Waves at the Cross Streets

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Waves at the Cross Streets

A fellow part 15 hobbyist asked an interesting question... he wanted to know a cross street where he could tune to KDX while he was in the area.

As it turns out KDX is not receivable at any cross streets because of the way I practice the hobby.

Neither my AM nor FM signals leave the property where I run these stations as a way of bringing myself good programming, and the signals do not reach the surrounding neighborhoods as I have no obligation to serve strangers, except in case of national disastor in which I have spare sardines to hand out.

I'm the opposite

I want as many listeners or potential listeners that I can get in the little area I can cover.

I tell anyone I can about it and advertise on the community mail box down the street.

Kind of a good feeling to know someone is listening. Isn't this the whole idea in wanting to get the most range you legally can, and why in the USA AM is the preferred way to go?

Of course having it for myself as "my station" like Carl is the objective also.

But I just thought that if you have a large property like a couple of acres or more your signal couldn't leave your property anyway.

Same same

I feel the same way Mark, and have done what I can to promote the station. I have put leaflets in mailboxes and the township promotes the station on its website, as well as its quarterly newsletter and I have a page for the station on my website at My main challenge is that I am in a sparsely populated area and my signal must travel 1000 feet before it even leaves my property. Compensating for that though is my property is about 160 feet above street level which helps and I can hear the station up to about 1 mile away. Recently I was at a township meeting about some volunteer work I am doing for them and was very pleased when one of the members of the planning commisson told me that he had heard my station! That is the first and only indication so far that someone besides myself and family have herd the station! 

Jim Henry HBR Radio 1610, serving Honey Brook, PA. and NW Chester County.

Both Sides Now

Gentlemen, Mark and Jim, I am in favor of the hobby in all its forms.

My way of using part 15 is not a political stand, and I am very curious about "range" and do frequent experiments to learn more about the "outer limits" of part 15 reach.

There was a time when I would have pushed the envelope and stretched things as far as possible to get a signal way up in the sky and down into the households.

Excperimenting in our hobby is tracked by our "prison guards" who watch for any mention of edging over the rules and wave the dreaded NOUO acronym in our face whenever we even slightly hint that we may have too many milliWatts, and I don't believe they report only to us... I suspect our "watchers" serve "patriotically" as self-appointed eyes and ears for the Federal Authority.

This thread of thought will continue in a new thread titled "Carls Future Call", scheduled for the ALPB Forum Site this Christmas afternoon.

Carl Blare

See when I lived in Elizabeth

See when I lived in Elizabeth City North Carolina it didn't take much power at all to actually get listeners. Why you may ask because I was right across the street from the library. We also had plenty of businesses just behind the house and to the left of the house there was a few homes within that area. There was even a lawyers building right next door to my house.


Sometimes it's just location location location not about the range because if you're in a densely populated area you'll get listeners no matter what.

Progressive Rock (Album Rock, Deep Tracks), Classic Rock

More Power for Hobby Broadcasters

This is a bit off-topic, but

This is a bit off-topic, but the title of this thread "Waves at the Cross Streets" echoed  "Making Waves" which is the title of the 1992 SeaGrant video that specifies and promotes both Part15 and TIS broadcasting as well as the cost involved with each method.. This was produced back in 1992:

If you'll notice, only when the part15 broadcasts are featured in the video a "low power radio" logo is shown on the lower right of the screen. 

Anyway, if you've never seen it, it's an interesting watch.

Rich Powers Part15, Take 2..

Prison Guards

"Experimenting in our hobby is tracked by our "prison guards" who watch for any mention of edging over the rules and wave the dreaded NOUO acronym in our face whenever we even slightly hint that we may have too many milliWatts, and I don't believe they report only to us... I suspect our "watchers" serve "patriotically" as self-appointed eyes and ears for the Federal Authority."

Precisely why I do what I want, and I don't brag about my hobby. FCC has something to say? I'll stop. Until then...let the snitches get what they deserve...eventually. I am NOT interested in broadcasting to MYSELF. What's the point? But then, why broadcast at all? Who cares? One HAS to have a purpose.

Myself, i just play music. I play comedy bits. Jingles. But WHEN I want, at the POWER I want! On FM! 250 @ 9 feet? Ha! Not a chance. But, kids...don't play around. You either do or you don't. I know what I'm doing. Done radio broadcasting for over 40 years. On 100,000 FM stations. I know limiting. Compression. Deviation limits. Bandwidth. You DON'T do this without the knowledge! 

Every hobby has Armchair Police. They stick RULES in your face. For me, keep your RULES to yourself! I'll keep my "fringe" limits edited out of my posts. As far as anyone is concerned, I'm at Part 15 levels! -Wink!-




I doubt most (myself included

I doubt most (myself included) in the part15 community could care less if your someone is a pirate or not. The problem is associating pirating and part15 as basically the same thing.. It gives the hobby a bad reputation saying your part15 broadcasting 5 or 6 miles.

Rich Powers Part15, Take 2..

Like I said

Lumping part15 and BETS-1(Canada) with pirates is done by people who are ignorant and know nothing about it...most of the general population.

My own brother thinks I am a pirate and any unlicensed transmission getting on the radio is illegal but he knows nothing of BETS-1.




You have a good point there

You have a good point there Mark. Part15, BETS-1, the general public has no notion of what that means. Yes most people are ignorant of it unless they happen to be a broadcasting enthusiest. But everyone knows what a pirate radio station is.

If someone ask me about the legality of my station, I find it easiest to relate it to the Savannah Wildlife Refuge radio (as they are here in my area). I say "You know how when you enter the sign says to tune your AM radio and leave it on?.. As your driving, first you hear a broadcast about the rice plantation, but as you get down the road it gradually fades to static, and drive  a little further and it begins fading back in clear and talking about the wildlife, and as you pass that general area it fades to static again, only to come back talking about habitats, then fades out and in again, this time telling you to stop by the visitors center.. Well that kind of local are broadcasting doesn't require a license, and anyone can do it. It's in the FCC's rules and it called "part15" - that's the same rule my station operates under and I'm using a FCC certified transmitter designed for that purpose. It's made for broadcasting to individual local areas."

That kind of explaination usually makes sense to the general public, because it's relatable, everyone at one time or another has heard those kind of broadcast and knows you can only receive them a limited distance.

On the other hand, if your signal is traveling for several miles with a good listenable signal, then they're likely to suspect you're feeding them a line of bull, even if you show them your part15 certifed transmitter.

It's not diffulct to install a certifed Rangemaster or Procaster and acheive on up to 10 miles range, I've done it before and I know squat about engineering, I'm just a plug and play type of guy, but I knew damn well the installation itself wasn't compliant. A certified transmitter doesn't mean squat if you don't install it properly.

So yes, it irks me to have pirates bragging about the capabilities of their illegal operations under the guise of part15 as an attempt to legitamize what their doing. I don't care who pirates, but I do care you does so and proffesses themselves to be part15, because it threatens the continued existence of 15.219.

There's been at least two times the FCC has congregated to consider eliminating rule 15.219, once in the 1970s and again in the 1990s, both times was due to an upsurge in abuse of the rule. The only thing that saved it was national Park and Recreations, which has always been the most predominate group to utilize the rule.

I don't see 15.219 ever going away, but it's not such a far fetched idea if the FCC decided to take it away from individual hobbyist, leaving us only 15.209 to play with.

In light of the FCCs fight against pirates, and the substatial amount of apparent pirate practice bragged in part15 forums, facebook, youtube, and websites.. Well, the distinction between pirate and part15 is eroding. I think that dangerous to the part15 community and it's livelyhood. That's what I resent.

Personally, I have no resentment against pirate operations perse - I don't care one way or other. Just don't threaten our hobby by associating with it.

Rich Powers Part15, Take 2..

Pirate Vs Part 15

There is AM and there is FM. I am asked constantly, how to "broadcast" on FM. Essentially, you CANNOT. The nano-watts necessary completely defeat the purpose. So FM is OUT. Legally. I had my fun. I have not had the FM on in six months. The ANGER at me running 100 milliwatts...on FM...OMG!! That's ILLEGAL! Horrors! Call the National Guard! The Federal Marshalls! I'm tired of the controversy.


The FCC can't even get a handle on the REAL pirates...running hundreds of watts into dirty, unfiltered, unlimited signals, splashing all over frequencies unknown to mankind! It's "Whack-A-Mole" with those guys. I can't even relate. My FM can cover my neighborhood and into downtown. At 100 milliwatts. Yep. Did the test. But screw it. I really cannot (and WILL not) be Part 15 on FM. Again, six months silent. My neIghbors next door moved, The house is vacant.


So, kids. I still have my Spitfire. That is legal. Not certified. But good grief, Here we go again. I guarantee, running the Spitfire with audio from my new Aphex Compellor sounds as good as my SSTRAN! If you park in front of my house, you can listen. As you move down the street...gone. Hey! I AM at Part 15 levels! No piracy here!


I have several transmitters. On FM, I have a 30-watt, a 1-watt, and a .5 watt. All filtered. They are boat anchors. Not much good, if ya gonna get in trouble! I have three AMs, a Talking House, an SSTRAN and a Spitfire. The TH is a POS. The Spitfire and SSTRAN are equal in MOST instances...being driven by The Compellor.



Pirate Somewhere Else

If you want to be a pirate and talk about it, that's OK.  I really don't think that most people care.  Just do it somewhere else.

Yes, broadcasting under FM Part 15 rules is challenging, and extremely limiting.  But within those limits you can learn a lot, and it can be extremely rewarding (particularly if your primary listener(s) are yourself and perhaps your close neighbours).

Part 15 AM is much less limiting, and you can achieve much more range - again, if that is what you want.

But the long and the short of it is that this is a *legal* Part 15 broadcasting Forum.  What is discussed here should be confined to what is legal.

I don't think that we have to continuously talk about the rules - I often tire of it as well.  Sometimes, though, those that resist such talks in their entirety appear to have guilty consciences at best.

Most existing members here know what the rules are.  But new members may not, and refreshers, *where appropriate* are just fine.

What IS dangerous is claiming to operate legally, while spreading misinformation about what that entails, as others have suggested.

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