Introducing OpenOB

The next post will be part 3 of my Engineering FM series but it’s time for a quick diversion to introduce a tool I ended up producing, initially as a contingency plan, but later as a serious project, for implementing outside broadcast audio links and studio-transmitter links using the Real Time Protocol.

That tool is called OpenOB. The main resource for finding out more is the GitHub page hosting it. But I figured it deserved a proper introduction as I’ve had quite a few people asking after it via a post on the Rivendell mailing list. Continue reading Introducing OpenOB

Engineering FM – Part 1

This post is the first in a series of posts I’m going to do covering some of the engineering aspects of setting up a Community FM Radio station in the UK, and the lessons I and others learned while setting up the system.

First a bit of background. The station I helped set up, Insanity Radio, will be launching its FM transmissions in the coming weeks, and is a station run and operated entirely by students at Royal Holloway, University of London. The station started back in the 90s broadcasting on FM using a low-power rented transmitter, licensed under Restricted Service Licenses (RSLs) which only allowed for a week or two of broadcasting at a time. The station eventually moved to full-time AM operation, under a Low Power AM license. Back in 2006, a previous manager applied for a license for Community Radio, to permit FM broadcasting on a permanent basis, and in 2009 that license was awarded to Insanity by Ofcom, the UK’s radio regulatory body.

Our license was awarded for a 25 watt EIRP mast to be installed on campus. So in 2009/2010 we got the ball rolling with planning. Continue reading Engineering FM – Part 1