Low power radio - and LibriVox content

Comments about LibriVox? Suggestions to improve things? News?
elfpen
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Post by elfpen » September 17th, 2013, 5:53 am

I'd like to know what you think of this idea.

The FCC will be accepting applications for low power FM radio stations.
I am contemplating applying for one and broadcasting LibriVox recordings.

Low power FM covers about 10 miles from the site of transmission, more or less.
Stations are required to transmit for at least 5 hours daily.

Cori
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Post by Cori » September 18th, 2013, 2:16 pm

Interesting! Whereabouts would it be covering? It'd be lovely to have time/themed broadcasts -- perhaps childrens stories at the times when most local children are going to and from school ... a Book at Bedtime for grown-up listeners, some non-fiction during the afternoon, gardening books at the weekend.

Gosh, actually this sounds like brilliant fun! Go for it! :D
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MaryAnnSpiegel
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Post by MaryAnnSpiegel » September 19th, 2013, 10:55 am

It does sound like a great idea. We certainly have enough content in the Librivox catalog to cover 5 hours a day . . .

Let us know if you go ahead - how it works out and what your experience is.

MaryAnn

icequeen
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Post by icequeen » September 19th, 2013, 1:51 pm

I thought it sounded like fun, but I don't have enough time in my day anymore to do something like this. But something to put on "The List" of things to do!
Ann

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Lucy_k_p
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Post by Lucy_k_p » September 19th, 2013, 1:54 pm

It certainly sounds interesting. I've often thought about how I'd schedule a LibriVox radio show. It'll be great to see how someone puts it into practice.


It will probably be a lot of work to set up, but I hope you're successful. Do let us know how it turns out!
So little space, so much to say.

BellonaTimes
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Post by BellonaTimes » September 21st, 2013, 2:30 pm

Our local community radio station (WMNF - Tampa) would seem an ideal place for an LV hour (or so), as would other stations across the country. Has Hugh ever approached them -- it would seem like an ideal cross-promotional program.

They run partially on donations from the listening public, and the shows are (or used to be, I haven't been keeping up with them lately) created by a DJ with a specific mindset. There's a feminist show, a rabbi does a service on the weekend, a couple of local public affairs programs, and all sorts of mostly indie music shows. They have these stations on the left end of the dial in most major US cities, usually college towns like ours. University of South Florida itself has a lo-fi station on campus in addition to its larger tower for local and national news.
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Cori
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Post by Cori » September 22nd, 2013, 5:40 am

I think it makes far more sense for local volunteers to approach local stations. If a group of LVers wanted to put together a sample contact email, and/or collaborate on Good Practice, that could easily be done through this forum. It's definitely a good example of one of those things that can be done more comprehensively and persuasively by a group rather than by one or two admins struggling to find contacts for local radio stations around the world. ;)
There's honestly no such thing as a stupid question -- but I'm afraid I can't rule out giving a stupid answer : : To Posterity and Beyond!

elfpen
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Post by elfpen » October 3rd, 2013, 11:57 am

We have started the process.

The FCC is opening a time window in October for new applications for low power FM radio stations.
They only do so to non-profit organizations, and only if there is an open frequency available.

Low Power FM generally reaches about 5 miles in radius from the transmitter site.

I started by looking at the open frequency finder tool at the FCC, which requires entry of
the Lat and Long of the proposed transmitter site. There were two frequency channels open.

I registered a new non-profit organization in my state. This was pretty easy and the cost was $50.

If multiple organizations apply, the FCC has a points system which includes
things like having locally-originated content and having an office/studio.
Also, the length of time the non-profit has been in existence is considered.

We don't qualify for many of the points. The success of our application will depend on
whether other people in this area apply. And that is OK with me. If someone is going
to use that resource, I am OK with it. But if the resource is going to be fallow, I have
an idea how it could be used.

We're going to give it a shot and see what happens.

elfpen
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Joined: June 27th, 2011, 7:42 pm

Post by elfpen » October 3rd, 2013, 12:10 pm

Because of the potential costs, I agree that contacting an existing station would be
the way to go unless the people involved already have an interest in that type
of technology.

I appreciate the encouragement from this group. I brought up the topic to make
sure that I wasn't offending a taboo or whatnot.

elfpen
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Post by elfpen » November 23rd, 2013, 6:41 pm

Progress report:

The Federal Communications Commission's time window for LPFM radio
applications ended on Nov 15th and they are now processing the apps.

Our application appears to be in good shape.
If there are no public objections filed we will likely get a permit to construct
and have 18 months to get things up and running.

At that point also we will apply for a radio callsign at the FCC
and apply with the charity department of the state
of Mississippi so that we can accept contributions.

If we purchase off-the-shelf radio equipment our cost will be about $5k.
It's non-profit, like NPR, so we can do "underwriting" but cannot have
commercials.

Also I will be trying to put together a programming schedule
and start to download Librivox content.

We plan to try to do some local interviews and other stuff in addition
to a very hefty diet of classic books.

Chris Howard
Classic Book Radio
Columbus, Mississippi

Cori
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Post by Cori » November 24th, 2013, 10:35 am

Brilliant, hope it goes well. It's lovely to get updates about this. :D
There's honestly no such thing as a stupid question -- but I'm afraid I can't rule out giving a stupid answer : : To Posterity and Beyond!

Lucy_k_p
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Post by Lucy_k_p » November 25th, 2013, 3:17 am

Excellent news. Best of luck getting it all put together.
So little space, so much to say.

elfpen
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Joined: June 27th, 2011, 7:42 pm

Post by elfpen » January 15th, 2014, 1:47 pm

Today the FCC approved our Low Power FM station application.
That means we have a frequency assigned to us at this location.
And we have 18 months to build our station and have it
up and running.

I have been downloading content from the librivox website and putting
it on a computer which runs some free radio-station software called
Rivendell.

I will continue to do that. Also we will be applying for call-letters
in the FCC system.

We have decided to try Kickstarter to gather funding for the transmitter
and other hardware. I will be working on a video application for that.
I need to build a budget also, to get things started. Probably build
a website too. So much to do!

In my content work so far I have been focusing on short pieces,
0-5 minutes, things we can use to fill in each hour. So I have a lot
of poetry and children's stories, etc. I usually trim off the
"this is a librivox recording...", not because I don't like the information
but because it gets repetitive if you hear it 10 times in 20 minutes.
I plan to put in a regular announcement about our use of librivox content.
It would be wonderful of listeners could follow along.
(of course, that means a pre-published schedule...)

We have thought of podcasting. I don't know if we have the budget
for that, mostly the internet bandwidth. There's a lot I don't know!
I hope to make it, somehow, available to librivox
volunteers so they can hear their work being put to good use.

Chris Howard
Classic Book Radio
Columbus, Mississippi

Cori
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Post by Cori » January 16th, 2014, 2:07 pm

Whoohoo! Good going, Chris!
There's honestly no such thing as a stupid question -- but I'm afraid I can't rule out giving a stupid answer : : To Posterity and Beyond!

Lucy_k_p
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Post by Lucy_k_p » January 16th, 2014, 3:21 pm

Exciting news and best of luck with the Kickstarter. (If you post a link here when it's up, and I manage to get a job by that time, I will contribute a little.)
So little space, so much to say.

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