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Thread: Economical radio option

  1. #1
    Newbie BenKenobi's Avatar
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    Economical radio option

    Is there a more economical way to get radio on my carpc that goes to centrafuse than using the HQCT ($160??)

    I can't believe that this would be the only way and i find the price outrageous. I know the radioshark is an option, but it has reception issues and doesn't go into centrafuse.

    PS, I'm using my original headunit with an AUX-in. Is there a way to tap into this radio ??

  2. #2
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    VegasGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenKenobi View Post
    Is there a more economical way to get radio on my carpc that goes to centrafuse than using the HQCT ($160??)

    I can't believe that this would be the only way and i find the price outrageous. I know the radioshark is an option, but it has reception issues and doesn't go into centrafuse.

    PS, I'm using my original headunit with an AUX-in. Is there a way to tap into this radio ??
    As you've surmised, most, if not all of the inexpensive radio options provide mediocre performance (at best). Visteon, Directed and of course BoomBoxHD are the most reliable and probably best integrated solutions for Centrafuse. Silabs is another that some have had success with. Just figure on $100+ to get quality radio reception and PC tuner capability.

    VegasGuy

  3. #3
    The Last Good Gremlin GizmoQ's Avatar
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    I also just realized alot depends on where you are and what you want.

    If you live in a big city with a large radio market, HD is probably the way to go.(Visteon, Directed, BoomzBox - in order of preference) If your radio choices are more limited, i.e., rural or small town, you'd probably be better off with an RDS radio. (Silabs, ADS, other, then radioshark - in order of preference).

    What's the difference, you ask. HD radio was supposed to be the next evolutionary step after RDS. However its currently a separate thread, i.e., HD radios don't do RDS and vice versa. (Correction:The Visteon and Directed have both, but both are out of production)

    So if you're like me with a Boomzbox, and live in a big city, HD channels sound phenomenal and populates your label with song title, artist, and sometimes album. But as soon as you get out into the countryside and small towns, your labels go blank and sound quality drop considerably. I spend quite a bit of my time lately in a small college town. They have one HD station (the college), but the rest all transmit RDS.

    RDS, on the other hand, requires you figure out the absolute best antenna setup for your vehicle. Took me almost three years for my three vehicles. Once you've beat the reception issue, some RDS radios populate labels faster than others, but 90% of the radio stations, city or rural, broadcast some RDS data. (Evidently, the FCC doesn't enforce the RDS standard so you get whatever they give you.) Unfortunately, most USB RDS radios don't do AM. So your labels are populated in the city and on the road, wherever you may be.

    So bottom line, where do you live; where do you listen to FM radio most; how much time, money, and effort are you willing to invest; and what trade-offs are you willing to accept?

    P.S. I stand corrected. There is one headunit coming that does both, but it won't be available until 3Q2010.
    HARDWARE: Fujitsu Stylistic ST5111w/WiFi and dock, internal Hitachi 500G HD, external 1TB HD, Sierra Wireless Aircard 550, DVD-RW, BoomzBox HD radio, XM Commander, Delorme GPS, Saitek X-52 Pro joystick, BluSoleil Bluetooth, TPMS, FB, Elm327

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    VegasGuy's Avatar
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    GizmoQ:

    You might want to double check that. I get RDS on all my local stations with a Visteon HDZ300 in addition to the HD info. I'm pretty sure all those radios mentioned will do both.

    VegasGuy55

  5. #5
    Newbie BenKenobi's Avatar
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    Honestly, all I want is a non-staticy radio, I could care less if it it's HD or not.

    The silabs looks nice but after some more digging I found this one and people seem to be having decent success with it once they solder the stock antennae to it

    http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/cent...adio-work.html

    And if it doesn't work, its only $23 shipped.

    I'm not in the position to drop almost $200 dollars for a radio. Doing that would just make the carPC unviable considering I can buy an ipod to headunit cord for less than 30 dollars and a good standalone GPS unit for 250.

    It just is kind of frustrating when I realize that since I still have my original headunit, the radio that I have been using since I got the car still exists within my car and it would be nice if the car pc could use this radio. But I see why it cannot.

    Anyways, thanks for your suggestions, I think I'm going with the one in the above thread for now, and if that doesn't work out, I'll probably go radioless until a better, more price effective solution arises.

  6. #6
    The Last Good Gremlin GizmoQ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VegasGuy View Post
    GizmoQ:

    You might want to double check that. I get RDS on all my local stations with a Visteon HDZ300 in addition to the HD info. I'm pretty sure all those radios mentioned will do both.

    VegasGuy55
    Oooppss, you're right, both Directed and Visteon have both. Boomzbox doesn't.
    HARDWARE: Fujitsu Stylistic ST5111w/WiFi and dock, internal Hitachi 500G HD, external 1TB HD, Sierra Wireless Aircard 550, DVD-RW, BoomzBox HD radio, XM Commander, Delorme GPS, Saitek X-52 Pro joystick, BluSoleil Bluetooth, TPMS, FB, Elm327

  7. #7
    Newbie BenKenobi's Avatar
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    PS GizmoQ I noticed in your signature you have a Silabs, so I'm inferring that you hacked it open and soldered it to your stock car antenna?

  8. #8
    The Last Good Gremlin GizmoQ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenKenobi View Post
    PS GizmoQ I noticed in your signature you have a Silabs, so I'm inferring that you hacked it open and soldered it to your stock car antenna?
    Yes, I have a Silabs in my vert, and Boomzbox in my Caddy. It took me a while to find just the right shielded cable to solder to the Silabs board to interface it with my existing headunit and antennae. I ended up replacing the old antenna with a powered higain one and it works well with the Silabs.

    It is about time I updated my sig.
    HARDWARE: Fujitsu Stylistic ST5111w/WiFi and dock, internal Hitachi 500G HD, external 1TB HD, Sierra Wireless Aircard 550, DVD-RW, BoomzBox HD radio, XM Commander, Delorme GPS, Saitek X-52 Pro joystick, BluSoleil Bluetooth, TPMS, FB, Elm327

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