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Can I receive commercial radio where I live?

Discussion in 'Audio Visual' started by ericmark, 16 Nov 2019.

  1. ericmark

    ericmark

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    Location:
    Llanfair Caereinion, Nr Welshpool
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    I now live in Llanfair Caereinion, the coverage map seems to show I have very little chance of getting a standard broadcast receiver to work, some where I have a world wide receiver complete with a beat frequency oscillator, which may work, but I want radio 4 or radio 2 not some obscure transmission, MW and FM both seem to have nothing. radio coverage.jpg
    I don't want to be powering a monitor or TV to just listen to radio, yes I can get Radio 4 on my PC, but that's same as using TV I have a screen powered up and running.

    So what are my options? I have considered cutting a bit of 300Ω ribbon cable and making a slim jim or J beam, but I can't remember how to tune them in and with no signal to start with it would need to be right first cut, can't trim it in as don't know if I even have a signal.

    So any ideas? I have passed my RAE so have a back ground knowledge of radio, but not sure how to get any radios to work when starting with no signal?
     
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  3. Mottie

    Mottie

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    Doesn’t your PC have an on/off switch on the monitor? Get an amazon Echo dot then. £35 at the moment and then just say “Alexa, play BBC radio 2” or whatever station in the world you want to listen to. Or play radio on a smart phone if you have one? Plenty of simple options to listen to radio over the internet without running a monitor. That is, if you are looking for simplicity.
     
    Last edited: 16 Nov 2019
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  4. Lucid

    Lucid

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    You seem to want to do everything the hard way. Why? We've already had this discussion, or at least something on very similar lines. Did you forget?

    Where you have TV reception then you can also get the main radio stations as sidebands to DVB-T and DVB-S transmissions. R2 and R4 are certainly available.

    A satellite receiver or Freeview box can be switched on and the channel keying done to select a radio station without the need for a TV to be on. A front panel display is helpful but not essential.

    For example, if I want Radio 4 from Sky+/Sky+HD then the button sequence is: SKY-0-1-0-4

    It really is that simple.

    I know you had satellite gear from your last place, so I am a little surprised you never tried this.

    As @Motman said, those channels are also available via the Internet.

    If this thread is really just an excuse to show off that you have some knowledge about making radio aerials, then at least be honest about it. There's no shame in saying "I know I can get radio channels from other sources, but I quite fancy having a go at making an aerial." Then you can ask advice without the pretence of reception difficulties.

    Every time I have installed an FM aerial, it has always been either a 3-element trained on the main NW transmitter at Winter Hill, or a dipole for general 360-degree reception. Is your TV still coming from Moel-y-parc or are you now aligned to a relay transmitter?
     
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  5. winston1

    winston1

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    I don't think there is anywhere in the UK where you can't get Radio 4 on long wave. Have you tried that?
     
  6. mattylad

    mattylad

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    Just stick up a long wire and use an old valve receiver, whatever you pick up will be OK. :)
     
  7. ericmark

    ericmark

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    Thanks the amazon Echo dot seems the way to go, I was going to simply connect the Sky Q box to the audio unit, but found no SCART or Phono outlet on Sky Q so idea did not work out.

    I have tried to get Miss Piggy (Moel-y-parc) but not hearing a thing, I am told 70 cm at Newtown but can't get that either, TV seems to be reduced service so assume some repeater some where likely Welshpool, the only radio I can get seems to be the local heritage railway station, no VHF or UHF except for railway and some freeview channels.

    I don't think any change of Winter Hill from here, did hope Shrewsbury but nothing heard.

    I had just given up, but wife complaining, so amazon Echo or Nest/Google may be better? should with any look also control lights and heating, I have Energenie and Nest for heating and lights, so seems a good option for Christmas present!
     
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  9. Lucid

    Lucid

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    Freeview Light from the Long Mountain transmitter near Welshpool carries BBC R2 and R4, channels 702 and 704 respectively.

    Sky Q main- and mini-boxes have Optical outputs. It is possible to hook up an Optical to Stereo RCA convertor, powered from the Sky box USB output. These are available with all the necessary cables from just £5, and that includes delivery. For an example, see ebay listing 113900541112

    amazon has started its Black Friday deals. The Echo Dot is down from £49 to just under £23. That's a very good deal, so be quick if you want one. You'll need to buy a 3.5mm stereo jack to stereo RCA cable to go with it. You'll also need an amazon account if you haven't already got one, and the amazon app on some or other smart device such as a phone or tablet for setting it up. The amazon account is simply registering online, so it costs nothing. However, if you have a Prime account then you'll get more privileges.


    If this or any other reply was helpful to you, then please do the decent thing and click the T-H-A-N-K-S button. It appears when you hover the mouse pointer near the Quote Multi-quote buttons. This is the proper way to show your thanks for the time and help someone gave you.
     
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  10. ericmark

    ericmark

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    I have got 3 Nest mini's and a chrome cast I hope that will satisfy my wife, Since already have Nest and MiHome it seemed best option, remaining in packet until Christmas. I have also ordered one of those RCA converters, cheap enough so may as well give it a go.
     
  11. ericmark

    ericmark

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    Not sure even that will work today, I remember as a lad not valve but did have short wave, I would tune around and listen to all sorts radio hams, radio Luxembourg, (Dissolved 30 December 1992) and many others, but today it needs a beat frequency oscillator to listen to many stations, as they are side band, and we have got use to good quality radio, often stereo, my days of listening to Radio Caroline on 199 (although not sure if that was really the frequency?) stopped when it disappeared, and when the law changed and we got commercial radio the whole idea of a radio station at sea ended.

    But poor quality radio is all well and good to say hello to friend on the Falklands, even if they do sound like Donald Duck, but for day to day listening I want reasonable quality, SW, MW, and LW are just not good enough quality for music.
     
  12. winston1

    winston1

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    It wasn’t, it was the wavelength (approx), they were actually on 197.5m but that doesn’t rhyme with Caroline.
     
  13. mattylad

    mattylad

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    BFO? heck your old.... lol
    Radios these days have USB/LSB switches.
    However there are plenty of commercial stations still using AM and can be picked up using the washing line disguised aerial. :)
     
  14. ericmark

    ericmark

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    Arrived today, thanks, works OK, now have old audio unit set up with large speakers so without TV on we can listen to radio. OK need to remember the code, but it works.

    As far as I am aware the BFO is still required today, side band is still used? Been a long time since I have used the old sets, have two 290's one Icom one Yeasu both will work VHF side band, but not used for 40 years, also a HF receiver with BFO.

    I am only 68 so not that old, remember the transistor set coming out and it replaced out Ultra valve portable radio [​IMG] great improvement the batteries did not last long in those old sets. Loop aerial built into the rear door where you fitted the two batteries, think one was 7.5 volt the other 95 volt. But most of the time plugged into mains.

    Come summer I may try a long wire aerial, but now at least got commercial stations, never was much of a short wave listener, I liked to talk back.
     
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