Thread: Cheap HD radio
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Old 28-Nov-2019, 4:44 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by stvcmty View Post
I found a way to easily put together a HD radio for home.

On ebay, there are at least two sellers selling Visteon HD Jump Radio’s for $22 to $24 with car kits, free shipping. On the listing page, the sellers say they do not have any home kits available. Fortunately it is very easy to use a car kit with an antenna at home. The car kit uses 1/8” jacks for antenna connections and includes adapters to standard car antenna connectors. An adapter for an F female to a 1/8” mono male is about $3 with shipping. By adding a 12V power supply, a HD radio tuner can be added to a home stereo.

HD radio does not seem to be going anywhere, but in some markets there are HD2 and HD3 stations that may be worth listening to. For me, when using a FM6 pointed at Baltimore, I get HD locks on the local Baltimore HD stations. There is nothing compelling enough to make me spend $50+ for a HD radio, but by putting one together for $25 makes the available content seem worth giving a chance.
Hi stvcmty,

From my own experiences with H.D. radio (I first got into it late last year), I must respectfully rebut your argument that H.D. radio does not seem to be going anywhere. As a matter of fact, there are two radio stations near where I live that seem to be embracing H.D. technology: one has recently added a simulcast of its sister A.M. station on its recently-activated HD3 subchannel, while the other recently started broadcasting in HD, starting with one subchannel before adding a second and then two more. It seems like (at least in my area) HD radio is picking up speed, which is good news.

I agree with your point about car radios. Although there are manufacturers that make home HD radios - I have a bunch of Sangeans and a SPARC (Grace Digital) - it seems like the car radio people offer more choices, particularly when it comes to styles (e.g. a simple button-and-knob interface or a full-color touchscreen). I have also read that it is fairly easy to connect a car radio's antenna input to a standard F.M. outdoor antenna, so reception shouldn't be much of an issue with the car radios either.

As for the power supply, there are a whole bunch of 12V models available through distributors such as Digi-Key (I use them all the time) that can easily fit inside a standard electrical junction box, so I think it would be pretty easy to mount the radio to the wall of, say, the kitchen, power it using a 12V power supply tucked into a nearby electrical box, and then maybe even drive speakers directly using the radio if it has a built-in power amplifier (which some do).

Either way, I think the future of HD radio is bright, although I believe it will drastically improve once the analog signals (that limit the digital power) are switched off at some point in (hopefully the near) future.

Thanks for the ideas!
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