Saturday, 10 August 2019

FM TRANSMITTER HACK TO BOOST THE RANGE

I have always thought there is huge potential in transmitting data over the FM bands, especially when it involved one of my kite ideas. I once came up with the concept to fly a bunch of sensors via kites that would relay the information down on the ground via a low powered FM transmitter. This could then be adapted to broadcast your own recordings should you be at the beach with friends and wanted to broadcast your own radio show to the listeners below. There are many similar projects out there, take this Raspberry Pi project here for example.
After buying a number of the old in-car FM transmitters from a car boot sale recently I decided to revisit this project and test it out only to find that the range of the things wasn’t very good at all. Although the older generation in-car FM transmitters are rumoured to have a better range than the more modern solutions, I was still only achieving a few metres. So I set about modifying the FM transmitter to see if I can boost its range somehow.
Now I’m no electronics expert but on opening up the case I think I got the thing figured out and made a video of my findings and progress.

I am very fortunate to live out in the country, so there's plenty of room to test my projects without interfering with anything.
I plotted my position and measured the distance. My simple modification managed a comfortable 200 metres before the signal started to fade or got drowned out with static.
I have a feeling I could further modify the transmitter more to achieve an even greater distance but I don’t really want to push it. This project is just for fun don’t forget so obviously check the laws in your area before experimenting yourself

THE LOST ARCADE BRISTOL

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