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Bill 13/02/2018
It worked, but just barely. This YouTube video had much better results than I did, and even with the transmitter within arm's reach of the receiver he only heard noise, not music. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WryEP8PY5lI My own results weren't even that good. I live in a large, industrialized city with a lot of commercial radio stations, but even when I found an unused frequency, I only heard noise when: A) I held the transmitter antenna within inches of the receiver antenna, and B) I used base-heavy, rhythm-heavy, head-banging music. Even then I could only hear a rhythmic thumping coming through the receiver. I haven't built hundreds of kits, but I've built dozens. The instructions might help someone with less experience than me, but they really only outlined what was printed on the PCB and stated the obvious. The screen printing on the PCB is clear and easy to understand. The instructions do not provide testing or debugging help. I was able to confirm that I soldered the BH1417F correctly by checking continuity from each pin to the tiny corresponding test point on the underside of the board. The board shows a "Test Point 1" and a "ground" and when supplying 6V VCC I get 1.4V to this test point - but I have no idea what that voltage is supposed to be. I've spent more time trying to debug it than I spent building it and if I made an error, it's beyond me. I strongly suspect poor quality components. While handling the zener diode AND the varicap THE INK CAME OFF ON MY FINGERS. If I had not already positioned them, I would not have been able to read the polarity of either component. The chip uses phase-locked loop (PLL) technology, so it will only transmit on 14 specific frequencies at high and low ends of the FM spectrum. This is challenging to solder. First the BH1417F is SMD not through-hole, but all the rest of the components are through-hole. Second, the board is really quite crowded. Third, I found some of the pins to be very hard to heat correctly, as if the ground plane is one huge heat sink and the pins going into this plane draw a lot of heat. In the end, it didn't work for me and I'd need a lot more evidence that it worked well for someone else before I could recommend it.
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