radio stations

Can you make your own?
Is it legal?
How easy would it be for them to find you?
I’ve read if you put it in a van, and keep moving, they can’t.

  1. In the United States, you can operate with up to 1/10th of a watt without a licence – enough to transmit a block or two. A common use for this is “talking billboards”, which have a low power transmitter mounted on a billboard that says something like “Tune to 99.1 now!” (Carrier Current stations, operated by things such as colleges, are also unlicenced, since their signal is fed into local power lines, and you can only hear them when you are near the lines).

  2. Anything above 1/10 of a watt or with a large antenna requires a licence.

  3. Non-moving stations are pretty easy to find – you just use directional receivers and triangulation.

  4. It’s harder to trace a radio signal coming from a van, but it’s also a lot harder to operate a radio station in a moving vehicle. And eventually someone is going to notice that “Hey, the signal got real strong right when that van with the taped over windows drove by”.

Thanks much. I was just reading the updated Steal This Book and it mentioned this.

While this is against the spirit of Steal this Book, the FCC has begun authorizing low power community transmitters:

They have 10 W licenses and 100 W licenses.