FM Public Broadcast

Devices To Receive Or (Illegally) Transmit On VHF Public Broadcast Band

The VHF public broadcast band is strictly reserved for licensed public broadcast senders and stretches from 88-108MHz.

Listening (receiving) to these frequency of course is legal. Transmitting is not.

This section discusses breakout boards to receive (and to send, which would be illegal to do in most regions of the world).

Quick History

In 1936, the US established the first public broadcast band in the frequency range 42-50MHz but abandoned it in 1946.

The FCC then assigned the 88-108MHz band to FM public broadcast stations. By 1957, this was codified into 101 channels with a 200kHz bandwidth, and the provision that one unused channel sits between geographically close senders.

In Europe, both 100kHz and 200kHz channel spacings are used.


Receivers basically work like radio sets. Breakout boards are tiny and allow easy integration of FM public broadcast reception.


Most available FM Broadcast Band Senders have tiny RF emission and are not designed to start your own illegal public broadcast station or pirate sender.

Rather, these senders were invented to use an easy way of connecting external audio sources (like MP3-players or smartphones) to car radios that have no other auxiliary audio input.

The external audio source instead transmits its audio signal on a public broadcast frequency, and the car radio can pick it up like any other station.

This works because of the close vicinity of sender and receiver. Due to the very small RF emission, the signal won’t reach far and cause interference.

Regardless, this use case is illegal in most countries of the world.


Please do leave comments below. I am using utteran.ce, an open-source and ad-free light-weight commenting system.

Here is how your comments are stored

Whenever you leave a comment, a new github issue is created on your behalf.

  • All comments become trackable issues in the Github Issues section, and I (and you) can follow up on them.

  • There is no third-party provider, no disrupting ads, and everything remains transparent inside github.

Github Users Yes, Spammers No

To keep spammers out and comments attributable, all you do is log in using your (free) github account and grant the permission to submit issues on your behalf.

If you don’t have a github account yet, go get yourself one - it’s free and simple.

If for any reason you do not feel comfortable with letting the commenting system submit issues for you, then visit Github Issues directly, i.e. by clicking the red button Submit Issue at the bottom of each page, and submit your issue manually. You control everything.


For chit-chat and quick questions, feel free to visit and participate in Discussions. They work much like classic forums or bulletin boards. Just keep in mind: your valued input isn’t equally well trackable there.

  Show on Github    Submit Issue

(content created Apr 19, 2024)