Repeater Radio

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Biased Forums?

According to most part 15 oriented forums my part 15 fm station is practically a pirate operation. Unless your running a 100 mW AM FCC certified transmitter and ground system strictly by the book (part 15 rules) then your obviously a pirate fm.

Well to that i say ARRRRR! Mateys!! RF has a mind of it's own and i am sure the fcc took this into account when they wrote the rules for part 15. Even my $10 Schosche FM Modulator with no real antenna can go 1000 feet just plugged into a computer or mp3 player and it carries certification from the fcc. If i transmit more than 200 feet it is NOT because my station is blasting the airwaves with 100 watts and a high gain antenna. It is merely doing what RF was meant to do, Radiate!

EarthSky 22: Solar storms and supernovas

What makes a star blow up? And what's up with the active sun? Song of the week by Boxing Lesson. Your 22 minutes of science and music.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Canadian teens send Legonaut 15 miles into atmosphere

Why build a Gingrichian lunar colony, which would cost billions, when you can send a man nearly into space for only $400?

That's what Canadians Mathew Ho and Asad Muhammad did with an albeit plastic man from Lego and a modified weather balloon.

The 17-year-olds from Toronto bought an $85 weather balloon online and rigged it to a Styrofoam box equipped with three point-and-shoot cameras and a wide-angle video camera.

They threw in $160 worth of helium from a party supply store, a dash of superglue, and voila, a Legonaut was born.

The toy ascended 80,000 feet over Ontario, recording the awesome footage in the video below, before floating back to Earth some 97 minutes later on a homemade nylon parachute.

It landed near Rice Lake, some 75 miles away from the soccer field where it was launched. A GPS-enabled cell phone onboard told the boys where to go.

Read the whole article.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Google Maps and Weather Alerts

I just found out Google offers weather alerts on Google Maps
What is Google Public Alerts?

Google Public Alerts is Google’s new platform for disseminating emergency messages such as evacuation notices for hurricanes, and everyday alerts such as storm warnings. We’re starting by showing relevant weather, public safety and earthquake alerts from US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Weather Service, and the US Geological Survey (USGS) when you search on Google Maps.

Google Public Alerts is a project of the Google Crisis Response team, supported by, which uses Google's strengths in information and technology to build products and advocate for policies that address global challenges. We hope Google Public Alerts provides the public with information it needs to make better decisions in times of crisis.

This is a new product and we’re learning all the time about when and how we should show this important information. While we can’t guarantee that you’ll see every alert when searching on Google Maps we’re doing our best to show what’s important when you need it, and hope that Google Public Alerts is a useful additional source of information. We’re working hard to improve what you see and appreciate your feedback which you can provide using the “Feedback” links on alert details pages and on

Info taken from Google Public Alerts:

Here is a link to my states current weather alerts,-83.67103,36.789803,-84.555429&z=10

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Internet troubles affecting our regular programming

Internet problems today has affected some programming on Rock 105.3.
This appears to be on Time Warners end not our's.
Scheduled programming will resume as soon as Time Warner fixes things. Thanks

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Antenna in the works

Been busy building a folded dipole for Rock 105.3 Mhz. The antenna itself is finished. Thanks to my wife Stephanie for helping me with the first stage of this project.
Second part of the antenna project requires some PVC pipe, glue and solder. and hanging the antenna up outside.
Fm Transmitting Antenna

The new TM-100 Clone antenna is finished. (pictured above)
First test of the new antenna, successful !! Loud & clear reception up to a mile in some directions a little less in others. Rock 105.3 fm is hitting it's target audience which is the mobile home park, apartments and the main highway behind us. Some more testing is planned but from what i have heard so far, i am impressed with TM 100 Clone Antenna.
TM - 100 Clone
Before TM - 100 Clone we were using a 5' flag pole

Just came back from buying milk and decided to cross I-75 going toward some subdivisions, nice signal there too at 1/2 mile.. past that i lost it due to a hill and several homes in between. The small truck stop close to the interstate always has drivers sitting in their trucks over night or just resting for an hour or so. Guess if they tune around on their radio's they might hit upon my signal and listen.

So it looks like this antenna is a keeper.
I was not expecting 1/2 mile range but this antenna delivered, Rock 105.3 FM be heard everywhere in the coverage map i placed above. The green circle on the outside should have been the fringe reception area but i underestimated this antenna. At just 14 feet high and only 25 mW of power the station does not sound like it is surrounded by hills and mobile homes, it actually covers the area i was targeting and then some.
Within our coverage area there are mini-malls, shopping centers, restaurants , doctors offices, a truck stop, motels and homes. Even if Rock 105.3 can't be heard inside the homes or businesses the fact that every one of those stores has a parking lot and are located on a busy Highway our little station has a huge potential for listeners.

All in all , i give the True Match 100 Clone FM Antenna a solid 9 on a scale from 1 to 10.
It would be a 10 or better if it were 30 feet higher in the open air.

  Miscellaneous parts:
pvc end caps, glue & cleaner for pvc, clamps, right angle pvc.
what is not listed is the 10 feet of 1 1/4 pvc pipe. Yeah i went with a lager sized pipe only because the area i live in is prone to strong winds and occasionally ice storms...yeah in Kentucky....unreal i know!
The inside parts of the antenna consisted of 1.vhf-fm dipole antenna from Radio Shack for $7 cut as close to 105 mhz .
1.vhf/uhf/fm  transformer,  it is a balun let's call it what it really is and why do they have to include uhf in there? The balun has one function and that is to convert 75 ohms to 300 ohms. At any rate that was about $3 i think it came with one that accepts spaded lugs and plugs into the back of a tv and another with two spaded lugs and a twist on F connector. I used the one with the twist on f connector and spaded lugs since i could drill a hole in the L shaped section of the antenna and slide the balun through the hole for connection to the coax.
And finally, 1. 20 foot section of cable-tv type RG-6 coax.

Assembly was easy but did involve some guess work, refer to Mike Yanceys web page for assembly details.