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FM Transmitter


Erik
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I need some help deciding what FM transmitter I need to get. This will be my first year creating an animation display and would like for people driving by to be able to hear the music. I've read different recommedation on this forum and other sites but I'm still confused.

I know alot of people use the Ramsey transmitters and I'm sure they do the job however I was hoping at least for this year there was a cheaper way of going. I have also seen mention of the Belkin transmitter. Is this the standard Belkin transmitter you use in you car with a MP3 player? How far will the signal travel?

Any recommendation and suggested is appreciated.

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my first year this year too!

I just bought the Ramsey FM25B, wired and tested though. After spending that much, I didn't want to foul up the Kit. Out the door, it was $210. I believe it was hobbytronics. It was real easy to setup and get going on it. The clarity on the car radio was as good as any professional radio station. I listened to my entire show and the reception didn't "wander" the way I've heard it might with cheaper transmitters.

Now for the antenna, made one from scratch using a dipole diagram online. Ramsey has one for (sheesh!) $70.00 but you can download the manual, which has the complete parts list. The antenna made a great difference. I've used red tape on white pvc, so it is slightly "camoflauged" as a candycane. ;)

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Steve Gowen

Erik, I started out with the Belkin TuneCast II Mobile FM Transmitter. The distance needed was a bit too far than the unit could put out so I did the antenna mod which gave me the extra 100 feet. By using an AC power adaptor I noticed the transmitting distance was a bit farther than using the batteries. I then purchased the Ramsey FM30B for $250 wired and tested the following year. The Ramsey has enough power with the telescoping antenna to broadcast more than what I need so I just turn down the power for the distance required. When I add the external antenna to the Ramsey I can go a ½ mile away with a clear signal before it drops off. Where as the Belkin went about 20 feet before the antenna mod and about 120 feet with the antenna mod. The signal was clean at about 100 feet but then started to wonder and fade. For the $35 I spent on the Belkin it did a good job after I did the antenna mod but did not meet the distance I needed. I guess it depends on how far you need to transmit and how much you can afford. ;)

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Thanks for the info.

How easy is the antenna mod for the Belkin? Not sure if the wife will go for another $200 for the transmitter this year.

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Steve Gowen

The mod is easy as long as you know how to use soldering iron. Once you open the unit it up, you end up cutting the antenna wire and add about 3 feet of wire to act as the new antenna. There are calculators on the web to help figure out the correct antenna wire length according to the frequency you use. Generally 3 feet will do the trick but if you need help with this let me know and I can tell you what length to use as long as you provide me with the FM channel you plan to use. Here is a link to christmasdisplays.net with photos on how to do it. http://www.christmasdisplays.net/fmtransmitter.php

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I did the Belkin Modd...and last year my transmitter worked like .... really bad!. It could only be heard FUZZY on my driveway. I also found this website that told you how long to make your antenna....for a specific frequency.

THIS YEAR, I made my antenna like 8 feet and connected it to my transmitter. I can now hear it on the other side of my block! I used heavy gauge speaker wire...and it works fine.

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If you happen to go with the Ramsey FM Transmitter, do "NOT" get it from HobbyTron.com...

I order my Ramsey FM30 already built and test (supposedly) from HobbyTron.com on 7/05/07... I now have sent two back with two different problems (1. right side out, 2. no distance, even 8ft away)...

I called HobbyTron about the second one being bad also, they ask me to call Ramsey to see if they could find out what could be wrong... Long story short, Ramsey's said it was how it was built that there was nothing I can do and they would warranty it for me.. I called HobbyTron back told them, they said send it back to them and this is where I am right now...


They now have two defective units and my $260 and I have nothing... Still waiting to see what they are going to do next...

Just to let you know that HobbyTron.com buys the kits from Ramsey and they have somebody else build them, Ramsey makes a great product it all depends on how they are built.

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Erik, here's another thing to help.



http://www.radio-locator.com/cgi-bin/vacant?select=city&city=07828&state=nj&x=0&y=0

to make it a little easier you need another person. one at the transmitter and one in the car. make a list of available channels in your area. than by way of comunicating with each others. go thru the list and see with is the best for you.

you can do it alone, but walking in and out of you house and checking your cars radio might take a little longer.

I use my old radio's antenna two leads and the ring thats came with it (22g about 60'). I followed what Steve has posted.it does work and I get about two blocks before I lose signal.

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johnny christmas

evana wrote:

give credit to johnny christmas. he helped me out.

no need to give ME credit...i got the info from those at PC who know what theyre doing...i just paid it forward ;)
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If you do go with a Ramsey, Marty Slack at Christmas Utah has been mentioned on the PC boards as a reliable source for a quality product and a fair price. If/when I go with a quality transmitter that will be my route.

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I wish I read the PC boards instead of doing a google search...

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Marty Slack

kenj30 wrote:

If you do go with a Ramsey, Marty Slack at Christmas Utah has been mentioned on the PC boards as a reliable source for a quality product and a fair price. If/when I go with a quality transmitter that will be my route.




I appreciate the plug, but need to throw out a little warning. I am severely backlogged on orders right now. I'm working on getting caught up but it may take a few weeks.

My website will show the current status of delays in ordering. Right now it says that I won't be taking orders until August, but I'll be updating things tonight after I get a better idea of the current backlog. The site is http://www.christmasutah.com/FMtransmitters.html
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I bought my Ramsey FM30 from Marty and couldn't be happier! I have no experience at soldering, so buying a unit already assembled from Marty was the way to go, for me!

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I have a Ramsey FM25B that is already assembled and ready for use. I have used it for 2 seasons and replaced it with a a FM100B (for no particular reason other than I could). It works great and I will let it go to any member of this forum for $140. If you tell me what frequency you want, I will even preset it before shipping it out.

PM me or email me at sepco at att.net if you are interested.

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LightORamaDan

gsxr7500 wrote:



Be carefull this is most likely NOT ASSEMBLED... I may be wrong BUT in the description there is this line:

"Electronic kit, assembly required"

The 139 price is exactly the same as the direct Ramsey price for a kit.

Dan
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Dan is right, it is a kit.

All assembled kits carry a full 1-year warranty. Kits carry a 90-day warranty on parts. You may examine any kit for 10 days, and return it (unassembled!) for a full refund!



buyers beware.


Attached files 138692=8250-sig1lor9mm.gif

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NkySpike65 wrote:

If you happen to go with the Ramsey FM Transmitter, do "NOT" get it from HobbyTron.com...

I order my Ramsey FM30 already built and test (supposedly) from HobbyTron.com on 7/05/07... I now have sent two back with two different problems (1. right side out, 2. no distance, even 8ft away)...

I called HobbyTron about the second one being bad also, they ask me to call Ramsey to see if they could find out what could be wrong... Long story short, Ramsey's said it was how it was built that there was nothing I can do and they would warranty it for me.. I called HobbyTron back told them, they said send it back to them and this is where I am right now...


They now have two defective units and my $260 and I have nothing... Still waiting to see what they are going to do next...

Just to let you know that HobbyTron.com buys the kits from Ramsey and they have somebody else build them, Ramsey makes a great product it all depends on how they are built.




Well to give you all an update on the THIRD unit they sent me, DOA... Like I really thought it was going to work out...

No display at all, will beep twice then the lock on light turns on but, still no display...

I guess I will have to go round and round with them

tomorrow...

They don't want to give me my money back, they just keep sending different units...
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  • 2 weeks later...

I know im jumping in on alot of things that have alredy been said, but My belkin works perfect for me, always a clear signal, and it goes plenty far. About 90ft in my case... But my house is small and my display will be 16 ch, Im sure Ill need my signal to go much further than 90 ft..

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I did the Belkin mod and it worked well enough. Although, one or two people had trouble tuning in. I will probably upgrade to the 25B this year. Its one less thing to worry about, since I never knew if the Belkin worked well enough.

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  • 4 weeks later...

As a newby to LOR this year I didn't want to shell out the $200 plus for a FM transmitter (yet) and I didn't want to get out the soldering iron to mod a Belkin. I did find an alternative, the UK222 at Hobbytron. It has an antenna attached and uses a 9v battery. I tested it with a mp3 player and it has a very nice range. I will test it later this week with my new LOR setup. I bought the one at canakit (at the time Hobbytron offered it) without the case. http://www.canakit.net/

I see now that Hobbytron has enclosed the board in a nice kit with an extendable attenna if thats a way you want to go.

http://www.hobbytron.com/HiFiPortableBatteryPoweredStereoFMTransmitter.html

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One more comment on the Belkin. If you have areas on the radio spectrum where you really have a quiet frequency, ideally with nearly silent adjacent frequencies, you stand a much better chance with the Belkin. My experience here is that the "best" frequencies to use often have two or three stations that a portable (digitally tuned!!) radio will switch back and forth between with minor changes in antenna orientation.. I just tried the belkin mod, and while it was the dominant signal, even in side the house, depending on geometry, the other stations would randomly tune in instead. Of course the antenna on my truck is more directionally stable, but driving slowly past my house, it cut back and forth several times. I just ordered a FM30b kit which should resolve the problem...

- Kevin

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