By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by Allendale Jan 24th

Ropey Radio Reception?

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
Dave Halford07/05/2021 11:07:26
1507 forum posts
16 photos
Posted by Bazyle on 05/05/2021 20:24:48:

My DAB radio has an awful user interface designed by an idiot who never tried using the end product. There are so many stations and the selection button only goes one way so going back from radio 4 to radio 3 takes ages. The buttons are labelled in 6 point white on grey background. Changing from FM to DAB again has to cycle through bluetooth and usb and a few other things. No wonder I don't bother and just use the old one with a bit of masking tape on the dial with lines marked roughly where the main FM stations are.

The old radiogram sadly doesn't work any more (must check the valves) but had Luxembourg marked on the dial. Being in Kent in my youth I also listened to Caroline.

I find home cheapy DAB just as bad as my first hand held radio was, terrible though OK in the car so performance is perhaps as usual based on what you pay.

My 2nd was a Bush which on a good hot summer night could pull Caroline into Birmingham if only for a wobbly hour or so.

John Haine07/05/2021 11:21:01
3872 forum posts
224 photos
Posted by pgk pgk on 05/05/2021 20:04:09:

Around here I can pick up a couple of radio stations when I'm in the tractor at the top of far field hill, ........

pgk

Clearly whoever named that hill was a radio engineer...

John Haine07/05/2021 11:31:34
3872 forum posts
224 photos
Posted by Russell Eberhardt on 07/05/2021 10:37:32:
Posted by Nigel Graham 2 on 05/05/2021 17:50:41:

Also I tend to rely on the radio for verifying my clocks and watches - have they sorted out the problem that DAB radio notoriously delayed reception?

If you have an Android phone or tablet the "ClockSync" app gives you clock time derived from NTP with better than 10mS precision. Alternatively there are GPS time apps but they (only !) give 300 mS precision due to deficiencies in Android.

Russell

Alas the ClockSync app is no longer on Play Store though there are several alternatives. I use SystemClockMonitor. Right now it's telling me that the system clock on my phone is something like 0.75 s behind local DST (i.e. UTC+1). I used to have ClockSync on my old Moto phone and the error was usually 1 - 2 seconds.

DAB can't fix this problem because it simply transmits the audio stream in which the pips are embedded. Until someone develops a negative delay line it's a laws of physics problem. There may be time signals embedded in the DAB multiplex but receivers don't seem to use them if so. (Actually there are only a few DAB chipsets so not much variation in the low level capability between sets.)

SillyOldDuffer07/05/2021 11:34:36
Moderator
7229 forum posts
1593 photos
Posted by John Haine on 07/05/2021 11:21:01:
Posted by pgk pgk on 05/05/2021 20:04:09:

Around here I can pick up a couple of radio stations when I'm in the tractor at the top of far field hill, ........

pgk

Clearly whoever named that hill was a radio engineer...

Very good! I laughed out loud. In-jokes are the best...

Neil Wyatt07/05/2021 11:49:28
avatar
Moderator
18630 forum posts
726 photos
79 articles

In my experience it's often the stations that are ropier than the reception!

I have my radio tuned to Radio 4 on FM and Planet Rock on DAB as it's easier to switch between reception modes than change channels.

Why can't they make a radio with a 'tuner knob' that allows a quick scan through the channels rather than a pair of fiddly push-buttons?

Neil

martin perman07/05/2021 11:59:41
avatar
1982 forum posts
83 photos

Neil,

I have a Roberts solarDAB which has FM and DAB, all stations are on a tuner knob also a Blaupunkt CD/Radio and DAB/FM are also on a tuner knob

Martin P

Edited By martin perman on 07/05/2021 12:00:15

Edited By martin perman on 07/05/2021 12:01:58

Samsaranda07/05/2021 12:20:47
avatar
1116 forum posts
5 photos

Tv and radio reception can both be problematic, I live near the coast in East Sussex and the most powerful transmitter to tune to is the Heathfield transmitter, ideal because it’s on a hill. One of my neighbours has a ginormous Birch tree in his garden, which unfortunately is in direct line of sight between my house and the Heathfield transmitter, reception from that transmitter is ok in winter but once the tree is in leaf reception descends to unwatchable on our tv. Solution is retune the house aerial to another transmitter, well there is one at Hastings but the power output is so feeble because the French bleat on about interference their side of the channel so the transmitter gives only a very poor signal. Solution in the end was to go for Sky for tv, wasn’t happy doing that but at least the tv is watchable but at a price.

Going back to the old pirate radio days, in 1967 we used to listen to Radio Caroline when we were on guard on the airfield at RAF Sharjah, now part of the UAE. It could only be picked up for about an hour before dawn as the temperature changes in the atmosphere facilitated the signal skipping. Dave W

Graham Titman07/05/2021 12:49:26
avatar
108 forum posts
17 photos

My Dab radios will not work in the workshop when the inverter is in use so no planet rock in the workshop

Grindstone Cowboy07/05/2021 13:08:11
620 forum posts
57 photos
Posted by Dave Halford on 07/05/2021 11:07:26:
..... which on a good hot summer night could pull Caroline into Birmingham if only for a wobbly hour or so.

Ah, those were the days! devil

Rob

Nigel Graham 207/05/2021 15:39:05
1525 forum posts
20 photos

Bazyle -

I'm afraid that desire in some quarters to make the inherently simple as complicated and awkward as possible for no discernible advantage, is all too common now, and my experience with my DAB radio is very much in that class.

Even my bedside analogue FM radio/clock is a paper-weight for its own instruction leaflet. For setting the alarm is a black art I have not yet mastered, and I hope the ears are burning on whoever designed the volume-control. It operates in several-dB steps rather than by smooth progression. Only just audible on the lowest step, it's loud enough on Step 2 for me to worry about disturbing my neighbour beyond a party wall offering almost no acoustic insulation.

'

Thank you Ega!

'

Martin -

A) You cannot "assume" others have WiFi. I don't - I have neither need nor wish for it

B) Alexa? I would not touch her, nor any of her eavesdropping ilk, with a barge-mouse. Using a PC on-line is bad enough.

C) Why add even more electronics just to select a radio station, when the problem is signal quality external to the radio receiver?

'

Russell -

I'm impressed by that precision they claim, but an ordinary second is near enough and I don't have anything Android.

'

One point I didn't make is that when my neighbour's back door is open I can hear her radio, usually on Radio Four, and the reception is fine even when mine tuned to the same station is falling off. I don't know if she listens on a DAB radio or to the Long Wave broadcast though.

It is very much local to an area within my house, and it is signal quality, not quantity, that suffers. The sound does not fade much but becomes very distorted. It does appear a more Summer than Winter - or maybe daylight - effect. The deterioration is less marked in the front room, and even less on the workshop radio.

Baldric08/05/2021 09:07:27
167 forum posts
13 photos
Posted by John Haine on 07/05/2021 11:31:34

DAB can't fix this problem because it simply transmits the audio stream in which the pips are embedded. Until someone develops a negative delay line it's a laws of physics problem. There may be time signals embedded in the DAB multiplex but receivers don't seem to use them if so. (Actually there are only a few DAB chipsets so not much variation in the low level capability between sets.)

About 14 years ago I was involved with a project associated with BBC radio, there were plans to insert the PIPs early in to the digital feeds, but I believe it was dropped as not only is it going to depend on the transmission medium (FM/DAB/Freeview/Freesat/sky), but also what the receiver does with it. At about the same time listening to radio via the internet was becoming more wide-spread, that added a whole host of other variations. There is also the route the signal takes to an FM transmitter, that will probably be digital, with minimum delay, I used to here on my radio it switch from one transmitter to another as there was a small repeat of part of a word.

If you want accurate time I would suggest PC time, if set from an external source, or AM/FM radio.

Also of note there was talk of stopping the analogue transmissions, but I am not sure what happened to that proposal.

Baldric.

SillyOldDuffer08/05/2021 09:37:52
Moderator
7229 forum posts
1593 photos
Posted by Baldric on 08/05/2021 09:07:27:
Posted by John Haine on 07/05/2021 11:31:34

DAB can't fix this problem because it simply transmits the audio stream in which the pips are embedded. Until someone develops a negative delay line it's a laws of physics problem. There may be time signals embedded in the DAB multiplex but receivers don't seem to use them if so. (Actually there are only a few DAB chipsets so not much variation in the low level capability between sets.)

About 14 years ago I was involved with a project associated with BBC radio, there were plans to insert the PIPs early in to the digital feeds, but I believe it was dropped as not only is it going to depend on the transmission medium (FM/DAB/Freeview/Freesat/sky), but also what the receiver does with it. At about the same time listening to radio via the internet was becoming more wide-spread, that added a whole host of other variations. There is also the route the signal takes to an FM transmitter, that will probably be digital, with minimum delay, I used to here on my radio it switch from one transmitter to another as there was a small repeat of part of a word.

If you want accurate time I would suggest PC time, if set from an external source, or AM/FM radio.

...

Baldric.

All my DAB radios can display accurate date-time read from timestamps on the packets and - unlike the audio pips - the time is correcy. Unfortunately none of the radios make it easy to display time - it flashes up briefly when the radio first connects, but then hides deep behind a wall of mysterious sub-menu options, along with plex, frequency, data rate and other techy information.

My guess is time's hidden because DAB radios all use the same display module for cheapness, and it isn't big enough to show time as well as station information. My beside clock/alarm uses digital time to set the clock and adjust Saving Time, but other than that it's invisible. So while it knows accurate time, the pips are wrong.

It's part of the inherent cussedness of things!

Dave

Howi08/05/2021 09:38:36
avatar
312 forum posts
19 photos

there are more dinosaurs on this site than in the natural history museum devil

Samsaranda08/05/2021 09:42:39
avatar
1116 forum posts
5 photos

Without the Dinosaurs this site probably wouldn’t exist, proud to be among them. 🦕. Dave W

Frances IoM08/05/2021 11:20:03
1118 forum posts
27 photos
it required a collision with a large meteorite to wipe them out ( + most of rest of life) so they were pretty well adapted to their world
duncan webster08/05/2021 12:15:31
avatar
3248 forum posts
56 photos
Posted by Samsaranda on 07/05/2021 12:20:47:

..... reception from that transmitter is ok in winter but once the tree is in leaf reception descends to unwatchable on our tv. Solution is retune the house aerial to another transmitter,.......

I had the same problem with trees in summer, bought a Freesat receiver and dish, no more problems, loads more rubbish to watch, lots of radio stations, no monthly fee.

I've tried DAB radio in the workshop, fine until SWMBO has the same station on a different receiver in the next room, they are then out of synch which makes it difficult to hear properly. I'll keep my FM wirelesses until they finally give up the ghost

Nicholas Farr08/05/2021 13:04:21
avatar
2808 forum posts
1274 photos

Hi, my elder sister used to listen to Radio Caroline. +1 for Freesat.

Regards Nick.

noel shelley08/05/2021 13:53:30
570 forum posts
18 photos

DAB was more about money than any goodwill towards the listening public. The fact that FM is still running is that DAB has shortcomings, and the government can't communicate with many of us due to NO or a poor signal. Once the analogue signal goes the channels that come free will be sold off for a fortune ! PROGRESS or CHANGE ? Noel

duncan webster08/05/2021 14:13:30
avatar
3248 forum posts
56 photos

When I was still a wage slave they brought in the culture of continuous change. When I asked if they really meant continuous improvement, they said no, so we would change it even if it didn't get better. I reckon it's because change creates the illusion of progress.

SillyOldDuffer08/05/2021 14:20:13
Moderator
7229 forum posts
1593 photos
Posted by noel shelley on 08/05/2021 13:53:30:

DAB was more about money than any goodwill towards the listening public. The fact that FM is still running is that DAB has shortcomings, and the government can't communicate with many of us due to NO or a poor signal. Once the analogue signal goes the channels that come free will be sold off for a fortune ! PROGRESS or CHANGE ? Noel

Can't disagree with that: DAB is a mix of positive and negative features. DAB happens to be more reliable in my house than FM, and it makes it easier to find more stations. The positives outweigh the negatives here. Not everyone is so lucky.

But I fear time is running out for all terrestrial services. Whilst we dinosaurs might be happy with AM, FM and DAB, the young folk are deserting all of them droves. They prefer to listen and watch programmes delivered on demand as internet services, whether by cable, broadband, wifi, or the mobile telephone network. Sooner or later, not enough people will be using DAB to make it worth maintaining, and it too will go the way of the Quill Pen.

Another thought: Has anyone timed how late the pips are on FreeSat? In addition to the delays that stuff pips up on DAB, the satellite is in geostationary orbit 23000 miles up, which I reckon adds another quarter second delay.

The answer to Nigel's problem is easy: put up a decent external antenna!

Dave

All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Engineer & Model Engineers' Workshop

Latest Forum Posts
Support Our Partners
cowells
JD Metals
ChesterUK
emcomachinetools
Warco
Eccentric July 5 2018
Eccentric Engineering
Subscription Offer

Latest "For Sale" Ads
Latest "Wanted" Ads
Get In Touch!

Do you want to contact the Model Engineer and Model Engineers' Workshop team?

You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.

Click THIS LINK for full contact details.

For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.

Digital Back Issues

Social Media online

'Like' us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
 Twitter Logo

Pin us on Pinterest