Best Car Radios?

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
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  • #19777
    shipwreck
    Participant

    I wonder what you use and/or recommend, especially those with CD and MP3 capability.

    #19778
    mike_kolb
    Participant

    Beats me… but the best AM DX’ing ever I ever did was with a 12v battery hooked-up to an old Delco tube car radio out of a ’59 Chevy pickup! Miss that radio.

    #19779
    paulwalker
    Participant

    My Dad had a Philco Ford radio in his 1970 LTD Station Wagon. That thing sounded sweet! I don’t think it even had FM.

    There was another tread on PDX on this years ago…

    #19782
    Alfredo_T
    Participant

    The ironic thing about those really sensitive old AM car radios, either tube or solid state, was that the circuitry was extremely simple. There was one RF amplifier stage, a converter, and one IF amplifier stage (typically operating around 262 kHz). The designers really squeezed as much gain as they could out of the amplifying stages, and they really optimized how the radio signals are transferred from the antenna to the RF amplifier (the latter became impossible to do once digital tuning came on the scene).

    To the question at hand, what aspects of the radio’s performance are important to you? What kind of listening do you intend to do (for instance, do you intend to use this radio for DX)?

    #19783
    paulwalker
    Participant

    I just bought a 2016 Toyota, and was surprised they still carry a CD player. Then again, this is probably a demographics thing as the model I bought tends to attract those in my baby boomer generation, who still embrace that tech.

    #19784
    shipwreck
    Participant

    Mostly I want something that has fair selectivity and sensitivity, for listening on the highway or in town, on both bands. I’ve heard a bunch that are good at FM, but their AM is really crappy.

    #19813
    missing_kskd
    Participant

    Totally. There is an amazing number of flat out BAD AM capable radios out there.

    Broadcasters should be speaking to that. A very large number of people have no idea what AM actually delivers to them.

    On the upside, my daughter has a new scion, HD equipped. That one is great on analog or HD FM. It’s AM is crappy, but not bottom barrel.

    Has inputs for mobile and a competent EQ.

    I would keep it. (Not much on AM for me, buy some DX fun at present)

    #19817
    skeptical
    Participant

    A ’15 econo Nissan I rented had a CD player and decent sound. It dropped most PDX FM stations before I got to Salem. Didn’t even try AM. Oh, 15 CDs isn’t enough for a 2500 mile trip! 🙂

    #19818
    Brianl
    Participant

    Weird. I bought a brand new Jeep in December, and was surprised that it did NOT have a CD player. No worry though, as I listen to a lot of Sirius/XM, and I get good reception on AM from well outside of town (way better than my Bimmer had, for sure).

    #19821
    Alfredo_T
    Participant

    Last summer, I drove a rental Dodge Charger. This unit had adaptable bandwidth on AM–though I was not able to figure out whether it relied on the strength of the station being received or on the strengths of the adjacent channel stations to set the bandwidth. This unit did NOT have a CD player. I am not sure whether Dodge had stopped offering CD players or if this is a line of radios produced for the rental car market (to avoid headaches with customers getting their CDs stuck in the units).

    I assume, however, that you are looking for an aftermarket radio. As much as I like nicely performing radios, I wouldn’t make a car buying decision based on the radio’s performance.

    #19828
    skeptical
    Participant

    re: rented Dodge Charger.

    Was it the 707HP Hellcat? 🙂

    #19829
    Alfredo_T
    Participant

    No, it was not the Hellcat. I’m pretty sure that the engine was a V6:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodge_Charger_(LX)#Engines_2

    #19842
    Andy Brown
    Participant

    “whether it relied on the strength of the station being received or on the strengths of the adjacent channel stations to set the bandwidth.”

    More than likely, it uses a comparator circuit.

    Something similar to this, perhaps.

    http://www.google.co.ve/patents/US6957054?cl=en

    #19856
    Alfredo_T
    Participant

    The patent was an interesting read. They may be using that type of a noise profiling approach. What I found really interesting was to search through all of the referenced patents. One of the patents was for Blaupunkt’s Sharx DSP based adaptive bandwidth radios, which were marketed in the early 2000s. Sharx only worked on FM, and I assumed that Blaupunkt used a fixed AM bandwidth because “nobody cares about AM.” However, the real reason might have been that Blaupunkt’s engineers feared that they would be infringing on earlier patents if they made this feature available for AM.

    One of the AM bandiwdth schemes described in these patents was really slick–stations would broadcast an identification code to receivers, suggesting what receive bandwidth to use (the idea was that different stations might be transmitting different bandwidths, or even individual programs would have their own unique bandwidth requirements). The receiver would use this, along with signal strength and received signal quality to pick the correct receive bandwidth. This was conceived in a world before Digital Radio Mondiale and DAB; of course, we all know which way things went.

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