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I’m just gonna toss in my two cents for what it’s worth.
I have been running a Procaster for over 2 years in a small town way up in northern Minnesota. I chose the Procaster because it has built in audio processing (adjustable in several parameters) a solid, o-ring sealed weatherproof case, a built in easy to see and use tuning meter, and a rigid aluminum tube antenna. It’s processing modulates easily to 125% positive and keeps the negative modulation below 100% for maximum range and volume without distortion. More modulation = more range on AM.
I have this transmitter mounted to a 3 or 4 foot long piece of pvc electrical conduit mounted to the side of a third story attic window with two TV antenna brackets. I have NO ground lead attached. And it’s mounted to plastic. I use the supplied cable to run from the transmitter across my attic and down into my studio (formerly a music recording studio and before that my Son’s bedroom — many years ago). It is speculated that this cable is providing some sort of ground that makes operation feasible but the transmitter was certified with this cable and it does NOT show continuity to the ground lug on the transmitter. At the time of installation I didn’t take time to run a lot of tests on the hows and whys but feel secure that it is a 100% legal installation. If not, they would have to require that your studio also be built underground so you could have a ground mounted cable for power and sound that never left the Earth.
Anyway, from the day I first put it on the air, it’s never been off. 100% reliability from 35 below zero to 103 degrees in the summer. It stays rock solid on frequency.
My solid coverage is 7100 feet “as the crow flies”. I drive home this route every single day and I hear my station clearly every single noon hour. I have done field strength readings at over 50 spots around town and out the highways leading out of town. (In real life I’m a broadcast engineer who among other things maintains a commercial directional AM station and have my own field strength reading equipment)
I have also been to the parking lot at this test point with boom boxes, cheap pocket size transistor radios, etc and can always tune my signal.
What building penetration might be here I don’t know.
One BIG advantage I believe I have that helps my coverage is up here the AM noise floor is VERY low. There’s no industry around me, no typiical urban electrical noise generation. A weak signal can be heard quite well during the day. If I tune to an empty frequency it’s darn near silent. However, at night it’s a different story. Once the sun sets the noise and skip from a distant station sneaks in. Then I have solid coverage for maybe two blocks, although some nights it goes almost as far as during the day but not very often.
There are a LOT of variables, unique to every AM part 15 installation. Coverage is hard to predict. My entire town is 1/4 mile long and 4 blocks wide, so I cover town quite easily as I’m right in the middle.
I’m also carried on the local cable TV system. So if they can’t hear me OTA they can hear me on cable 🙂
So, just throwing MY particular situation out there.