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Here’s How My Portable Sounds in the Car

Re-discovering AM on FM multicast channels

I’ve been listening to my new HD Radio portable in the car.

In the last issue, I wrote about outside and inside stationary listening with a prototype of the Insignia HD, provided to me by iBiquity. But what about mobile performance?

I’ve been listening to the unit using my in-dash radio speakers via the Aux port and a double male end connector cord.

I’ve been enjoying the commercial-free music on the multicast channels (mostly HD2s as the audio on the few HD3s in this area sounds tinny — even with talk formats). My only complaint is the numerous dropouts, which are noticeable when my car goes under overpasses on my long commute.

A pleasant surprise has been the re-discovery of AMs being re-transmitted on FM multicast channels — the only way to experience AM content with good audio quality in this heavily urban area.

Ira Wilner, chief engineer of Saga Communications in Keene, N.H., and owner of Wilner Associates in Putney, Vt., tells me that a stereo patch cord for the car will ground the antenna at the far end and may reduce reception. Ideally one should have an adapter with RF choke on the far end to prevent the antenna from being grounded at FM frequencies, he says.

He likes the “now playing” multi line display that will show you all of your HD stream choices for the particular multicasting station and thinks that’ll be attractive to listeners.

Sorry. No data so far.