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FM Controller for very small yard


marsh28

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I live in the City limits of St. Louis in a two story, 70 year old colonial revival. Like most houses where I live, my house has a "zero lot" yard and is about 40 feet wide total. The distance from the front of the house to the street is probably 30 feet. Could I get away with a cheaper FM transmitter like the CZH .05B (the one thats $50 on Ebay) or would it be better to get something a little more expensive?

Thanks alot

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I went down this road recently. Now I will say, I should have bought the EDM first, however I started last year with the Whole House Transmitter 2 (WHT). It worked OK about half a block in each direction (some fading). Not shabby for the $129. Now this year, I just got my EDM transmitter. Turned up, it'll go to the end of the street (about 6-8 blocks)! Now it has a much higher price tag http://www.edmdesign.com/orders.html. If your interested, I'll sell the whole house for $50.

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Guess it depends on a few variables...

1) Your Budget
2) Whether or not you want the audio to match the quality of your Christmas Light Show?

Lights (50%) plus Audio (50%) equals 100% of your Display...

and in my opinion..the WH Transmitter isn't even worth $25... (first one I bought also...sent it back)

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I have two Whole House transmitters. You would think I would learn the first time, but no---I bought their "newer, better" model because the first one was lousy. Although the second was was a bit better, it was still bad. I have now purchased an EDM and can't wait for it to come so I can try it out!

Do it right the first time, so you don't waste money like I did! Sad lesson to learn.

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trankin79 wrote:

WH Transmitter 2 was better as long as your flipped the switch in the battery area. Much better reception.


Agreed
I put the Whole house transmitter outside with the switch flipped and the long antenna on, works great for what I need. You cannot be blocks away, but you can't see the show from blocks away anyway. :P
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Jim Saul wrote:

trankin79 wrote:
WH Transmitter 2 was better as long as your flipped the switch in the battery area. Much better reception.


Agreed
I put the Whole house transmitter outside with the switch flipped and the long antenna on, works great for what I need. You cannot be blocks away, but you can't see the show from blocks away anyway. :P


My WH2 works fine for me as well. Put the antenna extender on it and it's all I need for the front of my house. I don't have a need to transmit more than about 50 feet.
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There is a lot of discussion about how far away a transmitter works, but range is just one factor in an FM transmitter. You have:

  • Range (power output and antenna efficiency). This factor is regulated by FCC regulations. While many transmitters+antennas will get you enough power to reach block away, you have to be careful because you can be shut down by the FCC if you interfere with someone who complains.
  • Audio range. This is how accurately the received audio matches the audio source. Cheap transmitters may attenuate the bass and treble, or over-emphasize them.
  • Stereo separation. That's actually not a big deal for most songs, but is another factor in how good it sounds.
  • Noise. This includes "hiss" introduced by circuits in the cheap transmitters, and "hum" from the power supply.

It's good to have the ability to adjust the transmit power so you can dial it down to stay legal (or out of trouble). As to the other factors, many have found that the EDM transmitters are best, due to excellent engineering design.

In a small lot, you know where your viewers will be located, so you can get the best bang per milliWatt by locating the transmitter as close to the viewers as possible. Then it won't matter if the signal can't reach to the next block.

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Ok, I just checked. I have the WH2 and there isn't a switch anywhere in the battery compartment. Is this something that was phased out, or do you have to take the entire back panel off

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David Rise wrote:

Ok, I just checked. I have the WH2 and there isn't a switch anywhere in the battery compartment. Is this something that was phased out, or do you have to take the entire back panel off


Peel the sticker back in the battery compartment.

MikeH
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Steven wrote:

There is a lot of discussion about how far away a transmitter works, but range is just one factor in an FM transmitter. You have:
  • Range (power output and antenna efficiency). This factor is regulated by FCC regulations. While many transmitters+antennas will get you enough power to reach block away, you have to be careful because you can be shut down by the FCC if you interfere with someone who complains.

To clarify this point, it is not actual power output from your transmitter that is "regulated"..the regulation is a measure of field strength at a specific distance from your transmitter location. This confuses a lot of people, as to why George could run 1/10 watt at his house and be legal, and Jim (Winder, of course :P) would run a 1/10 watt from his house and be blatantly violating the regs.

Antenna design, transmitter design, and height above terrain/clutter/etc., plays a big part in this. You truly get what you pay for with most of these 29.99 ebay specials..

Lots of power and a crappy antenna won't get you the quality you want...a good efficient antenna, properly built and installed, with minimal power, will be all you need..and, keep you legal. Feed that antenna with a well-designed, clean, FM transmitter (like an EDM), and the signal/audio quality will make you glad you spent the extra few bucks.
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This confuses a lot of people, as to why George could run 1/10 watt at his house and be legal, and Jim (Winder, of course :P) would run a 1/10 watt from his house and be blatantly violating the regs.

Attached files 260913=14467-Shhhhh.jpg

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marsh28 wrote:

I live in the City limits of St. Louis in a two story, 70 year old colonial revival. Like most houses where I live, my house has a "zero lot" yard and is about 40 feet wide total. The distance from the front of the house to the street is probably 30 feet. Could I get away with a cheaper FM transmitter like the CZH .05B (the one thats $50 on Ebay) or would it be better to get something a little more expensive?

Thanks alot

I have that exact model,I had a little trouble using a different power supply humming a little,but using the power supply that came with it i am very happy.
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I live in a very small town 60+ miles from any city with radio stations, I have plenty of open frequencies and I would like to broadcast 4-6 blocks. Has anyone tried the "Fail-Safe 0.5 W Long Range FM Transmitter" or the 1Watt? I was planning on getting the Whole House 2... but seems like it has mixed reviews.

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Do a search on that model number, or at least "czh", and i think you'll find some posts from people who have purchased one...I recall seeing that model number mentioned.

For that same price, you can get an EDM, and likely by the time you add an antenna, you're around 200 bucks spent. And the EDM comes with a track record, and support, you can depend on.

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For my first year, I purchased one of the ebay $50 China jobs, and it works great. Have not had a problem, transmits about 5 blocks, way more than I need. Very clear.

For a budget I would say this is not a bad option. I plan on upgrading to the better EDM, but it was what I could afford last year and it did the job.

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Kegan, I'm in a rural area as well and went with http://www.amazon.com/0-5-Fail-Safe-Long-Range-Transmitter/dp/B003FO4UHW/ref=pd_cp_e_pw_1

Same company, but it has the low range capability. Even then, it's still in violation of FCC rules for non-licensed use but they'll turn a blind eye to it for someone doing a Christmas show (and using some common sense in frequency selection).

With the one you're looking at, I'm not sure if it can be stepped down to the low range. And to make matters worse, it has the whole separate antenna. You're guaranteed to be well outside FCC regulations and are seriously going to be pushing your luck. What's more, your show will be able to be tuned to for 2-3 miles pretty easily. But why would you need that kind of range? Who's going to be able to see the show from that far out?

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Even then, it's still in violation of FCC rules for non-licensed use but they'll turn a blind eye to it for someone doing a Christmas show (and using some common sense in frequency selection).

You base that advice on what knowledge or past experience?

Telling someone it is ok to violate FCC rules because the FCC won't do anything about it is a bit irresponsible.

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