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As an educational project I am interested in building a radio transmitter (either AM or FM, probably AM to start) similar to the ones that you take in the car that can play your iPod.

The car transmitters have terrible range, however, and I want one that I can place in my house and will cover both stories. Ignoring the rage of the FCC (let's just say I'm out in the middle of nowhere), is there a danger of building a higher power transmitter? I've heard stories of large AM antennas being high enough voltage to kill, but I won't come close to that, right?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

To cover two stories you won't need more than a watt of power. This is in the safe range and shouldn't be an issue.

Large AM radios do use a lot of power, but they're expected to cover hundreds or thousands of miles, not your application. Same for FM.

By the way, for Music and better reliability it's best to use FM. If you want to build something, you can also use chips like the ones from SiLabs:


You can of course go the more discrete route and build all from scratch, which could be a a fun endeavor.

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