Long Aerials…

Well I think that the short (stubby) aerial looks like a witches t*t or an amputated limb. The whippy OEM aerial will have been designed to work effectively with both DAB and FM transmissions in the most geographical areas. To be honest I quite frankly hate DAB and find the sound quality on FM far better. Yes, it may suffer from interference rarely but it just sounds better. Call me a luddite, but I much prefer the sound of the FM tuner making up part of my separates Hi Fi system than the modern DAB radio that I have. I am with the OP on this one :grinning:

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Well yes…also works as a back-up speed indicator! I try to get mine to lay back onto the boot lid :grimacing:

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A plain simple DAB quarter-wave whip antenna for somewhere in Band III will typically be between half and a third of the length of an FM one for the best tuning. However I doubt if you’ll ever see one!
Lots of clever tricks can be used to adjust aerial length, shape and size and still pick up a good strong signal.
This thread mentions the old CB aerials, do you remember the flexy spring on the base?
That spring was actually a loading coil, and it cut down the physical length a lot while preserving the carefully tuned electrical quarter wave!
Stubbies use a similar idea, and a well designed one correctly applied can be brilliant, whereas a lookalike rip-off might be useless.

But why bother with DAB?
I was a guinea-pig listener in early pre-public DAB trials thirty years ago and I could always tell the difference between it and FM regardless of how much the FM was degraded or what quality speakers and amplifiers were used.
But that is because I had been working with top quality pro-audio for decades and my ears were still full bandwidth.
I can still tell within fractions of a second on some broadcasts, despite old-age hearing limitations. But I’ll not spoil your listening experience by pointing out the all-too obvious defects to listen for!
Many people seem to instinctively prefer FM even if they don’t realise why.
A lot of countries in the world have actually given up on old DAB and not taken up the much improved DAB+. Several common reasons are mentioned.

The Wiki DAB article seems reasonably well balanced with all the pros and cons. It’s a bit stodgy for the non-technical among us but I didn’t notice any significant errors. If you bother to read it feel free to skip the boring bits to find the nuggets you might be interested in!

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In a convertible , top down , with a fairly noisy power train I confess I lose no sleep over the apparent difference between DAB and FM . As for stubby aerials, I noticed no difference in sound or reception after the long aerial other than the fact I was less likely to poke my eye . I listen to a lot of music on my my home system , which was a rather embarrassing amount, and quality is important . In an MX5 …well ,not so much . Is FM the new vinyl ? I must be behind the curve.

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I think you have hit ‘gold’ there.
:heart:

The only music I ever listen to in my NB is the beautiful noise coming out of the exhaust.

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Do I need to change my 8 track??? Some of you may need a grown up to explain that one :joy:

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I fixed a few of those during lunch breaks back in the 1970s.
Either the solenoid had broken one of its leads or the drive belt was perished (cooked).
The usual design could not cope with car vibration and heat.

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I still have some 8 track tapes and some quadraphonic 8 track tapes as well. Sadly all my players seem to have disappeared.
These youngans know nowt, them wt days!!
:heart:

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There’s still an online demand for Barry White’s Greatest Hits if you want to cash in :+1:

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I had a 5-inch reel-to-reel tape recorder under the seat of my mk1 Cortina. Hooked up in glorious mono to a mighty 6-inch elliptical speaker cut into the rear parcel shelf. 5 watts of wobbly lo-fi magnificence. Changing tapes was a bit of a faff though. Until I upgraded to one of those new-fangled cassette players. :laughing:

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I worked for Motorola back in the early 70s servicing car radios & 8-Track players. The 8-track machines were a terrible design with tape slip a common problem due to the capstan drive plus heat & vibration.
The real challenge was re-threading a 1/4 " tape back into the cartridge case after it got pulled out by the failing deck
Very quickly superseded by cassette decks thankfully.

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I always resorted to cutting the tape and using sealotape to rejoin the two ends once it was all back together. How times have changed!
:heart:

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Early car cassettes were almost equally bad with the auto-reverse being unreliable, but the worst tape drives of the lot were the Microdrives on the Sinclair QL
“Anyone? Anyone?”

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Curiously, FM radio was not the best perceived quality audio publicly broadcast over an “analogue” system.
Subjectively, NICAM 728 stereo in the old analogue UK 625line TV was by far the best audio broadcast the uneducated ears of the public could listen to for simple technical quality, low noise, low distortion, best bandwidth, etc. Of course it was not up to uncompressed CD quality.

I knew how NICAM worked and what defects to listen for, but I still preferred it to plain old analogue FM, which in turn I very much preferred to the original UK DAB.
Fortunately, the new DAB+ is almost acceptable (if given enough bitrate by the penny pinchers), and at last it’s spreading across the UK.

The 728 referred to the Kilobits of data bandwidth in a Near Instantaneous Companded Audio Multiplex and relied on our ears only having something like a 40db instantaneous dynamic range although their absolute range is more like 120dB.

Compared with modern tightly squeezed systems, there was minimal compression, loss and inter-mod in NICAM 728, it being mostly a sliding scale centred on where the active loudness window was.

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During a normal work day I came across a guy’s double garage full of audio equipment, amps and speakers and I asked him if he was a musician. He said he wasn’t, he had worked for the BBC at the time they went digital and saved all the studio kit from the skip. He put on a vinyl LP and we sat there listening to the “warm” sound.

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Took my aerial for a spin round Llandow last weekend, photo Tony Smith :wink:

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Radio Controlled Racing…

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