... 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.
Transmission Gear and Suppliers for LPFM
Transmitters - models specifically made or built for LPFM power levels. (Such transmitters need to be Type Certified to the FCC.
Antennas - several companies handle antennas that are designed to work with LPFM stations. They include:
Monitoring and Control - While specific logs are not required for LPFM, the Rules do require that a station know that it is operating within its Authorization - and be able to terminate transmissions if an out of tolerance condition is not remedied within three hours.
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
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.
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
Places to get legal help for LPFM stations
Sources for legal, paralegal, or just advice