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Scanner audio on FM Band

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KG5HHS

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Hello All,
I'm not sure if this is the correct location for this thread. I was on a trip not long ago and had seen a friend of mine connect their phone to a fm transmitter that plugged into the power port of the vehicle and was able to listen to the phone through the FM Radio.
So I had an idea! I have 4 scanners (Ham, Aviation, County Sheriff/County Fire, & City Police/City Fire). I was thinking about connecting all of them to an audio mixer (Similar to this: MX400 Ultra-compact Low Noise 4 Channels Line Mono Audio Mixer US Plug T4S2 | eBay) then from there, connecting it to a low power 76-108mhz transmitter (high power @ 0.5W/Low power @ 0.1W)(Similar to this: AX-05B 76-108MHz Long Range Dual Mode Stereo Broadcast FM Radio Transmitter | eBay). I would then be able to use my portable FM radio with ear buds when I'm doing yard work or working around the house. Is a set up like this legal?
 

mmckenna

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The FM transmitter would need to have one of the following FCC type certifications to be legal for use in the United States:

Part 15 Low power radio devices (Intentional radiators) -see this page: https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-i...d54fcb34&mc=true&node=se47.1.15_1239&rgn=div8
Part 73 Broadcast (will require an FM Broadcast licenses).

The E-bay link didn't show it had type certification. Based on E-bay's horrible history on allowing the selling of non-type accepted radio equipment in the USA, you should assume that the transmitter does not have type certification.
 

jwt873

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The FCC regs only allow low power AM or FM radios that have a range of 200 feet or less. See Part 15 radios in this link ( https://www.fcc.gov/media/radio/low-power-radio-general-information#PART15 ) -- The Canadian Regs are similar.

I have a .5 Watt FM transmitter... Like this -> https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA3T61NV0840

At half a Watt It's good for over a mile with the stock antenna. I keep the power down to .1 Watt and I get a little over 1/2 a mile... I live in the country and there are only 2 houses within a mile of me so I don't really bother anyone.

I broadcast my home Sirius receiver around my property and listen to it when I'm cutting the grass on my lawn tractor. I use a set of noise canceling earphones and a Walkman radio.

If you live in the city then, even at 0.1 Watts, you will be heard in a lot of surrounding households.
 

RFBOSS

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The 200 foot range quoted is the typical expected range, it is not the technical rule.

As stated in the above link, the technical rule for the FM broadcast band is an RF field strength of 250 microvolts per meter at a distance of 3 meters from the antenna.

With a good antenna in a good location that could be close to 1000 ft for receiver with sub 2 microvolt sensitivity. This amount of range is legal as long as it does not cause unwanted interference.

A mono FM signal will give greater usable range than a stereo signal for a number of technical reasons.

It is all about path loss. If the antenna is in a poor location inside a house the range will be rather limited. If the transmitter antenna is outside, up in the air and in the clear the range will be much better even staying within the 250 microvolt per meter at 3 meters regulation.

Part 15 AM transmitters have been mentioned. The specification is somewhat different. It is based on the power of the transmitter, 100 milliwatts. The limiting factor is the restriction on the sized of the antenna and the antenna ground.

A legal Part 15 AM transmitter can have a range of over 1 mile.
 

fleef

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The FCC regs only allow low power AM or FM radios that have a range of 200 feet or less. See Part 15 radios in this link ( https://www.fcc.gov/media/radio/low-power-radio-general-information#PART15 ) -- The Canadian Regs are similar.

I have a .5 Watt FM transmitter... Like this -> https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA3T61NV0840

At half a Watt It's good for over a mile with the stock antenna. I keep the power down to .1 Watt and I get a little over 1/2 a mile... I live in the country and there are only 2 houses within a mile of me so I don't really bother anyone.

I broadcast my home Sirius receiver around my property and listen to it when I'm cutting the grass on my lawn tractor. I use a set of noise canceling earphones and a Walkman radio.

If you live in the city then, even at 0.1 Watts, you will be heard in a lot of surrounding households.
Noise canceling earbuds while riding lawn tractor? I'd be terrified if one of the kids was trying to get my attention for something important, or if someone had to yell "the dog! Watch out!" those earbuds are the bane of pedestrians existence.
 

slicerwizard

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And here I thought a ham would know better than to just fire up a 100 mW / 500 mW transmitter on the FM broadcast band. Guess I'm turning into a Crabby Milton...
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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Use a stereo mixer, that way you can have two different scanners in each ear.

Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk
 

DJ11DLN

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Noise canceling earbuds while riding lawn tractor? I'd be terrified if one of the kids was trying to get my attention for something important, or if someone had to yell "the dog! Watch out!" those earbuds are the bane of pedestrians existence.
If you have to worry about spouse, kids, pets, etc being about when you are mowing the grass, then IMHO you need to rethink how you are doing things.

And if you don't use hearing protection when operating a mower, then at some point, probably sooner rather than later, Beltone et al is going to love you...



Back OT, all I know about this is that a Scosche FM micro-transmitter from Walmart worked well to port a HH scanner's audio to my car stereo when the radio in question didn't have a line-in jack. But its effective range was under 50' so it was useless for the type of activity the OP has in mind.

Beyond that, I got nuthin'.
 

jwt873

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Back OT, all I know about this is that a Scosche FM micro-transmitter from Walmart worked well to port a HH scanner's audio to my car stereo when the radio in question didn't have a line-in jack. But its effective range was under 50' so it was useless for the type of activity the OP has in mind.

Beyond that, I got nuthin'.
Sirius and XM got into trouble in their early days over FM transmitters. They built them into their stand alone car receivers so they could be used in vehicles where the FM radio had no AUX input jack.

deadspin-quote-carrot-aligned-w-bgr-2

The transmitters were over the 'legal limit'. This was a problem on the road because it was causing interference to nearby cars. The FCC ordered them to reduce the power and tested the new design to make sure they complied. After that, they were difficult to receive even when placed right next to the car's FM radio. I have an old Sirius Starmate receiver with the legal transmitter... I can't hear it across the house let alone out in the yard.

There are many FM transmitters for sale out there. I doubt that any FCC compliant would be suitable for the OP's purpose.
 

DJ11DLN

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I have an old Sirius Starmate receiver with the legal transmitter... I can't hear it across the house let alone out in the yard.

There are many FM transmitters for sale out there. I doubt that any FCC compliant would be suitable for the OP's purpose.
Just about what I observed with the Scosche. It was fine in the car -- most of the time -- but even trying to use it to send scanner audio from the kitchen to the back porch it pretty much fell on its face.

I've looked at a number of ways to send my scanner audio outside; I have a pretty large area to mow and it takes me a couple of hours even with a 5' deck on my ZTR mower. The only practical way I can see is to make some kind of a protective dust-proof enclosure for a HH scanner to mount on the back of the seat (or elsewhere and use a co-ax jumper to get the antenna up out of the weeds) and conventional noise-limiting 'phones or 'plugs. When I spray with the golf cart, it's quiet enough that I just put the scanner in a 1-gallon zipper bag and stick it in a cupholder; I can hear it just fine and it doesn't get dusty or get Roundup on it. Twouldn't work for the mower.

And while I love listening to my scanners, I have plenty of other projects with a higher priority than a mower-mounted scanner!;)
 

ecps92

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I use an older 49 Mhz wireless speaker system, amazing coverage
Kit came with 3 wireless/outdoor speakers and the transmitter
Just about what I observed with the Scosche. It was fine in the car -- most of the time -- but even trying to use it to send scanner audio from the kitchen to the back porch it pretty much fell on its face.

I've looked at a number of ways to send my scanner audio outside; I have a pretty large area to mow and it takes me a couple of hours even with a 5' deck on my ZTR mower. The only practical way I can see is to make some kind of a protective dust-proof enclosure for a HH scanner to mount on the back of the seat (or elsewhere and use a co-ax jumper to get the antenna up out of the weeds) and conventional noise-limiting 'phones or 'plugs. When I spray with the golf cart, it's quiet enough that I just put the scanner in a 1-gallon zipper bag and stick it in a cupholder; I can hear it just fine and it doesn't get dusty or get Roundup on it. Twouldn't work for the mower.

And while I love listening to my scanners, I have plenty of other projects with a higher priority than a mower-mounted scanner!;)
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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When I was in grade school, the classrooms had a loop antenna of metal foil pasted on all four walls. A Wollensack tape recorder and an audio amp fed instructional materials electro magnetically to small "receivers" consisting of a magnetic coil antenna and audio amp. These were powered by a 9V battery and were in a clear plastic box. It was simply audio radiated magnetically.

The OP could do the same, So what could be done is run a wire loop buried throughout the lawn (like a pet fence). However using that rudimentary technology on a lawnmower would be electrically pretty noisy so instead of plain audio, feed an FM 38KHz sub-carrier. The receiver could be a rudimentary Signetics LM565 subcarrier decoder and a resonant iron loop antenna.

FM SCA Information

That would all be legal. But personally, if it were me, I would just get one of those pre-made FM stereo transmitters, and set the power level down so it just covers my yard using the headphones.
 

K9DAK

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KB7MIB

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If you live in the city then, even at 0.1 Watts, you will be heard in a lot of surrounding households.
I'm guessing that not a lot of people channel surf AM or FM broadcast radio, if they're even listening to it anymore, what with downloads, streaming, et al.
And those who do still listen to broadcast radio, and change stations however frequently or infrequently, probably switch between presets of their favorite stations. This is what I do in the car. At home I do have to spin through the dial on my alarm clock radio and a stereo, however I do so quickly from station to station. And the 3rd radio (Grundig YB300) is direct entry. Once in a great while, I'll do a search of the band from end to end.

If you were to pick a quiet spot at the low end of the FM dial, there's little chance that a neighbor would pick it up, unless you happened to have a neighbor who enjoyed listening to the non-profits that populate that section of the band. (In Phoenix, I believe there's a classical station, 2-3 religious stations, and an NPR affiliate between 88.3 and 91.5.)

Just my thoughts.

John
Peoria, AZ
 
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