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Bedside radios that don't "buzz"


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Old 02-10-2006, 07:33
WM1976
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My Sony cube alarm-clock-radio has developed an annoying transformer buzz. This just drives me up the wall when I'm trying to sleep. I gather this is a common problem.

Are there any decent clock-radios that have a digital tuner (in the non-dial sense) or maybe DAB units which don't have this annoying "feature"? I also don't want to have to press a button for the thing to light up.

One more point and forgive me if I'm being picky. When my Sony comes on in the morning, it displays the frequency for several seconds instead of the time, subsequent presses of snooze causes the same problem. Again, realy annoying.
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Old 02-10-2006, 09:25
horizon.swing
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Sony Dream Machine does i think...
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Old 02-10-2006, 14:40
kev
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Don't get the XDR-S1, it's buzzing is really annoying (and it has a europlug and not a stupid transformer). Try and avoid backlit (especially blue) stuff if you use it on sleep timer too - they make the room light up big time.

At least it displays the time and station name (once it's tuned in)...
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Old 02-10-2006, 14:42
Bluenile
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Originally Posted by WM1976
My Sony cube alarm-clock-radio has developed an annoying transformer buzz. This just drives me up the wall when I'm trying to sleep. I gather this is a common problem.

Are there any decent clock-radios that have a digital tuner (in the non-dial sense) or maybe DAB units which don't have this annoying "feature"? I also don't want to have to press a button for the thing to light up.

One more point and forgive me if I'm being picky. When my Sony comes on in the morning, it displays the frequency for several seconds instead of the time, subsequent presses of snooze causes the same problem. Again, realy annoying.
Try giving it a slight bang, or pressing down on the case around where the transformer is.
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Old 03-12-2006, 19:34
WM1976
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Sorry for the long delay, it didn't buzz last time I went to sleep and I've just woken up...

Anyway, buzzing again now, it's going in the bin, or daughters room.

Anyone had any experience of these...

ROBERTS GEMINI 19
Classic FM button! WHAT!

PURE CHRONOS
May have that blue backlight
External antenna socket

ROBERTS GEMINI 26

I need to know...

Does it buzz?
Does it display the time as soon as the alarm sounds?
Does it display full station name. My RD5 only shows Radio 1 instead of BBC Radio 1.

Not to be too picky.
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Old 03-12-2006, 20:55
Libra28
 
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pure evoke-1xt is good alarm clock, no buzz, but it has an annoying backlight if you use it as a clock at night
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Old 03-12-2006, 20:56
Tc7
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I think its due to the radios containing the power supply.

Look for a set with an external power supply.

Have you tried putting a small square of polystirine under the unit. This will act as an absorber and supress the buzz a little.

Tc

Last edited by Tc7 : 03-12-2006 at 20:59.
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Old 04-12-2006, 12:01
nightcrawler
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Roberts CRD39.

Expensive but..........

Big sound
stereo speakers.
DAB/FM
Backlight RDS/time display auto dims when it goes dark
Remote control
Doesn't forget the time when you unplug it.
Can use as ordinary Dab radio in any room.
Can pre set different alarm times depending on day of week using different wake up stations if desired.

Mine is ace

Oh and it doesn't buzz either....
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Old 04-12-2006, 15:46
WM1976
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I only listed for 30 minutes in the morning between snoozes so I don't want to pay too much.

I've tried placing the unit on a soft base, no good.

Looks like I'm going for the Pure Chrons.

Thanks for the advice.
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Old 04-12-2006, 19:46
smorris
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Originally Posted by WM1976
Does it display full station name. My RD5 only shows Radio 1 instead of BBC Radio 1.
That's just RDS, not the radio. It's 8 letters max.

DAB will give you the whole name - if you can get reception, of course.
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Old 04-12-2006, 19:54
kev
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Originally Posted by smorris
That's just RDS, not the radio. It's 8 letters max.

DAB will give you the whole name - if you can get reception, of course.
Not all DAB sets do, my parents Intemp and my car stereo for two.

The Intempo is a bit daft as there is enough room to fit it in, but my car radio makes sense as 16 characters would be too small to read sensibly while driving.

At least 16 characters will mean stations won't need to show things like MANSF\LD any more, which just looks wrong.
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Old 04-12-2006, 20:21
WM1976
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Originally Posted by smorris
That's just RDS, not the radio. It's 8 letters max.

DAB will give you the whole name - if you can get reception, of course.
It is DAB. My Roberts RD5 only shows 8 characters. On most units, you see a shortened version of the name when you scroll through, this unit doesn't expand on that when you select the station.

Even more odd, Smash Hits is displayed as SMASHhi, Magic Birmingham as MAGIc. Not a problem, just annoying.

This is the second Roberts unit I've bought with this problem. Most of the images of Roberts Radios shows BBC7 which doesn't give much away.
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Old 04-12-2006, 23:53
smorris
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Originally Posted by kev
At least 16 characters will mean stations won't need to show things like MANSF\LD any more, which just looks wrong.
I remember when the pirate London Underground was stuck with static RDS one week: LDNUDRGD
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Old 08-12-2006, 20:08
WM1976
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Got a look at the Roberts Gemini 26 and Pure Chronos today. The Roberts Gemini 19 didn't have an antenna but the guy in Comet assured me "it didn't need one, you don't with digital, it comes down the wire", apparently.

Anyway, software wise, they look the same. Are they the same radio badged differently with different buttons?

Still that annoying problem that they don't display the time straight away when the alarm sounds. Imagine, the alarm goes off at 6:45. You know it goes off at 6:45, it always does but the first thing you want to know when the alarm goes off is "What's the time?", well, it's "DAB tuning..." o'clock if these units are to be beleived. It's only for 5 secs but you know, first thing in the morning and all.

The Saga continues. I know I'm making hard work of this but 70 is a fair bit.
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Old 10-12-2006, 12:45
nightcrawler
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[quote=WM1976]

Still that annoying problem that they don't display the time straight away when the alarm sounds. Imagine, the alarm goes off at 6:45. You know it goes off at 6:45, it always does but the first thing you want to know when the alarm goes off is "What's the time?", well, it's "DAB tuning..." o'clock if these units are to be beleived. It's only for 5 secs but you know, first thing in the morning and all.

QUOTE]

Do you mean to say it takes you less than 5 secs to open your eyes in the morning??????????
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Old 10-12-2006, 13:09
WM1976
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Straight away, it startles me. Believe me, it takes a lot longer before I get out of bed.
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Old 11-12-2006, 14:10
WM1976
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I got the Pure Chronos, no good. When you turn the unit off, the speaker sounds like you've just turned the volume down. It makes a kind of humming noise, you can tell it's still active.

Took it back and got the Roberts RD19. Does the job. Shame all of the clock digits are so small. Also, with the radio on, you need to press the info button until you see the time/date displayed, otherwide you wake up to Bit Rate into or MUX name etc.
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Old 12-12-2006, 21:20
daveyhairbear
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Problem is, all mains powered alarm clocks are liable to buzz given time.

Transformers are generally soaked in a type of varnish which prevents the coil windings from moving. Thus they make no noise.

However, as they age the varnish tends to break down and degrade and thus the windings progressively become able to vibrate. This is what causes the noise.

If you can find an alarm with a "wall wart" type supply then this will be better as the transformer will be plugged in the wall rather than situated next to your ear.
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Old 13-12-2006, 08:36
Tc7
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Originally Posted by daveyhairbear
Problem is, all mains powered alarm clocks are liable to buzz given time.

Transformers are generally soaked in a type of varnish which prevents the coil windings from moving. Thus they make no noise.

However, as they age the varnish tends to break down and degrade and thus the windings progressively become able to vibrate. This is what causes the noise.

If you can find an alarm with a "wall wart" type supply then this will be better as the transformer will be plugged in the wall rather than situated next to your ear.
Thats what I suggested.

Get a radio with an external power supply (ie transformer on or near the plug). That way the work and buzzing will be performed away from the unit and your head!

DAB's need more power than standard FM radios so they hum a bit more.

Tc
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Old 13-12-2006, 09:35
Inkblot
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Originally Posted by WM1976
Took it back and got the Roberts RD19. Does the job. Shame all of the clock digits are so small. Also, with the radio on, you need to press the info button until you see the time/date displayed, otherwide you wake up to Bit Rate into or MUX name etc.
I've got the Roberts Gemini 9 and although I find it very straightforward to use my wife just doesn't get the idea of pushing the same button to perform different functions. So she insists on switching the radio off to set the alarm or check the time.

Two other glitches are more annoying: the radio originally had a design fault where every so often it would fall silent, as if it had lost the signal, and would have to be switched off and on to recover. This could happen before the alarm went off, so it would switch on and play silence until something else woke us up. Roberts recalled it and made some kind of modification so it doesn't happen very often now, but it still falls silent a few times a week. The other problem is the volume control does not have a very low minimum, so it goes straight from no sound to loud enough to hear across the whole room. Not great when one person's trying to sleep.
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Old 13-12-2006, 12:17
WM1976
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The buzz from the Chronos wasn't a transformer buzz, more like circuit feeding the speaker was still active, just with no input into it.

The RD19 is not too bad, a bit bright at night yet on the same settings, quite dull in daylight. I think you have to look at the display square to see the digits clearly.

All in all, not a bad unit. Maybe I'm asking a little too much. The biggest problem is getting the wife to stop listening to Heart FM, which is on FM anyway,
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Old 03-07-2008, 10:06
WM1976
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Double post
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Old 03-07-2008, 10:09
wavy-davy
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Got a look at the Roberts Gemini 26 and Pure Chronos today. The Roberts Gemini 19 didn't have an antenna but the guy in Comet assured me "it didn't need one, you don't with digital, it comes down the wire", apparently.
Great.
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Old 03-07-2008, 10:14
WM1976
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Well, after 18 months, I've decided that the limited 5 minutes snooze on my Roberts Gemini 26 is driving me nuts.

Can anyone recommend a decent DAB alarm clock radio with a decent display that DOES NOT BUZZ, EVER, AT ALL!

Cheers.
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Old 03-07-2008, 10:39
belleville1
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I remember when the pirate London Underground was stuck with static RDS one week: LDNUDRGD
If we're going for daft RDS, I was driving down the Wirral the other week and thought I'd check out the local community station, 7 Waves. Or, as their RDS calls them, 7WCR92.1. What's wrong with just "7 WAVES"?
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