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ItsMeBobO

Do they notice the FM radio sign

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This year I am noticing a lot of people leave in under a minute.

My wife and I both think they do not notice any of the FM radio signs or they would stay for at least one song. Without the music I would wonder why those lights are blinking that way and leave too!

I have a 3x28 BetaBrite in the window of the house. And also 17x11 signs posted on four trees at the street. How can they miss all of them?

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That does seem to defy the laws of probability... I can easily understand people missing the sign in the window as I probably would also - especially if you've done a good job with the sequencing. But it would seem that somewhere they should be seeing at least one of the signs. Without knowing anything about your display I'd suspect the signs aren't obvious or visible enough. Are the signs lighted? Do all your lights except for the signs turn off between sequences thereby calling attention to the only thing lighted at the time - namely the signs?

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Starting this year, I programmed flashes for the tune to sign at the beginning of the sequence. For about 10 seconds, the sign flashes on/off at 0.05 second intervals. It is an attention getter. I also keep a couple of seconds of dead air at the beginning of the song to really draw attention to the sign.

Hope this helps

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Bigger problem ! It appears my transmitter is not functioning . Both my wife and I heard it from our cars earlier around 5:30. But now neither of us can. People are leaving because they can't hear the music.

Ramsey100B kit which I soldered and used 2 prior seasons. The VU leds on transmitter show it is getting signal. I can also hear the sound on the pc speakers so its playing. Its not transmitting at all since I hear static on 90.1 instead of dead air like I would if there was just no signal. Already had the cover off and turned up R36 which made no difference.

QUICK! Where can I get a transmitter which is tunable. The easily available whole house have never worked for me since they are drowned out by area stations.

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Zounds! That is a serious issue! I'm a EDM guy myself, but a lot of people have reported good results with the Black Box jobber and it sounds like it's pretty readily available. Good luck!

Can you at least get a pair of speakers outside in the interim?

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Bob,

Sorry to hear about your issues. If I had a spare transmitter, I'd loan it to you...

As for the sign - I kinda feel the same. I've got a betabrite in the window and a 18 x 24 by the street. There's also a second 18 x 24 sign with the phone number to call for requesting songs. On top of all that, there is a sign at the end of the street with some solar LEDs flashing on it. I do think I might have new signs made next year though, with less text.

Also, please PM me your address - I'd like to come by....regardless of the audio, but I would definitely like to hear the audio! Have you thought about a tunecast II with the longer wire mod for the antenna?

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tomskillman wrote:

Bob,

Sorry to hear about your issues.  If I had a spare transmitter, I'd loan it to you...

As for the sign - I kinda feel the same.  I've got a betabrite in the window and a 18 x 24 by the street.  There's also a second 18 x 24 sign with the phone number to call for requesting songs.  On top of all that, there is a sign at the end of the street with some solar LEDs flashing on it.  I do think I might have new signs made next year though, with less text.

Also, please PM me your address - I'd like to come by....regardless of the audio, but I would definitely like to hear the audio!  Have you thought about a tunecast II with the longer wire mod for the antenna?


Thanks Tom! Come on over. But wait till till I get a replacement transmitter. I will send address via pm.

Tunecast II Operating Range says 10 ft to 30 ft and its battery powered. Seems too small since I have tried several. Didnt see anything about your mod.
Before the Ramsey100 I had a different house one which went about 10 inches with static, then a Ramsey10 which would reach the street but was hard to tune and drifted, then the 100 and I was in Eden. Well for two seasons.
I guess it could be fixed, but not by me.

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I believe the 100 uses the same GAL5 chip for the RF output stage as the FM30B. Unfortunately it is a surface mount chip. I know a few people who have replaced them, but it isn't easy, or fun on the 30B. Not sure on the 100..

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ItsMeBobO wrote:

tomskillman wrote:
Bob,

Sorry to hear about your issues. If I had a spare transmitter, I'd loan it to you...

As for the sign - I kinda feel the same. I've got a betabrite in the window and a 18 x 24 by the street. There's also a second 18 x 24 sign with the phone number to call for requesting songs. On top of all that, there is a sign at the end of the street with some solar LEDs flashing on it. I do think I might have new signs made next year though, with less text.

Also, please PM me your address - I'd like to come by....regardless of the audio, but I would definitely like to hear the audio! Have you thought about a tunecast II with the longer wire mod for the antenna?


Thanks Tom! Come on over. But wait till till I get a replacement transmitter. I will send address via pm.

Tunecast II Operating Range says 10 ft to 30 ft and its battery powered. Seems too small since I have tried several. Didnt see anything about your mod.
Before the Ramsey100 I had a different house one which went about 10 inches with static, then a Ramsey10 which would reach the street but was hard to tune and drifted, then the 100 and I was in Eden. Well for two seasons.
I guess it could be fixed, but not by me.


Bob,

I'm not sure about the tunecast mod and haven't tried it myself. I just recall seeing it...perhaps someone can shed some light on it, but I'm sure if you google it, something will come up to lead you to it if you want to try it.

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I made mine 4 feet by 3 feet. with a bright light on it so no one can miss it. As far as the radio going out I am sorry that happened. I hope it don't happen to me. I am thinking of buying another edm next year as a back up. I do have a radio in the kitchen that I turn on about every hour or so just to make sure its transmitting.

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These are a few pages that helped me mod my Belkin a few years ago. Probably got 75 yds with decent quality, but my antenna/transmitter was at ground level, so if elevated it it would have probably been farther. Used it with a Lights and Sounds/Mr. Christmas controller unit. Wanted a little more range and crystal clear sound so upgraded to EDM this year (1st year with LOR). Very easy mod. Below are some basic instruction I wrote up too.


http://www.instructables.com/id/Belkin-Tunecast-II-FM-Transmitter-Mod/

http://vimeo.com/2320043

Modified the Tunecast II with a longer antenna so it would transmit farther. The existing antenna is a blue wire inside the cord of the Tunecast. I snipped off the blue antenna wire and soldered a new one to a different place on the Tunecast circuit board (see step 4 on the instructables.com site above.) In their picture though it looks like they disconnected the inductor (has yellow box around it in picture) and rotated it out of the way. On mine, I just soldered to the end of it. Try holding the antenna wire to this area first before soldering to make sure it lengthens your transmission distance. I stink at soldering, so my guess better soldering improves signal strength. For my antenna I just cut a wire from an old dead set of christmas lights--worked fine. Maybe true antenna wire from Radio shack would be better though. Read online about length of the antenna based on the radio frequency (FM station) you use. 3/4 wavelength antenna is what you want--from what I have read. Mine is roughly 94" long. Try different frequencies though, since I found much different clarity with different frequencies. I use 91.9. Check here for what is open near you http://www.fcc.gov/mb/audio/fmq.html I used a large tupperware container to put the FM transmitter inside to keep it safe from snow/water, with holes drilled in the container for the wires/antenna to come out--again sealed with silicone. The Tunecast can run on batteries, but goes through them fast. Tunecast has a 12V DC/AC car power adapter with it, so I bought a cheap AC adapter at Radioshack that matched the input specs--again put all this inside the tupperware container. I read that using an insulator at the end of the antenna helps. Read that a plastic spoon works well--drilled 2 holes in it, one at each end--one for the antenna to tie to and one for a wire to hang the antenna up on my house. Not sure why this helps, but I played along since I was clueless.

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friskybri wrote:

I made mine 4 feet by 3 feet. with a bright light on it so no one can miss it. As far as the radio going out I am sorry that happened. I hope it don't happen to me. I am thinking of buying another edm next year as a back up. I do have a radio in the kitchen that I turn on about every hour or so just to make sure its transmitting.

Sounds like our "Tune to" sign...
http://www.mainelights.org/ChristmasLightsDaytime/ourtunetosign.html

And as far as the transmitter... make sure of all the easy stuff. Check your wires and antenna. And since you soldered the kit, check for cold solder joints on the antenna and ground shield leads. Most times I think the worst, it's something simple that I overlook in my crazy, Christmas light driven haste. :D

Good luck!

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Jeffrey wrote:


Hay Jeff,

Change your station to 99.1FM and don't worry if you see me walking away with your sign. I LOVE IT. I suck at drawing. I am going to have my brother inlaw draw one like that for next year.

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I have an additional problem (I think). My sign has the station (101.9FM) plus the hours of the show at the bottom (6-8).

My lights come on at 4:30pm (just some animation) along with my ZARA Radio.

So I don't know if when they come BEFORE 6:00 and they tune to the radio that they think "what's the big deal", because all they are seeing is some mini trees fading from one color to another and random Christmas songs playing.

So do they leave because it is boring, or do they really see that the shows start at 6:00pm??

My sign is lit, but not that big (18 x 24), so sometimes I think because of all the other lights, they just don't see the radio sign, even though it is right in the middle of everything.

Was thinking of building a snowman holding a sign...at least that would draw their attention.

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Bob:

Another thing it seems it doesn't matter what size the sign is, some people just don't read them. I have 2x3 foot signs for both the tune to and the curtious to the neighbor rules. Both are lit and within 5 feet of the curb. One of the rules , that also is mentioned in the voiceovers is "please do not block or turn around in the neighbors drive way" another is "headlights only please if you are going to stay awhile and watch" You can go out anytime and at least 50% of the cars are sitting along the curb with lights on. We came home from bowling the other night and a lady had her mini van backed up in the neighbor across the streets drive watching.

The one neighbor who disdains my lights infinately of course. Luckily it must have been on a night that he was warm and snug in bed already after his post work 12 pack of Miller got inhalled. Good luck with your Transmitter problem. It's a planned upgrade for me next year. Just using the whole house this year.

Lenny

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I know that Mobile Black Box has transmitters in stock and ready to ship. They're complete - no assembly. I've been using the V6000 ($99) for the past 3 years and get reception halfway down the street.

http://www.mobileblackbox.com

The V6000 only broadcasts mono, though. For $40 more, the Eclipse 4000 transmits stereo and has better range. I'll probably upgrade to that going forward.

They do offer express shipping, so you could have it by Friday, and it's pretty much plug-n-play. You don't have to solder anything.

As for my sign, its back-lit plexiglass right out on the curb.




Attached files 191344=10733-TuneTo Sign.JPG

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Just last night, I had someone parked almost directly in front of my sign. They had their windows down presumably to hear the music I pipe out front. They may have had the radio on but I did not hear it. I was thinking about using a small red rotator light on top of my sign!

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Does that have anything to do with what I presume is your profession?

Not that it's not a great idea, of course!

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I have some kids stop by almost every night and park right in front of my sign...radio blaring...unfortunately it's not tuned to MY station!!! LOL

I guess they want to watch the lights to their music...

Reminds me of the 60's...

turn on, tune in, drop out... :?

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mwilliams wrote:

I know that Mobile Black Box has transmitters in stock and ready to ship. They're complete - no assembly. I've been using the V6000 ($99) for the past 3 years and get reception halfway down the street.

http://www.mobileblackbox.com

The V6000 only broadcasts mono, though. For $40 more, the Eclipse 4000 transmits stereo and has better range. I'll probably upgrade to that going forward.

They do offer express shipping, so you could have it by Friday, and it's pretty much plug-n-play. You don't have to solder anything.

As for my sign, its back-lit plexiglass right out on the curb.


OK its ordered! Spent too much time already trying to fix the Ramsey.

Thanks to all for the replies.

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mwilliams wrote:

Does that have anything to do with what I presume is your profession?

Not that it's not a great idea, of course!

Kinda. I am also a part time DJ and have a few of those lights laying around somewhere from years ago.

BobO

You should be happy with the black box. I cannot remember one negative post them.

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I have one of those Whole House Transmitters - and my front yard slopes downward some, where my garage and my computer are. So, even when I put the tranmitter antenna up on the wall of my garage, I don't think it was high enough. also, the lead wire from the computer to the tranmitter is this really flimsy thing that came with the transmitter, that seems to have no insulation at all, so I was concerned about interference from the computer.

So, I went to Radio shack, and bought this 20 foot long stereo cable for 12 bucks (which had a lot better insultation, Im not sure if that was an issue or not), drilled a hole in the ceiling of my garage, and ran this cable up into the attic on the second floor of my house, about 15 feet higher up. Then I taped the antenna lead onto a rafter in my attic.

The reception is a lot better now. People can hear the music clearly around my circle, and even up the street a little bit too. Much, much better.

I think the higher up you can get the FM signal in the air, the better. Why else do they need those huge towers? Anyway give it a try - I was about to chunk my transmitter into the garbage.

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Really nice sign! did you do the design yourself or was it printed on the plexiglass somehow? I would really like to know how to make a sign that looks that nice!



I did one like yours with white letters on red background, but no artwork like yours.



Thanks!

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orthoman wrote:

I would really like to know how to make a sign that looks that nice.

I had mine done at a sign shop. They can pretty much print/cut out anything you want on a piece of vinyl (while you wait) and then either have them apply it to the Plexiglas or do it yourself.

The vinyl is sticky on one side, so as you are pulling off the protective covering you use a small squeegee to apply (and remove the air bubbles) it to the Plexiglas.

Mine was 18 x 24 and cost $42.00 (without the Plexiglas).

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Actually, It's just regular plexiglass.

I went to the Build-a-Sign website, but instead of ordering a sign, when I did the preview, I hit the "print screen" button on my computer,

pasted it into an Excel file,

stretched it to print in the dimensions of my plexiglass,

taped the printed pages together to make 1 big page,

then used an exacto knife to cut around the design.

Plexiglass come with a protective plastic sheet, so I just peeled away the part I wanted to be red.

I spray painted the front with Krylon Fusion Red.

I spray painted the back with Krylon Fusion White.

Once it was dry, I just peeled off the remaining protective plastic. When lit up from the back, it looks like white lettering on red. Total cost: $12 (because I already had the paint, the wood and the stand).

If it saves you any time, here is a jpg of what I printed.



Attached files 191400=10737-YardSign.JPG

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