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Thread: What is a current cheapish transmitter that supports RDS?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
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    Default What is a current cheapish transmitter that supports RDS?

    I'm planning on phase 2 of lights for next year. If I have found all the right forum threads on the matter, I think this is the current deal:
    Vast FMT212R is still available, but no new firmware for quite awhile.
    Xlights scheduler no longer supports RDS, need to use FPP to run show.
    People like the vast and haven't discussed it much lately, so no news is good news?

    Any other low budget options? I only need to get 200 ft ;)
    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: What is a current cheapish transmitter that supports RDS?

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: What is a current cheapish transmitter that supports RDS?

    I user a non-rds version version of the EDM-LCD transmitter going on 5 years now. I run low power mode and get significantly more than 200' with good audio, using a dipole antenna.

    https://www.edmdesign.com

    It may be a bit over your "cheapish" range, but very cheap transmitters have RF issues (read: interference to other things) and audio quality issues.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: What is a current cheapish transmitter that supports RDS?

    I had a VAST 212 that worked great for a few years. I had issues with it losing the USB connection and shelved it. The next year I waited too long to decide on a replacement and ended up with a cheap Chinese transmitter. It worked without any problems and didn’t cause any harmonics. It worked for a couple of years and then the USB connector fell off. I replaced it with another Chinese transmitter advertised at 5W (notice I didn’t say rated). It doesn’t have RDS and is just a basic line-in model but the signal is really clean.

    I don’t think it’s valid to make a generalized statement that cheap transmitters have RF issues. I havn’t found that to be the case. The only way to know is to get one and scope it out.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: What is a current cheapish transmitter that supports RDS?

    It seems to me that I constantly read on here about the transmitters that are NOT considered to be the "cheap" ones , are the ones that gives the MOST problems

    ( and FTR - I own one of those "cheapo" ones and have had it for YEARS without a single problem , AND , its crystal clear. Mind you , no RDS , but GREAT sound quality and doesn't drift either . )

  6. #6
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    Default Re: What is a current cheapish transmitter that supports RDS?

    @jackfrost2 I have never read anyone complaining about the EDM units...other than the price.
    I do own one myself, but try not to be biased. If anyone has had issues I would like to know about it.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: What is a current cheapish transmitter that supports RDS?

    Quote Originally Posted by jackfrost2 View Post
    It seems to me that I constantly read on here about the transmitters that are NOT considered to be the "cheap" ones , are the ones that gives the MOST problems

    ( and FTR - I own one of those "cheapo" ones and have had it for YEARS without a single problem , AND , its crystal clear. Mind you , no RDS , but GREAT sound quality and doesn't drift either . )
    I agree 100%. I've been using the "cheap" version for years, with no problem (and the audio quality is fine). I'd much rather "settle" with that, then deal with all the problems people have with the expensive version.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: What is a current cheapish transmitter that supports RDS?

    To me RDS is something that is not of great benefit to a light show and something I will continue to avoid. Got to many other things to do than put text on a radio tuning screen and but a more costly radio. But it is your choice.
    Jim Nealand
    Kennesaw, Ga

  9. #9
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    Default Re: What is a current cheapish transmitter that supports RDS?

    If done correctly (in Vixen3) a single channel with triggered intensity cells just like the LedTriks allows the spectators to see additional information regarding the current song, your chosen charity, contact info and even future song request prompting.

    I have had more feedback and song/sequence requests via RDS prompted emails and texts than any other method.

    I've run an FM-02 as well as an FM-01 both with PiraRDS units with great success, "set and forget" for over 10 years now, same method used to run batch scripts on my Ledtriks.



    The next iteration of the V3 RDS plugin will incorporate the ID3 metadata pulled directly off the music file used in the sequence and will use a single channel to trigger its use. All the user will need to do is edit the sequence music file /properties/details data.
    Cheers!
    Steve

    Learn 1 new thing everyday.

    "AURBO" -- Aurora Borealis

    My weather today



    Chat link | Christmas Wiki link

  10. #10
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    Default Re: What is a current cheapish transmitter that supports RDS?

    After trying with a cheap fm transmitter intended for car use, last year, and having so-so luck, I ended up using AdaFruit's Si4713 and created a plugin for FPP. It was a lot more work than a plug and go solution, but the Si4713 was only $20. I've been happy with the results this year.
    Halloween 2018 Lights: https://youtu.be/1FM4xhan_G4
    2018 Behind the Scenes: https://youtu.be/jGKUd9HzKGw

    Other shows and behind the scenes:
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCg1...c85-wgbnkNiLOw

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