FAQ for Pocket FM
7 Step How-To videos on Youtube
Pocket FM Installation Manual
Pocket FM software menu sitemap
Do I need help to set up Pocket FM?
No, installation of a Pocket FM system is so simple that anyone can do it.
What is the maximum FM radio reception range of the PocketFM transmission?
FM Radio reception distance of the Pocket FM will depend on the environment, the placement of the Pocket FM antenna and the antenna height & quality of a receiving device.
FM reception will be impacted by hills, buildings or other objects between the the transmitter and receiver, therefore the PocketFM antenna should be installed outside as high as possible for superior range.
Installed at a good height, the included PocketFM antenna should provide reception of at least a 5km radius. Which is perfect for a small city, a village or a refugee camp.
Can I extend the reach of Pocket FM?
You can choose for a different antenna system. These are bigger and need more space to be installed, but also extend the reach of the system. You could also use one Pocket FM as a repeater, to extend the reach of another one. We are also working on the possibility to connect a stronger external Amplifier to extend the reach.
Can Pocket FM be jammed?
Yes, a FM frequency can always be jammed by someone in the vicinity of your Pocket FM using a stronger transmitter on the same frequency.
Do I need a license to broadcast?
Depending on your countries regulations, you might need a license for legal FM broadcasting. In some countries it is easy to get a license for a low-power transmitter such as Pocket FM.
To bring audio to the transmitter, what is the best way?
Pocket FM features several audio inputs: Analog-In, USB sound files, Internet streaming over WiFi, or the audio streaming over a satellite channel.
Do I need antennas?
You need a FM broadcasting antenna, which is provided together with the transmitter.
Can I just connect any antenna to the Pocket FM?
No, it needs to be a FM broadcasting antenna. Best use the antenna we provide with the box.
Why do I have to connect the antenna first, even before the power?
The transmitter module of the Pocket FM won’t come up without antenna connected, to prevent it from breaking.
Can I program Pocket FM remotely?
Yes, you can change the broadcasting power, frequency and input source remotely by SMS command, given you have inserted an unlocked SIM card.
Can Pocket FM be detected via triangulation?
That’s is exactly the first reason why we developed a small device. It’s radio waves are short so one has to get much closer to successfully triangulate a transmitter than to usual transmitters. The second advantage is that it can run completely without anybody around as it runs on solar not on a generator which needs fuel everyday. Also the audio can come from remote via internet or satellite and Pocket FM can be controlled via a phone from afar. So if something happens the damage is only the device itself! If it is worth the effort we could set up several transmitters in a city or a mesh network which even makes it impossible to locate a single device. Last but not least a Pocket FM transmitter could drive around in a car, makes it really hard to track.
Somebody steals my Pocket FM, can he/she uses it?
No, only if they know the Lock PIN. Never keep the PIN with the device! Change the LOCK PIN away from the factury default when you first turn it on.
How do I receive new software updates and how do I upload them to the device?
We will inform our customers of software updates. These will be provided with a download link. The user will have to use a USB drive to perform the update.
In case of a technical interruption or breakdown, do I get advices from Pocket FM team to solve the problem?
Yes, you can always contact us at: pocket-fm @ mict-international . org
Can the transmitter broadcast also when it is very hot outside, say 50°C?
Yes, it can, but internal heat protection will reduce transmission strength to guard against permanent failure. Although designed for good fanless heat disappation,additional external cooling such as an external fan may be necessary in hot environments. Never install the device outside.
How does rain or snow effect the device?
The PocketFM is designed to be rugged but it is not yet weatherproof or designed to operate outdoors. The antenna should be installed outside, however the PocketFM main unit should be housed in adequate shelter from rain, wind, and snow.
The USB drive is not working
The USB port of the Pocket FM only supports USB sticks, not USB based external hard drives. These often consume to0 much power, thus won’t come up when connected to the Pocket FM.
My internet stream won’t play
Please try the following: Switch the audio input back to “analog”. Then go to the “Wifi” menue and double-check that you have enabled Wifi in “Client Mode” and that the Wifi has successfully connected to your network. Once this is the case, go back to audio source and change the input again to “Stream”. If the problem consists, please double-check your stream settings by trying them on another device, e.g. a laptop.
Please note that as of now, the Pocket FM does not support .pls files.
My satellite stream won’t play
Please double check that a) your satellite antenna is aligned correctly and b) the settings you have entered are correct. Use www.lyngsat.com or similar websites to check for the right values (frequency, polarization, symbol rate, audio PID), or contact your satellite stream provider. Double check antenna, LNB and cable by connecting a normal satellite receiver.
My SIM is not detected / not working
The SIM card will only be detected upon boot. Make sure you have disabled the PIN in another device before inserting the SIM into the Pocket FM.
The GSM network cannot be detected
Try rebooting the device. Double check the SIM card in a normal phone and check for network coverage. Make sure to disable the PIN code of the card.
Why does the device have spikes?
We wanted to avoid a fan to cool the device, because fans can easily break especially in dusty areas and they need a lot of energy.
How can I book a satellite to send audio to my Pocket FM?
We have worked with a couple of Satellite Companies such as Nilesat and Eutelsat. Just ask, we are glad to help you. Consider this is not cheap at all, monthly subscriptions for a radio-over-satellite service costs between 2.000€ and 4.000€ per month, and usually a yearly subbscription is the minimum.
Where can I get the solar panels to run Pocket FM on solar energy?
We can make recommodations, e.g. Phaesun is a good partner for off-grip power solutions.
Solar panels are getting more and more popular because of decreasing prices. You probably can get there in the next bigger town around you. If not we are glad to ship solar system from Germany to wherever you are.
Can I only buy it at your website or can I buy it somewhere else as well.
As of now, you can only buy directly from us.
What happens to the profits of Pocket FM?
The profits are used to further develop the software infrastructure.
Is the software open Source so I can build my own Pocket FM?
The software will be open sourced in the near future.
What is the warranty like?
Please refer to our limited warranty conditions (Link).
When I will receive my order?
After we have received your payment, you can expect the box to be with you within 2 weeks
How is Pocket FM shipped to me?
We usually ship the device and the antenna via DHL or Aramex. Shippment has to be paid by the buyer as well as possible import tax.
Can I cross international borders with my Pocket FM? How does security staff react, e.g. at airports?
We travelled a lot with the device. We recommend not to put it in your hand luggage, but to check it in inside your regular suitcase.
How many solar panels do I need to use Pocket FM?
Solar systems are very dependent on hours of direct sunlight. In general, if you want to run your Pocket FM only from solar 24/7, we recommend minimum 4 Panels of 110W and 3 solar batteries. In most cases, combining the setup with a wind generator is recommended.