Came as a stock item

So, I wore out another car and it was time to get a new one. Unexpectedly, the new car came with one of these fancy gizmos:

HD Radio as a stock item
HD Radio as a stock item

This is not the first HD radio I have owned, the Jeep Cherokee had one that I install myself. This is the first time it came with the car and I didn’t even mention it to the sales guy.

A few observations:

  • Many stations’ HD1 channels don’t sound very good, they are either shrill and tinny, or not synced with their analog counterpart.
  • There still aren’t very many station transmitting HD Radio; FM stations are either NPR affiliates or belong to a few larger corporate owners.  The AM stations are few and far between.
  • AM HD Radio still has numerous problems in the mobile listening environment.
  • Many of the HD 2/3 don’t sound very good; low audio levels, muffled modulation, low bit rate audio, etc.  The only exception that I have found so far is Vermont Public Radio’s classical format, transmitted on the HD2 of WVPS, Burlington.
  • HD2/3 channels mainly serve as “translator loophole” stations, AKA “Metro Stations”

As far as the new ownership by DTS goes; I will reserve judgement until they do something with it.

The Gates Air Flexiva 1

We just finished installing one of these units for one of our clients. This is the third one that I have dealt with in the last two years. I have to say, these transmitters are pretty cool.

Gate Air, Flexiva 1 running at 990 watts
Gate Air, Flexiva 1 running at 990 watts

We also installed a 7/8 transfer switch and a 1.5 KW test load:

New installation of transmitter, transfer switch and test load
New installation of transmitter, transfer switch and test load

Another view:

Transmitter installation
Transmitter installation

New transmitter rack, processor and remote control:

New transmitter installation
New transmitter installation

The former main transmitter, the venerable BE FM1B:

Broadcast Electronics FM1B transmitter
Broadcast Electronics FM1B transmitter

View of the 7/8 inch coax going out of the transmitter room to the tower:

Coax out to tower
Coax out to tower

Rarely, if ever, have I worked with 7/8 rigid transmission line. Usually, it is 1 5/8 or 3 inch line, which require some amount of patience when installing.

Nice little transmitter site upgrade project.