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Whole House FM Transmitter - Poor Range, how to extend?


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#1 mcmason

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 08:05 AM

I purchased the Whole House FM Transmitter from this site hoping that I could plug it into my mini-director w/MP3 player so that people could drive up to my house, stay in their cars, tune to a station and hear the show.

I plugged it in and cannot seem to get a good range outside of a few feet - I thought this was a "whole house" transmitter so I should be able to get at least 50 feet, or basically the street around my yard.

Is this transmitter powerful enough to do that? Do I need to get extra antenna or hardware to boost the signal? Or do I need a different type of FM transmitter all together.

I'm a little disappointed because this one cost $125 on this site and if it won't even broadcast from the yard to the street I'd like to return it and get something else.

Suggestions?

Thx in advance,
Mark

#2 MarkV

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 08:17 AM

I have the same transmitter and was pretty disappointed at first. I kept plugging away at different frequencies and found one that works really well.

Also maybe someone else can help with providing this link. There is a web site that lists all of the open frequencies in your area. I used that list and I just sat in my car flipping through channels to see which ones were static.

I found one that was static in my car and listed on the web site as open and it works pretty well.

#3 Max-Paul

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 08:33 AM

Does anyone come into this forum and read about FM transmitters? We (the guys who have been around for a few years) have been singing like canaries. The WHT are crap. Will all of you newbies wake up and smell the manure. Then maybe you all will quit waking into the cow paddies.

#4 Norm Ivey

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 09:17 AM

I used the Whole House Transmitter for a couple of years. I got tired of poor reception even right in front of the house. I got one of these this summer, and it is vastly superior.

http://www.amazon.co...s00_i00_details

#5 Greentree38

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 11:25 AM

Have you added the ariel extender??? I added this and can get signal 2 blocks away!! Also the higher it is the better, When it is low you get interference from walls and houses!! (I run my lights from the second story of my house so i get awesome reception)

#6 mcmason

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 02:15 AM

I didn't try that antenna extension. I'll try it tonight and let you know. Interesting that it says it is for international use only yet without the extension and with that default tiny antenna the product isn't really what it claims to be.

Thanks for the suggestion.

#7 dionie

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 02:22 AM

I was in the same boat as you are, ordered it and got stuck with it.

Here are the things that helped mine, at least to be workable:
- use the extension antenna, there's some length recommendation but I did not do that
- make sure the antenna is outside of your house and, preferably, vertically oriented
- open the battery compartment, remove the white, usually QC sticker, you'll find a a slide switch - slide it to the other side (I read this from another thread in this forum)
- set transmission to mono (NOT stereo)

At this time now, I am happy with it's range of about 3 to 4 houses from ground zero.

#8 otisriggs

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 02:23 AM

Max-Paul wrote:

Does anyone come into this forum and read about FM transmitters? We (the guys who have been around for a few years) have been singing like canaries. The WHT are crap. Will all of you newbies wake up and smell the manure. Then maybe you all will quit waking into the cow paddies.



#9 otisriggs

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 02:24 AM

nuff said

#10 Jordan23

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 07:02 AM

Wish I saw this before I ordered mine...I'll let you know how well mine works when it shows up.

#11 papap

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 08:40 AM

I have a whole house 2.0 it can be heard several blocks away.

#12 mcmason

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 08:45 AM

You have the extension antenna on it? Mono/Stereo? How is yours setup?

#13 papap

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 08:56 AM

I cut the antenna as directed. I have tried it in stero and mono an it works fine.

#14 Max-Paul

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 01:04 PM

papap wrote:

I cut the antenna as directed. I have tried it in stero and mono an it works fine.

You sir are the 1 out of 10 exception. For every one of you we get 9 people who are very sorry that they bought one.

I am happy that you have had good luck and was able to put more money into your lights and not your radio.

Radio transmittion is part science and part voo-doo magic. I say that with some training by Uncle Sam. Each installation is different and one needs to know the rules and know some tricks to make each one to work properly.

#15 Redbirdruss

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 02:31 AM

I used the WHT and it worked perfectly for me. Currently I use the Mobile Black Box V6000 which I am also happy with.

#16 Greentree38

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 05:47 AM

Mine is great, I have mine up on the 2nd story of my house (Inside & Australia) and it works great with the extender on it.... I run it + my computer volume at 80% and on Mono with the aerial running up my window

#17 HiTechLights

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 02:29 PM

Max-Paul wrote:

Does anyone come into this forum and read about FM transmitters? We (the guys who have been around for a few years) have been singing like canaries. The WHT are crap. Will all of you newbies wake up and smell the manure. Then maybe you all will quit waking into the cow paddies.



Well said... Ditto!

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#18 huskerhoule

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 06:36 PM

open the battery compartment, remove the white, usually QC sticker, you'll find a a slide switch - slide it to the other side (I read this from another thread in this forum)


I am a first year rookie at this and also purchased a Whole House Transmitter. Couldn't get the darn thing to transmit and was ready to send it back. Until I ran across some threads discussing the topic noted above. I peeled the sticker away in the battery compartment, slide the little white switch, and BAM! I now have great transmission. I wish I new what that white switch did. It is not noted anywhere in the instructions. It only transmitts maybe a block, but that is all I need being in a cul-d-sac. Will eventually move to a better transmitter for a much better sound quality. I'm happy now though! These forums are great. Thanks guys!
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#19 PMC

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 11:06 PM

"First Things First"

Husker, I see this is your first post, let me be the first to welcome you to LOR Forums

now on to my "thoughts"

Those who know me on here know that I will always talk of the FCC rules on PART 15 broadcasting (non-licensed transmission)

even a 1/2 watt is way to much to be FCC legal, but its better than the 5 to 30 watts I seen on here, I'm not going to beat this dead horse, again and again

And how can you actually pay $100's of dollars for these transmitters? really
I paid $35 for this FM Modulator I been using this for 5 years now, and as my backup I got this from China and paid $75 (includes Shipping) I bought this and used it for 5 minutes and took it offline, it works great, just to much power even at a 100 milliwatt
I can pick this up 2 miles from my house, not good

Lets talk about loudness, a subject seldom spoken of when FM Modulators are mentioned

remember its not the "wattage in the cottage"
but it's the "power in the tower" Height is everything

and you need to make your station heard, remember FM stands for Frequency "Modulation"
That said I highly recommended Breakaway Live (no I'm not paid by these people)
Leif makes a great product.

it costs $30, and it has a full 30 day trial

I use the $30.00 version, it has low latency and does exactly what I want, Lief sells a FM Broadcast Processor but with the equipment 100% of you use on here, you don't need this, the $30 is fine

install this on your LOR Schedule Computer and go hear the difference on your car radio.

Loudness is everything, but distortion sucks

Play around with the presets, I found "zenith" to work very well

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#20 lightzilla

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 11:38 PM

Max-Paul wrote:

The WHT are crap. Will all of you newbies wake up and smell the manure. Then maybe you all will quit waking into the cow paddies.


Maybe it is not just the newbies that need to "wake up & smell the dong".

Anyhow, no matter how you word it or how many times you "put up a red flag" on FM transmitters you will get a thread on FM transmitters every few times a year on forums everywhere.

#21 Denis Chaput

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 11:57 PM

EDM transmitter is the way to go simple and easy to use.
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#22 thevikester

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 11:59 PM

Perhaps if LOR didn't have this as the only model to sell on their site...that might dissuade people from purchasing...just a thought?? Input?
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#23 MarkV

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 01:58 AM

thevikester wrote:

Perhaps if LOR didn't have this as the only model to sell on their site...that might dissuade people from purchasing...just a thought?? Input?



+1

#24 Max-Paul

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 12:44 PM

Unfortunely, I think that this is one of the few transmitters that might actually be FCC approved.

One of the problems with this WHT is that cause it is down in the 15 or so milliwatt transmitters. It is very touchy in its installation. Antenna is the correct length, and not detuned by being installed next to lets say a window frame or wires in the wall. And that there is no air ducts or metal cabinets that would block or redirect the Radio waves. Also over driving the audio signal will decrease the effectiveness of the signal also.
So, I will stand by my original statement that the transmitter is a piece of dung. I understand why LOR sells this WHT. And I cant and wont speak of QC. So, maybe not all WHTs are created equally.

#25 MarkV

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 01:07 PM

huskerhoule wrote:

open the battery compartment, remove the white, usually QC sticker, you'll find a a slide switch - slide it to the other side (I read this from another thread in this forum)



Lets just say this works.:D

#26 Guest_guest_*

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 01:41 PM

I *almost* bought the WHT when I started 2 years ago, glad I read through the forums and ASKED questions on what folks thought about this unit, otherwise I'd have been a very unhappy camper when it came to transmitting my show.

I did buy an Mobile Black Box Eclipse 4000 since it was at the time highly recommended, but then when I started seeing the FCC Rules and Regulations on unlicensed transmitters, I was, let's say, a little more than concerned about the unit I had purchased. It was transmitting way too far (5 mile radius at times, not all the time, but even just once or twice was too many for me).

Fortunately with the help of all the folks here I was able to curtail that down to a reasonable distance, just 1-2 houses around me and it wouldn't even get to the next street over. Fixed with a little 10dB attenuator between the antenna jack and the antenna itself.

I'd rather have had to do this than have a possible visit from the FCC folks. (I know that's NOT an issue with the WHT, most folks can't seem to get but a few feet distance out of the WHT.)

Now I am going to replace the MBB Eclipse 4000 with an EDM unit as that seems to be the one that the majority here recommend, even to the new folks on the block. I'll keep the MBB, it'll be utilized as a back up unit in case for some reason the EDM would happen to fail during the season it would be in use.

WHT from everything I've read, like Max-Paul and many, countless others here have said, it's junk. Could have saved yourselves some grief and just added about $25 or so more and gotten an EDM unit.

Definitely what I'm going with for next years (2012) display!

#27 plasmadrive

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 09:16 AM

I bought one of the WH2 units and had the same issues until I found the thread about the secret switch.. Now it words fine..

However, bought a couple of units from China before I found out about the switch.. they are also working fine and they were only about $50-60 each.

If the WH2 had a real antenna instead of that long wire, I would have kept running it.

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#28 scubado

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 02:16 PM

This story is from Mwhite7097 in another thread:
This year has been amazing and I would like to share a story also. I normally stay inside during shows, but one show, I could hear the music playing very loudly outside. My house is over 200' from the road. So I went out to investigate why they were playing it so loud. To my surprise, the car windows were rolled up and it was still very loud. The parents were outside the car and a small girl was inside. As I walked up to ask them to turn it down a bit, they explained that the girl was deaf and by turning it up loud, she can "feel the music" from the bass beats. It turns out that they were at the show before and she couldn't wait to go again. I think I may have made it into the house before the floodgates opened up but I am not sure. If anyone of you decorators get to wondering why we do this, well, I found my reason this year!

I see this as THE best reason to get an EDM transmitter. The cheaper transmitters don't have the specs or the respect that the EDM carries.

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Life's Short, Make A Light Impression

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#29 CKSedg

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 03:13 PM

scubado wrote:

This story is from Mwhite7097 in another thread:
This year has been amazing and I would like to share a story also. I normally stay inside during shows, but one show, I could hear the music playing very loudly outside. My house is over 200' from the road. So I went out to investigate why they were playing it so loud. To my surprise, the car windows were rolled up and it was still very loud. The parents were outside the car and a small girl was inside. As I walked up to ask them to turn it down a bit, they explained that the girl was deaf and by turning it up loud, she can "feel the music" from the bass beats. It turns out that they were at the show before and she couldn't wait to go again. I think I may have made it into the house before the floodgates opened up but I am not sure. If anyone of you decorators get to wondering why we do this, well, I found my reason this year!

I see this as THE best reason to get an EDM transmitter. The cheaper transmitters don't have the specs or the respect that the EDM carries.


Great story! Thanks for sharing. I love it.

#30 huskerhoule

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 06:03 PM

Thanks for all the input everyone. I do agree with everyone that Ramsey and the other brands of transmitters are the MUCH better way to go and I will move in that direction. My WHT is working like a champion for my situation as a first year light show sequencer. The previous story regarding the girl and the loud music is awsome! Merry Christmas everyone!
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#31 Eaglesclaw

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Posted 25 December 2011 - 12:29 AM

Merry Christmas everyone! I have been using the Holiday Lightshow for the past 4 years for my lights. It has been been a lot nicer than just plain lights. But after watching all the light shows on YouTube I've decided to start getting together the LOR for next year. I had just run my sound thru my stereo with 4 speakers placed around outside for people to enjoy (even tho the show only works great with the built in songs). I tried to keep the volume down to an acceptable level, but to some neighbors there is no acceptable level. So I decided to start with an FM transmitter as my first new investment. I bought the WH2 and as many of you were I as well was disappointed by its output. So I started reading more up on it. As stated the extra antennae was for international use, but when you read about tuning the antannae to the frequency, how could it work properly without it. So i attached it and was using 88.5 so the length was perfect for that staion without cutting it. It still was weak and could only reach to my sidewalk so I continued reading more on it and found a post talking about the little white switch inside the battery compartment, flipped it and viola, a whole new experience was springing from it!!!! I could now get in my car and drive 2 blocks away and using the stereo setting it was clear as a bell! Now I can't wait until I start putting together an LOR show. Maybe even start at Halloween just to start learning how to sequence. Anyways sorry to be so long winded with my first post, but i look forward to reading more in here about all the things to look forward to with the LOR. Merry Christmas All

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#32 Jordan23

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 06:33 AM

I recently bought the whale house and called their support number and they mentioned to me that there is a switch inside the transmitter which you can turn on.

I turned it on and it seems to broadcast a long way and work pretty well

#33 jerrymac

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 10:09 AM

I found what turned out to be my only fix for WHT, "Replace" with one from another vender. I could not get clear transmission and even then not more than 30 or 40 feet (not event the width of the property or distance to the curb).

#34 plasmadrive

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 10:13 AM

Mine goes for about a block.. once I hit that switch it worked great. My block is really about 400-600'.
I just don't like the wire ant.

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#35 jstorms

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 11:40 AM

I got suckered into buying the WHT as well. Didn't go to the forums to see what people thought, just went off the fact that since it's on the LOR page it must be good.

I added the extra antenna, making the unit illegal.
I tried various frequencies, but all the settable frequencies were in use and strong.
I put the transmitter and antenna high up in a tree.
Made sure it was away from any other sources.

...and it still sucked. The 1.0 doesn't have the hidden switch.

The dirty secret is that 99/100 you can't get a clear signal to the street with a legal FM transmitter. Then you hit the Internet and find the EDM, Ramsey, Hemi, MBB, etc ranging from .5 watts all the way up to 20.

I picked up the 1/2 watt MBB, push the antenna all the way down and I get the street in front of my house nice and clear. Range is well under .25 miles which keeps the men in black from crashing through my door. If I fully extend the antenna I get about .75 to 1 mile.

I keep the WHT next to my computer just in case I get a visit. If you pick a free channel, keep the power low, and don't run 24/7 I doubt most people will have a problem.

Funny thing is most people think I'm syncing the lights to a real radio station.