The Beverley Soaring Society FM Transmission on FM 88.00
The BSS system uses a NIORFNIO FM transmitter Model NIO-T15B
The BSS FM transmitter was sourced on eBay.
It is currently available on Amazon for $ 145.99 with Free Shipping
The BSS FM transmitter receives a signal from an old surplus two VHF radio tuned to the CTAF frequency 126.70
Experience has shown that the VHF receiver and the FM transmitter need to be physically separated to avoid interference between the two units.
The VHF receiver and the FM transmitter are connected by a high quality shielded microphone cable using Ferrite RFI beads at either end.
The BSS VHF receiver uses a high quality Double Cross Dipole antenna which provides 360 degree horizon to horizon coverage although a standard FM antennae would be adequate for most installations.
The system provides a good signal over the whole Beverley airfield and the coverage is claimed to be upto 3 to 4 km km.
Although initial contact with the ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority) indicated that a Licence would not be required, subsequent research indicate that a LPON (Lower Power Open Narrowcasting) Licence would, in fact, be required.
In due course the BSS applied for and were successful in obtaining a LPON licence.
Whilst Beverley was successful, not all gliding clubs will be able to obtain a LPON Licence. There are only three LPON frequencies that can be allocated 87.6 MHz, 87.8 MHz and 88.0 MHz. If all three frequencies have already been allocated then it is likely that the ACMA will not issue any more LPON licences for the local area concerned. Many of the LPON licences, perhaps more than half, have been already allocated to various Christian Broadcasters. It is possible to use the ACMA website to determine whether all the available frequencies have already been allocated.
Other points to note are that transmitters are limited to 1Watt for Residential Areas and a Residential Area is defined as being 20 km from any listed Locality. Almost everywhere is listed as a Locality and many places 20 km from Beverley are not within 5 km of any residence but are still defined as Residential Areas by the ACMA !
Further there are costs associated with these Licences, it cost Beverley $ 394 to apply for the LPON licence and then an initial $ 290 when the LPON licence was issued. The Licence is only valid for 12 months and these licences are issued on a “Use it or Lose it Basis”.
The LPON licences are only issued on two rounds each year. The Application Process is straight forward but time consuming and painful. Beverley’s application is available for others to copy.
To remind members arriving at the airfield to tune their car radios into the FM channel a sign has been erected on the entrance road. (The initial frequency illegally selected was FM 105.0 but has since been replaced by the approved LPON frequency 88.00 MHz and this sign has since been changed)
Owen R Jones
Rev 4 on 17 July 2018