AM Broadcast Journey – The Seed – Starting to Grow
Posted on January 10, 2013
Every want-to-be microbroadcaster is going to run into the same inevitable needs, questions and shopping list for pieces.
Arguably, aside from the content itself, the most important needs are a transmitter, an antenna and place to effectively mount the equipment.
I settled on the Talking House V transmitter solely because it is widely available and affordable. At $99 + shipping for a new unit or half that if you watch for used units (Ebay, Craigslist, etc.), it makes the daydream of broadcasting a cheap thing most of us can actually do.
The downsides of the Talking House unit are:
1. The transmitter is for use indoors only.
2. The antenna included is a wire antenna (3M in length)
These two major factors limit the Talking House transmitters to indoor installs which can greatly limit the broadcast range. Buildings have loads of signal interference and the structure blocks broadcast signals.
I found this out within hours of unpacking my new (used) transmitter and trying to receive the signal outside.
That led to quick conclusion that to accomplish any broadcast range where I am, that I’d need to transmit from outside and likely from a raised antenna to overcome high power lines that encircle my high density urban environment.
My first attempt to improve range by installing the transmitter outdoors inside of an outbuilding (DIY greenhouse of frame construction) lasted about two days and ended up with unsatisfactory signal and range. This included splicing a 102 inch CB whip antenna (Radioshack) into the wire antenna auto-tune port and driving a few 6ft sections of rebar into the ground and using those to ground the chasis of the TH.
Next step, a whip antenna mount and heading up to the roof.