How to legally operate your own AM Radio Station

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The first step order and assemble an SSTRAN AMT3000 transmiter. You can find it for sale on the SSTRAN website here: https://www.sstran.com
The directions are included in the kit and require several hours of assembly. I spent about 3 hours carefully building mine and it worked perfectly on the first try. I would HIGHLY recommend ordering the kit that has the surface mount IC already soldered onto it. It is only a few dollars more, and trying to solder a small IC such as this in place will cause you quite a bit of stress.

The next step is to build the outdoor antenna and mount the transmitter in a weatherproof box onto it. The steps to build an atenna for your transmitter can be found here: https://www.sstran.com/pages/sstran_buildant.html
Be sure to follow the directions carefully, it is very sensitive, and carefully calibration of the loading coil will maximize your range.
When finished, mount the antenna outside, and ground it with at least two to three 8 foot long copper clab grounding rods. The rods should be connected to the antenna using thick copper wire. It is best to spread the grounding rounds as far out as possible. Without grounding, your antenna will preform poorly. Before grounding, my antenna gave about a 1/4 mile range. After I put in two grounding rods, it increased to over a mile!

The next step is to run cable from inside your home into the transmitter. This is easily and cost effectivley done using CAT5 cable. The transmitter will require four conductors, two for the power lead from the wall power supply, and two for a mono audio source.
Thus, each pair in the CAT5 cable can be twisted together on each end to give a total of four conductors instead of eight. Two of the pairs should be soldered onto the positive and negative ends of the transmitter and the power adapter. The other two pairs should be soldered onto two mono audio jacks.
This will easily allow you to run all the necessary cables to the transmitter in one simple package. CAT5 can usually be found in 100 foot rolls at your local hardware store.

The last step will be to set up an audio source to control your radio broadcasts. The easiest way is to turn an old Windows machine in your basement into a dedicated radio station computer. The simpliest setup would be to comply plug the audio line coming from the CAT5 directly into the computer’s sound card, and to plug a microphone into the computer’s input jack.
The microphone and music can easily be controlled with radio automation software. A free version that I have used with my transmitter is Zara Radio found here: https://www.zarastudio.es/
Of course they have a version you can purchase, but the free version works great and allows you to play intros, weather forecasts, and time reports at specific times. It also allows you to create playlists from your mp3 collection that can be switched at specific times. This means the only time you really need to be at the controls is when you wish to DJ the station manually.

Have fun!
https://part15.us/ is a great resource for additional information on community radio

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