Institutional Radio Broadcasting

Tomson Devis, Ajai V Babu, Ajin Abraham, Dennies Kurian, Jithin Antony
St.Joseph’s College of Engineering and Technology, Palai M.G University Kottayam,,, Abstract— Community radio (CR) is a participatory medium and a subset of Radio broadcasting. It is an inexpensive and popular way for disseminating content such as information, news, entertainment, etc. Community Radio is designed to increase availability of localized information, media access and empowerment, societal resource distribution for the community, and even for the educational purpose. Frequency modulation has several advantages over the system of amplitude modulation used in the alternate form of radio broadcasting. The most important of these advantages is that an FM system has greater freedom from interference, various electrical disturbances, such as those caused by thunderstorms and car ignition systems create amplitude modulated radio signals that are received as noise by AM receivers. A well-designed FM receiver is not sensitive to such disturbances when it is tuned to an FM signal of sufficient strength. The signal-to-noise ratio in an FM system is much higher than that of an AM system. FM broadcasting stations can be operated in the very-high-frequency bands at which AM interference is frequently severe; commercial FM radio stations are assigned frequencies between 88 and 108 MHz with wavelengths between 3.4 and 2.77 meters respectively and will be the intended frequency range of transmission The aim of the work is to develop a Miniaturized low power FM Transmitter to be used as a community radio.

depends on the electromagnetic wave propagation and the specification of the communication system. Therefore the technical properties of the receiving system (antenna directivity, noise figure, selectivity etc.) and the acceptable distortion of the information caused by interference are parameters which affect the communication system performance and, thus, are required for frequency planning purposes. The information to be transmitted is assumed to be represented originally by an analog electrical signal which is a continuous function of time, has a finite amplitude range, and possesses a maximum frequency compound. In the analog system, the information-signal frequency modulates a radiofrequency (RF) carrier. Frequency modulation rather than amplitude modulation is generally used for analog transmission, since FM provides S/N (Signal to Noise ratio) improvement. AM is also susceptible to fading encountered in space. Thus we are developing low power Community Radio using FM modulation technique. II. CONCEPT OF COMMUNITY RADIO Community Radio is a non-profit service that is owned and managed by a particular community usually through a trust, foundation, or association. Its aim is to serve and benefit that community. A. Aim and Concept Community Radio (CR) aims at providing service to a particular community, institution or for a group of people. CR’s small scale and local broadcast allows content to be more localized than from commercial or national radio stations. Our aim is to set up an Institutional Radio which can cover a region of less than one km. This is to cover the entire region of our institution, which can be used exclusively for educational as well as for other special purpose. Output radiated power of about 1 watt can be used to transmit the signal over the specified region. Omni directional antennas are to be used to establish transmission of signals over the entire region.

I. INTRODUCTION The constant technological developments in radio since the discovery of the first experiments by Guglielmo Marconi, plus the contributions of the inventions of James Maxwell and Heinrich Hertz, made the radio became a vehicle of mass communication. Comparatively low cost of equipment for an FM broadcasting station resulted in rapid growth in the years following World War II. Because of crowding in the AM broadcast band and the inability of standard AM receivers to eliminate noise the tonal fidelity of standard stations is purposely limited. FM does not have these drawbacks and can be used to transmit information content, reproducing the original performance with a degree of fidelity that cannot be reached on AM bands. The integrated chip has also played its part in the wide proliferation of FM receivers, as circuits got smaller it became easier to make a modular electronic device which enables the portability of a tape player and an AM/FM radio receiver. This has resulted in the portability of a miniature FM receiver. Commercial FM radio stations are assigned frequencies between 88 and 108 MHz It is possible to reuse the same frequencies at different locations however, the co-channel

B. Acceptable Transmission Power Level in India is given by Effective Radiated Power (ERP). It is for this reason that FM is used for high quality broadcast transmissions. A well-designed FM receiver is not sensitive to such disturbances when it is tuned to an FM signal of sufficient strength. any signal level variations will not affect the audio output. 7) Smaller geographical interference between neighboring stations. 8) Waves at higher frequencies can carry more data than the waves at low frequency. Pre-Amplifier. 4) For FM transmission. some of them are LC oscillator. and it is not necessary to use a linear form of amplification to increase the power level of the signal to its final value. provided that the signal does not fall to a level where the receiver cannot cope. LOW POWER FM TRANSMITTER The Institutional Radio which uses FM modulation consists of different stages like Oscillator. ADVANTAGE OF USING FM Frequency Modulation has been widely used in radio broadcasting due to its unique features. The modulation is carried only as variations in frequency. Advantage of FM Over AM Frequency modulation has several advantages over the system of amplitude modulation (AM) used in the alternate form of radio broadcasting. It is possible to apply the modulation to a low power stage of the . A. That is. it is possible to use non-linear RF amplifiers to amplify FM signals in a transmitter. the entire region can be covered. This is more efficient than the linear RF amplifier. Crystal Oscillator. publicly funded bodies and banned Organizations are not given the permission to establish a Community Radio in India. 2) FM wave has property of resilience to noise and interference. various electrical disturbances. transmitter. Features of FM signals 1) The most important feature of frequency modulation is its Resilience to signal level variations. Community Radio can only be established after the approval of Information and Broadcasting Department. Oscillator Stage Oscillator is a circuit which makes a continuous varying voltage level with respect to time. or other forms of service which could not be provided in the almost saturated AM band. Religious bodies. which depends on the frequency generated by the oscillator stage. 5) Well defined service areas for given transmitter power. Frequency modulated wave is less susceptible to interferences from buildings. experiments etc. The most important of these advantages is that an FM system has greater freedom from interference. For educational purpose FM can be used. which is economical as well as easily available in the market. Output Power of about 1 watt is required to obtain a range of about 750 meter. FM broadcasting stations can be operated in the very-high-frequency bands at which AM interference is frequently severe. which is enough to cover the entire Institution.The growth of FM broadcasting in recent years has been more solidly based upon a desire to provide high fidelity transmission of good music. traffic etc which provides improved signal to noise ratio. the inherent capacity to reduce noise and interference. III. the availability of new channels on which more Stations could operate to provide new or greater service. It can transmit signal in the frequency range of 88-108 MHz. 6) Less radiated power. Government Regulations The different countries have adopted different rules and regulations for usage of available frequency. Omni directional antenna is to be used so that the signal can be transmitted over the entire 360°. According to UNESCO a 300 Watts transmitter can transmit data more than 40 km with the required efficiency. Thus for setting up of Institutional Radio. cultural and educational programs. The only requirement is to have receiver at various departments in the institution.The Institutional Broadcasting radio thus can be used to transmit educational programmes over the entire region or can be used to transmit any announcements or can be used for entertainment purpose. Driver and the Power Amplifier. tuned to the transmitting frequency. In India. Any legal entity should be eligible for having a Community Radio license. 3) Another important feature is related to FM transmission. ERP of 100 Watts is allowed (with the provision of increasing it up to 250 Watts) in India. There are several type of oscillators. Frequency Modulation is to be used which is more efficient than the Amplitude Modulation. The principal advantages of FM to the public were the availability of a system in which there were no inherent limitations on the fidelity of transmission and reception which could be achieved. Usage of other frequency is strictly prohibited by law. B. but the continuous transmission of data though it’s for educational purpose is strictly prohibited by rules. Here the function of oscillator is to produce the required frequency carrier wave for modulating the sound signal. so that by placing transmitter at the centre. IV. A. The same varying pattern of voltage level repeats continuously. such as those caused by thunderstorms and car ignition systems create amplitude modulated radio signals that are received as noise by AM receivers. Generally ISM band of frequency is allocated for educational purpose. The signal-to-noise ratio in an FM system is much higher than that of an AM system.

a part of the power would get dissipated or wasted resulting in weak signal reaching the listener. B.Driver Stage act as a buffer amplifier and has high input impedance. v. The Antenna may be placed on a building or hilltop to gain necessary height. income levels. Omnidirectional radiates the signal in all directions. Carefully adjust trimmer VC1 connected across L1 to generate frequency within 88. A directional antenna beaming the signal towards a particular area would be able to give additional power to that area. water distribution among others. Regulator IC 78C09 provides stable 9V supply to the oscillator. the first question a community radio broadcaster has to answer is Content for whom? Who the community members are? What is their demographic profile (in terms of distribution of age. Here a 2N3866 transistor is used to deliver RF power to Antenna stage. Directional antenna radiates the signal towards one segment of the circle around it. Tuned collector oscillators. Choice of the transistor is based on intended output power and range. some factors need to be considered. fitted high on the mast. Note that the tank circuit does not oscillate just by having a DC potential put across it. If the signal is beamed through Omni-directional antenna. directional antenna has been found better. Positive feedback must be provided. Antenna The height. 12V dc power supply is needed by this stage and has high input impedance. or a mast must be constructed for it. and there should be no or few obstructions that can block the signal. so variation in the supply voltage will not affect the output. This stage is a tuned Class C Amplifier which delivers RF power to a 50-ohm antenna. The community may also be confronting some day-to-day civic problems or those relate with law and order. content holds the key. Stairs are welded on to them so that the broadcasting antenna itself. scope and objectives. Power Amplifier Converts energy drawn from dc supply to ac output signal power. The height of the antenna will depend on the terrain and on any obstacle that the signal may encounter. irrigation. The gain of this stage is very low and is very close to unity. This amplified FM signal is given to a driver stages which matches it with the Power Amplifier. there may be areas of signal shadow in the valleys. The antenna needs to be omnidirectionalfor uniform transmition of the signal. agriculture. B. Frequency modulated signals are obtained at the collector of oscillator transistor BF494. colpitts oscillator. The tank circuit. There are two broad categories of antenna: Omnidirectional and Directional. economic status. An input signal is not needed to sustain the oscillation. The antenna that propagates the signal must therefore be as high as possible. content planning for community radio cannot be made in isolation as it has to cater to the needs of the community it aims to serve. The masts must be firmly anchored in a concrete block in the ground and they must be held vertical by guy writ s. In a pure LC circuit (one with no resistance) energy cannot be lost. Audience Profile Like any other form of media. Thus. rural development etc. Pre-Amplifier stage is a tuned Class A amplifier. C. also anchored in concrete. However. The main aim of this stage is for the impedance matching between Pre & Power amplifier stages. Every transmitter needs an oscillator to generate the RF carrier waves. To develop a sustainable content strategy for a community radio station. occupation. Heat-sink is used with transistor 2N3866 for heat dissipation.file. the transistor and the feedback capacitor are the oscillator circuit here. will be required. As its name implies. through 360 degrees around itself. and low output impedance. position and adjustment of the antenna play a crucial role in achieving high quality and the farthest possible reach of the FM broadcast signal. CONTENT STRATEGY FOR COMMUNITY RADIO For the success of any medium. a community radio is people's radio which reflects the hopes. concerns and aspirations of a community. It is usually at least 20-30 metres above the ground. In certain situations. FM signals travel more or less in a straight line and follow the line of sight. Higher the Antenna farther will be the signal reach.Hartley oscillator. It also helps frequency stabilization of oscillator stage. sanitation. A. phase shift oscillators . D. a good understanding of the development indices in a community such as health. gender. One example is where an antenna is placed on the side of mountain overlooking the community to be reached. The name 'tank' circuit comes from the ability of the LC circuit to store energy for oscillations. Antenna masts can be built locally using steel uprights and lathes to create a lattice construction.108 MHz Also adjust trimmers VC2 through VC7 to get maximum output at maximum range. can be reached for adjustments and repairs. Pre-Amplifier Preamplifier is built around high frequency transistor BF200. As we are aware. . FM faces limitations in hilly areas because even if the antenna is placed on the top of a peak. education etc). a simpler and cheaper version can be made by using galvanized steel water pipes. education. The feedback signal makes the base-emitter current of the transistor vary at the resonant frequency. In the case of Community Radio. it is all the more important in view of its specific nature. For using FM in hilly areas one or more relay transmitters need to be installed to cover the areas in shadow. This causes the emitter-collector current to vary at the same frequency. The FM signals are amplified by the tuned VHF preamplifier. Development Status Apart from the audience pro.

Entertainment Yet another crucial area for content planning is that of entertainment. Local people may share their ideas for developing a sustainable content strategy for a community radio station. In such a scenario. Local Talent To emerge as a true representative of a community. some of the issues discussed above may be kept in view. What is important is to maintain a judicious balance between information. it is limited to folk songs and folk music. chicken pox or dengue fever requiring immediate attention. local festivals. then it would be desirable for them to interact with the local community members. they will have some understanding about the local issues and problems. This. a radio programmer has to keep in view the felt or expressed needs and thelatent needs of a community while planning the content. Fun and games are part and parcel of our lives and there is no need to ignore or shy away from them. F. it is rooted in reality and to meet the objectives of social responsibility. Positive in Nature The content of a community radio can contribute in making people aware about their rights and responsibilities and can serve as an effective tool to foster communal harmony and national integration.stand and identify the concerns of the community. Focus group discussions (FGDs)which give an in-depth view of an issue have been found useful tools for assessing the needs and wants of a community as compared to the survey method which gives a ‘big picture'. Thus the goal of community radio is achieved. community radio programming need not be dull and boring.cast of film music may also be considered in this regard. Even if there is. may be involved in imparting relevant information to contain the spread of the disease. The content planner needs to be careful about hidden propaganda. However. It is often argued that since the objectives of community radio are information and education.. In this way. It is possible that a village may be afflicted with any disease like gastroenteritis. Since community radio operates on low budgets. otherwise it will lose its inherent strength to draw people to its fold. there is hardly any scope for entertainment in it. G. In any case. Needs and Wants Among the various types of needs. H. Formats Apart from the basic formats like talks. media having bearing on their lives and interpret them with the local perspective. But health being a broad area. its primary aim is resolution of a problem rather than its aggravation. if they are from outside and represent any agency/organization etc. progress and development. make the community aware of the national issues and broaden their horizons to help them bring into the mainstream of life. Specific Issues Yet another important area which merits consideration is a focus on specific issues being faced by a community. If a radio station is able to voice the needs and hopes of the community and address their concerns by actively involving the people themselves then it leads to a marked improvement in their quality of lives. In different areas. it will . regular interactions with the community members will always be required to develop a sustainable strategy for content generation. However. Linkages The above example brings us to a very relevant question should the programming of a community radio station be confined to the local issues only or offer some scope for projecting larger national issues as well? It would be useful for a community radio to pick up some important issues projected in the main. Even broad. officials etc.RELIABILITY AND MAINTENANCE C. quiz and phone-ins (the latter in case telephone facility is easily available). it would be useful to broadcast more live programmers to minimize the need for recording and editing. a community radio station can also make use of drama. For example. D. education and entertainment in the content planning. discussions and interviews. Felt needs are those which a person is able to identify and articulate oneself while latent needs are those which a per-son or community may not be aware of but requires for its growth. The local health functionaries. E. it will be useful for the programmer to narrow it down to the specific health needs of a community for optimal impact of the programming. controversial and contentious subjects that may conflagrate conflict and tensions among people. Their interviews can serve as a rich source of content. An analysis of both types of needs will help to identify the 'real' need of the community for effective programming of a station. does not imply that a community radio station shuns real issues . VI. field functionaries and senior officials to thoroughly under. we all are aware that health is an important development indicator which needs adequate reflection in radio programming. meals and exhibitions are organized from time to time which witness active participation from artists of different art forms or genres. it makes little sense to discuss health problems of far off places such as encephalitis or swine flu. a community radio station has to give ample scope for local talent in its content planning. In case the programmers are from the community itself. however.Some of these issues can be taken up in the programming with an aim to address them.far from it. doctors.

VII. [3] G. The success or failure of a community radio station depends more upon the involvement and on ownership Of the community. The range of the transmitter can be increased by using high power transmitters or by using more number of amplifying stages. Listeners should look up to the radio as a friend. [2] G. ISBN 817808-612-3. [4] J. F. Policy Guidelines for setting up Community Radio Stations in India. They should be able to convey their queries on subjects of concern to them to the radio station which in turn can collect the information required and broadcast it. certain simple precautions need to be taken to prevent accidental damage. For continuous operation of the transmitter within the Institution proper sanction from the government is required.2001 [7]Francis Mc Swiggan. and fixed to an iron bar driven deep enough into the ground to find moist soil. . However. Digital-PSK Transmission. Whelan. when connecting equipment. 2003. R. Precautions against Lighting Experience has shown lighting striking the antenna during thunderstorms is common cause of damage to transmitters. an earthing wire of braided copper should be welded to it. Setting up of Community Radio Station. June. Tongia. [5] Community Radio for Development in South Asia. December 2002.Most of the equipment outlined above is inherently robust and reliable and is generally quite simple to maintain by someone with appropriate knowledge and training. R. when a transmitter has been disconnected from the antenna. Any radio transmitter that is switched on without being connected to its antenna or to an equivalent load will be permanently damaged . Electronic Communication Systems. Member. Guy. Design and Build a Portable. Town. Community Radio Handbook: UNESCO. [6] C. IEEE. as they are called.Thus. Load resistors. Frequency Modulation of the information signal is done because of its inherent advantages as mentioned above. [8]Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Limited. It is therefore vital to weld a lightning conductor to the top of the antenna mast. the positive and negative terminals. run down the side of the building. Frequency Allocations for Broadcasting. [9] Government of India. Estrada. a dummy load of the same resistance as the antenna must be attached to it. Handling Precautions Other precautions concern handling of the equipment. Fraser and S. [10]Wayne Tomasi. Proper matching between the load antenna and the output stage must be made for the improvement of output power transmitted. say for testing or repair. B. philosopher and guide. And if the antenna is fixed on a roof.1962. 1966. Multichannel FM Transmitter April 1998. Pradeep. W. Miniaturized. A mistake here can burn it out. Hussain. F. Organized with the assistance of the IRE Professional Group on Broadcasting . Analog-FM vs. Four-Stage FM Transmitter. Another handling issue of obvious importance is always to take particular care to respect the polarity. or they can be rigged up by using a normal electric light bulb of the appropriate watts. can be purchased ready-made and come with a variety of resistances. A. mainly for educational purpose can be accomplished by using this four stage FM transmitter. What is important is that every member of the community must feel that this radio is their own and they can participate in the programmes. AM and FM Broadcasting. CONCLUSION Institutional Radio which can be used to broadcast signals. REFERENCES [1] R. R.

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