- October 19, 2018 at 1:13 am #106955radio8zSenior Moderator
Total posts : 246
About a fortnight ago we hosted a get-together for our neighborhood residents and attending was my neighbor from one door diagonally across the street. During general chat with him he mentioned, and I paraphrase, “You know I am a lawyer but I want to ask you something…I don’t care if it is not legal and will not report you but I am curious.” I immediately did an inventory of my activities of late and found no reason not to reply “OK, ask”.
He continued “I have been trying to find a classical music station and the only one in town is very weak so I taped an antenna to the window of my study and can barely hear it. While tuning around I found another classical station at [named the frequency I use] and did a web search but learned that there is no station on that frequency anywhere near here. I retrieved my old FM Walkman and walked around the neighborhood and the signal was strongest near your house and that of your neighbor next door so I concluded that the signal was coming from either his or your house. What do you know about this?”
I replied that the signal was from my house and explained that I run a license free transmitter legally and transmit classical music so my wife can listen anywhere on our property. I explained that the FCC rules allow such operation as long as certain technical requirements are met which primarily result in a signal which goes about 200 feet. The front of his house is about 200 feet from the front of mine.
He replied that range is what he found by walking around, namely that the signal was not readable beyond about 200 feet and that he could only hear it indoors in his study which faces my house and that it fades away inside his house and back yard. He said he enjoys listening and I advised that I am not intentionally broadcasting to anyone outside my household but he is welcome to listen.
I was not surprised, but nonetheless glad, that he confirmed my previous check that my signal range was about 200 feet.
So, as it was and always has been, one never knows if anyone is listening to our Part 15 station but it is possible that our signal is heard unbeknownst to us. Many seek listeners but others, such as I, intend to be heard only by ourselves yet are happy to learn that someone else is listening.
“I shot an arrow into the air, it came to earth I know not where.” Longfellow.
NeilOctober 19, 2018 at 3:15 am #106956Carl BlareParticipant
Total posts : 1540
Put Him to Work
Your astute neighbor might be inspired to set up a part 15 transmitter at the far end of his house to relay the Radio8Z signal for full coverage on his property!October 19, 2018 at 4:39 am #106957From BillyBurgParticipant
Total posts : 96
We are, first and foremost, a broadcast forum; and I always encourage Radio First in conversations such as these.
But I have to wonder: for such an astute lawyer and a well-learned man, why hasn’t it occurred to him he could seek out a classical music stream on the same computer he used to find similarly-programmed stations in his area?October 19, 2018 at 6:15 am #106958
I can’t speak for the lawyer, but for me, there’s just something ‘magical’ about pulling a radio signal out from the ether. Maybe it’s because I’ve worked with computers all my life, combined with the thousands of streaming stations I know are available using a computer, but I much prefer the magic of radio. Computers I view as tools (and there’s little magic in a shovel).
Just a quick note – I’m back after an unplanned semi-absence. I was in the process of moving, and had a catastrophic hard drive failure on my one general purpose laptop. I didn’t lose any data (thank goodness for backups) but it took a while to acquire and then set up another computer. My broadcast computer was over 15 years old and ran XP, so it was a no go.
The good news is that I threw another hard drive into my then defunct laptop and now have a much more modern, Windows 7, broadcast computer. My new, general purpose computer runs Windows 10 and is much more powerful. I’ve retired (i.e., scrapped) the Windows XP laptop.
I hear plenty of bad things about Windows 10, particularly from another hobby site, but it appears to be stable, and it runs everything I want it to run. It is no worse, and in many areas is much better, than most computer systems I’ve worked on (and I’ve pretty much worked on them all over the years). Like most things, you have to know what you’re doing.
My next project is to get a Surface Pro 3 computer I picked up during this process running as a backup for both of these other computers. Hopefully I won’t be moving again any time soon, as that really gummed things up!October 19, 2018 at 9:13 am #106962Carl BlareParticipant
Total posts : 1540
Migration In the North
BillyBurg asked (this possibly rhetorical question): “But I have to wonder: for such an astute lawyer and a well-learned man, why hasn’t it occurred to him he could seek out a classical music stream on the same computer he used to find similarly-programmed stations in his area?”
What I think of is that the lawyer may consider his computer local to only the room it’s in… no easy idea for listening in other rooms (unaware of part 15 radio). He probably wanted classical throughout the house and maybe even the car.
If Radio8Z milks this he might gain a neighbor station in addition to his own.
Artisan Radio, the birds are leaving the north in favor of the south. Have you moved south?October 19, 2018 at 10:04 am #106963ThelegacyParticipant
Total posts : 298
I use a laptop on a computer which is a spare that I have connected to my transmitter then to my audio processor. Winamp receives My Stream and transmits it into my Bluetooth transmitter which goes to my transmitter up on the pole outside.
I figure if I just want to use an STL Bluetooth is the best way to do it. It is much more stable than part 15 FM it is. These days you could have multiple bluetooth stations so that you can listen to your own programming or use the Bluetooth devices for different transmitters.October 20, 2018 at 10:11 am #106968
Head south? Not likely, at least for a while.
Although, come to think of it, my new place IS south and west of my old one (by a few blocks).
It’s interesting, though. At my old place, a house in a typical suburban neighborhood, I was easily getting 300 meters range in virtually every direction, and much more in some, with a transmitter on the 2nd floor in front of a window (that’s with BETS-1/RSS210 Canadian rules, of course).
In my new place, a concrete and steel high rise, despite being on the 8th floor and locating the same transmitter in front of a window (the outside walls are virtually all window and I’m on a corner), I get less noise-free range for the most part. I’m located in the middle of a number of similar buildings, most low rise, but still concrete and steel. Wood frame houses of 1 or 2 stories don’t obstruct the puny signal nearly as much, I guess.October 20, 2018 at 3:43 pm #106980MarkModerator
Total posts : 598
Shouldn’t make much difference from the house to the apartment, it would just be more directional as most of your coverage would be out the direction of the windows on the outside wall. The height is a plus.
If you are opposite those other buildings and they are quite close to you, you could have a lot of potential listeners. But those steel and concrete buildings will affect general outside coverage where houses wouldn’t.
Here’s where FM has the advantage over AM as AM frequencies are much more blocked by steel and concrete than FM.
In your building FM reception will be good but AM will only get the strongest local stations and with all the electrical noise in the building except right near the window.
An outdoor install with AM may be good outside to car radios but wouldn’t get to residences like yours inside.
You should get to other residences in your building, above you, beside you, below you, across the hall, etc. May be pretty good actually.
This is with the Decade I assume? Wish you luck with this in your new place, may even be better than before.October 21, 2018 at 8:43 am #106985
I’m in the same situation as Neil – my intent is to broadcast to myself. Because the (old) RSS 210 and BETS allows for more field strength than the U.S., and thus more range, I take advantage of the situation by also listening in my car while driving around.
The range in my old neighborhood was probably due to a number of factors. Low rise wood frame houses, lots of roads running in the right direction, creating line of sight (and not degrading the signal), a shopping mall (with a large parking lot, i.e., no buildings) just over a block away, and a sensitive car radio all created favorable conditions for the range that I saw.
In my new place, most of the buildings are concrete and steel and there are fewer roads and more, higher, structures.
I haven’t tested every direction yet, but in the directions that I travel most, range is certainly much poorer. In the direction I haven’t tried yet (going into a subdivision I have no reason to be in), perhaps the range will be better.
I also have no idea of the range with a portable radio. I can hear my station in the basement parking garage with my car radio, but it’s weak. Outside better in some directions for a while, but fence boarding and static appears a lot sooner. I’ll have to do the walk-around-with-a-portable-radio test as well.
Like Neil, I have no problems with others listening in to what I broadcast. And there are certainly more potential listeners in the immediate geographic area, if they can receive my signal.
I am also located just across a parking lot from Pitt Meadows City Hall, and the Recreation Center. If I ever did decide to broadcast to others again, I would want to ensure that the signal could be listened to in those places.
Finally, my range results demonstrate that height isn’t everything with micro FM, and certainly increasing antenna height doesn’t guarantee you more range.October 21, 2018 at 11:11 am #106986BrooceParticipant
Total posts : 49
This is what every Part 15er hopes will
happen — WELL — those who are broadcasting
good and different content to themselves anyway.
And then there is the greatest surprise — within
your teeny coverage area – your programming is
being enjoyed by someone you don’t know or
don’t know well.
Well – you know what I mean.
Brooce, Hartford CTOctober 21, 2018 at 3:43 pm #106989MarkModerator
Total posts : 598
Reply to Artisan; if you are on the 8th floor and you can hear it in the basement parking lot from 8 floors up with that much steel and concrete in between then that’s a whole lot better than I thought!
Even though you are broadcasting “to yourself” you will have a lot of potential listeners.October 21, 2018 at 4:25 pm #106991
They’d have to have cars in their apartment.
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