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hawkwindnz
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Posted: 18 October 2011 at 8:57pm | IP Logged Quote hawkwindnz

Hello, I have recently brought one of those cheap
transmitter kits off trademe, no idea what the brand is,
but the model # on the front is CZH-5C.

I did a little bit of research, but obviously not enough
when I purchased one of these. It came with no
instruction manual, , which was a bit disappointing, but
was expecting a little better quality product.

The signal strength is great, but the broadcast quality
is not very good at all, it sounds like it it coming from
an old mix tape made up in the eighties. I have tried
different inputs, e.g. ipod, mp3 player, decent stereo,
cd player direct in. Is there anyway to improve the
quality of this cheap unit at all, or have I got a dud?

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caveman
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Posted: 11 November 2011 at 8:26pm | IP Logged Quote caveman

Yes I have one the same, quality was good at the start and output was fine. as time goes by output seems to be reducing. I thought it was a great little unit at the start but now Im not so sure. may send it back

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Posted: 13 November 2011 at 3:57pm | IP Logged Quote RadioTech

Unfortunately they are cheap chinese junk. Sorry to be harsh, but that's how it is.
I see these being sold on TM all the time, and some are being sold by people who should know better - who work in the broadcast industry.

Many of these units don't meet RSM emission specs, and as you are now finding out, are unreliable and don't perform.
I do try to advise people about these units before they purchase, but it's not possible to do so on TM.

I suggest anyone who owns one of these to send it back and get a refund, they are not 'fit for purpose'.
Any transmitter that runs off a plug-pack is almost for sure going to be a toy, and real transmitters don't have mic inputs and volume controls on the front.

The CZH units are a cheap copy of a HLLY brand transmitter (not the best gear on the market to start with) and are really only made for sending your iPod or mp3 player around your house.

They are nowhere near good enough for on-air broadcast use.


Edited by RadioTech on 14 November 2011 at 5:17pm
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Posted: 28 November 2011 at 5:33am | IP Logged Quote caveman

Yes you are right they are rubbish. Person that sold me mine on TM didnt even include the power pack that was part of the deal (was told they were held up in customs) and Im still waiting.  I made the mistake of not placing feedback on this person (something like paul1302  tm name) gave him time to get pack sent. There is a time limit on tm to place feedback so its too late for me now to do so on this person. (bugger)

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Posted: 28 November 2011 at 6:18pm | IP Logged Quote RadioTech

Yes it seems he's sold a few other similar items.

Pretty bad to sell something that's not complete.

Best thing is to get the word out and around the place that these units are to be avoided, so that hopefully others don't end up in the same situation.

Are you still planning on sending it back?
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Posted: 29 November 2011 at 4:38am | IP Logged Quote caveman

 Oh hell yes,  TM dont really offer much help,they dont really want to get involved.

      Cheers   CM



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Posted: 01 December 2011 at 2:14pm | IP Logged Quote caveman

Have given paul1302    7 days to refund my dosh. I will then return the junk he sent me..   If he does nothing, Will hand this debt to a debt collector,  I know one that is very good at his job.

      Stay away from this dude he is bad news CM



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Posted: 19 January 2012 at 3:08pm | IP Logged Quote cliffb

Hi

All those Cheap units are on Ebay, where the TM users buy them from then Hike up the price.

you can get the instructions from at least one ebay trader he has a link.

Should be OK if you use it at 1w out and not the 5w or 7w quoted.

you hold down one of the buttons and plug in to select output.

Cheapest I have found is $25NZ with free shipping from china for one of those units.

Cliff

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Posted: 08 September 2012 at 5:36pm | IP Logged Quote Fozzie

Hi  to all.

Sorry but I will defend the so called Chinese Junk to a point as i have had excellent service from them in the past months and the transmitter that I bought is working 24/7 and to full expectations. I agree that there are better ones out there but like most people I suppose I wanted to try the broadcasting thing and initially got caught up with a rather unsavoury charactor from Trade Me who certainly  annoyed me a lot.(am pleased to say that Mark isnt a member there at the moment that I know of) However I have moved on from that and must also defend the sellers on TM who sell and make a profit. Who doesnt make a profit when purchasing something and what would be the point of buying something to sell and not making that profit. even the TV and everything sold at Harvey Normans and so on has a large element of profit. If it isnt complete I agree with the sentiments 100% of course.

Smiles to all

Peter

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Posted: 08 September 2012 at 9:13pm | IP Logged Quote cliffb

Hmmm, its the spurious outputs on all the harmonics you have to be careful with if you overdrive it or try and get too much out of it.

that is the problem with NZ, sellers want so much for so little effort, a lot of TM sellers just copy the advert from ebay, then hike the price.

you should be looking after your wallet and then people just after a quick buck may think twice, yes I have been bitten, never again, I buy from where I consider to give me the best price and best after sales care, and so far buying from certain 'areas' round auckland is not the best idea.

as much as I want to support the NZ economy, I have to support my self first.

good example of NZ rip-offs, I needed a part for my car £850 from the local holden franchise, $100 from a vauxhall dealer in the UK including post to NZ, told the franchise, but they said their hands are tied on the prices...total RIP OFF. Harvy norman, you know they are upping the prices big time when they give $2k off a $4k sofa and still make a profit !

I will support NZ to a point... anyway way off topic..... good luck with the device, but if you have a scanner check harmonic freqs, or you may have a knock on the door.

 

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Posted: 10 September 2012 at 4:46am | IP Logged Quote RadioTech

Fozzie wrote:

Hi  to all.

Sorry but I will defend the so called Chinese Junk to a point as i have had excellent service from them in the past months and the transmitter that I bought is working 24/7 and to full expectations. I agree that there are better ones out there but like most people I suppose I wanted to try the broadcasting thing and initially got caught up with a rather unsavoury charactor from Trade Me who certainly  annoyed me a lot.(am pleased to say that Mark isnt a member there at the moment that I know of) However I have moved on from that and must also defend the sellers on TM who sell and make a profit. Who doesnt make a profit when purchasing something and what would be the point of buying something to sell and not making that profit. even the TV and everything sold at Harvey Normans and so on has a large element of profit. If it isnt complete I agree with the sentiments 100% of course.

Smiles to all

Peter



As Cliffb rightly points out above, the harmonic emissions are the big problem (closely followed by reliability).

Your china transmitter might be 'working' 24/7, but that's no guarantee it's working 'correctly' - within specification and not casting spurious emissions all over the band.

A number of these units I've inspected have no low pass filtering at all.
Fastest way to get a radio inspector knocking at your door and a nice little fine, or worse, confiscation of the equipment (and a fine as well sometimes).

Good luck to you if your unit breaks down or plays up - you'll be hard pressed to find anyone in NZ that will repair it.
Most techs (myself included) won't even bother taking the cover off something like this that has no service information or parts support.
That effectively means you'll be forking out for another one. That's not good value in my book.

I'm all for people 'having a go' and running a station, but buying cheap is just asking for problems.

As for people making a profit, no issues there - everyone's entitled to some icing on the cake, but gross profiteering on this junk isn't helping anyone.
It leaves a bad taste in the mouths of those who have purchased and found out how bad the units are, and it simply encourages china to churn out more of it.



Edited by RadioTech on 10 September 2012 at 4:50am
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Posted: 10 September 2012 at 4:29pm | IP Logged Quote Fozzie

Hi there

I will reply to the above posting without being personal but your reply to my post has made me feel quite angry.

First of all you point out about Harmonics and so on which doesnt mean a thing to me. I own a lot of equipment that I use but know little about the insides and so on, I do know about the Legal matters and council ordanances as that was my job. You are expecting a person to know about these before they purchase a transmitter. Well let me tell you that this just doesnt happen in all cases, maybe it should and if you feel so strongly about it dont just sit there, do something about it and go through the legal chanels and not on an individual basis. I believe you may be the same person that is selling the transmitters on Trade me (If not please pardon my error)It is deplorable to rubbish another compnies product when what you sell is not even ie Apples for Apples just because yours is better. So, you have a Rolls Royce and I have a mini, easy to compare that way but it sounds a little high handed.

While I used the word High Handed your statement of repairs is even more high handed as you are insinuating you wouldnt help. Where would our children be if we all took that attitude when they went out and bought a car that wasnt up to our standards?

Radio inspectors are not the Gestapo. They do not arrive and ticket offenders without due cause or diligence. They point out your errors and give you the option of either fixing the machine or getting a better one etc and do not have the power to remove equipment unless you are defying a suggested repair or instruction that has been given to said person.

You say that a number of the machines you have inspected have no Low Pass filtering at all and yet your next paragraph states you wont even bother to take the cover off, just a small conflict there......

As far as profit goes I now know the cost of quite a few transmitters in my quest for excellence, the Fordray, Tugucom, BW tx1 and others and find that the percentages are similar across the range when it comes to margins and I believe that China doesnt need encouragement, they will do it just because they can!

In closing I agree with you that the Chinese units may not be the best on the market but standing on the high ground wielding threats of no service, fines from others and a big stick is not the way to help Education is the way to go. I do value your comments and accept that your knowlege is greater than mine on this subject however why not cash in on the problem and make a cheap filter or a small cheap box that will correct what they are doing. Keep the price right and I would be a customer and I and sure others would as well. I know that if I had the knowlege it is what I would be doing as openings are there not that often. You could also aproach the Radio powers and let them know of your box  and in doing so have some great sales people.

All the best to you and I hope this has not angered you.

Regards

Peter



Edited by Fozzie on 10 September 2012 at 4:32pm


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Posted: 10 September 2012 at 4:49pm | IP Logged Quote cliffb

I would say, you need to do research for any project, be it a radio station, or a car for your children.
the responsibility is yours, just because you don't know any better doesn't put anyone in the clear, which is why if you want to run a good clean installation, enlist the help of professionals, get a WOF for your station, just as you would for your car for your kids...
I don't run a LPFM station, cant afford the right equipment, although I am a licenced Radio Amateur and run a high powered amateur radio station from home and car...and to get a licence you have to know about interference and station installations.

Radio inspectors can be what they want to be, if you happen to be interfering with aircraft of military frequencies or using non approved equipment (not sure if that applies to LPFM) they can and will close you down and take equipment. (trust me I have had a knock on the door with a cop and two radio inspectors to confiscate equipment)

I'd suggest you or anyone, either buys the test equipment to check you are operating within the law or employ someone with the skills to WOF your station, so you can bang out your tunes 24/7 without the fear of a bang on the door

Just my 2c

not trying to upset anyone, but if you are not self-policing then someone will do it for you and make the rules so tight, you'll barely get a signal past your front door.

:-)

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Posted: 10 September 2012 at 9:21pm | IP Logged Quote Fozzie

Cliff I agree with you, no problems. However from the tone of what I am reading it angers me that  the words are so broad and heavy one would be somewhat stand offish of asking for help.

I am fortunate and do know a ham who tells me that while not perfect I am within reasonable boundaries and certainly should look at a better transmitter. As I have funded the station to date and have a dedicated computer to run it etc have spent my allowance (smile) on this project. I am looking however at another machine and the Tugicom is looking quite good.

What motivates me is having been an unpaid announcer for the past 17 years and knowing the pleasure that listeners can get. Yes I have been with the NZBC in the 1970s and have many contacts (mostly retired) from that organisation. On the weekend I had a call at 7.30 in the morning saying thanks for the nights music.....a listener who was in her late 80s thought that I had and was still there at the mike as she heard me speak every hour with the station ID........ Who can get annoyed at that.......This is MY pleasure for real.

Critisism especially constructive is great and as long as it is not personal is always welcomed.

Smiles

Peter



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Posted: 11 September 2012 at 8:07am | IP Logged Quote RadioTech

Hi Peter,

Robust and practical discussion is always encouraged on this forum as that's how people learn, and the ultimate aim for any forum is the dissemination of useful information for the betterment of everyone.

I'll reply to your points as you raised them:


Fozzie wrote:

First of all you point out about Harmonics and so on which doesnt mean a thing to me. I own a lot of equipment that I use but know little about the insides and so on, I do know about the Legal matters and council ordanances as that was my job. You are expecting a person to know about these before they purchase a transmitter.

This is not just your problem, it's a problem owned by many people who are running LPFM stations and RSM are partly to blame. As Cliffb points out below, as amateur radio operators (I am one too, as well as being a broadcast engineer) we are required to have a reasonable understanding of radio and RF principles and practices before we can use radio equipment and transmit on the airwaves.

My personal belief is the requirements of the GURL are lacking, and people looking to set up and operate a LPFM station should have to show some degree of understanding about radio principles and techniques. If they don't wish to do so, they should be required to have a qualified radio engineer or holder of a similar qualification oversee the installation of the gear, then carry out performance tests to ensure the equipment meets required specifications.

This would free you from having to understand harmonics, spurious emissions, intermod and other technical issues.

Secondly, knowing about these things before you purchase is no different to purchasing a car. You do your homework, you Google to see what brands and makes are popular, which ones have problems, which ones should be avoided and so on.

Buying broadcast gear is really no different. For most people it's a fairly expensive investment, so research is always a good idea, and this is one thing we aim to help with here - steering people away from bad investments and helping them to make good choices.

Fozzie wrote:

If you feel so strongly about it dont just sit there, do something about it and go through the legal chanels and not on an individual basis.

As it happens, I do act with these very issues in mind. I am regularly in touch with people at Radio Spectrum Management but in most cases, the legislation as it stands hampers any attempt to stop rubbish from being sold.

The problem is, it's not illegal to import junk. It's not illegal to possess junk. It's also not illegal as such to use it on the air under the GURL regulations.

RSM are however continually reviewing the regulations, and there are changes in the wings. ALL transmitters (including those used for LPFM) must now meet emission specifications and various other criteria.

Fozzie wrote:

I believe you may be the same person that is selling the transmitters on Trade me (If not please pardon my error)


Your pardon is accepted. I do not, and have not ever sold any transmitters on TradeMe. I don't import transmitters or exciters.

As it happens, if I need a transmitter or exciter (anything under 2 kilowatts) I build it myself.

Fozzie wrote:

It is deplorable to rubbish another companies product when what you sell is not even ie Apples for Apples just because yours is better. So, you have a Rolls Royce and I have a mini, easy to compare that way but it sounds a little high handed.

I agree wholeheartedly. I don't actually care whether you have a Rolls, a Mini, a Toyota or a bicycle. We all have different needs and different means. I would be upset however if you were using something substandard on the road and it caused an accident or grief to someone else as a result. I think you'd be upset too, if that same transport kept breaking down, or you couldn't get parts to fix it.

Fozzie wrote:

While I used the word High Handed your statement of repairs is even more high handed as you are insinuating you wouldnt help. Where would our children be if we all took that attitude when they went out and bought a car that wasnt up to our standards?

It's not high-handed, it's the truth. The reason I wouldn't help is because it would be a waste of my time, and your money. If manufacturers can't or won't supply service information for their equipment, in most cases it's not possible to repair it.

If I have to spend two or three hours trying to figure out where everything in a transmitter is connected to and where the fault(s) might be, that's almost what it would cost to buy another one. That means the one I'm looking at is bin-material, i.e. it's rubbish.

It's no fun when I have to call the client and say "I can't repair your unit because there's no service information for it and the chances of getting parts are almost zero".

Fozzie wrote:

Radio inspectors are not the Gestapo. They do not arrive and ticket offenders without due cause or diligence. They point out your errors and give you the option of either fixing the machine or getting a better one etc and do not have the power to remove equipment unless you are defying a suggested repair or instruction that has been given to said person.

Indeed, they are not the Gestapo, but they have a job to do and I know of many situations where equipment has been confiscated and fines issued for non-compliance.

Fozzie wrote:

You say that a number of the machines you have inspected have no Low Pass filtering at all and yet your next paragraph states you wont even bother to take the cover off, just a small conflict there......

No conflict at all. "Number of machines I have inspected" = past. "Won't take the cover off" = now and future. Quite simple really. I've had units in to be repaired/tuned from different people, and spent time on them only to discover they're not worth spending the time on.

Fozzie wrote:

As far as profit goes I now know the cost of quite a few transmitters in my quest for excellence, the Fordray, Tugicom, BW tx1 and others and find that the percentages are similar across the range when it comes to margins and I believe that China doesnt need encouragement, they will do it just because they can!


Fordray and BW make reasonable quality gear. Tugicom is on the list of junk as well, unfortunately.
Why? Because I have seen their gear and it leaves a lot to be desired. As it happens, I have one of their transmitters on my shelf here. It drifts - something a PLL transmitter should not do.
It's not repairable, so it's only fit for the rubbish bin, As I see it, that makes it junk.

Fozzie wrote:
In closing I agree with you that the Chinese units may not be the best on the market but standing on the high ground wielding threats of no service, fines from others and a big stick is not the way to help Education is the way to go.


Can you not see that in what I am saying, I am trying to educate? The whole point of suggesting people avoid china transmitters is so they might benefit in the short and long term.
I stand to gain absolutely nothing from the purchases that people make, so in reality - I don't care. What I do care about however is people making informed choices, and getting value for money as well as equipment that is well designed, will do as it is meant to, and will last.

Fozzie wrote:
I do value your comments and accept that your knowlege is greater than mine on this subject however why not cash in on the problem and make a cheap filter or a small cheap box that will correct what they are doing. Keep the price right and I would be a customer and I and sure others would as well. I know that if I had the knowlege it is what I would be doing as openings are there not that often. You could also aproach the Radio powers and let them know of your box  and in doing so have some great sales people.

It's not that simple. A poorly designed transmitter doesn't just 'come right' with the addition of a black box on the end of it.
A poorly designed and cheaply made car does not become a good one by fitting a chrome exhaust extension.
You shouldn't have to tack things on to make something right. It should be right from out of the box.
If you buy a Fordray or a BW, it IS right out of the box - and there's the whole point of what I've been talking about.
Spend a little more, avoid the china crap - and invest in quality equipment that is built properly and will ensure you are compliant when on the air.

Fozzie wrote:

All the best to you and I hope this has not angered you.

Thank you for the thought, and no - I don't get angered by things people write. It's simply a matter of working through the issues.

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Posted: 11 September 2012 at 3:26pm | IP Logged Quote Fozzie

Hi , and thanks for such an in depth reply.

I can see what you are saying but would add the following.

We tend to think that how we think is how others think and this is where the flaws creep in. I certainly didnt do much homework before purchasing I automatically assumed (however wrongly) that it would be up to standard. When I purchase a car I assume that the exhaust emissions are within the limits as we all assume the the food we buy is fit for human consumption. Knowing little about the "spurious emissions" and "Harmonics" I was ignorant, and therein lies the problem. I agree with you that we should be licensed and to make it easy a free license could be offered which would give us all a great start without hassles. I was shocked recently as my Brother had to purchase a motorised wheelchair in Aussie....... it has to have a number plate and carry 3rd party insurance.......... all free, we could say that this is over the top I suppose but after seeing some older people driving one I can see the point.

Thank you very much for  being patient with my questions I can see where you are coming from in most cases and please try to realise that some people are just "users" and not as technically minded and knowlegable as yourself. I certainly fall into that bracket.

Cheers to All

Peter



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Posted: 11 September 2012 at 5:38pm | IP Logged Quote RadioTech

No worries, comments noted.

I appreciate there are plenty of 'users' out there - just as in commercial radio, the station manager and the staff that work there generally have no understanding of how the transmitter works (or even how their program gets to it!).

That is actually a good thing.

The point of this forum is to educate and assist, and it is only through posts like this made originally by Caveman that we can expose the weaknesses that exist.

It would be remiss of me not to speak up about the issues that dog the radio industry.
The spectrum is there for all to use and benefit from, but it needs to be used in a careful and controlled way - otherwise it becomes useless to everyone.
Junk transmitters and people operating incorrectly set up systems can cause havoc on the airwaves which then affects everyone else.

It is for these reasons I provide the feedback that I do on this forum.


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Posted: 25 September 2012 at 4:38pm | IP Logged Quote Fozzie

Hi Radio Tech

Can I suggest to you that you clear your mailbox. I just spent some time writing to you on your closed forum (why would you close a forum after one message) only to wast my time as your message box is full.

With regards to the subject in this "Closed Forum" I would like to inform you and the other transmitter police that I have already sent an email to the makers of the tranmitters and am prepared to work with them to make a clean NZ Legal transmitter that is better priced than anything on the market.

It seems that there are so many people on this site expressing opinions on how bad things are and what should be done that in fact, nothing is being done. Others are hiding behind nondeplumes and just snipe from the shadows. Well, here is your chance to  be positive for a change and do something instead of moaning and griping all day.

Have just made some enquiries and it seems that I can make a box, place a fan on the box to expell the heat from the transmitter and padlock the box and this would make the controls on the inside of the box. Send me your transmitter size and I will make the box for you......smile

Having just read the locked post again could some one please explain the EIRP to me as I believe this would refer to a "perfect antenna"?

Cheers

 



Edited by Fozzie on 25 September 2012 at 7:48pm


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Posted: 26 September 2012 at 6:11am | IP Logged Quote RadioTech

Hi Peter,

I've cleared out some old PMs from my inbox. I don't get many, so it's very rare that I check it. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

The locked post (as opposed to a closed forum) is purely an advisory based on my own personal experiences with equipment as well as feedback from other people which is carefully taken into account.

It's not about being 'transmitter police' - it's about trying to educate people in their choice of purchase and ensuring they don't end up buying something which:

1) Won't perform to the level one would expect (and require)

2) Will cause interference to other users and create more intermod on the airwaves

3) Will potentially get them in trouble with the MED because it's non-compliant.


I don't believe I've moaned or griped, I have no need to. I just tell it as I see it from a technical point of view. I have no personal interest at all in these units.
I don't sell them so I have nothing to gain from it, and I don't have a problem with other people selling equipment as long as it complies with NZ regulations.

There are good reasons why equipment that is used on-air needs to comply, and invariably it's the LPFM operators who are the first to 'moan' when their signal is being interfered with by a poorly designed or installed transmitter.

fozzie wrote:
Have just made some enquiries and it seems that I can make a box, place a fan on the box to expell the heat from the transmitter and padlock the box and this would make the controls on the inside of the box.


You could, but who is going to buy one, and why would you want to operate a transmitter inside a locked box? It doesn't fall within the scope of the regulations and there's not much point having to shell out large amounts of money for a transmitter if you then have to build another box for it.

Short explanation of EIRP. Stands for Effective Isotropic Radiated Power.
In layman's terms it is the power measured at a given point, x distance from the antenna.

The only relevance to an antenna is what gain the antenna has, as this will affect the EIRP.


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metalradio
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Posted: 23 November 2012 at 11:12pm | IP Logged Quote metalradio

New to this forum. First post. Probably gonna ruffle some
feathers, but not out to offend, just represent cost
cutting DIY broadcasters, or anyone doing any hobby they
like for the cheapest price they can afford.

About to get an FM transmitter from China. Why? Because
they're less than a tenth of the price of anything
considered worthy by the people on here denouncing them,
and for those of us who like the idea of occasionally
transmitting from home for fun but aren't about to go
broke getting a loan for over a grand when they can pick
up something for a hundred bucks, it's a no brainer.
Sorry gents, I don't have 1200 quid lying around, and
wouldn't waste a grand when I can have a crack for a
hundy.

I'd say like em or not, get used to the chinese
transmitters because with our dollar the way it is and
such a big price divide between these and anything
considered reputable, I'm convinced that more people will
get these for a starter unit than anything else. If you
want to take up a musical instrument, you don't spend
thousands starting with a Les Paul and Marshall amp
stack, you usually begin with a crappy Chinese copy and a
teeny practise amp, and if you fall in love with the art
form, you may end up eventually buying the good stuff. I
don't know anyone who starts off with anything less than
the most affordable "this will do the job for now" piece
of kit other than rich, over-entitled silver spoon
t**sers who can't understand that sometimes when money is
tight you do things (particularly hobby based things)
however you can.

Anyone using cars to compare, cut it out. You pick
carefully and responsibly mainly because they can cause
death. As long as you're using a $5 fire detector above
your chinese transmitter, the transmitter will not be
killing you any time soon. The chances of it are in
another world to a dodgy car, so drop that one.

I actually fell in love with most of my piece of junk
"first" electrical equipment purchases because they
opened up a world of entertainment and possibility - my
first guitar, distortion pedal, 4 track tape recorder,
MIDI interface, MP3 player, etc. They all were cheap and
what I could afford at the time, and I have moved up from
many of them, but they are all still special to me as
they represent that first time I leapt into a new world
of creativity. I'm sure my hundred dollar chinese FM
transmitter will be the same, and the fact that they are
frowned upon and considered irresponsible actually makes
them seem youthful and anti-establishment; something
which will appeal to people who pick up on the low power
FM hobby from watching pirate radio movies like "Pump Up
The Volume" and knowing the famous story of NZ's own
pirate radio station, Radio Hauraki.

Anyway, I think I'm going to get a 7W transmitter (CZH-
7C) which is the most powerful one you can get with a
short antenna which screws onto it. I don't want an
outside aerial yet because I'm just toying around at
home. That means I'll be lucky if it broadcasts down the
end of the driveway (right?), but it will be a fun gadget
to tinker with, and there is time to get more serious
about doing it right later on if the initial fun turns
into a passion (this is where the book learning actually
comes in for most people guys - once people know it's
what they want to really get into properly).

In the meantime when I want to broadcast properly and
seriously, I use Planet 104.6FM In Pt. Chevalier which
goes fully Auckland wide transmitting from the Sky Tower.
Your $1200 rigs are "toys" compared to that, and you'd
argue that we're not talking apples with apples because
the cost of your gear vs. Planet FM's gear is massively
different... well this is exactly what the chinese
transmitter buyers are trying to say to you! It's not
appples with apples, because the price divide is also
REALLY extreme!

It's also a bit holier than thou to have a "do the
research, learn about all of the equipment, do it right,
learn all the rules" attitude when the reality is that
people are doing this as a fun, extra curricular
activity, and if you put a how to/history/component
breakdown textbook about guitars (or insert some other
fun activity here) beside an actual guitar and ask a
guitar fan whether he'd like to read about the guitars or
give one a go, what do you think the answer will be?

So as I said, there are community stations already out
there with great coverage if you're keen to do a show
"properly", and I'd say that's a much better way for you
$1200 rig owners to go about "doing it right." And for
the rest, chuck a hundred bucks China's way and get
yourself a piece of crap which broadcasts some pirate
radio from time to time.

I think that the chinese transmitters are helping hook
people into the low power FM hobby, and that can only be
a good thing, because let's get real, for way less than
$1200 you can build a world class internet station which
will attract hundreds and potentially thousands more
listeners, and not just in your community, but worldwide.
So chinese transmitters could stop lower power FM dying
out. At least for now.
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