Author Topic: Dab radio  (Read 36309 times)

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Offline Hydrawerk

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Re: Dab radio
« Reply #50 on: April 19, 2015, 07:37:00 pm »
I know that DPR-45 is similar to Sangean PR-D3L and CCrane CCradio. They were introduced back in 1999. There might be an improved version nowadays but the external design stays the same.
PR-D3L is rated 2 Watts of output
http://www.sangean.eu/products/portable-radios/pr-d3l.html
Anc CCrane is rated 1.8 Watts of output.
http://www.ccrane.com/AM-FM-Radios/CCRadio-2E-Enhanced-AMFMWX2-Meter-Ham-Band-Radio-Black-Mica
The speaker looks huge on photos.
These radios are known for their low reliability. The LCD breaks down in a few years and more problems have been reported. Some people say that the problems do not appear on units produced after year 2004.
Please see this.
http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/5825
http://www.amazon.com/Crane-CCRadio-Multiband-Portable-Weather/product-reviews/B00007079A/ref=cm_cr_pr_viewpnt_rgt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1&sortBy=helpful&reviewerType=all_reviews&filterByStar=critical&pageNumber=1
http://herculodge.typepad.com/herculodge/2011/09/back-in-april-of-2009-a-ccrane-rep-explained-controversy-of-the-cc-radio-plus-to-herculodge.html
http://www.notgoodenough.org/viewtopic.php?t=36712

Maybe these problems will never appear on DPR-45 because it is a mature product today??
« Last Edit: April 19, 2015, 07:53:11 pm by Hydrawerk »
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Offline Hydrawerk

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Re: Dab radio
« Reply #51 on: April 19, 2015, 07:43:52 pm »
Last photo and an advertisement made by CCrane staff.
But wait, in that video you only see that radio in standby mode. No operation was shown.  :-[ :palm:

« Last Edit: April 19, 2015, 08:03:39 pm by Hydrawerk »
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Online Fraser

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Re: Dab radio
« Reply #52 on: April 19, 2015, 08:00:15 pm »
I think you need to explain what you are hoping for out of a portable radio. High audio quality is not always a concern of manufacturers of such equipment. The 5" speaker is better than a 3" one sure, but whether the speaker itself is any good depends upon how much the OEM wanted to spend on it and the amplifier driving it.

Please let us know your needs and we may be able to comment better on what is and is not a good buy.

P.S. I hope you already know that DAB radios love to consume batteries so mains power is usually the only economic mode unless rechargeable batteries are used.

Cheers

Aurora
 

Offline Hydrawerk

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Re: Dab radio
« Reply #53 on: April 19, 2015, 08:12:53 pm »
I hardly ever use batteries. I have an ATS-803A in my kitchen. It will not last forever.

My next radio should have at least the same sound quality.
ATS-803A has rated output 1,2W but the speaker is marked with 2W.
DAB+ III band is present in many parts of my country, it will come to my town in two years.
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Online Fraser

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Re: Dab radio
« Reply #54 on: April 19, 2015, 08:40:06 pm »
My recommendation: Sony XDR-S60DBP

http://www.sony.co.uk/electronics/radios/xdr-s60dbp#product_details_legacy_default

Well made and many happy owners.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sony-XDRS60-Compact-Retro-Digital/dp/B00DQQVEB4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429476287&sr=8-1&keywords=xdr-s60

Manual is attached.

Looks good as well.

Do not get hung up of stated audio power output. Why ? Well audio power output is often over stated by manufacturers and can end up meaning little about how the unit actually sounds. A classic would be the stated PMPO (Peak Music Power Output) .... a totally meaningless specification if units and reference THD is not stated. An insensitive speaker driver needs plenty of drive to move the cone. Better quality sensitive speaker drivers need less Audio power to move the cone. This is why many home theatre enthusiasts are keen to know the sensitivity of a the speakers they use. A Integrated TV with say only 3W on a channel will drive a quality Celestion 3 speaker far better than some cheap insensitive piece of junk, The result .... the Celestion wins out in a listening trial as it is better quality and can produce more sound with less PA drive and hopefully lower THD.
As I said, please do not get hung up on power output. 1 Watt RMS is plenty in a small enclosure.There is little point in more power if it just rattles the plastic case and produces horrific THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) content !   

If you want more than around 1W RMS you should consider a larger solution such as a Quality brand Micro Hi-Fi, with half decent heavy bookshelf speakers. That will always outperform a portable radio as they are designed for different purposes.

You get what you pay for these days.

Aurora
« Last Edit: April 19, 2015, 08:45:40 pm by Aurora »
 

Offline amyk

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Re: Dab radio
« Reply #55 on: April 20, 2015, 01:22:52 am »
Looks like DAB radios are soon going to be the only thing usable in Norway:
http://radio.no/2015/04/norway-to-switch-off-fm-in-2017/
 

Offline AndyC_772

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Re: Dab radio
« Reply #56 on: April 20, 2015, 06:14:48 am »
Interesting stats in that article:

- 56 % of radio listeners use digital radio daily
- 44 % of listeners only use FM radio daily
- 20 % of private cars are equipped with DAB radio
- 55 % of all Norwegian households have at least one DAB radio.
-  7.9 million radio sets will be affected by FM-extinction. FM radios can be upgraded or recycled.

So, nearly half of radio listeners now have to fork out for at least one DAB radio, or get cut off. The vast majority of car radios will fall silent when the FM signal is switched off. And some idiot thinks it's possible to upgrade an FM radio to receive DAB.

I wonder how much money changed hands to make this happen?

Online Fraser

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Re: Dab radio
« Reply #57 on: April 20, 2015, 10:32:23 am »
I understand that these are the reasons that the UK government backed off on a Digital Radio  switch-over. Thankfully someone with a brain cell realised that many owners of cars would be seriously affected by such as many OEM car radios are custom these days. DAB converters do exist though. They receive the DAB and transmit on an FM channel to an analogue radio. Messy and not what I would want. No improvement in audio quality to be had using such a method either.

For me DAB was a passing interest. I do listen to BFBS on mine but I mainly stick to good old FM radio where a marginal signal can be coped with, unlike with DAB.

In the UK it is also worth remembering that one of the incentives for TV going digital was eventual release of RF spectrum. The 88-108MHz FM band in tiny when compared to the 470-890MHz TV band so there is less to be gained in shutting it down and selling the spectrum.

We still have MW and LW transmitters active and I sincerely hope the the VHF transmitters stay with us for many years yet. You cannot beat the convenience of throwing up an whip antenna and getting a usable signal in most parts of the UK, unlike DAB.

Aurora
« Last Edit: April 20, 2015, 12:03:28 pm by Aurora »
 

Online madires

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Re: Dab radio
« Reply #58 on: April 20, 2015, 11:21:21 am »
We got the same discussions and lobbying too. The latest idea is to switch off FM end of 2024 (already postponed one or two times ;) Fortunately a lot of radio stations don't see any benefit in DAB+ and want to stay with classic FM.
 

Offline AndyC_772

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Re: Dab radio
« Reply #59 on: April 20, 2015, 12:38:31 pm »
DAB here in the UK was badly botched from day one. In a desperate attempt to be an early adopter, our network ended up using an early standard with an inefficient codec, so audio quality for a given bit rate is awful. Coverage was patchy too, so much so that on the two occasions I actually bought a DAB radio, I took them straight back to the store days later on the grounds that I couldn't receive an adequate signal anywhere I wanted to use it.

That was all quite a few years ago now, but I suspect that in the eyes of the public - mine included - the damage had been done.

Last year I bought a car which has a DAB radio, and have been pleasantly surprised by the coverage and choice of stations. I soon settled on a favourite station (Team Rock radio) which also broadcasts an internet stream.

Last week, they announced that they're abandoning DAB and moving to an internet-only platform.

Offline cdev

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Re: Dab radio
« Reply #60 on: April 20, 2015, 02:02:35 pm »
The tiny RTL2832 USB dongles - which cost in some cases as little as $6 (which is an incredible deal considering what they can do) can receive DAB. As i understand it the easiest way if you don't want to use the software they come with is to use the osmocom drivers (  https://sdr.osmocom.org/trac/wiki/rtl-sdr and  a suite of programs you can find the link to there- also - called "SDR-J" )

There is a Windows binary which is downloadable. The antenna the little USB devices usually come with is very low quality but if you replace that antenna they perform quite well.

Just search on ebay for "RTL2832+R820T" - There are around 80,000 videos now on YouTube about them, up from 6000 just a few months ago.  So they are quite popular.
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Offline smjcuk

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Re: Dab radio
« Reply #61 on: April 20, 2015, 07:27:16 pm »
I'm still pissed at the impending death of AM broadcast in the UK, hanging on two big irreplaceable RF valves and some luck.

Now this is the first I hear FM is heading down the shitter! :(

Hopefully broadcast short wave will hang on for a bit (even if it is a bit quiet). Amateur radio must not be left to die as well.

We're replacing our entire broadcast comms systems with stuff that we can't easily build a receiver for.
 

Offline smjcuk

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Re: Dab radio
« Reply #62 on: April 21, 2015, 09:35:01 am »
I'm still pissed at the impending death of AM broadcast in the UK, hanging on two big irreplaceable RF valves and some luck.

That's a myth. The type of valves in use can actually be repaired fairly easily, even if for some reason they couldn't be replaced. Since a lot of people rely on Radio 4 LW (e.g. for the shipping forecast, or because they are too far out for FM, or because it carries religious programming that FM does not) I doubt they would just shut it down for the sake of some off-the-shelf transmission gear.

The whole thing can be traced back to a nonsense piece in the Guardian. I wouldn't worry about it.

Actually I read it in the government communications directive stuff a couple of years back whilst researching emergency radio frequencies and service provisioning. Turns out that *is* the case and they don't intend to replace it as it requires extensive expenditure to replace with a newer platform or repair it.

I suspect that it's just it makes a loss at the end of the day so they've found a convenient excuse to get rid of it.
 

Offline smjcuk

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Re: Dab radio
« Reply #63 on: April 21, 2015, 02:33:37 pm »
Currently on my phone in Tesco car park (fun!) but will dig it out when I get home later.

The R4 shipping forecast isn't that big a deal these days I understand. It's not part of the maritime emergency comms stuff apparently. You need various other RF/satellite systems for that.
 

Offline Mechanical Menace

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Re: Dab radio
« Reply #64 on: April 21, 2015, 02:53:57 pm »
The R4 shipping forecast isn't that big a deal these days I understand.

Through what I've seen even personal leisure boats use Navtex rather than the shipping broadcasts, and that seems to be getting replaced with satellite data for all but emergencies.

But I'm no sailor and radio isn't really one of my interests. TBH I'm surprised it lasted into the 90's (and was at the time), let alone to this day. Whther it's analogue or not it's a pointless technology that should have died last century, same with broadcast television.
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Offline cdev

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Re: Dab radio
« Reply #65 on: April 21, 2015, 03:00:29 pm »
The lack of available cheap and reliable upgrade options is the problem. With TV you could buy (or get for free) a cheap box. Soon all TVs had digital tuners anyway.

With radios there is no possibility of simply adding a cheap box to most set ups. You have to buy a new, expensive radio. Cars are the worst, because it's often impossible to upgrade them cleanly, and even current models don't have a DAB radio as standard.

You can add a very cheap RTL2832 USB DVB-T stick  (around $10 USD) to any fairly recent computer to receive both DAB and FM (The DAB app I know about is at http://www.sdr-j.tk/index.html. There are other DAB apps for the $10 RTL2832 sticks, but I don't know if they are still being maintained.)

The RTL2832 dongles will receive anything that will fit in any 2.5 MHz wide slice from 24-1766MHz . Search on RTL2832 on YouTube to see how much you can do. >80,000 hits.

For example, you can also receive AM and HF shortwave/amateur/SSB/CW/digital modes with some very simple add ons or a very simple hardware mod.
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Offline Hydrawerk

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Re: Dab radio
« Reply #66 on: April 21, 2015, 09:33:13 pm »
My recommendation: Sony XDR-S60DBP

http://www.sony.co.uk/electronics/radios/xdr-s60dbp#product_details_legacy_default

Well made and many happy owners.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sony-XDRS60-Compact-Retro-Digital/dp/B00DQQVEB4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429476287&sr=8-1&keywords=xdr-s60

Manual is attached.

Looks good as well.

Yes, this Sony XDRS60 is quite popular among Amazon customers. Many people have bought it. There are many videos on youtube. Have you tried this radio in person?
It has an external audio input.

Panasonic RF-D10 also has good rating, but people do not buy it much.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/PANASONIC-RF-D10-HIGH-QUALITY-PORTABLE/dp/B00KVFMNKE It has no audio input.
There is only one low-quality video available. That is strange!



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Online Fraser

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Re: Dab radio
« Reply #67 on: April 21, 2015, 10:10:39 pm »
We had the Sony DAB radio at work and it sounded just fine in the office.

As I say, that is the one I would buy but you may find something as good. Look for a nice solid case construction and a quality look to the design. Cost cutting on a case is a bad omen for the quality of electronics within.

Aurora
« Last Edit: April 28, 2015, 09:06:44 am by Aurora »
 

Offline Hydrawerk

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Re: Dab radio
« Reply #68 on: April 27, 2015, 11:20:24 pm »
I went to another city to visit a shop that offers some DAB radios. Unfortunately, that shop was located in a shopping mall with a metal roof, so I could receive only FM. I tried Sangean DDR-31+. It is nice overall and the LCD is great but...
The output volume is too low IMHO. Even at full volume setting the sound is not so much loud when compared to many basic FM radios. I don't believe that Sangean DDR-31+ has 5 Watts output.
http://www.sangean.eu/products/dab-radios/ddr-31.html
http://www.amazon.de/Sangean-DDR-31-Tischradio-Tuner-schwarz/dp/B00392HEXM
I am not sure if DDR-31+ is worth 149 Euro.


Even a 31 Euro Panasonic RF-3500E9-K is more loud.
https://www.alzashop.com/panasonic-rf-3500e9-k-black-d502310.htm 
« Last Edit: April 27, 2015, 11:24:02 pm by Hydrawerk »
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Offline Hydrawerk

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Re: Dab radio
« Reply #69 on: April 28, 2015, 04:14:47 pm »
User manual.
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Offline Hydrawerk

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Re: Dab radio
« Reply #70 on: May 03, 2015, 01:12:48 am »
It seems that many people buy the Panasonic RF-D10 in Germany.
http://www.amazon.de/Panasonic-RF-D10EG-K-DAB-Digitalradio-schwarz/dp/B00IAV917O/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
Their reviews are rather positive.
Yes, I have read about these problems with another Panasonic DAB radio from 2005. http://www.radioandtelly.co.uk/cgi-bin/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1124456121
Quote
This problem with the RFD1 is caused by failure of the internal 5V power supply. This can be repaired. The total repair cost is £37.60 including VAT.
(...)
I have a Panasonic RF-D1 – the DAB from Sansburys advertisement, it s just out of warranty and there is a problem with it .When switched on the error message F76 PDET comes up on the display and that is it – it does not do nothing else . Is this something that one could possibly repair or is it the time for me to get a new one :( ??? Regards
« Last Edit: May 03, 2015, 01:18:58 am by Hydrawerk »
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Offline Hydrawerk

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Re: Dab radio
« Reply #71 on: August 16, 2015, 06:41:40 pm »
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Offline Delta

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Re: Dab radio
« Reply #72 on: August 16, 2015, 08:19:05 pm »
It's a catch-22 isn't it? The AAC codec handles packet loss and BER far better than the MPEG standard does, not to mention much better quality at lower bit rates. But no one is willing to make the first leap which it why the UK is being left behind.

It's because we do things half heartedly. If we had made a major push for DAB and actually turned off analogue in 2015 that would free up plenty of spectrum and allow more powerful DAB broadcasts, fixing the range issue. DAB+ could probably be sold if DAB had taken off.



'fraid not old chap. FM broadcasting uses VHF band II (87.5-108 MHz), where as DAB uses band III, (around 180 - 220 MHz I think) so DAB could not utilise the spectrum currently used by FM.

FM stereo multiplexing was invented in the 50s, now many of the stations I can get on my DAB radio are in mono.  That's progress....
 
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Offline sanchaz12

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Re: Dab radio
« Reply #73 on: August 16, 2015, 08:49:08 pm »
I've got to test both the Sony XDR-S60BDP and the Panasonic RF-D10. Both of them are nice DAB+ radio's with their own pro's and cons.

First off, sound quality. The Sony didn't really convince me in terms of sound clarity, as it clearly lacked both treble and bass production. There are no settings to adjust that. The Sony sounds to me like a pocket FM-radio, but in a much bigger housing. Given the size of the unit not really the sound you would expect. The Panasonic on the other hand sounds clearer and has more power/louder output, even on batteries. There are options to change the sound by selecting a pre-defined EQ setting. 'Heavy' has the most treble and bass, and this way it sounds very rich in comparison to the Sony. A win for the Panasonic here.

In terms of design I give credit to Sony for the nice design elements they used. It combines a retro look with a modern and fresh appearance. The Panasonic does not look bad by any means, but I like the Sony better on this one.
The build quality from both is what you would expect of electronics fabricated in the last couple of years, reasonable but noticeable cost saving elements. The Sony has the best finish in my opinion, and does not look cheap at all. The only downside is the light glossy plastic housing, which seems a bit scratch sensitive. I was able to put some marks on it that wouldn't go away with my fingernails. The Panasonic uses a slightly more rugged type of plastic, and does not scratch so easily as the Sony. Or at least it is not that visible.

While using these the Sony has a more intuitive user interface, mainly because the display has four rows of text. This makes browsing channels and the menu itself very easy. The Panasonic on the other hand has just two lines, and only the lower line is used to browse channels or navigating through the menu. This way it takes a little longer to find what you are looking for, but you will get used to it.

The reception quality is equal on both units, I've never had any drops or hiccups whilst listening to DAB+ stations, but this varies from location to location of course. When pushing the reception strength to its limits (antenna not pulled out) the Panasonic manages to get a tiny bit more reception than the Sony, but this difference is too small and inconsistent to say the Panasonic has better reception.

There are some design elements that can raise questions, like the power (AC) input on the Panasonic is at the left side on the upper half of the unit, so it is very visible and it takes away the neat look. On the other hand this is made up by the fact that the Panasonic has a carrying handle that can be rotated up and down.

In the end you normally buy a radio to listen to, so the sound quality has made me choose the Panasonic over the Sony. I am very pleased with it and can highly recommend it.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2015, 09:08:52 pm by sanchaz12 »
 

Offline Hydrawerk

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Re: Dab radio
« Reply #74 on: August 17, 2015, 07:10:16 pm »
Thank you for the review.  :-+
Quote
There are some design elements that can raise questions, like the power (AC) input on the Panasonic is at the left side on the upper half of the unit, so it is very visible and it takes away the neat look.
So you can let the unit lie on back. Good for me.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2015, 07:18:01 pm by Hydrawerk »
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