Date: Sat, 04 Nov 00 18:49:10 GMT
From: (Andrew Stephenson)
Subject: Re: Car Audio

In article <> "Michael Hargreave Mawson" writes: > [...] Everyone has been telling me that my car stereo > sucks dead rats through a straw, so I went out yesterday and bought a > reconditioned Philips R682 Radio-Cassette with RDS. I have a high > regard for Philips, and strongly doubt whether this unit is going to > suffer from poor build or sound quality - does anyone have one already? > What do you think of it? Years ago, Philips was a safe bet when it came to quality. Dull, maybe, but solid. In the past ten years, they have had terrible financial problems, IIRC, failing to thrive in several markets, such as computers and kitchen gadgets. I have owned a couple of their car radios, though not recently, and found them okay. (The microwave I have is one of the best I have seen anywhere and was one of their ordinary, everyday models -- no longer made AFAICT.) The RDS aspect is probably the best part of the package. AFAIK, this service is not well developed outside Europe, or at least not in North America, so our NA readers may not know what we are talking about. I hope the following is not a case of teaching granny how to fit new spark plugs and change the oil... "RDS" == "Radio Data System". The VHF/FM radio signal carries extra data, which an RDS receiver can pick out. Most commonly used is the 8-character signal identity, typically a station's code name (eg: "Classic " for Classic FM). If the signal is distributed by many transmitters, as you move through different coverage areas your receiver will seek out each new transmitter signal in turn and switch to it when the current one fades out. Other data includes emergency traffic reports, that can over-ride (temporarily) the station you are tuned to, and the programme category (news, current affairs, classics, pop, etc). > This is all very strange to me - I remember when even having a > MW/LW car radio was considered rather flashy... Heck, I can remember when car radios used valves and had a power pack with a buzzing vibrator unit to boost the volts. No, those were not the Good Old Days. (Interesting, yes, and full of new and exciting ideas and promise for the future but frustrating as all get-out at times, like when the newfangled transistor radios overheated, due merely to sunshine, and stopped working until the temperature fell again.) -- Andrew Stephenson

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