Here is a brief list of companies selling low power transmitter kits. Please send me information about any companies not listed, so that I can include them in future versions of this list.
Note to newcomers: to assemble these kits, you must be able to solder components onto a circuit board, and it helps if you know the difference between a resistor and a capacitor. If you haven't reached this stage of electronic know-how yet, consider buying some of the educational kits available from C&S Sales, 1245 Rosewood, Deerfield IL 60015, telephone 800-292-7711. Their electronic components course (item #ECK-10, $14.95) might be especially helpful to newbies.
When assembling radio circuit kits, I prefer to use narrow-diameter
silver-bearing solder (Radio Shack #64-013) and a 15 watt soldering iron
(64-2051). You may need a more powerful soldering tool for making
antennas out of large-diameter wire, soldering really large connectors
to a printed circuit board, etc., but the 15 W iron works fine for most
kits and reduces the chances of over-heating transistors and other
Ramsey Electronics 793 Canning Pkwy Victor NY 14564 Tel: 716-924-4560
The FM-10A is an FM stereo transmitter kit ($34.95 plus shipping) with a few milliwatts of output power; it is based on the BA1404 integrated circuit.
Ramsey kits have well-written instruction manuals, and most of the circuit boards have lots of wide-open space which makes modifications easy. The company also has a good reputation for service. These factors make Ramsey kits a good choice for beginners, in my opinion.
Their AM transmitter kit (item #AM-1, $29.95) and their TV transmitter kit (item #TV-6, $27.95) might also be of interest; however, there is much room for improvement in the design of these two circuits. (Robert Myers of Ramsey Electronics tells me they do intend to release an improved version of the AM-1 kit at some point in the future.)
(From Len Rusnak)
To whom it may concern. I PERSONALLY would think twice about recommending Ramsey Electronics or even listing their name in any way. I PERSONALLY have had nothing but problems from them. The kit that I bought had numerous errors in the manual. The manual also was poorly written. Some parts were missing in the kit, and some parts were incorrect. After all that the kit does not function properely. But the most disturbing factor is the sense that NOBODY AT RAMSEY could give a care about these problems. They will not return phone calls or fax messages in a timely fashion. When I wanted to send a letter to the president of the company I phoned them to find out Mr. Ramsey's first name so I could address the letter. They said "I'm sorry, but I am not permitted to give out that information."!! I asked the person what they were hiding and they hung up on me!! Just some personal observations.
DC Electronics O Box 3203 Scottsdale AZ 85271
The Improved Stereocaster is another FM stereo transmitter based on the
BA1404 chip with a few milliwatts of output power ($29.95 plus $3.50 S&H).
It has a smooth fine-tuning control which makes it easy to get on the exact
frequency you want, and a voltage regulator for the BA1404 which improves
stability. Documentation is not quite as lucid as Ramsey's.
Panaxis Productions O Box 130 Paradise CA 95967-0130 (send $1 for catalog)This company offers many interesting books and kits. The REB-1 kit is a 100 milliwatt transmitter for the upper end of the AM band ($34.95 plus shipping). The FMO kit ($75) is a high fidelity stereo FM transmitter kit with 2 to 20 milliwatts of output power. The FME-500, a half-watt mono FM transmitter with excellent technical characteristics, can be combined with their stereo generator to build a high-quality low power station (> $200 for the two kits).
Other items of interest include transmitters for the 1750 meter band; a 1-watt shortwave transmitter kit; and more powerful FM transmitters (available only for export to countries other than the USA).
Panaxis kits might not be suitable for absolute beginners; you should have
a little experience in circuit assembly before you tackle these.
RadioActive Transmissions .O. Box 6714 Station A Toronto, Ontario Canada M5W 1X5 Tel: (519) 974-0163 (10AM to 5PM EST) Fax: (519) 974-0165 E-Mail: <a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com</a> URL: <a href="http://www.io.org/~dbhatia/">http://www.io.org/~dbhatia/</a>They make the Renegade FMII guitar transmitter kit. They also make one for bass guitar and singers. Not a kit (as such) but in case someone is looking through here with this in mind... here it is.
Supercircuits 13552 Research Blvd Austin TX 78750This company sells a low-power TV transmitter for channels 3 thru 6 which appears to be of high quality ($49.95 plus $4.50 S&H). For licensed radio amateurs, they also sell some ham TV transmitter kits with 1 to 2 watts peak output power that can be adapted for use on UHF channels 14 thru 19, and a linear amp for boosting the output of these transmitters.
Free Radio Berkeley 1442 A Walnut St. #406 Berkeley, Ca. 94709 Tel: (510) 464-3041Items listed in their advertisements include a 5 watt mono FM transmitter kit ($55 plus shipping), a 1/2 to 1 watt stereo FM transmitter kit ($50), plus kits for output filters, dummy loads, RF amplifiers, and antennas.
Some people who ordered kits from FRB have reported that they've waited a long time before receiving their kits. Others have said they had no problems when dealing with FRB.
FRB is spear-heading a movement to challenge the FCC's regulations and
is trying to foster a low power broadcasting movement. Contact them for
more info. (Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org)
North Country Radio PO Box 53, Wykagyl Station New Rochelle NY 10804-0053 Tel: 914-235-6611 (send $1 for catalog)Many TV-related items: a 50 milliwatt UHF transmitter with crystal controlled frequency ($78); a "video pallete" to create special effects; a switcher that does cross-fades and wipes; and upconverters that will take channel 3 video from a VCR and shift its frequency up to any UHF channel 25 thru 70. For licensed radio amateurs, they have a line of more powerful UHF TV transmitters.
With a 100 foot range and a price tag of $62.50, their FM stereo
transmitter is not exactly competitive, but it is interesting from a
technical point of view. Their stereo infrared transmitter and receiver
could be used to build a difficult-to-trace studio-to-transmitter link.
Xandi Electronics Box 25647 Tempe AZ 85285 Tel: 800-336-7389 Tel: 602-894-0992The XFS108 kit ($41.95) is an FM stereo transmitter, probably based on the BA1404. Their advertisements give no specifics.
Tentronix 3605 Broken Arrow Coeur d'Alene ID 83814 Tel: 208-664-2312Another BA1404-based FM stereo transmitter kit ($24).
Progressive Concepts 1434 N. Mills Ave. Claremont CA 91711RF amplifiers, FM transmitters and stereo generators, components for RF circuits and more.