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Thread: New CarTFT FM (Automotive USB FM/RDS tuner)

  1. #1
    Moderator ccsnet's Avatar
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    New CarTFT FM (Automotive USB FM/RDS tuner)

    The search for the holy grail in FM tech for the CarPC continues and I've noticed that CarTFT have a new compact USB unit out. What makes this special in my opinion is the ability to connect it directly to your car antenna with out any mods using an extra adaptor. Depending on your car you may or may not need an aerial amp but these available in most places and only cost 5-15.

    The device its self supports Centrafuse (version 2.x and 3.x) and Radiator which means its quite usable.

    Details follow:


    http://www.cartft.com/catalog/il/113...aign=CarTFT_FM

    This FM/RDS-tuner especially was developed for mobile usage. It is connected to the PC by USB and 3.55mm Line-In/Mic-In. An antenna is included in scope of supply. The receiption quality can further be improved by connecting the device to an amplified antenna respectively by connecting it to a car antenna with help of an adapter (DIN ISO, FAKRA).

    The receiver is shipped with software interfaces for Centrafuse (version 2.x and 3.x) and Radiator (thereby also adds support for InCar Terminal) which allows a very flexible usage.

    Hardware
    Power supply voltage 5V / ~50mA (via USB)
    Audio Stereo
    Operating temperature -20 to 85C
    Storage temperature -40 to 100C
    Weight 33g
    Dimensions (module) 46 x 20 x 16 mm
    Tuner type Digital-Synthesizer, integrated R(B)DS processor
    Sensivity approx. 3μV (S+N)/N=26dB
    Frequency range (FM) 85.5 to 108Mhz (Japanese bands on request)
    Tuning speed 2-3 seconds band to band
    Compliance E13, CE, FCC
    Connectors - 3.55mm jack Stereo Audio output
    - USB jack (for power and control)
    - 2.55mm for antenna
    Cable lengths Audio : 230mm
    USB : 230mm

    Software
    Operating system Windows 95x, XP, 2000, 2003, Vista, 7
    Centrafuse compability Version 2.x, 3.x
    Radiator compability Yes
    InCar Terminal (iCT) compability Yes (through Radiator)

    Scope of supply - CarTFT FM Radio receiver
    - Antenna with 2.55mm jack connector
    - Driver CD with Centrafuse and Radiator plugins

  2. #2
    Advanced Member Scouse Monkey's Avatar
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    why not audio over usb?

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    Moderator ccsnet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scouse Monkey View Post
    why not audio over usb?
    Probably cost plus I think only the Silabs did that and as a 'car' radio it was a bit pants.

    Terran

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    Advanced Member Scouse Monkey's Avatar
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    silabs was a pc radio and crap in a car for some but great for others.

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    Moderator ccsnet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scouse Monkey View Post
    silabs was a pc radio and crap in a car for some but great for others.
    Thats my point.... it may be the chip involved was prone to interference so this is more robust but with out that feature ? May be there is a patent on it... who knows. I have to say this may be a little simpler to work seening as radiator works out of the box.

    Terran

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    Advanced Member Scouse Monkey's Avatar
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    it is the moving aspect I think

    this will be interesting though and not too expensive if it works 100% as well as a proper car one.

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    Advanced Member stealthe's Avatar
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    Looks very similar to the GNS tmc receiver. kevin.kga mentions silabs in the reviews.

    stealthe
    Last edited by stealthe; 02-02-2010 at 11:49.

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    I get a feeling this is based on the silab chip. Ill assume this is still a standard FM receiver with RDS? Does it retune to best signal as you travel?

    The silab dongle uses the Si4701 and according to the datasheet its sensitivity is 2.5-3.5 μV, while this module is Sensivity approx. 3μV (S+N)/N=26dB

    I think this would perform just like the silab dongle that we all know off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stealthe View Post
    Looks very similar to the GNS tmc receiver. kevin.kga mentions silabs in the reviews.

    stealthe
    It does indeed and they do sell it here >

    http://www.cartft.com/catalog/il/1017

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    Ok if thats based on the TMC chip from silab its probably the Si4706 chip. They tapped off the L and R channel from the chip, hence the audio line out while the USB is used for controls.

    While the Si4706 doesnt have a good sensitivity for FM, it is however very good at decoding the RDS.

    http://www.silabs.com/products/audio...es/Si4706.aspx

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    whats the sensitivity on the venice?

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    Quote Originally Posted by nrgizerbunny View Post
    whats the sensitivity on the venice?
    According to the datasheet typically on the FM is -107dBm = 1uv

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    is that better or worse? i thought more MINUS was better?!

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    1uv is better than 3uv. I think the HQCT is about 2uv. A good HU is around 0.7uv-1uv

    The venice is pretty good with that 1uv figure. I read over at the darkside saying that this new CarTFT FM is abit better than the silab.

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    Gns

    Actually I don't think it's a silabs tuner. Whatever provides tuning and demodulation is controlled by a silabs cp210x serial interface i.e a USB<-->Serial(COM) converter.

    I believe that the actual TMC chip is a TC5000 made by GNS.

    http://wiki.gns-gmbh.com/index.php?title=Main_Page

    So basically, you send data through the COM port and that is interpreted by whatever mechanism is inside the unit to Scan, Change Freq, increase volume etc.


    And I think the closest commercial product they have to this is : (pdf)

    My current problem is that I am really sick and tired of windows. And the only thing stopping me from moving to linux(gentoo) is the ability to use this as my radio! Grrr. GNS don't open their APIs either. I think the unit can do much more than it is advertised as, and I guess that the APIs might hint at that, which is why they don't open it up to everyone IMO.

    Wish me luck.
    Last edited by kevin.kga; 26-05-2011 at 20:42.

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