New Video about the history of Free Radio Berkeley!here!
Everything you need to seize the airwaves
Visit our RF Broadcast Emporium
Free Radio Berkeley offers a wide variety of kits, accessories and all the other equipment needed to
create and establish a community FM or TV broadcast station. Visit our store section and check it out
New Phone Number - 510-595-7609
We have moved our shop to a new location in Emeryville, CA. The Berkeley mailing address remains the same.
New Email Address
Our email address has been changed, see the navigation bar on the left.
Free Radio: How to do it!
We will be adding further instructional videos and slide shows on both Free Radio and TV. Go the technical libary section. Some of the currently available documents:
Micropower Broadcasting Primer - a technical introduction
Micropower Primer En Espanol
Typical Broadcast Range Chart - see how far 10 or 100 watts will go
LPFM Summer Radio Camps 2012
Due to the impending opening of the application process by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for 100 watt LPFM licenses later this fall, the Summer Radio Camp program will focus on preparing individuals and their respective organizations for this application process. At this time, it has yet to determined by the FCC how many station licenses will be made available but it will be in the hundreds. Currently, there are about 850 LPFM stations on the air. Knowledgeable sources expect 5,000 to 10,000 applications to be filed. Only nonprofit organizations can file for an LPFM license. For further details on LPFM, please visit the Prometheus Radio web site. Visit our events page for complete information about the LPFM Summer Radio Camps program. The workshop fee is $250.
During the 4 day LPFM Radio Camp, all the aspects of the LPFM process will be covered: legal; technical; equipment required; organizational; and the application form itself. In addition, participants will build a 10 watt FM broadcast transmitter in order to gain experience in learning how to solder and identify electronic components. Finally, participants will be given an overview of basic electronics and broadcast engineering.
2012 Summer Radio Camp Dates:
May 25 - 28 : June 30 - July 3 : August 3 - 6 : August 31 - September 3
Free Radio: Liberating the Commons
Liberating the broadcast spectrum through electronic civil disobedience and being a voice for the voiceless defines the essential nature of Free Radio. Click here for the essay by Stephen Dunifer
Project TUPATransmitters Uniting the Peoples of the Americas
Free Radio Berkeley's International Project
check it out!
Complete Plug and Play FM Broadcast Transmitter Packages Now Available!
10 Watt - Coverage radius up to 4-5 miles (6.5-8.5 kilometers)
40 Watt - Coverage radius up to 8-10 miles (12-15 kilometers)
150 Watt - Coverage radius up to 15 miles (25 kilometers)
All packages include transmitter, power supply, Comet 5/8 ground plane antenna and 50 feet of low loss coaxial cable. The Comet antenna has a power gain of 2. This means that the antennaa effectively doubles whatever power is fed to it. If you wish to double the radius of coverage, the power has to be increased by a factor of 4 and the antenna raised to a height that will provide the required distance to horizon. FM transmission is line of sight - both the transmitting and receiving antenna must be able to "see" each other. The radius of coverage as stated above assumes average flat terrain with an antenna positioned at least 40 to 50 feet (12-15 meters) above the ground. As it is said, "You mileage may vary".
These are plug and play packages. Add an audio mixer, compressor limiter, microphones, etc. for a complete radio station. In many cases, with the proper hardware and software a computer system can provide most of these functions. Cue up a mix of mp3/podcast content, live streams, etc., feed the audio output from the computer to the transmitter and bring fresh voices, news/information and music to your neighborhood and community. Visit our store to order today!.
Free Radio Publications
A Popular Guide to Building A Community FM Broadcast Station - a graphic guide written and illustrated by T.J. Enrile
Moving Onto the Airwaves - A Free Radio Illustrated Manifesto
Seizing the Airwaves - A Free Radio Handbook
by Ron Sakolsky & Stephen Dunifer
The first book to document and emphasize the myriad voices of the free radio movement, from Black Liberation Radio in Springfield, Illinois, to Free Radio Berkeley in Berkeley, California. The first section, "Media Monopoly And The Rise Of The Free Radio Movement" includes contributions from Robert McChesney on the political economy of radio in North America and a history and analysis of the burgeoning pirate radio movement. The second section, "On The Air," includes interviews with and commentary by some of the key grassroots participants in micropower broadcasting worldwide—from Canada, Holland, Haiti, and Mexico, as well as America. The final section of the book consists of a comprehensive technical guide and how-to manual for going on the air, complete with schematics and "sound" advice. Published by AK Press.
Purchase from our store for $12.95. On line version available here.
Islands of Resistance - Pirate Radio in Canada
by Andrea Langlois, Ron Sakolsky & Marian van der Zon
While only recently have we heard the major networks broadcast warnings of rising sea levels, since radio’s invention certain Canadians have been concerned by the increasingly centralized medium and its commercial flooding of the airwaves. Occasionally alone, frequently in teams and always illegally, these activists are islands of resistance within theocean of homogenous frequencies, pirating radio signals for personal, political and artistic expression.
In the first book published on the subject, Islands of Resistance gives you a view from the crowsnest of the phenomenon of pirate radio in Canada. Here is a collection of seventeen activist manifestos, artistic treatise of intent, historical essays on the development of radio and its regulatory bodies, sociological examination of pirate radio’s application in new social movements, and personal anecdotes from behind the eyepatch.
Just as the new media ostenibly renders the old obsolete, Islands of Resistance unveils the existance of a thriving clandestine counterculture. An invaluable addition to an unscrutinized subject in Canadian media studies, Islands of Resistance appeals to the anarchist, anti-authoritarian impulses inall of us.
Available soon, projected release date May 15, 2010. Cost 19.25
Pirate Radio in London
Pirate radio is everywhere in London, born in the 60’s from rusting anti-aircraft towers in the mouth of the Thames. Today’s broadcasts are hidden in plain sight, transmitting from secret tower block studios via homemade rooftop antennas.
Radio Nomndaa La Palabra Del Agua
In July, 2008 Federal Police attempted to shut down Radio Nomndaa located in the Mexican state of Guerrero but were prevented from doing so by the community standing in solidarity to protect their community radio station. So far, the station remains on the air. En Espanol
The Revolution Will Be Televised - From Free Radio to Free TV Broadcasting
With the transition from analog to digital TV broadcasting underway, it is now time to Turn on, tune in and take over the soon to be vacant analog TV spectrum. Finally, guerilla media activists will be able to say:
There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure. (Outer Limits intro circa 1963)
Free Radio Berkeleys engineering staff have designed and developed low power VHF and UHF transmitters by the creative use of off-the-shelf technology. So far, design engineering efforts have yielded TV transmitters capable of reaching a distance of 4-5 miles. Amplifers capable of covering an even greater distance will be available in the first quarter of 2006. The cost for an assembled VHF or UHF transmitter and antenna system with an effective radiated power of 75 watts is $750, ($550) as a kit (cost of kits & modulator) and $850(kit) / ($1250 (assembled) for a system with an effective radiated power of 400 watts. Coverage pattern is 120 degrees, not fully omni-directional. Higher power versions are available, please inquire. Further work is continuing on the development of antenna systems.
Check the store catalog for kits. Any composite video source with an audio out signal can be used by the TV transmitters. Click here for a typical TV broadcast configuration diagam. Typically, most folks will most likely use a multiple disk DVD player or a computer with video files on a large capacity hard drive. Live broadcasts are certainly a possibility. This would require several video cameras and a video switcher/mixer.
A 200-disk DVD juke box style player would be able contain almost two weeks worth of material, assuming two hours per DVD. Considering the quantity of video material available, most of which will never be seen on either broadcast TV or cable/satellite feeds, there should not be any problem providing audiences with an exciting and compelling selection of material.
No doubt, the FCC, the National Association of Broadcasters and other entrenched interests will most strenuously object to Micropower or Free TV Broadcasting. What better way to respond to the total propaganda environment that has been created with television media.
Free TV Broadcasting Workshops
Modelled after the Summer Radio Camps, these two day workshops will teach you how to build and set up a low power analog TV broadcast station. Hands-on instruction on the building of both amplifiers and antennas. Course fee is $150. Workshops will held on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
2011 TV Workshop schedule TBA
Where it all began: FRB Founder Stephen Dunifer Broadcasting From The Berkeley Hills - Summer1993