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Unfortunately, you’re not going to get 2-3 miles range and be legal, at least with today’s FCC enforcement. Maximum will likely be a mile, maybe a bit more if conditions are ideal. And that’s with a sensitive radio, such as a good car radio or a communications receiver. You’ll get a lot less range with a typical consumer home or portable radio.
In the past, several have claimed that 2-3 mile range into a car radio, but that was with an elevated mount (very elevated!) and the transmitter grounded to a metal mast or something similar (I recall reading once that someone installed on an elevated advertising sign, and grounded to it). The FCC used to let that go, but not any more – they consider the mast or sign or whatever to be part of the ground, and that makes the length of your antenna+ground lead to be greater than 3 meters or 10 feet.
The Rangemaster is a good choice – properly tuned, ground mounted and with great conducting soils (basically, a river delta), I was able to consistently get around a mile range and a bit more in directions where there were fewer obstructions. I overmodulated the input (asymetrically) to the Rangemaster using an Inovonics 222, and also had a Symetrix compressor in the audio chain (I used a compression ratio of 5:1, which gave the audio a lot of ‘punch’).
I have no experience with the AMT5000 but some will swear by it, so you might want to check that out.
The ProCaster is a nice sounding transmitter and you get decent range (relatively speaking), but the Rangemaster consistently gets more, at least in my experience. I’d use the ProCaster if you’re not comfortable tuning up the Rangemaster or if you want more of a turnkey type transmitter (it has a compressor built in). My older ProCaster did not support asymetric overmodulation, so I never tried that, but the newer ones supposedly do.
The Talking House with external ATU is probably the easiest transmitter to install, but it doesn’t sound as nice as the others (although I found the range similar to the ProCaster). It does NOT support asymetric overmodulation.
Anyway, those are my experiences.
Bottom line – with your requirements, no matter what transmitter you use, I’d consider asymetric overmodulation with an Inovonics 222 (or similar) and a compressor in the input audio chain. But expect about a mile range with a listenable signal to a good car radio.
As for setting the station up, if you want to be absolutely safe with respect to the FCC, install it at ground level, and run a short ground wire to a copper stake pounded into the ground below your antenna. Install as many ground radials as you can and attach them to the ground stake – they should be as long as you can get them up to a 1/4 wavelength. Some here have debated the merits of a 1 or 2 inch copper pipe vs a steel whip for your antenna, with the former having the potential of getting greater range. Some transmitters have options to allow you to bypass their internal antenna tuning and build an antenna with a larger (higher Q) coil for tuning – that might help as well.