Total posts : 45366
I don’t think that EAS would be required (although who knows what the FCC would think). I was just thinking that the VLPFM license would be an enhanced Part 15 – no regulation of content, but allowing for elevated field strength. I don’t think that the casual hobbyist would go for it, but the dedicated ones, sure, or the ones that want to make it into a small or casual business, that would make sense as well. I don’t think you’re going to make a lot of money at it, but as timinbovey has shown with Part 15 AM, if you can get a listener base, you can at least cover your costs while doing what you love. I know that I was close to covering my costs with my radio station on Bowen Island, and the radio station drew people into my bookstore as well. But both of these examples are of special cases – the first, small town & semi-rural so Part 15 AM can cover the intended coverage area and the second, intended coverage of a ferry lineup so potential listeners all had more sensitive car radios and the Canadian standards FM range was just about enough.
My current range in a more typical urban scenario is a good signal for 200-300 meters to a car radio, and a fringe signal out to about 500 meters (fringe meaning weaker, noisy and frequent dropouts). And that’s to a car radio – I doubt if you could hear my signal on an ordinary consumer radio for more than 100 meters, if that. Not exactly a huge coverage area. Obstructions really are a pain, and unfortunately they come more into play the longer range you attempt to have, as there are just more of them (it’s relatively easy to get line of sight for, say, 100-200 feet).
I really think that if you’re going to go to the trouble of petitioning the FCC for increased field strength for something like a VLPFM, you should make it such that you can get a solid signal out to ordinary radios for maybe 500 meters (so about 4 to 5 times the current Canadian field strength limits, or 5000uv/m at 3 meters. And no antenna restrictions, so you can use an elevated vertical or dipole. You’re still dealing with power outputs of well under 1mw, somewhere around .03 milliwatts if my math is correct.
But then, these are my opinions only.