- June 26, 2019 at 8:38 pm #111747John SeesParticipant
Total posts : 41
Well, these things are options: solar power, C-Quam, metering, remote controls and all that stuff. It would be nice to have our transmitter as modular as we can. Not everyone wants the same thing – other than the best range and the best sound. I think we all want that.
In my case, I’d still like a rack-mount transmitter control panel, but with the transmitter – probably a Rangemaster – mounted at the antenna. I’d like such meters as may be realistic and switches for the the transmitter itself on the control panel and perhaps things like the switch for the tower lights.
I don’t know where to put the power supply. Either with the rack-mount or at the base of the tower so it would be located by the ground lead to keep it short just as we are keeping the transmission line short by mounting the transmitter just under the antenna.
I don’t know that it has to be more complicated than that, in my case.
All comments much appreciated.
W9LWAJune 26, 2019 at 11:36 pm #111749ThelegacyParticipant
Total posts : 298
Here’s another thing for designing a perfect transmitter and this is something my broadcast engineer did for me when I was using the Sean Cuthbert transmitter. What he did was make a remote control for the ATU. After several months of warm cool warm cool your capacitor is going to Need retuning. One can use a field strength meter and a remote control especially on the talking house ATU that should have had a remote control tuner for that.
This makes it easier for people who can’t climb all the time or for those that are visually impaired like me and have to have someone set it up for them.
Granted right now I don’t have a remote control ATU for the ASMAX2`s outside ATU but those things can come later. This will always make sure you have the utmost range you can get.
I am curious to find out how far off tune a procaster would be after 6 months to a year and having to retune that?June 27, 2019 at 12:54 am #111751timinboveyParticipant
Total posts : 698
I can’t speak for all Procasters, but mine has yet to need any retuning. For the first 3-4 years or so that it was up I used to check the tuning every few months to see if there was any need to peak it again. Every time I checked it was still as peaked as it could get.
Mine has been mounted outside a third floor attic window for 6 years. it’s on the south side of the house which means it bakes in the sun all afternoon every day. Temperatures here go from around 95-100 in the summer to -30 below zero (that’s temp not wind chill) in the winter. It’s hard to imagine a more widely varied temp than that. I’ve checked it in the summer and in the winter. I’ve always tried to peak the tuning and it could never go higher than it was originally set for. So I’d say it’s holding up quite well.
I also keep tabs on the frequency as well, with a frequency counter in the studio that takes the reading out to 6 decimal places, and also checked it on a spectrum analyzer and the frequency remains very stable as well.
To access my transmitter I have to go to the third floor attic, open the large glass window that opens inward and swings all the way down, then remove the screen, which is in a wood frame and screwed into the window frame itself. Then I can easily reach out to the transmitter and open the front panel. Kind of a pain in the butt, but at least I’m not climbing anything outdoors! In the Procaster, tuning control and built in meter are right there inside the box, so it’s easy to adjust.
TIBJune 27, 2019 at 6:35 am #111756ThelegacyParticipant
Total posts : 298
Wow at least that one is a great performer. Now only if the Talking House’s new ATU does that well those folks will have no reason to worry either.
Knocking on wood I think my home made ATU is holding up nicely. But my engineer friend called a few days ago and told me when he has time he wants to see about taking down the old satellite dish since its not in use and on the roof and see if he may be able to stop a possible issue with the antenna being too close to the satellite dish causing issues with my range since your doing so well with your Procaster Tim.
If everything goes well I hope to achieve the sort of coverage you get and that will help me get to the market 1 1/4 miles away to a good Radio or car Radio. It shows things will work well if you take the time and make sure your set up is well done.June 27, 2019 at 8:13 am #111758MarkModerator
Total posts : 600
That’s half the reason you pay so much for these like the Procaster and the Decade as it will work forever and not designed to conk out in a couple of years so you have to get another one. The Decade is also OK for outdoor mounting in all temperatures as per manual. I think Artisan will vouch for that.October 8, 2019 at 10:56 am #113037fjockeyParticipant
Total posts : 10
Are you powering your ASMAX2’s at 12 volts or at 24 volts? If you have experimented with both, was there any noticeable difference in range? What do you use for antenna tuning? I built the classic vertical antenna setup for the SSTran AMT3000/5000 and used it with the ASMAX2. For tuning I used a home brewed field strength box connected to a DDM but it is cumbersome, especially when you are mounting three transmitters on different frequencies on the same chimney.
During the first week, with the first ASMAX2 (powered at 24 volts) the range and audio quality were excellent, but it deteriorated after that. The third ASMAX2 had the worst range and it eventually failed completely. All three ASMAX2’s are now on their way back to Greece for repair and testing. My guess is at 24 volts 24/7, they are not reliable.
I agree… the ultimate Part 15 AM transmitter would be a Procaster with C-Quam stereo, better audio quality, and the elimination of the the anomalies you run into in fringe areas when other signals are available on your channel. (From your description, it seems like TalkingHouse/Iam Radio might also have this problem?) If Chez Radio addressed just these three issues, it would be a total no-brainer. Procasters are already the easiest to install and tune and are as stable as tanks.October 8, 2019 at 3:38 pm #113045MarkModerator
Total posts : 600
Unfortunately the “big three” transmitter makers in our hobby(Procaster, Rangemaster, Decade) will be gone sooner or later as they get older and retire, or close the business. and someone has to take their place or there will be no more high end transmitters of this kind in the future. Just a thought.
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