- July 19, 2019 at 2:49 pm #111922BryanParticipant
Total posts : 2
Hello all. I am new to the forum and looking for some input. I am wanting to get into the Part 15 radio world and am looking at the Procaster AM Transmitter. I want to make sure I stay legal. Is anyone using this and if so, what advice can you give. Thanks for any input!
- July 19, 2019 at 6:28 pm #112082ArtisanRadioParticipant
Total posts : 498
The ProCaster is a high quality AM transmitter, and it is Part 15 certified. To stay legal, the length of your antenna and ground lead must be less than 3 meters total . That means either installing the transmitter at ground level with a short ground lead to your RF ground (rod driven into the earth/radials), or installing at height with no ground lead attached.
The only other transmitter with similar quality is the Rangemaster. It does not have built-in audio processing, and is also more difficult to tune. However, you can tune it exactly to 100mw input to the final stage, whereas the ProCaster does not have that feature, and is generally a little less to ensure Part 15 compliance. That means that theoretically, you’ll get greater range with the Rangemaster, all other things being equal.
The ProCaster sounds great, but in my opinion, the Rangemaster sounds a bit better (with the processing in the ProCaster turned off).
You wouldn’t go wrong with either of these two.
- July 21, 2019 at 2:28 pm #112089timinboveyParticipant
Total posts : 635
I can vouch for the quality of the Procaster. I’ve talked up it’s benefits in other places in this forum over the years.
Mine has, just this month, been on the air for 6 years. During this time it’s been mounted elevated, outdoors. It has needed zero repair or attention. It has remained rock solid on frequency and output has remained constant. I am a broadcast engineer in real life, and have kept tabs on my Procaster with actual field intensity readings, and checks with a frequency counter. It’s rock solid. Its’ been mounted outdoors with harsh weather from -30 below zero in the winter to around 100 in the summer, and in direct sunlight on the south side of the house.
It’s built in audio processing allows +125% – 99% modulation, which makes your signal about as loud as you can get away with without noticeable distortion which also gives you a bit more range, by making a louder signal that can be heard further over any noise floor in your area. Should you choose, you can shut off the built in processing and use your choice of outboard processor if you like.
It was the built in processing that really made me choose it over the Rangmaster, as well as the simplicity of installation and tuning. It came with a full length 3 meter aluminum tube antenna that mounts right to the side of the transmitter, which is mounted in a solid, easy to open, but yet completely waterproof box. The built in processing does have some adjustments available for your taste and format. Their manual is available to read and download from the website for free, which is a good way to learn more.
I really can’t say anything good or bad about the Rangmaster, as I’ve never used one myself. But not needing to spend more $$ on processing, and ease of installation etc.. pushed me toward the Procaster.
These really are the top two when it comes to certified AM transmitters, and of course they’re also the most expensive — but you do get what you pay for.
- July 22, 2019 at 9:10 pm #112096BryanParticipant
Total posts : 2
Thanks for the input. It’s much appreciated! timinbovey, how do you have yours mounted and what is the range that you get?
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