AM radio that use a chip for the receive circuitry


lamontcranston17
 

I'm following a thread on a group with an argument about whether new AM radios are now mostly designed with a chip
for the radio receive circuitry.
Does anyone have a website with either a list of radios using specific chips for the receive circuitry
or a list of the chips used for receive circuitry?

Thanks Mikek


Peter Laws
 

On Sat, Apr 4, 2020 at 7:15 AM lamontcranston17 <nojunk@...> wrote:

I'm following a thread on a group with an argument about whether new AM radios are now mostly designed with a chip
for the radio receive circuitry.
Does anyone have a website with either a list of radios using specific chips for the receive circuitry
or a list of the chips used for receive circuitry?

"Mostly" is pretty vague. The Tecsun line all seem to be built on the
Silicon Labs, maybe better known as SiLabs, chips. Silicon Labs is a
fine American company with operations all over. See the list of
radio-on-chip products at the link.

https://www.silabs.com/audio-and-radio

I assume there are other manufacturers with similar products, but
SiLabs is the only one I know.


--
Peter Laws | N5UWY | plaws plaws net | Travel by Train!


Paul Blundell
 

Anything with a digital display pretty much would.

Paul

On Sat, 4 Apr 2020, 11:15 p.m. lamontcranston17, <nojunk@...> wrote:
   I'm following a thread on a group with an argument about whether new AM radios are now mostly designed with a chip
for the radio receive circuitry.
  Does anyone have a website with either a list of radios using specific chips for the receive circuitry
or a list of the chips used for receive circuitry?

                                        Thanks Mikek





--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Paul S. in CT
 

All digital radios use DSP chips, but Tecsun's analog radio's also use an Integrated Circuit. Specifically, that I know, are the R-911 and R-9012. These use a CXA-1622B chip IIRC designed by SONY. These are analog, and the receiving bands must be manually adjusted at factory. This SONY chip is VERY efficient with 2AA batteries... over 400 hours continuous can be expected at a decent volume.

Yes, the question is vague, as these analog Tecsun's have been around 15 years or more (my old R-911 was dated 2006, and a Kaito WRX911 was dated 2004). And they still make them.

Regards
Paul S. in CT FN31nl


lamontcranston17
 

Maybe I need to refine my question a bit. The discuss was about if a
radio is designed today, will it incorporate a receive chip.
 It all started with someone saying Varicap availability is dwindling,
(especially large sizes) and it was because of lack of demand in AM radio
because of receive chips.


Tom Crosbie G6PZZ <tom@...>
 

Hi Lamont,

I have just ordered 10 x 500pf varicaps via ebay.co.uk to use in (I hope!) a varicap tuned indoor frame loop. They only cost 1GBP from China, of course. There were many other vendors offering similar prices, and I don't mind the wait. It gives me time to sort out a variable PSU and work out the mechanics of connecting the diode to the windings. There were plenty of similar SMT products for sale and it seems to me that would be the choice for a new-build product. Perhaps that's where your shortage may be. My eye and hand co-ordination is incompatible with SMT! Incidentally, I could have bought a pack of 2 from a UK vendor for about 4GBP - I like a bargain!

Tom G6PZZ

-----Original Message-----
From: main@UltralightDX.groups.io <main@UltralightDX.groups.io> On Behalf Of lamontcranston17
Sent: 07 April 2020 14:09
To: main@UltralightDX.groups.io
Subject: Re: [UltralightDX] AM radio that use a chip for the receive circuitry

Maybe I need to refine my question a bit. The discuss was about if a radio is designed today, will it incorporate a receive chip.
 It all started with someone saying Varicap availability is dwindling, (especially large sizes) and it was because of lack of demand in AM radio because of receive chips.


Peter Laws
 

On Tue, Apr 7, 2020 at 8:08 AM lamontcranston17 <nojunk@...> wrote:

Maybe I need to refine my question a bit. The discuss was about if a
radio is designed today, will it incorporate a receive chip.
It all started with someone saying Varicap availability is dwindling,
(especially large sizes) and it was because of lack of demand in AM radio
because of receive chips.
The radio is on a chip. You put power in, RF in, get audio out.
Everything is done by the chip. Your only job is to tell the chip
what you want.

https://www.silabs.com/documents/public/application-notes/AN400.pdf

https://www.silabs.com/documents/public/application-notes/AN332.pdf



--
Peter Laws | N5UWY | plaws plaws net | Travel by Train!


Majid Hussain
 

hi all,
just curious, what group is this?
i'm in lockdown like many others,
and am looking for groups like this wonderful one hence my question :)
Majid

On 04/04/2020, Paul Blundell <tanger32au@...> wrote:
Anything with a digital display pretty much would.

Paul

On Sat, 4 Apr 2020, 11:15 p.m. lamontcranston17, <nojunk@...>
wrote:

I'm following a thread on a group with an argument about whether new
AM
radios are now mostly designed with a chip
for the radio receive circuitry.
Does anyone have a website with either a list of radios using specific
chips for the receive circuitry
or a list of the chips used for receive circuitry?

Thanks Mikek






--
kind regards,
Majid Hussain


Tom Crosbie G6PZZ <tom@...>
 

Thanks Peter,
I've had a quick read of the AN400 document and couldn't see an external varicap listed on the BOM's. I'm guessing the varicap might well be on-board the chip, which may be another reason for a decline in production, leading to a possible shortage. Of course it might just be a rumour.

Tom G6PZZ

-----Original Message-----
From: main@UltralightDX.groups.io <main@UltralightDX.groups.io> On Behalf Of Peter Laws
Sent: 07 April 2020 16:03
To: main@ultralightdx.groups.io
Subject: Re: [UltralightDX] AM radio that use a chip for the receive circuitry

On Tue, Apr 7, 2020 at 8:08 AM lamontcranston17 <nojunk@...> wrote:

Maybe I need to refine my question a bit. The discuss was about if a
radio is designed today, will it incorporate a receive chip.
It all started with someone saying Varicap availability is
dwindling, (especially large sizes) and it was because of lack of
demand in AM radio because of receive chips.
The radio is on a chip. You put power in, RF in, get audio out.
Everything is done by the chip. Your only job is to tell the chip what you want.

https://www.silabs.com/documents/public/application-notes/AN400.pdf

https://www.silabs.com/documents/public/application-notes/AN332.pdf



--
Peter Laws | N5UWY | plaws plaws net | Travel by Train!


h. garcia <pu3hag.l@...>
 

If you are in DIY RF and Arduino, you may look at this project:


There's a list of receivers using the SiLabs Si4735.

Si4735 is a formidable chip, it peaks the ferrite antenna automatically in LW and MW, provides 4 or 5 different AM bandwidths,  has a very competent FM receiver with RDS and can even load a new firmware live to provide SSB demodulation.


On Sat, Apr 4, 2020, 9:15 AM lamontcranston17 <nojunk@...> wrote:
   I'm following a thread on a group with an argument about whether new AM radios are now mostly designed with a chip
for the radio receive circuitry.
  Does anyone have a website with either a list of radios using specific chips for the receive circuitry
or a list of the chips used for receive circuitry?

                                        Thanks Mikek





Phillips
 

Hi All,

I would like to try my hand at using a MCU such as an Arduino to control a Si4735. 

Si4735's are available on eBay Australia 5 for $US7.14 ($AU11.55), but they are SSOP packages. 

My old eyes and shaky hands can't handle SMD's even with magnifying lenses.

Does anyone know if/where I can get Si4735's in a through hole package or on a breakout board?


Stay safe folks,

Ray


From: main@UltralightDX.groups.io <main@UltralightDX.groups.io> on behalf of h. garcia <pu3hag.l@...>
Sent: Wednesday, 8 April 2020 12:51 PM
To: main@ultralightdx.groups.io <main@ultralightdx.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [UltralightDX] AM radio that use a chip for the receive circuitry
 
If you are in DIY RF and Arduino, you may look at this project:


There's a list of receivers using the SiLabs Si4735.

Si4735 is a formidable chip, it peaks the ferrite antenna automatically in LW and MW, provides 4 or 5 different AM bandwidths,  has a very competent FM receiver with RDS and can even load a new firmware live to provide SSB demodulation.


On Sat, Apr 4, 2020, 9:15 AM lamontcranston17 <nojunk@...> wrote:

   I'm following a thread on a group with an argument about whether new AM radios are now mostly designed with a chip
for the radio receive circuitry.
  Does anyone have a website with either a list of radios using specific chips for the receive circuitry
or a list of the chips used for receive circuitry?

                                        Thanks Mikek





Andy ZL3AG
 

Hi Ray,

I can't find my notes right now to give you speficis, but be aware that many of the chips shipping from china are old versions, and many of the breakout boards and modules don't bring all of the chip leads out so you can't always make use of all the features of the installed chip.

So to avoid disappointment, you need to look at close up photos of the items to try to figure out which one would be best for the job.
Cheers,

Andy

On 9/04/20 12:43 pm, Phillips wrote:
Hi All,
I would like to try my hand at using a MCU such as an Arduino to control a Si4735.
Si4735's are available on eBay Australia 5 for $US7.14 ($AU11.55), but they are SSOP packages.
My old eyes and shaky hands can't handle SMD's even with magnifying lenses.
Does anyone know if/where I can get Si4735's in a through hole package or on a breakout board?
Stay safe folks,
Ray


Max Italy
 

Here i uploaded some datasheets for radio ic with mechanical tuning (do not need to program a MCU).
http://maximradio.altervista.org/datasheets/
They are from KTmicro, AKC Technology and Silicon Labs.
Some were avaialble only in Chinese and i translated them to english

KT0936M is supposed to be even better than the Si4825;
a discussion can be found on the CQHAM.RU forum, you have to use google translator
http://www.cqham.ru/forum/showthread.php?39304


h. garcia <pu3hag.l@...>
 

Hi Ray, Andy --

Ray, there an active Facebook group called "Si47xx For Radio Experimenters". Several guys already sharing their buildings and tests. I'm sure you can ask questions there and the member will warmly help.

This is the link to the group:


On Wed, Apr 8, 2020, 9:54 PM Andy ZL3AG via groups.io <zl3ag=radioengineering.com@groups.io> wrote:

Hi Ray,

I can't find my notes right now to give you speficis, but be aware that many of the chips shipping from china are old versions, and many of the breakout boards and modules don't bring all of the chip leads out so you can't always make use of all the features of the installed chip.

So to avoid disappointment, you need to look at close up photos of the items to try to figure out which one would be best for the job.
Cheers,

Andy


On 9/04/20 12:43 pm, Phillips wrote:
> Hi All,
>
> I would like to try my hand at using a MCU such as an Arduino to control a Si4735.
>
> Si4735's are available on eBay Australia 5 for $US7.14 ($AU11.55), but they are SSOP packages.
>
> My old eyes and shaky hands can't handle SMD's even with magnifying lenses.
>
> Does anyone know if/where I can get Si4735's in a through hole package or on a breakout board?
>
>
> Stay safe folks,
>
> Ray
>




Phillips
 

Hi Max,

You have opened an Aladdin's cave for me.  I have not studied each sheet (yet) but have scanned a few and found the KT0936m to be quite interesting because of its sensitivity.    I will put in some study time to see what can be done with the chips.   Using the sharp tuning of a FSL and the sensitivity of the KT0936m might yield some interesting results.



Thank you,

Ray

 



From: main@UltralightDX.groups.io <main@UltralightDX.groups.io> on behalf of Max Italy <max2013@...>
Sent: Thursday, 9 April 2020 10:59 PM
To: main@UltralightDX.groups.io <main@UltralightDX.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [UltralightDX] AM radio that use a chip for the receive circuitry
 

Here i uploaded some datasheets for radio ic with mechanical tuning (do not need to program a MCU).
http://maximradio.altervista.org/datasheets/
They are from KTmicro, AKC Technology and Silicon Labs.
Some were avaialble only in Chinese and i translated them to english

KT0936M is supposed to be even better than the Si4825;
a discussion can be found on the CQHAM.RU forum, you have to use google translator
http://www.cqham.ru/forum/showthread.php?39304


Phillips
 

Thanks Guys,

Photos on the FaceBook show exactly what I am looking for.   The problem is that the product seems to be discontinued from the usual sources but, at least, I now know that it exists.  I will keep an eye on FaceBook to see if it comes back into stock or an alternate becomes available.

Thanks again,
Ray
 

From: main@UltralightDX.groups.io <main@UltralightDX.groups.io> on behalf of h. garcia <pu3hag.l@...>
Sent: Friday, 10 April 2020 1:10 AM
To: main@ultralightdx.groups.io <main@ultralightdx.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [UltralightDX] AM radio that use a chip for the receive circuitry
 
Hi Ray, Andy --

Ray, there an active Facebook group called "Si47xx For Radio Experimenters". Several guys already sharing their buildings and tests. I'm sure you can ask questions there and the member will warmly help.

This is the link to the group:


On Wed, Apr 8, 2020, 9:54 PM Andy ZL3AG via groups.io <zl3ag=radioengineering.com@groups.io> wrote:


Hi Ray,

I can't find my notes right now to give you speficis, but be aware that many of the chips shipping from china are old versions, and many of the breakout boards and modules don't bring all of the chip leads out so you can't always make use of all the features of the installed chip.

So to avoid disappointment, you need to look at close up photos of the items to try to figure out which one would be best for the job.
Cheers,

Andy


On 9/04/20 12:43 pm, Phillips wrote:
> Hi All,
>
> I would like to try my hand at using a MCU such as an Arduino to control a Si4735.
>
> Si4735's are available on eBay Australia 5 for $US7.14 ($AU11.55), but they are SSOP packages.
>
> My old eyes and shaky hands can't handle SMD's even with magnifying lenses.
>
> Does anyone know if/where I can get Si4735's in a through hole package or on a breakout board?
>
>
> Stay safe folks,
>
> Ray
>




Phillips
 

Thanks Andy,

Yes, I have been bitten by the forged chip syndrome. 

I bought what I thought were two seven band audio spectrum chips but, for the life of me, could not get them to work properly.  They were marked very clearly as seven banders but did not respond properly to the seven band coding libraries.  After much recoding and retesting,  they started to give rational results.  Turns out that they were five band chips not seven. 

I wanted a five band analyser and had planned to use code to merge a couple of the bands but the five band chips saved me the trouble and so the forgeries actually worked in my favour.

A search on the 'net turned up others that had found the same forgeries.  What I find incongruous is that I could not find five band chips from the usual sources.

I'm yet to find a Chinese 8x8 RGB LED matrix that works properly (given up on finding one).

I think that part of the trouble is that many sellers are only dropshipper agents.  They have little knowledge of electronics and are just agents for larger suppliers.  They don't have the knowledge or resources to test what they sell and are totally reliant on the manufacturers.  Many are operating on margins as low as 2%  and can't afford to upset their suppliers.  The manufacturers are divorced from the end buyer and don't care what grief comes back from faulty products and so they can adopt poor practices with impunity.

Caveat emptor,

Ray


From: main@UltralightDX.groups.io <main@UltralightDX.groups.io> on behalf of Andy ZL3AG via groups.io <zl3ag@...>
Sent: Thursday, 9 April 2020 10:23 AM
To: main@UltralightDX.groups.io <main@UltralightDX.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [UltralightDX] AM radio that use a chip for the receive circuitry
 

Hi Ray,

I can't find my notes right now to give you speficis, but be aware that many of the chips shipping from china are old versions, and many of the breakout boards and modules don't bring all of the chip leads out so you can't always make use of all the features of the installed chip.

So to avoid disappointment, you need to look at close up photos of the items to try to figure out which one would be best for the job.
Cheers,

Andy


On 9/04/20 12:43 pm, Phillips wrote:
> Hi All,
>
> I would like to try my hand at using a MCU such as an Arduino to control a Si4735.
>
> Si4735's are available on eBay Australia 5 for $US7.14 ($AU11.55), but they are SSOP packages.
>
> My old eyes and shaky hands can't handle SMD's even with magnifying lenses.
>
> Does anyone know if/where I can get Si4735's in a through hole package or on a breakout board?
>
>
> Stay safe folks,
>
> Ray
>




Max Italy
 

Hi Ray,

the Si4735 ic is not discontinued and can be found on Ebay, it is currently used in many radios and that's the one used in most projects shown in the Si47XX for Radio Experimenters facebook group;
Also check the Youtube channel of Ricardo Caratti the administrator to see some fresh videos https://www.youtube.com/user/pu2clr/videos
and his github for the library for arduino here: https://github.com/pu2clr/SI4735


Kenny Murray
 

yes there are  sites that have this and often compare the radios..

simply put tho.. the new silicon labs chip does a good job.. in some general items


and also

a good preformer is the countycomm gp5ssb  whis is the same as the tecsun pl365

other makes are such as the kaito it has a larger ferrite


most folks can tell you the tecsun newer radios are best price preformance


i have the gp5ssb and live in the city in a brick structure and a lot of concrete.. works well for me and runs for days from batteries




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On Saturday, April 4, 2020, 9:15:23 AM ADT, lamontcranston17 <nojunk@...> wrote:


  I'm following a thread on a group with an argument about whether new AM radios are now mostly designed with a chip
for the radio receive circuitry.
  Does anyone have a website with either a list of radios using specific chips for the receive circuitry
or a list of the chips used for receive circuitry?

                                        Thanks Mikek