Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Toronto (St. Clair/Bathurst)
So, I bravely proceeded to do mods on the Sony. Two are badly needed.
Mod 1. Retention of clock and station memory more than 15 minutes. There are three circuits on the web - start with Brian's review.
Mod 2. Lock-out HD and lock-in FM-stereo so that the tuner doesn't switch from one to the other. Since the HD-digital takes longer to work its way out of the broadcast station, there is a nasty silence and time-warp as the Sony tunes from one to the other and back. Seems PBS-Buffalo has added a time-delay, I think, so that there is a half-second silence, but no time-warp.
Easy enough to open the Sony box and free the circuit board; the tuner sensitive pieces are pretty protected from misalignment. But Mod 2 requires some fine trace cutting and mini-soldering and so I did only Mod 1 to start with.
My present reception of PBS-HD is rare so I can live without this mod until the next upgrade of my antenna (or their expected change to broadcast power... but they are still 80 mlles from Toronto, eh).
For Mod 1, you are simply paralleling a large capacitor with a super-large super-cap 1 farad, 3.5 v (for 20 hr storage, estimated) or with some little 3.6 v lithium batteries, like for cellphones.
Active Surplus on Queen Street Toronto has all these pieces. I soldered in a lithium battery (an assembly with solder lugs) in series with a 350 ohm resistor. Based on Hillel's write-up, should last a month or more. So far, fine overnight.
Sure nice not to lose the stations and clock every time the power goes off. Also, I can power-up the tuner from a power bar with the other gear... and not have the bright panel lamp shine all night!
Well, I have heard the HD a bit. Hard to make comparisons when the Sony FM-stereo is so good and I can make comparisons only when the signal is strong enough for HD to work. Better, but not vastly so compared to FM at its best. I read that the digital HD does get somewhat corrupted with great distances. anybody know?
midtown Toronto, DB4e, 60ft RG6, 8dB distr amp
FM: Sony STSA-50ES, Wine.6065, 40ft RG6