Radio station

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

According to the International Telecommunications Union, radio station is defined as 'one or more transmitters or receivers or a combination of transmitters and receivers, including the accessory equipment, necessary at one location for carrying on a radio communication service, or the radio astronomy service. Each station shall be classified by the service in which it operates permanently or temporarily.'[1]

Radio waves[edit]

A definition of radio waves from Live Science, 'Radio waves are a type of electromagnetic radiation, as are microwaves, infrared radiation, X-rays and gamma-rays. The best-known use of radio waves is for communication; television, cellphones and radios all receive radio waves and convert them to mechanical vibrations in the speaker to create sound waves that can be heard.'[2]

Radio station types[edit]

Low Power FM[edit]

Use of a Radio Station

A Low Power FM radio station only broadcasts educational content, a Low Power FM radio station is not allowed to undertake any commercial operations. A Low Power FM is operated at a frequency of 500 mW to 100W and can cover a service radius of 3 to 10 miles (geographical).

Full Power FM[edit]

Full Power FM radio stations are generally used for commercial use. In these types of radio stations, the interference is minimal, Full Power FM radio stations have the best quality of broadcasting because of this. A Full Power FM radio station broadcasts between 88 MHz and 1-7.9 MHz.

AM radio stations[edit]

Higher the frequency of broadcast, greater is the geographical area covered and lower is the quality of broadcast. Because of this all AM radio stations which cover intercontinental broadcasts are done at higher frequencies of 1600 to 1700 kHz.

AM radio stations face high interference from local broadcasts of other countries on similar frequencies. To set up an AM radio station a massive infrastructure investment will be need, this will involve hiring several cross border consultants to comply with each countries regulations.

Internet radio[edit]

Internet radio stations are the least inexpensive methods to start a radio station broadcast to a worldwide audience. The only thing that is required is a computer with a large storage capacity. A high speed internet connection may also be needed and funds to purchase software.

Amateur station in France (2008)
Ground station of the German Luftwaffe in WW II

Radio communications[edit]

Earth station

Radio communications is the communications between two or more points, using electromagnetic waves as the transmission medium.

The main purpose of radio is to convey information from one place to another without wires. Besides being used for transmitting sound and television signals, radio is also used for the transmission of data in coded form. Long-range radio signals enable astronauts to communicate with the earth from the moon.[3]

Equipment for a radio station[edit]

  • Transmitter - Takes information recorded through a microphone and encodes it as sine waves and transmits it into radio waves.
  • Receiver - The broadcast message is received by the receiver and decodes the radio sine waves.
  • Antenna - An antenna is required for transmission; it is also required to receive radio waves. The main use of an antenna is to send radio signals.
  • Transmission lines - Transmission lines are used to transfer the radio signals from one location to another. For example, a transmission line was used in Luftwaffe, Germany during WW II to send information from camps back to their base.
  • Connectors Interface panel remote control – This is used to connect various different types of the equipment used in a radio station. To input broadcast data into a transmitter an interface panel will need to be used.
  • Cable – A cable can be used to connect the various devices.
  • Equipment Rack – To hold all equipment in a secure and logical manner, an equipment rack will be used.
  • Power protection equipment – For holding equipment's in a stable, secure and logical manner.
  • UPS – For uninterrupted power supply.[4]

These are the most used/important devices and items for most radio stations.


A microphone is used to capture the input of sound waves created by people speaking into the device. The sounds are then turned into electrical energy; this energy then flows along a metal antenna. As the electrons in the electric current move back and forth up the antenna, the current creates an invisible electromagnetic radiation in the form of radio waves. The waves travel at the speed of light, taking the radio program (voices recorded) with them.[5]


A compound of both a transmitter and a receiver is called a transceiver, they are combined and share common circuitry or a single housing. When no circuitry is common between the transmit and receive functions, the device becomes a transmitter-receiver.

Technically transceivers must combine a significant amount of the transmitter and receiver handling the circuitry.


Broadcasting is the distribution of audio to a scattered audience, radio waves (electro magnetic spectrum) is typically used and the electronic mass communications medium. Broadcasting began with AM radio stations, before this all form of electronic communications, radio, telephone etc. were "one-to-one" with the message intended for a single recipient.

The radio is usually associated with over the air broadcasting, though in practice radio and television transmissions take place using both wires and radio waves. The point of this is that anyone with the appropriate receiving technology can receive the broadcast.[6]

Communication technology[edit]

Communication cechnology is an umbrella term which includes any communication device or application containing:

  • Radio
  • Television
  • Cellular phones
  • Computer and network hardware and software
  • Satellite systems

Radio stations play a vital role in communication technology as it is heavily relied on to transfer data and information across the world.[7]

Radio frequency list[edit]

  • AM radio - 535 kilohertz to 1.7 megahertz
  • Short wave radio - Bands from 5.9 megahertz to 26.1 megahertz
  • Citizens band radio - 26.96 megahertz to 27.41 megahertz
  • Television stations - 54 to 88 megahertz to 27.41 megahertz
  • Television stations - 54 to 88 megahertz for channels 2 through 6
  • FM Radio - 88 megahertz to 108 megahertz
  • Television stations - 174 to 220 megahertz for channels 7 through 13

Frequencies for other wireless technology (examples)

  • Garage foor opener - Around 40 megahertz
  • Standard cordless phones - From 40 to 50 megahertz
  • Baby monitors - 49 megahertz
  • Radio controlled airplanes - Around 72 megahertz
  • Radio controlled cars - Around 75 megahertz
  • Wildlife tracking collars - 215 to 220 megahertz
  • Cell phones - 824 to 849 megahertz
  • Deep space radio communications - 2290 megahertz to 2300 megahertz[8]


  1. ^ "ITU: Committed to connecting the world". ITU. Retrieved 2015-11-03. 
  2. ^ "What Are Radio Waves?". Retrieved 2015-11-04. 
  3. ^ "Radio communications". Retrieved 2015-11-04. 
  4. ^ "Equipment for a Radio Station | Complete List | Radio Broadcasting". Retrieved 2015-11-04. 
  5. ^ "How do antennas and transmitters work? - Explain that Stuff". Retrieved 2015-11-03. 
  6. ^ Neira, Bob. "Broadcasting". modestoradiomuseum. modestoradiomuseum. 
  7. ^ "What is ICT (information and communications technology - or technologies)? - Definition from". SearchCIO. Retrieved 2015-11-04. 
  8. ^ "How the Radio Spectrum Works". HowStuffWorks. Retrieved 2015-11-04.