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Wireless transmitter/receiver issues with home-built caller


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#1 mtn dog

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Posted 14 October 2009 - 08:33 PM

I have a home-built e-Caller that is like the popular El Cheapo style from Varmint Al’s website. The sound seems loud and clear when my iPod is plugged directly to the amplifier. (At least it sounds good to my old, gunfire-degraded ears!) However, I’m not satisfied with the sound quality when I go wireless. I have an Audio-Technica PRO 88W VHF wireless receiver & transmitter system with a choice of two frequency channels and an optimal range of up to 300 feet. I assume my Audio-Technica is at least comparable to the Nady and Azden systems in range and price. Since the idea is to make a good caller that’s cheaper than a FoxPro, there is no point is buying expensive professional grade transmitter/receivers like Sennheiser.It has taken some trial and error to refine my calling rig. I secure all the cables and jacks with thick rubber bands to prevent any static pops caused by jacks wiggling against the contacts. It took me awhile to figure out how to silence the clicks of the iPod ‘click wheel’ so that didn’t get broadcast through my speaker. Ditto with preventing the iPod from automatically playing the next sound file in its library. I’ve used my Mac computer’s GarageBand application to edit some of sound ‘artifacts’ from the free downloadable predator calling sound files – things like wind or extraneous sounds recorded by the person who originally recorded some of those calls. I like the call sequences that Varmint Al offers so I strung together some of my own, again taking advantage of GarageBand to lay in overlapping tracks to create some interesting critter duets and alter the volume over the length of the call sequence. Those play for 20-30 minutes and allow me watch the field instead of my iPod. All that has been a fun project BUT it all seems like a waste of time because the wireless transmitter/receiver introduces a certain amount of ‘white noise’ or RF hiss. It gets really bad when I crank up the volume. If I can hear it with my crappy hearing, the coyotes must be out there laughing their butts off at my efforts. When I hunt with someone who has a store-bought caller, my home-built stays in the truck. I don’t want to screw up another guy’s hunt with my experimental ‘Science Fair project’. I’d like to hear from others who have similar home-builts. Are you getting a good clean, noise-free sound when you use a wireless transmitter & receiver? What do you have and what advice can you offer to get the very best result? Bottom line, are you killing any coyotes when you use your e-Caller? I’m not. Thanks.Ken
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#2 wannakillacoyote

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 06:28 AM

I built an e-caller as well. I also called in a Coyote the first time I took it out, so they do work. I just put my sounds in my mp3 player, pushed play then walked to my spot. I ended up getting a Minaska caller though. Just more reliable and convenient. I would recommend looking into the Foxpro callers. :harhar1[1]:
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#3 CA Desert Dog

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 06:42 AM

It seems like you inexpensive wireless system was not such a deal after all. There are two obvious issues here. One is something called frequency response and the other is signal to noise ratio. Naturally, an inexpensive wireless device will have poor frequency response specifications (The ability to playback a broad spectrum of sound frequencies). "Frequency response is the measure of any system's output spectrum in response to an input signal. In the audible range it is usually referred to in connection with electronic amplifiers, microphones and loudspeakers. Radio spectrum frequency response can refer to measurements of coaxial cables, category cables, video switchers and wireless communications devices." "Frequency response requirements differ depending on the application. In high fidelity audio, an amplifier requires a frequency response of at least 20–20,000 Hz, with a tolerance as tight as ±0.1 dB in the mid-range frequencies around 1000 Hz, however, in telephony, a frequency response of 400–4,000 Hz, with a tolerance of ±1 dB is sufficient for intelligibility of speech." I had built my caller using a Nady and it had very good frequency response and a pretty low SNR.Signal to noise ratio is defined as "the ratio of a signal power to the noise power corrupting the signal. A ratio higher than 1:1 indicates more signal than noise. In less technical terms, signal-to-noise ratio compares the level of a desired signal (such as music) to the level of background noise produced by the amplifier. The higher the ratio, the less obtrusive the background noise is.So my friend, if you have an economy wireless device, don't expect good frequency response or a nice, clean transmitted sound signal. When purchasing, building or assembling any audio product, the frequency response and signal to noise ratio figures are a major consideration. That same old adage applies....you get what you pay for.
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#4 Hookum

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 07:38 AM

What he said.
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#5 mtn dog

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 09:47 AM

So my friend, if you have an economy wireless device, don't expect good frequency response or a nice, clean transmitted sound signal. When purchasing, building or assembling any audio product, the frequency response and signal to noise ratio figures are a major consideration. That same old adage applies....you get what you pay for.

Thanks, Red. Even though your awesome technical info is way over my head, I understand your point. I already had the iPod, so I call that "free". I already owned my Audio Technica wireless system so I also regard that as free. eBay prices for the 'affordable' Nady, Azden, Audio-Technica sets are usually in the $100-$150 range unless you find a used one. Radio Shack amp & speaker, a couple jacks and a Plano box did not set me back very much - probably under $50. Buying high-end Sennheiser, Shure or other professional grade, battery-powered wireless audio components would push the cost beyond the MSRP for a FoxPro Fury. Impossible to justify. Your opinion is solid and well founded but I guess I need to ask a higher authority on the subject... What do the COYOTES think? If anyone uses a home-built eCaller with the affordable (Nady, Azden, Audio-Technica, etc) wireless components, are you having success? I get the coyotes to answer my locator sounds and the magpies and crows always show up quickly looking for the free meal but I have not seen coyotes coming in to my eCaller sounds when using the wireless set-up. I realize it could be 'good enough' sound but maybe I'm doing something else wrong. The variables are plenty.
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#6 lif2fsh

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 06:12 PM

Built one my self, never did work very well with the Nady system, i used varmint Al's 2 min. of silence and after that had great success. just keep trying they will come! :smiley_turkey_pop_up_log:

#7 wannakillacoyote

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 10:40 AM

My guess is the area you are calling. I think this is the single MOST important aspect. There just may not be any coyotes in the area when you are calling.Also, using the 2 minutes of silence is what I used as well. This gave me time to start the sequence (without using a remote) and get back and settled in my stand.I say keep trying. Sometimes it takes a LONG time to get your first one called in (I think it was like 3-4 trips with over 30 stands before I saw my first Coyote).
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#8 mtn dog

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 11:28 AM

That's what I've been thinking, too. Scrap the idea of wireless remote and edit together a selection of different call sequences to suit the conditions for various stand, terrain, and wind conditions. All my sequences will definitely need the two-minute silence at the beginning. Fortunately, I can create customized call sequences of birds, rabbits, fawns, vegan humans, or whatever other prey critter sounds might work for wherever I am intending to hunt. And I can create sequences that start out low volume and get louder, vice-versa, etc. The huge drawback is having no way to shut the darn thing up or change it if/when a coyote is coming in. For what it's worth, I generally hunt solo and my usual areas tend to have more than the average mountain lion sightings plus fairly thick cover. Shotgun scenarios. Those factors make me less inclined to go with mouth calls. As a beginner getting skunked, it is hard to determine which fundamental mistake(s) I'm making. I'd like to blame it on an absence of coyotes but the hairy scat and tracks suggest that's probably not it. Once I start getting some success and discover what works, my confidence will grow exponentially and I'll probably find myself experimenting with mouth calls a bit more, too. Oh, well. We can't have everything, can we? Like they say, "People in hell want ice water!" Fortunately, even getting skunked is better than staying home. It's all good. Thanks to everyone for great input.Ken
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#9 CA Desert Dog

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 01:54 PM

I have to agree with the rest of the guys. Don't get discouraged, they will come eventually. I remember when I started. An experienced hunter took me out and we must have hunted 5 or six weekends before we had any luck. I was beginning to think it was a joke. I loaded and unloaded my rifle a zillion times. Keep the faith, keep motion to a minimum, always watch the wind and camo down in the shadows. When they come it's a real thrill. Hang in there.
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#10 JimT.

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 09:04 PM

I had an experienced hunter/trapper take pity on me and sure enough our first time out and on our second stand I scored my first coyote. I took one on my own the next year. Zero the year after that. And, I'm scoreless this year. I'm lucky to get out a few times a year and I'm always exhausted. I like getting out and "camping." That means I thoroughly enjoy relaxing next to a good camp fire for hours at night watching the stars and thinking good thougths. Yes, I've used an e-caller to call predators in but getting them to come in and scoring is a big difference.

#11 Braz

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 09:46 PM

Will JimT, if you like getting out camping be sure and sign up for the get together the first weekend of April. BE THERE!
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