I have a 5w HLLY transmitter that is running on reduced power. It normally takes a 12 volt power supply but I have it running on 7 volts. Also, it's transmitting into a 10watt resister dummy load (not an antenna).
Before, when I was running on 12 volts and using the antenna, it would go about a 3 mile radius!
Now, it only goes 1000 ft or so (4 or 5 houses down) and doesn't even reach the end of my street.
I was wondering what the likliness of me getting caught or busted is. I'm in the US.
The 3 mile radius was not an entirely clear signal. It would start to break up between 1.5 and 2 miles. And then it would fade in and out until 3. I basically drove all around the city and then mapped where I was on google maps. That then told me the distance. The antenn was also in a terrible spot when I did this test. On the main floor of my brick ranch house. If I were to have a proper antenna mounted 30 feet up on a mast, I'm sure the range would be down-right scary.
The resistor is white, but non-ceramic. It's actually rectangular and has a rough, hard suade-like texture. I have no idea whether it's non-inductive. All I know is it's rated at 50 ohms and 10 watts; and has had heavy use (hours and hours and hours) without burning up the transmitter. The transmitter does get warm at times but never hot to the touch.
I would think the FCC would be more lenient considering forethought was put in on my part to minimize the range. Then again....who knows right?
Come to think of it, the resistor may be ceramic and I don't know if it's non-inductive. It's a zicon "cement powered" resistor. Will this eventually lead to transmitter damage or am I in the clear since I've been using it for so long without problems?
Given I got that with 100mW with a 1/4 wave groundplane 5M off the ground, yes
Well you're lucky then. It really does depend on the terrain. Where I live there are lots of tall trees and metal buildings so getting a good solid signal out on VHF is a nightmare. Now if I were to live out far west where it's mostly flat land and open as far as the eye can see then yes 100mw would probably do just fine. We all know FM broadcast band is line of sight. If the antenna has trees in front of it then you're screwed w/o running high power which can cause other problems like your neighbors bitching about your signal taking over their whole radios because of bad selectivity, or worst RFI problems. I found 10 watts is the limit where I live. When I run more than that I risk those very problems. Less than that and I have hardly any listeners. Even with a cheap sony radio I have the thing only picks up my station until I walk about 100ft from the antenna just because it overpowers it. That said, this could happen to other people who live around me. However if I ran only 100mw I probably would get out less than a mile. Yes I do have a 40 foot tower along with a well tuned jpole and RG8/U coax. Doesn't matter though since there are pine trees here that are just as tall! What it comes down to is where you live, the HAT (height above average terrain) and even seasonal changes even make a difference here. During autumn my signal gets way out there because all the leaves fall. Summer when everything grows big it's not as good.
I actually live surrounded by a typical suburban subdivision with big cedars... but we all have metal roofs. I think something may be resonant between the houses or something, creating a HUGE groundplane or beam or ...
Damn you were right cmradio. After making a dummy load with the resistor you recommended the transmitter doesn't warm up at all. I'm surprised it lasted this long given I was using that other resistor for over a year!
Regarding the range, the terrain around here is hilly and there's lots of crap in the way to block the signal. There may be issues with HLLY regarding spurious emmisions but I don't think range is an issue (or sound quality for that matter).
Is it just a case of unsoldering it from the board and putting a new one in? Do you know where I can buy one? And will the current, suspected damage to my transmitter cause issues in signal strength or sound quality? It still seems to be working fine and I've always lived by "if it aint broke, don't fix it."