Broadcasters' Desktop Resource

... edited by Barry Mishkind - the Eclectic Engineer    

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The LPFM Buyer's Guide

... While LPFM is a broadcast service and uses many of the same pieces of equipment as full power stations, it has its own special challenges. One of the main challenges is budgetary; with standard commercials not permitted, an LPFM station needs to be careful and efficient with its budget. The manufacturers, vendors, and service providers on this page are attuned to the special needs of LPFM stations.

Studio Gear and Suppliers for LPFM stations

Audio Processing - There is no need to pay $14k or $15k for a processor. Digital processors in the $3k range can give you a very competitive sound. Some transmitters even offer processing cards in the transmitter for even less. Of course, if your goal is to smash the audio like the big stations, then by all means, bite the bullet and pay the bill.

Automation & Programming - There are some very cost-effective automation/live assist packages that will serve LPFM stations well.

      StationPlayList - a flexible, yet economical set of packages to automate simple to complex stations

Clocks - ESE makes clocks that keep stations on time. Among the lower-cost, but high quality master clocks, ESE's LX-192U and ES-192U series definitely are worth a look.

Consoles - There are a number of smaller, economical  consoles that allow for professional sounding operation without sacrificing microphone muting, etc. While it may seem like you save a lot of money buying one of the cheap mixers, in the end, it makes life much more difficult.

      Wheatstone Air 1

EAS Receivers - yes, EAS is required. Some vendors, like Digital Alert Systems, have special EAS receivers for LPFM that are under $1995 list - a savings from the fully featured systems needed at commercial stations. Be sure to check out the DASDEC-II LC and DASDEC-II LCR models.


Microphones - Here again, you do not need to spend megabucks, but you should stay away from most $29 microphones. Most folks who have responded are happy they spent more.

Pre-Owned Gear - Bay Country Broadcast Gear

Rep Firms -, RF Specialties, and SCMS are poised to help you find the right mix of professional and semi-professional gear to make your station sound great.

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