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SantaFefan



Joined: 07 Dec 2006
Posts: 11258
Location: top of the cliffs in Norfolk

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:01 pm    Post subject: Back it goes.. Reply with quote

Well this'll be the shortest time I've ever had something from my old pals at Comet...
I called in this afternoon to buy a camera ( with macro ) and was quickly drawn to the radio section. I wanted a replacement unit for my old cheap Tesco unit in which the CD drive seems a little tired.
Before Mrs SFF managed to drag me away from the goodies, I thought I'd found the ideal unit.
A Ferguson ( Confused ) DAB/FM with a MP3 CD drive, a USB port, an iPod dock and a card slot.. plus an obvious "Sleep" button. 125...

When I connected it up this evening, I couldn't believe how naff it is!
I wanted it as a bedside "fall off to sleep" unit but the amp/woofer/tuner units made more hummy, ticky noises at low volume than the radio!
Plus, and here's where I hate all this modern tech stuff... the card reader wouldn't read my SD card ( which has 11 SOTS on it )
No files it said.. Evil or Very Mad
So, out it all came, re-installed my old cheapo unit and my card is happily working again.... plus, after a quick smack on the CD lid, that's working better too now.. ( I like to listen to old radio shows on MP3 files on a CD... 250 shows on one disc! Razz )

So, Comet here I come....
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John W



Joined: 07 Dec 2006
Posts: 3360
Location: Warwickshire, UK

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ferguson? Rolling Eyes

That name alone would have frightened me off. They used to make/sell naff hi-fi when I was a kid.
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SantaFefan



Joined: 07 Dec 2006
Posts: 11258
Location: top of the cliffs in Norfolk

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would have said Ferguson was a reasonable manufacturer back in the good old days.. we had a couple of "Tube" radiograms and they were pretty good... in fact, I still have one of them and it works great!
Also, my very first Video recorder was a Ferguson... a 3V23 VideoStar.. one of the first electronic machines.. none of those clunking great piano keys on that! Laughing

But yes, it's crap.. Rolling Eyes
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becky sharp



Joined: 01 Dec 2008
Posts: 5893

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Back it goes.. Reply with quote

SantaFefan wrote:

.... plus, after a quick smack on the CD lid, .

Usually works Very Happy
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SantaFefan



Joined: 07 Dec 2006
Posts: 11258
Location: top of the cliffs in Norfolk

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

it does Becky! Laughing it was common pactice back in the black and white telly days! vertical hold??? what's that? Razz
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becky sharp



Joined: 01 Dec 2008
Posts: 5893

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SantaFefan wrote:
it does Becky! Laughing it was common pactice back in the black and white telly days! vertical hold??? what's that? Razz

As if I would know.. Wink Razz Laughing
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Helen May



Joined: 10 Dec 2006
Posts: 18213
Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SantaFefan wrote:
it does Becky! Laughing it was common pactice back in the black and white telly days! vertical hold??? what's that? Razz


That takes me back a bit SF!!

H
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I said it live on air in the studio with Jeremy Vine on 10/3/2005
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ColinB
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SantaFefan wrote:
Also, my very first Video recorder was a Ferguson... a 3V23 VideoStar.. one of the first electronic machines.. none of those clunking great piano keys on that! Laughing


The first and second-generation Ferguson VHS recorders sold in the UK were rebadged JVC machines. They were actually very good, although not quite as good technically as their Sanyo-branded Betamax recorders (assembled in Lowestoft).
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SantaFefan



Joined: 07 Dec 2006
Posts: 11258
Location: top of the cliffs in Norfolk

PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The firm of Architects I worked for did the work on that Lowestoft factory Razz

Yes, the 3V23 was a good machine although at about 700 back in '82-ish it was a lot of money!
I remember being pleased about how many little red LEDs appeared on the face of the unit... loads of them... and I like things with lights Rolling Eyes
but I was even more pleased when a TV programme featured some professional TV/Video/Recording type chap with a tall stack of these machines behind him... obviously a good choice on my part..Laughing unlike the Ferguson... Sad
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SantaFefan



Joined: 07 Dec 2006
Posts: 11258
Location: top of the cliffs in Norfolk

PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So... I returned the unit to Comet and a sour faced manager agreed to "allow" me to upgrade or ( through gritted teeth ) a credit note.
The only alternative was a Roberts "MP Sound 53" at 215.
This offered DAB/FM, iPod dock, USB, CD mp3, SD slot and a sleep timer... I was chuffed at the checkout to find it also records too... Razz
After a bit of bargaining Wink I got it for 195... and as it's a Roberts, it'll work nicely with my Roberts RD-41 Dab recording radio..

Upon set up at home, I was pleased to see it was easy to work via the remote and the pleasant blue light would lull me to sleep..

The Radio worked great, my iPod worked great, my mp3 CD's worked great but... my Roberts recorded SD cards won't play! Rolling Eyes
Now you would think that a Roberts recorded SD card would play on another Roberts machine wouldn't you? but no..

I nipped upstairs to my Roberts RD-41 and the cards work fine.. slipping a card into my PC, I find the file format on the card, recorded on the aformentioned machine is "Movie Clip (.MP2)" Shocked
Movie clip??? MP2?? why can't things be simple?
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ColinB
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SantaFefan wrote:
Now you would think that a Roberts recorded SD card would play on another Roberts machine wouldn't you? but no..


It depends on whether the older machine uses the same compression format as the new one.

SantaFefan wrote:
I nipped upstairs to my Roberts RD-41 and the cards work fine.. slipping a card into my PC, I find the file format on the card, recorded on the aformentioned machine is "Movie Clip (.MP2)" Shocked
Movie clip??? MP2?? why can't things be simple?


Ah, well, there you go. They're using MP2 (which stands for MPEG-1 Layer 2 Audio), which is an older format, in the older RD-41. Much better to stick with the now ubiquitous .MP3, which is what the newer machine is now doing.
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SantaFefan



Joined: 07 Dec 2006
Posts: 11258
Location: top of the cliffs in Norfolk

PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it possible for a computer dimwit like me to convert the files, or copy them to the pc and convert them to mp3 to copy back to another SD card?
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ColinB
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, there are loads of freebie apps available online that will do a conversion for you. I can't recommend one in particular because all the ones we use here on Apple Macs are professional (and expensive) ones but just search "convert audio to MP3" and you'll be spoilt for choice.
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Helen May



Joined: 10 Dec 2006
Posts: 18213
Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SantaFefan wrote:
Now you would think that a Roberts recorded SD card would play on another Roberts machine wouldn't you? but no..

I nipped upstairs to my Roberts RD-41 and the cards work fine.. slipping a card into my PC, I find the file format on the card, recorded on the aformentioned machine is "Movie Clip (.MP2)" Shocked
Movie clip??? MP2?? why can't things be simple?


I wonder if that's why Roberts stopped making the RD41 SantaFe? I was disappointed I couldn't get one. Still well pleased with my i83Stream though! Very Happy

H
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88 - 91 FM this is Radio 2 from the BBC!

I said it live on air in the studio with Jeremy Vine on 10/3/2005
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SantaFefan



Joined: 07 Dec 2006
Posts: 11258
Location: top of the cliffs in Norfolk

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Colin, I'll have a browse over the weekend to see what I can find... or enlist the help of my 14 year old assistant Embarassed

Maybe Helen... I thought about contacting Roberts to ask what I might be able to do about the differing formats..
I'm going to try copying the files ( SOTS ) from my SD card to a USB stick to see if that will work on the new Roberts.. if it does, it will be enough for me.
Yes, the Stream 83i is a great little unit.. I found myself looking at it again on the Comet shelf.. NO! two's enough! Laughing
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Johnnie Walker read out my message on Pirate Radio! Very Happy 13/8/07
I have heard how radio should be.
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Helen May



Joined: 10 Dec 2006
Posts: 18213
Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm thinking about getting another one to have upstairs as it's annoying not to have DAB upstairs. I guess I could use the laptop but the speakers aren't as good. I keep telling myself the other radio is very old (true!) and it doesn't owe me anything...............

H
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I said it live on air in the studio with Jeremy Vine on 10/3/2005
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ColinB
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing you could do is to use a USB wireless sender. It's a little USB stick (just like a thumb drive) which you plug into the computer that's streaming off the internet and it then converts it to a FM transmission (on a frequency you determine) to any FM receiver within range. It's a bit like the iTrip devices that relay the output of an iPhone (etc) in a car to the FM tuner.

And it's legal, by the way!!!
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