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Author Topic: Wireless FM transmitter instead of external speaker???  (Read 2261 times)
AE4JM
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Posts: 19




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« on: October 21, 2011, 07:51:15 PM »

I'm installing a Yaesu FT-7100M in my vehicle.  I plan on mounting the main radio under the seat and then mounting the remote head near the dash.  I will lose speaker volume because of the speaker being under the seat.  So, rather than running a separate line and mounting an external speaker, I thought about purchasing one of those cheap wireless FM transmitters and hooking it into the speaker jack of the main radio chassis.  Then, I could tune my AM/FM radio to the wireless transmitter's frequency and have surround sound.  When I wanted to listen to regular AM/FM radio stations I would either tune off of the wireless transmitter's frequency or switch the power off to the wireless transmitter. 

Has anyone tried this with 2m/70cm without any interference while the wireless FM transmitter was being used?

Thanks,
Matthew
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K0BG
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« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2011, 06:28:08 AM »

Using the sound system in a vehicle is a mixed back of tricks, especially on SSB. The truth is, if the speaker it pointing up, it probably will be okay unless you have a really noisy vehicle. Besides. Those things use batteries.
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KJ4OBR
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Posts: 103




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« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2011, 06:32:09 AM »

I did this when my speaker failed a while back. It worked sort of. Long enough to get by til I could replace the speaker. The quality of the transmitted signal would vary as I drove due to interference from broadcasters near the frequency of the transmitter (I did not have a clear slice of frequency in my metro area) YMMV

if you already have an adapter give it a try, but I wouldn't buy one just for the experiment based on my experience.

73
Dave


I'm installing a Yaesu FT-7100M in my vehicle.  I plan on mounting the main radio under the seat and then mounting the remote head near the dash.  I will lose speaker volume because of the speaker being under the seat.  So, rather than running a separate line and mounting an external speaker, I thought about purchasing one of those cheap wireless FM transmitters and hooking it into the speaker jack of the main radio chassis.  Then, I could tune my AM/FM radio to the wireless transmitter's frequency and have surround sound.  When I wanted to listen to regular AM/FM radio stations I would either tune off of the wireless transmitter's frequency or switch the power off to the wireless transmitter.  

Has anyone tried this with 2m/70cm without any interference while the wireless FM transmitter was being used?

Thanks,
Matthew
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AE4JM
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Posts: 19




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« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2011, 08:26:20 AM »

Thanks Alan and Dave, respectively.

The speaker will be pointed up anyways, just wasn't sure on the volume.  I should give it a try first and check out the volume and then go from there.  I will have to wait a month or so, still got a couple of broken legs from a ladder fall a month ago.

There are a few transmitters on Ebay that come with a cigarette lighter plug.  I was going to make a cable and wire straight through a fused cable to the battery, like the Yaesu dc connections.

I might get one, get it for my daughters dvd player in the Jeep and then try it for a day or so.  I live in the country and I drive from work nearby to the city of Huntsville for college.  Around home and work there is maybe 2 radio stations in town and then in several in Huntsville.  I might be fine locally but as I near Huntsville I might start getting some interference.

Thanks for all of your good points and info.  I'll try the speaker by itself first and then go from there...

Thanks,
Matthew-AE4JM
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KB7QOA
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Posts: 17




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« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2011, 02:08:36 PM »

Another thing to consider is many car audio decks these days have an auxiliary input on them for iPods, MP3 players, smart phones, etc.  Even some factory radios have auxiliary inputs that you'd just need a specific cable to enable.  If you have a factory receiver, ask a car audio shop what it would take to plug your MP3 player into it.  If it is possible, they'll be happy to sell you the necessary cable and install it for you if you aren't comfortable removing the deck from the dash yourself.

If your factory deck won't support an auxiliary device, and it is important to you to avoid an extra speaker, then you may want to consider replacing the factory deck with an aftermarket stereo with the input.  Even the $50 decks you can buy at Walmart have an aux input, sometimes even USB.  They won't win any audio quality competitions, but they are generally as good or better than a stock factory deck, and will definitely have a better sound quality than an FM transmitter.  Self-installation is pretty easy in all honesty, just make sure you buy a wiring harness that matches your vehicle so you don't have to cut into the factory wiring.

If you want a middle of the road approach, I've seen some people use an in-line modulator with excellent results.  This device is essentially an FM transmitter, but instead of a small antenna, it plugs inline between the antenna and the stereo deck.  Operation is the same, you tune the stereo to the modulator frequency, but because it is in-line, you don't need to worry about interference from local broadcast stations.  Just set it on the "most open" frequency, or even on top of a station you don't ever want to listen to, and you're set.

Personally I prefer a separate speaker as I like to listen to talk radio or podcasts while driving and still be able to hear the local repeater.  If I want to participate in the conversation, I just turn the car stereo off and grab the mic.  If you use the car stereo speakers, you lose the ability to monitor the ham bands while listening to something else when there is no ham activity you're interested in.  It becomes a "one or the other" scenario rather than "both at once."

Of course these options will probably cost more than a cheap CD player transmitter, but you'll be a lot happier with the results in the long run.  The price will be similar to a good external speaker.  I did have a friend one time who was big into LOUD car audio in addition to ham radio, and he went to a custom stereo shop and had speakers installed into his headrest for his 2 meter rig.  He could hear the repeater well even with the music turned way up.  He could also have the 2 meter volume turned down very low and someone in the passenger seat could barely hear it when the music was off.

I hope this gives you some more ideas on how to solve your problem.

73 de KB7QOA
Jeremy
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AE4JM
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Posts: 19




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« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2011, 08:23:56 PM »

Thanks for your reply Jerry.  I'm thinking more of either trying the main unit speaker, as K0BG mentioned, or installing an external speaker.  As you point out, I listen to news broadcasts sometime from the UAH's on campus FM station and if I do the modulator it would be FM broadcast or 2m FM.  I believe that I can pickup an external speaker for around $15 and I've got the cable and connectors for the hookup.

I have never looked for an AUX input, it is a factor AM/FM/CD unit that is installed.  But, you have my curiosity up now; I think that I'll check into that as soon as I get off the crutches.  I had a spill while doing some home repairs over the garage and broke both legs.  I should be back to norm the 1st or 2nd week of Dec...

Thanks for everyone's responses and recommendations!

Best 72/73,
Matthew, AE4JM
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K7RBW
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Posts: 386




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« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2011, 06:38:08 AM »

I had one of those FM transmitters for my iPod and found it very frustrating.

-- finding a clear frequency was a challenge. it might be clear in one area but then be used by a low-power transmitter down the road.

-- passing other cars with transmitters on the same frequency made for interesting listening experiences.

Eventually, (i.e. within a couple of weeks) I installed a cabled solution.
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