Getting Started

The first steps to getting Richmond District Radio on the air are mostly technical. We have a transmitter and some rudimentary studio equipment that can be put on the air.

We need to spend a little time to find a spot on the dial where we can put our signal and not interfere or be interfered with unduly by other stations. Not much chance in a Part 15 station interfering with other stations but our little signal may get bruised no matter where we locate.

Need to put up and antenna of some sort.

Our first broadcasts will really be tests to determine where in the Inner Richmond our little station can be heard.

We’ll actually need to make our transmitter LESS powerful. The transmitter we have puts out 1 Watt, which if not reduced exceed the limits of Part 15 operation. We’ll need to fashion and attenuator to reduce our signal strength. A long feed line will help.

After getting the basic station operating under Part 15 conditions, we’ll need to schedule some broadcasts and invite neighbors by word of mouth, street lamp flyers, etc, to try and tune in the station and submit programming content.

Our transmitter is like this one pictured.

Like this  pictured transmitter, ours will need a proper enclosure.  The Veronica 1-Watt PLL transmitter has some nice features that will be helpful for our little station. We can put the transmitter on any channel in the FM band using the switches on the transmitter board.

The PLL circuit give us a stable operating frequency. Even though we’re a little peanut-whistle station we should still follow good engineering practice with respect to our signal. The transmitter can operate from batteries for a good long time. This is vital for keeping the station on the air in times of emergency.

We have an Orban Optimod 8000A Stereo Generator/Processor. This unit was salvaged from a now defunct FM station. It’s overkill for what we’re trying to build, but hey, we might as well use it. The stereo generator consumes much more power than our transmitter and will not run off batteries directly. So if the power fails, we’ll loose the stereo part of our broadcast. (at least until we get a back-up stereo generator).

We have an Optimod FM to generate stereo and make our station sound good.

Audio programming can come live from microphones and from computer, tape, or other sources through a cheap little mixer we have.

Given our part 15 status, there’s not too much money that needs to be spent on the transmitter side. That means that if we spend money on the station it will be in the area of studio equipment. This can be used for production of podcasts or other “off air” things.

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