Failure & Success

This entry is only being penned because the weather is so terrible. Usually only one entry a week is undertaken, and that is difficult enough with computer obstacles at every turn! This entry will be quick, dirty, trivial but reading it increases body temperature. Ummm… I think…

This blogger failed once again to install Ubuntu 12 alongside Windows XP Professional tonight. A brand new 160 gigabyte hard drive was overkill but it made no difference. Ubuntu installs, all the files are copied but after 20 minutes of installation, a media I/O error comes up every time. After three failed attempts there is no more time to spend on this at the moment. Computers? Bastards.

But with frustration there comes joy… sometimes. This week saw a bargain offer placed on a RDS-EON (Radio Data System Enhanced Other Networks) tuner. Two days later there is a very basic, yet functional tuner for less than $38 delivered by courier.

This is a three gang, single bandwidth tuner designed for the Americas and Asia with LW, MW & FM bands. The German version of the same model has five gangs, more sophisticated filter circuitry & two antenna inputs. Being equipped with only two sets of 150 kHz filters means a ‘narrow filter mod’ or a filter adder board (which is on hand as it happens) is essential to ensure that 100 kHz signals such as 99.3/99.4/99.5 can be heard without being covered in Splutter Rap.

Although the tuner has only three gangs there is a MOS FET (metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor) in the circuit according to the manual. The strong signal performance is above average. It is made in China, being a 2009 model but the guts are well-built and disassembly is a breeze. Every other tuner under ownership is made in Japan so expectations were not high.

RDS Clock & Data outputs are clearly marked on the board. This means with less than a handful of components this tuner can be connected to RDS Spy via USB or serial connection for supreme RDS performance.

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2 Responses to Failure & Success

  1. dbrmuz says:

    3-gang whatchmacallits??? Lost on me I’m afraid.

    Ubuntu is also a waste IMO.I ran it briefly alongside Windows,used it about 5 times,then junked it after it sat unloved and unwanted,taking up valuable real estate on the hard disc.

    Life is invariably far sweeter when one switches of the computer,ignores the radio,and goes outside without either of these anchors.

    • fmdxing says:

      Whilst exceptions always exist, in general terms the more gangs in an FM tuner the better.

      The number of gangs and the overall front-end architecture of a tuner directly correlates with its ability to reject spurious signals and images, and usually indicates the tuner’s ability to handle strong signals from local transmitters without overloading the front end.

      http://www.fmtunerinfo.com/

      I am with you regarding Ubuntu. I am only trialling Ubuntu because viruses are few and far between unlike ‘Doze.

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