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Radio Equipment List

Radio Station Construction Costs


This section provides equipment guidelines for a complete local-production capable public radio station with interconnection to the Public Radio Satellite System. Applicants should also refer to the List of Eligible and Ineligible Equipment.

Pricing is given for the following power levels of transmission equipment:

  • Pricing for Class A transmission system
  • Pricing for Class B and Class B1 transmission system
  • Pricing for all Class C transmission system
  • Pricing for Digital IBOC Transmission Equipment
  • Pricing for Class A transmission system
    This system is based on the FCC docket 80-90 for a maximum ERP of 3 KW, HAAT being 328' or 100 meters maximum. The priced system includes a 3.5 KW transmitter, 350' tower and 350' of 1-5/8" Heliax transmission line, and a 2-bay circularly polarized antenna with a 5 KW maximum input power.

  • Pricing for Class B and Class B1 transmission system
    This system is based on the FCC docket 80-90 for a maximum ERP of 50 KW, HAAT being 492' or 150 meters maximum. The priced system includes a 25 KW transmitter, 500' tower and 500' of 3" Heliax transmission line, and a 4-bay circularly polarized antenna.

  • Pricing for All Class C transmission system
    This system is based on the FCC docket 80-90 for a maximum ERP of 100 KW, HAAT being the minimum for Class C of 984' or 300 meters. The priced system includes a 25 KW transmitter, 1,050' tower and 1,100' of 3" Heliax transmission line, and an 8-bay circularly polarized antenna.

  • IBOC (HD) Radio. The equipment list includes the cost of transmission equipment required for high level and low level combining. Stations using low level combining (power levels 7 KW and below–and possibly higher in the future) must ensure that their existing analog transmitter is capable of the linearity needed to pass the digital sidebands while maintaining the licensed analog ERP. There are other technological approaches that could be considered for digital radio implementation in the future such as dual input antennas when authorized. The final equipment selection should be determined by a comprehensive evaluation of the accepted methods of conversion.

    Digital-upgradable transmitters. NTIA anticipates funding digital-upgradable transmitters to replace analog transmitters, if requested by applicants and justified as urgent replacement. Recipients may add HD Radio (IBOC) exciters to PTFP-funded digital-upgradable transmitters or use grant funds awarded for an analog or digital-upgradable radio transmitter towards the purchase of a transmitter with an IBOC exciter. Any additional cost of acquiring such an exciter or transmitter will be the responsibility of the grantee.

  • Pricing is also given for:

   Radio Transmission Systems
   Radio Test Equipment
   On-Air Control Room (Radio)
   Production Control Room and Associated Studio (Radio)
   New Control Room (Radio)
   Remote Record Unit (Radio)
   Satellite Receive-Only Interconnect (Radio)
   Low Power FM Transmission System
   Low Power FM On-Air Control Room
   Radio Reading Service Control Room

The lists that follow include quantity and prices to provide basic production and transmission capability to the typical public radio station. NTIA provides these lists for your general guidance regarding quantity and pricing of broadcast equipment typically supported by the program. Applicants do not have to buy everything listed.

Pricing does NOT reflect the following:

  • Tower space. When existing tower space is available, reasonable costs for a stress study and for strengthening the tower are eligible for PTFP support. We have not provided estimated costs for these services because they vary so greatly.
  • Land, building, power installation to transmitter building meter panel output, generators, air conditioning, renovation, and other facilities expenditures that are ineligible under the PTFP.
  • Office and studio furniture (except for audio console cabinets), office machines, or other similar ineligible costs under the PTFP.
  • Educational discounts from vendors and manufacturers. All pricing is based on basic capability and is shown at retail list price. (An educational discount of at least 10% to 15% should be expected.)

Please provide information in Exhibit C about your station's special needs if your request exceeds the quantities or prices included in these lists.

PTFP regards stand-by power generators and uninterruptible power supply (UPS) units as essential equipment when justified as discussed here. PTFP supports only the minimum level of equipment required to keep a station's signal on the air. Stand-by power for STLs may be funded if their inclusion is justified in the same way as transmitters. Emergency power for origination equipment is considered in addition to transmission equipment when the applicant demonstrates that such equipment is integral to the emergency service it provides. Stand-by generators and UPS units to provide power to entire facilities are not contemplated for PTFP support.

The need for stand-by power and UPS units must be supported by documenting one or more of the following:

  1. the station is part of a state or regional system to which the public is referred by local authorities for information during an emergency, such as an evacuation from a storm; or
  2. the station is a relay point for the distribution of emergency information to get to transmitters beyond its local coverage area; or
  3. the station is the sole source of emergency information in its service area in contrast to a station that is one of many in the area broadcasting the EAS; or
  4. the station has experienced a pattern of frequent transmitter power outages accompanied by delayed restoration of power.


  5. Radio Transmission Systems


    QTY


    DESCRIPTION

    CLASS
    A

    CLASS
    B/B1

    ALL CLASS C's

     

    Transmitter size:
    Antenna:
    Tower and Line:

    3.5 Kw
    2 Bay
    350'

    25 Kw
    4 Bay
    500'

    25 Kw
    8 Bay
    1,050'

    1

    Digital Capable Analog Transmitter with digital processing analog exciter (Assumes High Level Combining)

    42,000
    (5 KW)

    73,000
    (30 KW)

    73,000
    (30KW)

    1

    IBOC transmitter w/IBOC exciter for High Level Combined System (Includes IBOC exciter and Exciter Auxiliary Switching Unit)

    69,000

    107,000

    107,000

    1

    IBOC Combiner for High Level (range is for 5 to 30KW)

    7,000

    9,000

    9,000

    1

    Analog transmitter for Low Level Combining

    59,000

    NA

    NA

    1

    IBOC (HD) exciter for Low Level Combining (includes Exciter Auxiliary Switching Unit) 

    32,000

    NA

    NA

    1

    HD Radio Processor

    9,000

    9,000

    9,000

    1

    IBOC licensing fees are required by manufacturer
    (Stations ineligible for CPB rate will be allowed $11,000)

    5,000

    5,000

    5,000

    1

    Analog Transmitter ungradable to digital w/SCA and stereo generators, spare tube, and spare parts kit

    39,000

    72,000

    72,000

    1

    Circularly polarized antenna (no radomes or heaters)

    3,700

    14,000

    30,000

    1 lot

    Heliax transmission line and hangers

    4,200

    12,000

    25,000

    1

    Transmission tower

    60,000

    100,000

    400,000

    1

    Tower foundation cost

    15,000

    20,000

    40,000

    1

    Tower installation (including mounting antenna and line)

    25,000

    45,000

    180,000

    1

    FM Radio Processor

    9,000

    9,000

    9,000

    1

    Dummy load

    1,900

    5,090

    5,090

    1

    STL system (transmitter and receiver). Price includes two 6' dishes and feedline of 200' with hot standby

    42,000

    42,000

    42,000

    1

    STL tower (100' high with STL antenna, line and monitoring receive antenna installed at studio site)

    25,000

    25,000

    25,000

    1

    Transmitter remote control system

    8,000

    8,000

    8,000

    1

    6' equipment rack with side panels

    1,400

    1,400

    1,400

    1

    Frequency and modulation monitor system for stereo and SCA. SCA required for telemetry monitoring.

    10,000

    10,000

    10,000

    1

    Amplifier (audio) for off-air monitoring, including speakers (system fed from monitoring equipment)

    869

    869

    869

    1

    EAS/CAP receiver and decoder/encoder

    4,000

    4,000

    4,000

    1

    Transmission line dehydrator

    1,500

    1,500

    1,500

    1

    Equipment shelter w/concrete pad

    19,500

    19,500

    19,500

    1 lot

    Transmitter AC power installation (assuming power at site location)

    8,000

    12,000

    12,000

    1 lot

    Transmitter ventilation

    3,500

    4,000

    4,000

    1 lot

    Transmitter installation cost including miscellaneous materials

    8,000

    13,000

    14,000

    Standby power generator and UPS - Cost dependent upon transmitter power and air conditioning need - $10,000 to $45,000




    Radio Test Equipment
    QTY DESCRIPTION STUDIO XMTR
    1 Digital audio test set; includes laptop 12,500  
    1 Frequency counter 2,500 2,500
    1 Oscilloscope 3,500 3,500
    1 Multimeter 350 350


    On-Air Control Room (Radio)
    QTY DESCRIPTION PRICE
    1 Analog or digital audio console $26,000
    1 Audio network router w/logic interface and input/output modules 55,000
    2 Speakers 1,000
    1 Monitor amplifier 500
    1 Audio hard disc storage system, system cost 45,000
    2 Microphones with booms 1,200
    2 Broadcast quality CD players 2,000
    2 Direct-drive turntables @ $750 1,500
    2 Stereo turntable preamps @ $395 790
    2 Turntable arms @ $120 240
    2 Stereo cartridges for turntables @ $50 100
    1 Custom cabinet for audio console and turntables 6,000
    4 6' equipment racks @ $545, plus one set of side panels @ $235 2,415
    4 Jack panels/wired, with jack cords 4,800
    2 Headphones @ $150 300
    6 Distribution amplifiers @ $350 2,100
    1 lot Miscellaneous wire, ground strap, and installation materials 5,000
    1 lot Labor for installation of On-Air control room 10,000



    Production Control Room and Associated Studio (Radio)
    QTY DESCRIPTION PRICE
    1 Analog or digital audio console $36,000
    1 Non-linear editing system 30,000
    4 Speakers 2,000
    2 Monitor amplifiers 1,000
    2 Audio limiters @ $600 1,200
    6 Microphones with stands 2,000
    2 Broadcast quality CD players 2,000
    2 Direct-drive turntables @ $750 1,500
    2 Stereo turntable preamps @ $395 790
    2 Turntable arms @ $120 240
    2 Stereo cartridges for turntables @ $50 100
    1 Custom cabinet for audio console and turntables 6,000
    1 6' equipment rack with side panels 1,500
    4 Jack panels w/cords 4,800
    2 Headphones @ $150 300
    1 lot Miscellaneous wire, ground strap, and installation materials 5,000
    1 lot Labor for installation of production control room 10,000



    News Control Room (Radio)
    QTY DESCRIPTION PRICE
    1 Audio console with monitor amplifier $8,000
    2 Speakers 500
    1 lot Flash card recorder 600
    4 Microphones 600
    4 Microphone stands 140
    2 Microphones for use with portables @ $65 130
    2 Headphones @ $150 300
    1 lot Laptop computer w/flash card reaader 1,500

    NOTE: Given the limited funds available for grants, NTIA does not give a high priority to funding separate radio news control rooms. Since the CPB requires stations to have two control rooms to qualify for Community Service Grants, news control rooms are usually the third--or even the fourth--control room in a station. NTIA appreciates the importance of news programing to public radio, but feels it must look to local stations to provide any extra facilities needed for news production with their own funds. An applicant may seek an exception, however, by demonstrating that its news production requirements go beyond what is customary at most stations.


    Remote Record Unit (Radio)
    QTY DESCRIPTION PRICE
    1 Flash card recorder 600
    4 Microphones with stands @ $500 2,000
    1 Audio console for portable use 1,500
    1 lot Connectors, microphone cables, miscellaneous wire, cases, etc.

    1,000
    2 Headphones @ $150 300



    QTY

    DESCRIPTION
    UNIT
    PRICE
    1 Antenna, 3.7 meter, with high-wind braces $3,500
    1 Ground Rod 50
    1 Phase Locked Loop Low Noise Block Downconverter 350
    50-400' Coaxial cable, L-Band, 75 ohms @ $0.25/ft 12.50-100
    1 L-Band Line Driver Amplifier (if loss exceeds 20 dB) 129
    3 L-Band - Jumper Cables 15
    1 Splitters, L Band, 4-way 35
    1 Basic Automation System 6,750
    2 Stream Decoders @ 1, 685 3,370
    2 Storage Receivers @1,855 3,730
    8 port Network Switch 100
    1 lot Network Cables 24
    1 lot Build foundation, assemble/erect antenna, trenching, conduit, cabling, ground rod, and fencing (typical cost, but highly site-dependent 1,500-2,500


    Low Power FM Transmission System
    QTY DESCRIPTION PRICE
    1 Low Power FM Exciter/Transmitter 10 Watts (FCC Type Accepted) 4,000
    1 Low Power FM Amplifer 100 Watts (FCC Type Accepted) 2,000
    1 lot Transmitting antenna w/stacking harness 1,200
    1 lot Transmission line (100 ft w/hangers & terminations) 1,000
    1 Modulation monitor 3,000
    1 EAS/CAP Receiver 4,000
    1 Equipment shelter w/concrete pad 19,500
    1 lot Miscellaneous wire, ground strap, & installation materials 500
    1 lot Labor for installation of transmission system 2,000
    1 STL transmitter/receiver w/antennas [if needed] 10,000



    Low Power FM On-Air Control Room
    QTY DESCRIPTION PRICE
    1 Audio console w/monitor amplifier 10,000
    1 lot Hard disc system 10,000
    2 Speakers @ $230 460
    2 Microphones w/booms @ $300 600
    2 Broadcast quality CD players 1,500
    1 6' equipment rack w/side panels 780
    2 Jack panels w/cords 2,400
    2 Headphones @ $150 300
    2 Distribution amplifiers @ $250 500
    1 lot Miscellaneous wire, ground strap & installation materials 2,000
    1 lot Labor for installation of control room 2,500

    NOTE: The level of equipment that PTFP can support is limited to equipment that can be presumed to have at least a 10-year life. By statute (47 USC 392(g)), the Federal government retains a priority reversionary interest in all equipment in a grant for ten years after the project is closed out. A typical LPFM package that meets this requirement is listed above. LPFM stations may be able to equip control rooms and studios on their own at a lower cost than the level PTFP requires to meet the statutory requirement.



    Radio Reading Service Control Room
    QTY DESCRIPTION PRICE
    1 Audio console with monitor amplifier $15,000
    2 Speakers @ $230 460
    1 lot Hard disc system 7,500
    2 Microphones with booms @ $300 600
    2 Broadcast quality CD players 2,000
    1 Direct-drive turntable 750
    1 Stereo turntable preamp 395
    1 Turntable arm 120
    1 Stereo cartridge for turntable 50
    1 Custom cabinet for audio console and turntable 3,000
    1 6' equipment rack with side panels 780
    2 Jack panels with cords 2,400
    2 Headphones @ $150 300
    2 Distribution amplifiers @ $250 500
    1 lot Miscellaneous wire, ground strap, and installation materials 2,000
    1 lot Labor for installation of reading service control room 5,000


    Source: U.S. Department of Commerce
    National Telecommunications and Information Administration
    Office of Telecommunications and Information Applications

    Updated: 26 January 2011
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