For those who wnat to experiement:
What does the enhanced version do that this does not?
Jim Henry HBR Radio 1610, serving Honey Brook, PA. and NW Chester County.
The Iam version has an improved audio fidelity circutry.. I don't know how much better it sounds since I've never heard any Talking House before. I am tempted to get one of these due to the bargain price.. At least it is a 5.0 version which is supposed to sound better than any previous version.
But it might be a mute point, because it appears the modified improved fidelty versions have been discontinued as of last month.. I wonder what the reason for that. The 5.0 (but still named iAM) is now the only version available.
Rich Powers Part15, Take 2..
I think for the work they put into it the ROI was not there. I purchased one of the modified units and it does sound MUCH better.
Druid Hills Radio AM-1710- Dade City, FL. Unlicensed operation authorized by the Part 15 Department of the FCC and our Resident Hobby Agent.
I can take pictures and provide detail of the mods if that would help?
How bad is the $49 unit?
Does it do 100% modulation?
Is there audio distortion? Or
digital artifacts in the audio?
Is the audio response curve weird?
Does it sound like a telephone?
I'm confused. I couldn't tell if it was
in the Hobby Broadcaster video
or not. (Eyesight not too good.)
Nice video, by the way.
Brooce, Part 15 Hartford
NOISE AND STATIC RADIO
We are not at home, but at my
Everybody left - - but I have been
staying back here taking care of
the dogs. So...
I fell asleep on the couch. The dream I
had was probably about the $49 transmitter.
It sure looked like it. I took it apart and lost
most of the screws and some other little pieces.
Then something else happened in the dream.
I was moving furniture or something.
Then I woke up. The dream is still clear in
my mind. What a goofy chain
So that is what happened.
I have been finding small parts from a Talking House Transmitter showing up all over the house!
Bruce, I will return them to you. No, I mean to your dream.
My AMT-3000 is at least 10 years old
and is getting "rough around the edges"
from so many experiments in so many
The above mentioned transmitter is
very tempting. But I didn't expect to
fall asleep and dream about it.
That's really bonkers! Still - it
might be a suitable backup for
Oh well - back to the drawing board.
So if anybody has any more info related to
the questions in Post #7 let me know.
The following comments are subjective based on my personal experiences...
I've used the Talking House II for over 10 years. When I first put it on the air, using the indoor wire antenna, I was not impressed with the performance.
Soon after I obtained the Talking House ATU, external antenna system. Things improved greatly. The range went from a few hundred feet to about half a mile.
Roof mounting with 4 short radials (12 to 15 feet) took the range up to about a mile.
The audio was a bit tinny, no low end. I compensated with an external EQ box. Later, after obtaining a schematic, I found that changing one coupling capacitor in the audio stage took the low freqency response from 300 Hz down to 30 Hz. The sound became much fuller.
It still had an odd warbling sound to it when my signal beat against a skywave signal on the same frequency at night as though my carrier was shifting in step with my audio.
Checking the transmitter output frequency I found it to be about 80 Hz off frequency. I installed a small air variable capacitor at the phase locked loop oscillator crystal so the frequency could be precisely set. Doing this seems to have eliminated the warbling effect.
The only other problem most have is the built in auto-tuner has a tendancy to get stuck. The mechanism won't move. Some tinkering and lubrication has helped but then again I don't use the internal tuner since I use the external ATU antenna system.
Today a have 5 Talking House II transmitters and 2 Talking House ATU antenna systems.
by MRAM 1500
Charter Member - Association of Low Power Broadcasters
Chairman - ALPB
Mram, that's some valueable first hand experience and modifications you describe, but based on the general consenses a stock Talking House 2 is an inferior model when compared to a stock Talking House 5, so your above response doesn't really address Micro's question about the 5.0 model.
I have no experience with any TH - But I know this much.. All Talking Houses were manufactured for 'speech quality" output and not particuarly suitable for music, and also are known for having poor quality control in production.
The only exception was when Radio Systems aquired the company in 2009 and then modified the existing version 4.0 and 5.0 models to inprove the audio (much the same, I presume as you did on your 2.0 models).. Those modified units the became rebranded the "iAM", and quality control was improved because each of those units were individualy tested before it was sent out to the consumer..
Now that Radio Systems has sold the company to ISS, those modifications are no longer being applied, and the iAM is now only a stock 5.0.. which I can only presume (and have heard others report) is superior to a stock 2.0 would be.
I guess I haven't help much to answer the question either, but common sense dictates that if you can buy a brand new Certified AM transmitter for $49, don't expect premium quality performance, but that said, keep in mind these have been deemed perfectly acceptable for use in many state parks for years now as public information radio, so they aint complete garbage.
I still think they're a bargain for $49
- - and more.
If I can get it I will. But there are so many things
going on here - - I might not have time to do it.
I do very much like the idea of a self contained
unit. I'm also prepared to deal with any problems
the unit might have. Sometimes a "messed up"
piece of electronics is more fun than one that
is in perfect condition.
So, well see.
I'll have to put a thread up about my
first vacuum tube phono oscillator. THAT was
This was an accidental duplicate of
the previous post. I'm trying to eliminate/change
it. I wonder what will hsppen.
I say get the TX and if people like your station you may get donations. Then you can buy a REAL AM TX like a Procaster or Rangemaster. Then your signal may go 2 miles and you'll have fun.
Progressive Rock (Album Rock, Deep Tracks), Classic Rock
More Power for Hobby Broadcasters
Well Rich, it seems that since this thread was addressing the un-enhanced TH 5, I assumed that meant it does not have the audio quality of the enhanced TH 5. That being the case, the simple modification to the audio stage is probably all that is needed to open up the low end response. So if that brand new TH 5 just needs a little help to sound better, I think it's worth mentioning.
Other than that there's probably not a hill of beans difference in the 2 and the 5.
By few hundred feet, do you mean about 200 feet in any direction before the signal fades out? At the moment, on foot my range is about 200 feet to the north, south, east or west without fading. when the signal completely fades on foot, its about 500 feet to the north, south, east or west of the transmitter site. In a car, the signal only gets 50 to 70 feet without fading, 100 to 150 feet of signal before a complete fade. And these specs are just with the indoor antenna and nothing else on a TH II.
1: Audio (more than just 1 cap)
2: Power Adjust for 100 mW DC input power
3: Netting Capacitor added for frequency adjustment
The TH5s sold are enhanced but not with the i.am enhancement. That said, FWIW the i.am version is still available on special order from ISS. (Just not for $49)
ISS also intends to bring back the external ATU.
I heard mention of that.. Bet the ATU won't be $49 either.
I assume along with the ATI that you get the antenna. Hope they make the ATU more efficient so you get the best range.
My AMT-3000 works fine, but
it's the only other working AM BCB
transmitter I own. I think
it should get a little vacation.
I'll let all of you know what happens
when the TH 5.0 gets here.
Brooce Part 15 Hartford
As Rich Powers of End80 Radio said earlier Radio Systems and ISS are now the same company, and along with the iAM, Talking House, a 10 Watt carrier-current transmitter, and their traffic systems, they also have an AM transmitter known as the InfOspot, labeled as "The best Part 15 AM transmitter".
Link to the InfOspot AM Transmitter
I did say something like that (not in this thread), but it's not accurate. Although I suspect they are somehow associated with each other, they are actually two entirely different companies in different states. Radio Systems recently sold the TH patent to ISS, so they now own it, but I'm 90% sure that the ISS "InfoStop" has always used a Talking House for the InfoSpot systems in the past (as well as presently), and it's clearly visible in some of their case studies. Example:
It happens all the time in human communications. A guy writes something, another guy comes along and reads it, thinking he understands, but somehow takes a whole different meaning from what was said.
Let's test it. What did I just say?
Anyway, Rich Powers has the patience and consideration to keep the record straight. "But it's not accurate. Although I suspect they are somehow associated with each other, they are actually two entirely different companies in different states."
What a shocker! The InfOspot contains a Talking House.
Well, whoever they all are they do a convincing job of describing the InfOspot.
I also am in a different state.
I consider their description of the InfoSpot as kind of vague.. Best I can tell from pictures of installs is; as you see, it consist of a Talking House a digital player/recrder incorperated with a telco unit, and a power strip, with all of it encased in a protective steel box, and then up higher is a external tuning unit and antenna... However, I have heard mention they no longer include an ATU, not sure if that's true, but they were still ustilizing an ATU in 2013, and their website still shows an ATU as part of the package.
Athough the $49 Talking House/Iam do not include the improved audio circuitry, I presume that the InfoSpots still have them.
about 16 hours straight.
BUT what an interesting
piece of gear. Before I get
into the issue of getting another
one - let me tell you what happened.
This is really funny in a strange way.
As soon as it came out of the box
I knew something wasn't right. There
was a stange odor from the inside
which I could smell through the holes
in the top of the cabinet. It smelled
like burnt electronics. So right away -
I didn't expect it to work.
And when it did work I
was amazed. I hadn't expected
that. I put it on 1590 kHz. (Because
I have many vintage radios that don't
go above 1610.) I heard the little tuning
motor run and match the supplied wire antenna for that operating frequency.
With the transmitter running in the
cellar - I ran upstairs and found a
"big fat carrier" on the vintage radio
up there. I grabbed my IPOD nano -
ran back downstairs and plugged it
in. The audio wasn't the best - but we
know there are mods to improve
upon that. There was hum on the
carrier - but we know that when the
"near RF field" from the transmitter
intersects the 60 Hz RF component
in the house - that hum will appear on
the received signal. I had some ideas
about how to improve that.
SO I was quite satisfied. The
unit ran from about 6:PM that
evening and was still running
at 6:AM the next morning when
I took the dogs out.
I listened to the signal
on the radio that morning
and went back in the cellar
to take a look. I was getting
excited about the prospects
of the whole thing. My friend
down the street has an
Inovonics 222 for me to
borrow long term. This was
starting to be fun. THEN I looked
down at the transmitter. The digital
display - which previously had indicated
1590 was different now. Only the 9 was
lit. The 1, 5, and O had gone dark. The
transmitter was still running fine however. Thinking this was some
kind of minor glitch - I then disconnected
the 18 volt power cube. Hoping for the best - I reconnected the cube and listened for the unit to hopefully power
back up. But there was nothing through
my portable GE Superadio. Thinking I was in error - I tried again. Still nothing.
The transnitter had died.
Now - I like this thing. It's
not perfect - but a "turn-key"
Part 15 AM BCB transmitter
is a great thing to have.
So now we get to the the part
about getting another unit.
I don't know how to do that
yet and I hope I can with a zero
or very minimal cash outlay. Heck
- I would pay $49 for just the motorized
antenna tuning section.
And the real funny thing is
I never even got a chance
to go outside and see how
far the transmitted signal
went. And THAT is the mark
of a true Part 15er.
"Reporting" from Hartford, CT,
That's a bummer Brooce. They do have a 90 day return where they will send you a replacement unit, however you have to pay to ship the defective unit back, and also pay the shipping for the replacement unit. (as described at http://www.iamradio.net/contact.htm) -- I don't know how much your shipping was, but that doesn't sound reasonable to me to be at your expense for something that died the day you got it.
Hopefully they will take this into consideration and not apply those charges to replace it. Good luck and let us know how it goes
Yeah - - I'm not sure I'm going
to pursue it. Although I'm tilting
closer to Yes rather than No.
By the way, I have always enjoyed
hearing about your Part 15 operation.
And the pictures you have sent out
have been a lot of fun to look at.
Best Wishes, Brooce