SCMS is your LPFM Headquarters. We know all about Low Power FM.
38 years of broadcast experience and still going strong. SCMS has 13 sales offices throughout the U.S. and we were instrumental in providing LPFM equipment when the FCC approved LPFM licensing in the past. We will again be able to assist all potential broadcasters since SCMS has built more translators and LPFM stations than any other company in the U.S.!

With over 300 years combined broadcast experience, YOU KNOW WE KNOW RADIO!

If you are considering setting up a radio station in the United States, it is essential to know what the available options are for you to get on the air.
Complete your LPFM planning with this LPFM Questionnaire and Hardware Options Selection Sheet.
Fill it out and return to SCMS for a customized quote.


The Low Power FM (LPFM) radio service was created by the FCC in January 2000. LPFM stations are authorized for noncommercial educational broadcasting only (no commercial operation) and operate with an effective radiated power (ERP) of 100 watts (0.1 kilowatts) or less, with maximum facilities of 100 watts ERP at 30 meters (100 feet) antenna height above average terrain (HAAT). The approximate service range of a 100 watt LPFM station is 5.6 kilometers (3.5 miles radius). LPFM stations are not protected from interference that may be received from other classes of FM stations. A construction permit is required before an LPFM station can be constructed or operated. The mere filing of an LPFM application does not authorize any construction or operation.

The first and most difficult part of obtaining an LPFM station is finding a frequency. The FM dial is very crowded and most likely a highly directional antenna will be required. BE CAREFUL who you deal with as there are firms that will take your money without properly researching whether an antenna can even be built to produce the required pattern.

The second most difficult task is to find a piece of property that will fit in the envelope where the frequency will work. The parcels get smaller and smaller as the band gets more crowded.
See this page... Low Power FM Opportunities without 2nd Adjacent Spacings Applied

Google Earth or other mapping applications can generally give coordinates close enough to use the FCC's channel finder application. The FCC's site gives a useful indication of how many frequencies are available in an area.
It's recommended to use the FCC's channel finder twice, with and without second adjacent channel waivers. The list of available frequencies will be a little different. The information on short spacing can be useful.
Going too high can be a problem. The FCC reduces power based on height above average terrain, calculated on the 8 cardinal radials, measured from 2 to 10 miles from the site. A site half way up a ridge can be ideal, since some of the radials will be underground at least part of their distance.

The third most difficult task is obtaining financing. We work with many Leasing Companies and can help you obtain your dream to own and operate an LPFM station.

Once you get your FCC construction permit, the rest is routine. SCMS has built thousands of FM stations, call today and let us make your LPFM experience a pleasant and beneficial one.
The Low Power FM (LPFM) Channel Finder search tool provides potential applicants with a simple means to tentatively identify FM broadcast channels available in their communities. TRY IT NOW

Micronetixx has developed an LPFM antenna guide that should help some of you who may feel that you're "not up to technical speed" in the planning of your LPFM facilities to ensure maximum coverage. Included at the end of the guide are brochures for their FML and FMP FM antenna series. 


It can be a difficult task to obtain financing. Make sure that you have a plan and a pointed list of everything that you will need financing for. The more background and information you can provide to a financier the better it will be to help you.

We work with many Leasing Companies and can help you own your own LPFM station.

SCMS is not new to this process, call today and let us help you out with the right financial steps.

If you are going to have an LPFM station, you should definitely stream the programming over the internet as well. SCMS can provide Streaming capability and automation software practically FREE. You will also need to be aware of the Royalties for Terrestrial over the air broadcasting and Streaming over the internet. Those cost can be very high with fines if not done properly. As you know, LPFM will have a very limited coverage area, streaming can extend your coverage world-wide and will allow you to have listeners anywhere in the world via the internet or with apps for Android and iPhones.

SAM Broadcaster - All you need to start your own online radio station. Professional quality automation at a fraction of the price /

Securenet Systems Inc. - Stream your content 24/7 right from your studio board, local charity events, sporting events, live promos, and remote locations /

SPECIAL OFFER for Radio Streaming!
Call Gary Lee at 954-481-9402 ext 243

Basic setup for a internet station:
1. Need a dedicated computer and internet connection. See / NO Barix Box, needs to be a PC.
2. Securenet has Free Playlist Manager software, that is great for Internet Stations /
3. In setting up the station / studio, we don’t assist in setting up a studio, but you can visit your favorite browser search and type "how to setup an internet radio station free" in the video section.

Music 1 is a scheduling tool for broadcast radio, internet radio, background music for stores and shops and music video programming. In addition to the music, it schedules liners, voice tracks, jingles, promos, long-form programs, macros and commands for digital automation systems, all right here on one application /

Consult with SCMS for more details. Request a free on-line streaming or automation demo from SCMS.


Streaming your radio station online is now a necessity to provide your listeners with as many possible ways to ‘tune in’. With the popularity of on-demand services growing, and 3/4G coverage extending, a radio station can’t afford not to have an online stream.

Providing a way for your prospective listeners to hear your radio station is very important. A good website should be well designed and eye catching in order to draw attention to your station, and make it stand out from the rest. Most stations do not just offer the ability to listen to a live stream, but also provide a whole wealth of other related content and features, such as topics of education, worship, sports and more.

Here are the Top 5 web pages you should include on your radio station website along with the home page:
  • Listen page
    This should by far be the most important webpage of the site. We recommend offering a variety of methods for listeners to tune in (eg. Embedded Player, Listen with Winamp/iTunes/XMMS, Windows Media and Realplayer). Not everyone is using a Windows computer with Winamp installed - so Windows Media, Mac and Linux users have to be taken into consideration. Wavestreaming provides a full set of tools to do this in our control panel, free of charge for all SHOUTcast server customers.
  • Contact Us or Request page
    Your radio stations most valuable asset will be the listeners' feedback. If they like what they hear and have the ability to have a say on the output of your station, it will keep them coming back time and time again. You should include a contact form which enables visitors to quickly and easily fire requests to the DJ who is on air, or the stations music programmer.
  • Playlist Page
    Its a good idea to showcase either new music or your most played songs on a playlist page, just to give the user an idea of what you play. If they like what they see on the playlist, they are more likely to listen. You can also include a 'featured artist' on your homepage which when clicked, leads to the playlist page.
  • Social Media
    Is a must! Keeping in constant contact with your audience builds a relationship. This is your digital community who can help spread the word about your station. Information travels both ways and it is immediate. Call SCMS for information on setting up accounts for Twitter, Facebook and others.
  • DJ or Show Page (and schedule)
    Create a web page which shows your DJ's and the shows they present and at which times they are on. This way, listeners who hear a certain show will be able to come back when the show is next on and tune in.
  • Links Page
    A links page is vital if you want to exchange links with partners. More will be mentioned in the next section about link exchanges

Getting listeners is one of the hardest parts of running an internet radio station, if you head onto and look on the directory listing, you will find many highly successful radio stations with thousands of listeners. You will also come across a huge number of not-so-successful ones, with more than 10 listeners.

There is NOTHING wrong with running a station and broadcasting to only a few people. Don't expect to gain hundreds of listeners within a week of starting as unless you have a lot of money for advertising, its not likely to happen. Most start off by broadcasting to a few friends.

It is legal to broadcast over the internet without any form of FCC licensing. Unlike standard radio (going via FM/AM or HD) you do not need a 'license' to broadcast, to own that wavelength on an AM/FM band so to speak. That is the beauty of the internet, no one 'owns' it and therefore it is yours to use however you like. There is no limit to the number of streams you can run. However, if the content of your stream includes any copyrighted material - you are at risk and may be breaking the law if you do not hold the permission of the copyright holder - which for most commercial music is the record label or the artist themselves.

Music licensing is available for individuals and organizations looking to stream copyrighted material online legally. A single fee is usually paid to the licensing body, which in turn is then fairly distributed to the copyright holders.

Also see ROYALTIES tab.

The following links to music licensing bodies may be of help:
USA: 3rd Party 'umbrella' Licenses for web broadcasting:


You need a good, honest consultant to process your FCC application and find the most beneficial site and frequency. This is Critical!!

In general, LPFM applicants may only apply for a single station. However, on reconsideration, the Commission clarified that government public safety and transportation organizations may apply for multiple LPFM stations for disseminating traffic, safety, and other information where the additional applications are not subject to competing applications. Similarly, where there are no conflicting applications, LPFM applications will be accepted for university student-run LPFM stations from universities holding LPFM licenses that are not student-run. Separate college campuses within a university system, or individual high schools under a single school board, could each individually apply for LPFM construction permits.

Applicants should, prior to submitting an application to the FCC, consider how property ownership, local zoning, building permits, or other land use restrictions might affect whether and how quickly an LPFM station can be constructed upon FCC grant of a construction permit. However, zoning, land use, or building permit information or approval is not needed to file FCC Form 318 with the Commission for an LPFM construction permit. On the other hand, environmental considerations might need to be addressed in the context of the FCC Form 318 application.

Find out some areas to take care of before filling out the application. LPFM Decisions Upholding Dismissal of Several Applicants Give Warning to Applicants in Upcoming Window - PDF

Media Bureau provides information on the processing of singleton and mutually exclusive applications; applicants’ ability to file amendments, settlements, and time-share agreements; opportunities to file petitions to deny; and options to seek the reinstatement of dismissed applications.. Media Bureau Provides Further Guidance on the Processing of Form 318 Applications Filed in the LPFM Window - PDF

Call SCMS for information, and you can also visit this FCC site:


Rule sections pertaining to LPFM stations are listed here. Up to three individual rule sections at a time can be retrieved.

LPFM Broadcast Station Checklist (PDF file) can be used by LPFM licensees and permittees to verify compliance with the FCC's rules. This checklist was created by the FCC's Enforcement Bureau and is periodically updated.

Be cautious of offers for equipment or services that promise to get you an LPFM station or to sell you a Part 15 unlicensed device or transmitter as a means to starting a licensed LPFM service. We, and the FCC, do not recommend the purchase of any equipment until you receive an LPFM construction permit from the FCC. The FCC authorizes all licenses for LPFM radio stations. The license is free and is required before construction or operation of the station can begin.

It's important to have people behind you who know and understand FCC rules and regulations. Talk to one of our professionals.


LPFM stations must have a CAP decoder, either an all-in-one box like the Sage Digital ENDEC, or a cap converter. The rules define LPFM as a EAS participant, requiring them to have a decoder, exempt them from having an encoder, and adds CAP to the list of what a decoder must do.

This section is pulled from the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations, focused on EAS

The path through Part 11 is this:
Part 11.11(a) includes LPFM in the list of entities that are "EAS Participants". It specifically notes that LPFM must have an EAS decoder in table 1.

11.56 says;
(a) On or by June 30, 2012, EAS Participants must have deployed operational equipment that is capable of the following:

  1. Acquiring EAS alert messages in accordance with the monitoring requirements in § 11.52(d)(2)
  2. Converting EAS alert messages that have been formatted pursuant to the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) Common Alerting Protocol Version 1.2 (July 1, 2010), and Common Alerting Protocol, v. 1.2 USA Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Profile Version 1.0 (Oct. 13, 2009), into EAS alert messages that comply with the EAS Protocol, such that the Preamble and EAS Header Codes, audio Attention Signal, audio message, and Preamble and EAS End of Message (EOM) Codes of such messages are rendered equivalent to the EAS Protocol (set forth in § 11.31), in accordance with the technical specifications governing such conversion process set forth in the EAS-CAP Industry Group's (ECIG) Recommendations for a CAP EAS Implementation Guide, Version 1.0 (May 17, 2010) (except that any and all specifications set forth therein related to gubernatorial “must carry” shall not be followed, and that EAS Participants may adhere to the specifications related to text-to-speech on a voluntary basis).
  3. Processing such converted messages in accordance with the other sections of this part.
With respect to monitoring EAS messages formatted in accordance with the specifications set forth in § 11.56(a)(2), EAS Participants' EAS equipment must interface with the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) to enable (whether through “pull” interface technologies, such as Really Simple Syndication (RSS) and Atom Syndication Format (ATOM), or “push” interface technologies, such as instant messaging and email) the distribution of Common Alert Protocol (CAP)-formatted alert messages from the IPAWS system to EAS Participants' EAS equipment.

For the full Electronic Code of Federal Regulations, specifically PART 11--EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM (EAS) go to the U.S Government Printing Office

Additional FCC contacts;

  • Assistance with FRN numbers and passwords: FRN Help Desk 1-(877) 480-3201, Option 4
  • Electronic filing assistance: Konrad Herling or David Trout, (202) 418-2662
  • Legal inquiries: Tom Hutton or Parul P. Desai, (202) 418-2700
  • Engineering inquiries: James Bradshaw or Gary Loehrs, (202) 418-2700
  • Press inquiries: Janice Wise, (202) 418-8165


To keep your station going you need to be sure that you put together a good business plan.

The proper RF equipment is vital to a successful on-air experience, but paying the bills will keep you operating. There are a number of ways for you to do this. These are some suggested operational guidelines only, consult FCC Rules and Regulations for the legality of your Underwriting Statements.

You have successfully put an LPFM or Internet Station on the air, so What are You Going to Do with it NOW?? It sounds great to have your own station, to broadcast the programming that you feel the community wants, BUT the bottom line is you have to pay the BILLS! Even though you are a most likely a non-profit company, you still have to generate income.

Call for more information, before you build, to develop a realistic and profitable business plan. Below is a short list of the many ideas the experts at SCMS can help you with.
  1. LPFM stations are non-commercial. Unlike Commercial Radio and Internet Radio Stations, they operate under a totally difference set of rules. Their announcements are typically called Underwriting or Sponsorships rather than Ads or Spots. The most difficult rule with respect to producing income is there can be No Call To Action. In other words, you cannot make statements such as “Come to ACME Auto Sales this Saturday for Free Test Ride”. CLICK here for a summary of underwriting guidelines for LPFM, they do not apply to internet radio.
  2. WEATHER AND TRAFFIC SPOSORSHIPS - A good source of steady income. There are many sources for current weather and there are ways that they can be automated into your programming. Call SCMS for details.
  3. CHURCH SERVICES - A good community service and can produce steady reliable income. Even if your normal programming is not religious, you should align yourself with one or more local churches for Sunday morning programming.
  4. HEALTH AND WELLNESS - With the Baby Boomers aging, there is tremendous growth in nursing homes. A daily program from a local nursing home produces nice revenue. They can discuss the activities for that day and plug the home itself. A noon program works well, such as “A Morning Side Moment” from Morning Side Retirement Village.
  5. CONCERTS - Everyone loves live Music and live venues need promotion and sponsorships usually come easier for such an event rather than every day underwriting. With today’s technology, it is easy to using IPhone technology.
  6. FESTIVALS - Most radio stations have abandoned local festivals, you can be the star at these events by promoting them and getting sponsorships in the process.
  7. PUBLIC AFFAIRS PROGRAMMING (PAP) INTERVIEWS - There are countless civic organizations, government departments, medical facilities, utilities, etc., that can be interviewed for interesting Public Affairs Programs. For example, during National Heart Health Week, a local medical organization or wellness center could discuss heart health and awareness. PAP’s are always a good “foot in the door” for future sponsors and underwriters.
  8. GOLF SHOW - Find a local Golf Pro that would like to do a weekend program on Golf. That person could be a sponsor but he could also get the show sponsored by some of the many golf suppliers and manufacturers. It can be a "call in" show as well which will require some specialized equipment as shown in one of the SCMS packages.
  9. INSURANCE SHOW - Another excellent program to discuss consumer issues with insurance, explanation of various types of insurance, Health Care, etc.
  10. FINANCIAL - These type programs are more common, but there is always room for another. If you find an individual that is motivated enough, you could start a Network Show and sell it to other stations. This would be true of the Insurance and Golf Shows as well.
  11. SPORTS, SPORTS, SPORTS! - Communities love their local sports (High School, Jr. College, Pro, Even Middle School). If most of the live broadcast are taken by some of the high power stations, try the less popular sports such as hockey, soccer, softball, etc. Even if the games are already on the air, you can still do coaching shows and special shows on the teams. Call SCMS for the easiest and least expensive way to do remotes and to learn the latest technology of using handheld devices to broadcast remotes.
  12. LOCAL, COMMUNITY - The asset that YOU have, that the major networks and group stations do not have, is Local involvement in the community. To be successful, you must offer an alternative to Pandora, Clearchannel, Cumulus, and the other large corporate owners who have the local markets to pursue national advertising contracts. Local Programming can save radio as we know it.
SCMS has built thousands of FM facilities, call today to discuss what your plans are for your new station and how you can successfully run it long term!

Towers come in all shapes and sizes.

Guyed towers are less costly than self supporters, but in locations where there is not enough room for guy wires, a self supporter may be required. The least expensive alternative is to find an existing structure to mount your antenna on such as a Water Tower, Multi-Story Building, light pole, etc. Below is a link showing a typical 100 ft. self supporter tower.

In some instances, a tall power pole may be sufficient for your tower structure (See right). This is especially true if your site can be on higher terrain. Most utility companies will install you a power pole for you at a reasonable cost and they can be upwards to 80 ft. above the ground. A pipe mast is typically added to the top of the pole to attach the antenna and increase the height. A budget figure for a 60 ft. pole installed would be less than $1,000. It may be necessary to have it installed as a security light pole and that may also circumvent a local building permit and zoning application. Your application ERP (effective radiated power) and TPO (transmitter power output) will need to be adjusted accordingly for the height you are able to obtain.


Sample of Self Supported Tower Design Form and Block Foundation Estimate Form.

CALL or email SCMS and get pricing for Guyed or Self Supported Towers.

Compare LPFM Transmitters. Transmitters are vital to a running LPFM station. BW Broadcast put together a comparison chart spotlighting transmitters.

Occasionally LPFM stations will require directional FM antennas. Check out these PDF's showing E-Slide RF System Calculations... Circularly Polarized and Folded Dipole.

SCMS has 6 LPFM packages spanning a large range of products and price. These packages will need to be modified based on your particular frequency, tower and FCC pattern. You choose which works best for your station.


We have access to a number of experts in the field of broadcast, low power and high power. If you'd like to talk to a broadcast expert call 1-800-438-6040.

Check out this PDF of the SBE-Society of Broadcast Engineers consultant list.

Contact us for a recommendation. If you are an LPFM consultant and think that you should be on this list let us know.


It's important that you adhere to all of the FCC requirements.
Call SCMS for recommendations, and you can also visit this FCC site:


Once you've filed there are a number of steps to take leading up to the point of "construction permit".
Christian Community Broadcasters offers “turnkey assistance” from preliminary planning to when you sign-on to begin broadcasting.
Call SCMS to connect to CCB. 1-800-438-6040


The FCC requires that you have the ability to control your transmitter. If you purchase a BW Broadcast transmitter, that capability is built in at no extra charge. No PC or additional software is needed, just a high speed internet connection at the transmitter site. Ethernet remote comes standard and does not need any software installed, Android and iPhone apps are also available. Software controlled triggers and alarms are integrated for use with telemetry. There are other remote control options via a standard phone line or IP control.

BW transmitters are made to be the most intelligent on the market by adding Remote Control, Email Alerts, Silence Detection, Advanced Alarms as well as an In-built Logger. All of these features make it easy for you to monitor the status of your transmitter. It will email you if it has a problem and keep a log of any issues to be investigated. You can also adjust settings remotely if required. All these features are designed to give you peace of mind and save you time.

Configurable Status and Alarm Ports, to signal to, and control external equipment. This will alert you to issues and offer solutions to keep you on air. For example, BW transmitters can be configured to switch on back-up audio or back-up transmitters should it detect a problem.

Call SCMS to discuss your particular facility for a recommendation and guidance.

Additional Remote Control options;
  • Broadcast Tools Inc. - WRVC-4, WRVC-8
  • Burk - ARC Plus Touch
  • Circuitwerkes - Sicon 8
  • Davicom - DV Micro - Low Power FM Monitoring Kit

    Davicom manufactures such a small remote site monitoring and control unit that is a complete solution for unattended LPFM operation as per FCC regulations. This unit, the DV-Micro, was specifically designed for small station requirements and it has an attractive entry-level price that does not compromise on necessary features. In addition, this unit is not a dead-end device since it can easily be expanded should your station requirements grow in the future.
    The DV-Micro package includes everything needed to remotely operate and control your transmitter. It comes with a built-in telephone modem, voice response system and network interface for Internet connection. The kit also includes the remote-access software, an interface board, a 12VDC power supply, as well as all the wires and cables needed to get your installation up and running.
    Get more information on the DV Micro...
  • Sine Systems - RFCIB

There are many programs and software that will help you to automate your station. Many of these are free and have more than a few of these features....

  • Live-assist and automated playout system
  • Choose from classic cart decks mode or live-assist players mode
  • Instant QuickCarts for jingles and sound effects
  • Display QuickCarts as a cartwall or docked to the main window
  • Play WAVs, MP3s, WMAs or MP4s
  • Allow you to set up scheduled jobs that run at predetermined times
  • Run jingles for add breaks and station/show promotion
  • Pre-set shows to autorun at given date/time
  • Overlay station IDs or jingles over music tracks
  • Automix or manual mix with crossfader
  • Edit track ID3 information tags
  • Save logs of A:B:J activity (tracks played, jingles played, scheduling)
  • Search loaded playlist or entire Media Collection for tracks
  • Easily add tracks
  • Configure individual sound cards for each player
  • Set up playout policies and patterns

Call SCMS to find out more about automation systems such as Wide Orbit, Sam Broadcast, and WireReady.


This is a subject most broadcasters dislike, but it is kind of like taxes and death, at some point they are a certainty. Below is for information purposes and general guidelines. We recommend you contact the companies below for the latest information and requirements.

Royalty cost vary depending on the collection entity and the broadcasting entity. In addition to broadcasting entities, background music companies, individual businesses, and others may be liable for payment of Royalties on the music they are playing. Often times they aggressively collect and take court actions as necessary, many consider them the IRS of the Music Industry. There is a lot of legislation currently being discussed with respect to Royalties and many of the major radio groups are negotiating directly with artist. Be sure to keep up to date on these requirements so you are not surprised with a large bill to pay. Getting to the correct person and receiving a finite accurate answer is difficult. Cost will vary on market size and whether you are a non-com or commercial station. Streaming also varies, ASCAP and BMI cover it under their terrestrial fees and Sesac and Securenet charge extra. Beware as the requirements are subject to change!!

The following may not be a complete list of companies that approach you for Fees and Licenses, but the four primary collection entities are:

  • ASCAP, One Lincoln Plaza, New York, NY 10023
  • BMI, 10 Music Square East, Nashville, TN 37203
  • Sesac, 55 Music Square East, Nashville, TN 37203
  • Sound Exchange, 55 Music Square East, Nashville, TN 37203

SCMS works closely with Media Brokers. Not having to fight your way through the FCC’s system to secure the license, etc is appealing. Plus, you avoid the job of securing tower space, equipment, employees, etc.

Get in touch with us at 1-800-438-6040 / for info on the most current listings.


We have a team of 16 Broadcast Product Experts. Each with experience in LPFM broadcast.

CORPORATE SALES - 1-800-438-6040


  • Director of Strategic Accounts › Doug Tharp › dougt@scmsinc.comSales (818) 398-7314
  • Southern Gulf States › Andy Cole › andyc@scmsinc.comSales (866) 205-6905 Cell (704) 614-2499
  • Bradley Broadcast Division › Bob Eburg › beburg@bradleybroadcast.comSales (800) 732-7665 / (301) 682-8700
  • ProAudio & Commercial Sound › Ric Goldstein › ricg@scmsinc.comSales (877) 640-8205 / (919) 661-8191
  • North Central › Pam Leffler › paml@scmsinc.comSales (573) 478-3737 Cell (513) 478-9191
  • Mid-West › Chuck Maines › Sales (844) 436-4327 Cell (765) 914-7306
  • Latin America › Lily Massari › lilym@scmsinc.comSales (760) 650-1427 Cell (760) 643-1974
  • Mid-South › Bob Mayben › bobmayben@usa.netSales (877) 391-2650
  • Central › Bernie O'Brien › bernieob@earthlink.netSales (731) 695-1714
  • North-East › Jim Peck › jpeck001@scmsinc.comSales (315) 623-7655 Cell (315) 430-7458
  • Western Mountain States › Ken Perkins › kenp@scmsinc.comSales (303) 674-6566
  • Bradley Broadcast Division › Art Reed › areed@bradleybroadcast.comSales (800) 732-7665 / (301) 682-8700


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