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Sometimes a 10 is a 10 |

Ok it was a geek weekend – I managed to get two geek projects completed
this weekend. The first was building an FM Transmitter. I did almost
all of the soldering – I’m still new at this part of the process – I
tend to live on the software side a lot more than the hardware side –
mostly because I usually end up breaking something.
In this case, I had 326 solder points. The kit was missing a part, and I
managed to put one piece in the wrong place. In the process of
correcting the problem I ended up breaking the capacitor. A quick trip
to Radio Shack got the missing part. The part I broke was a 10pF disc
capacitor. Unfortunately Radio Shack doesn’t sell that small a
capacitor. They did have a box of 100 mixed capacitors. Brett spotted a
“10″ on a couple of them. We bought the pack with the hope that it would
all work out…
In the end sometimes a 10 is a 10 – the part worked. You can see me in
the car enjoying the fruits of the labor – the transmitter only reaches
about two houses down – but it sounds great – so far…

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9 Responses to 'Sometimes a 10 is a 10'
  1. Eliot Phillips:

    Dirk, I wanted to link to your geek weekend. Can you provide a link to the FM transmitter kit. It’s been a common theme with our “guerrilla drive-in” links at the site.

  2. HeadGeek:

    I updated the article – the kit is available at http://www.ramseyelectronics.com/cgi-bin/commerce.exe?preadd=action&key=FM25B

    My brother got the smaller one – FM10B but it has a noticable hum and it isn’t as stable on the FM freq. you choose.

  3. Whizbo:

    Have you tried using an external antenna? I’m curious if it would extend your range.

  4. nathan1993:

    according to http://www.scitoys.com, yes, a larger antenna will help…

  5. HeadGeek:

    Actually there is a discussion in the book about how to extend the range. The kid even has a port to hook up a bigger atenna. Unfortunately there is also a section about the FCC which I didn’t read but I’m guessing they sort of frown on that sort of thing if you are not careful :)

    The maker mentions that they can be used to cover a school or a small island given the right antenna.

  6. Whizbo:

    The manual explains quite a bit. http://www.ramseyelectronics.com/downloads/manuals/FM25B.pdf

    What was the second weekend geek project?

  7. Noah:

    Also consider kits from Free Radio Berkeley.
    Better performance, easier to tune, and it’s for a good cause:
    http://www.freeradio.org/index.php?pagename=store/frb_kits.html
    Rock-solid, stable crystal controlled PLL synthesized FM signal.
    Not stereo unfortunately…

  8. HeadGeek:

    The second project was getting mythtv up and working on a craptacular celeron. Here

    Once I get it into my av rack I’ll be publishing some other stuff for it

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