How do you do....it? Thread, Been asked to setup a School Radio Station in Technical; Originally Posted by brookesandrew
One of my primary schools in Coventry has a radio station which streams to the internet ...
22nd June 2010, 11:15 AM #16
That would be a big help if you could thanks. I've just spent 2 hours looking at licensing, and im only a little clearer on just exactly what we need and how much it will cost.
Originally Posted by brookesandrew
22nd June 2010, 04:10 PM #17
Sorry if I'm repeating anything else that's been mentioned. I'll just go throuh what we've got in our radio studio and stuff that it's been used for in the past...
Fairly out of date website can be found here ATR
Our setup includes a baaasic Sempron machine running Sam Party DJ with a a fairly decent sound card acquired from music and a dual monitor config. There's an ancient P4 RM machine hidden behind the desk running win2k with Real Encoder (external streaming through the LEA Helix server) and Windows Media Encoder. Those two machines are hooked up to a KVM. We've got a 1tb network drive and another 1tb USB drive connected to the network drive.... the network drive is meant to backup to the USB drive (doesn't atm :P) which also provides us with a more portable copy of the music if doing stuff at sports day or suchlike.
There's a Mac Mini as well for general use or admin.
We've got a Yamaha O1V96 mixer, dual CD player, 3 Rode NT1 mics (2 used). JBL control 1 studio monitors and Behringer headphone amp/splitter and audio splitter - the audio splitter sends the main mix to the streaming machine and back to the playout machine's onboard input for recording (Audacity or Cool Edit/Adobe Audition). I forget what the amp we use is but it's reasonably decent, acquired from performing arts. Also recently had speakers installed in the large open atrium that lead directly back to the studio.
We have a keyword text number (ATR + message to 60300) from http://www.itagg.com/ which I believe is £50 a year but also offers things like polls and suchlike, quite nice.
For future use we also have a 6m FM antenna directly above the studio with cable leading back to the studio - when it's used, transmission gear will be hired due to 2 week a year RSL restrictions, cost of equipment and technical expertise that comes with equipment when hiring.
The school has run 3 RSL broadcasts before using this setup.
Obviously this is quite an expensive set up, most stuff being bought over the years as funding has been made available. It can be done just as effectively for a lot less. I like Sam Party DJ (we've never found a need for Broadcaster) and the streaming provided by our LEA seems pretty good. I'd recommend having some kind of mixer in there, even if it's just a cheap 4 channel Behringer job as it's considerably easier for students to have a physical means of controlling levels imo. Definitely two computers as well although they don't need to be anything that fancy imo.
We can broadcast on the school tannoy system when required, for parents evening and suchlike. Just got a spare thin client in the cab with all the tannoy gear in. Streaming doesn't get any simpler than Windows Media Encoder imo.
Errr, also use a few Marantz solid state recorders that have a Sennheiser mic in each case.
PRS and PPL licenses as well.
We've previously taken basic kit (portable PA, laptop, small mixer, music drive and a radio mic from performing arts) to events outside the school- primaries we work with, sports day and also set up equipment on our field for things like sport relief mile. We once employed someone to work with the primary schools and the radio station, some really good stuff was produced which also generated positive interest from local press. Also in the past, trips have been run for students involved to BRMB and BBC Birmingham.
BBC School Report is a good project to get a school radio station embedded in the curriculum. You even get a BBC mentor who visits and helps out. I ran this project with an English teacher in my school for the first time this year and it was reasonably successful.
Things like revision podcasts by teachers are a really nice way of using it as an educational platform... podcasts using the equipment also form good lesson tasks.
pixx xD http://i48.tinypic.com/330tx82.jpg
Sorry for launching into all that waffle, another local school has a similar kind of setup as well.
Last edited by OllieC; 22nd June 2010 at 04:26 PM.
23rd June 2010, 03:34 AM #18
Who will be listening and when? if its just for students at lunches and such just put speakers around canteen or such and not worry about web boardcasting.
23rd June 2010, 08:18 AM #19
We set up a system with the help of Psquared. They do a school radio kit for about £6500 which is all set up, installed and trained. It is then sent around the school on the network so everyone can listen to it on their PCs and also streamed to some outdoor speakers.
Well worth the money in my opinion as the children get a huge amount of enjoyment out of it and I could just let them do the work otherwise it is just another piece of equipment that I have to support.
23rd June 2010, 09:25 AM #20
I was met with strong resistance from SMT about it being played in the canteen - Creates the wrong atmosphere for the time of day apparently, plus, they don't want people loitering once they've eaten. :@ Likewise, there's always been resistence to playing in the atrium area as well but there's less of a valid reason against that, that they can produce, lol.
2nd May 2011, 08:05 PM #21
- Rep Power
I discovered this thread rather late but I hope this contributed information will be of help the others.
I was also charged with starting a radio station for the K-12 school district that I'm employed in as an audio/video/computer and electronics technician. One of our high schools were renovated not only with rooms designated for a future television / media center but with a two studio suite for a radio station.
No plan was in place to put this all together. Having been lucky enough to become involved in my own community's high school radio station some 35+ years earlier along with the fact that I had gone on to engineer several local full power AM and FM stations I had the background to pull this off. It was up to me to develop a plan and become the guiding beacon.
Being a stone's throw from New York City the radio spectrum is crowded to the point where it would be impossible to obtain a license for an LPFM station - the smallest licensed station grade available to date. I also wanted the students to have the opportunity to learn about "real" broadcast radio and not just webcasting. I decided to go with Part 15 radio broadcasting. The Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) Part 15 regulations allows the legal use of certain low power radio devices without the need for a license - one common device most anybody can relate to are the little FM transmitters used to broadcast an iPod to a car's FM radio.
The radio station placed in our high school took a three-fold approach. I used a free radiating (i.e, antenna-based) AM transmitter on top of the school's roof. I also engineered an FM station using something called "radiating" or "leaky" coaxial cable strung in the ceiling of the building and connected to a special low-power FM transmitter. Both transmitter's signal are confined to the campus grounds but allows the station to be "on the radio." The third approach is that the station supplies audio to the school's video bulletin board channel on the building's television system. Lastly, the station will also webcast with limited hours due to budget constraints. For the more complex systems like the ones I've used you may have to find a local broadcast engineer to assist your school as most won't have the test and/or measurement equipment to insure your campus station's signals are within legal limits.
While I had the knowledge to do all of this thanks to my extensive background in broadcast engineering I also sought out existing resources to assist me with this project. Unfortunately the resources I located mentioned nothing about implementing this type of project in an academic setting and of those resources I found they were either poorly organized or of questionable merit. My work with building the campus station allowed me to "roll my own" resources which I've shared to assist others in their quest.
CampusBroadcaster.net is the site I started to compile all the various resources i compiled along the way to help other K-12, college and university educational institutions build a legal, low-power, Part 15 compliant campus-limited radio station. The site includes references not only for applicable FCC law but also equipment and program sources. There are station profiles demonstrating the various uses of Part 15 broadcasting for hobbyists and businesses in addition to campus radio applications. An online community forum allows members to share tips and tricks as well as ask for advice on building or improving their station.
I've centralized all the resources together under the name HobbyBroadcaster.net but there's plenty of info for the campus broadcast enthusiast. Hopefully this information will be of use for the next person desiring to building a campus radio station.
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