- July 30, 2020 at 12:29 pm #115437
Something interesting for Procaster users. Was on 1630 and didn’t like that I can’t be received on all radios/tuners so I tried 1500 and thought my range would suffer and sure enough the meter peak was less than before with the 3 meter exact length. So thought what will happen if I changed antenna length. Got the idea to cut exactly 10cm(4″) off the length and watched the meter and totally changed the reading. Re-tuned and to my surprise the peak was the same reading I had with the 1630 setting. Signal strength coming off the antenna and coverage was *exactly* the same as 1630. I can now be received on any radio ever made just as good as before. Also found what the manufacturers say, that lengthening the antenna beyond 3 meters makes it worse not better.April 21, 2021 at 10:56 am #117389
While I don’t have my Procaster in a permanent place yet, At the beginning of 2021, I had talked to Gerry at Procaster. He told me this, and the manual does say that trying to use channels 1610 and down won’t work as well. It’s sad that many of these chinese manufactured radios, like Sony, for example, won’t tune to the expanded band, 1610 to 1710.
I still have the pictures you sent me. Are you not using the ground lug? I know your Procaster is inside, but Gerry said to use a cold water pipe (if you have that) for grounding. Yeah…I realize that bends the rules some, but it could help.
Gerry had to send me a whole new board in the Procaster Box. There was something weird going on with mine not even making it outside the house. Mine works so perfect now! I love it!
I recall a Gates BC 250-GY that was manufactured in 1948 I owned as a back up and used for a Post Sunset Transmitter. The horror of keeping that thing on frequency and always having a frequency counter on it!
A engineer friend got me a oscillator out of a retired Gates BC-1G. We installed it into the 250-GY and never a problem again.
To make a long story short, I think back and the original oscillator in the Gates 250-GY used those oven warmed crystals. That caused all the problems, and as I was driving away from my Licensed Station I owned after Sunset, the Gates 250 watt transmitter was just beating against the other stations that were coming in on the channel. Very annoying, but we got it fixed. This was the early 90s.
April 21, 2021 at 1:20 pm #117394
- This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by Horatio Caine.
Horatio Caine said “I still have the pictures you sent me. Are you not using the ground lug? I know your Procaster is inside, but Gerry said to use a cold water pipe (if you have that) for grounding. Yeah…I realize that bends the rules some, but it could help.”
Here’s the thing. I am not using the ground lug at all! If I attached a ground wire to the cold water pipe under the sink not only would that be WAY over the allowed ground length from where the transmitter is located, I would have to have the transmitter on the floor under the kitchen sink. Not a good place for it!
Tried at first to experiment and found that adding the ground lead and attaching it to the cold water pipe under the kitchen sink it made it worse not better. Go figure!
Even removed the ground lug from the cabinet as it annoyed me and wasn’t going to use it. Also have a hand held signal strength meter that gets the signal off the antenna and found a direct relationship between the procaster meter reading and the signal actually coming off the antenna wire.
Have to stress here that the transmitter still gets a ground through the house electrical ground through the power supplies and other audio equipment. If you use a UPS for power outage use it gets a ground through that.
Now here’s some more tips. The Procaster comes with a stock 104″ antenna which is not 3 meters. 3 meters is 118″ so the on board coil is tuned to work with 104″ not 3 meters!
That’s why I found that shortening the antenna worked better! Also a continuous pure copper wire conductor is better that an aluminum rod with 3 bolted joints.
Experimented with shaping the antenna in different ways greatly changed the meter reading and signal coming off the antenna. Straight is not necessarily better.
That’s how I am getting the range I am getting from inside.
The only other thing I did was with an alligator clip jumper and about 10″of wire clipped it to the circuit board ground lug and wrapped once around the board back underneath the little meter and taped it so it would stay so I have an inside the cabinet ground lead. Found this added some extra meter peaking and signal off the antenna.
That is not an external ground lead and is inside a shielded case.
I am on 1630 now for a long time not 1500 as I realized that any analog tuning radio will get to there even old ones and a lot of old ones went to 1700 even in the 1940s.
The only receivers that won’t go to above 1610 are digital ones made before 1990 and ones not made for the North American markets that you can get here but all current Sony’s, Sangeans, etc. even though made in China cover to 1710 if made for selling here.
The audio cables also affect antenna tuning. Have everything connected and tuning the meter is the last thing you do.
Wonder what was wrong with the board you had before with the bad range?April 21, 2021 at 1:41 pm #117395
Also have a bit of carrier current going on here. The signal is getting into the house wiring and radiating outside from the house a bit and even getting into other houses via the power lines. My listeners get it better in the house than the car!
With a portable if I go to the main power box in the basement the signal is so strong right beside it, it overloads the radio same as if I put the radio right against the antenna.
A bit of help getting me out!
May 1, 2021 at 5:28 am #117454
- This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by Mark.
I’ve been sick for a few weeks. My Birthday will be May 7th. Anyhow, that is good news you made your Procaster work on 1500 instead of 1630, and you have the same coverage.
Here in the United States, we have what is know as the “Class C” Channels, or was known formally as the old “Class IV” Local Channels the FCC developed back in the early 40s. I wanted to use 1400 KHz here because it is the only one that is clear during the daytime for me. With these Procast Transmitters, I was kinda of thinking the antenna length had to be longer to use that Channel and the Chez Procaster would tune up like it would on 1630. I’m not concerned about nighttime coverage, just Daytime.
I had my Procaster outside for a test on 1660 and WOW! That thing got me 2 Hard Miles, and on a pipe 7 feet off the ground. Kudos to Gerry Herlinger for making my Chez Procaster work like a champ after the problems I had with a defective board! We never discussed what was wrong with the old original board. I was going to but the Hamilton Rangemaster, but the set up of the Chez Procaster is much easier for me. I learn something new every time I log into this site!May 1, 2021 at 11:07 am #117456
Hope you didn’t have covid!
On 1500 it still wasn’t much different than 1630 where I am now. But it got better when I shortened the antenna because the Procaster comes with a 104″ antenna not a 3 meter antenna as I had so when I shortened it it worked better. Asked about lengthening the antenna and found out out will make it worse as the on board loading coil is tuned for a 104″ antenna. But pure copper like a wire will work better than the aluminum tubing with joints. That comes with it so it can be mounted outside.
Wow! 2 miles is good.
As for nighttime if you have a frequency counter you can fine tune the frequency to get it right on to at least 6 digits so it won’t “beat” with the other stations or make a tone and drown you out.May 1, 2021 at 11:23 am #117458May 1, 2021 at 12:53 pm #117460
Oh no, I don’t have Covid! Covid has calmed down here somewhat and we don’t go out anywhere. My problems has been going on for many months now!
That is interesting, you cut the wire shorter and it tuned up for 1500! Wow, that is very interesting! I have the aluminum pole that Procaster comes with. I had a thought of taking a heavier gage copper wire., slam it down that aluminum tube just to see what it would do. My only problem is I haven’t been able to afford a frequency counter like you have. There hasn’t been any need to have one up to now.
The last transmitter I owned was back when I was running my Commercial AM Station, and it was a 1,000 Watt, Broadcast Electronics, BE AM-1A, that falls under the FCC’s Part 73 Rules. This Part 15 AM stuff is new to me, especially how these two manufacturers are making them, and both are very small, or what we call in America “Mom and Pop” Businesses. Both the Hamilton and Procaster are FCC Certified. Yea, we can bend things a bit with them as long as we know what we are doing, we are not bothering anybody. Anyhow, the people posting here are Engineers and Former Commercial Operators in the Business. On AM, we have more flexibility than FM and in the United States, the FM Band is now so congested with all these AM Licensees getting on FM Translators. FM Pirates, especially in Brooklyn, New York are way out of hand!May 1, 2021 at 1:49 pm #117461
No space left here in the Greater Toronto area as the FM band is full. No space with a vacant spot on each side and not just Toronto stations but from other places around.
Putting a copper wire inside the tube may screw it up, The wire has to be by itself.May 9, 2021 at 9:28 pm #117561
We’ll, I have nothing to loose. Remember, I’m retired from owning a Licensed AM Radio Station and all the stress of bringing in money to pay bills, a bank note on the property, the FCC’s Regulatory Fees, in the United States, it’s a mess. Now, if your a owner of a “Stand Alone” AM Station without a FM Translator, your screwed because now the American Broadcasters have gone to the FCC to let them make their FM Translators permanent, and turn in the AM License.
Let me get off that because it’s another show itself. I like to try and test things and if they don’t work, no big deal because I have all the time in the world to play with this stuff when I’m feeling O.K. Covid down here is not nearly as bad as it might be in Toronto. If you look at the State of Florida in the U.S. Covid almost doesn’t exist. The Governor there did a good job there wiping Covid out and reopening than other states in the Union.
There is not much you can do “Antenna Wise” to screw up a Chez Procaster in my opinion and playing around with it. Gerry has told me so much and gave me some good tips, but I haven’t run by him the idea of running a solid copper wire inside the tube. A thought came to me, wonder if that aluminum tube was thin, hollow copper clad? It would be built like the hollow aluminum tube, but copper clad.
Richard Fry came up with a fantastic ground radial system, but it’s horrible our Government Officials won’t let people like me and you, who have some sense of testing and taking measurements, try it on a experimental basis and return our reports in on Field Readings with a FIM. If needed, I know a Engineer in the area that if I paid him, he could take measurements on his FIM, and it’s calibrated.May 10, 2021 at 12:02 pm #117565
Be interesting to see what Jerry says about the copper wire inside the tube.
I didn’t mean it would screw up the Procaster itself just the performance as two antennas together may not be better.
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