Tuesday, March 24, 2009

5 Steps to Enjoying OTR Anwhere in the House, Pt. 2

Originally published in the February, 2009, Old Radio Times.(http://www.otrr.org/pg07_times.htm)

5 Steps to Enjoying Your Audio Anywhere in Your House
Ned Norris

The wonderful thing about FM transmitters is it allows you to listen to all the MP3 files you have stored on your computer or one of the online music services, whilst at the same time giving you the freedom to move around your house.

Luckily, the price of FM transmitters has dropped overthe past few years and you should be able to pick up a decent FM transmitter that will work throughout a typical house for less than $100.

There are a few things worth looking out for when deciding which FM transmitter to buy. Most important of all is the distance the signal covers. If you live in a tiny apartment there's no need to spend the extra money on a powerful unit that will transmit 1000 feet, unless of course you want the whole neighborhood to be able to tune in to your broadcast. On the other hand, don't buy one that will only transmit 10 feet if you want to listen at the bottom of the garden which is 150 feet from your computer.

A second thing to look out for is a digital display. Some units have no digital display telling you what frequency you are tuned into and require you to turn a screw on the back to adjust the frequency. This can be quite time consuming as it requires quite a bit of experimentation. The end result is exactly the same, but with a digital display it is easy to set the FM transmitter to a specific frequency by reading the numbers on the display and then set the radio to exactly the same frequency.

Lastly, some units run on batteries whereas others will run from a power supply. If the unit you buy runs off batteries make sure that it has an auto-off facility that will allow you to set a period after which the unit will automatically turn itself off. If you don't have this you'll find yourself wasting a lot of batteries.

FM transmitters are ideal for transmitting around your house, but the same technology can also provide an ideal way of listening to your MP3 player in your car without having to invest in an in-car MP3 unit. Just plug a battery powered FM transmitter into your MP3 player and then tune your car stereo into the same frequency.

So, now you know just how easy it is to set-up your very own micro radio station for your very own listening pleasure. Whether you're a music fan, an audiobook lover, or an old time radio aficionado, this is one little gadget that can really add to the overall enjoyment.

Ned Norris is the webmaster of http://www.rusc.com/.


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