With digital music making a clear sweep within the Nineties over virtually all listening media, it’s a shock to search out that there’s one space during which an analog hold-out continues to be very a lot alive and kicking. We’re speaking not of a vinyl resurgence right here however of FM radio, which has managed to successfully maintain off its digital competitors for a number of a long time now. Twenty years in the past its days appeared numbered although, and in Europe the primary technology of DAB digital radios appeared prepared to beat the airwaves. Amongst them was a real oddity and considered one of Psion’s final important shopper merchandise, the WaveFinder USB DAB radio receiver. [Backofficeshow] has one, and has given it a teardown for our leisure. He describes it as the primary shopper SDR product which can be a bit hyperbolic, however nonetheless, it’s an attention-grabbing take a look at what would grow to be considered one of computing’s backwaters.

Contained in the peak-90s-style translucent blue case is a single PCB with a variety of screening, on which sits a USB controller and a bunch of DSP chips. Radio demodulation was achieved in {hardware}, however sign demodulation was apparently achieved on the host PC. On the time its £299 value made it the inexpensive finish of DAB reception, and The Register opined that its capacity to obtain broadcast broadband knowledge made it a revolutionary product, however sadly neither shoppers nor broadcasters agreed and it was closely discounted earlier than making an ignominious exit. DAB itself would battle to fulfill the expectations, and a multiplex-based licensing mannequin for broadcasters making it unattractive to native stations signifies that even now FM continues to be stuffed with stations. Maybe as listening strikes inexorably to streaming its time has handed, certainly Eire has gone as far as to desert DAB altogether.

If you happen to’d prefer to know extra about DAB, we took a take a look at the expertise some time again.

Through [RTL-SDR]


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