FM background noise! (Question for Toronto listeners) - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes

post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 2007-04-22, 09:27 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 6
Exclamation FM background noise! (Question for Toronto listeners)

Seems like it's more of specialty technical issue so i would be very thankfull if anybody can suggest advanced FM forum (which i haven't been lucky to find).
I've been having serious background noise problem with new Toronto station located at 103.9 (yes, there is such broadcast right between Z103.5 and CHUM 104.5)
Have spent a week trying to get rid of annoying and loud 'shhhh' that is never out (when station itself isn't degraded by low signal noising).
I'm in Mississauga and wonder if other listeners are having same issues (For example in Toronto, near transmitter).Station is quite low powered so this may be it (espessially in case of ghosting from more power ones).
Any solution is highly appreciated.Thank you!
DJG666 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 2007-04-22, 12:45 PM
Veteran
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Belleville ON
Posts: 1,865
What kind of tuner are you using?
What antenna does it have?

There could be several reasons for the noise, not just low power of 103.9 FM.

You could be getting too much signal from other stronger stations causing the receiver to be "de-sensed". Try switching to mono, if that's available.

Depending your antenna and how it's connected, you could "knock back" the signal strength with an in-line attenuator.

A better tuner MIGHT but not always helps (unless your blessed with a McIntosh MR-80 ). A directional antenna MAY help, but again, with both desired and undesired stations from the same direction, this can be problematic.

Gerald, a company that made a lot of broadcast equipment had a nifty device that was a double FM tunable trap, that could be tunned over top of overly strong signals. TFM-2 was it's model number. Depending on which stations are causing the problem, two stations could be "knocked back" without affecting the stations you wanted. I tuned both filters to be on the same station that was really strong. Worked well.

Hope I've given you some ideas. These things usually can be solved, more or less, depending on their cause.

Hmmm... Maybe 103.9 FM can apply for a DAB spot, seeing as we have some stations on DAB without any audio....

Cameron
CamDAB is offline  
post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 2007-04-22, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 6
Smile

"What kind of tuner are you using?
What antenna does it have?"

Tuner isn't anything special at all as i'm quite newbie.Usual low priced "piggie" that even has MC tape slot (somebody gave me this thing a while back).Antenna is average sized, "metal" one (which comes with any device of it's kind).
Yes, switching to mono is what i've been trying as well but seems like nothing has changed (not even a bit).
Noise itself is quite weird.At certain times of the day i can hear other station on the background but at other times i don't.Doesn't seem to effect noise itself.Moving receiver doesn't do anything (except loosing signal).Doesn't seems like it makes a difference if two high powered stations will dissapear.Probably because those are stronger in any case.
Don't think that car stereo gave me clear signal on this station as well.

Bassically, was looking for general ways to improve this matter (not going into deep with buying new equipment).Would doubt that 103.9 will go DAB (because of station's specifics).They went as far as ****ty quality broadcast on their website (though it doesn't have same noise!) So analog is still best option, in this case.
Maybe suggestion on filtering?Can do that with PC recorded pieces.So far i'm quite cluless what figures to apply (for example noise stats, etc).Though i have editing proggies.
Thank you, Cameron!Sorry for being a clueless mess
DJG666 is offline  
 
post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 2007-04-23, 12:45 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,296
It sounds like you may have some spill over or harmonics from stronger stations. This is typical of cheaper radio receivers. The FM trap mentioned in the previous post might help and they are not usually very expensive. A better receiver or just a different brand might help. OTOH, the noise could be emanating from the station itself. I have heard noise, hum, distortion and other artifacts on FM signals that originated at the station. Since this is a low power station, probably with a low budget, they could have some technical issues and be using used equipment. Try phoning the station, they may even be aware of the problem.
I_Want_My_HDTV is offline  
post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 2007-04-23, 02:00 AM
Veteran
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Belleville ON
Posts: 1,865
"Noise itself is quite weird.At certain times of the day i can hear other station on the background "
[snip]

This could most likely happen in the morning and evening. 103.9 has stations from Kitchener and Colburg, if I remember correctly, and a "temparature inversion" can easily enhance the strength of either or both of those signals causing 103.9 to be inteferred with, thus hearing voices underneith.

If it's a "boombox" style unit, then those are the hardest to connect external antennas to. They also tend to not have the best tuners either, Panasonic being a notable exception.

103.9 from Hamilton, although weak, has sounded OK when I've optimized reception on both an Aiwa belt clip style radio/cassette player (it's got a real good digital tuner in it), and a Perstel DAB pocket radio that has an amazing FM tuner in it. Oddly, haven't tried the home tuner yet, nor a Panasonic boom box that also has an amazing tuner, considering the style of equipment (boom box). I don't have a McIntosh MR-80 (now THAT would be nice), as it would be a reference.

Streaming via the internet isn't always a primary function, and thus, can be not up to regulated standards that on-air equipment is.

A car trip from where you live to downtown Toronto might help in determining just where the interference starts / ends.

Let us know how you do in receiving this station. 103.5 is alternate channel and shouldn't be a problem. 104.1 has a station from Buffalo, and that could very well be a problem as it's adjacent channel. Most digital tuners can handle alternate channel spacing without problems, but adjacent channel signals can be a challenge even for better units. The really good units will narrow the "vision" so to speak, or have a wide / narrow selectivity position switch so separation of distant stations is posible.

Good luck with the reception problem.

Cameron
CamDAB is offline  
post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 2007-04-23, 08:54 AM
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Agincourt
Posts: 230
Gave this a whirl on the Magnum Dynalab / Yagi 9 element / 40’ tower/rotor – the location on the dial doesn’t give it much wiggle room, a precise analog tuner is a must here - signal strength bordered 10 on the RF meter and rotor was not used – spent 30 minutes this morning with Mary Jo and Ken in stereo mode, the signal never drifted and sideband interference was never an issue although, it was cutting out pretty regular – once tweaking Blend/Mute/I.F. on the Dynalab it was never an issue.

In conclusion, acceptable reception from digital tuning low/mid priced tuners may be problematic – a good outdoor antenna should have first consideration, some digital tuners may not lock on even with antennas, analog tuning is my preference – priority/budget will determine your results.

Mary Jo and Ken ???
Vinyl is offline  
post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 2007-04-23, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 6
Smile

CamDAB:thank you for great, detailed suggestions and staying with me on this
I_Want_My_HDTV: informative and short, thanx!
Vinyl: appreciate your try with tunning!Your test is very helpful.Thank you!
DJG666 is offline  
post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 2007-04-23, 07:06 PM
57
Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Toronto, Rogers, 9865 & 8300-eHDD, Sharp LC75N8000U, Denon AVR4310Ci; Sony KDL40W3000, 9865
Posts: 56,331
I just tuned Proud 103.9 on my Yamaha RX-V1 and a dipole wire antenna hooked to the back of it in my basement, located near Yonge & Eglinton. Came in 5 out of 5 bars in stereo with no interference or "shhhhh", even with volume cranked way up and in quiet segments.

I did notice significant bass and treble boost though, but that's typical of some FM stations.

I could understand difficulties with 104.3, but 103.9 is "two up" or "3 down" from the major stations.

57's Home Theatre (Latest equipment & photos)
57 is offline  
post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 2007-04-23, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 6
Wink

Now i will spill everything else.Made interesting conclusions lately.
Station itself is not supposed to be heard outside of downtown Toronto.Hearing it in central Mississauga (and without special equipment) is quite a bonus to begin with.
I haven't told my equipment details in the past.Boombox is located on the balcony floor and long cable is connected to it's headphones out.Cable goes through whole open balcony and connects to PC line-in.Main signal gain is on that cable as antenna doesn't do much.Seems like it's as much outside as i'm allowed to go (rules).Mounted antenna will not be possible.
Station doesn't work at most inside places.That includes tweaking antenna's of various audio systems in stores
On the go you get mixed results.Making minor turn might nearly kill the signal.Though seems like most of that background noise is gone (will not say that it's 100% clear).
Conclusion: reception and tuner's fault.Haven't decided on what to do.Generally, station is working good enough to leave it as it is.
Will keep you posted (if interested)...
DJG666 is offline  
post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 2007-04-23, 11:22 PM
Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: derry + winston Mississauga
Posts: 1,661
103.9 the Hawk from Woodstock is likely causing your interference.In fact I get the Hawk with background noise from 103.9 proud fm.This is tipical of Industy Canada only consider Toronto and wreck my reception of another station.They should keep 160km between stations on the same frequency and use the AM band for Talk radio CBC.

Attic CM 4248 at Buffalo,M4 at Buffalo.VHF yagis at Toronto .
rob50312 is online now  
post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 2007-04-24, 09:16 AM
Veteran
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Belleville ON
Posts: 1,865
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinyl View Post
Gave this a whirl on the Magnum Dynalab / Yagi 9 element / 40’ tower/rotor – the location on the dial doesn’t give it much wiggle room, a precise analog tuner is a must here - signal strength bordered 10 on the RF meter and rotor was not used – spent 30 minutes this morning with Mary Jo and Ken in stereo mode, the signal never drifted and sideband interference was never an issue although, it was cutting out pretty regular – once tweaking Blend/Mute/I.F. on the Dynalab it was never an issue.

In conclusion, acceptable reception from digital tuning low/mid priced tuners may be problematic – a good outdoor antenna should have first consideration, some digital tuners may not lock on even with antennas, analog tuning is my preference – priority/budget will determine your results.

Mary Jo and Ken ???
Vynil, that Magnum Dynalab, wasn't that a Canadian tuner? I remember it got a lot of great reviews.

I had a 6 element FM beam atop a 48ft Delhi heavy duty ham tower that had other stuff on it for ham radio, plus a 220MHz repeater antenna... From Dundas, below the escarpment, using 300 ohm sheilded twinlead, and a Sansui TU-9900 tuner, I could get WOMC detroit, 104.3. As you folks know from Toronto, CHUM-FM is 104.5. Not bad eh? Best DX, 1981, a large swath of Southern Ontario, Pensilvania (sp?), NY state got ZBM from Hamilton, Burmuda. Got a complete newscast on Cassette of that station that day. Great Sporadic-E opening. Have also heard Pompano Beach FL, Dalas Tx etc.

When you're between stations geographically, a directional antenna is the only way to go. As boomboxes don't have proper antenna jacks, it's heard to get a directional antenna connected. Some tuners are actually quite good, but suffer other design flaws. Earphone jacks often let stray FM signals in as well as the whip antenna, thus generating multi-path effects. Sometimes the plastic housing lets in FM directly, (ingress), thus causing other untold problems, sometimes the power supply my not filter out radio signals, and that simply adds to the problem. All these things can add up to a really good tuner design going out the window if other parts of the system aren't designed properly.

Now... back to wishing I had a McIntosh MR-80 so I can get all those out of town signals local broadcasters keep complaining about. Thing is, all the locals are on the opposite side of the apartment building. 100% multi-path on all of them except WIVB 94.7 20Kw just a quarter a mile away. Can we say severe front-end overload effects?

Cameron
CamDAB is offline  
post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 2007-04-24, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 6
Talking

rob50312: haha (or should i say "that's horrible!"?) It depends on which of two stations is your main choice.
You're in 'sauga so it should be possible to tune in Proud FM quite nicely.Might require complete receiver move, though.Also precise tunning.
Honestly, i did not know that there are, at least, three more stations on nearly same frequency and close enough (Hamilton, Buffalo & Woodstock ones).That explains all ghosting and is already enough to cause chaos.
DJG666 is offline  
post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 2007-04-24, 10:34 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Agincourt
Posts: 230
Magnum Dynalab is indeed Canadian out of Brampton – the model in use is the Etude which was a Special Edition of the now discontinued FT- 101A – the real joy obtained from the FM rig is the infrequent live broadcasts, this is when it really shines - a residential move can't be too far in your future I suspect.

http://www.magnumdynalab.com/fmtuner-etude.htm
Vinyl is offline  
post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 2007-04-25, 01:00 AM
Veteran
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Belleville ON
Posts: 1,865
Wow, I didn't realize Dynalab was still around. Amazing.

I seem to remember Sansui was bought out.

I'll have to check out McIntosh, Sequirra and Marantz (the old 10-B) and see what I get with web searches.

Kind of looks like Dynalab is carrying the torch for tuners. Funny how Canada seems to be a source for fine equipment but not always recognized.

Cameron
CamDAB is offline  
post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 2007-04-25, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 6
Wink

CamDAB, sadly, it`s not only with Canadian equipment We need to put it out there, i totally agree.
DJG666 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools Search this Thread
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome