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Whole House FM Transmitter

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  • DR4296
    replied
    transmitter location

    Originally posted by Stevech
    Wiring challenges permitting, perhaps you could locate the transmitter more centrally to improve range.
    Well, the transmitter used to sit on the second floor and reception was the same. So, I'm assuming you mean I should perhaps put it on the first floor.

    That just doesn't work for us. I've got a computer on the second floor and one in the basement. My wife isn't too fond of all the technology in the house as it is. <grin!>

    -= Dave =-

    Leave a comment:


  • Stevech
    replied
    Wiring challenges permitting, perhaps you could locate the transmitter more centrally to improve range.

    Leave a comment:


  • DR4296
    replied
    Whole house FM transmitter

    Originally posted by Jroberts
    I know there has been talk previously about using Ramsey's transmitters for whole house audio distribution. But I wonder if anybody has tried or know anything about these http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...25643&tc=photo

    This seller has been selling them on Ebay quite a while, so I thought maybe somebody may know something about them. I'm curious as to the sound quality and distance, etc.
    JRoberts,

    I bought this exact model (the one you've asked about from Ebay) from this exact seller back in November.

    Now, I live in a 2 story home built in 1889, so the walls are made of thicker material (plaster and latt made of fir) than modern walls. The transmitter is actually in the basement, but I did have it on the second floor for a while.

    I was happy with this unit for a while, but now find myself wishing for a more powerful model, because I simply can't get the range I want.

    I've got a small "boom box" in the dining room. With it, I have trouble "locking in" on the signal. It's not a digital boom-box, so I'm sure if I replaced it with some sort of digital tuner, I'd probably be able to lock in on it better.

    But then, in the kitchen, just about 8 feet away, I have one of those small stereos where you can detach the speakers. Well, I've got an antenna that I made with the precise length that SHOULD be picking up the signal. However, I can only get it if I position the antenna in just the right manner. If it's not exact, I get a lot of static.

    What I ended up doing was sort of a cheesy work-around. I discovered that a bench in the first-floor entry-way was actually hollow inside and had an opening to the basement.

    So, I moved the FM transmitter down there to my PC running Homeseer. I then dusted off my old digital tuner and put it right underneath the monitor. So the range between the transmitter and that receiver is now something like 6 inches.

    Then, I've manually run speaker wire along the basement ceiling to several locations where somebody had already drilled small holes into it, leading up to the first floor.

    So now, my living room, the front entry, and the basement all have nice digital stereo sound... and I can play music stored on my Homeseer PC to the first floor. But I'm still relying on small boom boxes for the second floor... and they just aren't cutting it.

    Oh, and last week, I finally got around to rigging up Homeseer codes to activate Windows Media Player, start my favorite playlist, and give me volume controls. Got that all rigged up to the remote we use every day for the lights, so that's nice.

    But I'm somewhat disappointed in my whole house transmitter and am actively searching for replacements. But with modern walls, you might have no problems. Still, a digital tuner sure helps lock in on the signal. Oh, and one more thing: I found having to restrict myself to 8 frequencies between 106 and 108 FM to be a pain. We have at least two strong radio station signals in that range here. Makes it harder to lock-in on the signal.


    Thanks!

    -= Dave =-

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest
    Guest replied
    Jroberts,
    I use these: http://www.kimawireless.com/
    and find them pretty good. One tranmitter on the pc, one receiver on each stereo box in the living room and garage. Same music everywhere at once: office, house, garage, etc.

    Leave a comment:


  • tpriest
    replied
    Jim,
    After a few days of having it hooked up the C Crane transmitter does just what I wanted it to do. It transmits clearly from the basement to the upstairs of my two-story house. I can tune my car radio to the frequency and get the last messages as I leave the house, good for confirmation that lights are being turned off, etc. The signal fades out about 20-30 feet from the house as I leave. This works well so I don't have to worry about it stepping on the neighbors reception. With some small FM radios that were lying around the house (how do I end up with this stuff?) and some appliance modules I've accomplished what I wanted. I can have my mp3s follow me around the house and get TTS messages. This is not a audiophile whole-house solution or even a permanent solution but it works for me for right now. One negative issue is if the transmitter is on and the power goes out, the transmitter will be off when the power is restored. It then has to be turned on manually. I noticed this the other day when the power was out for a few minutes. HS was running fine because it is on a laptop but there was no audio due to the transmitter being off. One positive thing that pushed me towards this one is it will transmit any frequency on the FM dial, selectable with a digital readout on the front.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jroberts
    replied
    Thanks for all the suggestions.

    I will take a good look at the transmitters from Hobbytron. Those are some good prices. This is not a permanent whole house audio solution for me, so I do not want to spend a lot of money, but I do want it to sound as good as can be expected with Fm radio.

    Just FYI... I actually have on of the Belkin units with the digital tuner for mp3 players. While it does what it claims, it has a terrible range. I can't see using it anywhere except in my car.

    tpriest,
    I would be interested in hearing more about that transmitter from C Crane. Once you get more time to spend with it.

    Leave a comment:


  • zoomkat
    replied
    You may want to check BestBuy for low power units. I saw a Belkin unit that had digital frequency select. They are getting popular for use with the MP3 players. Not sure if they have sufficient power to cover a whole house.

    Leave a comment:


  • jay
    replied
    Also use the Ramsey with their Stereo Transmitter Companion (3-audio band EQ/compander), their low-pass filter (to eliminate band splatter) and their 1/2 wave vertical dipole. Will have run for 4 years this Sept. Outstanding quality. Connected to HS to play music library. Can drive around heavily-wooded neighborhood and listen.
    Tried a high-gain FM Yagi. Range was scary (FCC concerns) and unecessary so I backed down to the dipole which is way more than adequate. Dipole is on a 30 foot mast behind my barn. I pick up the signal on the whole-house receiver some 200 feet away. Control is via an Audrey next to the receiver and thru other PCs.
    I have outdoor speakers and also control the audio thru WIFI when I'm outside.
    The Ramsey unit allows you to select any frequency on the FM band. Only one 'dead spot' was available here - so tune around before you buy a unit with limited frequency choices.
    Hope this is useful.

    Leave a comment:


  • tpriest
    replied
    I just received one of these yesterday from C Crane. I ordered one of their "orphans" that's $10 cheaper. Haven't had much time to play with it yet but a quick hookup and I was receiving clear sound on my old clock radio in the bedroom. The transmitter is on my HS laptop in the basement. So far, so good.


    Terry

    Leave a comment:


  • kwolter
    replied
    I can't remember the brand, but I tried one of the somewhat cheaper FM transmitter units sometime back and I wasn't satisfied. It was very prone to interference even at short range.

    So, last year I plunked down $150 or so for a Ramsey FM25B. Even with the stock antenna the range and sound quality is incredible. I don't use it for Homeseer, but have it hooked up to one of the tape outs at the main stereo. I then can pickup whatever the stereo is playing (mp3s, CDs, DVD, TV, etc) and listen at any radio in the house, even in the car in the driveway.

    Just my .02... Good luck!

    Leave a comment:


  • Gogs
    replied
    Originally posted by jon00
    Gogs,

    You should know that these are illegal in the UK!

    jRoberts,

    You might want to look at hobbytron . They sell a similar item and also a Hi-fi stereo FM transmitter board for just $36!
    Umm, ok, I supose it's the old Radio Telegraphy act again. The same one that had CB illegal here. Also explains why I've never heard of them.

    Thanks Jon I'll have a look at Hobbytron.

    Take care.

    Leave a comment:


  • jon00
    replied
    Gogs,

    You should know that these are illegal in the UK!

    jRoberts,

    You might want to look at hobbytron . They sell a similar item and also a Hi-fi stereo FM transmitter board for just $36!

    Leave a comment:


  • Gogs
    replied
    Hi Jim,

    Nope, never heard of them, but they sound interesting. Pitty they are US mains voltage, because I would like to have given them a try.

    Keen to here if anyone has and if they think they could be run on 240V AC!

    Leave a comment:


  • Jroberts
    started a topic Whole House FM Transmitter

    Whole House FM Transmitter

    I know there has been talk previously about using Ramsey's transmitters for whole house audio distribution. But I wonder if anybody has tried or know anything about these http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...25643&tc=photo

    This seller has been selling them on Ebay quite a while, so I thought maybe somebody may know something about them. I'm curious as to the sound quality and distance, etc.
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