LPFM channel finder

A potential LPFM (Low Power FM) filing window may be opening up as soon October/November.  There is nothing official from the FCC about the date, however, several insiders have suggested that this is on the fast track and it may happen sooner rather than later.

This will likely be the last chance for community radio operators to get a LPFM license, as after this filing window, every available scrap of spectrum will have a translator shoe horned into it.  Therefore, now is the time to do some research and get prepared.

To that end, there are two good LPFM channel finders that can be used to determine if a LPFM station can be put on the air.  The first is the FCC’s official LPFM channel finder.  For this tool, one will need to know the latitude and longitude of the proposed transmitter site.  That information can be obtained from itouchmap.com, with which one can find the lat/long of any point on the face of the earth.

The second LPFM channel finder is from REC networks.  This tool is a much more flexible.  For finding possible transmitter location, a street address, zip code, or lat/long can be used.  It also has much more information as it has a provision to use the proposed 250 watt station class and shows every available channel as well as possible available second adjacent channels.

Prometheus radio has a simpler zip code check, which does not give any technical information, it simply states that LPFM channels are available at the zip code which was entered.  Prometheus has good primers on how to start and operate a LPFM station.

If you are a member of a group considering starting a community radio station, now is the time to get going.

Harris exits the broadcast industry

When they sold their Broadcast Equipment supply division to SCMS a few years ago, the handwriting was on the wall. Even so, it is a little surprising that they would exit broadcasting altogether.

The decision to divest in no way reflects the quality of the work Broadcast Communications performed in support of our customers and our company.  Harris simply determined that Broadcast Communications could provide higher value and operate more effectively under a different ownership model.

They are spinning the broadcast division off to a new owner rather than completely shutting down the operation.  In an e-mail received from Harris Morris, President, Broadcast Communications Division, clients and customers will still receive support for existing products:

In the interim, Broadcast Communications will continue to be a part of Harris Corporation and operate business as usual. Our valued relationships, both longstanding and new, remain our top priority. The global Broadcast Communications team will continue to work diligently to ensure our commitment to our customers and partners remains steadfast, our execution to fulfill commitments is flawless, and our progress against strategic objectives remains focused.

Well, there you have it.  This effects such things as Harris transmitters (AM, FM, TV, HF) and support, Harris consoles and studio furniture (previously Pacific Recorders and Engineering or Pacific Research and Engineering, AKA PR&E), Intraplex STL systems, among others.

What does all this say about the future of terrestrial broadcasting?

We live in interesting times.