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Experiments with low power VHF transmitters

Many countries have VHF and UHF frequency allocations reserved for short range uses. Power limits for such devices are measured in milliwatts and there is typically no protection against interference from higher power transmitters that operate on or near these frequencies. Low power transmitters go by different names in different countries, eg 'FCC Part 15', 'short range devices' or 'low interference potential devices' etc.

Applications include remote controlled toys, garage door openers and low powered walkie talkies. While this equipment may have ranges measured in the tens or hundreds of metres, a lot of this is due to the very modest receivers and receiving antennas used. If you are able to use a high quality receiver and directive receiving antenna you can cover somewhat longer distances without breaching output power or EIRP limits.

A good source of educational material on low power VHF transmitters (typically using the FM broadcast band) is at Talking Electronics. Regulations for milliwatt-class VHF transmitters vary across the world. Users of them should be aware of the frequency and power limits applying in their country. The videos below discuss transmitting range, circuit design and possible applications for small VHF transmitters.

Comparison and range test of 1982 vs 2012 cheap walkie talkies

  Things to do with cheap wireless door chimes (actually UHF not VHF)

  More things to do with cheap wireless door chimes (actually UHF not VHF)

  Range testing a low power 1 watt FM transmitter ('Surf FM' 87.6 MHz)

  Milliwatt LIPD transmitter - range test

  CMOS gated oscillator and use to control a radio beacon

  1 transistor milliwatt beacon

  Tracking down the Easter Bug

  1.5 volt 1 transistor milliwatt beacon

  Low power milliwatt beacon inside a solar garden light

  Another VHF milliwatt pulsing radio beacon

  Even better solar VHF milliwatt pulsing radio beacon

  Milliwatt VHF beacon range test and more LED experiments

  Possible useful items for milliwatt VHF experiments

 

Disclosure: I receive a small commission from items purchased through links on this site.
Items were chosen for likely usefulness and a satisfaction rating of 4/5 or better.

 

For more on small transmitters see Experiments with low power UHF modules

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(c) Peter Parker VK3YE 1997 - 2017.

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