Broadcast iTunes to your whole house…for cheap.
About a year ago, I was doing some work around the house. Some work out the garage, and some landscaping stuff, and I really wanted a way to listen to all the music I had (over 30 gigs, which was on my Powermac G4′s Hard Drive). Do I use an AirPort Express? Nah, that was kinda ‘spensive, and the receiving stero had to have and AUX input. Well… I was talking to my dad and he had a kit in one of his electronics magazines. A radio transmitter kit. Could I do that?
Rather inexpensive, the Ramsey Electronics Entry Level FM Radio Transmitter worked awesome.
Puting it together was pretty simple. Especially, if you have experience soldering. My dad helped me. I’m not good with a soldering iron. Once it is together you tune it to a station that currently has nothing broadcasting on it. A station that is just static. I picked 88.9. There is a fine-tune adjustment to get it pretty gosh-darn good.
It has inputs in the back, so I plugged a cable from the Audio out from my Powermac. I would then have iTunes just running on shuffle all the time. If for whatever reason, no matter what room are in, or what radio you have, you tune it to 88.9FM and listen to the pure metal goodness. It worked great. Now I can bring an old boom box outside it I’m doing yardwork, or whatever. Just tune it in and listen. Even in the bathroom, any clock radio would work.
With the stock antenna, it worked pretty good. Broadcasting from my basement, I could still here it with my car stero at the end of my block, about an 1/8 mile. Pretty cool. I mentioned it to a couple of my neighbors, too. Hey if you wanna listen to some killer tunes, go ahead and tune to my station.
I wondered how far I could reach if I used the COAX antenna jack on the transmitter and hook it up to the terrestial antenna I already have on my roof… My dad warned me that the FCC would probably come a knocking.
So now I have this killer way to get great sound within an 1/8 mile of my home. But I had no control. This is where bluetooth, and a bluetooth compatible phone come in. I used a USB/Bluetooth adapter on my G4, and my Sony Ericsson phone, and using Salling Clicker Software to access my Mac from my cell. It was pretty slick. I could control iTunes from any room in my house with my cell phone! I could easily see the currently playing song. I could pause, advance to the next song, even browse artist and song. It worked awesome.
I only tried this with a class 3 Bluetooth adapter. So I could only get about a 100feet. I plan on getting a class 1 adapter, which will let me connect from over 350feet. So I could be out the back yard or out in the garage and still control iTunes with my phone.
So if you are ever in my neck of the woods, or at least from the corner on my street, go ahead and tune it to 88.9 Screaming Beaver Radio – Pure Metal!