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3 hours ago, DisneyMatt10 said:

I have an outdoor radio tuned to the station for the lightshow so those neighbours walking through the neighborhood can hear the music, and those in their cars can tune to the station. To me that's been the easiest way to get music heard by those just walking through the neighborhood. 

~Matt

I do the same so that those in cars can listen to their radio but walkers can hear from the speakers.  I suppose there is a way to use your computer to provide the sound and route it to speakers as well as a transmitter.  Not enough know-how to say how that might be done.

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That's what I do.  However having worked as a broadcast engineer, I DO know how to do it right and make it work despite some very long cable runs.  Before you even read the novel I'm about to write, I

They have some ointment for it at Walgreens...

1. yes 2. Extremely 3. mine has knobs on the back so it stays at whatever it was set at.  I think the inclement weather comments pertains to blizzards, monsoons, and college students.  Mine

3 hours ago, tomsusie said:

I do the same so that those in cars can listen to their radio but walkers can hear from the speakers.  I suppose there is a way to use your computer to provide the sound and route it to speakers as well as a transmitter.  Not enough know-how to say how that might be done.

You can buy RCA "Y" cables..essentially one connection into your computer headphone jack (male) but "y"'s out to two female pigtails so you can hook up more than one device (Transmitter, and amp)

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13 hours ago, jimswinder said:

You can buy RCA "Y" cables..essentially one connection into your computer headphone jack (male) but "y"'s out to two female pigtails so you can hook up more than one device (Transmitter, and amp)

A lot of us use that approach, as it gives you the best of both worlds. :)

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 9/6/2016 at 0:47 PM, tomsusie said:

I do the same so that those in cars can listen to their radio but walkers can hear from the speakers.  I suppose there is a way to use your computer to provide the sound and route it to speakers as well as a transmitter.  Not enough know-how to say how that might be done.

That's what I do.  However having worked as a broadcast engineer, I DO know how to do it right and make it work despite some very long cable runs.  Before you even read the novel I'm about to write, I will repeat an offer I have made in the past.  If you need assistance in audio distribution (for example, long cable runs or distribution to multiple distant locations), my background may be able to help to do it right.  Feel free to contact me.  Admittedly my setup is more complex than most other people have any need to use, but it works well for me.  In my case, my show computer has been in the very back of my house.  As part of my front yard landscaping project, I installed four speakers in the front yard, and two 75 watt per channel amplifiers in a closet that drives them.  There is a conduit path from the show computer to the amplifiers, but it's about 100 feet long.  Additionally, there is a conduit path from the show computer to the brick column in the front yard where the FM transmitter is located, but it's a little over 150 feet.  If I were to simply connect a Y splitter on the output of the show computer and long cables to the amplifiers and transmitter, there is a HIGH probability that there would be noise and /or hum introduced into one or more likely both.  Now I'm going to explain how to do it right.  Then I will add a little about the rest of my audio distribution - and how I added yet another complication this year.

The big issue with long cables is that most consumer audio devices use un-balanced audio inputs and outputs.  That means that the audio signal is carried on a single wire that is referenced to whatever ground that the equipment has.  The cable used is normally a shielded co-axial cable with the audio signal on the center conductor and the ground on the shield.  This works OK for short distances, and in particular when all the attached equipment is using the same power system.  If the two pieces of equipment either don't really have a real ground connection (most consumer audio equipment these days doesn't), or have a different ground, there can be substantial amounts of noise introduced because of differences in ground.  The solution to this is to use a balanced audio line rather than an un-balanced distribution.  In an balanced input or output, the audio signal is sent over two wires that are not referenced to ground, but rather a differential to each other.  The cable normally used is two twisted wires inside a shield.  The shield is normally grounded at only one end of the cable.  Fortunately it is easy to convert the audio signal from an un-balanced signal to a balanced signal.  The normal way to do this is by connecting the un-balanced signal to one side of an isolation transformer, and there is now a balanced signal on the other side of the transformer.  Assuming that both your show computer and your FM transmitter have unbalanced inputs and outputs, you would use an isolation transformer at each end of the circuit.  Note that the description I have given is for a single circuit.  If you are sending a stereo signal (and most of use are using stereo), you need a separate isolation transformer at each end of the circuit, and separate cable for each channel.  If you are splitting the output of your show computer to go to both a FM transmitter and also amplifiers for speakers, you could use a Y type splitter cable to create two outputs from your computer, and run one output from the splitter to the FM transmitter and the the other output to the amplifiers.  If either of the cable runs is long, use the un-balanced to balanced transformer process described above for the long cable.

In my case I'm not using a Y splitter cable.  I have the output from the show computer (un-balanced) run through isolation transformers to two channel inputs of a sound mixer (balanced).  This is despite the fact that the computer and mixer have been less than two feet apart.  The mixer has a main output which is cabled to the FM transmitter, and an Aux output which is cabled to the amplifiers.  The main output from the mixer is a true balanced output, so I don't need to use isolation transformers at the mixer end of those cables, however my FM transmitter has un-balanced inputs, so there are isolation transformers before the inputs to the transmitter.  BTW, to give an idea how well using a balanced signal works, for the first year that I used an  FM transmitter, I used a piece of unshielded Cat-5 cable for the 160 foot run, and it worked fine.  I don't recommend doing that, but I really did not have the budget to buy the right cable at the time, and I had boxes of Cat-5 in stock.  The Aux output from my mixer is semi-balanced output so I am using isolation transformers at both ends of the cables to the amplifiers.

This year I complicated it a bit by moving the show computer out into a newly constructed data cabinet in my garage.  Now I will have about 60 feet of cable from the computer to sound mixer.  Of course that will have isolation transformers at the computer.  One more note.  The conduit paths that I'm using for these long runs, are also used for several other types of signal including, computer LAN, LOR networking, another low speed data used for some environmental monitors, telephone, and low current 12 volt power.  All of these would likely bother an un-balanced signal, but have no effect on a balanced signal.

 

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I run balanced XLR from my mixer's FX send to my transmitter. I run only mono. Most cars are parked side on so the stereo effect won't be as good. My mixer's FX send is only mono too.

The stereo effect does work well on my outdoor speakers (1990s PC speakers in boxes) placed either side of the small house. The speakers were great but I wanted to turn it up loud at Halloween but it got really distorted.

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There is no no need to make this difficult or expensive. All i do is run my fm transmitter from my computer which broadcasts out on my FM frequency. I have an older stereo receiver which I bought from  pawn shop for about $25 that sits in a front room window which picks up my FM broadcast and has four speakers which the wires run out the front window so the window still closes. I then have four smaller bookshelf speakers wrapped in black garbage bags hidden in the front bushes. This way people in cars can hear the broadcast on their radio and walkers can hear the music through the speakers.

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Mr. P, you are absolutely correct. In my case I use the amps and speakers from time to time while the FM transmitter is in storage. In fact the amps and speakers were installed several years before I started doing a LOR musical show. Again in my case, because the show computer is in the back of the house (and no practical way to have it near the front), I have no choice but to run long cables to get to the FM which is less than 10 feet from the street.

Sent from my Droid Turbo via Tapatalk, so blame any typos or spelling errors on Android

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4 hours ago, EmmienLightFan said:

I run balanced XLR from my mixer's FX send to my transmitter. My mixer's FX send is only mono too.

A balanced output (or at least semi-balanced) is quite common on sound mixers at anything above the bottom consumer grade devices.  Note BTW, that a lot of mixers that are using XLR connectors and claim that it's a balanced output are not really a true balanced output - particularly on secondary outputs.  If the manufacturer provides schematics (does not need to be to the component level), take a look and it will be obvious.  In many case the output has one wire is the signal and the other is floating above ground - what I refer to as semi-balanced.  It works better than an un-balanced signal, but not as well as a true balanced output - especially for longer cable runs.  That's the situation with the Aux outputs from my mixer - hence the reason that I have isolation transformers on that output.

4 hours ago, EmmienLightFan said:

I run only mono. Most cars are parked side on so the stereo effect won't be as good.

I sort of understand what you're saying, but having it mono takes away something from the music (makes it sound flat) - IMHO.  Noted above that the output being used from the mixer is mono...

 

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I use a 60 watt amp from PYLE. https://www.amazon.com/Pyle-PFA200-60-Watt-Class-T-Amplifier/dp/B0071HZ5EQ/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1474586616&sr=8-3&keywords=pyle+60+watt+amp

 

And 2 Rock Speakers Which I believe I bought from Outdoor Speaker Depot.  http://www.outdoorspeakerdepot.com/rockspeaker.html

I had bad experience before with cheap store bought "outdoor speakers" that had to be protected from the weather. These Rock speakers have been outside for at least 5 years and they work great.

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My amps are Pyle also, and the speakers look like the round green "flat mushroom" shaped speakers that you may have seen at Disneyland. Most of the "stem" of the mushroom is buried and the "head" of the mushroom is about four inches above dirt level. If I remember, they are about 11 inches in diameter. They have been installed for about five years.

Sent from my Droid Turbo via Tapatalk, so blame any typos or spelling errors on Android

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On 9/22/2016 at 11:11 PM, BMurray said:

 

I use a 10 year old surround sound stereo amp and 4 outdoor speakers from Mono Price paired with an FM transmitter. Works great for my purposes.

 

I use a cheap ($29), fairly new FM radio boom box, with an external speaker attached via the 3.5mm port, which picks up the signal from my Whole House 3.0 FM transmitter. The boom box is 10 feet from my FM transmitter, though a wall is between them.  

Any suggestion for reducing/eliminating the static?  My car radio also has static from the transmitted signal, but that static disappears at about four places as I drive slowly down my street.  I think this is called "fencing", but what do I know.

 

 

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9 hours ago, Ed K said:

I use a cheap ($29), fairly new FM radio boom box, with an external speaker attached via the 3.5mm port, which picks up the signal from my Whole House 3.0 FM transmitter. The boom box is 10 feet from my FM transmitter, though a wall is between them.  

Any suggestion for reducing/eliminating the static?  My car radio also has static from the transmitted signal, but that static disappears at about four places as I drive slowly down my street.  I think this is called "fencing", but what do I know.

 

 

I replaced the Whole House transmitter last year with CZH-05B with the rubber duckies. Static - gone.

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4 hours ago, Mega Arch said:

I replaced the Whole House transmitter last year with CZH-05B with the rubber duckies. Static - gone.

Thanks.  Is this from Rangestar?

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  • 11 months later...
On 9/6/2016 at 10:57 AM, DisneyMatt10 said:

I have an outdoor radio tuned to the station for the lightshow so those neighbours walking through the neighborhood can hear the music, and those in their cars can tune to the station. To me that's been the easiest way to get music heard by those just walking through the neighborhood. 

~Matt

What radio would be recommended for outdoor use?  I'm looking for for one that I can leave outdoors in the rain/snow/cold for the same purpose that I can leave plugged in for 6 - 7 weeks, and can't seem to find a waterproof one.  I'd probably put it on our covered front porch, and also cover it with something else too.

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On 9/22/2017 at 6:57 AM, caniac said:

you just need this, going on five years using it here.

https://www.wowlights.com/ProductDetail.asp?Category=24&Product=513

Thanks for the suggestion.  Looks like I can connect it directly to the miniDirector in my ShowTime Central box because the audio cable connecting miniDirector to the FM transmitter has an extra jack for a 2nd audio cable.  $200 is a bit more than I can spend on a speaker at the moment, but might buy it if I can find it cheaper somewhere else.  Or I might look for a cheaper similar speaker.

Question...when you cut power to your speaker, does it "remember" the previous volume setting that was used?  Or do you have to reset it every time your LOR setup powers up?

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37 minutes ago, Speedster said:

Thanks for the suggestion.  Looks like I can connect it directly to the miniDirector in my ShowTime Central box because the audio cable connecting miniDirector to the FM transmitter has an extra jack for a 2nd audio cable.  $200 is a bit more than I can spend on a speaker at the moment, but might buy it if I can find it cheaper somewhere else.  Or I might look for a cheaper similar speaker.

Question...when you cut power to your speaker, does it "remember" the previous volume setting that was used?  Or do you have to reset it every time your LOR setup powers up?

it's well worth the investment, made for outdoor use and packs a punch.  Knobs on back are manual set so whatever it was previously on it keeps.  The price scared me a bit at first but like I posted I have been running it five years now thru some brutal Nebraska winters with no issues.  If you divide the years by the cost then it's $40 per year.  I use both it and a transmitter (some folks prefer to sit in their car and listen).

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56 minutes ago, caniac said:

it's well worth the investment, made for outdoor use and packs a punch.  Knobs on back are manual set so whatever it was previously on it keeps.  The price scared me a bit at first but like I posted I have been running it five years now thru some brutal Nebraska winters with no issues.  If you divide the years by the cost then it's $40 per year.  I use both it and a transmitter (some folks prefer to sit in their car and listen).

Same here, I'll use the FM transmitter that came with ShowTime Central since most people passing by our house will be in their cars.  So whatever speaker I end up buying will be for the benefit of the people who walk (with or without a dog) or jog regularly on our street, even in December.  I found a few sites selling that Yorkville outdoor speaker for $149.99 so I might buy one in a few weeks when I get my next paycheck.  I would have been able to order one right now if I didn't spend over $200 on more LED lights at Menard's yesterday lol!

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1 hour ago, Speedster said:

Same here, I'll use the FM transmitter that came with ShowTime Central since most people passing by our house will be in their cars.  So whatever speaker I end up buying will be for the benefit of the people who walk (with or without a dog) or jog regularly on our street, even in December.  I found a few sites selling that Yorkville outdoor speaker for $149.99 so I might buy one in a few weeks when I get my next paycheck.  I would have been able to order one right now if I didn't spend over $200 on more LED lights at Menard's yesterday lol!

I feel your pain, I switched to RGB this year for most of my lights.  And then threw a P10 matrix on top of that.  Gonna have to squeeze 15 cents out of every dime going forward.

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The Wowlights solution combines all this into 1 package

Outdoor Speaker

Audio (power) amplifier

Audio Preamp (Mic input)

If you are using a FM transmitter on the same program  for those in Vehicles)

You might use a FM receiver  in a simple ventilated shelter  Walls and a roof with a gap between the walls and roof, that lets heat escape

 

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