Total posts : 45366
Yes, they were all tested on the same day. However, as I’ve mentioned previously, I’ve noted wide variations in range (which is directly related to field strength) and sound during different parts of the day on my transmitters, and that is something that wasn’t accounted for in the testing.
And yes, all transmitters were tested with identical grounds (even the Talking House’s power plug neutral pin was grounded to the copper stake) and their own respective antennas, however efficient or inefficient those may be (i.e., the ProCaster with its tube antenna, the Talking House with its wire antenna, etc.) It looks like for those aspects of the testing there was consistency. And certainly, with broadcast engineers with a claimed 1,767 (or so) combined years of experience, I don’t think that you can cast aspersions on the measurements that were obtained, as far as they went.
I still believe, however, that the testing was skewed positively towards the factory assembled units. If test units could not have been obtained from the manufacturer that were guaranteed to be the most effective they could be (and I understand that that was the case in several instances), then more than one example of each transmitter should have been tested. And from my first point, they should have each been tested at similar points in the day, if possible (or at least close). Since the results were all relative, it really wouldn’t have mattered if the tests were spread over multiple days, although I can certainly understand that that would have meant a lot more work.
For whatever reason, I can now access the Challenge document on the other site, as well as their Forums (I guess they realized how stupid it was to block access, or perhaps it was always meant to be temporary). I hope that anyone from ‘over there’ reading this post recognizes that these criticisms are meant in a positive way, as I think that with a bit more testing, the issues could be laid to rest. And I certainly have an interest as to which transmitter is the most efficient at getting a signal out, although for me, that isn’t the be all and end all. Some transmitters, for example, allow asymetric overmodulation (such as the Rangemaster), which gives them even more of an advantage over those that don’t (such as the Talking House). Some simply sound better. However, I don’t hold out much hope for that, as they’re still defending themselves against the ‘know nothings’, and continuing to harp on the 2,957 (or so) combined years of broadcast engineering experience the testers and reviewers have.