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Thread: FCC Rules For RPU

  1. #1

    FCC Rules For RPU

    A local LPFM station is planning to do remote broadcasts, and doesn't want to use cell phone/Skype, etc.
    They're looking at used Marti/Mosley RPU receiver-transmitter stuff......(yes -- they're trying to do this via the "cheap-but-effective" path....!)
    Is a SEPARATE license still required by a broadcast station for this service?
    My attempts to find an (easy) answer to this have led me in circles!!
    IF a separate license IS still required.....could someone post a link for an application download?
    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Yes, you have to be licensed for every signal you put in the air. Our station went 450 MHz remote pickup broadcast after reading an article in Broadcast Engineering about the Oklahoma Federal Building bombing. The article simply pointed out that stations who relied on cell phones just couldn't get out as all the cell circuits in the area were tied up. Remember, law enforcement also uses cell phones. As I understand, it they have a code they can enter and it "seizes" the circuit.
    The problem for you, is that maybe all the frequencies in your area are assigned. That's what happened to us. We were able to persuade a network bureau to give up one of their frequencies. They had it since the beginning of time and monitoring the frequency showed they really weren't using it.
    Construction of the system is also a concern. If you need wide coverage (as we did) you should have a repeater, which we installed about halfway up the TV tower.
    But, in the end, we had insurance of communications, and did not have to rely on a third party. Our techs maintained the system which really amounted to installing radios in the news cars from time to time. As for licensing, our company's corporate engineer took care of it all. Good luck.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Oldie919 View Post
    A local LPFM station is planning to do remote broadcasts, and doesn't want to use cell phone/Skype, etc.
    They're looking at used Marti/Mosley RPU receiver-transmitter stuff......(yes -- they're trying to do this via the "cheap-but-effective" path....!)
    Is a SEPARATE license still required by a broadcast station for this service?
    My attempts to find an (easy) answer to this have led me in circles!!
    IF a separate license IS still required.....could someone post a link for an application download?
    Thanks!
    The home page for the Auxiliary Services is in the FCC Wireless section. Remote Pickup Units are under: "RP": https://www.fcc.gov/wireless/bureau-...cast-auxiliary

    Before you apply on line for a license, the FCC requires frequency coordination through an approved local coordinator, or if one isn't available, through a company like Comsearch. There may be a fee to get coordination, since you will be dealing with a for-profit frequency coordination company.

  4. #4
    Thanks for the responses!!
    With some rules relaxation I didn't know if RPU's would be "lumped" under a broadcast station's main license......
    Finding a clear frequency shouldn't be too hard here....we're out in the "boonies", RF wise!!!

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Kelly A View Post
    The home page for the Auxiliary Services is in the FCC Wireless section. Remote Pickup Units are under: "RP": https://www.fcc.gov/wireless/bureau-...cast-auxiliary

    Before you apply on line for a license, the FCC requires frequency coordination through an approved local coordinator, or if one isn't available, through a company like Comsearch. There may be a fee to get coordination, since you will be dealing with a for-profit frequency coordination company.
    RPUs are coordinated by SBE freq coordinators, not Comm Search..and we do it for free..also there is the 720hr rule...in Part 74

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by ContinuousWave View Post
    RPUs are coordinated by SBE freq coordinators, not Comm Search..and we do it for free..also there is the 720hr rule...in Part 74
    Only if there is an authorized SBE chapter and coordinator in the area they're applying for. Many rural or smaller markets aren't covered with an SBE coordinator. The only other alternative is through Comsearch.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Atlanta
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    I think SBE died around here.
    There are three bands used for remote pickup. VHF-Lo, VHF-Hi, and UHF. Check the latest rules in case the FCC has pimped out any portions to other services.
    Beware of buying used equipment. There are some people ( on Ebay) selling junk found in a dumpster for exhorbitant prices! Don't buy anything with tubes in it. Tube equipment is for historical purposes only these days.
    You should buy a system, transmitter and receiver on the same frequency. Purchasing equipment from various sources will most likely be on different frequencies.
    Older equipment uses crystals. So you may have to buy a new crystal. The last crystal I bought 15 years ago was $25. And it may requiring some retuning as crystal equipment is not necessarily plug and play.
    I'd go with UHF equipment as it is the newest and virtually interference free. The VHF stuff is interference prone from skip. You'll often hear stuff from stations 250 miles away.
    Our UHF equipment sets up with software running on a PC and a data cable connection.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by kf4rca View Post
    I think SBE died around here.
    There are three bands used for remote pickup. VHF-Lo, VHF-Hi, and UHF. Check the latest rules in case the FCC has pimped out any portions to other services.
    Beware of buying used equipment. There are some people ( on Ebay) selling junk found in a dumpster for exhorbitant prices! Don't buy anything with tubes in it. Tube equipment is for historical purposes only these days.
    You should buy a system, transmitter and receiver on the same frequency. Purchasing equipment from various sources will most likely be on different frequencies.
    Older equipment uses crystals. So you may have to buy a new crystal. The last crystal I bought 15 years ago was $25. And it may requiring some retuning as crystal equipment is not necessarily plug and play.
    I'd go with UHF equipment as it is the newest and virtually interference free. The VHF stuff is interference prone from skip. You'll often hear stuff from stations 250 miles away.
    Our UHF equipment sets up with software running on a PC and a data cable connection.
    My thought was going for something in the 450-470 MHz range....
    SBE uses one contact for frequency coordination over all of New England.....maybe he works with subcontractors???!
    Based on what I've seen so far from this LPFM station.....they'll never move on doing anything like RPU anyway....
    They want stuff done....but won't spend a dime!!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Oldie919 View Post
    My thought was going for something in the 450-470 MHz range....
    SBE uses one contact for frequency coordination over all of New England.....maybe he works with subcontractors???!
    Based on what I've seen so far from this LPFM station.....they'll never move on doing anything like RPU anyway....
    They want stuff done....but won't spend a dime!!
    Anymore, licensing and maintaining the infrastructure for RPU doesn't make fiscal sense when Tieline makes an app for your IPhone or Android phone that gives you better audio quality than and RPU for much longer distances. 10 license pack is $400: https://www.bswusa.com/Codecs-Tielin...ack-P7445.aspx
    For that matter, you could use Skype for free. Install the app on a phone and communicate with Skype on a PC back at the LPFM.

    Don't get me wrong; I've done a lot of RPU remotes and built dozens of RPU repeaters on mountain tops. RPU has it's place, but probably not for a LPFM station.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Oldie919 View Post
    My thought was going for something in the 450-470 MHz range....
    SBE uses one contact for frequency coordination over all of New England.....maybe he works with subcontractors???!
    Based on what I've seen so far from this LPFM station.....they'll never move on doing anything like RPU anyway....
    They want stuff done....but won't spend a dime!!
    I cover SETX and SWLa.. probably bigger than Maine alone Go ahead and contact him... he'll work with you for free

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