What is a Part 15 Station? 

 By Christopher A. Stanley

Staff  Writer ( The Reporter-Lansdale, Pa)

 

Part 15 refers to the section of Federal Communications Commission Code that governs unlicensed radio transmissions.

 

The regulations severely restrict non licensed FM (88-108 Mhz0 broadcast to a range of about 200 ft, useful for such purposes as drive-in movie theater audio.

 

Unlicensed AM (540-1700 Khz) radio broadcasts are limited to one-thnth of a watt transmitting power as opposed to licensed stations, which range from 500-50,000 watts), and depending on the quality of transmitter, antenna, signal and other factors have a range of a few blocks to several miles.

 

These stations must not give any interference to existing stations and must receive all interference (they can't complain about signals from any other station).

 

A "pirate" station is one that exceeds these limits and is illegal.

 

The law allows an operator to use multiple transmitters: low power stations in Montclair and Union County, N.J., do this to cover larger areas.

 

Content of the broadcasts are not restricted by the FCC regulation.  Stations may be either commercial or nonprofit.

 

Sources:

www.villageradio.com

www.fcc.gov/mb/audio/lowpwr.html

And David McCrork.