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Studio & Equipment Info
Putting together a radio studio can be a daunting task! You'll need to find an appropriate space, figure out what equipment you need, obtain it, and then wire it all together and test it. The good news is that there are plenty of other studios out there to model yours after. The challenge is that no two studios are the same, so you'll want to put some thought into how to set up your studio to best serve your station.
The resources below will tell you a bit about the commonalities among all studios (including the equipment that all low power FM stations are legally required to have), as well as the differences between various studios. If you have outstanding questions specific to your studio, don't hesitate to contact us! We also recommend visiting other low power community radio stations as much as you can and checking out their studios before building yours - you'll be sure to meet great people and learn something useful!
This guide is out of date. See our Station Building Assessment for up to date equipment information.
Before you put your LPFM station on the air, you will have to make a lot of decisions related to equipment. This document is intended to help you figure out what components you need for your station, and what features to look for in those components.
Live radio is the heart and soul of great community radio. However, an automated playback computer is a useful supplement to your live program line-up. You can use an automation system to handle unattended late night programming and to schedule program reruns and station IDs. For more information on automation systems, check out this guide created by Prometheus and KDRT.
One of the absolutely beautiful things about low power radio is how cheap it is. Many stations get on the air for under $15,000 and can stay on the air for less than $1,000 per month. The main start-up expenses for a radio station are engineering fees, studio equipment for producing radio shows, and transmitting equipment for sending your signals out to the world. The main recurring costs are rent, utilities, and personnel.
EAS CAP: What your community radio station needs to know
Here is a summary of some basic info about CAP, the new protocol for emergency alerts. This is an active document that will be updated as we get new information.
Station Signal Flowcharts
A lot of different elements go into every station we build. For many of them, especially for our Barnraising stations, we create special documents to show how these elements fit together. If you are interested in finding out more about how everything plugs together, read below for examples of stations we have built!
Every station is unique, though there are a lot of similar parts in each. There will almost always be a CD player, a cassette deck (yes, people still use those), microphones, turntables, computers, and so on. Those can be seen over and over again in each of these diagrams.
These documents are intended for print, so many of them have rotated pages in them. Some of them are intended to be printed on Legal sized paper... sorry about that! There is usually a page of text after the diagram. They are all in PDF format. If you cannot open the files, download the PDF viewer from adobe here.
These are in chronological order by the date when the station was built:
- WRFU-LP - Urbana, IL
- KPCN-LP - Woodburn, OR
- KPCN-LP - Woodburn, OR - En Español
- WMXP-LP - Greenville, SC
- KWPA-LP - Coupeville, WA