Saturday, March 28, 2009

HD Radio Update

Not too much to say...

--->HD FM is as great as ever here,
with some good 2nd channels,
and a really nice NPR station
that has classical / NPR / BBC audio
usually, on 3 chaanels for one.

No peculiar interference noticed at all.
Of course the non-HD radios have decent
IC front ends, from the $10 Sony Pocket AM/FM
to the $15 Radio Shack AM/FM and the
amazing Sony ICF-38 AM/FM ($25).

---> HD AM: I still get 1010 WNDS NYNY
with 1030 WBZ Boston booming its HD, maybe
a few minutes later into sundown before
it becomes clear. As for getting the WBZ HD
lock, that comes and goes, and when the extra
fidelity kicks in, it's kind of un-nerving...
..the people all sound different.
HD AM is a definite non-event. They should have
used the extra information for extra range.. THAT would be fantastic, and actually
revive AM. As it is, the noise around home and
office is so bad it limits AM's use. I love getting
information, though. Bloomberg 1130 is fantastic
to tune at night to make sense of this recession.

How to tune a cheap pocket radio

If you are not familiar with fine-tuning
a cheaper radio, here is the
"finger-tweezers" technique:

---press your thumb and forefinger together
as though you were pinching or making

--put the thumb on the radio case and the
finger on the tuning wheel

--as you roll your thumb and finger
together and apart, you can tune
tiny increments of the dial

---that's it, a fine-tuning mechanism for
little analog radios

The Radio Shack AM/FM Pocket radio

I bought the Radio Shack Model 12-467 radio
on sale for 9.99 (usually 14.99, I hope this
wasn't a clearance), and it is a great deal.

--sensitivity is very good
--selectivity very good
--the sound is clear and loud on speaker
--and headphone sound is excellent, with
good bass

Compared to Sony's pocket radio (hailed below),

--the tuning isn't quite as smooth (but still good)

--not quite as sensitive

--a bit more noise-immune

--the headphone drive is proper!!
(drives mono signal across both left and right)

--the headphone level is workable
(has to have a headphone attenuator in the Sony)

--the power supply is slightly odd
(3xAA, instead of 2 AAs)

The build quality and solidness is up there
with the Sony. The size is almost the same
(a bit clunky for a shirt-pocket).

This is a great little radio, if you happen by
a Radio Shack.