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FM Transmitter Question.. Please help!


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So this year was my first year with computerized display. I use Light-O-Rama the most recent version. And I was in a big hurry and didn't really have a lot of time to research FM transmitters. So I bought the first, what I thought was good, good one I found. The C. Crane transmitter.

http://www.ccrane.com/radios/fm-transmitters/fm-transmitter.aspx

Lets just say, it got the job done. Thats about all I can say for it. I heard the music? Some what over the static. I tried everything, changing the channels that I found to be to "best" online. None made the clarity any better.

Now that I have a year to "perfect" my show for next Christmas, should I invest in a Mobile Black Box V6000? Currently they are having a sale that it is going for $99. I'm unfamiliar with the difference between "stereo" and "mono" output frequencies. I could also upgrade to the Eclipse-4000. Does anyone use these transmitter? Should I get it? Do I really need a new one, or is there something I'm missing about my C. Crane? What about any other transmitters that you all use? Please help guys!!

Edited by H2Opolo15
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I bought a Ramsey 25B from someone here on PC and I am totally pleased with it. I am transmitting on 103.9 and it is as clear as a bell for well over 1,000 feet in any direction. In two directions you can get it really close to 1/2 mile. Not that you can see my lights that far unless you are in an airplane. LOL, . Anyway Ramsey is what I would get.

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Get the EDM LCD w/RDS ... you can't beat the sound quality, reliable or the 3 year warranty. You can save maybe $50 if you get the non-RDS model, if RDS isn't important to you. And the kit is very simple compared to Ramsey.

If you want an elaborate kit building experience as well, then get the Ramsey.

If you only have $100 to spend, then the mobileblackbox can be good, but keep in mind the v6000 is mono, but I have heard good things about it. You might also find a used Ramsey FM25B already assembled for the 100-125 price point.

I'd stay away from all others, even though I'm sure there are other good choices, just they are fairly obscure a little unproven in my book right now.

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Get the EDM LCD w/RDS ... you can't beat the sound quality, reliable or the 3 year warranty. You can save maybe $50 if you get the non-RDS model, if RDS isn't important to you. And the kit is very simple compared to Ramsey.

If you want an elaborate kit building experience as well, then get the Ramsey.

If you only have $100 to spend, then the mobileblackbox can be good, but keep in mind the v6000 is mono, but I have heard good things about it. You might also find a used Ramsey FM25B already assembled for the 100-125 price point.

I'd stay away from all others, even though I'm sure there are other good choices, just they are fairly obscure a little unproven in my book right now.

This is all great information. Thank you very much. But a few questions and comments.

1. Could you give me a link for the EDM LCD?

2. What does RDS stand for?

3. I'm ok with kits, but not too complicated kits. Definitely not looking for an elaborate kit building experience.

4. I googled the EDM fm transmitters and I find the website a little complicated to read. Could you help me out a little?:confused:

Thanks for all the help so far:santasmileyitty:

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http://www.edmdesign.com/orders.html

THeir website basically stinks ... but is primative on purpose.

This reflects poorly on the product, which is in fact excellent.

THere are various models available (adds to the confusion), but

the two you would want are the ones near the bottom of the page,

priced as follows:

RDS model (w/enclosure and power supply)

$235 (shipped) for the model with RDS chip and cable

non-RDS model (w/enclosure and power supply)

$195 (shipped) for the model without RDS

I used to to host EDM group buys but don't really do that anymore,

but I have heard from many happy customers, and I am one of them.

It takes about 3 weeks to get one, so thats the main downside.

Just don't wait till a month before CHristmas to order one and you'll

be fine.

I've found that most (not all), but most don't need any special antenna

... and can get by with the included "test antenna" (a wire) or a simple

rabbit ears dipole with an RCA to F-conn adaptor (if necessary).

Your mileage may vary, but the EDM transmit range is very good and

power is adjustable (variable) if needed.

Edited by taybrynn
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I like the looks of this product a lot. And I greatly appreciate the help. I think I understand the website. It was just really primitive as you said.

As far as building in myself, what exactly would I have to do?

And is the only downside to RDS that radios won't display the song title and artist? Because that is an expense I'm willing to skip. Unless there is something else about it.

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Yes, very easy to assemble (maybe 10-15 min) ... and RDS is not necessary at all. I believe the transmitter is chip upgradable to RDS, even if you order the model without it. There is also a yahoo group for EDM owners and their support is very good.

It's true, using the RDS isn't all that trivial, because your using a windows command (from LOR S2 software) to build a file (requires some DOS batch file knowledge) and then using a third part rds software which isn't all that use friendly. And then if you machine doesn't have a serial port, additional complexities ... so just skip the RDS and save some $$.

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Headphone jack or audio out (if you have one).

In the case of a headphone jack, it is advisable to have a $8 headphone volume control in between the laptop and the EDM to control input level a bit.

The connection cord is usually a 1/8" (mini headphone male) to dual RCA male cord ... around $3 each on ebay or $5-8 at a retail store.

This year, I also run a program called "Breakaway" audio enhancer v1.2 beta ($30) and it limits you volume and enhances the sound for FM transmission (enhances loudness) ... and could be used with any FM transmitter in a similar fashion.

Its also a nice to have, but certainly not required for good sound.

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I bought a Mobile Black Box and it works great! Its range is about 5-6 houses down the road- but how far do you really need it to transmit? We did have a problem with it when it first came- I email the company- they said ship it to them, they sent me a new one no questions asked. the price is right and easy to set up.

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I have used the Mobile Black Box V6000 for three years now and it works great. Easy to use and adjust. I just use the telescoping antenna that came with the unit and I get good reception about a half of a block away. I do use the in-line volume control with it. When i ordered mine it came with the in-line volume control. Now I think you must order it separate ($10). I have a friend that also uses the V6000 without any issues and the guy that got me hooked on this hobby uses the Ramsey FM25B kit. He has used it for 4 or 5 years now and he gets around 1/4 of a mile out of it. I have a couple of more displays planned for 2010 so I am going to try the V4000 with those.

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I have another question. What is Zara Radio? I've seen it a few times, and I've tried to figure out what it is but I'm still unsure. Is it basically just a way to run the radio with songs going still during the day then integrate the show songs into it?

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Guest csx5861

So this year was my first year with computerized display. I use Light-O-Rama the most recent version. And I was in a big hurry and didn't really have a lot of time to research FM transmitters. So I bought the first, what I thought was good, good one I found. The C. Crane transmitter.

http://www.ccrane.com/radios/fm-transmitters/fm-transmitter.aspx

Lets just say, it got the job done. Thats about all I can say for it. I heard the music? Some what over the static. I tried everything, changing the channels that I found to be to "best" online. None made the clarity any better.

Now that I have a year to "perfect" my show for next Christmas, should I invest in a Mobile Black Box V6000? Currently they are having a sale that it is going for $99. I'm unfamiliar with the difference between "stereo" and "mono" output frequencies. I could also upgrade to the Eclipse-4000. Does anyone use these transmitter? Should I get it? Do I really need a new one, or is there something I'm missing about my C. Crane? What about any other transmitters that you all use? Please help guys!!

I just bought the MobileBlack Box Eclipse 4000. Don't go with the V6000, I almost made that mistake, it has a MONO output, you really want stereo or your visitors won't hear the music as it was or you intend it!

I haven't gotten mine as yet, just ordered it on 12/31/09, although the USPS says it is in-transit to my location. But from what I've read and gotten info from on many folks here, I'd go with the Mobile BlackBox Eclipse 4000. Yep, a little more $$$, but it'll be worth it.

BTW: one thing I did was invest in the larger 33" antenna as well, cost me a little more to add the antenna, but I think it will be worth it in the end run of things. I am also still considering the larger antenna as well, but don't think I'm really in need of that, but will find out for sure when the transmitter finally arrives and I get to start "testing it out" for range in my vehicle by driving the neighborhood to see where I can start picking it up and where I start losing he signal from the transmitter.

Clay in Orlando, FL

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Guest csx5861

Headphone jack or audio out (if you have one).

In the case of a headphone jack, it is advisable to have a $8 headphone volume control in between the laptop and the EDM to control input level a bit.

The connection cord is usually a 1/8" (mini headphone male) to dual RCA male cord ... around $3 each on ebay or $5-8 at a retail store.

This year, I also run a program called "Breakaway" audio enhancer v1.2 beta ($30) and it limits you volume and enhances the sound for FM transmission (enhances loudness) ... and could be used with any FM transmitter in a similar fashion.

Its also a nice to have, but certainly not required for good sound.

Headphone volume control isn't really necessary, just open the audio properties box on your system and move your computers sound card slider down to 1/4 volume, do this on the master, wave and aux sliders and sw synth if your set up has them. In my sound properties I can change all these individually. I'd recommend no more than just under the 1/2 volume level for distortion free transmission. At least that works very well on my current low-range FM transmitter I currently have, I'd figure it would work just as well on the Mobile BlackBox Eclipse 4000 I have coming as well.

Clay in Orlando, FL

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I wonder if you can turn the power down on that Orion 5000. Looks like a nice transmitter but don't quite need over a mile. The 4000 looks nice I just want to make sure to get something that sounds good as well as broadcast for a ways.

My 4000 sounds great...

http://www.vimeo.com/8144217 this is using a portable fm receiver accross the street from my house

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Headphone volume control isn't really necessary, just open the audio properties box on your system and move your computers sound card slider down to 1/4 volume, do this on the master, wave and aux sliders and sw synth if your set up has them. In my sound properties I can change all these individually. I'd recommend no more than just under the 1/2 volume level for distortion free transmission. At least that works very well on my current low-range FM transmitter I currently have, I'd figure it would work just as well on the Mobile BlackBox Eclipse 4000 I have coming as well.

Clay in Orlando, FL

True. If you are using a computer to run your show you will not need the headphone volume control. If you use the Showtime Director to run your show, like I do, you may need the headphone volume control because the director does not have a volume control. I had to use it to keep it from distorting the music. I don't think you can go wrong with a Mobile BlackBox. My 6000 has worked great but I would go with the 4000 since it is stereo. I wish they offered the 4000 when I bought mine.

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Guest csx5861

True. If you are using a computer to run your show you will not need the headphone volume control. If you use the Showtime Director to run your show, like I do, you may need the headphone volume control because the director does not have a volume control. I had to use it to keep it from distorting the music. I don't think you can go wrong with a Mobile BlackBox. My 6000 has worked great but I would go with the 4000 since it is stereo. I wish they offered the 4000 when I bought mine.

Well this is a lot of extra work, but is what I am intending to do since I too, plan on using the "mp3 director" to run my show as well (when I finally can get everything).

I am going to reduce the volume of all the MP3 files that I will put into the show, I will reduce all files by 3/4 volume using my Magix Music Editor, well, maybe not so much work after all, because I can do this as a BATCH process. And then just load the reduced volume files into the LOR animation/sequencing software when I create the show for my display.

Will have to see how that works out. Once I can get the hardware and the director, then I can run a few tests to see how this will work out.

Guess they really need to put a volume control on the director don't they?

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