Home › Forums › temp › Feedback Needed on Starting a Part 15 FM station … › Ugh … don’t say “feedback” ;)
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“The main portion of town (including several stores, a state highway and residential areas) is rectangular in nature. It runs just under two miles north/south, and just over a mile east/west. Obviously, I can’t legally reach the entire town with one part 15 transmitter. It just isn’t going to happen. It should also be noted that the community as a whole, is in a valley.”
I hate to discourage you, but OK, so let’s call that about 10,000 ft. x 5000 ft. Part 15 FM transmitters are strictly limited: Unlicensed broadcasts on the FM broadcast band (88 to 108 MHz) are limited to a field strength of 250 µV/m at a distance of 3 meters from the antenna. That equates to something between 200-300 ft. max. per station, which in your case figures out to be a grid of about 140 synchronized stations!!!
Trying to reach your town using Part 15 FM will either be totally impractical and/or totally illegal. I recommend you consider a much smaller constellation of a few Rangemaster AM radio stations.
… or get with the folks at Prometheus: http://www.prometheusradio.org/ … and get the process of constructing a LPFM Community Radio Station underway … will take about 2 years from the next application window. You’ll need to gather support and volunteer board members to start the engineering and writing it all up ASAP so you’ll have your ducks in a row whenever the FCC opens that window. LPFM stations must be owned by a legal NPO, an individual cannot own one. Most are IRS tax exempt 501(c)(3) NPO’s and operate under the Education umbrella.
You will indeed need BMI licensing for playing music that is not in the public domain, if you reach a large enough potential audience, else, as in my case, I play only music that I believe to be in the public domain or local indie music for which I have permission from the artists. All of either LPFM or successful Part 15 AM stations I know also operate on Internet radio, so that means paying BMI. E.g., KLOI LPFM: http://www.kloi.org/ … on nearby Lopez Island pays $500/year for limited play time.