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Enabling

FM Stereo is automatically enabled when you select the BFM (Broadcast FM) mode. If the signal you are receiving is strong enough the sound will switch from mono to stereo after approximately 100 milliseconds.

RDS Decoding

There are regional variations in the RDS specification,

  • RDS which is the international standard, and
  • RBDS which is the variant used in the United States.

And if that's not enough there's a new RDS 2.0 on the horizon which will be supported should it ever be implemented in the world outside of committees. If you want to know more about RDS please visit the RDS Forum where you can purchase a copy of the RDS specification.

This software implements almost all features of the current RDS specification.

Enabling

By default RDS data is displayed as a waterfall picture-in-picture (PiP). You enable this display either from the ribbon bar's View panel or from the program options.



Future

There are areas in the RDS decoding where I can improve the decoding - this will not make a great improvement but every little tweak helps.

Options

The options are displayed in the general receive options: in the ribbon bar select receive panel, then click Options.

Display:

  • Enable - enables the display and decoding of RDS
  • Show PI code - a unique four character code which identifies the station
  • Either RBDS or RDS depending on the source of the transmission
  • Enable partial decoding - results in a lot of erroneous data but may be useful for extreme station detection

Audio:

  • Enable Stereo as required
  • Select the de-emphasis. In most of the world a 50 µs time constant is used. In the Americas and South Korea, 75 µs is used [Wikipedia]
Ranting

The quality of some FM broadcast signals is very bad, even from major transmitter sites. RDS levels can be far higher than the recommended specification, far lower, and even not phase locked to the 19kHz stereo pilot!

 

The feels better.