Boosting an fm radio signal for small radio.

Discussion in 'Wireless & RF Design' started by Mckutzy, Dec 11, 2014.

  1. Mckutzy

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 11, 2014
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    Hello new guy here.
    I am new to electronics( really green) but not in electrical devices.

    I have a job that doesn't allow a radio to be played aloud, due to complaints and other problems. It is a reasonably large sheet-metal factory, and in my work area, it is a mezzanine with a steel structure and having a steel deck plate throughout.

    We are currently aloud to have a radio earmuffs to have music. I have a Peltor worktunes ear muffs with a digital tuning display for the stations. It does work alright, but I am looking for a way to perhaps boost the incoming signal for a better quality radio listening.
    I mainly listen to one station, so if by all means if there is a way to create a tuned antenna to that station and being compact to the size of the headset, that would be the ideal way, but a powered device or attachment I can live with aswell .

    Im kinda interested to explore what ideas can help on this, as there is a number of other guys there having the same muffs and the same issues with signal strength.


    I did look in a multitude of threads and did a search prior to this thread start, couldnt really find anything.
     
  2. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
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    That's a tough situation to correct. Being in a steel structure is like being in a Faraday cage. It is going to shield you from the FM signal.

    Your best bet may be to listen to prerecorded music on an mp3 player.
     
    GopherT likes this.
  3. Mckutzy

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 11, 2014
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    That was my first thought, but there is a signal. Choppy in alot of locations, ironically some places have exceptional clarity. Most if not all the machines have no affect on the signal strength, as an interruption.

    Mp3 was an option, but we have a no cellphone use policy, It also covers most if not all electronic devices. The exception to those is, its a set it and forget it situation, with using a Bluetooth receiver. Not aloud to change the song or mess with the device. The policy is to combat the people texting all day quoting they are changing the song or such. I for the most part just like to hear the radio, news ect. but want a good clear station.
     
  4. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    You could build a rebroadcaster, I did something similar for a place I worked at once. Put a small FM radio where it gets good reception, then feed the output to a FM transmitter, perhaps running some wire for the audio to allow for a better location.
     
  5. Mckutzy

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 11, 2014
    4
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    I had thought of that aswell. wasnt too sure how that would be built. Those car broadcasters have a typically short range meant for cars. So I reckon that option is out.
    The headset having a digital tuner allows me to select the station of my choosing , for the non common stations for transmitters like this.

    We dont have an available wifi(well they dont want us to use it for streaming a radio) to use our phones for streaming the radio stations or we all would have done that already. My data plan is miniscule so thats out for me aswell.

    Can an arduino type of computer be used to create a signal booster?
    A power supply of 12/18v from tool batteries is what kind I would like to use if possible( for what ever device), as I can use a charger effectively there as power is plentiful, and with out the use of a 120v cord?
     
  6. BR-549

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2013
    1,999
    389
    I had the same irritating problem a while back and was about to embark on Bill's solution.

    And then I found this unit on a Walmart clearance table.
    Here's a pic.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenoxx_Electronics_Corporation

    It's a Durabrand model PR-35M.

    It's performance is superb on both bands.

    You can find many small brand name units around for just a few dollars. Both in many stores and online.

    Try a couple of different brand name units and see if you can find a hot one.

    It sure solved my problem.
     
  7. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,766
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    I built everything from scratch ( well, I had plans). Off the shelf is usually better, but not always.
     
  8. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
    12,446
    3,362
    There is another possible solution... bluetooth. I am hearing impaired and have to wear a hearing aid.
    I can transmit audio from my iPad via bluetooth and can still pick up the signal even when the iPad is 10m away.

    If you can set the FM radio to pick up a clear signal and then relay the signal via bluetooth (or even FM) to your receiver.
     
  9. Mckutzy

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 11, 2014
    4
    0
    I like to do something like that, but I can't seam to find a good or cheap Bluetooth transmitter.

    The receivers are cheap enough, I can get at almost any electronics store.

    I'm thinking Im just going to have to build a good transmitter.

    In this respects, how much money/effort to make such a device?
    I have tools and there is power available(120vac in this case).

    Are there any kits for this kinda thing?
     
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