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FM Transmitter company to stay away from.


Nonick22
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At the last minute last year I purchased an FM Transmitter from hobbytron.com. I paid extra for overnight service. I received the transmitter the next day in a very beat-up box. I setup and used the transmitter and found some issues with it. I contacted Lynda at Hobbytron (she is there Fm Transmitter expert). She felt I may have had a bad transmitter. They said I could send it to them and they would fix it and return it to me. This would not work since I needed it for my display that started that weekend. Se we agreed that I could buy a second transmitter and have it shipped 2day and then return the original one for a refund of the purchase price minus the shipping. I agreed and bought the second one. Just before Christmas I send the first one back. I’m sure they got it over the holiday break. Last week I contacted Lynda and she told me they got the transmitter back and I would get my refund back by the end of the week last week or Monday of this week. Now it’s the end of the day on Thursday and still no refund. I called the company and was sent to a voice mail box that was full or just put on hold for ever. I cannot get a response for them at all about the status of my refund. When I send a message via email I get an autoresponse that said they will look at my message in the next few days. This is unacceptable and I recommend that people find a different place to get your transmitters.

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LightORamaDan

Nonick22 wrote:

At the last minute last year I purchased an FM Transmitter from hobbytron.com. I paid extra for overnight service. I received the transmitter the next day in a very beat-up box. I setup and used the transmitter and found some issues with it. I contacted Lynda at Hobbytron (she is there Fm Transmitter expert). She felt I may have had a bad transmitter. They said I could send it to them and they would fix it and return it to me. This would not work since I needed it for my display that started that weekend. Se we agreed that I could buy a second transmitter and have it shipped 2day and then return the original one for a refund of the purchase price minus the shipping. I agreed and bought the second one. Just before Christmas I send the first one back. I’m sure they got it over the holiday break. Last week I contacted Lynda and she told me they got the transmitter back and I would get my refund back by the end of the week last week or Monday of this week. Now it’s the end of the day on Thursday and still no refund. I called the company and was sent to a voice mail box that was full or just put on hold for ever. I cannot get a response for them at all about the status of my refund. When I send a message via email I get an autoresponse that said they will look at my message in the next few days. This is unacceptable and I recommend that people find a different place to get your transmitters.


Please keep us upto date. I have recommened hobbytron 100s of times so I would like to see how this turns out. I hope that your check or credit is in the mail!

Dan
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Dan, I will keep you and the rest of the community up to date. The transmitter I got was the R-FM25B-WT by Ramsy. The problem I had was with one song I had during some chimes the sound would get very distorted. I tried several sources of the same song (the computer, CD player and mp2 player) and always got the same result. When played thru any other speakers it played fine and a different transmitter I had (not a powerful enough one) it worked fine. The second one I got gave me the same trouble. I sent the song to Lynda and she played it on the transmitter I returned and said she did not have an issue. Has anyone had an issue where a specific song will not play properly on a certain transmitter.

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It is possible that the levels during the chimes on that song are too high, and that the FM transmitter is clipping.. If using a headphone or line out on your computer, as a quick check you can turn down the volume on the PC, and see if that portion sounds better. If that turns out to be the case, you could open that file in your favorite audio editing package and adjust the levels down. Then the volume on the rest of your songs would not be impacted, and this one song would avoid clipping. It is quite possible that something like a Belkin Tunecast with an intended 10 foot range might easily allow for higher FM modulation than would be reasonable to allow when transmitting a couple hundred feet.

- Kevin


Edit:

One more thought is that I don't think the FM25 has the low pass input filter that the FM100 and FM30B have. If the chimes have a lot of high frequency energy that was not filtered out at some point, it could interact with the 19KHz stereo carrier and have some really odd results, no matter what the levels were. This could be tested by running through an audio package with equalizer or low pass filter capability and remove all the content over about 15KHz.. Probably excessive to chop it off that low, but it should be good for testing...

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-klb- wrote:

It is possible that the levels during the chimes on that song are too high, and that the FM transmitter is clipping.. If using a headphone or line out on your computer, as a quick check you can turn down the volume on the PC, and see if that portion sounds better. If that turns out to be the case, you could open that file in your favorite audio editing package and adjust the levels down. Then the volume on the rest of your songs would not be impacted, and this one song would avoid clipping. It is quite possible that something like a Belkin Tunecast with an intended 10 foot range might easily allow for higher FM modulation than would be reasonable to allow when transmitting a couple hundred feet.

- Kevin

Thanks for you reply. I did check the levels. even with very low volume I still had the same issue. I was thinking that maybe the very high notes in the song were above some level that the transmitter could handle but lynda from hobbytron said no. I did try an iriver transmitter. the sound was perfect but the distance would not let me hear it outside the front yard. And it was only the one spot in the one song. everything else was good.
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Looking at Marty Slack's web site, he posts a comparison of the different model transmitters. I believe the line for advanced audio filtering is the filter to cut out frequencies that would interfere with the 19KHz stereo pilot frequency. (down near the bottom) It appears that the FM25 does not include this filter.

http://www.christmasutah.com/FMtransmitters.html

Unfortunately I can't predict what this interaction would sound like...

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Scott Blessing

OK, Just thought I would add my thoughts (again);)

Last year when it came time to figure out how to transmit on FM I also ended up at Hobby Tron for my purchase. I Live chatted with someone who then gave me Lynda's number and extension. I talked with her twice before purchaseing the UX-450,... less than $100.00... Plug it in... pick your channel... that was it. Worked great for me and I was greatful for her assistance.

I am thinking there must be more to this misunderstanding, and that Hobby Tron will (or is ) take care of you. Give it a couple more days.


Please post how this ends, I would like to know. Thanks

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I missed that 22nd post the first time around.. Beeping twice, and a lock light, but no display is usually a contrast adjustment that is not correct. Remove the back bezel, slide the top of the case off, and on the back of the front display/button board is a trimmer resistor. Power the unit up with the board still in the base of the case, and adjust this trimmer until the display is readable. Sorry the info is not in time to help you.

- Kevin

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That' ok... I got a hold of Marty Slack and he was able to get one for me in plenty of time...

"THANK YOU MARTY!!!" I just say that enough, Marty is a great guy...

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Well after trying all day to get a hold of someone at Hobbytron I decided to post the first message here. Not sure if it was a coincidence or not but an hour after posting the message here I got a response via email that they would refund the money in the next 2 to 3 days. I will let you all know.

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Good luck, my friend... I did get my money back also, it just took some time...


Did they tell you, " That's our best selling product, We never had one return before.."


After the second unit was sent back, I told Lynda I just want my money back... She ask me just try one more unit because they don't like giving money back... It's not our policy to give money back, but will exchange it...

I told her if the third one I get is bad I expect my money back with no problem, she said OK... Like I said before, It was bad...



As soon As I got my money I got a hold of Marty, to order one from him...




When I got the Ramsey FM30 from Marty, I was a little nervous when I power everything up... Not really knowing what this unit was capable of, because having three bad units before...

With everything on I went out to my car. I was totally blow away how great it all sounded and how far I was able to drive and still hear everything so prefect and clear...



Just remember the Ramsey transmitters are really great, It's who ever builds them determines how great they will preform..




Nonick22 I would tell you as soon as you get your money back get a hold of Marty, but from some of the post I have read around here say that Marty doesn't make or sale the kits any more... But he will refer to someone he trust that will make the kit you need...

Like I said, " Good Luck "...



David S.

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Richard Hamilton

Not problems here with Hobbytron and I've bought a dozen things from them.

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I'm just saying " do not buy a kit that was built by them"...



The product they sell, I can't say anything about...



Now as far as the quality of the kits they build and turn around and sale to you and me, "They Sucks"... I know I had three of them...

You can find many other people here as well as others from PC forum that will back up what I am saying...



Like I have said before, " Ramsey transmitters are really great, It's who ever builds them determines how great they will preform "...



From all the post that I have read ( going all the way back to 2005 ) HobbyTron is the only company that people have mention buy name, that they have problems with the Ramsey prebuilt (built by HobbyTron ) transmitters right out of the box...



I'm just letting people know what to expect from them, because of mine and others who have dealt with them...



If I did my research before I ordered form them... You would not be reading this, because I would have known to go else where for quality in workmanship...



The first time I powered my Ramsey FM30 that I got from Marty it work " Perfectly", because the quality was there when he built it...



People can buy a prebuilt Ramsey kit from anybody they want to... But before you buy it you better research and see what others my have to say about that company, so you know what you are getting yourself into...


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Well I did get my money back and have settled all the issues I had open with them.

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Jeff,

I respect what you're saying... Sorry, if I came off sounding like "Ramsey" is god like...


Was tired and venting from bad experience from dealing with them ( H T ) ...





Could you give me the link you were talking about for the transmitter...



Thanks..


David S.

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Jeff Millard wrote:

In another Thread about this subject I posted a link to the vendor I used to purchase a pre-made FM transmitter. It has performed flawlessly and was about 1/4 the cost.

Jeff


I ended up going with one of those "other" transmitters and I'm about as happy as I could be. Sorry for your Ramsey trouble Jeff, but thanks for posting the eBay link.
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Jeff,

Thank you for sharing your experience. I looked up the Ebay store and I'm wondering if the .5W is comparable in output to the Ramsey FM30b.

Thanks, Chris

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Jeff Millard wrote:

David,

I wasn't posting in response to something you said.






It's alright, I understand were your coming from... :P



I just don't want others to think, that I'm trying to play king of the hill...
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  • 4 weeks later...

Nonick22 wrote:

Dan, I will keep you and the rest of the community up to date. The transmitter I got was the R-FM25B-WT by Ramsy. The problem I had was with one song I had during some chimes the sound would get very distorted. I tried several sources of the same song (the computer, CD player and mp2 player) and always got the same result. When played thru any other speakers it played fine and a different transmitter I had (not a powerful enough one) it worked fine. The second one I got gave me the same trouble. I sent the song to Lynda and she played it on the transmitter I returned and said she did not have an issue. Has anyone had an issue where a specific song will not play properly on a certain transmitter.


Distorted audio?? Did you call Ramsey Directly?? I did, and the techs there are wonderful.. I built my kit the other night and all worked fine but had a slight distortion in the audio.. I called the next day, got "Pat" on the other end, we discussed a few things then recomended me turing r 25/r28 down to minimum, set the audio up then adjust till you just to start to over modulate or "clip" the signal, then back down just a tad. This made a night and days difference! Yes you will have to take the cover off to do this... but it is really simple...

Pat The tech explained if I was trying create that "Hot Jammin " fm station sound like the commercial radios stations.., not gonna happen without megadollar worth of compression/equalization equiptment. he explained in detail how the TX works and that It wont be as loud when listening with a radio like your local stations,and you will have to turn the volume up a bit more in the car, BUT it will still sound very good.
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Jeff,

I'm really glad you did post. Because you sound extremely qualified to comment on this, even if your story doesn't agree with others here. I had been reading on other boards, like the part15 and several lower powered radio boards ... and they kind talked about Ramsey they way people used to talk about brands like Audiovox and Kraco. Yeah they work, but lower end products for a certain market.

As you know, I'm very interested in the EDM products and just got mine yesterday. I'm hopeful that this will be a quality alternative to the h-k (chinese) transmitters. I will be writing my own review on it in the next month.

My main gripe with the h-k tranmitters is that they are grossly overpowered for the job of transmitting a 200-300' for a light show and MAY have some quality issues and/or undesirable side effects that increase your overall risk of using the unit to un-necessarily high levels.

My MAIN gripe with them is that China reverse engineers products from the real companies (that actually did the r&d and engineering) and then makes a quick and cheap product to overtake the legitimate players in the market at below market cost. I would not care that they are the low price leader, but they do not obey international rules on copyright infringement and patents ... and by purchasing a h-k unit, we are indirectly supporting this form of government sponsored piracy of intellectual property.

So I don't care if you or others have one of these h-k transmitter units ... as it sounds like the generally DO work well ... but I'd hope that EDM would become a better budget-minded alternative in the long run, because its not grossly overpowered, is competitively priced and is of a much higher audio quality, which is what I am hearing from many folks way more qualified than myself. And they follow the same rules that all countries should.

THe folks over at EDM have already agreed to give PC members a 10% discount if we buy 10 or more units at a time. Don't go expecting to save 10%, but we could do a group by real easily, if we wanted to. They would offer a 20% discount if we created 10 units per month for a year ... but that wouldn't be too hard to do, I think.


Similar to Ramsey, the EDM techs are a pleasure to work with and very responsive.

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I am the General Manager of a six radio station group and I use a Ramsey FM radio for my holiday display. My engineer assembled the kit and I put together an antenna from Ramsey. Both work flawlessly and within FCC limitations and regulation.

Commercial broadcasting stations do sound louder…that is because we spend tens of thousands of dollars on audio processing. Much of the dynamic ranges (difference between loud passages and quiet passages) is lost. That is done because the listener does not want to have to reach over and crank up the volume knob during the pianissimo passages of a song. So the audio is compressed and equalized to a relatively constant level.

That is also why commercials sound loud on TV compared to the regular program audio. The audio on the commercial is compressed and limited to a constant level. Equalization is also optimized for maximum audibility for average hearing.

The Ramsey transmitters do seem somewhat prone to over saturation especially in frequencies above 16 kHz. I run my audio thru a mixer with an equalizer to roll off the high frequencies (as well as extremely low frequencies…below 40 kHz). Car radios are not manufactured to reproduce these ranges of frequencies anyway. Don’t worry that your audio will sound ‘flat’…as we age the high frequencies are the first things that we loose. Most people can’t hear up that high anyway. Only younger people and dogs.

Ramsey transmitters do seem to be susceptible to static discharge…so ground yourself before touching.

- Dave

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