- July 5, 2016 at 12:13 am #10679
I have seen something similar to this on some motorcycle sites. Sometimes it is interesting!
Today I finished building a coil similar to the plans on the SSTRAN site. I prepped it for install, only to find my antenna analyzer wouldn’t go down low enough in frequency. Now I am scrounging thru my hf swr meters to see if any of my stuff will read that low power and frequency. Needless to say, I don’t usually do qrp!
I did install it and “roughed it in”, with the TH 5, If nothing else, it looks cool, and it may be a little more efficient. But, not being able to verify swr, I am not sure.
Decided to add a note: The TH is mounted in the toolbox on the roof at my warehouse. It was using the internal tuner with the 102 in. whip. When I added the coil, I flipped the switch to external and installed a short piece of coax from the F connector. I am in theory, in compliance for length of antenna and ground (supplied thru the coax shield to the toolbox).
Happy 4th of July to all!
- July 5, 2016 at 1:43 pm #49473
Part 15 Engineer
us it to peak the relative field strength. i use mine with a belar loop antenna to get absolute best peak f/s from any antenna design i may use on medium wave.
if you don’t have one a loop can be made and a cheap spec-an can be had from china via ebay for about $400.00 which is suitable for our part 15 purposes.
- July 5, 2016 at 4:26 pm #49474
I have been considering getting a spec analyzer for several years. My wife endures my hobbies and expenditures, be it motorcycles, radio stuff or whatever…
Speaking of expenditures and still related, I just bought an assembled sstran AMT 3000 off ebay. I will be making another trip on the roof in a few days to install and compare to the range of the TH 5.
I want a AMT 5000, but maybe next month when I get bored with the AMT 3000, and realize I gained no distance or anything over the TH 5. (I hope I am wrong)
- July 5, 2016 at 10:00 pm #49481
RichUse it to peak the relative field strength. … if you don’t have one a loop can be made and a cheap spec-an can be had from china via ebay for about $400.00 which is suitable for our part 15 purposes.______Just to note that much less expensive, yet suitable receiving hardware for this task is sold by Tecsun and others (at US $50 or so).Such hardware includes both the receive antenna, and a receiver having a front-panel display ~accurately showing the relative fields of received signals on a given frequency. One example is a Tecsun PL-310.However they CANNOT be used to measure/prove compliance of fields at a given distance to those permitted by FCC Part 15, or any other regulatory body.
- July 5, 2016 at 5:31 pm #49477
My TH units always outdid my SSTran in coverage. Audio quality is a whole ‘nother story, that SSTran was one of the best sounding transmitters I’ve ever heard.
Lately I’ve been tweaking the Optimod 9000A output to get as close to 125+% as possible. I have to tune by ear which kind of drags out the process.
- July 5, 2016 at 5:59 pm #49478
As I was reading thru the many comparisons and comments about SSTRAN, I noticed that the TH seemed to out perform it in distance covered more times than not, and yet the SSTRAN sounded better.
I figure I will duplicate that same scenario here. But, the improved audio will make it worth while until I decide to move to the next transmitter.
I will have to admit, this micro power AM has brought about some propagation scenarios I hadn’t forseen.
- July 5, 2016 at 6:21 pm #49479
“I will have to admit, this micro power AM has brought about some propagation scenarios I hadn’t forseen.“
Man isn’t that the truth. At such low power levels our LPAM signals even seem to take on some line-of-sight VHF characteristics in addition to the usual MW propagation. I have noticed the more traditional setup you have the less weird the LPAM signal gets.
- July 5, 2016 at 8:44 pm #49480
Stands to reason that at “our” power levels AM can take a line of sight transmission….because you don’t have enough power to go beyond line of sight or have any ionosphere bounce.
- July 5, 2016 at 9:59 pm #49482
The antenna for my AM station is installed next to a wooded area and because of the huge amount of rain we have had this spring and summer the bushes have grown to where the branches were in contact with the radiator. I spent some time trimming them back and the field strength measurably improved.
- July 6, 2016 at 2:19 pm #49488
I made a comment earlier about the idiosyncracies of micropower transmissions in the AM broadcast or medium wave band. We do not have enough power to “bounce” signals off the ionosphere, and daytime signals for Medium Wave would be limited to ground wave anyway. Yet, we gain distance (or at least I do) in daylight hours. Much, as it was mentioned earlier, like “VHF line of sight” characteristics.
I have a mental image of my flea powered station not having enough power to fully develop the full wavelength and it kind of droops as it starts up the peak of the wavelength. Thus it acts less like it should, or does it? Most people blame poor night time reception of their LOCAL AM station on power reductions etc for night time service (true in many cases). But, heated daytime conditions allow the medium wave frequencies to travel faster/better for groundwave propagation, so I guess all is normal???? This is an area, that some of you experienced AM Broadcasters might expand on.
What have I done to my station today? Corrected some station id entries in RadioDJ, which I am still learning, but starting to like a lot. It is running on one old laptop, and ZaraRadio is running on an even older laptop as standby, or when I am experimenting with transitions I change the programming source to ZaraRadio.
- July 6, 2016 at 7:25 pm #49491
The waves are still fully formed. The low-power just makes any noise at all extremely noticable. During the day there is less noise on MW (excluding electric grid noise), at night the noise floor raises substantially then slowly falls as the electric grid is used less and less overnight.
Heres a fun oddity I noticed today, my daytime coverage is fantastic and extremely strong in town. That being said, the signal STILL ducked on me when I drove past a utility trailer parked about 30-50 feet from the transmitter. Also fun note, the signal only ducks under a few power lines not all of them. In fact, in the next town over the lines enhance the signal. Gotta love AM!
- July 6, 2016 at 8:18 pm #49492
It is interesting to see the way the signal conforms and moves with the terrain and its obstacles. I have observed the same thing here.
BTW, I am amazed at your coverage area. I am doing good to get 2 blocks here consistently and I lose that at night. We are not as flat as you are there in your part of the state, but I definately need to work on things a bit more here to get some decent coverage.
- July 7, 2016 at 12:14 pm #49494
Make sure your station is “fuctionally compliant.” And no damped waves.
- July 7, 2016 at 1:42 pm #49495
My radio wave roller coaster has lumps in it. Or maybe they are melting in the heat.
And to think, there are comedians out of work.
Waiting on the Sstran Amt3000 to show up. At which time, I will do a short term test to verify what I already suspect. Then I will initiate a move to my residence and set up the antenna in the back yard, in a more conventional installation.
My metal roof installation, though appealing, and convenient, has disappointed me. If I were to bend the rules with additional grounding etc, it probably would exceed my expectations. But, I am trying to play by the rules, and I also am enjoying the challenge of getting the most out of this with the parameters we are given.
Setting up at home will bring about new challenges, such as being able to listen at work, since I have my doubts about reception in my building 3/4 mile away. I also do most of my programming changes during the day, so that will become a remote thing. Perhaps I will stream my audio back to work.
Damped those waves…
- July 7, 2016 at 3:06 pm #49501
When are you on? Also, do you live at the feed store?
- July 7, 2016 at 4:32 pm #49502
When I see that (7.195), I think of where I usually hang out on HF. Haven’t been active much in the last month or so, haven’t been in the groove. 7.195, coincidence or no….
- July 7, 2016 at 4:47 pm #49504
OK. I will tune around on or near that frequency. Qustion two: Do u live at the feed store or across the street at Sonic?
- July 7, 2016 at 5:23 pm #49507
I realized the coincidence was too much. So I figured this might have been directed at me. I am actually up the street from the Sonic/feed store. My facilities are near the Green Frog, so I am often there!. Google Earth is not quite current on drive by.
- July 7, 2016 at 1:49 pm #49496
Before I had the power levels dialed in correctly I could pickup my part 15 AM in front of the full power’s studio 5 1/2 miles away, albeit a weak signal. The same setup running at max power transmitted over 10 miles. Currently at 100 mW the transmitter goes 3-6 miles of which only the first mile is very strong, the remainder is fading gravy although comfortable in car listening lasts for awhile.
- July 7, 2016 at 3:00 pm #49500
Could you describe how your transmitter-ground-antenna is setup?
- July 7, 2016 at 5:27 pm #49508
“Could you describe how your transmitter-ground-antenna is setup?”
I’m going to assume this one is for me.
The transmitter simply sits on top of an 8 ft pole surrounded mostly by farm land. For “extended” coverage there are 8 semi-buried radials and one centrally located ground rod. Oddly enough the loss or addition of radials or the ground itself doesn’t seem to have much of an impact on signal strength. I’m beginning to wonder if maybe the metal pole is acting like some sort of ground coupler or shunt fed antenna.
- July 7, 2016 at 5:58 pm #49509
3-6 Miles would cover my town of Deltaville. Surly nothing to cry about and I’d be happy with that. Must find a way to have a stealth antenna and still have that sort of range. I had a few folks say they’d listen to me even on AM if only they could hear me further than say 1/4-1.1 miles away.
- July 7, 2016 at 6:21 pm #49510
Below is a chart showing the groundwave field intensities produced for the conditions shown there. The d-c input power to the Class E final r-f amplifier is 100 mW.
- July 8, 2016 at 6:13 pm #49519
I set the frequency and will begin testing with it. Nice looking device. Hopefully, I will get time to set it up for the external coil and mount it in place of the TH…
- July 8, 2016 at 8:17 pm #49521
Craig said: “ I prepped it for install, only to find my antenna analyzer wouldn’t go down low enough in frequency.”
John said: “Use your rig’s S-Meter, adjust the sensitivity of the receiver so it can just detect the signal from the transmitter and adjust your taps until you find the one that peaks the signal on the receiver.”
- July 8, 2016 at 10:24 pm #49522
“… find the one that peaks the signal on the receiver.”
Just a heads up — such signal peaks also will occur for systems that exceed the limits of Part 15 AM, and which might result in an FCC citation (NOUO).
- July 9, 2016 at 4:49 am #49532
It Hz , you know?
- July 11, 2016 at 2:09 pm #49543
Rich said: “Just a heads up — such signal peaks also will occur for systems that exceed the limits of Part 15 AM, and which might result in an FCC citation (NOUO).”
I said: “If you had closely scrutinized my comments you would have understood that I was referring to finding the “sweet spot” on the antenna coil. I was not referring to a “functionally compliant” system.”
- July 9, 2016 at 2:30 am #49528
First, thanks Rich for the concern! From what I am seeing, this thing is pretty anemic on power from what I am seeing in the shack while testing.
Initial thoughts, it sounds pretty good. Been playing with the supplied antenna, and even tuning a couple of external antennas, that are probably not compliant, but did not yield outstanding results. I am back on the supplied antenna at present.
Tomorrow, depending weather, my temperment, etc. I may attempt an install in place of the TH. But, as a priority, I have to work on my office A/C. It quit today…only two weeks old. I am not impressed when I sweat at my desk.
Did I mention this thing sounds really good when in range?
- July 9, 2016 at 3:07 pm #49536
I did go up on the roof with my old yaesu vx-2 (I forgot I had it). The VX-2 is a multi band pocket sized receiver/transceiver that picks up most anything, just not very well. But it was perfect for this task.
I removed the antenna and peaked the antenna settings a bit more. Mostly, I got rid of the distortion that showed up after my coil install. I am sure it was from the mismatch that was causing RF to go back into the transmitter. That made things sound pretty good again on the TH 5.
Distance increase? Not sure, but it did sound better at the house in the truck. But it could be wx/atmospheric conditions.
I must now focus on A/C issues as it is already heating up.
And yes, it Hertz. You might even say it KillooHertz… Comedians probably out of work somewhere!
- July 10, 2016 at 10:09 pm #49539
I finally put up my omni directional antenna for the FM BCB. I use it to seek out Part 15’ers and to monitor my yard caster.
- July 11, 2016 at 1:50 pm #49542
Or is that an Internet station that happens to broadcast on AM 1260. Ok, so its not related to my part 15, or is it? I retransmitted the stream via the new SSTRAN at home for my personal listening pleasure. For those that are curious, KYA 1260.
Regardless, It is a neat station from my viewpoint. Plays oldies. Had a Beatles show on yesterday morning. And it even plays some old advertisments. I even heard an advert for the “new” 1972 VW. I realized that I was not annoyed so much by the presentation of those adverts as I am now days when I listen to the “busy” almost ADHD driven stuff. Odd thing is, that I listened to KYA for several hours and am not sure I heard a current advertisment. I wonder how they pay the bills?
I changed the A/C unit in my office yesterday, that is where I program my part 15 station currently. Today I am enjoying the cool air blowing across my face while changing some of the shows and music for the day. Oh, and doing things that actually make me money.
- July 11, 2016 at 7:09 pm #49549
I ordered a MFJ 1977 telescoping antenna to couple with the loading coil setup. Its portable, and fully adjustable from about 27″ to 12′. Obviously, it would be out of compliance when fully extended, but it should offer a good range with the loading coil to peak max output.
It arrived today, and looks pretty good. For those of you not familiar with MFJ, they have a lot of neat stuff, some of it has to be worked upon receiving, some of it is ok.
I am not sure how well it would be in a long term install outside. It will serve as a dual purpose for some of my portable ham activities after I get thru with the part 15 test.
- July 14, 2016 at 9:46 pm #49601
I setup icecast on a computer today to see how it works. I can currently stream on my intranet. I will continue to learn this product until I am confortable with it and then move it to a DMZ portion of my network on a dedicated PC.
As I progress, I will begin streaming outside my LAN, but it depends on if I decide if I am going to license via Stream Licensing or just BMI with a web endorsement.
Setting up IceCast on Windows 8.X wasn’t terrible. I think it would be better on linux, but, I live in a Windows world these days, and I have to consider that most of the people around me are stuck there. In the old days, when I used to do IT stuff, I lived in Linux and had lots of fun doing things with it. These days, not so much. I want this to be supportable by someone other than me.
I will probably use a separate computer for the streaming once I formalize it. That will allow for the equalizer to handle the mixing from the various sources. It will also allow me to shut down Radio DJ for maintenance. It has been running now non-stop for about 2 weeks. No problems thus far. I keep Zara Radio on an old XP laptop beside it for quick switch over.
- July 16, 2016 at 8:09 pm #49630
Spent some time this morning installing the AMT3000 in place of the TH5. As posted above, I had already built a coil, and was using it with improved range for the TH5 (definately helped).
I retuned for the AMT3000, (still not 100% satisfied, but close). I didn’t immediately head home, since I was working on the stream server and cutting some station ID’s and promos.
On my short drive home, I noticed range is definately increased. Easy listen here at home in the vehicle 1/2 mile away (thats straight line). Less fade outs while getting here too. No reception in the house yet… but
I am listening to my station over stream from my server. Sorry, not open to the public yet, (not that you want to hear it).
I will start on community promotion soon, and then open up the streaming once it is licensed. The handful of people I have spoke with here are all for it.
- July 16, 2016 at 10:37 pm #49633
craigf, maybe tomorrow I’ll go through a list of things I remember from building and tuning a loading coil for my AMT3000, just in case I hit on something that helps what you are doing.
Meanwhile, I have several hours of good old summer lethargy until tonight’s ALPB meeting, so I’ll mention something I did last week with the AMT5000.
The on-screen peaks for the AMT3000 and AMT5000 are right next to each other on the spectrum analyzer, so they can be easily compared. They are both carrying the same audio but I noticed that everytime the AMT3000 signal modulated upward, the AMT5000 jumped downward. Also, the AMT3000 sounded louder and sharper on the radio.
From previous experience I knew that the two audio feeds were not modulating with the same polarity, and quickly found where the polarity was being flipped…
The audio for the AMT5000 is being sent 35-feet from a Ramsey FM30b, and received on a Panasonic Model RE-7680 Stereo Tuner, the left and right output lines feeding the L+R input mixer on the AMT5000. Because it is a “low-end” (low priced) tuner, the audio lines were inverted in the tuner, while no doubt Panasonic’s higher priced tuners keep their audio polarity unchanged for better sound.
The AMT5000 AM Transmitter has a little publicized feature that made the solution very easy… in addition to the L+R unbalanced audio line inputs, it has a balanced differential mono input chip! By re-wiring the audio input section I was able to flip the audio polarity at the balanced input and now the two transmitters sound and look (on the spectrum analyzer) exactly the same!
- July 17, 2016 at 11:32 pm #49643
I am going to build a second coil with larger wire. For first one I used some bell wire I have had for years. First time I have used any of the big spool of single strand wire I found in an old warehouse in Raleigh years ago. It actually seems to work pretty good, but I like to tinker, so I will try some 16ga enameled and see if it works different/better.
I need to install Teamspeak and check in on the ALPB meetings. I am usually out to dinner with my wife on Saturday nights, but I was back last nite in time, but didn’t have the software installed. Ironically, I have dedicated my best laptops and PCs for the Part 15, I use the junk one at the house for browsing the web and the hamshack.
- July 18, 2016 at 5:00 pm #49654
Every today is yesterday’s tomorrow, and it’s time for a review of converting the AMT3000 from using the internal (lossy) inductors to the more serious method of building a loading coil for use with an external antenna.
The AMT3000 Manual only mentions one step in modifying the transmitter for loadingcoil/antenna… p.19, Jumper Plug S7: Jumper in ON position, shorting across R14.
From here on we need to print out the document Modifying the AMT3000 for Driving the Base-Loaded Vertical Antenna, available at the website:
We will find additional modifications…
C23 needs to be changed… remove 820 pF capacitor, replace with 560 pF 50 VDC ceramic capacitor.
R18 (820 ohms) should be removed. Leave the component location empty.
Set all four switches of the S5 DIP Switch Pack to ON. This bypasses the onboard small inductors which are not needed.
Ignore the tuning instructions in the manual and only use the tuning instructions in this supplemental document. …Important that you study this part of the instruction carefully, as I’m skipping past some of the details of building the coil and antenna…
Once the coil and antenna are built and standing in place according to the instructions
Note: GROUNDING is very important to your antenna! The document covers this subject, be sure to design a grounding system that matches the description given.
When nearly complete attach probes from analog or digital voltmeter into two holes on the transmitter circuit board… T1 = Positive T2 = Negative.
At your chosen frequency (between 1500 – 1700 kHz) fine tune as instructed, including setting trimmer capacitor C5 for 13 VDC.
The 13 VDC reading is very important. If you see a lower voltage you have a less than perfect resonance, if it is over 13 VDC there will be distortion in the audio. 13 VDC = a perfect match!
In my installation I was only able to achieve 13 VDC once I had connected to a good ground system.
I know you may already have covered all these points, but if any of this information helps that will be great!
- July 17, 2016 at 11:35 pm #49644
I cut a 30 second promo for Tims Oompah hour and loaded his latest show for airing at 8:00 my time. I am promoting diversity here, and Polka is fairly diverse for me.
- July 25, 2016 at 3:11 pm #49814
I had intended to go up on the roof and “verify compliance” again concerning my AMT3000 install. My latest ventures do have me covering much of the town while driving. It is noisy in places depending on the terrain and surround structures/foliage.
I am now torn between an AMT5000 (which I really don’t want to build), or just springing for a Rangemaster and putting it on a pole at about 35 ft. I lean towards the Rangemaster because it appears that the FCC is more lenient concerning their installation at altitude and the corresponding “ground” situation.
What I did do…. added some programming to the database. Actually created a 30 minute show with some “comedic tunes/recordings”. I am gaining listeners, they are giving me reports of range now. Kind of makes me nervous! I am running as a non-commercial, with a spot or two regarding funding “depending on listeners like you.” I did it mostly because it sounded cool, and eventually, I hope to transition to licensed LPFM. We will see!
- July 25, 2016 at 5:18 pm #49818
There are a few Rangemasters on eBay going for $350 each. At only slighty over $100 more than the AMT5000 I think it would be a good deal if you don’t want to hassle building a kit.
- July 25, 2016 at 5:32 pm #49820
It looks like it’s in rough shape. No crystal. You would have to purchase a module from Keith as he no longer stocks crystals.
- July 25, 2016 at 6:00 pm #49823
I have looked at the one on ebay several times. It is less than pristine, but probably works ok.
I still would lean towards a new one. My mindset on that particular product is buy direct, make contact, and if I have problems make contact again with the designer/distributor and hope for resolution.
- July 25, 2016 at 6:10 pm #49824
Keith is wonderful to work with. I think if you contact him direct, tell him what you are trying to do, he will reward you with a price break. He respnds to email and you can also contact him on the twisted pair. Great service.
- July 28, 2016 at 8:52 pm #49929
I have spent numerous hours compiling music/programming onto a drive. Even solicited the help of one my best friends who has an extensive album collection. Today, I discovered the drive we had compiled the music/programming for the station was crap. Yes, we do have it backed up, but it inconveniences me as I was adding programming to the station today and now I can not.
Randomness was interjected into my computer by faulty hardware.
And as a side note, in my my 3 decades of being involved with computers, I have had more hard disk failures in the last 3 years than in my whole career, and that time includes the primitive hard disks that we thought were monsters in the IBM PC days…<10meg…. Tis all crap, I say.
- July 28, 2016 at 11:11 pm #49932
There was a story in the news not long ago about a guy somewhere who had it up to here with his computer.
He took it outdoors in a clear area, aimed his shotgun at it, and fired.
- August 2, 2016 at 1:53 am #50080
I have felt like shooting them at times, stupid lifeless things that they are. They are like the spoon that feeds my mouth… constantly taking one thing that is good and then creating…..
Where do I come up with this stuff at…
- August 2, 2016 at 2:08 am #50082
Over the weekend, I went on the roof and verified lengths of antenna and feed line for FCC compliance. I actually removed the temporary ground and combined it with the very short antenna feed cable (shortened it). This helped with the last bit of hum I was getting from the building. I also reset the gain controls one the AMT3000 so I could feed with more audio from the mixer to help cover any residual hum that might be present. I must say, it sounds really good when in range!
My test subjects for the internet feed surprised me Friday nite during our local happy hour. Our happy hour is merely a group of friends that meet at one of our houses to sit and have a beer or two and discuss the weeks events. This has been going on for more years than I remember. Sadly, our numbers are getting smaller as years pass.
All that to say, the stream was playing as I pulled up. I think it surprised a few that didn’t know it was my programming and with my station promos/jingles
And, of course I had to clarify that it was not pirate radio to one of the less astute individuals.
I will work on cleaning up programming and hourly transitions/time announcements-station ID’s this weekend…
And, as I close out this PSA..
From the Center of the Universe in Jacksboro, TX, this public service announcement is brought to you by the Jacksboro Radio Network…
- August 8, 2016 at 1:09 pm #50197
I put fresh eneloops in my scosche transmitter and mp3 player in my stealthy fm setup
I get about 4 1/2 days on the transmitter and a bit more than that for the mp3 player on a fresh full set of AA’s.
Downloaded some rockabilly to test on my talking house II transmitter
- August 8, 2016 at 1:50 pm #50198
Keep us posted on how you make out with the TH transmitter. I added several hours of programming to my music database.
- August 8, 2016 at 1:55 pm #50199
Desktopgrass put new eneloops in his equipment. That’s what he said.
Craigf fell over, but not before mentioning the weight of FM radio signals, which might have contributed to the fall.
I’m just following along with what is being said.
Maybe living amidst all the radio waves people feel heavier than they are. That would explain a lot.
- August 8, 2016 at 2:41 pm #50200
I can’t explain “eneloops”, but I applied contextual rules and assumed that he was talking about batteries. I think the term may catch on. I hope the eneloop does not fail in my car today, if it does, I will need to change it. Perhaps I should purchase an eneloop tester?
Now, applying contextual rules, you might also assume that the weight that usually causes me to fall over is my big mouth…
I think you are right, the RF is melting my mind. I am off to make a foil hat! It will not be domed or pointy, it will be round to match my head. I hope they work in that shape.
- August 8, 2016 at 2:59 pm #50203
Eneloop is Panasonic’s rechargeable battery line
- August 8, 2016 at 3:26 pm #50205
I see the that the rules of context still apply. I wasn’t familiar with the trade name, but had deduced, based on my limited brain function, that it was probably a brand of battery. I missed out on thinking that it was a Klingon term. So much for my deductive reasoning!!
Meanwhile, I just learned that one of my best friends is in New Orleans already having a cold beer, while watching a girl ride a mechanical bull while her luscious top side bounces about. I told him it was too early for the cold beer. His reply was “it came with the entertainment”…
He is vacationing, I am here enjoying another day of Texas heat without the distraction he is enjoying…
- August 9, 2016 at 4:20 pm #50206
Not all women would be sporting enough to ride a mechanical bull. Maybe you should locate her and tell her about part 15 radio!
Low power radio stations sometimes have beer early in the day for the same reason.
- August 16, 2016 at 11:12 pm #50345
I inadvertantly deleted my master playlist a few days ago. Though I had intended to rebuild it soon, but the timing was not great (computer mistakes never are). 3:00 on a Friday afternoon is not a great time for me to work on radio related things.
I quickly patched in about 18:00 hours of music/programming which is sufficient to entertain me and most of my friends for a few days. I run other shows during the day for several hours, so it stretches the playlist out dramatically, and you end up not hearing the same thing at the same time for several days.
All this to say, I have been wanting to activate the random playlist generator in RadioDJ, and today I made it happen. Though it is not perfect, it does let me fill in after a doowop show or even the polka hour and then clear the playlist and go back to random pulls of my regular music programming instead the long master playlist I was manipulating.
I know, blah blah blah, but it sounds better than it reads. And I now am enjoying the choices of a random player …though it is not really random (computers are not random).
I am hearing some tracks I did not have in my playlist, but had loaded in the music database.
With the variety of music I am playing, I can rapidly change between genres without having to drag and drop music choices myself to create a different playlist.
I will report problems if any. Tonight it will have to transition to a Rockit Radio show at 7:00, run a few minutes afterward to fill out the hour, then switch back to classic country for the evening before OTR programming kicks in later tonight.
- August 17, 2016 at 2:03 am #50359
My transitions from one genre to the next were the smoothest I have had yet, and the least amount of work. In fact, I am hearing some music that I had not hard fixed into a play list for fear of over playing an artist. Some I might not of chose for lack of recognition, but have been very acceptable in my opinion.
I am barking for my progress, for if I do not, no one else will!!!
I should have done this earlier, it is much easier.
- August 17, 2016 at 4:35 pm #50376
So far so good, I did have to modify some play rules. The AutoDJ was playing tracks with different artists, but included a previous/recent played artist as part of the set. I told it “no”.
It is working as expected. The only thing I see is that you need to have your artist-song title information formatted correctly. Most of mine is, but I did have to correct about 200 entries. Not bad out of nearly 9000 so far.
- August 17, 2016 at 5:10 pm #50378
Glad to see your station is coming along Craig!
As for my Part 15, the official format flip to News/Talk took place Monday morning. (Though techincally the Talk programming started Sunday evening.
- August 17, 2016 at 6:14 pm #50382
Thanks! Just curious what drove your decision to go to News/Talk? Is it the royalty issue or personal/public choice?
- August 17, 2016 at 6:36 pm #50385
Mostly just the demographics that are closest to the transmitter. It covers the whole town of ~650 in rural North Texas but I had a hard time programming a music format for the area that wasn’t already taken by a heritage station on FM. I also program the county’s only full power signal which has the best music format for the area, so talk was a logical fallback. Plus with talk theres new content daily and I don’t have to worry about wearing out songs. I might not agree with everything that is being said but I do get a good entertainment value out of it.
- August 17, 2016 at 7:18 pm #50386
That makes good sense, especially since you have a county based radio that fits the music demographics.
- August 17, 2016 at 8:58 pm #50389
Dead Air. It works for the local Dade City AM station on 1350. I think it’s really popular because I hear or in my case, not hear it all the time. The nice thing about dead air is it’s very easy to program. So I tried it with a Talking House with the enhanced audio. Having enhanced audio and knowing that the manufacturer tweaked it to 100 mW gives me piece of mind. Dead air assures that you will not have any complaints from the pesky FCC. Give it a try.
- August 17, 2016 at 9:55 pm #50392
Is it all the time? Why would they waste the electric bill to transmit dead air?
I may try it to see how it streams. The next hour of dead air is brought to you by me. Enjoy!
- August 18, 2016 at 12:14 am #50399
Crags: It happens regularly. They are geniuses or morons. Give it a try.
- August 18, 2016 at 1:12 am #50402
There is a local guy that owns 4 AM stations and his country-western station put an unemployed lady with a history of local DJing into a board-operator slot with special permission to do daily editorials in lieu of too much pay, and this went on for awhile.
Then one day she must have grown tired of the situation because she broke format and ran all of her accumulated editorials back-to-back. I happened to be listening.
She was not heard again after that.
This is what I think probably happened, although how would I know as an outsider.
- August 18, 2016 at 2:57 am #50406
Some of the programming the stations air today. I know we all have our preferences, but some these stations don’t even try. Perhaps dead air is better.
If I had radio staff, more power, an audience, “oh be still my heart.”
I think I have a new saying. “Perhaps dead air is better.” Tomorrow, I will try to work it into my conversation regulary.
- August 18, 2016 at 5:06 pm #50413
As part of my clean up and trying to sound more like a real station. I have been cutting some promos for scheduled programming. I believe it gives any listeners I might have a chance to turn the radio off before the show starts.
All Craig Radio… All Day…
Perhaps Dead Air is Better!
- August 18, 2016 at 5:28 pm #50415
I think about dead air.
Not everyone would recognize dead air for what it is.
Part 15ers know dead air and can tell the difference between it and nothing.
Dead air never really goes away. Even during strong modulation of a loud song there is always dead air in the background.
If it weren’t for dead air, there would be nowhere for a modulated signal to be heard.
I have several dead air generators.
You can beat a dead horse but you can’t beat dead air.
- August 18, 2016 at 6:07 pm #50417
But, I do wonder if beating a dead horse while broadcasting would produce a different type of dead air. I think that it might produce odiferous air.
Perhaps dead air is better..
- August 21, 2016 at 9:28 pm #50469
as my automated assitant. I turned the show over to him at 7:00 p.m. local time last night for the saturday evening doowop show that I worked pretty hard to put together with a few intros and even some promos that ran thru out the day.
Of course it was supposed to run as a music rotation change from my normal saturday classic country programming after the intros into the show start.
The show kicked off great as a doowop show, then continued regular programming! I was 50 miles away in my vehicle listening to the stream with my wife, one of our daughters, and one of my good friends, who is a music nut. My friend looks at me as a well known local artist began crooning and said, that doesn’t sound like doowop to me…
So, I guess this happens. I will scold BJ the Blowup DJ next week on the air.
Of course we had many delays getting home, including a cranky grandson, a cranky grandfather…me. But, I went to the studio before 10 p.m. and discovered I had chosen the wrong rotation as part of the programming.
And I missed another ALPB meeting. As consolation, I had a cigar and a rum and coke about 10:15 while listening to the correct doowop rotation…
On the flip side, I am loving RadioDJ more and more as I learn how to manipulate it. The ability to choose rotations and setup rules is pretty cool. It can even run some of my vintage commercials at random as part of a rotation that is appropriate with the music I am playing.
Now, if I could only read and stay focussed while I am programming the next set.
- August 21, 2016 at 10:03 pm #50470
My part 15 station demands a lot of my time and so do I.
It chews up programming and is always running short while I’m trying to get other things done but when the programming goes off the tracks and spills everywhere I can’t concentrate and am forced to baby sit the station.
I came this close (pinching fingers together) to pushing the whole station out on the lawn, but it was while I was trying to cut the grass so, as usual, right in the way.
KDX improves life with its good programming.
KDX gets very annoying when it runs short of good programs.
As a smart woman from Arkansas once said, “How much you got without it?”
- August 22, 2016 at 8:49 am #50473
I currently do not run part15 I am internet only. Today I download a lot of programs to play on my station and later this comming week I will select the days and times for the programs to be played. I still have more programs to download.
- August 22, 2016 at 11:53 am #50474
I have been accumalating for several months. I had a pretty good collection when I started, but I am still adding.
I was talking to my 20 year old son last nite, when the topic of my hobby station came up. He asked if I played the same 10 songs that all the other stations did. He was amazed that I had nearly 9000 songs and was adding daily. Not to mention the Old Time Radio programs that are available by the 1000’s. I like a variety..
- August 22, 2016 at 4:59 pm #50475
I have been diligent about the tags going into the database. The problem Saturday nite was the rotation I chose in my drop down list was simply the wrong one. It was a careless error on my part.
I am taking time to actually add some classification in my music list of tracks that are considered favorites so that they can be give preference in a specific rotation if the need arises.
- August 22, 2016 at 5:32 pm #50477
DJbout it wrote: “I currently do not run part15 I am internet only.”
When you do add a part 15 transmitter you will discover the biggest thrill in life… being on the radio and in charge.
Internet radio is good too and I would like to know the link to your website or station so I can re-broadcast it over KHZ 1640 AM, the Indoor Antenna Experimental Station which will go on the air soon.
In his comment, craigf said: “It was a careless error on my part.”
What I have found after years of experience is that I still make careless errors. So, I finally deal with it by intentionally scheduling a daily careless error.
- August 22, 2016 at 5:44 pm #50478
I agree with Carl. It is a good feel. It is in the air, it is free for all to hear (within range). There are no obligations from them to you. They just listen… maybe!
Internet Streaming is also good, just more involved for the end user. It either costs data or requires some sort of involvement that generally creates an ongoing cost for the enduser…
Its also great to turn on a radio and hear your programming, and your voice (with studio effects added).
- August 23, 2016 at 4:41 am #50492
http://phatbeatsradio.tumblr.com/ if you need the direct stream link let me know??
I play some stuff that might not be good for playing over the air.
- August 23, 2016 at 4:48 am #50493
Great DJboutit, I’ll start listening and thank you for the fair warning about the “words” that might be a problem on the air.
I’m so tempted to be the station that finally says, “The decency rules only apply to licensed stations… they do not apply to part 15 stations.
People all use words to talk everyday, but radio filters their speech why?
Because of the children?
That’s a big laugh. I learned all my dirty words from children.
Anyway, I will listen and let you know about the radio transmission when I get it set up.
- August 23, 2016 at 4:50 am #50494
Thx that would be awosome
- August 23, 2016 at 5:06 am #50495
DJboutit your audio quality is supberb (or is it spelled “superb”?). It sounds excellent.
I heard WRECK-N-EFFECT-Club Head, and caught every “banned” word in the entire book. But what a good track.
SAMS Player probably means you have SAM Broadcaster, which I almost got 2-years ago.
Your website looks sharp…. it is not cluttered or too “busy” like many websites.
The FCC has talked about dropping the word banning for radio… they never made a final decision, so maybe they are still thinking about it. It would make life easier.
Funny thing is it’s legal to lie on radio.
- August 23, 2016 at 8:11 am #50497
Thx for the short review. I am using a program called radioboss it is like Zara Radio it has a feature that allow you to broadcast over the internet. I do hope the FCC does drop the bannded word rule or maybe from 8pm to 6am drop it would be fine.
- August 22, 2016 at 6:50 pm #50479
I know I’m never really satisfied until that signal is on the air, I almost couldn’t care less about streaming online even though it is a nice addition. Come to think of it, I’m reminded my stream has been down for a few days now.
- August 23, 2016 at 12:23 pm #50500
There is currently a Safe Harbor where you can air profanity from 10pm until 6am.
- August 23, 2016 at 3:12 pm #50501
When you get time, I haven’t heard this. Of course, I am not a broadcast radio expert/employee/anything!!!
And, I finally got around to checking out DJboutit web site. The embedded player looks good, and the site has a good feel to it. I listened for a few minutes. Things look and sound good. And that is coming from my world of country music and oldies I live in..
- August 23, 2016 at 5:35 pm #50507
Thx for the kind words about about station.
- August 23, 2016 at 7:27 pm #50512
When the FCC started cracking down on what they considered indecent material the feds and stations got on their case about obstructing free speech. The courts ruled the FCC could not completely remove content from broadcasters but did allow the FCC to restrict this type of content to the overnight hours in an effort to keep the programming away from younger listeners and viewers. Obscene material (mostly sexual stuff) is the only content that is forbidden at all times. After 10 pm though the language barrier is pretty much lifted unless you care about advertisers, just don’t graphically talk about sex or broadcast porn and you’re pretty much good to go.
All that said, none of this applies to part 15 and we can broadcast whatever we please.
Edit: I should note that I believe at some point in time softcore pornography was availble on local TV channels in the 80s, though it was scrambled unless you bought some box so I’m not sure what the rules are there. I do know there was a UHF station in Dallas that carried this service.
- August 23, 2016 at 7:42 pm #50514
Thanks for the clarification. I knew the rules had relaxed because of the content you hear these days. I just wasn’t sure how or why.
And I do remember the subscription UHF days of the 80’s. I was in a fringe area of DFW stations but occasionally as I was tuning various things on TV and radio I would get a glimpse of something between the twisted screens.
- August 23, 2016 at 8:04 pm #50515
I stayed up all night tweaking and detuning trying to catch a glimpse of some action but never could get a useable picture. I’m still disappointed.
- August 23, 2016 at 10:17 pm #50529
CraigF, are you still in Texas? If so where at? I’m in Texoma and have an awesome connect to an area station that is about to unload on a bunch of vintage equipment that was dumpster bound. (This station was THE model station of a broadcast supply company back in the day, the studio was custom designed and fitted with the top of the line gear back in 1973 and still has ALL of that gear, excluding a board they unfortunatly already threw away.)
This offer also extends to you ABMedia.
- August 24, 2016 at 12:50 am #50534
Yes, I am west of you about 150 miles I think give or take a few.
I would have loved to had that board even if it needed work! Shame it was disposed of. I am not sure what I could use, but it sounds interesting at the very least.
If you want, my radio email is firstname.lastname@example.org at your convenience.
- August 26, 2016 at 3:45 pm #50613
On Friday evenings a lot of my friends get together to have a few drinks and catch up on the weeks gossip and mostly just hang out.
Since I have started my programming, they play my station in the background. I try to beef up the programming for the evening. It usually ends up in a few laughs because of some of the spoof commercials I run and because they enjoy giving me a hard time.
But, they keep listening, so I keep going. Of course when you are in the Center Of The Universe, everyone keeps looking in and listening!
- August 27, 2016 at 4:56 am #50632
There was 3 very popular (But Easy) ways to unscramble those UHF stations in the mid-late 70s to around 1983. We had a station in Detroit called ON TV WXON TV 20 in Detroit. Three Crowns Electronics (A mail order outfit that advertised in Popular Electronics and Popular science magazine in the classified ads. Anyways ON TV used a simple Gated Pulse synchronization method and you got the sound by using an oscillator circuit which acted like a BFO (Beat Frequency Oscillator). There was two ways of building this type of descrambler. One was to build a converter that converts UHF 20 to channel 3. then you would inject the BFO for sound and then you had the notch oscillators for the black and white signal and the color burst. Careful tuning of the 3 oscillators you got a perfect lock on the picture as well as perfect sound as you tuned in the sub carrier by using a beat frequency. You could buy a kit or one that was fully assembled for around $200. You could watch a lot of movies that HBO carried and at night they did play porn movies.
The next scrambling mode was made by Zenith SSAVI called phase synchronization and inverted video and you used an LM 565 chip to decode the sound. You could also buy this descrambler already assembled for $300. This one did however change the code for the video at times to where the video was not inverted and the syncc was variable. The front porch and back porch were inverted (crossed). This one I did have myself but I bought the assembled unit for $300.
The next was Sign Wave scrambling where there was a sign wave injected in between the audio and video such as channel 44 in Chicago. All of which you could buy from Three Crowns Electronics.
After around 1980 the FCC eliminated those subscription TV channels when they complained that people could get them for FREE and wanted the FCC to do something. The did alright except it was not in favor of the broadcaster trying to make a fast buck by scrambling a UHF signal for money. They ruled that UHF was never meant to be Pay TV and therefore the end of those channels.
It was loads of fun for me because I had FREE TV and I even could pick DX subscription channels at times too.
- August 27, 2016 at 5:00 am #50634
Oh and profanity and vulgarity on your part 15 station WILL get people to complain to the FCC about you. Hint… Do you homework and you’ll find out why the field strength was lowered in the late 200’s. You’ll have to find this yourself as I’m not about to post this and be ridiculed. Just do the work you’ll see this yourself.
- September 3, 2016 at 2:50 am #50760
I think I finally found a station call sign I will use. I have been searching and everything I found that might have some relation to my station was taken. I will be using KWJT as an identifier. It looks like it might have been used in the past for a short period of time, but is not in use presently.
To eliminate any chance of it being assigned to a licensed station, I may shorten it to KJT.
Comments are welcome, as I am not used to picking something that is usually assigned by the FCC.
- September 3, 2016 at 7:42 am #50762
Sort of the same process I used for mine identifier. What I did was used Google and made sure that was not a used call sign which stood for album Rock for the quarter mile and it
was not actually being used by any other licensed radio station. And the call letters fit.
- September 3, 2016 at 11:00 am #50763
The FCC has something to say about the naming of part 15 stations, but they don’t say it in the part 15 section of the rules, but rather in Part 73.
PART 73_RADIO BROADCAST SERVICES
Sec. 73.3550 Requests for new or modified call sign assignments.
(1) Users of nonlicensed, low power devices operating under part 15 of this chapter may use whatever identification is currently desired, so long as propriety is observed and no confusion results with a station for which the FCC issues a license.
Our comment: As you’ve seen many part 15 radio stations use “K” and “W” call letters similar to those used by licensed stations, but in most cases have taken care not to use the same call sign as currently licensed stations.
We have not heard of any FCC action against a part 15 station over use of a contested call sign.
- September 20, 2016 at 12:46 am #51218
was still on the air and running the programming per individual day as I had setup last week. I listened to the station via my private stream while I was in Colorado, and on the 12 hour drive home yesterday.
After a hard day of riding my dual sport on the passes around Lake City, rolling down a hill after crashing, it was refreshing to hear my voice on my station while having an adult drink and a stogy. Part 15 programming at its best or worst, depends on your point of view!
BTW, I can fly…eyewitnesses, but no video!
- September 20, 2016 at 5:45 pm #51226
Awesome to see your station is coming along!
I just opened a P.O Box and got some business cards for mine.
Edit: For all your callsign needs go here and click on query:
Edit: I almost forgot! I also added Logmein Pro to the on-air computer, that has been a life savor as it lets me remotely log into the machine if a problem arises!
- September 20, 2016 at 7:55 pm #51228
Thanks for the link! And I need to install the remote software. I was thinking about it while I was gone. I really want some more redundancy built into my program server too.
We did have a hiccup with the streamer while I was gone, I noticed that it was offline late Thursday. I called my son in law, and asked him to check the server. Sure enough one my employees ignored the message on the screen that said “do not touch”. It had been logged into another profile so Icecast was offline. A quick restart and login cured the problem.
I jokingly told my friend that works for one of the big conglomerates that this radio hobby was becoming work!! Imagine that!
- September 24, 2016 at 12:59 am #51249
Today, I added some shows to my upcoming schedule. Should be on air the first week of October. 🙂
- September 24, 2016 at 2:40 am #51250
I had some spare time and added some more music tracks and will cut some updated Id’s and information spots tomorrow.
I also ordered a new Mackie fx12 usb mixer. I am wanting to change how I do my voice work.
I hope you are successful getting your station on the air by the first!
Keep us posted!! I am gaining listeners slowly. That just means more work to keep everything current… or is that fun?
- September 24, 2016 at 1:04 pm #51252
Seeing that SSTRAN is missing in action (still no reply after a month), I’ve been trying to make the Talking House work. It just does not look like AM is practical. I have a Veronica 30W FM Stereo Xmitter, but I can’t get it to go less than 1 watt. So that’s out. Not making modifications to that.
Of all the AM units I have seen, this one seems the most affordable and least hassle:
And this one is the best quality (unfortunately it’s 60w, meaning 15W Carrier):
I tell ya guys…the SSTRAN AMT3000/5000 is the best thing going. Too bad about Phil being silent…
- September 24, 2016 at 3:57 pm #51254
I don’t know why its so hard to get a decent AM Transmitter yet FM transmitters are vastly available for cheap.
- September 24, 2016 at 4:56 pm #51255
No AM transmitters are made in China!
All are made in the USA or Canada and a few in Europe and are good quality and need a more elaborate set up.
Less are made.
Decent FM transmitters are more expensive too and are not made in China…Decade(cert.), Broadcastvision(cert.), Panaxis(cert.), EDM, Veronica.
- September 24, 2016 at 7:55 pm #51256
I have first hand experience with the Veronica 30W. I ran it in Florida for 4 straight years until FL passed a law. Felony. That’s a nope. Unplugged it. Been silent ever since.
But boy was that thing clean! The cleanest AM transmitter (I have had several) was the SSTRAN. I have an Orban 424A Comp/Limiter/De-Esser, but I did not need that with the AMT-3000. My Veronica FM needed that punch to keep up with the big boys. It did.
But the SSTRAN has that AGC built-in. It is schweet, too! If I don’t ever hear from SSTRAN, I will be surprised. But I eventually may go with the $295 iAM Radio with the augmented audio. It’s my only choice. The next up would be the ProCaster. Too much $ for me…
- September 26, 2016 at 3:46 pm #51279
The Talking House (iAM) is built in China.
- September 24, 2016 at 8:31 pm #51257
Veronica and EDM transmitters are very good ones indeed and our member who has been granted the Experimental license from the FCC to allow reaserch on FM for 1 Watt has been testing some of these and with different antenna designs with ranges from 1-2 miles indoors with a telescopic antenna and other indoor designs. This is nothing to cry about and could pave the way for a rural Hobby Radio broadcasting service.
Testing some of the CZH (SainSonic) and CZERF (Signstek) transmitters we found some HUGE differences in filtration and performance. SainSonic being a major issue because of its miss matched rubber ducky antenna that with an MFJ analyzer comes out to be at 140 Mhz (Ouch). The noise from the transmitter was caused by the poor antenna that was sold with the transmitter. Connecting a BNC connector to the motherboard instead of the reverse threaded TNC connector (SainSonic’s genius idea) and then using a tuned FM antenna to the frequency of use did clean up the spurs of the SainSonic but didn’t stop the fact that they often try and sell used transmitters that have been reworked. Some of the soldering was a nightmare and their mods to the board were very obvious. SainSonic’s Low power in their 05B is NOT 100mW but -48dbm (11 nanowats) and they tried to say that was part 15 compliant which would be close I’ll give you that).
Signstek (CZERF) transmitters actually come with a manual that clearly says CZERF and they sell their transmitters with a Metal Telescopic Antenna and at the base is what looks to be a loading coil. They did NOT change the power and did not decide to put a reverse connector and uses a standard TNC connector on it. Their 1 Watt capable unit has a FAN to keep this transmitter cool. Tests are being conducted to see how this compares to the SainSonic and others but already we’ve seen a cleaner transmitter with the Signstek (CZERF) than the SainSonic and even the certified Whole House FM Transmitter 3.0. Even at its High Power level it had less hash and FM wipe out than the (Certified) Whole House 3.0 Also and this is running this transmitter at more than 10 times the power of the Whole House FM Transmitter 3.0. Also it should be noted that many certified USA based FM transmitters are modified Chinese units (Decade CM-10) or made by the SAME COMPANY under a different name (Richmond Electronics). We’ve yet to tear into a C. Crane but I’m willing to bet they are actually made in China once you see the circuit board. At least the BH 1415F chip is the same as other transmitters are using which has its own pre emphasis circuit in it.
Again China’s QC department is not as good as the USA’s and their transmitters vary a lot in their batches. Even folks who own C. Crane FM Transmitters have complained about the faulty antenna connection and again this can and often will cause spurious emissions in itself for the faulty antenna connections cause a miss match. If Hobby FM Broadcasting is to be allowed with a different service these toys just won’t cut it. You could not just simply boost the C. Crane to 1 Watt and call it good. It would have to be so that it had the proper filtration.
- September 26, 2016 at 5:12 pm #51280
The iAM is certainly the odd one out of the bunch as well, it has a few pros that make it pretty nifty, but the shortcomings become a problem as you try to expand your station. The iAM is stupid easy to setup and many of their units put out near 100% of the allowed power. However their frequency stability makes nighttime listening difficult and impossible to sync future transmitters. For what you end up spending on an iAM unit to attempt to reach the ProCaster and Rangemaster’s levels you’re almost better off saving the money now and buying the real deal later.
- September 26, 2016 at 7:31 pm #51284
And along the same lines of discussion, concerning transmitters, I want a AMT5000, but do not have the patience to wait for months to take delivery.
I have a site across town that is wanting to host a transmitter setup. I have even researched the low end Barix Instream 100-110 series. They seem to fit the bill and are cheaper than messing with a laptop or computer.
Support is growing for my little hobby station. The idea of having a locally run station is very well received.
I may need to rethink my strategy and become part of the problem on FM with a low power commercial station instead of LPFM.
- September 26, 2016 at 7:53 pm #51285
I noticed a customer walk over to a radio I keep playing in my front office. It of course is for my enjoyment, but can be heard at times if you are in the right place. I watched him on camera and I noticed he was looking at the dial.
I walked up and asked if if he like what he heard. He was grinning and said oh yes, I just need to tune it in. I told him to enjoy the 1/2 mile of solid coverage I have. 100 milliwatts of rip snorting raw power!
Another listener…he works for the City and should be in range most of the day.
- September 26, 2016 at 11:30 pm #51286
I’m retired so I spend the days sitting outside on the porch with a radio of course listening to my station and the mail girl came to deliver a parcel to me and seemed to pause to listen for a moment and I said do you like what you hear? She said yes and I told her that every day when you are around this area and at the mail boxes turn the radio in your truck to 90.7 and enjoy!…you’ll hear me being DJ also. Yes I will she said, so I have a part time listener. Seemed impressed that I was broadcasing on the radio.
- September 27, 2016 at 2:25 am #51287
almost worth it. I am starting to see proof of what I have said for a few years that a local station would be well received here if some work went into it.
The question is if it would be financially self supporting or profitable if it were a LPFM or even low power commercial. I can’t answer that, so I am going to go forward slowly and have fun…
- September 27, 2016 at 12:15 pm #51291
Hi Guys, For all practical purposes a LPFM makes no money. The coverage area is small so you work just to break even. LPFM’s are non-commercial so nothing more than underwriting is permitted. LPFM’s are a labor of love.
- September 28, 2016 at 1:27 pm #51305
That is what I am learning after asking questions. I am ok with that to some extent, but as I told someone the other day, I can program for myself and not have the headaches of keeping things current for everyone else.
I see no real transition path from LPFM to commercial broadcast. It looks like you start over, except for maybe experience gained.
I have heard some real aggressive underwriting techniques on a non-commercial (not LPFM) station in a town about 100 miles south of me. The seem to be doing ok and the parent company has several stations in the DFW area if memory serves me.
Everything always leads back to one thing… money, lack of it usually!
- September 27, 2016 at 4:24 am #51290
Sense I rent an apartment which is actually a 4 Plex I get visitors. Some actually hear my voice over the radio and wonder what the heck I am doing. I tell them that I haven’t internet radio station and give them the website as well as let them know that if they are within range they will hear me on FM on 100.1 Mega Hertz.
Recently a 15 year old neighbor boy heard my station. He said that he like the type of music that I was playing I was actually surprised that he listened to other formats other than top 40 and rap. I told him that my station is a different sort of radio station in the fact that we are an album rock station. I let him know about the wonderful genre of album Rock and how much more creative it is as opposed to the hit music that is played on everyday radio stations. He made a request for the Charlie Daniels Band which I was glad to play. He says no one ever plays that anymore other than the Devil Went Down to Georgia and I heard something that I’ve never heard in a long time. I told him to keep on listening because he’ll hear lots of stuff that he normally will not here. Luckily his houses probably less than a hundred feet away so he has a really good signal. his mom who is a cancer patient Love’s album Rock and classic rock and said this was the best thing she has heard in a long time. It made me smile knowing that I was able to bring something back that has been dying for such a long time in the radio Market. This is why I am so strong held in trying to bring about a separate service called hobby broadcasting.
I actually have a friend who has talked to me about trying to do a bigger radio project. Maybe we could rent a piece of property next to an apartment complex. Then we could get a good am transmitter like a rangemaster or an AMT 5000. We could have the 10-foot antenna and everything set up just right and our range would cover a good couple of miles if we did it right. This would be really nice for folks in this Rural town and we could do different programming during different times of the day. Maybe even have military news or news articles that help disabled folks. Something a little different though that’s what it calls for.
- October 19, 2016 at 6:32 pm #51593
Doug here. Yep! The SSTRAN AMT-3000 has arrived! What have I done to my Part 15 station…hmmm. Well, I hooked up and calibrated my Orban 424-A comp/limiter. I may use that in place of the SSTRAN’s processing. We’ll see. I may change frequency. At night, WFME (1560 AM) comes in. I DXed that the other night.
WFME-1560 is a religious-formatted broadcast radio station located in New York City; it operates as a Class A station on a clear channel frequency with 50,000 freakin’ watts (50 kilowatts) of power.The station is owned and operated by Family Radio, a Christian radio ministry based in Oakland, California. The station’s studios and offices are located in West Orange, New Jersey, and its transmitters are based in the Maspeth section of the New York City borough of Queens.
So, I may go up or down from there a notch or two. As I said, if I can reach downtown Augusta the way the Talking House unit did, with just the wire hanging out the window (!), I be GOLDEN! The damn thing went half a mile! Where I am, that covers a LOT! So come on, SSTRAN, make me proud!
I have a slew of KLW jingles. See, what I did was, I edited the CKLW jingle package! I used Cool Edit Pro 2.1. I lopped off the “C”, leaving “KLW” in the clear! It works for me! I need to run across jingles with them singing 1510, 20, 30, 40, 50, 70, and 90. One of those should be clean at night.
So, building the 3000 is next. No hurry on that. It is such an easy build! I don’t understand the fear some have of this build. Just the basic, rudimentary soldering skills are needed. The instructions could be followed by a grade-schooler! I love doing this! I might buy the AMT-5000 just for the challenge! Ha! Besides, that is a gem! That is Phil’s best work, there. Can’t let that one go by!
- October 19, 2016 at 7:12 pm #51595
Any particular reason you are avoiding being above 1600? If old radios are your target most should tune to 1610 which would be a heck of a lot clearer at night. I’ve tried running in the 1500 range but found nighttime coverage to be extremely rough, which did provide me a “daytimer” part 15 setup that complimented my X-Band signal for older radios.
- October 19, 2016 at 8:27 pm #51601
Well, 1610 is TIS Turnpike Info. But a lot of radios do not tune that high. What, 1605? Something like that? The new HeathKit AM Explorer radio goes up to 1650. But I had 1560 from the start. I had no idea about that 50K blowtorch in NY. I figured that is where my night time signal went.
At night, I barely get downtown. Now I know why. Daytime is fine. Orban feeding the TH gave me a loud, clear signal. Until that thing fizzled. Now the SSTRAN gets the test. And ya know…
No reason why I can’t try 1630 or 1640. Right now, the only thing I have that tunes that high is my Denon AM/FM Tuner. I plug that into a cassette deck locked into REC mode. I measure the average modulation on a strong AM station here (1340), and calibrate to that. A good DIY modulation monitor!
- October 19, 2016 at 9:21 pm #51605
I am running an AMT3000. I was running a TH 5. I actually get more distance from the AMT3000 with the loading coil built using the design on SSTRAN’s website than I did with the TH 5 and a 102 in whip at the exact same height and location.
My coverage, at a height of app. 18ft, on top of a metal roof is 1/2 mile solid coverage (daylight/straightline measurement) in most vehicles all directions. I can hear it beyond that, and have heard it 2 miles out in one direction, but it was just perceptable.
The audio quality of the AMT3000 is hands down, way beyond anything the TH 5 ever did.
I have a Hamilton Rangemaster sitting behind me, just waiting on all the pieces for the install in the next few days. I hope that it works as well as everyone says it does!
Good luck with your project, keep us posted… BTW, building the antenna system on the SSTRAN website really makes a difference in range.
- October 20, 2016 at 4:23 pm #51615
Oh, yes, Craig! I already love the little box! I plan on just “the wire out the window”. Not sure how that’s gonna pan out. My last 3000 went three or four blocks with just the wire! That’s at ground level. I’m up on the second floor overlooking downtown. The Talking House 5.0 easily covered that and went a half mile out, but terrible audio. Like a telephone…
In the past, I built the Vectronics AM transmitter:
The 1290K sounded FAR superior to the Talking House! Not a bad unit for $30! Ya gotta get the case for it though! It’s a fun build! The SSTRAN is way superior though. But the first kit I ever assembeled, transmitter-wise was similar to this:
I sent an inquiry to this address:
P O Box 3203
Scottsdale AZ 85271
The Stereocaster is an FM stereo transmitter kit based on the BA1404
chip with a few milliwatts of output power ($29.95 plus $4 S & H). It
has a smooth fine-tuning control which makes it easy to get on the
exact frequency you want, and a voltage regulator which improves
stability. It has been reported that the signal strength can be
increased by replacing the supplied output transistor with an MRF581.
The Stereocaster is more stable than Ramsey’s famous FM-10.
It was a good little unit. But Vectronics improved that a bit with a few mods, but still had the basic BA1404. It needs filtering. I was never impressed with Ramsay. I built the AM-1 and the AM-25. Toys. The Talking House was my serious intro to Part 15. The SSTRAN just galvanized it for me.
My BA1404 FM unit had the signal strength increased by replacing the supplied output transistor with an MRF581. I had a Comet 95SL vertical 5/8 antenna, 30 feet in the air. I put out about a mile, clean.
Then, not satisfied, I bought the Veronica FM Stereo 30-Watt. I was very happy for four years.
Florida passed a law though. All these transmitters now spelled trouble as far as I was concerned. Even Part 15 could land me with a felony! That’s a nope. I lost everything in a foreclosure anyway. I managed to keep my Veronica 30W, but lost the antenna and cable.
Here in Maine, I find I don’t need FM. I inherited a BRAND NEW Talking House unit and set up AM 1560 KLW a number of years ago. That unit got wet from the rain and died. Then I bought another one on eBay, a brand new TH5.0. Now that is dead after little more than a year!
Here we go again! The SSTRAN is a more rugged unit methinks. I might just order another 3000 as a backup seeing that I don’t know how long Phil plans on doing this.
- October 20, 2016 at 5:20 pm #51620
That is a great post about what you have done over the years! Mentioning the Ramsey kit , reminded me of the one I built years ago when I lived NC. I was so unimpressed with the output and sound quality, I can’t even find it now! Pretty sure I gave it to someone to tinker with. I also tabled part 15 for 14 years as a result. Yes, I was expecting much more!
It is a shame that Florida passed such a restrictive law when more important things need attention.
Here in Texas, my little town has really embraced my project. I am asked daily what I am doing next to improve signal and what kind of off the wall personalalized programming I will be airing. I am more concerned about the FCC than the town officials are… So, I keep it legal..at least in my interpretation.
I wanted a AMT5000, I sent a couple of emails and got no response. So I bought a used Rangemaster off of ebay. It looks good, but I am waiting on a crystal for it, so I have not implemented it yet. I may still purchase a AMT5000 kit to do a comparison in the future. I would like to see more AM stereo opportunities also. I love AM, always have…but I live in the past.
Keep us posted concerning your progress. I really hope you get the coverage and listeners!!!
- October 21, 2016 at 1:27 pm #51632
Keith still has a few crystals on hand. Agreed, you are going to love the Rangemaster and you will never go back to any other transmitter. I like mine so much I’m thinking of getting another one. The Dallas FCC office is extremely Part 15 AM friendly. Read into that as you will. *wink*
- October 21, 2016 at 3:41 pm #51634
Keith was very prompt in answering my questions and got my order out pretty fast. I estimate it will be here today or Monday. I am going to remove my current transmitter toolbox from the roof and mount the Rangemaster on the roof in a slightly different location.
I am working out the ground details. That is one of the problems with the roof mount.
I would prefer it be ground mounted, but I can’t get it in the clear at my house or at work, and though it would be safe at the house, here at work, the roaming meth heads would probably steal it if it were mounted at ground level.
I am doing my best to keep it legal, I am hoping that when/if the guys from Dallas show up, that my efforts to comply with their desires results in a positive outcome. I have even left a visible note on the door nearest the transmitter with my contact info.
- October 24, 2016 at 2:22 pm #51675
Awesome Craig! One Step closer to getting another Texas station on the air. The Folks in Dallas are pretty friendly, pending how far you are from DFW/Denton the likelyhood of them stopping by is pretty low but best to keep it up to snuff in case. The Dallas office for the most part just hunts for FM activity. Oddly the Dallas office doesn’t seem all that active, I’m not sure if the area is just clear of pirates or what.
My transmitter is on a pole in the yard, most folks are confused by it. They are about to be a heck of a lot more confused when my 8 foot satellite dish goes up behind it.
- October 26, 2016 at 10:19 pm #51731
On top of my warehouse. I didn’t get to put it where I had intended because of structural design of the building. I will have a bit more trouble with running cables etc. As usual, a 30 minute job turned into 1 hour and 30 minutes. I will hopefully get time to run some cables tomorrow and begin my tune up and testing by the weekend.
- October 27, 2016 at 6:00 am #51734
My transmitter is contained inside a watertight box at the base of my antenna system and I routinely monitor the DC supply current to the system. I noted that the current had fallen quite a bit from the normal reading and investigated. The RF power output of the transmitter was only 1/4 of what it should be so I opened the box to discover that water was standing on the PC board. I think it got in via the power/audo cable which is sealed at the box but open at the other end and the water probably wicked up between the conductors and the sheath. Anyay, I dried the board and box contents and it is back to normal.
- October 27, 2016 at 12:03 pm #51736
My current transmitter is in a small truck tool box on the roof (Yes I carried it up there). I needed the size for the TH5 I was originally using, and left it when I switched to the AMT3000 (I could mount a lot of stuff in there). It has worked well for supporting the loading coil and whip I use.
When I built the loading coil, I put an alligator clip on the lead wire that attaches to the coil taps. I meant to take it off after tuning, but I never brought a soldering iron to the roof with me. It has begun to corrode, so periodically, I get to go up there and wiggle it around to make sure it is making full power. If I were continuing to use it, I would actually solder the connection.
The other morning, it was damp outside and power was greatly reduced. I suspected the usual problem, so I got the ladder out and on the roof I go. When I got up there a spider was between the tap I use and the nearest tap. It was wet, and I guess it was shorting out the connection. It was hit and miss for a few seconds as we fought for the right to use the tap I had claimed. I won, and normal coverage was resumed.
- October 28, 2016 at 1:13 am #51744
I had time to run a cat 5 cable and get everything cabled up. I brought it on line in conjunction with the AMT3000 nearby late this afternoon. They actually beat together, I was expecting distortion, heterodyne etc. This warrants further tests!!!
The radio I had on the roof with me to listen to the signal was overpowered until I removed its antenna, (with both units running) which then cleared the signal up.
I then removed power from the AMT3000 and did a drive around town.
I haven’t seen a significant improvement over the AMT3000 yet, but I also need to do some tweaking to the Rangemaster.
I think my loading coil /antenna combination on the AMT3000 was working to the max efficiency of available power to the antenna, so I am not surprised. Yet, I was hoping for more.
Over the next few days, I will fine tune things a bit further, rework some grounding issues I am not happy with, and report back. I also need to take a different voltmeter to the install. The one I was using is an autorange unit, and I had trouble peaking the match, it does not show the digits floating more than one or two places behind the decimal. I will dig in my stack and either carry an old analogue unit or one that is a bit more primitive when I go back up.
Good news is, it still sounds good, and I didn’t lose any coverage.
Comments or thoughts are welcome. This is a roof install, metal roof on a large building. Current height is about 6 ft above the roof. Total height above ground is about 18 ft. Would prefer a ground mount (I am tired of the ladders), but a clear lot is not available where I can provide a secure install.
- October 29, 2016 at 8:17 pm #51773
To another computer for streaming instead of streaming direct from RadioDJ (which works great). This will allow me to break the audio to both the transmitter and the stream for either live DJ work or my upcoming weather alert capabilities.
I am still working out the bugs on the transmitter upgrade. I am going to relocate the system next week to another section of the building with easier access to a suitable/hopefully FCC compliant ground.
Ironically, while I was testing the live microphone mix.. I received a text asking what I was babbling about. Nothing like a live upgrade when you have listeners and no backup control room.
- October 20, 2016 at 4:55 pm #51618
Craig, you are going to LOVE that Hamilton Rangemaster! It’s a beast to set up. You need to be up in a cherry picker to tune it. It has to be where it will be permanently mounted, to tune it right. Once that’s done…that’s it! Lucky you. A Hamilton Rangemaster! Drool!
- October 30, 2016 at 3:08 pm #51774
Haven’t really done anything for my station in weeks and weeks, other than making a mess, cleaning it up, and occasionally adding a piece of gear here and there. The typical stuff.
I’ve decided that it’s time to expand the studio considerably. The studio actually has a small couch along one wall. It’s on it’s way out. That wall will be lined with another work desk that runs nearly the length of the wall. I always build my own so I can get exactly what I want — mostly 2×4’s and a top from that pre-made shelf/table stop stuff from Home Depot. Then I can make cutouts to go around things like radiators and windows (the house is 100+ years old so the windows are tall and run from below desk level about 5 inches to about 6 inches from the 10′ ceilings). This desk will be about 7 feet by 24 inches. this will become the “live” side of the studio. The opposing side is where I do all recording, which includes tons of voice overs for clients, as well as produce commercials and PSA’s for my Part 15, and produce the Oompah Hour, etc. The new side will be specifically for show production and live on air work, while the other side will remain the “production” side of the room. Besides live on the air it will be used for “live” show productioin — the Oompah Hour is recorded straight through as a live show, even though it’s pre-recorded, but it’s performed live from beginning to end.
The new desk will be set up with an Arrakis ARC-8 mixer, two new Stanton turntables, Stanton CD player, rackmount digital recorder, RE20 Electrovoice mic, and other typical stuff. A nice thing about all this is I’ll finally have room for an equipment rack, so gear that’s just stacked here and there will have a home. It’s gonna be a pain in the butt for a few weeks but should add a ton of functionality.
I’m about to launch another syndicated program and it will be easier with a smoother way to DJ a show with all records, than the hodge podge setup I use for the Oompah Hour. Oh, this will also include a bit more storage for LP’s. The polka records have pretty much taken over the room! I’ll try to remember to post a pic when I get a chance.
This all happening with a ton of stuff going on at work — building a new air studio for a new station, replacing a 40+ year old 100,000 watt FM transmitter, replacing a 50 pound RF module in an AM transmitter, and the general insanity of an election year and the launch of Christmas right after Halloween! Busy boy around here!
- October 30, 2016 at 6:07 pm #51777
BTW, I am airing your halloween dungeon show tonight right after the polka show. May re-air the dungeon show Monday night also since we will have tricker treaters around town.
My studio is my office at work, which is my real job. I have a folding table behind my desk with my mixers, the RADIODJ laptop, and now a streaming laptop. I haven’t worked up to turntables yet or cds etc. Simply not enough room! I move everything into the music database on the laptop and pull from there.
My production work is done on my office computer and I just upload across the network into the RADIODJ database. It also has a limited amount of programming material to carry me thru the occasional reboot or a failure of the RADIODJ laptop.
As this progresses, I have another area in my building cluster that I have picked out for the control / production room. That is provided I reach my goal of licensed broadcast in the future. Provided I get that far, it will have all the goodies a real station should have.
I noticed you are using a Electrovoice mic, I need to commandeer one. I have a couple of low end mics that sound ok, but to get the sound I want, I have to crowd them, and if I turn my head slightly, the sound changes. I have told myself, I am not stealing anything else from the ham radio room to carry to the broadcast station !!!
As a side note, today I began work on two really nice Magnavox vintage consoles. One of my great aunts is moving into a retirement home at 83 years of age.
She wanted a cousin of mine and I to have the consoles. One is early 70’s with separate amp (guessing 50-100 old style watt rating) built into the cabinet. It is a monster and will run you out of the room at half power. Both are early solid state. I was actually hoping for tube equipment. I have an old tube early Zenith that I need to recap…just haven’t got to it.
The other console is middle/early 60s’ with 15″ woofers and metal tweeter fired at 45 deg into the corners. It is also a power house, but with different low end response and highs. The lows don’t sustain as long as the early 70’s model, but are really strong and distinct.
I spent the morning checking electronics/ cleaning pots and fired them up. They are very near my AM transmitter so they really make my part 15 station sound good. Nearly as good as the C.Crane fm transmitter I also use in the building to monitor the internet stream.
One of the consoles is going into my office for on the air feed monitor. The other is going to my cousins office across town after I rework the record changer.
- October 31, 2016 at 5:23 pm #51782
Out of curiosity I hooked up a talking house power supply (19V) to my Rangemaster.
The results are nice and allowed for better clarity than the stock supply (16V) has provided.
The best bass response by far has come from my bench supply which operates at 13.8V at 5A. I cannot remember the amp rating of the TH supply and I THINK the RM PS is 500mA or 1000mA.
I would like to buy a Variable output supply that can run at higher voltages than 13.8V, there are a few on Amazon I’m keepin’ my eye on.
- October 31, 2016 at 5:35 pm #51783
On the other end of the spectrum I have a 7.5 foot dish to put up in the yard for some C band stuff I need off AMC-8. Plus a 3foot ku dish for Galaxy 19 programming.
- October 31, 2016 at 10:46 pm #51785
I kicked off the first-ever broadcast of “Radio Free Connecticut”, my little station, today. Sounds pretty good to me!! 😀
- November 1, 2016 at 12:28 am #51786
I have had a lot of fun with my little station. It really is cool, when someone shows up and says they are listening to it. And with such low power, it is work to listen at times..
I did nothing today to better the station, just the usual daily updates to keep programming moving forward.
- November 2, 2016 at 4:37 am #51796
I did absolutely nothing to my station today or yesterday or …yeah i am slacking.
Not really slacking, just have a ton of not so great things happen lately that has put a damper on plans for my part 15 and experimental license project.
I was hoping to at least get a more permanent antenna up for the SSTran before the snow flies here in E.Ky , hopefully the Old Farmers Almanac is correct (they usually are) about us having a mild winter this year.
Maybe i can wedge in some time to install the antenna with a suitable coil soon.
My plans were to have an easy disconnect between the transmitter and antenna so that i can use the sstran for the experiments.
Life tends to get hectic , dont it?
Barry of BBR Yardwide
- November 2, 2016 at 7:31 pm #51801
This thread could go on and on just like the thread about what’s playing now!
Received a CD in MP3 files of all Chickenman episodes and am in the process of getting them(at least 100 of them) onto my playlist picked at random in the mix.
For those not familiar with Chickenman, the greatest crime fighter the world has ever known also known as the feathered fighter and the winged warrior, was short 2 1/2 minute commedy-like radio plays created by a Chicago radio station in 1966 and was syndicated on 1500 radio stations in the 60s and 70s. All the parts were played by 2 people who had acting experience and could sound like different people. Dick Orkin was the creator and narrator.
You can look up Chickenman radio series and get the history and hear some episods.
- November 2, 2016 at 8:56 pm #51802
I was hoping when I started this thread to generate some activity by encouraging everyone to share what they are doing at their Part 15. We learn about their equipment, programming etc. Almost like a bread crumb trail if someone is doing research on how to do it.
I like the sound of the chickeman episodes. I will look into that myself. It probably would be a good fit for my station.
The only thing I did on my station today was update some news broadcasts, and I am still working out the audio feed to the Rangemaster. I have determined it is definately not getting the audio level it needs to be 100 % effective. I can’t push more drive to it from the mixer because I overdrive the stream computer … I will hopefully catch a inovonics or compatible in the near future.. As a side note, I didn’t have this problem with the AMT3000
I am going up on the roof to make sure I have maxed out the audio gain on the transmitter. I may install an elevator soon!
- November 6, 2016 at 2:01 pm #51836
The couch is gone from the studio! My daughter and her significant other removed it yesterday.
Lumber has been purchased.
Today I will commence to frame in the new workspace, hopefully get the desktop in place, and maybe even start to set equipment in place, getting it off the floor, and every other flat surface where I could pile things up!
- November 6, 2016 at 3:31 pm #51839
Be sure and photograph the progress!
I am in the studio today updating the weeks programming. I am also updating the daily weather and contemplating a motorcycle ride. We have a Toys for Tots event coming up, and I need to plot a path thru some rural areas. We have a 60% chance of rain today increasing as the day progresses. I know this because my staff meteorologist said it on the radio!!
I did snag an inexpensive DBX 266 from Ebay. I am hoping to level out some of my audio problems since the transition to the Hamilton Rangemaster. It sounds great at times, then not so great later… In my opinion, the Hamilton is a great device. But, I miss the features of the AMT3000, like built in compression. I am using more devices now to get the same sound quality.
I am now off to update the weeks nightly programming…
- November 7, 2016 at 12:38 pm #51853
I’ve used the DBX266, its not a bad little unit but you will be dissapointed if that is all you are using for the airchain. I got pretty respectable results using it paired with an Aphex Compellor.
You might be using more equipment but don’t be discouraged, you are going to get a far superior audio product than the AMT could ever hope to deliver with built in processing. My current recommendation is the new Inovonics 223 for some good serious processing that won’t break the bank compared to other pro-grade gear. The hamilton can sound really great when fed with the right gear. At the moment I’m running an Aphex Compellor into an Inovonics 222 with great results, without the 222 the signal seemed to sound a bit dull compared to the others. (That being said you will be amazed how LOUD you can get with a DBX266 tied to an Aphex Compellor, it’ll be slightly dull but it’ll blow the doors off your car)
- November 7, 2016 at 2:49 pm #51854
I am gaining one step at a time! Hopefully one will pop up that meets the budget requirements before long. If not, I may have to twist off and buy new!
Right now, I am just hoping to get some consitency. My stream computer handles the differences in audio levels, but the transmitter side does not, and I am having to drive it pretty hard to get close to where it needs to be for volume level. It doesn’t sound bad, but not great. And of course, a lot of that depends on what radio you are using.
The old Magnavox consoles I am working on make it sound great.
- November 7, 2016 at 5:57 pm #51855
I use a Symetrix 421 (mono) Expander/Compressor/Limiter in my audio chain and it has great sound – pretty amazing, in fact, considering that I only paid around $25 for it on e-bay. Usually they’re more than that but it’s old enough to be able to snag one relatively cheaply if something comes up for aution (everyone is after the type of equipment that Mighty mentions!).
I’ve used an Inovonics 222, and to my ear, the Symetrix doesn’t sound all that much different.
- November 7, 2016 at 6:29 pm #51857
I have no experience with the broadcast compression equipment, so I am at a loss.
I will add that to my list of possiblities!
- November 7, 2016 at 8:49 pm #51861
“(everyone is after the type of equipment that Mighty mentions!)”
Man, ain’t that the truth lol! Industry standard equipment tends to get hard to come by affordably. I’ve heard of the Symetrix stuff, used to be very common in radio studios and is still in use at many stations. I’d venture to say the 421 is more similar to the Aphex Compellor. The Ino222 is for the most part just a compliance processor with a brickwall limiter. The 223 is a full-blown processor.
For those of you that CAN access the HB site there are a few audio demonstrations of my Part 15 with various audiochain configurations. They will be listed as “KDSX” or Mighty 1650.
- November 7, 2016 at 10:27 pm #51863
The Inovonics 222 is a add on compliance box, to make old gear nrsc compliant, in regards to spectral mask.
Used barefoot it sounds awful, any more than a couple of db limiting, and it soon gets squashy, and the pre emp limiter is very noticeable.
The 222 does need some compressor before it, so as to limit the 222 range as above.
I see that the Inovonics 223 is a multi broadcast processor, so can be configured for AM and Fm.
On Am how does the 223 stack up against the 235 3 band nrsc box ?
I suspect the performance for nrsc is very similar.
- November 8, 2016 at 1:09 pm #51870
From what I’ve been able to hear the 223 sounds fantastic.
- November 8, 2016 at 9:47 pm #51874
Have you thought of processing in software, it can be convenient if you’re just using a computer as your studio for playlists and IDs. One I like is Sonos Limit, and it’s free, just add to any Windows computer.
Some software can take audio from your mixer to the line-in on the audio card, process it in the comptuer, then send the processed through the line-out to the transmitter. What you’d use would depend on the situation and whether you have a live studio or not.
I like Sonos Limit, and this video talks about it, and includes links to Sonos and Vwestlife’s presets, which I find to be quite good:
It’s a wideband processor and it’s not going to hard limit your audio and still sound good, but it will control it to an even level and will help with things like uncontrolled sibilences clipping in the transmitter, giving a smoother sound.
With Vwestlife’s Radio.FMT preset, differences in levels song to song are reduced, but without ruining the dynamics or distorting.
- November 10, 2016 at 3:27 pm #51890
My experience with computers is that they require rebooting at inopportune times. I am already using more computers for this project than I want. I like hardware/appliances when I can use them….besides the blinky lights entertain me!!!
I should also note that RadioDJ has a built in compression/AGC mode. It works, but not as well as I think it should.
External computer driven software might be a good temporary solution, although my DBX 266XL is definately helping! I will offer more details in upcoming posts.
- November 10, 2016 at 3:44 pm #51892
I cabled up the transmitter side to the DBX-266XL late yesterday and I am still fine tuning today. It definately helped. I heard a track that I know needs some enhancing, and it brought the sound level up… I also see it backing things down.
The Xmit side sounds better, though I didn’t gain any terrestrial coverage, I didn’t lose any from lack of audio drive to the transmitter.
Further, I am not getting distortion from overdriving the transmitter which was a problem with some tracks.
Still tweaking a bit.. and would love a Inovonics to complete the package..
- November 11, 2016 at 4:36 am #51894
Vwestlife’s video is great for showing how the Limit software works, but not as good for our real time use in broadcasting.
I’ve made quick portable systems with just a laptop fed to the transmitter. On the laptop a player like Zara is feeding through Virtual Audio Cable to Sonos Limit, out to the headphone jack, so it’s all self contained.
I agree, if you have a studio and want to pass its audio through processing to a transmitter, might as well use a hardware box if you like the sound of what you have, and it will probably save power, space, etc.
I’ve done pass through, using a computer as a processor, and that’s useful if you want higher end sound without paying much. Personally I’ve found that the AGC/compressors in most DJ software aren’t broadcast quality, where Limit is made for broadcasting.
I don’t know about RadioDJ, but I’ve tried Zara’s AGC, SAM’s (not sure which version), OTS DJ and others that all seem to be heavy handed on the sound, hearing the gain changing, hiss rising and things like that. That might be good if you want a classic radio sound, but I was looking for something cleaner on my wide rangeing format.
Turning the AGC off in the player and piping the player into Limit I was able to get what I wanted, and adjust the processing level, gate and limiting.
You can turn on pre-emphasis, which is used in broadcasting, along with an HF limiter and clipper, which keeps the amount of treble boost controlled. AM-FM broadcasting uses 75us emphasis as standard in the US.
Limit also has a low pass filter to cut off high frequencies, and it’s one thing I don’t like, AM Wide setting cuts off too much for my radios, I think because it’s for European 9 khz station spacing, as I believe the author, John Burnill, is from Italy. I keep the low pass on FM setting instead.
- November 11, 2016 at 2:27 pm #51899
AM actually doesn’t use 75us emphasis, they use a similar curve of NRSC-R10.
- November 11, 2016 at 9:44 pm #51902
Bring back 15 kilohertz!
I might not have seen the latest revision, have to check that out. I should know these things, I’m steeped in AM culture and tech, but part fifteen is my undoing because I can stretch out and don’t have to worry about ‘masks’ and all of that.
I remember well when NRSC’s original curve was published in Radio World, the 75 us boost right up to near 10 khz and then dropped off. It was good in theory but hard to achieve and the peak would cause transmitter audio circuits to ring, even solid state transmitters.
There were steely sounding voices that I thought were caused by the 10 khz peak. I even thought that helped on narrower receivers in a twisted way, because the ringing would help the sibilences last longer, but it sounded artificial and annoying on wideband radios after a while. The circuits in the recievers might have been adding to the ringing too, like in the IF.
Later they modified it with a little flat tail where the peak used to be, it rounds the peak off, and to compensate for the tail at the receiver, the de-emphasis network was slightly changed. That might be spec, but most radios are poorer. AMAX radios are probably done to spec, and better AM stereo tuners try.
- November 11, 2016 at 10:38 pm #51903
I have been testing with c-quam, and with the Orban 9100b/2 optimod, i am able to test full nrsc spec, as well as the full 12.5 khz bandwidth too, and using the proper nrsc blue eq pre emphasis on both.
My receiver is a Carver tx-11a, with the 10k notch filter bypassed, as has the proper nrsc de-emphasis.
As the tuner has switchable in/out for the de emphasis, i am able to sweep the tx flat, and receive flat response, with the tuners de-emp out, and in this mode it tests flat to 15khz.
Firstly removal of the tuners 10k notch does get rid of the filters annoying ringing, and makes the hf response more pleasant to listen to.
As the nrsc de-emphasis is a shelving type, the top end above 10k has less attenuation than a fixed 75us de-emphasis, so does sound more open, so the processor does not have to deal with more high end boost, and clipping, that fm processing has to.
Also as the processing is done in sum and difference, rather than left/right, i has a more fuller effect, and increasing the positive peaks above 100% does add a sense of brightness and detail, but overdone can cause harshness.
- November 11, 2016 at 11:45 pm #51904
Added about 25 more songs onto the already huge playlist and found an obscure recording of Bobby Vee with the Shadows from 1959(Cliff Richard’s band from England).
Have a good selection of Chickenman episodes now.
Have so many songs that the same song won’t be heard till days later even when listening all the time.
- November 12, 2016 at 1:11 am #51905
I don’t think the Shadows group that Bobby Vee recorded with and that you reference was the British Shadows, who backed Cliff Richard. Vee got his start, filling in for Buddy Holly just after he perished in that plane crash, and HIS Shadows came from his High School (and included his older brother Bill).
Vee did record with a number of high profile instrumental bands, including the Crickets, and the Ventures – one of my favorite songs of his was from the album Bobby Vee Meets the Ventures – What Else Is New (With You), which wasn’t a hit.
- November 12, 2016 at 2:05 am #51906
I dug out my 13.560 MHz oscillator chip and fired it up. Putting an audio transformer in series with the power lead, I’m able to amplitude modulate the carrier and it sounds OK.
With just a 3 foot piece of wire attached to the output pin, I can hear the signal on a portable about 300 feet.
Someday I’ll cook up a buffer amp/output stage to clean it up although the 2nd harmonic barely shows up on the receiver next to it.
That’s what I did today. One of many unfinished projects…
- November 12, 2016 at 1:36 pm #51907
Hi guys! Doug here. What can I do with no transmitter? Plenty!
Well, if you’re wondering, yeah, the 3000 is half-built. I ran into a snag. I put the thing away until I figure a sure-fire fix. I still haven’t replaced all the tools I used to have before the foreclosure…so….
I bought a Spitfire on eBay. It’ll be here in a few days. I need a back-up anyway. So I will let you know how it works out. Range right now is not important. Clean, buzz-free audio IS. And that brings up my next problem. The Dell Inspiron 1500 laptop I’m using for music playback and stuff. I call it my “noise box”.
I need to hit the pawn shop and find a small Windows 7 laptop, tablet-whatever…Something that plays Zara Radio. Music right now is not as much of a problem as spoken word. It’s a hum/buzz with a motor running sound. It’s the sound card. No biggie. Just more $$$ to spend!
I got lucky. I recovered my entire CD collection! When I worked at Oldies 95, they dumped their entire CD library in the dumpster! The TM Century Gold Disc 3 series! By contract, when they went all digital, they had to trash the CDs. So, I dug ’em outta the dumpster! Lucky break!
Then I went to work for Renda Broadcasting. They did the same thing! The entire Country and Groovin’ Oldies, 70’s and 80’s music! An Alternative Rock library as well called The Album Network (some 60 Cds). That’s 90’s stuff. I also started a collection of Smooth Jazz (saxophone) such as Michael Lington, Mindi Abair, etc…
So music I have. The Stanton C-501 Twin CD Player is a workhorse that handles that task. Google Image that. It’s a rack mount unit. It plays mp3s, where the C-502 does not. All my Old Time Radio is on mp3 CDs. Stanton is a company I have experience with in professional radio. Phono cartridges (681EEE and the 500 series), plus the turntables (STR8-100s) I had.
Lately, I have been to YouTube, finding stuff. Art Bell’s Coast To Coast is there! 2-hour shows! A BUNCH of ’em! Hell to the YEAH! Thing is, I gotta replace the Dell “Noise Maker”. None of those type of shows will work with the freakin’ noise…
My friend Mitch Mitchell does an incredible Wolfman Jack impression. Years ago, he did “The Wolf Show”. A production so good, so tight, it blows away the REAL Wolfman Jack! I have several hours of that, with 50s and 60s oldies.
I also have several hours of The Greaseman. If you know who he is, no further explanation is necessary! I have stuff from WWDC, WAPE, Z-93 in Atlanta, plus two CDs of Lost Bits. Plenty there. Ol’ Grease is not G-Rated, though. But, he is entertaining as hell!
I also have an almost endless collection of Grateful Dead concerts. So…you see, my friends, there is no shortage of program material.
As far as processing, it’s the Mackie 1402 into the Orban 424A. I know why they call that thing the “Studio Optimod”! LOL!
But one thing is, the 424A is a stereo/2 channel unit. It is unstrappable. In other words, the 2 channels can be switched to be independant of each other. In the STEREO mode, they track together. I’ve always used it that way. But we are AM. What could one do with two separate, independant channels?
Feed audio into channel one, slow, easy compression into channel 2 hard limiting. Or some variation to that effect. Stay tooned. Never messed with it like that before. I’m sure there are other applications as well. If you like the 424A, I see them on eBay a lot for $400 to $600 Buy It Now. You might do better if you follow it…
My biggest need is the transmitter. When the Spitfire arrives, I’ll letcha know!
- November 12, 2016 at 4:34 pm #51908
Thanks for the correction, thought Shadows and the British band was the first thing that came to mind.
- November 12, 2016 at 5:35 pm #51909
I also added ChickenMan to my collection of OTR. I found it at archive.org. I run it daily at around 5 p.m. and have gotten a good response to it.
I am able to run it automated in RadioDJ by setting the priority level on each track and allowing it to play 1 or 2 times before the current track is disabled and move to the next track. Took a few minutes to set up, but it works in order..
Otherwise, I went in this morning and updated programming for the next week. I cut a few updates for some show intros. I will do some more tomorrow.
- November 18, 2016 at 7:03 am #51991
Boardmaker, back at ya, I missed your post on this fast-moving thread!
I sure wish that the Americas had adopted 12.5 khz filtering instead of 10 khz, if they had to adopt something. It’s easy to hear the difference between 10 and 12.5 khz filtering, but I think 12.5 is what’s needed to just get to the point where the response sounds close to FM on average decent speakers, like in a good boom box or mini stereo. When I did listening tests with 10 khz, my ears took a while to get used to hearing sound that way.
I know it might not be noticed in most AM radios now, but I think that putting the reduced bandwidth into the rules helped set in motion that AM was now to be thought of as a lower fidelity medium, not to be given attention by radio manufacturers using DSP techniques to reduce noise and allow wide variable bandwidth for strong signals. A lot could be done at the receiver end that wasn’t anticipated back then.
That Carver tuner sounds pretty awesome, it sounds like an engineer’s delight. In another thread you were talking about its antiphase pilot reduction too. That makes me think of how you could get a very accurate pilot frequency, in 50 hz power grid countries, by dividing the a sample of the line voltage by 2.
The original Alfredo stereo transmitter does process sum and difference mode rather than in left and right. You can probably use a two channel compressor, with the audio matrix in front of it.
- November 12, 2016 at 8:37 pm #51912
I’d recommend a Desktop, they seem to not hum so much.
- December 13, 2016 at 8:55 pm #52421
“I’d recommend a Desktop, they seem to not hum so much.”
No hum or other annoying audio artifcats with a desktop, at least not with this HP Pavilion p6 series. It’s been a strong workhorse for my part 15 station for years now.
Ram is 6 GB
Processor AMD E2-3200 APU with Radeon HD Graphic x2
Graphics Gallium 0.4 on AMD SUMO2 DRM 2.43.0 LLVM 3.8.0
OS 64 Bit Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
1 TB HDD
Can’t say for sure what the sound card is, but it is digital and boasts some great settings for broadcast applications.
This desktop was built for Audio/Video media creation.
Edit: I did away with Windows 7 , Ubuntu 16.04 is impressive as it takes less space to install and is not RAM intensive like Windows. My only beef is 6 GB Ram is the limit with this motherboard. I do however have space for another hard drive and digitl input/outputs.
- November 12, 2016 at 10:10 pm #51913
Dugger is going intense over there, a lot for a little part 15, and I think it’s great! I always have an internal auditor in my brain that says go cheap in line with the amount of power in use, but some P15 people have better studios than commercial radio can boast!
I’d like to hear how the Spitfire sounds and how convenient and easy it is to set up. I’ve been looking at it too, a good price for a simple built unit that could become your backup.
I used to be able to get a college station that loved Chicken Man and played it for a long time. I guess they had a stack of CM tapes, and each new wave of young student pups would come in and discover them and go, hey this is great!, and they’d get played all over again, like it was all new, becaues it was new to them.
I like Y’tube for audio too, and use a downloader to grab old ads and movie trailers for soundbytes. Their sound is a lot better these days too.
Grateful Dead’s in a lot of places, some on ‘Tube where they fixed up the audio on concert videos, so the sound is very good, like the early 1970s European tour.
Bit torrent has great GD stocks, deadicated people keep all of the old taper stuff up, look for FLAC- based audio, that’s the best. Torrent is good for classic Art Bell, and Kasey Kasem, like you can get the top-40 from 1973, with classic ads included. What I like about torrent is that some stuff is compiled in big collections, so you can get a year’s worth of something all at once if you just wait on the download.
WFMU’s site is another great archive, lots of really interesting and crazy music and audio there. If you have an hour to fill on your eclectic college radio music show, a cruise through FMU will come up with lots of rarely heard tunes, and you can go theme based too with it.
Soulseek is also great for independent music. It’s not a site, it’s a program that runs on a desktop. It’s also big on collections, the Dead, Flexipop, and many more, and it has airchecks and other weird stuff. You just put in a keyword(s) for something, and it will come back with hits in a list that you can download, like “Halloween”, OTR, Offshore Radio etc. There also may be commercial music there (since anyone can upload anything) so if your conscience has its pants scared off by acronyms like RIAA then don’t download that stuff.
Archive ORG, oh my god, where do I start, they are so good for audio now, they have lots of Dead there, some is steam only, though you can use a grabber on it, and so good for vintage propaganda and school films, in-store music recordings, vintage radio like Jean Shepherd and just anything if you know what to look for.
I rarely buy commercial music these days, not that I’d ever buy sellable popular hits anyway, but I don’t even have to bother with used recordings muche anymore. On topic of what have I done for my station, I did get Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds at a pawn shop for hallowe’en, my old one was on tape, but it’s so rare to do that these days.
- November 13, 2016 at 12:42 pm #51920
I went here, and typed in 1530:
See the east coast? WVBF is a 2000 watt daytimer. There is nothing else close. There are those who wonder why I don’t go 1640 or above. My neighborhood listeners’ radios do not tune that high. That is one factor. 1610 is TIS and I don’t wanna be anywhere near that…
1530 looks like a safe bet for now. Here is the site you can find stations on any frequency:
Hope that helps ya!
- November 13, 2016 at 5:10 pm #51924
Wow! Absolutely no space at night. Amazing a few stations cover all of the US and half of Canada! WBZ 1030 in Boston covers half the continent right up to Hudsons Bay.
A big drawback for AM as part 15 is only good during the day. Everything interferes with everything at night, and part 15’s micro signal is gone at sunset.
- November 14, 2016 at 8:14 pm #51929
I flipped the format on my station this morning from News/Talk to 80s Hits. Picked up the “Sunny” name and branding from cloudcastradio.com, there is a ton of musical tweaking I need to do. (Mainly in the form of weeding out some of those miserably slow and cheesy tunes portions of the 80s liked).
The local AC station just dropped all their 80s content, the only other sources are the FM classic rocker and a far away Jack FM. (Jack FM is about 88 miles from here and spotty at best)
- November 14, 2016 at 10:00 pm #51931
You are playing like the big time stations now!! Flip her again…keep them guessing!! I would guess right now News Talk hosts are having to retool to find new information and scandals since the POTUS election.
I probably picked up some more listeners today. Several city employees were hanging out near part of my old store front (it is not used these days). Inside I have the 2 magnavox consoles I mentioned several posts back. I have been working on these specimens, and part of my testing now has them blaring my radio station.
I kept seeing them peek in through the door and staying close to building so they could here them playing music (I have cameras). I finally got time to go talk to them. They were enjoying the programming and the vintage consoles playing it. They were tuning their work trucks to the station in hopes of listening.
Why were they standing around, you might ask in these politically loaded times? They were waiting on the state to show up and authorize a dig in front of my facility on the main highway.
So today, I gained a few more possible listeners, and at the least, some supporters of the concept.
- November 14, 2016 at 9:56 pm #51930
Plugged the Orban into it, the antenna and power, and tried to tune it up to 1530. Nothing. Powers on, light comes on…The ATU is set…the trimmer cap has no effect. I must be doing something wrong…
- November 15, 2016 at 12:01 am #51932
Do you get a signal to a radio with no audio applied?
Check, maybe no sound from source, or input volume way to low? Don’t know what an orban is.
If I remember you have to set the operation for wire antenna, not for the outdoor set up, and the light on the front goes OUT when tuned right.
There’s also a setting on this transmitter for Europian AM freqencies and North America AM frequencies…again if I remember right! or it may be a separate transmitter for each.
- November 15, 2016 at 12:08 am #51933
Regardless of antenna etc… if it is powering on, you should get some kind of signal from a radio placed very close to it.
I am not clear if it is powering on.
Keep us posted. I am curious how it works out!
- November 15, 2016 at 4:03 pm #51947
Yeah, Craig. It powers on fine. No signal. The ATU was on internal. My bad.
Your comment, “…you have to set the operation for wire antenna, not for the outdoor set up, and the light on the front goes OUT when tuned right.”
Ahhh! Good point. Thank you. Also, the light goes OUT? Is that with NO audio? I saw that somewhere but cannot find where that is written now. The instructions are bare minimum. Also, the thing has been changed to version II. A freakin’ 1/8th inch audio jack! Hate those! No more RCA.
Plus, there is no audio input level adjustment! That SUCKS! My Orban 424A Compressor/Limiter has no level out adjust. Oh! The instructions say to set the modulation control. There IS no freakin’ modulation control! WTF did they do to this? Sheesh! Version II, eh?
OK. Gotta get a small mixer, cassette recorder or something to pad the Orban Comp/Limiter to a level acceptable to the SpitFire. I got ideas. This was not expected. Why would they remove the input gain? They think we run things with iPods, I guess…
- November 15, 2016 at 4:44 pm #51948
The antenna has to be at internal….the light will go OFF when you adjust the cap and get the right spot, whether audio or not. The other switches have to be set to the frequency range that includes the one you want to be on.
Ya, you have to control audio level at source with this.
Main thing is do you get a silent carrier on the radio with no audio?
The one I had a long time ago had the RCA jacks. So the Orban is a compressor…no gain control to compensate for the reduction?
Try with something else to see if working, like an MP3 player into the 1/8 jack?
The older one didn’t have a input level control either.
- November 15, 2016 at 12:19 am #51934
I wish I could rent a abandoned store and set up an AM station with a 6-10 foot antenna next to it or on the roof. This way I would not have to worry about a temperature inversion and keep going. Today 100.3 from MD came in again. It was BOOMING and lasted for several hrs. Of course I won’t operate during those times. The station was playing Classic Rock (Hits). They call themselves BIG 100. I’d have thought that ducting happens mostly at night. This station has surprised me several times and came BOOMING in the daytime here.
Anyways with an AM Album Rock station I don’t have to worry about that sort of thing and if people saw a sign they would know to tume in to the station. If I only could get close to say Top China or maybe the marina. The AM signal if I got it to go a mile from Top China would cover all the way to where I live and go to maybe Taylors restaurant which is where people travel.
I doubt I could get permission to broadcast at the church as then they may want to only broadcast Christian stuff. But if they would allow regular programming when service is not going on then I’d try that. A 10 foot AM antenna on top of a church heck that would really make it get out.
Maybe I’ll find someone with land that likes my station and wants to hear it further and then I’ll set something up on AM with some serious range. Probably would go with something with built in processing and use NextKast for automation. The FM would remain here where I live. I’d somehow feed the AM station via the Internet.
- November 15, 2016 at 12:49 am #51937
The following link may be of interest …
- November 15, 2016 at 12:57 am #51938
… I doubt I could get permission to broadcast at the church as then they may want to only broadcast Christian stuff. But if they would allow regular programming when service is not going on then I’d try that. A 10 foot AM antenna on top of a church heck that would really make it get out. …
Just as a heads up and with reference to the bold text in the clip above, please read the FCC link given in reply 176 — showing an operator Citation relating to that “top of a church” scenario.
- November 15, 2016 at 3:44 am #51939
summed up best as “lengthy ground lead.” I would not run a continuous ground lead. The rules are very explicit.
However, there are ways to allow the interpretation of the rules apply and still ground the station (i.e. leave the FCC agent a way out). That of course is dependent on the field agent, but aren’t all these installations?
Safest and perhaps best is to follow the rule of thumb.. a short pole in a clear field and follow good procedures for radials and a short ground lead. I would argue that this seems to work best anyway.
My experiments with height on the building I am at do not stack up against a properly installed near ground mounted installation. I get inconsistency within 1/2 mile but can be heard at times 1 mile away. This I believe is due to poor grounding… i.e I am trying to follow the rules.
Everything I understand about the AM broadcast band is that it works off of a good ground not altitude.
Another major drawback of a elevated installation is that you need to tweak things and inspect them periodically. I am tired of climbing on the roof to do that. I might add that my roof is easily accessible, but it is still a pain.
***Rich, you might expand on your thoughts of a properly mounted near ground system vs a roof mounted system i.e one with altitude.
Assume that one could possibly obtain a compliant ground using the interpretation “short ground lead” to an existing ground on the higher altitude installation at say 30 ft. This is of course a hypothetical scenario.
- November 15, 2016 at 4:04 am #51940
Hard to be local with piped-in News Talk! This music format allows for far more community integration, plus now I don’t have to worry about the internet dropping out or it being cloudy. Lol!
This’ll be the last flip for atleast a year, the Sunny contract sees to that.
(Not to mention music covers up static very well making the signal appear larger than it is)
- November 15, 2016 at 11:57 am #51943
… ***Rich, you might expand on your thoughts of a properly mounted near ground system vs a roof mounted system i.e one with altitude. …
This was done in Reply 17 of the thread below. The chart there shows the effect of the length of the conductor(s) from the transmitter chassis to a true r-f ground.
- November 15, 2016 at 1:07 pm #51944
So elevation matters! But, what I did not see was a measure to prevent RF from eminating from the ground lead (or did I miss that?)
If a true earth ground existed, but was choked to prevent radiation, would the results be the same?
And installing radiators above ground level probably would be an instant disqualifier from an FCC groundpoint. But, like a dipole antenna, they do work!
That may be hard to model for, but possibly (I use that term loosely), allow for a compliant elevated installation.
If that model was in the post, I missed it. I just took a quick read this morning before heading out.
- November 15, 2016 at 1:21 pm #51945
Antenna Radials and top hats are a bit of a grey area for the FCC, with some agents counting it towards total lengths and others completely ignoring it.
Elevation is crucial to such low powered signals, anything blocking that antenna is going to attenuate it to some degree. You’d be surprised how much my signal jumps up in the wintertime because the trees drop all their leaves.
- November 15, 2016 at 1:27 pm #51946
To Reply 181:
So elevation matters!
Not the elevation of the transmitter with its attached ~3m whip, but the fact that elevated systems need a longer conductor to a true r-f ground. Radiation from that longer conductor is responsible for the greater total radiation. The longer that conductor, the more the effect.
But, what I did not see was a measure to prevent RF from eminating from the ground lead (or did I miss that?) If a true earth ground existed, but was choked to prevent radiation, would the results be the same?
If r-f current is prevented from flowing on that long conductor to r-f ground, then the elevated transmitter and whip would radiate very little — less than if the system was mounted a few inches above the earth and connected using no choke to a ground rod, or buried radials (other thing equal).
To Reply 182:
Elevation is crucial to such low powered signals, anything blocking that antenna is going to attenuate it to some degree. You’d be surprised how much my signal jumps up in the wintertime because the trees drop all their leaves.
A major part of this signal improvement is due to the moisture content of the earth, which often is greater in the winter, and improves earth conductivity. The improved conductivity reduces propagation losses for AM groundwaves.
- November 15, 2016 at 8:19 pm #51951
We’ll try the “noisebox” directly plugged into it. And that trim cap! How many turns…is it just one complete turn? I have to use my thumbnail. I don’t have a tuning tool. Oh yeah…the Earth Ground! We don’t have one of those here.
I live on the upper floor of a four-plex built in 1854. There night be a cold water pipe…drat…they are all PVC. Maybe the copper heating pipes…I need a hose clamp…
What if I don’t use an earth ground? I just wanna test this thing…
- November 16, 2016 at 12:39 am #51953
I meant to post this earlier.. but got distracted by work…go figure.
So, essentially, my hypothesis is correct. Increased elevation in regards to low power AM under strict Part 15 rules does not necessarily gain distance. The key is a radiating ground lead,which is not suggested because of out of compliance issues.
A near earth or 0 elevation system with proper ground will outperform an elevated Part 15 AM unless the ground lead is allowed radiate on the elevated installation.
We should include this in the new installation handbook for Part 15 stations…with the reasons discussed here. It might save some newcomers the trouble of learning, and yet them still make decisions on their installations.
I myself do not prefer the elevated mounting system I currently have. My ground is not effective…and should not be radiating based on my installation. My coverage is less than some that have posted here with near earth or 0 elevation installations. Wet weather makes my system really perform well. I am sure it is due to earth/ground potential changing.
It is a headache to do maintenance on the transmitter when on a roof. I am thinking about installing an elevator!!
As for landbased obstacles, I think we should collaborate on our findings and clarify what is known. Big buildings are of course a major obstacle.. especially close to the transmitter.
Thanks Rich for the clarification. Hopefully this discourse will help others… if I can be arrogant enough to assume that!
- November 16, 2016 at 12:58 pm #51957
Buildings and trees for sure, possibly a car if its parked close enough. My transmitter is right next to the driveway and I haven’t noticed any signal drop when the truck is parked there. The obstacles are more of a near-field problem and become irrelevant once you are far enough away. (Unless is huge concrete structures or poorly grounded powerlines)
- November 16, 2016 at 2:53 pm #51961
I see the same thing. My house is about 1/2 mile straight line from the transmitter. The street is lined with trees. As I near the trees the signal drops.
- November 16, 2016 at 3:13 pm #51963
I didn’t post this yesterday, but it was one of those days..
I had noticed the live stream had dropped, and when I came into the office, the stream encoder laptop had shutdown due to overheating. The internal fan had failed. In all fairness, it was noisy so I should not be surprised.
I moved the stream encoding back to the primary program source laptop. It is very easy since RadioDJ has an encoding plugin. But I noticed a stutter during track changes. I had not rebooted in several weeks, so I knew it was time.
Of course during all this, I am slammed with an unusual amount of work related activity. I also notice that I have stream listeners logged in.
I kill off as many unnecessary processes as I can. It helps.. The stuttering is not gone, but is much better.
About 6:00 last nite I get a chance to switch the audio ZaraStudio and reboot… 30 minutes later after all the usual updates that Windows loves to share with us. I am back on line with the primary program source laptop.
I should have parts tomorrow to repair the stream encoding laptop..
Today things seem to be calm!
- November 16, 2016 at 7:21 pm #51970
That stutter generally occurs when the software playing your programming needs CPU cycles, and it doesn’t get them (if you’re using Windows, it isn’t a great multi-tasking system, UNIX or Linux is much better).
One way to solve that problem is to raise the priority of your automation software (in Windows to Above Normal). Unfortunately, Windows doesn’t remember that setting the next time you reboot, so you either have to keep resetting it manually, or find software that will remember (such as PRIO for Windows – I know it works for older versions of the OS, not so sure about later ones).
- November 16, 2016 at 9:12 pm #51971
I certainly believe in that concept also. That is one of the things I have been doing. Most of the equipment I have left over from other projects. CPU allocation looks good on all of them, usually it is at less than 30 percent..
On the laptop that generates programming. It was network related, keep in mind that it had been a month since the last reboot…windows just generally needs that. The CPU cycles looked good even with the stuttering, but there was a problem I am guessing with some of the virtual interrupts.
I may convert to linux, I used to use it for many projects when I was still doing IT work. But, it is easier to grab a windows OS for business applications and not have to do extra training…so I have windows.
I have been eyeballing those cheap Dell Optiplex systems. I intend to order one for another project.
ZaraRadio seems to run on almost anything, and it is stable, I use it as my standby for program source software.
RadioDJ is also stable, but it requires SQL to handle the media links and settings. That does up the requirements some, but the versatility is great. I am still learning things..
- November 16, 2016 at 10:27 pm #51972
Part 15 Engineer
i never realized just how much equipment and music i really have!!!!
- November 17, 2016 at 2:14 am #51976
Part 15 Engineer
female amphenol pins, crimper, and extractor tools from wheatstone.
going to build a 66 block breakout box for the A50
- November 17, 2016 at 5:02 am #51977
Another way to alleviate stuttering audio is to get a pro-grade soundcard. The audio files will load up on the card’s internal memory and playback flawlessly. There have been a few times where the full power’s computer locked up but the song would keep playing.
- November 16, 2016 at 4:39 pm #51965
You don’t need a ground for it to work…..it’s not how many turns to tune, the cap just goes through it’s range and keeps turning. Just find the spot where the LED goes out. It works similar to the other AM transmitters.
Use the cold water pipe where you turn the water on or off under the sink and if PVC the 3rd earth ground plug in the wall socket.
- November 16, 2016 at 5:23 pm #51967
I think based on me being legally Blind I won’t be placing any transmitters way on a roof. The closest thing I’d do is a room up in the air but really a ground install makes things a lot easier. If I need to retune the antenna or clean it from snow its a lot easier to do this on the ground. About the height as a DirecTV satellite dish from the ground.
Since Deltaville, VA is relatively close to water it may benefit me if I could find someone who would put the transmitter near the marina. The moisture of the soil would make a good ground and would cover Taylor’s restaurant but may not cover the Deltaville Market and of course Top China or the gas station/7 11. So that was why I thought about the church.
Now only if the Landlord would let me use that shed across the way from me to put up an AM station. My FM signal could go to a Radio in the shed. From the Radio I could go to the AM Transmitter. Or just put the antenna on the ground and run the wires to the Transmitter or if I had the Procaster run the studio module inside the shed. A 8-10 foot ground rod would be easy. Actually the antenna would have to be in front of the shed to be away from the trees. That may be a problem because you’d see the antenna right from the road and I’m sure the company may not like that however if they didn’t care it would make for a great clearing and my signal would coer the range I want with a simple 100mW AM station.
Not to keep bringing this up but if we got rid of the ground/antenna rule for AM we’d have our range and we could probably keep the 100 mW rule.
- November 16, 2016 at 5:30 pm #51968
I’ve been Internet broadcasting since 2008. You should have 8-16 GB RAM, 64 bit OS, a quad core CPU running at least 2 Ghz or very close to it then you can surf the net and still run RADIO SOFTWARE.
- November 16, 2016 at 6:41 pm #51969
I think its a better idea to have radio related computers do exactly one function. The On Air would be strictly for automation, the streaming computer strictly for streaming, etc. BSI Sends out Dell Optiplex computers with 4GB ram and Windows 7 for use with their Autiomation software. 8GB or more would certainly be pretty stable. I’ve had ZaraRadio run on a 512mb machine without any issues, I wish I would’ve tested it on 256!
I’ve heard that Zara runs on just about anything. I’ve tested it on Windows 98 and it seemed to work fine.
- November 17, 2016 at 8:47 pm #51982
I taped the antenna wire to a 6 foot piece of wood trim, stood it up and changed the frequency to 1500 with the ATU off. There it was, loud and clear, once I set the laptop’s level out. Man, not even a ground! No hum at all! The antenna is leaning against the wall. The whole building, and the neighbors around me get a clear signal! Wow.
The SpitFire is one badass little box! I played The Wolf Show (Wolfman Jack impersonation) since 9 am. The neighbors LOVE it! 1500 kHz seems to be clear during the day.
1500 am KLW
- November 18, 2016 at 1:30 am #51985
That is good news! I was afraid you had a defective unit. Now the work begins keeping the programming up and running!!
Let us know when you get time to do some hard range tests.
- November 18, 2016 at 1:51 am #51986
Today I was approached by someone I know fairly well, and is the pastor of a large non-denominational church here. He had heard about my efforts with the radio station, and came by to offer support. He would like to use it as an avenue to broadcast Sunday mornings. Both have been on my list of things to offer.
I explained our current situation, and the legality/limitations.. I also explained the options we have at hand including streaming and the goal of either LPFM or even commercial/non commercial licensing in the future.
I expressed the need to form the board for LPFM and the need for diversity etc. He is in agreement. He even enjoys my current music programming. Apparently he has been listening to the broadcast.
This project just became bigger than me…
I now have 5 viable members for the board, including two music collectors, one attorney who holds a county office, myself and a community leader.
Of course…LPFM licensing is non existent at this point…so that will be something that will have to be addressed initially.
- November 18, 2016 at 7:12 am #51992
Craig F., that’s pretty cool, I should check with some churches around here, because I really want to get into doing community radio a little more rather than just playing music, even if it is unheard stuff. I’m thinking how podcasting is adapting to becoming a more voice and issues driven medium, since it seems people care less about music radio these days.
What about a community events calendar, and having your city submit press releases about local events, like auctions or book sales at the library, and police reports. There are probably ways to do it and keep it easy too.
- November 19, 2016 at 4:29 pm #52001
Right. My idiot friend came over this morning. He truly is an idiot. Self-centered and arrogant about it. No clue what’s going on around him. I had the Spitfire on air, and since I have so few wall sockets, I have an extension cord across the room. Plus the antenna wire. He pulls up a chair, and I said, “Be careful. We are on air live, and don’t unplug me!”
Not one minute later, I’m off air, and he’s wrapped up in the power cord and antenna! The transmitter is hanging off the table. Idiot. Effing brainless DOLT! He says, “Sorry. What’s that, an mp3 player?” Holy – No clue. AM Radio means NOTHING to this REtard! He’s 25 and didn’t know what a cassette tape is for!
I fixed my Spitfire. Good as new. There are no people my age that hang out here. I’m 61 and seem to be the ONLY one paying attention…
- November 19, 2016 at 4:56 pm #52002
Anyone wouldn’t know by looking that the spitfire is a transmitter., unless they are knowlegable about these things.
But ya, his age group…not all, but the majority, don’t know what AM radio is, or even radio for that matter, also tapes, records, etc.
You can tape the spitfire down on the desk so it won’t move and fall of so easy.
- November 20, 2016 at 12:42 am #52003
At the moment, I’m on air doing a Saturday Night Music Show. 🙂
- November 20, 2016 at 5:24 pm #52012
“Anyone wouldn’t know by looking that the spitfire is a transmitter., unless they are knowlegable about these things.”
True. But I showed him, and explained exactly what I was doing…he pays NO attention. Ya gotta know this guy…a complete fencepost…
- November 23, 2016 at 1:40 am #52036
Works wonders in a car/truck/suv, they have made it stronger over the years.
It’s velcro on one side and sticky tape on the other side. Very handy.
Barry of Blue Bucket Radio 1620
Almost old enough to fart dust, almost.
- November 23, 2016 at 1:35 am #52035
Is he anything like this guy, fumbling with a Walkman?
Barry of Blue Bucket Radio 1620
It has nothing to do with that Russian thing.
- November 23, 2016 at 2:56 pm #52046
Ha, Barry! The second one down! That meme says it all! Hey, he’s really an OK guy. I have to remove breakables and things he might choke on, but…
- December 1, 2016 at 10:20 pm #52284
As usual, I’m currently playing music on my station. Right now, Poison’s “Nothin’ But A Good Time” is on. 🙂
- December 16, 2016 at 4:57 am #52478
Because the link changed and i like to keep continuity flowing.
- November 20, 2016 at 1:55 am #52005
Part of my routine every Saturday is to make sure the voice overs for the Saturday nite show are in place. I did that today, and worked on some settings for the compressor that is tied into the AM transmitter. It sounds much better and the volume level is better also…
A little at a time!
- November 21, 2016 at 4:08 pm #52025
That is why I say terrestrial Radio has a very short life span left. Many younger folks under 34 know what a Radio really is anymore or even care. When I told folks in my house to be careful of the bandwidth they are using so I could broadcast on the Internet on my Radio station my Stepson said “Who even listens to the Radio anymore?” Some of his other friends said “And why even do it your not getting paid for it?” I tried to explain that I have a sponsor who’s invested thousands of dollars on my station to be able to legally broadcast and they still didn’t get the importance of the station. Trust me I’ve almost lost my station several times due to people under 34 who were so brain dead and self centered. And even lied about paying the Internet bill (with our money) when my wife was sick and I was supporting her in the hospital. To our surprise right in the middle of a Radio broadcast our Internet goes out. I check the cable TV Yup the bill was NOT PAID!! This was on a Saturday at 1:30 in the afternoon. Well I ask the cable company how much we owe to get it back. It was $552. Imagine our shock and horror because I had to get BACK ON THE AIR!!
So in the middle of 30 degree Winter I high tail it to the end of the driveway across from the library to use their Wifi and finish my show with layers of clothes to keep warm. I had a 8 hr show to do. It was hard because I had to run an extension cord to the laptop and then place it on a snack tray with a chair next to it. To announce I had to cup my hand over the mic to block the sound of the traffic. These folks don’t know what commitment is as not only did I have to drag the Laptop but too the FM Transmitter so that I could still be on FM.
Two weeks after that we moved away and stuck the kids with the bills as we were not going to stand for anymore lies and deceit.
- November 21, 2016 at 7:53 pm #52028
Today i put the TH 5.0 on 800 khz while leaving the SStran on 1620 khz, fought with the horrendous sound quality of the TH transmitter until i said the heck with it and put an eq on it set to nearly flat.
Sounds like a TIS playing music but whatever. The TH has a better coverage with the aluminum conduit antenna and despite being outdoors , it still manages to couple to the power lines extending some of the coverage past my little road.
I might make this permanent.
That is all.
Barry of BBR 1620
- December 1, 2016 at 10:49 pm #52289
Got the wires tied and up off the floor. Duct taped the transmitter to the far end of the table, against the wall. Got feedback from a few neighbors. “Play the Oldies!” Unanimous. Fine! I have the entire TM Century Oldies Library on CD! Some 250 CDs! GoldDisc3!
20 cuts per CD, you do the math! LOL!
Easy show this morning! Ping-ponged Oldies CDs back and forth on the Stanton C-501!
- December 2, 2016 at 3:03 am #52301
Worked on a problem with my Chicken Man plays. I try to play the same show 2x per day at specified intervals (by request from some listeners that like it). I noticed the event schedular was calling for it, loading the intro and outro, but no show at random intervals. I think I got it straightened out. Tomorrow will tell!
I need to do some tranmitter relocation work, but rain is in the event schedular for the weekend LOL.
I have a Toys for Tots Ride Sunday that will kill much of the day… 85 miles of dirt and mud on the adventure bike. I hope the sun comes out by then!! I will probably do an aftermath show for the part 15 when I get back! “Craig was cold, Craig fell in the dirt and mud at mile 35, everyone laughed at Craig. etc…”
- December 2, 2016 at 1:27 pm #52305
Thats a pretty great collection to have Dugger.
- December 2, 2016 at 4:31 pm #52313
Ya know, Miighty, I’ve been paying Oldies 5 hours a day for a week. Not even halfway through. Not a single repeat. LOL!
- December 2, 2016 at 8:43 pm #52316
When I was doing oldies I think the playlist had 96 hours to go through before it repeated. With the 80s format it lasts 59 hours. (This assuming the songs are played back to back with zero interruption)
Today the Optimod 9000A goes back into the part 15 airchain.
I’ve based my classic formats on my BillBoard Hot 100 library. (It spans 1955-2012)
Wish I had that TM Century! Those don’t come easy.
- December 2, 2016 at 9:53 pm #52317
These didn’t. I had to fish them out of the dumpster after they tossed them. I also got this library:
Alternative Rock from about 2000. Not bad. Another lucky find…
- December 12, 2016 at 3:10 pm #52398
I have slowly been integrating Christmas music into the programming. I will run back to back Christmas music beginning Christmas Eve with a regular programming break, and then start again Christmas day/morning.
I recorded station ID’s with a Christmas theme to match up during the full time Christmas programming.
I also recorded some promos to let people know we will be airing Christmas music at those times. Not sure how many hours I will air yet, but in my opinion too much Christmas music gets old fast!!!
- December 13, 2016 at 6:04 pm #52418
I have been approached over the last several months by numerous local people that have the drive and connections to help me transition my Part 15 to a community radio licensed station. Of those, there are some that I would like to see involved because of their expertise and interests.
I am requesting that they meet me for an initial board forming meeting with goals to bring us into an actual legal entity.
Today I roughed in a Powerpoint presentation for the initial meeting.
Since we are a very long time away from any chance of getting a broadcast license, one of my points is improving our current Part 15 AM with multiple transmitters. If they have the interest and can get me funding, I will make it happen. I am also hoping we can fully fund our streaming to bring it to the public.
Meanwhile I am considering adding a new segment of music to the current line up.
I play Tim’s Polka hour on Sunday nite. Afterward, I revert back to classic country with OTR at 10. I am considering adding a segment of easy listening / big band / vocal music. It might be a niche for some of my older listeners. I even enjoy some of it!
- December 13, 2016 at 7:15 pm #52419
Hope you get your Broadcasting license as you sound like a good community Radio project.
- December 13, 2016 at 9:27 pm #52422
I’m not sure about yours, but every HP I’ve owned had realtek audio on board. I’ve had good luck with HP and used an HP Pavillion with XP as the main automation for atleast 8 years until I finally replaced it this year with a refurb Lenovo and Win7.
- December 15, 2016 at 12:47 am #52455
A few lines of code in a terminal and:
[sudo] password for radio:
description: Audio device
product: FCH Azalia Controller
vendor: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD]
physical id: 14.2
bus info: pci@0000:00:14.2
width: 64 bits
capabilities: pm bus_master cap_list
configuration: driver=snd_hda_intel latency=64
resources: irq:16 memory:fef40000-fef43fff
radio@Titan:~$ lspci -v | grep -A7 -i “audio”
00:14.2 Audio device: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] FCH Azalia Controller (rev 01)
Subsystem: Hewlett-Packard Company FCH Azalia Controller
Flags: bus master, slow devsel, latency 64, IRQ 16
Memory at fef40000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]
Capabilities: <access denied>
Kernel driver in use: snd_hda_intel
Kernel modules: snd_hda_intel
Looked it up on the HP website and yep, it’s an Integrated Realtek ALC 656 Here are the specs on this model HP P6-2108p desktop pc.
It has more than paid for itself over the years.
Barry of Blue Bucket Radio 1620
- December 14, 2016 at 1:13 am #52428
I have an HP pavilion 15 laptop w/Windows 10 and No Hum. Use it with my FM TX and internet stream.
- December 14, 2016 at 6:40 am #52431
The BC-1004-C receiver I use for monitoring and entertainment was past due for an alignment. I did a complete alignment on all bands plus the crystal and phasing circuits, about 50 coils and caps to adjust but it was well worth the effort. It sounds great and hears very weak signals.
Repair: My AM station was beginning to sound as if it was under water and the compressor/limiter VU LEDs didn’t look right. I’ve seen this before and went right to replacing a power supply capacitor in the unit and it is as good as new (acutally better since it now has a good quality cap.). Damn those crappy caps that seem to flood the market and find their way into audio equipment.
- December 14, 2016 at 8:43 pm #52442
Part 15 Engineer
i got my 1630khz carrier current up and running which seems to be working good. looks like i am covering 5 apartment buildings in the complex with a city grade signal via the power wiring on the neutrals using an isolated ground. according to my lpb coupler metering i am running about 2 watts into the coupler.
- December 14, 2016 at 9:03 pm #52443
You are probably covering more population than I cover in my town!!! That is nice!
- December 14, 2016 at 9:07 pm #52444
Part 15 Engineer
each with about 30 apartments
- December 15, 2016 at 12:59 am #52457
Glad to hear you have a very usable signal there. Congrats!
Barry of Blue Bucket Radio 1620 AM
- December 14, 2016 at 9:53 pm #52445
Nice situation I bet it’s better than what micro FM broadcasting can do. Wish I had the eyesight and skill for CC cuz I’d get an amp for my TH and try that as well as FM.
- December 15, 2016 at 2:54 am #52459
Carrier Current broadcasting is pretty awesome, just a little more expensive, with the higher output power from the finals and more hefty tuner that’s needed to match the transmitter to the line, compared to 100 milliwatt stations.
It might be something better to build, if you can, since there’s a lack of new equipment for Carrier Current use.
- December 15, 2016 at 3:01 am #52460
I can’t build so I’ll have to keep looking for such equipment.
- December 16, 2016 at 1:50 am #52477
Right now, I’m doing yet another music show on 1650 AM, Radio Free Connecticut. Rock ballads/slow jams until around 10 PM eastern! 🙂
- December 16, 2016 at 3:46 pm #52481
I was experimenting with an easy listening segment late yesterday evening. I set up the rotation for what was supposed to be an hour long test. It was still playing this morning….
Not a big deal, but I did get a few comments during breakfast at the cafe.
I also cut some more station ID’s for the Holidays.
I need to go outside today and do some transmitter work. It is supposed to be 74 today, tomorrows’s lows are supposed to be in the middle teens! Yuck!
- December 16, 2016 at 4:04 pm #52482
Part 15 Engineer
have the Wheatstone A-50 traded to an Optimod 9100 Stereo AM Processor soon. so the optimod will be on the carrier current and the soon retired Inovonics 235 will go on my 15.219 remote site
- December 17, 2016 at 2:06 pm #52491
Part 15 Engineer
in case the primary deal fals through so it appears either way i will wind up with an optimod 9100 stereo for my carrier current station 🙂
the inovonics 235 will be relagated to an auxiliary part 15.219 site with my procaster or as a backup to the optimod.
- December 18, 2016 at 10:13 pm #52540
Yesterday, while I was recording the daily weather update. One of my friends came in with his 12 year old son.
He is kind of shy. But I asked him if he wanted to record the weather update for me.
He wasn’t sure, but I wrote the script out for him and let him read it a couple of times.
I didn’t make him put the headphones on, but my production audio monitor and mic setup lets me run the background while recording.
He got it right in two takes!! We put it in the hourly the weather cue for the day. Later his dad called me to say when they stopped at the grocery store down the street an hour or two later, it was airing and his son’s eyes lit up when he heard his voice.
He didn’t realize other people really could hear it! It made my day!!
Other than that, my transmitter loves cold weather. It was 11 degrees here last night coldest temps we have had in years. The transmitter was booming all over town. It is today also.
- December 18, 2016 at 10:54 pm #52541
What a lovely experience for a young boy. This is why I may try the Spitfire and AM.
This is why I’m passionate about Real Range for Hobby Broadcasting.
- December 19, 2016 at 5:41 pm #52565
I agree. I remember my first encounter with radio when I was not much older than him. I never forgot it. And though I did not end up in commercial broadcast, radio and technology has been a large part of my life ever since.
If and when I finally get things formalized here with a plan to get licensing, a community radio focus with interaction from our younger generations is on the list of things that I hope we accomplish.
- December 20, 2016 at 5:16 pm #52585
Back to the subject….I’m on air now, playing music. Right now, it’s New Edition – If It Isn’t Love. 🙂
- December 28, 2016 at 9:37 pm #52697
I unplugged the Spitfire and put it in its box. I took the 3.5 plug and plugged into a T-200 FM Transmitter. Similar to the CCrane. Man! So far I love this thing! I opened the testing with 10,000 Maniacs In My Tribe CD. That’s playing now…
- December 28, 2016 at 11:31 pm #52700
From Reply 247: I took the 3.5 plug and plugged into a T-200 FM Transmitter. … Man! So far I love this thing! …
An ebay page as of today offers an “LCD CZH-T200 0.2 Watt Portable FM Transmitter Stereo Power Broadcast 87~108MHz.”
Just to note that if this is the transmitter you refer to, its advertised power (either d-c input or r-f output power) of 0.2 watts is FAR more than needed to meet the radiated field limit given in FCC §15.239, most likely even with the short antenna it includes.
- December 29, 2016 at 2:48 pm #52713
“Just to note that…its advertised power…of 0.2 watts is FAR more than needed to meet the radiated field limit given in FCC §15.239…”
Haa hahaha! I know, right? LOL! But it’s nice on the lower settings. As I told Legacy, I’m not trying to be a Pirate. Just cover the building I’m in. So far, I’ve not done any range tests. The thing is indoors, sitting on a shelf. On setting 2 it covers this building. 3 other people and me. Have not checked the neighborhood yet.
- December 28, 2016 at 10:51 pm #52699
You could feed the spitfire with an FM radio as a simulcast.
- December 28, 2016 at 11:32 pm #52701
Actually, the audio comes from this:
I use one channel to drive the Spitfire’s input. I may use channel 2 for that. Not sure I’ll need AM…
- December 29, 2016 at 12:41 am #52704
If I’ve seen that CZH 200 transmitter, it’s the portable one with the rubber dick antenna and uses a Lithium battery right? I thought that was an interesting design, but it seems to be for PA use and guided tours, and runs just off of battery, where I’d want something that plugs into a USB type 5 volt source from a computer or adapter.
The ad I saw said that the Machine can be turned down to .01 watt, and the battery life time is > 10 hours.
- December 29, 2016 at 2:17 am #52708
I’ve always liked the idea of AM/FM simulcasts for part 15, makes our stations look bigger 😉
I have a household/neighborhood FM simulcast for my AM that I turn on from time to time, not an official FM that anyone but me knows about… Theres just something about simulcasting that I like.
On a related note I plan on adding an AM stereo simulcast on 1610 and possibly a low-band simulcast on 950 or 1470. (Pending on what transmitter I use, 950 would be for a tube transmitter)
- December 29, 2016 at 5:05 pm #52716
What I wonder Dugger, is can you completely run the transmitter as a base type unit, from USB or 5 volt adapter, no battery needed?
I’m looking for a new little sound feeder transmitter for around the house, something to plug into a computer or other devcie and have it relay what’s playing on the gadget to FM radios around the house.
It’s a function that I use a lot, and had this simple transmitter that was a Matchbox size un- named black plastic box with black wire antenna, about 6×4 cm and jacks for mini USB power and 3.5 mm stereo plug. You popped open the box and set the frequency on DIP switches, for a set at the bottom of the band and top of the band, going by a chart.
It was the simplest thing, small and perfect for what I needed, and cost about $7, but I can’t find them for sale any more. Sellers move their wares to other venues it seems, but I’m looking for alternatives. I’d rather save the 35.00 for one of those 200s and get 4 of the little black boxes just to have them.
Anyone try the transmitter card with blue readout, and digital stereo generation yet? They’re all over for around $4, a hacker style tiny open board with no case.
That’s what I’m doing with my Partt 15 station, trying to improve feeds to different areas of the house including AM transmitters, got that idea from Carl Blare. I’d also like to test Rich’s AM with counterpoise only that was proposed in that other thread, using LPFM as a feed for the “floating” transmitter on batteries.
- December 29, 2016 at 5:39 pm #52717
I originally had my stepmom buy the CZE-T200 transmitter so that she could on low power transmit her smartphone into her car stereo or boombox. I thoroughly tested this transmitter and it will run off the USB cord that comes with it plugged into a computer. Plus you can use a standard cell phone charger and it will run 24/7. Also if you read the manual when you plug it in it will automatically switch to the lowest power setting which again is 0.1 milliwatt. (Yes you can still turn it up). That equals about 10 nano Watts. Remember that it was suggested per Rich that 11.43 Nano Watts to meet part 15: 239.
I know a lot of you folks in the park 15 Community are stuck on certified part 15: 239 FM transmitters. However at the lowest power setting on this transmitter I have tested with several different radio you will get a range of around 200 feet. The second setting should allow you to broadcast through a building and get out a little bit outside. In any case I don’t think that you will be in any danger unless again as I suggest any FM transmitter inside a major radio Market will put you in danger I don’t care if it’s A C Crane or a whole house FM transmitter 3.0 somebody is going to try to take you down if there a radio engineer in a Major Market that’s just the way it is. sorry I sorry I don’t have web links to prove my last statement about radio engineers. Just a hunch from stories I have gotten from other people.
- December 29, 2016 at 7:46 pm #52720
0.1 mw is 100 microwatts or 100,000 nanowatts. You’d have to measure the field strength to determine if it’s legal. We don’t know how much attenuation there is, but 100,000 nanowatts with a dipole is definitely not legal.
- December 31, 2016 at 1:02 pm #52745
Installing an FM…”Do I care about ninny-watts, point-zero whatever, OMG-am-I-breakiing-the-law? What about 250 Mickey-Vol-yules per meter...at 7 feet off the ground…” GAWD! I ain’t even worried about it.
Even at 1/5th of a watt, this thing is no threat. I have no desire to go 24/7. But I’d buy another one of these ST-200 units in a heartbeat! One recharges and the other one plays. I like the battery idea. There is NO hum! It’s as clean as my Veronica. In fact…
That’s what I did today…recharged it last night, signed on this morning at 6…it’s going now. So, Legacy…thank you for pushing me in this direction! It’s this, or a CCrane-FM2. I got a better deal with this.
- December 31, 2016 at 2:31 pm #52747
Part 15 Engineer
on my frineds 3rd story balcony in the next complex over to extend my range just a little bit more. it’s linked via internet and a barix setup. covers his building, pool, weight room, and office there very well and then my carrier current here serves about 1/2 this complex. i still need a remote site up near our off/pool/weight room.
the remote site is on 1620 the main site is 1630 and i still have another Barix and BV FM TX i can make use of if i ever find a site close to the office of our complex.
- January 1, 2017 at 1:25 am #52749
About Reply 259 (Radiodugger): Installing an FM … “Do I care about ninny-watts, point-zero whatever, OMG-am-I-breakiing-the-law? What about 250 Mickey-Vol-yules per meter…at 7 feet off the ground…” GAWD! I ain’t even worried about it. Even at 1/5th of a watt, this thing is no threat. …
That is your stated point of view, Radiodugger, but just to note that the FCC has cited MANY operators of unlicensed FM transmit installations that were non-compliant with §15.239.
While the risk of such FCC citations might not worry you, Radiodugger, it might (should?) worry others who read and accept your posts.
- January 1, 2017 at 5:22 pm #52753
Yeah, Rich…can’t argue with ya. But hey, I’d just fire up the Veronica at the full tilt boogie, if I was really wanting to broadcast! But no. Did that. I’m really happy with the little yard-caster. It’s indoors, ready to use, and I doubt at the level I have it set for, it’ll cause any trouble…unless…
Someone complains. I cannot imagine someone doing that. That would be the lowest. Not because I am causing interference. I checked that. Nope. A person would complain simply becauce they felt I am not “following the rules”. To the (expletive)-ing letter! I despise that sort of person.
But, that said, I do not recommend a person buy or use anything that is suspected of being incompliant with our illustrious Rule Makers! No, NO! Be GOOD kids..
- December 29, 2016 at 9:16 pm #52721
I have to wonder if engineers would even notice a low power transmitter like we’re talking about in a major city. In a place like LA, SOCAL, there are so many powerful signals that many radios don’t even work right, just a mash of intermod across the dial, so if anything, I think your low power transmitter would just be jammed out.
I’m thinking of making a VFO oscillator transmitter from Wenzell to test Ric’hs idea for the counterpoise only ground, and just run a tone into it for test modulation.
- December 30, 2016 at 9:41 pm #52736
I’d venture to guess a transmitter under a watt would likely go unnoticed for quite some time, if not forever. The usual reason illegal operators get caught is due to interference of some kind.
- December 31, 2016 at 10:10 pm #52748
glad you came to the Elite section of my site and read the test reports. Now on to the subject of the Spitfire AM transmitter:
I have been thinking about trying to simulcast my station on AM as well as FM for several reasons. As you know trees and different obstructions will affect FM where as AM certain obstructions don’t affect that so in the areas where people can’t hear me on FM they might have a chance on AM The Spitfire transmitter seems to be a nice little unit and from what I can tell is easy to set up. I’ve listened to some of the audio test on YouTube and it does sound a lot better than the Talking House version 5. That being said without the hum there might be a chance. I’ve been looking around to see different prices of these transmitter so that I could try and save up for that as well.
Today on my station I got a lot of requests. Most of it was due to the fact that today is New Year’s Eve. Lots of folks are really enjoying some great album Rock tonight.
- January 1, 2017 at 10:34 pm #52756
One reason I wanted to make sure that the LOWEST setting didn’t go too far was because my Stepmom is not technically savvy. I didn’t want her broadcasting oldies from her smartphone and several cars down the road get their favorite station jammed while she merrily listens to Frank Sanatra. That being said the low setting does quite well for the yard, pool and maybe the house/appartment next door and then fades to nothing but static.
I preset the power to the lowest and when my Stepmom starts her car (with the cigarette lighter plug into the TX guess what default to Low Power so even if she was to somehow change to High or the second level she would not really know how to do it again.
My Stepmom is not interested in running a Radio Station with it but wanted to listen to her oldies and easy listening music in the summer at the pool. She has even brought it to the gym and worked out and the folks in the office listened to what she played through the transmitter. This is what part 15 is for simple short distance like this. Inside a building your signal gets attenuated so outside the gym I doubt its going to the end of the sidewalk someday I’ll see if it really is.
- January 2, 2017 at 2:01 pm #52763
That is setting 3. It complies with the 3-meter antenna, and 100 mw into the final. It covers two houses to the left and right of me, across the street, the cul-de-sac…and that’s it. I have not ridden in a car yet.
I am curious if this makes it downtown. I’d be surprised. I’d turn it down a notch. To 10 mw. As I said, this thing is surprising. I like that it’s switchable to MONO if desired. I like the power settings. I can’t think of any reason to use full power (1/5th of a watt). But the CCrane FM2 cranks up to 200 mw…so…
Thing is…seeing the discussion on the Fail Safe CZH-0B FM transmitter, I did a search. Just to see what is being BOUGHT. OMG…my little 200 mw ST-200 is NOTHING! My gosh…the FCC is NOT going to be able to handle this…I see why the states stepped in, like Florida and New York, making illegal broadcasting a FELONY!
Look at the ‘Bayster! Damn it. Amazon! Holy – type in…FM broadcast transmitters…on eBay. OK…first one listed @ Buy It Now:
5W/15W PLL FM Transmitter Radio Stereo Station…
FIVE watts MINIMUM? WTF??? And you know these dolts will crank the max 15 watts…with nary a thought of a limiter…or filtering…at 15 watts? I bet we got corned beef and hash! Over-mod at 15 watts and it’s a guaranteed NOUO…HA! They’re gonna be BUSY!
And they are desperate to sell these things! Look-a THIS:
I about fell off my chair! Not one! Freakin’ TEN! With everything!
- 10 x 5W/15W FM Transmitter
- 10 x Power Adapter
- 10 x Telescopic Antenna
- 10 x Audio Line
- 10 x English Manual
I shake my head ruefully. I don’t EVEN want to hear &*^% about my liltte 100 milliwatts!
- January 2, 2017 at 11:57 pm #52765
These are not allowed in China either….I think China’s rule for FM is 1 or 2 mW(not field strength there). These are made there for the pirate market or for places where there aren’t rules, where ever that is? In New Zealand these are illegal too.
- January 3, 2017 at 1:20 am #52766
Just to note that in the U.S.A., the operator of an unlicensed AM/FM setup risks an FCC citation if the FCC measures that setup to be non-compliant with FCC Part 15 — whether or not the transmitter used in that setup was granted Part 15 FCC certification.
- January 3, 2017 at 11:37 am #52770
The 100mW and 3 meter antenna restriction is for AM only, not FM.
- March 19, 2017 at 2:35 pm #53624
Today I received what may be percieved as good news for some. Rumors have been circulating that Live365 was coming back.
I signed up on their website a month ago to be put on the waiting list so I could move my streaming and royalty payments to their facilities.
Today I had the invitation to sign up in my email. No details yet on what problems I will encounter, but I will bring everyone up to date when I get the process started and when the stream goes live. I will probably not do that today, but I will dedicate time to it this week.
I consider this a big step for those of us that have been looking for solutions to handle streaming and royalty issues at a reasonable cost.
I am actually a wee (in spirit of the Irish) bit excited about this.
- March 21, 2017 at 1:54 am #53651
and it was fairly easy. I have a local Icecast2 server I have been using as a test bank. I merely added a stream encoder in Altacast and directed it at the appropriate Live365 server. I was working in minutes. They updated their website within a couple of hours to show my station, with my temporary logo and artwork (don’t laugh).
Costing is tiered, starting at around $60 per month including royaties and streaming. Visit their website for details.
I am still cleaning up some advertisement triggers and working on some things with a few pre-recorded shows I am hoping to run. I am also working on album art. In early days we didn’t worry about that when we recorded an album. Now it is nice to see it display when available.
My website is http://www.jacksbororadio.net There are links there to take you to the listening portal.
I will create a Facebook page later this week.
And I still have the ongoing multiple transmitter project I am working on.
- March 28, 2017 at 7:30 pm #53791
Did a drive test of my signal on 1650 AM today. I find that the station can be heard up to about 1,600 feet away. https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B5pJpBPJ71ufWW4zemRYZGpSR1k
- March 28, 2017 at 9:14 pm #53792
on my backup homebrew tube type transmitter and changed the final grid circuit to boost the DC input power to 75 mW.
- April 2, 2017 at 9:16 pm #53846
Congratulations Matt you’re doing pretty good on your AM station as far as the range goes.
- April 4, 2017 at 12:31 am #53858
I am using Radioboss I played around with some different dsp and a vst plugins I got the audio to sound pretty dam good and add vinly dust sound to the shoutcast stream. Yesterday I played around with my wireless router settings computer running Radioboss is connected to interent with a wifi adapter. Speed TX is now 150mbps up from 72mbps and link quality is now 95 to 100.
- April 5, 2017 at 2:56 pm #53886
We have been using RadioBoss 24/7 since 2015.
- April 8, 2017 at 3:09 am #53936
For me, live was only a few minutes delay as I did our Friday Nite Follies show with BJ the Blowup DJ. Had a few phone calls and texts even.
It was definately a lot a more work than me prerecording a few segments and inserting them at preset times. However, I really need the delay as I have a tendency to say innapropriate things as I ramble.
The feedback I received was acceptable and I was pushing the promo on Facebook tonight also. I gained a bunch of hits in just a few days by making a Facebook page and linking it to my stream..
As my Part 15 station ID was running during one of its scheduled plays, I wondered how many people listening to stream thought “what is he talking about?” But having the over the air broadcast adds legitimacy in my mind to being a real radio station.
BJ the Blowup DJ is now running the proverbial board. I got tired of playing DJ after a couple of drinks and cigars. Tomorrow I will have to go in and air out the studio and maybe nurse a hangover..
- April 8, 2017 at 3:24 am #53937
Indeed Mr. F understands the chemistry of broadcasting live: “Having the over the air broadcast adds legitimacy in my mind to being a real radio station.”
Because being “live” on the air, whether broadcast or stream, most closely resembles the romantic period in radio history, it has always surprised me that so many stations take the easy way out by automating.
Look who’s talking… I am automated… I only did a live stream on one occasion, otherwise, like Craig, I enjoy sitting back and hearing my own voice so I can truly admire how I sound.
Drinking while listening to a recording causes no difficulties and sweetens the enjoyment, but drinking on the air drops almost immediately into a “novacaine mouth” that sounds like I’m talking from a dental procedure after being “numbed”.
If I had any ambition I’d do live shows from garage sales in the driveway every Saturday morning. It could be like Tim In Bovey’s retail shop minus the storefront.
- April 8, 2017 at 6:03 pm #53942
i was pre recording some sets for tonights Saturday Nite R&R Doowop Show. I won’t get to do it live.. My Saturday evenings are generally tied up with family.
A friend of mine dropped by and always gets cracked up when I screw up an intro, but while he was there laughing at me. I came up with an idea for an upcoming theme. Most of the doowop songs can have me interjecting “bumbumbum bum” into them at various intervals. It almost always works.
When I put it together, it should be a fun filled show. I think he and another friend are coming by when I do it, which generally makes me more energetic and spontaneous. I feed off of laughter and having them cracking up in the background should make it entertaining… maybe!
Off to mow the grass.. yea spring has sprung. This will be mowing # 3 already this spring.
- April 9, 2017 at 1:51 pm #53953
My Veronica Broadcasting 30 Watt FM Stereo transmitter has the highest specs of any FM squeaker I have owned. Unfortunately, I cannot get it to go under 1 Watt. It really shines at 30, but no WAY am I running this thing at a watt. I am not going to sell it though.
What I am thinking of, is a Veronica 100mW with a short antenna. Mounted inside, it should keep me close to legal. At least not attract unwanted attention, anyway. They have it here:
An engineer and I were talking. He said he could set this up to be part 15 legal. The length of the antenna. An the mismatch won’t hurt it. I’m thinking seriously about this. I absolutely LOVE that Veronica!
- April 10, 2017 at 7:59 am #53970
Paul Hollings is a top-notch guy to work with…..ALL the folks at AAREFF are amateur radio ops and/or broadcasters/engineers and really know their stuff!!
I have used their 1 watt transmitter and the 100 watt amp…..BOTH are built like tanks!! The amp uses a 10 pole low-pass filter, which does an excellent job of taking care of harmonic and spurious emission issues!! (NOTE: BOTH units were tested into a 200 watt dummy load…..NO ANTENNA, thank you……..BUT the 100 watt “cooker” STILL could be “heard” for nearly a MILE….!!!)
It’s a shame that AAREFF/ Veronica can’t get FCC certification for their stuff…LPFM licensees could save some serious $$ using this equipment vs Armstrong, Nicom, BW, etc.
- April 17, 2017 at 1:25 pm #54048
I did a price comparison of the 200 watt FM transmitter w/processing…The costs are very close to the 250 watt transmitter we use for our LPFM. I am sure once certified one would see any major savings in costs over existing FM transmitters in the same power class.
- April 15, 2017 at 3:12 am #54028
I decided to build on last weeks nearly live show and go live tonight. It went pretty well, only had one minor mishap about 5 mins into the show. Lost the right channel during the middle of a song. I thought my main mixer had quit, but I guess one of the new cables I was feeding it with from the live mix computer needed to be encouraged by slapping it. It promptly returned to normal and I went on.
Had a few texts and feedback. I am used to pre-recording segments and stringing them into the playlist to give the appearance of live. I get to proof things that way. Tonight, it was just what it was!!
Next week, I hear that I will be played live into one of the local restaurants. I will really have to be on my best behavior.
- April 19, 2017 at 2:33 pm #54071
- Learning softwares
- Prepping an antenna build
- Drawing up plans for a 9 x 10 foot studio space
- May 29, 2018 at 11:48 am #79901
Today marked a seachange in the way KDX operates.
The most significant piece of the change is the closing of the KDX Icecast Stream which has sent daily programming to all 400 countries of the world for many years.
It is possible that KDX may stream again on a very limited schedule.
KDX AM and FM have also changed, being stations that supply quality programming to its owner and listener (me), by cutting the program day in half so as to free up the mind for concentration on creative projects of many kinds. We decided that highly interesting talk programming on KDX was, after a certain number of hours, a distraction.
A person can absorb information or produce constructive results, but cannot do both at the same time. It is not possible to be two people.
- September 4, 2018 at 2:25 pm #106168
Here’s an update from the files of Radio Free Connecticut.
Unfortunately, I have found that my station on 1650 khz interferes with the local TIS station, which broadcasts ten watts on 1670 khz. The station in question can usually be reliably received at my broadcast location. However, when I’m on the air, this is not so. As such, I have found it necessary to change frequencies.
Barring any unforeseen issues, Radio Free Connecticut will soon move to 1540 AM, which seems to be an open frequency. As an old regional phone message used to say, “please make a note of it”. 🙂
- September 4, 2018 at 6:17 pm #106169
Update from the CDL Team on the weekends projects:
Worked on the website, still in progress: http://www.compdecon.org
Preparing the documents to hang another pair of large format monitors monitors in the studio. Requires wiring in the wall, so it’s a more complicated then driving a few lag bolts into the wall studs.
Figured out to get the Telos Two x 12 phone system to talk to the lab (test) PBX via ISDN. Now comes the real challenge to make it talk to the site PBX.
Have the Wheatstone R60 talking MODBUS. Sounds more impressive than it really is. All we are doing is lighting the “on the air” flag on our WallTime clocks. https://www.paravelsystems.com/walltime/
- September 5, 2018 at 5:58 am #106175
Mixed up a new frequency change announcement….if you haven’t heard, Radio Free Connecticut will now be broadcasting on 1540 AM, instead of 1650 AM.
Here’s my announcement, inspired by the old phone company tones. https://drive.google.com/open?id=1l8e4XayPkS3Qma1o76FgfDNvLaKd4aq-
Oh, BTW, I plan to do a broadcast after I get home from the store. 🙂
- This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by FairBol.
- October 10, 2018 at 3:36 pm #106874
Doing a “Mid Week Slow Jams” show tonight, as we speak. Right now, as of 7:36 PM eastern on 10/10/2018, “You Can’t Change That” by Raydio is playing. Sound quality/reception seems to be pretty good tonight. 🙂
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.