Gather Your Inspiration
Building a radio station without initial capital isn't for the weak of purpose or faint of heart.
List your stakeholders. Get people on board. This will take 100% of you and then %40 more than that.
Get FCC permission for the band
You'll need to get permission to use a frequency. This is different than your construction permit. We obtained 107.9FM in Helena, MT.
Get the FCC Construction Permit
This will be dependent on where you tower is located, but you can make amendments to it a little bit after submitting
Decide Whether to Rent, Buy, or Build
Renting may make your tower subject to the whims of a landlord, so make sure you get at least a 8 year lease.
Buying a tower just probably isn't going to happen. No one wants to erect a tower and then sell it for some reason.
Building requires land. So make sure that you have prior and written consent from a landowner. Trust me. That was important. You are still subject to the whims of a landlord. However, the landlord is far less likely to compete for frequency or user base. Building is the most gratifying route. We chose to build, so the next steps are for people trying to build a tower and then radio station.
Get FAA Permission to Erect a Tower
This is more involved
- the closer you are to a tower
- The taller the tower is
- The bigger the hill that your puting your tower on
Draw your Tower and Foundation
This is only really an option for people who have significant structural engineering experience. You'll want to dip-galvanize all your metals(even/especially your bolts). You'll want to find wind calculations for Exposure according to Rev. G(in some states Rev. F as well). You need to build your concrete foundation with this in mind. It's better to just buy a Rohn tower and the stamped drawings along with it. You're looking at around $500-$800 for the drawing and stamps for the tower, foundation, and calculations. It's not cheap.
Buy Your Tower(or galvanized steel lumber)
We found a Rohn 25g off of eBay for a lucky break.
Stamp the Plans
Assuming you're as foolish as I am: You will need to find a Professional Engineer licensed for your State Laws. He will look over your work... and give you a stamp.... If he has one. You will need either a structural or a civil engineer. But wait! The fun doesn't stop there! Your engineer needs to actually have a stamp... -_- Engineers with stamps are like unicorns. Professional Engineers have to first get licensed in their state... then they have to take a battery of very challenging certification exams.... then they have to pay a lot of money to keep their stamp. So... good luck. Only took me 2 years to find someone to do this for $688.
Ship the tower to your location
This... was expensive. Even on a LTL Truck