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Help with FM transmitters


John Woods
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Hello, this is my first year using Light O Rama and I need some advice about FM transmitters. I am looking at the Ramsey units and I was wondering If anyone uses any of these and what the range is for the units. My house is about 300 yards from the road and I wanted to make sure that it would reach the guests. My location is in the country so interfence should not be a problem. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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I tried the FM10C last year and it didn't work too hot. Frequency drifting and low range (worked fine inside the house, but it wouldn't even penetrate well through the window).

I bought a FM25 just in time for the show to turn on last year, it's been fine. I imagine that or anything above to your budget's desire should do just fine.

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All the good units that would transmit that far are pretty much off the market now unless you get the Hobby Kits. All the ones I know about will only transmit about 100yds max at that.

You might have to mount it closer to the road and run a looooong cable to your computer.

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That is a great model, I want that one as well. Good luck trying to get one though. That model is not legal for use in the United States and I hear a lot of places won't ship to U.S. addresses. Hobbytron got busted for selling assembled kits last year in the U.S.

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Hey Guys, I bought the FM100B a few months ago and put it together in about 8 hours total. It works flawlessly. The 100B is not illegal to sell, the high powered kits are and are only available for export. (100BEX or 100BWT)

With the telescopic antenna all the way down and the transmitter in my garage, I had a range of about 100 yards. With the antenna all the way up and still in my garage, I made it about 275 yards. I adjusted the power down to what I needed, because I left the pot centered during construction.

I have seen others use an external antenna which will provide even more range and it would probably be worth looking into if you live in the country and want to make past 300 yards or so.

Overall I have found this transmitter to be the best I have ever owned/built. You just can't beat it for the price of the kit and the versatility of the unit. I received quite a few compliments on the sound quality throughout my Halloween Display.

Steve

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How hard was it to build? Does it all have to be assembled or does some of it come assembled? That looks like a lot of little pieces.

I really would like to have one of those because of the multiple audio inputs and power. That is pretty much all you are paying for though because the FM-30B has the same power at 25mW and it is cheaper. Is there any other differences between the two that makes the FM100B better besides what was already listed above. I have found a couple of places that sell them assembled.

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If I remember correctly, the manual said something like 862 solder points, but it sounds a lot worse than it really is. If you have any soldering experience at all, it shouldn't be too tough.

The FM100B has a mic jack buiilt into the front of the unit so you can broadcast live, as well as an automatic ducking circuit which lowers the audio input and places it in the background so it sounds much more professional than muting the audio and speaking into the mic.

I also like it better because of the front panel LED bar graphs that are a great help when you need to ensure that you're not overdriving yout transmitter with the input audio.

The power supply does come preassembled but everything else is up to you. Like I said, I put it together in about 2 nights of 4 hours a piece. It does appear quite intimidating once you open the box, but as you go through the stages of putting the circuits together, it gets better.

I got my kit from a member of this BB named Greg. He was giving a discount to board members at the time.

Here is his signature.: Glenn Westfall Christmas in Cruces www.ChristmasinCruces.com http://shop.christmasincruces.com (use coupon LORMEMBER)

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SBontempo wrote:

With the telescopic antenna all the way down and the transmitter in my garage, I had a range of about 100 yards.
Steve

Steve, I would not recommend operating a unit with the antenna all the way down. That would greatly increase the SWR, and hence the reflected power back into the unit. You run a risk of burning out the RF amp, especially on a Ramsey unit.
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Yea I know about the mic jacks and is digital output readings. That is really nice. I really like that unit and would love to have it because it has everything I need. So other then the bells and whistles it is pretty much just a FM-30B since they are the same power. Only thing about the FM-30 is you can't use a ext antenna.

I have solder experience but I would just hate to get it all together and it not work. So I take it you put it together in sections?

I have seen that page before, I think if I read correctly he sells them assembled too. I would rather buy it assembled and save the time...LoL

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Yeah, you put it together in stages so that you actually understand what it is that you are putting together.

One thing I would suggest, get a hold of a digital voltmeter that can measure capacitance. There were a few caps in the kit that I had where the markings were hard to read even with a magnifying glass. I used the cap meter to make sure that I was installing the correct caps and everything turned out fine.

There is also a troubleshooting section that tells you where to look incase the unit doesn't work on the first try.

Steve

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SBontempo wrote:

Yeah, you put it together in stages so that you actually understand what it is that you are putting together.


Sounds good, kind of like an adult lego set...LoL

If I can not find one assembled I guess I will try my hand at putting one together.
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  • 1 month later...

How does the Ramsey FM25 or FM30 compare to the "Whole House Transmitter Gold Edition?"

I have the latter, and thinks there could be a lot of improvements over it.

I need to upgrade to a better FM unit next year.

Stan

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SBontempo wrote:

The 100B is not illegal to sell, the high powered kits are and are only available for export. (100BEX or 100BWT)

Steve

True, you can not purchase the FM100BEX in the US. You CAN purchase a MR557 power transistor and a few other passive components, download the 100BEX instructions from Ramsey, and make the modification to the 100B yourself. The 100B and 100BEX PCB's are the same. I am not recommending this and will not go into any more detail. If you think you need a bit more distance out of your signal you will have to look into the details for yourself.
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That unit is just a re badged HLLY transmitter. Not good quality, IMHO.

http://www.hllyelectronics.com/html/fm_transmitter_1_60.html

HLLY is just re badged Vaseltec.

At the end of the day, under various names and forms ... these units are illegal for sale in the US since they are over 10mW, not FCC certified and not in kit form.

But since these chinese companies don't adhere to our laws and rules ... they continue to sell them openly and in clear violation of US laws and FCC Part15 regulations.

So to me, why bother when it's not the best unit out there, reliability is an issue (many are DOA), no support, no warranty (beside begging for another unit to be sent) ... when the EDM LCD is available, reliable and offers great support and a 3 year warranty. The only downside is the 3 week wait to get one shipped to you.

From EDM directly:
http://www.edmdesign.com/orders.html
part# EDM-TX-LCD-EP

Also, I will have some in stock (in Colorado) in January, if you want to wait and buy one from me stateside.

Regards,
Scott

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