Could this be the next "Must Have" FM DX receiver?

FM receiver discussion
benko5009
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Re: Could this be the next "Must Have" FM DX receiver?

Post by benko5009 » 19 Feb 2018 21:19

I just checked a Skoda Swing (RCD-310) car radio inside. It includes two NXP TEF6730HW and one SAF7741HV. As I know, the Sony XDR-F1HD also uses NXP TEF6730/SAF7730 chipset.

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John Faulkner, Skegness
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Re: Could this be the next "Must Have" FM DX receiver?

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 19 Feb 2018 21:21

:) Wow! At last. A good reason to buy a Skoda!

(Yes, I used to have one. It was an Estelle. It was, er, super! :oops: )

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zach_m
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Re: Could this be the next "Must Have" FM DX receiver?

Post by zach_m » 19 Feb 2018 23:15

benko5009 wrote:
19 Feb 2018 21:19
I just checked a Skoda Swing (RCD-310) car radio inside. It includes two NXP TEF6730HW and one SAF7741HV. As I know, the Sony XDR-F1HD also uses NXP TEF6730/SAF7730 chipset.
RCD-310 has exactly the same tuner as sony XDR-F1HD. If I am not mistaken, it's highly possible that the unit can be modified for PC control. Have a look here: http://www.crystalradio.cn/thread-590585-1-1.html

benko5009
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Re: Could this be the next "Must Have" FM DX receiver?

Post by benko5009 » 22 Feb 2018 18:19

As I know, in the car RCD-310 uses amplified antennas. So, at the antenna connectors there are 12V DC.
Can it make a short circuit if I connect a "simple" dipol or any "ordinary" antenna to the unit ?

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zach_m
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Re: Could this be the next "Must Have" FM DX receiver?

Post by zach_m » 09 Mar 2018 15:10

Hi all,

I couldn't resist and I had to do it. I bought another car stereo! Yes, I know, I am boring! This time I give it a chance to Kenwood KDC-710DAB. It's a brand new unit from Halfords. Cost me £140. Just hooked it up today. I will not be having to much time to test it today, but I will do some initial tests over the weekend. What I can say now, it'seems to be very sensitive and it sounds like it has NXP DSP controller. The manual says usable sensitivity is 6.2dBf. There is nothing about selectivity, but I will test it.
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https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4781/4070 ... da17_k.jpg

pe1etr
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Re: Could this be the next "Must Have" FM DX receiver?

Post by pe1etr » 09 Mar 2018 15:25

zach_m wrote:
09 Mar 2018 15:10
Hi all,

I couldn't resist and I had to do it. I bought another car stereo! Yes, I know, I am boring! This time I give it a chance to Kenwood KDC-710DAB. It's a brand new unit from Halfords. Cost me £140. Just hooked it up today. I will not be having to much time to test it today, but I will do some initial tests over the weekend. What I can say now, it'seems to be very sensitive and it sounds like it has NXP DSP controller. The manual says usable sensitivity is 6.2dBf. There is nothing about selectivity, but I will test it.
Photo:
https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4781/4070 ... da17_k.jpg
I went through that phase of buying loads of car radios. I grew out of it. :)
I culled many if them. I still have a box full. Any takers?

I can't stop buying portable radios though. I also have quite a collection of SDRs and hifi tuners.

Peter Wilson
Gran Canaria

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zach_m
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Re: Could this be the next "Must Have" FM DX receiver?

Post by zach_m » 10 Mar 2018 18:05

Hi there,

I have been testing Kenwood KDC-BT710DAB yesterday evening and today morning. The main focus was sensitivity and selectivity. But first, a few things about external appearance.

This relatively new Kenwood car stereo (2017 model, surprisingly Made in Indonesia) feels cheap, in terms of appearance and touch. Compare to Pioneer DEH-4700MP, well there is no comparison...Using Pioneer is more friendly, I'd say??? The tuning buttons on Kenwood's front panel are very tiny and very hard to press. I think because today people use steering wheel buttons instead. The good thing is the screen, very bright and rather large. Pioneer's screen is slightly smaller.

On the back of the radio, Kenwood engineers decided to install a heating radiator, which can be hot after using stereo for a few hours. Ok, it's not a big deal, but I would recommend adding standing feet for better ventilation. I know that previous models (i.e 73DAB) do not have a radiator but a cooling fan, which I think is a better option.

Unfortunately, capacitors do not retain settings if a stereo is disconnected from the mains. Every time I unplugged the stereo from the mains, I have to setup it up again. That can be annoying, but setting up the tuner doesn't take too long. The radio software is very responsive.

Pioneer, on the other hand, does keep all the settings after disconnecting it from the mains. ISO connector from Pioneer cannot be used on Kenwood. Both brands using Mistumi connectors, and both are slightly different. There is one big disadvantage for me, at least for some time ;) Pre-outs DOES NOT send RDS data. That means, the stereo cannot be connected to RDS Spy. At the moment due to valid warranty, I am unable to open it up and trace for RDC chip. It think this is the only way to get an RDS via RDS Spy. The good thing though is that Kenwood decode RDS very and I am VERY fast. It is literally a fraction of a second when I had RDS displayed. It's amazing how fast this works. That also means, the stereo is very sensitive and that's true.

I compared Kenwood to Pioneer. Signals that are buried in the noise were more audible (due to soft mutting) on Kenwood. Also, RDS popped in on weak (noisy) signals faster on Kenwood. Kenwood stereo must have NXP chip. I haven't opened the unit, but I am 100% sure there must be NXP single tuner (TEF series or newer) inside. The would also explain heating issues that occurring with NXP chips.

In terms of selectivity, Pioneer and Kenwood were very close. I would say marginally Kenwood was better. I also compared Kenwood sensitivity to Airspy HF+ and it's very close too, but signals on Kenwood sounded slightly louder and less noise was generated.

Because having no option to connect the stereo to RDSSPy, I was thinking about returning it, but it's a keeper. The sensitivity of this radio is great, superior to my Pioneer. I honestly have a pleasure listen to the radio on Kenwood. Below is the link including bandscan from today, just to demonstrate the stereo.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ih009rcTc6c

Even without the RDSSpy option, I think this little stereo will be great for tropo. I would not recommend for Es since tuning buttons are very small the scanning option isn't fast. SDR or "tuning wheel" tuner is a lot better option in this case.

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