Total posts : 45366
It is not legal to use 87.9, at least right now. And certainly not with 1 watt.
There are a whole host of factors as was mentioned that contribute to range. It you made a base loaded antenna and mounted it at ground level, outside, with a good ground, while you’re not going to get the range of a Rangemaster, you might get close to a mile range. But again, you’re going to have to experiment.
I think that if I was budget constrained, I’d start with a Talking House and do some experimentation with different installs, antennas, etc. If you get the range you want, then you’re done. But if you don’t, you can always move up to something else (Rangemaster, Grain, ProCaster – you might even be able to find an already built AMT5000).
There is nothing stopping you from starting an Internet radio station – no FCC regulations, etc. That’s a whole other topic, but it’s not going to be free. You need to somehow pay the copyright fees for the music you’re playing if you’re streaming online. There has been a lot of discussion here on that topic and I suggest that you do some research.