- June 10, 2020 at 1:40 pm #115163
I have a Talking House V5. It is located on a high shelf in a shed – concrete slab walls with metal roof and wooden eaves. I drilled a whole through the wooden eaves, threaded the 3 metre wire and attached it to a bamboo pole. See image. I got limited coverage – 35 feet either direction maybe.
I bought one of the new range extenders and installed it on top of a 18ft aluminum pole. The height of the range extender means the structure is over 21 ft. See image.
I’m getting limited coverage – similar to the 3 mtre wire.
Instructions say the range extender should be at a minimum of 20ft. Would the absence of 2ft really gave such a disappointing result? I’m almost considering on going back to the 3 metre wire.
Attachments:You must be logged in to view attached files.June 10, 2020 at 2:23 pm #115165ArtisanRadioParticipant
Total posts : 521
<p style=”text-align: left;”>There are a huge number of factors that can affect range. However, your range is so poor, I suspect that there is something wrong with your Talking House. Have you used it in the past in a different location and gotten different results, or is it new? If new, it’s probably faulty.</p>
Just to give you an idea of how off your range is, I had a similar installation with the wire antenna of a Talking Sign (an old competitor of the Talking House, very similar), where I ran it outdoors up a PVC pipe. I could hear my signal about a mile away with a good car radio. Weak, but still legible and listenable.
Even in the worst of conditions, with a not so great radio, poor ground conductivity, etc. I would still expect you to get several hundred feet range with your wire antenna setup.
And no, the extra 2 feet would make little difference with the range extender. In fact, you might even get better range in some environments by mounting the extender close to the ground, grounding it and using radials. Up 18 or 20 feet, you can’t run a long ground wire without violating Part 15 rules.
I’ve used a Rangemaster, a ProCaster, that Talking Sign, Talking Houses both with and without Range Extenders (the old versions). I achieved the best results with a ground mounted Rangemaster, but only because you’re able to tune them to have exactly 100 mw input to the final stage. No radials, just grounded to a short metal mast pounded into the earth. All the other transmitters run somewhat less than 100 mw as a fudge factor to ensure that they don’t violate the rules.
Aside from that Rangemaster, I achieved the best results with the Talking Sign and running its wire antenna outdoors. It achieved similar results to the ProCaster mounted up high on a roof, and Talking Houses with Range Extenders. Probably even a bit better, never could figure out why. I never did try the Talking House and running its wire outside, but I would imagine that those results would again be similar.June 10, 2020 at 7:21 pm #115170
Just a few things to check. With the range extender is the internal tuning unit bypassed?
The range extender has it’s own tuning with a meter as I remember so if the internal tuning unit is also trying to tune the antenna it would maybe cause the poor range you are getting. Just s suggestion to check.
I know the newer “enchanced” versions have had some mods done for better modulation and sound quality and can be adjusted on each unit for full 100mW into the final.June 12, 2020 at 10:57 am #115178
If you are using the wire antenna make sure the switch is set to Basic (Not Outdoor) antenna. Some TH’s say Indoor some say Basic as my New one says.
sometimes as well the switch gets dirty. flick it back and forth a few times and see of that solves your problem. Though on the wire I got far less range than using an ATU or home made ATU I got way more than 35 feet even with the wire.
Another thing one has to take into consideration is how is the hiss sounding on a blank frequency. If its full of Buzz than yes the electrical interference will greatly reduce your range. The hiss should be very quiet not a hard bacon frying sound.
Your Radio should be Tecsun PL-380, PL-390, PL-365, PL-880, Sangean Pr-D5, Pr-D15, Satellite 750, Grundig S350, Grundig S450 DLX, Sony HDT-1, Carver TX-11A, Sony SRF-A100, SRF-42, Sony ICF-P26 (For the food stamp folks), Yamaha, Technics SA-206 receiver.
The Radios you find in your Walmart or Target stores don’t cut it for AM they are mostly garbage receivers with the sensitivity equal to a crystal Radio on a 250 Ft antenna. In other words plane crap.
Check out I Love AM Radio forums on Facebook and talk to folks like DX Todd or Paul Walker who knows these Radios and who will say mostly what I say. Don’t buy Radios from the discount rack in your department store. Ebay is your BEST FRIEND for good reliable AM receivers as well as FM receivers good for DXing.June 15, 2020 at 9:14 am #115184AMRadiolegendParticipant
Total posts : 326
Walmart does sell the Sony.June 15, 2020 at 11:06 pm #115195
<p style=”text-align: left;”>Yes site to store or site to home has the ISony CF-P26 and it sounds good but remember when you get close to your station tune slow as a human hair. If your a hair line off it kills it</p>
I’m partial to high performance Digital tuners when money allowsJune 16, 2020 at 4:56 am #115198AMRadiolegendParticipant
Total posts : 326
I agree. Just for the money it’s not bad.June 21, 2020 at 7:39 am #115219
Guys, Thank you very much for you considered replies. If I may, I’d like to take the suggestions in turn and offer a follow up.
@ArtisanRadio – You asked if I have gotten different results in different locations. I have used the TH with the internal setting (9ft) wire in various locations across my home city (suburban and inner city), and in various buildings (domeestic, commercial), and in various places within those buildings (ground floor, second floor, third floor, attic) and the result has always been disappointingly poor, from now signal a few feet away to around 35ft signal in the outdoors – before the signal drops off and disappears. For years I have been reading the report you guys have been providing about the great range you get, and I have watched YouTube videos on this topic too and I always though I was not getting what I was expecting. This is leading me to think that the unit itself is faulty…if the other issues below are not important.
Height: Thank you for opinion on height and this is very welcome news…it is likely the problem is not a height issue.
You mention about grounding. How do you ground a TH?
@Mark. How would one know if the internal tuning unit is bypassed. I switch the switch to outdoor antenna and the tuning needle on the outdoor range extender moves as I fin tune the outdoor range extender. – The needle doesn’t move much from 0 to 100, it maxes out at 20.
Whether internal tuning unit is bypassed when attached to the outdoor range extender or not, doesn’t explain the poor range when the unit is attached to the internal 9ft wire antenna.
@TheLegacy. Yes, I have flicked the switch to ‘Outdoor Antenna’ when i’m using the outdoor range extender and switch it back to ‘Indoor Antenna’ when using the 9ft wire. But it is always important to ask these questions.
The AM band is dead in Ireland. There is only one legal AM transmission in Ireland, with all other spots on the dial vacant, or with a little bit of atmospheric distant signals from the band from the UK. The frequency i use is 1350kHz AM, which is quiet with no buzz or interference from the UK. However when one goes within the 35ft approx reach of the TH TX, a buzz does appear. When one switches off the TH TX, the Buzz disappears. The TH unit was imported to Ireland from Florida, so I have had to plug in a step down transformer from 220V to 110v. Is it likely this set up is causing the buzz? Moreover, is it likely this set up is causing the range limitation????
I don’t think the radio set is the issue, as I have tested the range with a number of portable, static and mobile (vehicle) radios over the years and the range has always been poor.
So, in summary, may I have your considered opinion on the following?
- Height is not an issue
- Is it possible to deduce that the TH unit is faulty with the information provided?
- How do you know when the internal tuner is bypassed?
- Could the buzz be caused by the transformer?
- How does one ground a TH unit?
PatJune 21, 2020 at 9:16 am #115223
If the switch is set to outdoor than the internal tuning should be bypassed. With the outdoor range extender operating change frequencies and watch transmitter and see if the internal tuning is operating by watching or listening.
As for the buzz a lot of these power supplies are garbage and the block style computer ones are the best and they should come in voltages the Talking House runs on. Why do you need the extra transformer? These power supplies come in 100-240V input for anywhere in the world. You don’t have to use the supplied power supply. Just get one that has 100-240 volts input and the correct voltage output for the transmitter with the same tip size which is standard on most of them and center +.
As for only getting 35ft that’s not right but I really don’t know what is wrong there. Was this new or used? You can email Information Station Specialists for advice as they are the makers of the Talking House now.
You can ground it just by connecting a wire from the ground connection on the unit to a cold water pipe or a wire to the ground terminal in the wall socket. But ground isn’t your problem. With no ground you should do a LOT better than 35 feet.June 21, 2020 at 9:28 am #115225
Here’s a pic of the power supply you should be using. But in the correct voltage for the Talking House. This is just a sample picture I found. No need for extra transformer.
Notice the 3 prong connection. This grounds the transmitter. But this won’t cure your bad range problem. Most of these come compatable anywhere with 100-240 volts input.
June 21, 2020 at 11:32 am #115227
Testing the power supply with my New Talking House 5.0 measured 14.9 volts.
This was the supplied power supply that was sent which was a TH-2000 power supply. I did find that my friend has tested 4 different power supplies and non of them were the same voltage.
My Other engineer friend had tested 3 different TH5’s and non of them had the same range as his first one which was an older unit. I believe that ISS is purposely sending units with a lower voltage power supply then 18 to reduce range in the USA. So I’d suggest getting an 18 volt power supply with around 3 amps and this should increase your range.
Some of my experienced friends in Electronics also suggested that the advanced iAM transmitter though greater Audio quality gives lessor range.
Now my experience with my 14.9 volt power supply was that actually my newer TH5 got better range when I had it connected to a home made ATU based on the Talking Sign’s ATU but I’d assume I’d get the same range had I used the professional ATU for the talking house as how my ATU failed. I could get 1.5-2 miles with a 10 Ft antenna and counter poise almost as good as I did with the ASMAX2 before it needed repair to the control unit inside. So if you still have issues another TH5 transmitter may be your best bet.
I’ve read reports on their ATU you can get 1.5-2 miles if you live in a low noise area and use 1620-1700 Mhz when transmitting. Using anything below 1620 is why your not getting out. The TH5 gets out best at 1620 Mhz above or below that frequency will reduce range. 1630-1640 will be fine but 1660 of 1590 will give you poor range. Good Luck.June 23, 2020 at 4:26 pm #115233ArtisanRadioParticipant
Total posts : 521
Your range has nothing to do with frequency (within reason). I’ve personally used 1570 for a long time , as it’s clearest at night around here, and I didn’t notice any difference from the higher frequencies when both were used during daytime.
From what you say, I would postulate that you have a bad Talking House. I once purchased 5, all new, from e-bay; 2 were bad, one didn’t turn on at all, and one barely got 10 feet.
I don’t know where you sourced yours, but I’d get another one, new, directly from the manufacturer. They’re not terribly expensive and you should probably have 2 anyway, one for backup. If the same thing happens, then there’s something else going on.
But I think you’ll find that’s the problem.June 27, 2020 at 6:38 am #115242
Once again, thank you so much for your considered thoughts on the issue. It is clear you are really trying to solve the problem, and that’s so difficult at such a remove.
If I may, I’d like to take the replies in turn.
@Mark The TH used the supplied TH200 power supply. It has, of course, two pins. We in Ireland use three pins. Moreover, we use a higher voltage. Those two reasons pointed me in getting a product which would deal with the difference in voltage whilst allowing me plug a two pin unit into a three pin socket. I had no reason to swap out the factory supplied plug.
@Legacy The Spectrum and channel allocation for the Medium Wave band here in Ireland goes from 531kHz to 1602kHz (9kHz steps), and most (if not all) radio receivers would mirror that allocation. Placing the transmission beyond that allocation would ensure that I would receive absolutely no listeners. That is why I have decided to pick a spot on the dila which is clear but lower than 1602kHz. As an aside, the fact that the TH uses 10kHz steps limits me to fewer spots on the dial.
@Artisan Interesting to read of your experience with faulty units. I think from what I am gleaming from these conversations is that my unit might also be faulty. In fairness, it is second hand, – was used by an estate agent in Florida, and was shipped over 4,000 miles to Dublin.
I have thought of purchasing a new unit straight from the vendor, but the last time we spoke, they didn’t ship to Ireland. I had to find someone in the US who would ship it to me and the cost was out of this world…it might have been cheaper for me to fly to Florida and pick it up myself.
The option of a new unit is there, however I have another idea you guys might be able to help me with. I seem to have a lots of mismatching equipment here and want some advice on how to get the best out of it. I’ll open a new thread on it.
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