How to Start a Micro Powered Radio Station

Have you always dreamed of being on the radio? Well, you can! You can reach up to 2.5 miles (4.0 km) of range, with an AM antenna and transmitter, which complies with Part 15 of the FCC rules.NOTE: In some belief, people will consider you a pirate, because you're broadcasting illegally. That is not true. Just use one transmitter that complies with the Part 15 FCC rules, which clearly states "100 milliwatts to the final RF stage..."ANOTHER NOTE: I'm not held responsible if you receive a knock on your door from you're FCC resident agent. Resident Agents from the FCC have a tendency to hunt down unlicensed radio stations, and confiscate their equipment. Unlicensed operations more than 100 milliwatts will no doubt give you a knock by the FCC, so be careful.


  1. 1
    Before buying equipment, think about your brand and slogan. For example, 104.7 KDUK in Eugene uses the brand, 104.7 KDUK, with the slogan, Today's Best Hits. Think about this, and it might help attract more listeners!
  2. 2
    Be very cautious, and look over at the rules in Section 15.219. You can view Section 15.219 here.
  3. 3
    Buy your equipment. What you are required to need is a Part 15 AM Transmitter & AM Antenna.
  4. 4
    Apply for royalty licensing. Wanna play music by signed artists like Justin Timberlake, Robin Thicke, and Katy Perry? Then you're going to need to apply for royalty licensing from BMI and ASCAP. Details available at: & . NOTE: To pay Royalty Fees, you're going to need money. That's where advertising comes in. Next step explains advertising. Although, you can always go with Public Domain sound recordings, that are no longer under the authority of the record label. (This is pre-1922 sound recordings by the way. Very OLD.)
  5. 5
    Get advertisers. Advertising is important when playing signed artists. You need the money, but you can't get it anywhere else. Ask businesses around your town for what rates they like, come up with a round, then, ask them if they would like to advertise. It sounds crazy, but advertising is important when it comes to playing signed artists. Plus, you can only play so much at a time. Also try looking up Advertisers by their demographics, for a much broader search. In fact, you can even donate ad space, with the help of Ad Council's PSA Central. You can visit AdCouncil's PSA Central, online at: . NOTE: You need to sign up for their service, but luckily enough, it's FREE! Make sure you don't run PSAs after their expiration date.
  6. 6
    Go on the air! Play a up-tempo song, like "Party Rock Anthem" by LMFAO or "Roar" by Katy Perry. If you are in a big city that has ingested traffic, try doing you're "sign-on" at 5pm to get listeners pumped up on the highway.
  7. 7
    Have fun on the radio! Just follow the FCC Part 15 rules, and you will be A-OK!


  • Wanna make your part of the airwaves important, just like any FCC licensed station? Do a Station ID. Don't broadcast lottery information. Don't do a broadcast hoax (ex., It's the end of the world! AHH!). Make your community stronger by participating in the Emergency Alert System. Make a EEO Public File. Don't broadcast material that is obscene & indecent. Carry national syndicated programming. Let the children have something to listen to! Obtain Old Time Radio programs for children and broadcast them Saturday mornings from 9am-Noon. Or, create your own! Don't advertise cigarettes. Don't make your commercials loud. Don't broadcast drug lyrics. Only broadcast obscene programming from 10pm-6am.
  • If you want a call letter, try using N as your first letter for you're calls.


  • You may get caught by the FCC for broadcasting unlicensed on the AM band. So be careful.
  • If you get caught by the FCC, don't give up! Try going to the Internet instead!

Sources and Citations

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Categories: Amateur Radio | Hardware