver.
Q: How should I store my airchecks?
A: There is no correct way
to store airchecks, it's up to you. Lots of aircheck traders use shelves on a
wall in their house to store their airchecks. Others, like me, store their airchecks
in a drawer. To extend the life of your aircheck, make sure you store it in it's
Q: Why collect/trade airchecks?
A: To those who don't do it,
collecting recordings off of radio and television stations might sound sort of
odd. Every person who collects/trades airchecks has their own reason for doing
so. Personally, I collect airchecks because I think its interesting hearing/seeing
what different stations around the nation and around the world sounds like. I
also like to compare those far-away stations to my local stations to find out
which is better.
Q: I am going on a trip or vacation. Do I have to record airchecks while on it?
A: You don't have to record
anything, especially if it is inconvienant, during a vacation or trip. Soon after
you start aircheck collecting yourself you will realize that it is great going
on trips and recording airchecks, and you would most likely want to record on
every trip you go (be it a convienance or not).
Q: What does "Unscoped" and "Scoped" mean?
A: This has to do with the
way the aircheck is recorded. Scoped means that the aircheck was recorded with
either commercials, or songs cut out. To record a scoped tape, you record until
either a commercial or a song comes on, and you push the 'pause' button on your
tape deck until the commercial break or song is over to record again. Unscoped
means that the aircheck was recorded non-stop in it's enterity, just as it was
broadcasted over the air. So, whatever the station aired during the duration of
the tape or minidisc, such as commercials, songs, DJs talking, announcers, messups,
traffic information, weather information, emergency alert system tones, and dead
If you have any other questions, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I
will answer them and add them to this page!