Bug in Evoke Flow DAB tuning routine, work around needed!

Discussion of all Pure radios with Flow Internet Radio
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AndyCalling
Posts: 89
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:37 am
Location: UK

Bug in Evoke Flow DAB tuning routine, work around needed!

Postby AndyCalling » Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:52 am

Hi folks,
I had a Pure Siesta, but it broke. With it's little wire aerial I could receive the South Hampshire local mux fine.

The Siesta broke, so I got an Evoke Flow.

With its massive rod (fnar!) I can now pick up the Bournemouth transmitter at half power as well as the South Hants transmitter at full power. Nice, right? Well, almost.

I get a few extra stations, notably Kiss Bournmouth which I don't usually get. Thing is, Bournemouth transmitter carrys a lot of local stations that are on the South Hants transmitter as well.

What DAB should do, I thought, was combine the strength of more distant but identical stations to augment the signal it gets from the best transmitter. Does it do that? No. What does it do?

Well, some stations get a duplicate (such as 'Capital' and 'BBC Solent'), one is South Hants and one is Bournemouth. Not what I expected, but not really a problem. I still get Kiss and perfect reception on my South hants stations this way.

But not all stations do this. Some, like 'Wave 105' and 'Fire' simply show one entry. And that entry is always the Bournemouth transmitter so I get poor reception. Boo!

So, I can retract the rod aerial to minimal height so the Bournemouth stations are out of reach and they show in the guide with '?' next to them. So I can't pick up 'Wave 105' or any of the others that were coming from the Bournemouth transmitter. I can then select the 'Trim' option to remove non-transmitting stations from the list and they go, but wait, what's this? The ones that had their twin on the South Hants transmitter are now showing without a question mark, the South Hants versions are unmasked! They were there behind the Bournemouth listings after all!

Could it be that the Pure firmware simply serves up the transmitters in alphabetical order instead of combining properly, or instead even of providing the strongest one? Bug I say!

So, is there any way of my keeping Kiss Bournemouth and the other few stations I want from the Bournemouth transmitter without killing the reception on my South Hants stations? I don't want to use WIFI as a wake up station as it is not as reliable as dab.

I suppose there's always FM if all else fails.

Final question, is this bug likely to get any attention in a future firmware revision? Bit pointless getting a Pure model with a better spec aerial if you have to neuter it to use it...

Jason Voice
Posts: 88
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2009 11:27 am

Re: Bug in Evoke Flow DAB tuning routine, work around needed

Postby Jason Voice » Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:55 pm

Hi AC

DAB receivers aren’t meant to combine the signals from different muxes. They do fancy stuff with reflected signals from the same mux, and that does all happen behind the scenes. However I'm checking out the exact status of what happens on our receivers and we’ll get back to you soon.
Regards

Jason Voice

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Jason Voice, Technical Support Manager
Website: http://support.pure.com
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User avatar
AndyCalling
Posts: 89
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:37 am
Location: UK

Re: Bug in Evoke Flow DAB tuning routine, work around needed

Postby AndyCalling » Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:49 pm

Ah, right. The combining thing is only something I'm dimly aware of so I'm not surprised I have this wrong.

Still, what my Evoke should do is show all the stations it picks up when tuned, not hide some of the South Hampshire stations (the strong ones) behind weaker versions from Bournemouth just because Bournemouth is first in the alphabet. They are there, the lower-the-rod-then-trim method shows this, but my Evoke just won't let me select them or get at them in any way until I remove the Bournemouth stations that are sitting on them with a trim.

Odd thing is, some stations with Bournemouth duplicates, like Capital, work properly showing me two stations named Capital to select from. Why can't all the stations work like this?

If this is simply not possible (though i can't think why that should be) could we get the option to delete individual stations manually? Then I won't have to kill every Bournemouth station to get at my South Hants stations.

Jason Voice
Posts: 88
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2009 11:27 am

Re: Bug in Evoke Flow DAB tuning routine, work around needed

Postby Jason Voice » Mon Apr 11, 2011 2:46 pm

Hi AC

Ok after a lot of head scratching over here at PURE after reading your post – I have a little more.

Checking up on http://www.wohnort.org/dab/ukloc.html it looks like Capital will show separately because it has a different (Station ID) SID, whereas the ones which are not duplicated have identical SIDs. So based on this theory we’re definitely doing the right thing by only showing one version of stations that broadcast with the same SID, however we’re not showing the strongest in this instance - which is odd. It’s a rare circumstance too and possibly why we haven’t noticed before.

We’re looking into whether or not we can show only the strongest when we meet more than on version of a station with the same SID in signal environments like yours, and we’re also considering whether it’s better to show multiples in this instance, although our thinking at present is that this is not ideal (products with only two line displays etc).

If I get any more information I’ll post it here.
Regards

Jason Voice

---------------------------------------------------------
Jason Voice, Technical Support Manager
Website: http://support.pure.com
---------------------------------------------------------

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HenniVID
Posts: 59
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 7:45 pm

Re: Bug in Evoke Flow DAB tuning routine, work around needed

Postby HenniVID » Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:02 pm

Hey Jason,

talking about showing Multiplexes: That's exactly what a lot of people complain about! Manual tune and more info on your products like bitrate, multiplex etc. You used to do it why not now?

Thats one of the main things that gets on my nerves on the One Elite... Why have a special "info" button if all you can show is the Date? A waste...
Working for "German Digitalradio Projektbüro"
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Devices: Pure Sensia,Pure Evoke Flow, Pure One Elite, Pure Highway

User avatar
AndyCalling
Posts: 89
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:37 am
Location: UK

Re: Bug in Evoke Flow DAB tuning routine, work around needed

Postby AndyCalling » Wed Apr 13, 2011 11:04 pm

Jason Voice wrote:Hi AC

Ok after a lot of head scratching over here at PURE after reading your post – I have a little more.

Checking up on http://www.wohnort.org/dab/ukloc.html it looks like Capital will show separately because it has a different (Station ID) SID, whereas the ones which are not duplicated have identical SIDs. So based on this theory we’re definitely doing the right thing by only showing one version of stations that broadcast with the same SID, however we’re not showing the strongest in this instance - which is odd. It’s a rare circumstance too and possibly why we haven’t noticed before.

We’re looking into whether or not we can show only the strongest when we meet more than on version of a station with the same SID in signal environments like yours, and we’re also considering whether it’s better to show multiples in this instance, although our thinking at present is that this is not ideal (products with only two line displays etc).

If I get any more information I’ll post it here.


Well, that's fantastic support mate! It looks like you have a handle on it. I don't mind if you show one version or both, so long as I can get the strongest and keep the different ones from the other transmitter.

The idea of just showing the strongest is a good one though, I also don't see the point of showing both, so long as the best reception one gets the stage. That consideration appears easy to resolve but it doesn't really matter either way.

Thanks for all your efforts. I shall keep reporting issues if I see them as I think it helps you as much as me. I hope I don't come across as a difficult customer as I don't wish to, I really like this product of yours and am not trying to nit-pick.

Yep, this must be rare. Thinking about it, to trigger this a receiver would have to be in a position where it can receive one local mux at good to perfect strength and one other local mux, which transmits some duplicate stations, at borderline strength (for me Bournemouth works fine but is suseptable to interference at times and needs considered radio positioning). Also, the distant mux would have to come later in the alphabet than the closer mux. If I were closer to the Bournemouth mux than the South Hants one it would seem to work perfectly for me (a little extreme to go flat hunting for this reason though...). Most people won't be seeing this bug.

Problem is, as coverage gets better more people may be in this position as overlap will become more common when local mux coverage areas move towards each other to close the gaps. People with roof top aerials would likely often see this issue so if you ever release a set with an aerial socket you'll have to have a solution. Also, people who live a little further away from a weaker mux, like Bournemouth is to me but far enough away that it breaks up all the time, will have to learn about the trim method or they will think they can receive far less stations than they really can. The weak distant transmitter would block out the strong local transmitter! This is really counter intuative as having the weaker station block out the stronger one is against all logic to people used to analogue radio. They will assume they are simply in a poor reception spot when in reality they are in a very good one.

*ADDENDUM*
Having looked at the link you provided, it seems some local muxes may transmit the same station as the next local mux but at differing bitrates so there may be a reason to want to hear the weaker signal for some people (if it has the higher bitrate). The only station like this for me would be Capital, but you show both of those anyway so I'm fine either way. Still, this means the best approach would be to give full choice and show both stations. The two line display problem would be there though, not a problem with an Evoke Flow, but I get your point. Perhaps show duplicates with a bracketed number next to each station name? Like The Coast (1) and The Coast (2) with the strongest being number 1? Just an idea.


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