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Old 1st Feb 2019, 6:53 pm   #1
G6Tanuki
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Default TalkSport echoes.

Some people complain here about sibilance on radio-4 longwave, but why has nobody mentioned the horrible echoes on TalkSport 693/909KHz?

I live where the coverage-areas of two transmitters overlap. The problem is not carrier-desynchronisation-fading between transmitters (I know what that sounds like from my days with wide-area-coverage AM VHF police/fire/civil-defence rnetworks atound 100MHz) - rather it sounds much more like one transmitter's audio feed has a delay of 100 milliseconds or more compared with the other.

The echo makes TalkSport all-but-unlistenable-to. What's the best path through which to report this?
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Old 1st Feb 2019, 7:02 pm   #2
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Default Re: TalkSport echoes.

Been reported may times before and in short they just don't care about their AM output now they are on DAB, Freeview and Online.
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Old 1st Feb 2019, 7:10 pm   #3
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Default Re: TalkSport echoes.

Which is a shame: for me the only really-listenable daytime content on MW/LW is TalkSport.

Hmmmm... in the 1970s I used to participate in top-band 'foxhunts' - I've still got the radio [four OC170s, a TAD100 IC and a single NKT404 as the audio-output stage] somewhere in the attic; I wonder if it still works and could be resurrected to let me null-out one transmitter?
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Old 1st Feb 2019, 7:17 pm   #4
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Default Re: TalkSport echoes.

Five Live is on 909/693, the echo is because of simultaneous transmission from far apart transmitters getting various feed methods.
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Old 1st Feb 2019, 7:37 pm   #5
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Default Re: TalkSport echoes.

Yes, if you live in an overlapping area all you can do is null out one of the transmitters. 1053/1089 was always an awful transmitter network even when R1 used it, and there's no attempt to keep the transmitters synchronised now.

909/693 R5 is a bit better but still pretty grim in places.
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Old 1st Feb 2019, 7:43 pm   #6
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Default Re: TalkSport echoes.

The problem's not transmitter desynchronisation, it's the audio-delay between the transmitters that makes it sound like the program is being delivered from inside a tube-station.

I'm going to do some playing-around with directional antennas and a version of the "Jones" phasing-scheme (more usually seen used in WWII aircraft to reduce interference from spark-ignition engines) to see what's possible.
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Old 1st Feb 2019, 7:46 pm   #7
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Default Re: TalkSport echoes.

Yes, it also happens on Virgin - and you can hear different adds in the commercial breaks!

In the good old days the BBC ensured that not only were synced networks' carrier frequencies within 0.05 Hz, but that the modulation was exactly in sync too.

(I remember this from my days at BBC Crowsley Park, but maybe some transmitter engineers could add some more.)
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Old 1st Feb 2019, 7:46 pm   #8
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Default Re: TalkSport echoes.

Because transmitter synchronisation has been abandoned they don't see any need to synchronise the audio feeds either. I think the TalkSport feeds come from satellite.
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Old 1st Feb 2019, 8:06 pm   #9
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Default Re: TalkSport echoes.

Some times, just for fun, I put 2 identical radios about 6 foot apart and tune into Radio 5, one tuned to 909 and the other to 693 and it produces a great 'empty hall' effect.

I'm not sure but I'm receiving from Sandy Heath & Oxford ?
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Old 2nd Feb 2019, 1:17 am   #10
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Default Re: TalkSport echoes.

Camtechman you will be receiving 909khz from the Brookmans park transmitter and maybe 693 from Postwick near Norwich.
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Old 2nd Feb 2019, 11:58 am   #11
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Default Re: TalkSport echoes.

693 will be from Droitwich. There are no MW transmitters at Oxford apart from a tiny relay for Absolute.
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Old 2nd Feb 2019, 12:27 pm   #12
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Default Re: TalkSport echoes.

Many thanks.
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Old 11th Feb 2019, 9:45 pm   #13
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Default Re: TalkSport echoes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by G6Tanuki View Post
Some people complain here about sibilance on radio-4 longwave, but why has nobody mentioned the horrible echoes on TalkSport 693/909KHz?
Indeed. The sibilance issue complaints relating to R4 198kHz LW would pale into utter insignificance if issues arouse of the audio on the two Scotland on-channel 'filler' 198kHz R4 transmitters was arriving out-of-time with Droitwich and causing similar echos over a large area especially at night
I don't think this has ever occured, but there is a first time for eveything!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian - G4JQT View Post
In the good old days the BBC ensured that not only were synced networks' carrier frequencies within 0.05 Hz,
Quite apart from the echoing, I notice there is also for some time a pronounced beat of around 2Hz - 2.5Hz on Talksport's 1053kHz channel - due to one of their transmitters being off by that amount compared to other talksport transmitters (it is not due to any foreign transmitter).

Some time ago, the 1089kHz channel used to have a pronounced beat of around 1Hz at night for a length period. This is no longer apparent, - the offending transmitter (possibly was Westerglen) must have been put precisely back on 1089 (using GPS reference??), now if only the echoing (still happening on both 1053 and 1089) could be sorted out!

Last edited by colourking; 11th Feb 2019 at 9:53 pm.
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Old 11th Feb 2019, 10:42 pm   #14
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Default Re: TalkSport echoes.

The distribution of Talksport is IP based at a fairly low bitrate, so there are varying delays at each site dependent on the routing. It is not something that can be fixed unfortunately. Rotating you radio to null out interference is the only realistic option to cure it sadly.
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Old 16th Feb 2019, 8:31 am   #15
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Default Re: TalkSport echoes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonster View Post
The distribution of Talksport is IP based at a fairly low bitrate, so there are varying delays at each site dependent on the routing. It is not something that can be fixed unfortunately. Rotating you radio to null out interference is the only realistic option to cure it sadly.
Which of course no one can do with a car radio - if it's not got DAB...

It's obviously just not worth anyone's bother these days.
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Old 4th Mar 2019, 4:32 pm   #16
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Default Re: TalkSport echoes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by michamoo View Post
in short they just don't care about their AM output now they are on DAB, Freeview and Online.
Ironically they still announce their '10-89 and 10-53' AM frequencies on air (unlike 5 Live), though I think less often than they used to.

Echoing in the middle of the day now audible where I am on 1089, which hadn't been the case recently!, so its an echo between Redruth and Washford where I am as I have a mixture of signals from both on 1089
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Old 4th Mar 2019, 7:26 pm   #17
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Default Re: TalkSport echoes.

I remember when that frequency was Talk Radio UK, the good old days
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Old 4th Mar 2019, 7:37 pm   #18
Ian - G4JQT
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Default Re: TalkSport echoes.

And before that Radio One!
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Old 29th Mar 2019, 10:39 am   #19
colourking
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Default Re: TalkSport echoes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonster View Post
The distribution of Talksport is IP based at a fairly low bitrate, so there are varying delays at each site dependent on the routing. It is not something that can be fixed unfortunately. Rotating you radio to null out interference is the only realistic option to cure it sadly.
There appear to have been no echoing issues (that I can hear) on both 1089 and 1053 kHz SFNs for well over a week (I have checked a number of times during darkness) , obviously resolving this problem was not insurmountable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian - G4JQT View Post
and you can hear different adds in the commercial breaks!
Talksport do not do that anymore as far as I can tell. But they do still have separate traffic/travel news for some areas, I can sometimes easily hear the separate traffic/travel for Scotland on 1089 helped by rotating the radio early in these mornings with Skywaves still present. (listeners possibly hearing another travel news in the background is only a minor issue compared to the constant echoing issues that were occuring!)

Last edited by colourking; 29th Mar 2019 at 11:01 am.
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Old 29th Mar 2019, 12:27 pm   #20
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Default Re: TalkSport echoes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonster View Post
The distribution of Talksport is IP based at a fairly low bitrate, so there are varying delays at each site dependent on the routing. It is not something that can be fixed unfortunately. Rotating you radio to null out interference is the only realistic option to cure it sadly.
Precise time synchronisation across the internet over varying paths is a solved problem (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_Time_Protocol). It's perfectly possible to do, so in principle if Talksport felt like it, they could get the modulation synchronised. It should be even easier today with the ready availability of affordable GPS time references.

We can only assume that they just don't think it's important enough to spend any money on.

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