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PLAYBOY , Juni 2002
Denne var publisert i playboy, Juni 2002
MAX PRO I BASED EXCITERS
1.) Satellite FM 89 Megahertz, New Zealand
Your also welcome to use Satellite Communications Ltd. as a reference. Radio 89 FM Bay
of Plenty New Zealand. i.e Quote
The Max Pro I transmitter makes us sound as good if not better than other Commercial stations.
The transmitter is very stable and runs day in day out without a hitch".
"We highly recommend them".
Satellite FM 89 Megahertz
A Division of Satellite Communications Ltd.
>Any news on type acceptance with our MAX PRO I unit?
>Marko - PCS Electronics
Yes the unit was accepted.
We also had a visit from a "Radio Spectrum" field officer
wanting to test the unit with a spectrum analyzer while it was running
at our site.. End result was it was well within spec and he said
it was one of the cleanest signals he had seen, if that means anything
The disappointing part
is that with the Government elections etc here the issuing of the
new frequencies has been put on the back burnner. They are now saying
they will look at it early next year :(
You can keep an eye on
what's happening with Radio Spectrum at their site http://www.med.govt.nz/rsm/
We are very happy with
the unit and it still remains the best price and best quality available
here.. We just hope Radio Spectrum get their act together and make
107 to 108 available across NZ for small local stations (under 10
watt) as they have been saying now for the last 12 months.
Grogster, New Zealand
Here in NZ, one of my clients has just finished submitting a Tx
based on the MAX PRO-1 module for technical testing. The unit passed,
with excellent results, spurs and harmonics better then -55dB down.
This module i brought as a ready made module from PCS, saving me
the assembly time.
The output power was measured on our HF CRO scope that has a digital
RF power meter on it, reading 7.5W of power at 13.8v DC!!!
Most excellent - and this is 7.5W is clean watts too!!!
...Well it's working well
and 5 miles is nothing for the MAX. I'm getting into xxxxxx township
a good 6 miles from here and xxxxxxx (the area where the pirate
I think is FCC), that's a good 8 miles and a girl I know can hear
me on her car radio. I'm on the 4th floor and use a radio shack
telescopic mast. On top of that I have a 10 ft. mast. The lower
3 feet is clamped to the RS mast. I'm going to measure the building
later. It's the second highest building in this Island of a town
so my antenna is looking down on everyone. Tell me more about MAX
Hello Marko, (30 Sep 1999)
Yes, I received the MAX-1. During the extremely simple Tune-Up
step, I was able to set the audio signal so low that it actually
stopped; I thought this might be too much, so I adjusted it so the
audio barely started again. This method of Tune-Up is just
fantastically EASY! My enclosure is an old PC-AT power supply
(box, fan, and big red switch only), and I'm building a copper J-pole;
if the antenna tests well, I will forward the dimensions to you
to possibly share with others. Thank you for a fine product.
I wish you success with MAX-2 and more.
When my MAX-1 arrived, I cruised my scrapheap for an acceptable
box. When I spied a dead power supply from an old IBM-XT,
I laughed, cried, and damn near died! With a 12VDC fan already mounted,
vent louvers, giant red on-off switch, and an FCC-approved sticker,
it almost smirked at me. Scavenging standoffs and dinky mounting
screws from within was more fun than running to rat-shack, and sure,
drilling/mounting is tougher than aluminum, but the result is relatively
compact and nearly bulletproof. With the cables disconnected, it
looks like it belongs back on the heap (except I wiped the dust
off). I sometimes muse about a more 'professional' look, but
the thought of an agent overlooking it in a search just compels
a silent belly-laugh. Other goofy ideas: a 300-baud external modem;
an ethernet transceiver, router, or hub; anything from Heathkit;
the underside of a 50-in-1 electronics kit (with the earphone still
thought you might like to read an informal "review" of
the Max-1 kit from PCS Electronics. After
quite a bit of research I decided to order the PCS Electronics Max-1
exciter. I was looking for something that had more power than the
other kits and needed the stability that a PLL circuit would provide.
Also, the LCD display that helps tuning and trouble shooting sounded
like a good idea. The kit arrived promptly considering the distance
involved and was packaged very carefully. Marko includes very detailed
instructions and some valuable advice for novice kit builders. I
would not recommend making this your first project if you are new
to kit building. It contains quite a few parts and some of the soldering
requires very detailed work. Plan on some time to build this kit.
I spread it out over three 1.5 - 2 hour sessions. The reason is
that if you just plow right through it there is a good chance that
you will make a mistake. Many of the ceramic caps are almost impossible
to read values on. NOTE: This is common with most ceramic caps and
not a fault of PCS Electronics. In fact, Marko has taken the time
to label some of the more difficult ceramics. After I completed
it and checked my work a few times I began the tuning and testing
process. This design is unique as Marko has included in the circuit
some diagnostic tools to help with initial alignment and tuning.
Most of us cannot afford to purchase spectrum analyzers and the
like which are needed to build a stable and efficient transmitter
but all that is needed with this kit are a 50 ohm dummy load that
can handle 5 - 10 watts, a volt - ohm meter and a VHF SWR meter.
If you don't have these basic items either get them or find a different
hobby. The initial power up went very well (no smoke). It was very
easy to get the reported 5 watts and PLL lock from the transmitter.
After a little more tuning of the coils and trimmer caps and the
modification that Marko includes in the documentation I had over
7 watts of output and stable PLL lock! Marko says that you can increase
the supply to 16 volts but I wasn't that brave. I followed the advice
to enclose the transmitter in a metal case. This is important for
any rf circuit and will definitely improve over-all performance
for Max-1. I also opted to use a heavier heat sink and installed
an old PC fan to the bottom of the enclosure. The final drive on
this circuit gets very hot and I figured that the extra cooling
would not hurt. I had built a J-pole antenna to use with this kit
and it needed to be trimmed for the proper frequency. Using Max-1
to drive it and after some careful adjustments to the antenna I
finally got a SWR of 1.2 : 1. At this point I was ready to apply
an audio source and go for a drive. It is possible to overload the
front end of the transmitter with too much audio signal so be careful
to watch the PLL led while increasing the audio source for maximum
volume. The area in which I live is very flat (lots of farms) and
with 40 feet of elevation I had a good clean signal for 3 - 4 miles.
This kit was fun to build and Marko is very quick to reply to email.
I am unable to confirm his reports of spectral purity but I have
no doubt that his claims are accurate. The circuit does include
a low pass filter integrated into the design. I would recommend
this kit to anyone who is looking for a high quality, stable and
easy to tune transmitter.
No problem. It is for me an honor if you want to get pictures
of my tx-er on your web site. Its my 1 week work - this box isn't
buy - did am it alone. Metal plate is form my old rusty car Skoda1000MB
SuperSprinterTurboGXT. Powered by hammer, pliers and based colour.
(I forgot: many sticky paper for cover "nice flower" rust.
After fall down techntechnical examination we are with my friends
made big rally race on local tankodrom to total destruction of my
car. Now I have latter model Skoda 120 from year 1978 :-))) Compressor/limiter
is first tested version, now I made better (look) version. How I
did you do the front plate? Its easy. I printed on sticky paper
black background with white frame and text and placed it under nuts
of potenciometers (I dont know if english language use word "potenciometers"
for variable resistors - Im sure, that you know what I think). And
the end I made cover for display. Its - complete.
So, you still
think this guy's English is rusty? I think he's a real champ, just
see and admire what he's done. BRAVO!
ISA MAX/ PCI MAX FEEDBACK
1.) NikosE, Australia (PC MAX is now called ISA MAX)
This is a brief report on some tests with the PC MAX card, during
my recent holidays "down under".
Following my purchase of the PCI MAX unit, I decided to give away
my 2 year-old PC MAX, as a present to a friend.
As this friend of mine lives in a smaller city (Hobart, Australia),
I thought it would be a good opportunity to experiment with the
PC MAX in a less airwave congested environment. The
few public and commercial FM stations in that area are well spaced
apart in the FM band and there is little interference from other
My friends house is situated half way up Mt. Wellington and
has a panoramic view of the western suburbs of Hobart and the coast
further to the south. Ideally, for the purposes of broadcasting,
the choice of a directional antenna would have been the best. However
due to time limitations, we decided to build a quick and dirty GP
aerial, based on PCSs PC MAX guide. Because
the thickest wire we could find had a diameter of only 1.25mm, the
radials would bend down from their own weight; so much for the GP
aerial. We hung up this wiry octopus with a nylon string
at the porch of the house.
The PC MAX card was installed in a PC running WIN XP. There were
some I/O address conflict problems, but those were resolved by changing
the cards I/O address jumper to another position (340H). The
PC MAX software run on WIN XP without a hitch. Finally, the PC MAX
was connected to the antenna with 8m of RG-58. Transmitting frequency
was set to a free spot at about 97MHz, with the card at maximum
Once we had finished with the setup of the micro transmitter, we
got a Winamp (no plugs) playlist started and we took off in the
car to see what was the range of the PC MAX. On our way towards
the coast, the signal would fade in and out, depending if we were
in the TX antennas line-of-sight or not. When in line-of-sight,
the reception of the PC MAX from the cars radio was overall
from good to very good. The only difference of the PC MAX audio
signal with that of commercial stations, was a shallower depth of
modulation and a soft hum that could be slightly heard in between
When we reached the coast (line-of-sight), the PC MAXs audio
loudness - as could be heard on the cars radio, was consistently
good and comparable to that of commercial stations. We also used
a handheld Philips radio to check the signal strength (single red
LED meter). Out of the car, the handheld radio - without its
antenna being extended - would receive the commercial stations and
show full signal strength (brightly lit LED). Our micro station
would be received when only 1 of 5 elements of the radios
telescopic antenna was extended. With the full antenna extended,
the LED signal meter was brightly lit! The casual listener would
not have been able to distinguish our transmission from that of
commercial stations that have output power hundreds of thousands
From a map, we measured the distance between the spot we had stopped
to do the portable radio measurements and the micro transmitter.
It worked out to be about 10Km. The actual range was greater, as
the signal was propagating out in the open sea. Next stop would
have been the Antarctic!
We were impressed by the performance of the PC MAX, especially
considering its micro power and the crappy antenna we were
using. Just goes to show that a well-constructed micro transmitter,
the height of the antenna from the ground and the lack of interference
can give excellent results for line-of-sight reception.
If you're in the market for a PC FM trasmitter, get the PCIMAX
Marko and crew just updated the drivers, and it works sweet! I
get over a half a mile signal with the card, not using the amp!
I did a little field test with this, using my car. I heard it over
a HALF A MILE away! And I have YET to start the 5 watt amp I bought
in the package!
Best investment I have done with the ol' PC since I can remember!
Rock solid transmitting and range. It does sound like a pro FM station!
I will certainly recommend to others. A MUST HAVE in your PC!
UPDATE: We fired up the amp the other night. And lets just say,
I am speechless. Easily a solid 10 mile radius of signal coverage.
Field testing the signal for myself today, I heard for myself, after
taking a cruise in my car, what this thing can do (PCI Max card/5
watt Amp/Comet Antenna package). I heard the rock solid transmittion
3 towns over!
The description of it being good for museums is an OVER KILL! At
the high power setting, and without the amp, they'll still be able
to hear you 3 museums OVER!
Marko, you got a winner with these PC Transmitter cards. I hope
you sell a million of them.
PLAYBOY magazine, June 2002
This is the article that was published in the June issue of the
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