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dawnchorus
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Joined: 25 April 2015
Location: New Zealand
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Posted: 26 April 2015 at 12:27am | IP Logged Quote dawnchorus

Hi. I am new here and hope I can get some advice regarding setting up a LPFM station. I am a Radio Tech so know the technology well enough.

I am associated with a local conservation group that has recently re-introduced Kokako into my area and would like to establish a listening post so that we can monitor the daily calls of these birds.

The idea is to transmit for approx 1 hour each morning, around dawn so that we can monitor the activity of the released birds. Incidentally specific Kokako can be recognized from their personal song. Also..each released bird currently has an active tracking device, but these will eventually fail. Also these released birds will hopefully have offspring and will develop their own unique song, so can potentially be recognised from recordings.

The monitoring location is at 300m altitude, on the top of a hill, in a very rugged native forest environment and there is a hut available for the installation. The listening points are at 50m altitude and around 5km away.

The station will be battery powered with solar recharge. It will most likely have an Arduino or other control unit to determine the light levels and begin and end the transmission.

I would prefer to use the normal broadcast band Tx so that interest parties can tune into it without the need for specialised receivers.

I understand that 1W is the maximuim energy that I can transmit, and that the transmitter must have no external adjustment that can increase the power.

I presume that I can use a low gain Yagi aerial to direct the transmission and maximise the distance. (please correct me if I am wrong here). In fact I need a 90 degree polar pattern.

What I do not know are the legalities of this and what hoops I need to jump through to make it all legit. Do I need to apply for a licence?

Are there any other 'gotchas' that I need to consider?

Any help and advice appreciated.

Ian








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dawnchorus
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Joined: 25 April 2015
Location: New Zealand
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Posted: 26 April 2015 at 12:30pm | IP Logged Quote dawnchorus

I guess I should have done more research before posting.
I now know that there is no specific licence, but in fact is a general licence.
I also now know that I cannot use a yagi to increase the transmission distance.
But also that I have to broadcast a contact ident at least once an hour. That is now the tricky issue to solve. I wonder if they would accept a telephone number in morse code?


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RadioTech
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Joined: 09 August 2004
Location: New Zealand
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Posted: 02 June 2015 at 2:21am | IP Logged Quote RadioTech

Hi Ian,

Welcome to the forum.

Your idea is sound in principle,
but there are a couple of things
that need addressing.

1. Under the Radio
Communications GURL (General
User Radio Licence),
transmissions on the proscribed
frequencies must fit the criteria of
general broadcasting (refer to the
act for the definition of
broadcasting).
I'm not sure that an open mic in
the bush listening to bird song
would fit the criteria.

2. As you acknowledge, a station
ID must be broadcast regularly.
This must contain a phone
number, address or means to
contact the person responsible
for the transmission.
I don't think doing this in morse
would be acceptable, even if
technically it is a means of
identifying such details.

3. You can use a yagi, to direct
your signal, as long as the gain of
the antenna doesn't cause your
EIRP to exceed 1 watt.
There is no restriction on
distance - only on EIRP.

4. If you use GURL frequencies
and adhere to the EIRP limit, no
license is needed.

I hope these answers help.
Please feel free to ask any other
questions!

Edited by RadioTech on 02 June 2015 at 2:24am
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oliverrichmond6
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Posted: 06 May 2016 at 2:58am | IP Logged Quote oliverrichmond6

I also need help in setting up a LPFM station. And this thread helped me a lot. Thank you so much for sharing.
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