RBRX Encore rebroadcast receiver

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Nick Gilly
Posts: 1118
Joined: 18 Sep 2014 14:17
Location: Whitchurch, Hampshire, UK

RBRX Encore rebroadcast receiver

Post by Nick Gilly » 02 Apr 2017 09:45

Hi all.

I have bought a new DSP-based tuner, and it is unlike any other I have used before. I had sort of distantly lusted after the BW Broadcast RBRX1 but never thought I'd be able to get one. Well this has since been superceded by the RBRX Encore. Normally I wouldn't have been able to afford this sort of thing, but I had a bit of a windfall recently and so used the opportunity to snap it up. The device is actually a professional rebroadcasting receiver. Although it is extremely sophisticated with many options buried in menus it is actually very logical and intuitive to use and I can make adjustments quickly as needed. It has dual DSP-based tuners. I had to buy adapters for the audio cables (it has balanced XLR inputs only) and for the coax plug (it uses a 50 ohm BNC input) but it was easy to set up for monitoring. The receiver is designed to work with the most challenging of reception conditions and rebroadcast your signal at the highest possible quality, so I knew it was going to be ideal for DXing.

Most of the options useful for me are in the PRESETS menu, and I go to the TUNER 1 submenu (this is the tuner I have the aerial hooked up to) where you can tune up and down in 100 kHz steps, adjust the de-emphasis (off/50 uS/75 uS), if filter (auto/fixed - the latter has 15 bandwidths to choose from ranging from 56 kHz to 311 kHz), stereo blend adjustments, stereo improvement with traditional high blend or fmsi which uses DSP in a similar manner to the Sony XDR-F1HD to kill the extra hiss, only you can adjust the parameters, soft mute on/off, again with lots of possible adjustments. The display on the left which gives info about the received signal includes RDS data like PS name, PI code and Radiotext (this doesn't seem to work properly) as well as received signal strength in dBuV, multipath %, modulation %, ultrasonic noise, softmute, high cut, stereo blend, high blend, and fmsi parameters such as low band, 2.2 kHz band, 5 kHz band and high band. In short it makes one of those Revoxes look plain and simple in comparison!

The receiver has even more flexibility if it is connected to your LAN, but that isn't really practical for my set up. In theory I could set it up to monitor, say 87.6 MHz, and send me an email when a signal is received, so it could be used as a DX warning device! Having said that, it has what I think may be a software glitch as it occasionally reboots itself at random times, so I'm going to try and update the firmware via ethernet hook-up later this week.

For DXing this receiver is a dream machine in every way. With the IF bandwidth set to Auto it isn't as good as the XDR-F1HD at fending off splatter from adjacent signals 100 kHz away, but using the fixed bandwidth of 56 kHz I think it is actually slightly better in this respect. For general tuning around and DXing I use a fixed bandwidth of 114 kHz as this is a good compromise for good audio quality, excellent selectivity, and easy RDS decoding. If you want to use the receiver as an audiophile listening device you can choose the Measure mode, which bypasses all of the DSP and gives you an unmolested clean FM signal at the widest 311 kHz bandwidth. On BBC Radios 3 and 4 in this mode the audio quality is fantastic, with a bit of a different character to the Kenwood L-1000T, but not inferior. In fact the 8 presets can all have different setting stored in them so it's almost like having 8 different tuners as they can be set up for different purposes.

So this device is extremely flexible and sophisticated and it shows what can be done with the latest chipset and DSP software. More info on this receiver can be found at the links below:

http://www.bwbroadcast.com/bwbroadcast/ ... 64/product

http://www.bwbroadcast.com/files/downlo ... encore.pdf

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSb-jAsbfPw

I think this is going to be very interesting using this receiver when the Sporadic E season gets going.
Good DX.

Nick, Whitchurch, Hampshire.

BW Broadcast RBRX Encore, Kenwood L-1000T, Yamaha T-2, Denon TU-800L, Kenwood KT-1100SD (modified), Yamaha T-85, Sony XDR-F1HD tuners, horizontal Körner 9.2 beam (Antennenland version), Yaesu G-450C rotator

satnipper
Posts: 878
Joined: 03 Oct 2014 12:58
Location: Western Europe

Re: RBRX Encore rebroadcast receiver

Post by satnipper » 02 Apr 2017 16:06

I had a little windfall once. Spent most of it on wine, women and song. Wasted the rest...

Stuart

Nick Gilly
Posts: 1118
Joined: 18 Sep 2014 14:17
Location: Whitchurch, Hampshire, UK

Re: RBRX Encore rebroadcast receiver

Post by Nick Gilly » 14 May 2017 13:58

Now this will give you an idea of the amazing sensitivity of the RBRX Encore. Sometimes on 87.5 there is a very weak iTrip on, usually playing what sounds like Turkish music. I noticed it was on yesterday evening, as it was quite clearly audible on the Encore, peaking in an ESE direction. When I tried the Sony XDR-F1HD on the same signal, it couldn't receive it at all. The Encore seem to be the only receiver that will pick it up.

As a caveat, the XDR-F1HD is about 8 years old now. I don't know if their sensitivity decreases with age but I doubt it. It seemed just as good as ever using it last year.
Good DX.

Nick, Whitchurch, Hampshire.

BW Broadcast RBRX Encore, Kenwood L-1000T, Yamaha T-2, Denon TU-800L, Kenwood KT-1100SD (modified), Yamaha T-85, Sony XDR-F1HD tuners, horizontal Körner 9.2 beam (Antennenland version), Yaesu G-450C rotator

KPC850
Posts: 93
Joined: 20 Aug 2016 15:49

Re: RBRX Encore rebroadcast receiver

Post by KPC850 » 14 May 2017 16:21

Nick Gilly wrote:
14 May 2017 13:58
Sometimes on 87.5 there is a very weak iTrip on, usually playing what sounds like Turkish music. I noticed it was on yesterday evening, as it was quite clearly audible on the Encore, peaking in an ESE direction. When I tried the Sony XDR-F1HD on the same signal, it couldn't receive it at all. The Encore seem to be the only receiver that will pick it up.

As a caveat, the XDR-F1HD is about 8 years old now. I don't know if their sensitivity decreases with age but I doubt it. It seemed just as good as ever using it last year.
Maybe the Sony receiver has a slight dip in sensitivity at the low edge of the band (perhaps due to near the edge of a band pass filter) ?
Would be interesting to also try comparing the two at (1) around centre of band (2) the top end of the band as well

Nick Gilly
Posts: 1118
Joined: 18 Sep 2014 14:17
Location: Whitchurch, Hampshire, UK

Re: RBRX Encore rebroadcast receiver

Post by Nick Gilly » 14 May 2017 19:27

You may be right. I tried The Breeze on 97.1 and there was very little to choose between them. The Encore was a smidge better but it certainly wasn't the very obvious difference there was on 87.5.

There is a future update to extend the coverage of the Encore down to 65 MHz so this may go some way to explain it.
Good DX.

Nick, Whitchurch, Hampshire.

BW Broadcast RBRX Encore, Kenwood L-1000T, Yamaha T-2, Denon TU-800L, Kenwood KT-1100SD (modified), Yamaha T-85, Sony XDR-F1HD tuners, horizontal Körner 9.2 beam (Antennenland version), Yaesu G-450C rotator

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