SpitFire AM Transmitter

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Nothing's impossible?

Sure like to believe that.



Many Prohibited Items

That's quite a concept -- if you can buy it on ebay it's legal LOL!

eBay has a rather extensive list of prohibited items and it's updated and changing constantly. Over the years I've tried to sell a lot of actually legal items that wereprohibited just because they were playing it safe. 10 meter ham amps, Ranger 2025 radios, the list goes on.

If made aware of it it might be possible to get illegal FM transmitters off ebay. Except of course that ebay doesn't ahve the means to tell the fake certified units from the real certified units, and keeping track would be beyond their abilities.

Check with the sellers of illegal transmitters over the years who HAVE been busted and paid fines.  They probably care about those stupid laws.

Prohibited list:



Very interesting!!

Thanks Tim for that info. on prohibited items on Ebay. Didn't know that Ebay had this rule for sellers and I guess they police this when something goes on there.

The transmitters go through the cracks as there may be a gray area or they don't know....same as Amazon.




They actually have a lot of rules...

eBay has a lot of rules that no one knows about until they run afoul of them. 

Obviously it's not possible for them to police everything, what with millions of items being listed every single day, most by legit sellers of course.  Tha tmakes it hard to weed out the bad stuff.  They rely mostly on people clicking on the "report this item" link that's on every auction if you stumble upon something illegal, counterfiet, or against policies.

Trouble is, if we all start turning in the illegal FM transmitter sellers, for example, it won't be long before eBay bans the item entirely when they realize they can't control good vs bad units.

They also really crack down on counterfiet items. I've listed over the years quite a bit of "fashion" items for my daughter or wife. Try listing a Coach purse once. You better be ready to show all the necessary photos showing that it's the real deal.  Try selling new Ugg boots. Apparently lots of fakes are listed. You can actually apply for ebay "certification" (for lack of a better word) if you're intending to sell a lot of designer fashions. Try listing something from Prada!

I've also been flagged when listing something with the word "indian" or "native American" in it... you better have an authentic Native item!

There really are a lot of behind the scenes rules, most of which you never run into unless they apply specifically to something you're listing.  I've been flagged on several radio items over the years -- mostly ham stuff that can be modified for CB use. 

If they are aware that a transmitter is illegal it will be stopped before it gets listed, or will be taken down if turned in and they have time to investigate before the auction ends. 

It can also get confusing with interntaional sellers and buyers further complicating things. 

There's a lot more to eBay than meets the eye!




It also sells outside the US. I love the SpitFire. Perfect for a business parking lot. Or restaurant. Specials that day, etc. If eBay gets tight, go to 6v6 themselves. Buy one direct. Same price. I like the SSTRAN better, though. The 3000. Better control of parameters.

But AM is AM. Like 300Hz to 5000Hz if I'm not mistaken. That's what comes out ya radio. The GE Super Radio makes AM sound like FM due to the "wideband" switch. We tested that. Plus, the SpitFire needs a 1/2 inch OD, ten-foot copper pipe. Plus a coil. Then ya got a transmitter. But, it's the same deal with the SSTRAN.

Ya like ta build stuff? There is not a better kit than the AMT-3000. I hear the AMT-5000 is a good one too, but that is down the road a bit. Phil B is having..."issues" right now delivering kits.

If you are all thumbs, and burn yourself easily, and fear soldering, and you WANT a little compliant AM transmitter, built, tested and delivered, get the SpitFire. Wherever you get it. 


Yes, the Spitfire is very

Yes, the Spitfire is very nice.  I have had one for a couple years now.  Clean audio, no hum, no drift.  

The instructions say that leaving the ATU switches in their default position (all 4 on) is fine.  "For short range use around the house or garden, you can leave the ATU set to the default EXTERNAL setting".  

Also, I have found that setting only switches 1 and 3 ON gives a definite power boost, regardless of frequency setting. 


AM doesn't stop at 10k. AM

AM doesn't stop at 10k. AM used to be 15k and still is for AM stereo stations. The only limiting factor is the reciever, the transmitter can spit out much more than you'd think.

The Spitfire used to be considered a garbage SSTran Clone, just like the Wholehouse FM was garbage. There seems to be an awful lot of garbage transmitters that have gained popularity thanks to their affordability. (ESPECIALLY on FM)

Having never used either, I have no personal opinion except in the case of the WholeHouse that was selling them illegally when they first came out.

The Wholehouse FM transmitter

The Wholehouse FM transmitter is not "garbage".  It works perfectly fine.  I have 2 of the 3.0 models.  Great sound and I have personally achieved  .8 mile range using nothing but the supplied antenna.  I also had the original model (7 frequencies only) and the 2.0 model.  The 3.0 is by far the best. 

The Spitfire AM transmitter is also just fine.  I have had one for a couple years now.  I also had an SSTran.  I only sold it because I needed the money for other things. 

Mind you, I am not running - or even interested in running - an "official radio station".  I just use them to housecast to my various radios, maybe 3 or 4 hours a day total.  Some days, not at all.  They are both excellent for this purpose. 

I also use one of the FM transmitters to play MP3s in my car over the radio, as the radio has no aux input and the transmitter can use batteries OR you can plug it into the car power supply.  Again, it excels at this. 

Neither transmitter is aimed at the "mount it on the outdoor antenna to get the best range, and broadcast to the neighborhood" crowd.  They are designed, built, priced and sold to much more casual users. 

No, they're not garbage, but...

I've field tested a total of SIX brand new Wholehouse 3.0 transmitters now.  Not one was even close to being legal in the USA.  They work fine and sound fine.  It would be interesting to see what a legal one might sound like.  My tests are posted here:


And note the addition where I tested five brand new units, back to back, each and every one over the limit.

If you're thinking of FM beware. 

This is a bit off the Spitfire discussion, however.


The Spitfire is perfect for

The Spitfire is perfect for the casual user and especially for beginners. Beyond that, meh. (Granted when I say its "meh" thats based on the reviews I read on it several years ago, the biggest complaint at the time was dull sound and poor range) I myself went through several "meh" transmitters before finally snagging a Rangemaster, it wasn't until I started using the hamilton that I realized how good part 15 really could be. However you brought up a very good point that I had over looked regarding the market the spitfire targets.

What Tim says confirms the Wholehouse is garbage, they should never have been issued certification. (At first they weren't and manufactured the transmitters with false FCC identifiers.) Not to mention listed features that have no actual functionality and "hidden" features that allow an illegally high power, which just so happens voids any certification as the feature was not published when submitted for FCC approval. Personally I've long preferred the C Crane line of transmitters that IIRC were typically under the legal limit but are built very well.

It is interesting to read

It is interesting to read what Radiodugger and Naddy69 say about the ATU on the Spitfire.

I am testing on 1080kHz AM. As per the instructions, I have changed the switch settings to Internal ATU and have chosen the frequency band columns that gives the apporximate minimum and maximum frequencies, I chose INTERNAL 830-1160 (Switch ON, OFF, OFF, ON). The signal is rock solid in around the house, no hum, no ground, but I'm not impressed with the range outside the house. 

I intend to try the ON, OFF, ON, OFF (which corresponds with INTERNAL 870-1220 on the supplied chart), as per Naddy69s suggestion. Then I will try switching the Internal ATU off as per Radiodugger's suggestion. So many variables!!!

Let's see how we get on.


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man this argument just goes

man this argument just goes around and around.. everything is always garbage compared to the rangemaster?

well, lets see. the rangemaster has come up with an ingenious way to have a counterpoise for its antenna and call it a ground. the rangemaster also has onboard audio processing.

watts is watts. if i take a spitfire and put it in a box on top of a pole with a "lightning protection" wire running down the length of the pole what do you think might happen? it might just get out, really well.

audio processing is everyting in the radio world, if not broadcasters wouldnt spend stupid money on optimods. process your audio properly (like the rangemaster helps you do) and you to will get that coverage.

im sorry but i'm not buying into that unit's magical superiority. yes, its a prepackaged solution that works well for those that rather spend money instead of sweat. can i achieve the same results with significantly less cash outlay? i bet a beer to a 6 pack i can.

hell i've gotten a TH unit to sound impressive to the ears of a local broadcast engineer and we know how fickle those things are.

the FCC froms upon the "lightning protection wire"? do they frown upon the National Electrical Code regarding lightning protection? dont be so fearful of the agents. theyre human. 



You speak Good Sense sir. You

You speak Good Sense sir. You're not the first person who has mentioned this in fact you could have an elevated transmitter and still have a ground and be 100% legal. Want to know how?


 here is here is the secret the electrical code requires a ground. So in other words if you have an electrical socket installed it has to be grounded. So what you do is very simple have a licensed electrician install an electrical outlet at the top of your install. Know what you can do is two things you can have a transmitter that uses the third prong as a ground like the talking house 5 or you can simply take two inches of ground wire and connect that from your transmitter to the third prong on the electrical socket. You're one hundred percent legal and let me just say that a very well-known company called Information Systems uses this technique.


I've actually done a little bit of homework into the subject and found that this is to be true rather or  not it radiates is irrelevant. It is 100% legal as your equipment must be lightning protected and with a 2-inch ground lead to that socket you're definitely following the rules. Technically it's the same thing as living it on a 50 story apartment and using your talking house 5 transmitter. No difference.


 Electrical safety trumps anything that the NAB would try to complain about.   it's not the same thing as having your transmitter on top of a 80 foot power and running a long lead down to the ground. However if there was a licensed electrician who put electrical socket at the top of that Tower and install the electrical system the same way they would in a house that would change everything. Yes that 80 foot might radiate butt again electrical safety counts.


 There are many reasons that one might want to have an elevated transmitter one is for safety against vandalism to is to get your signal above structures that would block your signal. Even AM is prone to being attenuated by certain structures.


Even Tim in Bovey could have a legal ground from his install. He could do the same thing have an electrical outlet installed by a licensed electrician and grounded properly then have his transmitter grounded to that either through the same type of system that the talking house 5  or use that simple 2-inch ground lead.


 in some installs that way the FCC has been right there as transmitters have been installed as I in some installs that way the FCC has been right there as transmitters have been installed as I have described and they have passed inspection and we're able to go on the air.

Progressive Rock (Album Rock, Deep Tracks), Classic Rock

More Power for Hobby Broadcasters

Misleading Information

The previous post contains. in my opinion, misinformation.  Citations and references to the claims made would be helpful.

I advise not following any of the recommendations of the previous post unless such claims can be verified.

For example, the NEC does not supersede FCC rules, it is not an either/or situation with these regulations, it is both which apply.  One way to meet both NEC and FCC regulations is to provide a protective ground and RF ground at the earth level and mount the transmitting system at earth level.



Thank you Neil.

First, the Rangemaster does not have on board processing. The Procaster does however. Also watts is not always watts. The efficiency of the RF output section must be factored in. The Rangemaster operates Class D with an efficiency that approaches 90%. Correct me Neil if I'm off on that. Both the Procaster and the Rangemaster are in a class of their own. Kit-wise the Sstran 5000 with a Class E output is also in its own class. You pay for what you get as they say. There is no comparison between a Rangemaster/Procaster when it comes to the quality of the circuit board construction. Also if you like a transmitter that has FM artifacts the Talking House is right up your ally LOL!

Druid Hills Radio AM-1710- Dade City, FL. Unlicensed operation authorized by the Part 15 Department of the FCC and our Resident Hobby Agent.  

The TH is a novelty. I'm not

The TH is a novelty. I'm not saying a TH is the cat's meow. I am saying I can achieve similar range results with any of the transmitters if similarly installed. Process your audio and you're getting the best bang for your buck.

Transmitter efficiency is important but doesn't it take a doubling of power to gain 3db? All of these boxes have been metered before and aren't they all in the 80-100mw output range? What's the argument?










im not a librarian so if you wish to argue my points then feel free to look for citations to invalidate my reasoning.


the FCC does not require the AM hobbyist to have a type accepted part 15 transmitter. the FCC requires anyone manufacturing transmitters for sale in the USA to get type accepted or verified but that burden is on the equipment maker. unlike licensed broadcasters, we are not required to have type accepted equipment. we are bound by the rules though that our gear doesnt go outside FCC limits, homebrewed or store bought.

the spitfire is indeed circumventing rules but the way things are written, we're imuune unless your gear goes awry and you'd be in trouble regardless of what you owned if all of a sudden you started spewing interference.

 a hamilton is a transmitter in a box. saying that only the hamilton gets to have proper lightning protection when mounted on an elevated surface is ridiculous. all antenna mounting structures are supposed to have proper lighting protection, that's proper engineering practice.

the hamilton product may employ a very efficient transmitter but the competitors would have to be 50% efficient to produce a signal 3db down all other things being equal.

lets be clear that i'm not saying the hamilton product is junk. its very well made and an excellent solution for the guy that wants a BAM signal right now. what i am saying is that with some elbow grease you can save yourself $500-600 and achieve a similar signal with a spitfire or similar transmitter.






You wrote "radio8z,

im not a librarian so if you wish to argue my points then feel free to look for citations to invalidate my reasoning."

My comments were directed to the claims of "legal" grounding made in post #104, not to what you posted, hence the phrase "previous post"..

My request for documentation was with regard to the claim that the FCC was there during some installs and were OK with this.  Basically, how does the poster know this?  Personal observation perhaps, or hearsay?  It may well be accurate and true but I seek some assurance of this.



Okay let me try in shed some

Okay let me try in shed some light on the subject. A very active member in the New Radio Revolution has given me this information quite some time ago. Unfortunately his computer went to hack and a lot of this was lost but I do trust his information as he's always given me a and the ALPB valid and useful information.From what I understand he got this information from an engineer who is been active in making sure that part 15 installations are 100% legal.  Somehow Infformation Systems was mentioned as one of the companies that has used this trick and never had an issue with the FCC on any of their installs.It is interesting to note that this happened after the fiasco of the long ground busting that happened to Ken Cartwright. Anyways the story goes on as the engineer has been using this trick because of the fact that electrical code does trump the FCC's 3 meter ground rule. The FCC has been present during those installs from what I understand is from information systems. So with that in mind if they're able to do this in front of an FCC agent or agents so too can you. And it makes good sense because it's the same darn thing is if you Were to install a talking house transmitter on the 100th floor of a building because the talking House uses the third prong as a ground. That ground does radiate contrary to what some may believe. So that in itself makes you legal although it may not look like it but For now electrical safety codes do trump pretty much anything else. Plus did you know that if you have a system that is improperly grounded it could void your home owners insurance? This too is something else that I have found out so all of this makes good sense and the FCC knowing this so far (knock on wood) has not given anyone any hassle for that type of install.  If you can point to a link with the FCC has asked someone to cut the third prong off of their power supply of a talking house or I a.m. transmitter because they live on a high-rise or an apartment that is way up in the air please post it because it's the same thing in essence. So common sense should tell you that this information that I got is valid.Honestly the only reason I gave this information to nonmembers of the New Radio Revolution was because I was being balked at too many times and wanted to show that the New Radio Revolution is not a bunch of young punks who know nothing about Radio. It does show that we have actually done some of the research ourselves. That in turn we given it to you But in retaliation for being made fun of. Count this one as a freebie from us. Maybe it will help you guys so that you don't have to continue arguing about such nonsensical things like a ground lead. Now you know how to make your station legal and actually get out somewhere. Welcome to the real world of broadcasting brought to you from the Soldiers Of Chage...The New Radio Revolution.

Progressive Rock (Album Rock, Deep Tracks), Classic Rock

More Power for Hobby Broadcasters

Civilians and Their Anecdotes

Everything said in your "proof" is anecdote and hearsay.

NO verifiable names or links are provided.

A God that I trust doesn't even know if it's true, and they say HE knows everything!

Carl Blare

I'll have to see if I can

I'll have to see if I can find anything on it.  However like I said life is not always documented as part of a website or link.  If I knew the entineer myself and he was actually willing to reveal that information I could show it.


If it were me I'd do it but I don't have the land to prove it could be done.  I'd have a licensed electrician install a socket on top of a 500 Ft structure and buy a transmitter better than a Talking House that uses a 3 prong power supply as a ground.  My station would get out for miles (not feet) and I'd be more than happy to put a big neon sign that says "The Legacy Album Rock A New Radio Revolution owned and operated station Break FREE of the shackles of Top40 and Rap and tune in to a legal part 15 station that Does not Flycast".

Progressive Rock (Album Rock, Deep Tracks), Classic Rock

More Power for Hobby Broadcasters

Scientific Standards

Meeting the standards for proof of evidence in both science and court rooms requires information that can somehow be proven by more than someone's story.

Even witness testimony is unreliable not only because some people lie, but also because the human memory is known to be very faulty.

Even slipperier is a person's opinion. I am loaded with opinions. Sometimes one of them is right!

Carl Blare

Thelegacy makes perfect sense

Thelegacy makes perfect sense.

The Hamilton units use the lightning protection wire and are FCC approved. Either we have some cheerleaders in here or Hamilton products are getting special treatment. There is no mention in the rules that your TX must be at ground level.


follow the 3m rule, use a compliant TX, use proper lightning protection, and don't give the FCC agent lip if he (ever) shows up. The FCC is more than glad to show off their list of offenders. Unless somebody shows an NAL on a part 15 station over a lightning protection issue, we're splitting hairs. Even if one is found, I'd like to hear what the operators attitude was towards the agent. We'd either have a case of bad attitude or selective enforcement.







One thing that got Ken

One thing that got Ken Cartwright in trouble was the grudge match so the story went.

Progressive Rock (Album Rock, Deep Tracks), Classic Rock

More Power for Hobby Broadcasters


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