Radio advice^

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Mark R
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Radio advice^

Post by Mark R » Sun Nov 07, 2004 4:50 pm

My old handheld radio used for listening to the Shipping Forecast on paddling trips appears to have died...at least all it says is 'hsssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss' 99% of the time. Who knows, maybe there's just nothing on.

Anyway, getting forecasts whilst out in the sticks has been a real bugbear on recent trips so...

....recommendations please.

What will do the job cheaply? What would be the best portable radio money could buy?
Mark Rainsley
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Douglas Wilcox
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radios

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:04 pm

I have used the Roberts 9962 £29 with complete sucess from islands out west of North Uist all the way down to the Solway. It gives much better reception than an equivalent Sony.


For weather forecasts while paddling, I have just bought a Durabrand 720
Image
from Asda for £2.90 which includes two batteries and earphones. It's small enough to put in a poly bag inside a BA pocket. Not waterproof but at that price it's disposable.

Douglas :o)

Chris Bolton
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Roberts 9924

Post by Chris Bolton » Sun Nov 07, 2004 8:02 pm

Like Douglas I use a Roberts., in my case the 9924. £15 from Dixons. Very compact (12cm x 7cm x 3cm). I keep it in an Aquapac and if a forecast is due it goes under the deckline, front of my BA, etc. It is FM/MW/LW - the LW being the important part, which Douglas's new machine doesn't seem to have?

It works better than many more expensive radios, probably because the the more expensive ones are built on the assumption that if you want good reception you don't want LW, so LW is just nominal. It even gets Radio 4 in Brittany.

Chris

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NickB
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Post by NickB » Mon Nov 08, 2004 9:56 am

Good inshore waters forecast on your WAP phone from wap.onlineweather.com. No need to get up at 6 am or whatever to get the shipping forecast!
Cheers
Nick Benny

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Mark R
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Post by Mark R » Tue Nov 09, 2004 11:41 pm

Cheers, Amazon had the 9962 for £25, I've ordered...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASI ... versguide/
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ChrisS
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Post by ChrisS » Wed Nov 10, 2004 3:30 pm

Tchibo have got in some radios with digital tuning (40 station memory, FM/SW/MW/LW) for £14.99. Haven't heard it, but their stuff is usually pretty good quality. Trouble is, when their stock is gone, its gone and the shelves are filled with the next consignment of fluffy slippers or pepper mills.

edit: available online http://www.tchibo.co.uk/is-bin/INTERSHO ... KU=0004108

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Mark R
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Post by Mark R » Sun Jul 01, 2007 10:28 pm

Just thought I'd dig this out. My Roberts R9962 was one of my favourite bits of kit, thanks for the recommendation, Douglas. It kept me company through many lone days and evenings in my tent.

HOWEVER it became the only casualty of the Great Scilly Storm when it got soaking wet. I sat up for several evenings trying to bash life back into the thing, but sadly it was well and truly dead.

Today ... I have just received a replacement, a present from Mrs R. Long may it keep me company, a great bit of kit.
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Douglas Wilcox
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Post by Douglas Wilcox » Mon Jul 02, 2007 8:48 am

Hello Mark, sorry to hear about your Robert's watery demise.

On our recent Jura trip, I thought I had been outgadgetted by Tony who produced a fancy new box that apparrantly had digital, mp3, fm and goodsess what else hidden within its sleek satin shell. Unfortunately it did not have MW or LW which were the only broadcasts that could be picked up on Jura's wild west!

Glad you got a replacement.

Douglas :o)

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Re: Radio advice

Post by RoryD » Mon Jun 08, 2009 10:34 pm

Having read here of the reliability of LW over FM reception for forecasts, I took a larger Sony radio that had LW on a recent trip up the E side of the Uists. At no overnight stop however did I manage to find Radio 4 LW reception - whereas FM was entirely reliable (for Iain Anderson's show as well as the 0048 inshore forecast !) - even where there was no handheld VHF contact nor mobile reception. On that basis I think I'll revert to my smaller wind-up FM/MW radio for future trips.

Any thoughts on why I failed to find R4 LW reception ? I also failed to locate Radio 3 on FM for the alleged 05.35 morning inshore forecast - any thoughts on that too ?

Patchy mobile reception aside, the best option I found was to have texts sent from home each morning giving the inshore forecast from the computer, as this was more up to date than the 0048 FM and gave the outlook for the next 24hrs too. I'm fortunate though in having a daughter who was happy to provide this service before school in return for for some additional phone credit!

- Rory

PS It was a fantastic trip not least for the range of wildlife (incl. sea eagles, otters, white-sided dolphins, heronries in addition to the usual seals & sea birds) - and for the range of sea conditions (we spent several afternoons waiting - fortunately in the sun - for wind to abate/tide to turn).

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Jim
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Re: Radio advice

Post by Jim » Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:43 am

FM seems to be much louder and clearer when you get it, but doesn't do all the daytime forecasts (I see you were looking for 0535 on R3 - I didn't know they have it, only that R4 usually skip that on FM). FM is fairly short range and greatly affected by line of sight, when you have it, it's fantastic but when you lose it, it goes completely.

Long wave is much longer range (few UK stations left but you can listen to them from all over the world) and seems to bounce around objects better, the problem is that it is often loaded with noise so can be tricky to tune in, or just downright annoying to listen to. Part of the problem is that you need to turn it up loud and get used to moving the tuning dial very very slowly because the band in which you can find radio 4 is quite narrow and easily missed, especially when there is a lot of noise. Also it can help to move around and roatate the radio (the aerial is most likely internal for AM). I suspect 90% it's just not being used to finding stations on LW, it's a black art which is getting rapidly unlearned now that most people use digital tuners for almost everything. Once you find the station, you usually then need to turn the volume down and continue fine tuning to get the optimum balance between crackle and broadcast. You will also find the reception quality varies in cycles and as people walk past you, and of course it is affected by sunspots like in the good old days (or so I'm told).

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CaptainSensible
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Re: Radio advice

Post by CaptainSensible » Tue Jun 09, 2009 7:03 am

Best portable radio money can buy is probably one of these (£160 though):

Image

My family has bought one for my father for father's day (late birthday present) and it is fabulous (tempted to buy one for myself). Compared to the other portables in the house, the reception is bulletproof.

It is a probably a bit heavy/bulky to pack in a sea kayak, but the sound quality is fantastic and it would make a great campsite/beach radio. It is quite rugged (not waterproof, but splash/weatherproof); has an aux input if you want to plug your mp3 player into it, and the battery will last for almost 16 hours if you don't turn the volume up to silly levels.

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Wenley
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Degen DE1123 FM/AM/SW pocket radio

Post by Wenley » Tue Jun 09, 2009 10:41 am

Hello,

What I use for good FM/AM/SW reception is the DEGEN DE1123 pocket radio. It has extraordinary SW range, and often is sold with a SW loop antenna by Chinese retailers in ebay.

It looks as the last thing in quality Chinese pocket SW portable radios: USB plug, built-in 1G flash memory and battery charger. It is small and very slim: merely 4.3 x 0.5 x 2.7 inches; and allows for recording broadcasts as MP3 and WMA files, so nothing is missed from the weather forecast.
http://www.onkayaks.squarespace.com/
The weather is like the government, always in the wrong.

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geyrfugl
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Re: Radio advice^

Post by geyrfugl » Wed Jun 17, 2009 11:27 pm

It was saying on radio 4 yesterday that all analogue radio will be phased out soon - 2015 if I remember. Presumably digital radio is all line of sight - or is it broadcast by satellite ? The latter would be good for weather forecasts in remote places, as long as you didn't need a dish aerial bigger than your hatches ...

Andy

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Mark Gawler
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Re: Radio advice^

Post by Mark Gawler » Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:23 am

Wenley wrote:It was saying on radio 4 yesterday that all analogue radio will be phased out soon - 2015 if I remember.
Yes 2015 is the date , but it only applies to AM/FM which will be handed over to local services.
Wenley wrote:Presumably digital radio is all line of sight - or is it broadcast by satellite ?
I don't think it is line of sight, but in poor reception areas (my house) the signal becomes unusable very rapidly.

Satellite radio is something different again, I get the feeling a portable satellite radio would eat batteries.
Mark Gawler

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CaptainSensible
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Re: Radio advice^

Post by CaptainSensible » Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:44 am

I wouldn't be surprised if analogue radio sticks around for longer than expected; digital coverage isn't very good at the moment, and 'they' are undermining the selling point of digital radio by forcing too many broadcasters to use low bit-rates (a good FM signal still sounds better than a low bit-rate digital one; ask any Radio 3 fan).

Internet radio is one possible solution, but that would rely on cheap & widespread/prioritised GPRS coverage.

(wouldn't non-GSM/satellite radio cost a fortune?)

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