Seeking Options to Transmit From Radio Room to My Yard

MDScanFan

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I would like to be able to listen to signals from my radio room (scanner, FM BCB via attic antenna, etc) via a portable radio while working around the yard. Max distance I would like to span from the radio room is around 300’. Unless I take some special steps the signal would also need to pass through a couple walls in my house. Decent audio fidelity would be nice but may not be essential. I have dc to light pocket sized analog radios that could be used for reception.

I don’t want to spend too much, maybe ~$100. What are my options? I tried a Bluetooth headset (that was likely class 3 low power) that was not designed for range and it gets only get 30-50 feet.

I have thought about the following but do not if they are worth pursuing.
  • 49 MHz baby monitor
  • Part 15 FM Transmitter
  • Higher power Bluetooth transmitter
 

wscranston

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Maybe stream audio over the internet, if you have a PC nearby? If you're willing to use your phone instead of a radio.

Or even simpler: start a Skype call with a PC sitting next to the radio.
 
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chief21

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A Part 15 FM transmitter should work fine for listening to one source at a time. Multiple devices could broadcast multiple sources and you could just switch from channel to channel.

I built a kit-type transmitter some years ago to re-transmit satellite radio throughout my house. It actually broadcast a clear signal for a block or two, using just the supplied telescoping antenna. Be sure to pick an FM frequency that is not used in your area.
 

MDScanFan

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Good suggestion. I would like to try to stick with a radio to avoid subjecting my phone to the yard work hazards.

Maybe stream audio over the internet, if you have a PC nearby? If you're willing to use your phone instead of a radio.

Or even simpler: start a Skype call with a PC sitting next to the radio.
 

MDScanFan

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That’s impressive range for wireless headphone. Though I did not mention it I have sets of headphones I use during yard work that offer excellent noise isolation (mowing, etc.). I would like to stick with these.

I'd recommend a wireless headset that uses DECT for better range, but that's probably our of the $100 price range. It took me a while to find one with a 3.5mm plug, but I did find one as an example for $218. https://www.headsetsdirect.com/product/poly-savi-8220-uc-wireless-headset/
 

MDScanFan

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I do like the idea of a FM transmitter because it would let me use a variety of radios I have around the house. I am concerned about the range based on the reviews I have seen of part 15 compliant transmitters. For the same device some people claim it can’t be received a couple rooms away and others claim it spans several blocks. I will do a bit more research on available devices.

A Part 15 FM transmitter should work fine for listening to one source at a time. Multiple devices could broadcast multiple sources and you could just switch from channel to channel.

I built a kit-type transmitter some years ago to re-transmit satellite radio throughout my house. It actually broadcast a clear signal for a block or two, using just the supplied telescoping antenna. Be sure to pick an FM frequency that is not used in your area.
 

iMONITOR

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mmckenna

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That’s impressive range for wireless headphone. Though I did not mention it I have sets of headphones I use during yard work that offer excellent noise isolation (mowing, etc.). I would like to stick with these.
We use DECT for headsets and a cellular like wireless phone handset system at work. DECT works really well, 1.9GHz and has more power behind it than Bluetooth. Unfortunately it often gets overlooked. It costs a bit more, but it works really well.
 

mmckenna

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Amazon sells some later version Bluetooth transmitters that claim up to 1 mile range!
They also sell FRS radios that will claim "up to 35 miles" range. I'd not rely on 1 mile of blue tooth range, and there's only so many bluetooth channels available and a lot of users on it. It would be interesting to know if those devices have the correct Part 15 certs or are they some Cheap Chinese product that's slipped through.
 

iMONITOR

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They also sell FRS radios that will claim "up to 35 miles" range. I'd not rely on 1 mile of blue tooth range, and there's only so many bluetooth channels available and a lot of users on it. It would be interesting to know if those devices have the correct Part 15 certs or are they some Cheap Chinese product that's slipped through.
I realize that but he's only wanting 300', I would certainly hope it would do that reasonably well. If not it's simple enough to return.
 

bharvey2

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I've gone the FM transmitter route a number of times over the years. A decent one with an external antenna should meet your needs.
 

mmckenna

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I realize that but he's only wanting 300', I would certainly hope it would do that reasonably well. If not it's simple enough to return.
Yeah, it would be a solution. Bluetooth was really only designed for 30 feet or so, and while it can work farther, adding in walls, and all the other stuff in a modern home that will block RF is going to make it kind of sketchy. Putting the transmitter in a window might help.
 

MDScanFan

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I am certain I could make a low power fm transmitter with external antenna work in my situation. However, I need to get a better understanding of the rules first to see what is allowed. Nearly all of the part 15 compliant off the shelf transmitters I have seen have a crappy integrated antenna, probably for a reason. The Whole Home Transmitter 3 has a removable sma antenna. That at least opens up possibilities.

I've gone the FM transmitter route a number of times over the years. A decent one with an external antenna should meet your needs.
 

majoco

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MDScanFan said:
I am certain I could make a low power fm transmitter with external antenna work in my situation.
I made a low power FM transmitter from a 'now unavailable' kitset but the chip is still available and the schematic is in the application note. It easily goes 30 yards with a rabbits ears antenna on the transmitter to a pocket radio.
 

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iMONITOR

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Related but short range (up to 30 feet), I highly recommend this combination for remote monitoring of your scanner's audio! I'm using this so I can listen to my scanners (located in my home office) when I'm in my bedroom or kitchen when desired. The radio's volume is loud enough to be heard clearly throughout the entire house! It works and sounds fantastic!

I recently bought a C Crane CCRadio 3B that I think its the best AM/FM portable radios I've ever owned. It also covers weather and 2 Meter 144~148 MHz ham communications. It can also function as a Bluetooth receiver. With it's BIG 5" speaker, and individual bass & treble controls you can tailor it to awesome audio with a big punch when needed!
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I also purchased a
TaoTronics Bluetooth 5.0 Transmitter/Receiver, Wireless 3.5mm Audio Adapter (Low Latency, Pair 2 at Once, for TV/Car Sound System, or scanners ) from Amazon:

1600633365463.png
 
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