Total posts : 45366
I do agree with you, Tim, in that there are many factors, most importantly the receiver at the other end, that affect range. One factor often neglected is time of day – I find the greatest range occurs on cool, crisp mornings. And it is difficult to compare ranges between different installations.
But if two transmitters are installed identically, in the same location, and with similar modulation, and one consistently gets better range than the other, then I think that for whatever reason that is, it’s pretty conclusive.
I found that with the Rangemaster vs the ProCaster. The Rangemaster just had that little extra bit of ‘ooomph’ (is that a technical term?). But it’s more expensive, and a bit more difficult to install (to be 100% sure of your 100mw compliance, you have to take current and voltage measurements – I just didn’t trust that little green light that supposedly indicates when you’ve hit that magic number – mine never glowed entirely green). The ProCaster is a bit cheaper, and easier to tune, and it’s still no slouch when it comes to range. The ProCaster sounds better out of the box due to its built in audio processing, but the Rangemaster sounds every bit as good, if not better, with outboard processing (I used a Symetrix 421); however, that does add more expense.
Both are winners in my book for different reasons, and you can’t go wrong with either. In fact, you pretty much can’t go wrong with any Part 15 transmitter, including the much cheaper Talking House, as long as it does what you want it to do. And as long as you don’t expect it to do what it CAN’t do, at least legally (such as consistently have several miles range with crystal clear sound).