The exact equipment you should buy for your radio station will depend on factors such as your budget, the size of your team, how many reporters you have in the field, how many hours a day you would like to be on air and whether you will be broadcasting mainly live content or also a lot of pre-recorded material.
We can advise you on what equipment will suit your project.
Here we have three suggested packages for complete low power radio stations.
In addition to what is listed below, all packages include: 1 Limiter/Compressor, 1 Stacked Dipole Antenna, 1 SWR/Power Meter, Lightning Protection and Cables and Connectors
If you are interested in ordering a package, please click here. Please scroll to the bottom of the page for answers to frequently asked questions about these packages.
The basic package is the most simple set up we recommend to get you on the air. If you have a small budget, but still want to sound professional and have enough microphones for a host with two guests in the studio, and two reporters bringing interviews and stories from the field, this is the package for you.
A 40 Watt transmitter together with a high gain antenna will broadcast up to 12 miles in all directions depending on the height of the antenna and the surrounding terrain. The antenna should be installed as high as possible.
Basic package includes: 6 Channel Mixer (2 Mic/4 Line), 3 Dynamic Microphones, 2 Studio Headphones, 2 CD/Mp3 Discmans, 2 Portable Digital Recorders, 2 Microphone Stands, 1 40 Watt FM Transmitter and Accessories
Click for more details.
£1500 (NOT INCLUDING shipping and customs)
Recommended Extras: a single laptop or desktop PC would provide significant extra capacity for the station, allowing you to record programming digitally, store and play music and pre-recorded programmes live on air, type up scripts to be read out over the radio, programme your station to broadcast a playlist of music and programmes automatically and edit and produce jingles, station idents, spots and other programmes. A laptop will easily fit into the basic package and costs an additional £350 - £600 depending on the specifications and software you would like to purchase. Please contact us to find out more.
The mid-range package is a step up from the basic package, with a laptop included in the basic system, a mixer with more channels and functionality and 2 professional digital portable recorders, for making high quality recordings in the field.
The Numark Dual CD/MP3 players are made for continual use and are more durable than the portable discmans in the basic package.
The 100 Watt transmitter with a high gain antenna will broadcast a more powerful signal which will go further than the 40 Watt, depending on the height of the antenna and the local terrain.
Mid-range package includes: 8 Channel Mixer (4 Mic/4 Line), 5 Dynamic Microphones, 4 Studio Headphones, 2 CD/Mp3 Players, 1 Laptop PC (with radio software), 1 Long Play Cassette Recorder, 2 Portable Digital Recorders, 4 Microphone Stands, 1 Pair of Studio Monitors, 1 100 Watt FM Transmitter and much more
Click for more details.
(NOT INCLUDING shipping and customs)
Recommended Extras: an extra laptop or desktop PC would allow on PC to be used for broadcast while the other is used for editing and preparing other audio to be broadcast, burning CDs, typing up scripts and keeping accounts, or for recording the live broadcast. A second laptop can be connected into the mixer with a single cable. It will cost an additional £350 - £600 depending on the specifications and software you would like to purchase. Please contact us to find out more.
The Deluxe package is suitable for larger budgets, providing all the equipment you would need for a station with a broadcast studio, production studio and editing room. With three computers, one can be used for broadcasting, the second for recording and the third for editing pieces recorded with the 3 portable digital recorders in the field.
The package comes with a professional D and R airmate professional mixing console and an RVR 300 Watt transmitter, which when attached to the high gain antenna installed high enough, can normally broadcast up to 50km in all directions, depending on the height of the antenna and whether there are any hills in the way.
Includes: 1 Airmate Professional Broadcast Mixer, 6 Input Production Mixer, 5 Dynamic Microphones, 2 Condenser Microphones, CD/Mp3 Players, 1 Dual Cassette Recorder, 3 Portable Digital Recorders, 3 PCs with radio software, 2 Telephones + Hybrid, 1 Pair of Studio Monitors, 1 300 Watt FM Transmitter and much more.
Click for more details about the package.
(NOT INCLUDING shipping and customs)
Recommended Extras: although the Deluxe package comes with almost everything you might need for a community radio station, two items to consider are the On-Air light and relay switch, which automatically switches on a light outside the studio as soon as the microphone faders are up on the desk, to warn people outside not to make too much noise or enter the studio, and an extra 320 GB hard drive, to store all your important information and recordings and move them between computers easily. Two On-Air lights and a switch will cost £240. Please note that the switch only works with a broadcast console such as the D n R airmate. A 320 GB portable hard drive will cost £90. Please contact us to find out more.
Please note: these packages can be adjusted to suit the needs of your project.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Equipment Packages
a. How far will the signal reach?
The Basic Complete Radio Station Package uses a 40 Watt transmitter with a halfwave stacked dipole antenna with a gain of 3.7dB. This should be sufficient to broadcast to a distance of 25km, depending on the height of the antenna and the terrain of the local area. In big cities where there are lots of other radio signals your radio station will not be picked up as easily or as far as in rural areas where there are not many other radio stations.
The Mid Range Complete Station Package uses a 100 Watt transmitter with a halfwave stacked dipole antenna with a gain of 3.7dB. This should be sufficient to broadcast to a distance of 35km, depending on the height of the antenna and the terrain of the local area. In big cities where there are lots of other radio signals your radio station will not be picked up as easily or as far as in rural areas where there are not many other radio stations.
The Deluxe Complete Station Package uses a 300 Watt transmitter with two dipole antennas with a gain of 3dB. This should be sufficient to broadcast to a distance of 50km, depending on the height of the antenna and the terrain of the local area. In big cities where there are lots of other radio signals your radio station will not be picked up as easily or as far as in rural areas where there are not many other radio stations.
REMEMBER: The higher the antenna the further your signal will reach. This is the most crucial issue when it comes to getting FM to go further. We recommend that your antenna be no lower than 30 metres off the ground relative to the local terrain. 50 metres would be even better!
b. Do the prices listed include Shipping and Customs Clearance?
No. The prices listed DO NOT include Shipping and Customs Clearance. If you fill in our application form, letting us know which package you would like and where you need the equipment to be shipped to, we can then send you a quote including the cost of shipping. Customs clearance is normally taken care of by the client, however we can arrange customs clearance through our freight forwarders, Maina Freight, for an extra fee.
c. Do the prices listed include Installation and Training?
No. The prices listed DO NOT include Installation and Training.
Our engineers have many years experience in installation radio stations and providing technical training to station staff in how to use and maintain all of the equipment we provide. We can send one of our engineers to install all of the studio and transmission equipment and train up your staff.
We would normally recommend having an engineer come out for between 7 and 10 days depending on how much work needs to be done at the studios and how much training is needed.
We would also recommend that you have your studios as ready as possible and your antenna tower built in time for when we come to do the installation. If you need help with the design of the studios and antenna tower we can provide this via email before coming out to do the installation.
d. How much does Installation and Training cost?
For NGOs and community groups building community radio stations with a clear social goal we will charge less for the installation and training than for a commercial radio station. Please contact us for a quote.
In addition to the engineer's fees, you will also be required to provide:
- the engineer's return travel costs including visas.
- accommodation and three meals a day during their stay.
- local travel costs between the studio and hotel/guesthouse and any other journeys undertaken to ensure the station is succesfully up and running by the end of their stay.
e. Can I alter the Equipment Packages?
You can alter these three Equipment Packages in any way to suit your needs. These packages are designed to provide a guideline for what equipment you might consider useful in your radio station. However we are happy to take any items out or add any items to ensure that you get exactly what you are after to start broadcasting.
Please contact us to find out more.