I purchased a Psion WaveFinder just before Christmas 2001.

In attempting to get the best out of it I assembled a file of information and anecdotes, which I've now published here as a FAQ in case it proves useful to others.

This FAQ isn't a substitute for the user guide that comes on the WaveFinder CD-ROM - you should read that first.

Thanks to everyone who has provided information used in this FAQ.

Disclaimer: Although I've checked as far as possible, I cannot vouch for the complete accuracy of the information presented here.

 


Chris Newport made and maintained the original version of this FAQ. In his final update he included his thanks to those who contributed and sent through appreciative comments. My thanks go to him for all of the work that he did during 2002 to maintain this as a reliable source of information on that most strange device - the PSION Wavefinder. I gladly take over the baton (this is a little joke for Wavefinder and Commonwealth Games 2002 fans).
Given that we do not expect any further updates to the Wavefinder then I do not expect to have to make many changes to the site - however, if have something for inclusion then drop me a line.
References to "I" within this are largely Chris, but over time I expect that I will re-write a bit and make it clear who is who.

NOTE ALSO THAT I DON'T HAVE ANY INFORMATION ON HOW TO PURCHASE A WAVEFINDER CHEAPLY.

General
What is the Psion WaveFinder?
Where can I purchase a WaveFinder?

Platforms (OS, hardware)
What operating systems will the Psion WaveFinder work under?
My WaveFinder doesn't seem to work, what should I do?
What are the recommended solutions to known WaveFinder problems(including problems when using Windows XP)?
Will the WaveFinder work if plugged into a USB hub?
What is the minimum CPU speed?
Will it work outside the UK?

Software
What application software can I / should I use?
What do I lose by using these alternatives instead of the Psion-supplied software?
Can I broadcast the audio stream over my LAN?
I want to write yet another WaveFinder control application. How do I begin?
Will Psion continue to support the WaveFinder?

WaveFinder hardware
What does the WaveFinder unit comprise?
What are the WaveFinder's power supply requirements?
What do the lights on the Wavefinder mean?

Reception
What affects reception quality?
Do I need an external aerial?
What kind of external aerial do I need?
What is the external antenna sold by Psion?
How do I attach an external aerial to the WaveFinder?
How do I connect the WaveFinder adapter lead to a normal coaxial cable aerial lead?
If I plug in an external antenna does it matter that I still have the internal antenna?
I seem to get good reception. Why does the sound quality still not seem as good as an expensive DAB hi-fi tuner?

Recording
Can I get DigiGuide to set up a timed recording from WaveFinder?
Should I choose MP2 or MP3 for recordings?
How do I edit and clean up recorded files?
How do I write recorded tracks onto a CD?

Links

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General

What is the Psion WaveFinder?
See Psion's site here for a full description.

Where can I purchase a WaveFinder?
The market addressed by the WaveFinder was primarily the United Kingdom. WaveFinders were sold in PC World computer stores, but there stocks were emptied by May 2002.

You could order WaveFinders from the Psion web site 'e-store'.

However, PSION announced "End Of Life" in December 2004. Basically this means that they will no longer sell it and that telephone support ends in March 2005. A 12 month warranty applies to items that were bought from Psion.
So - the market that remains is the secondhand one, for example on eBay.

From Thursday 7th March 2002 you should be able to purchase a WaveFinder for £79 from http://www.1215amshop.com/ (at the time of this update the price still appears to be £99).

Another £79 promotion is also available at http://store.europe.yahoo.com/psion-uk-shop/virgin-wavefinder.html.

As of April 2002 Psion has been clearing out its stock of WaveFinders at £39.45 including post and packing. You get this price by entering a special coupon code. Visit the Psion store. Click on the Wavefinder picture, followed by Order Now and Check Out. When you review your order on the subsequent page enter the coupon code which will then discount the price. Previously the coupon code was DIGITAL1WAVE, but the offer using this code has been discontinued. As of 3rd May I've been told that the code SHAREWAVE works. Note also the advice that "Esquire, Business Insight readers and Corporate Customers should order as normal and enter coupon code when they get to the shipping page", implying that other coupon codes may still be valid.

There are reports here that Dixons are selling WaveFinders for £45, though stocks in London are dwindling (as of 3rd May).

January 2003 - more special pricing from PSION - now £67.23.

April 2003 - Expansys selling them for £69.95

Platforms (OS, hardware)

What operating systems will the Psion WaveFinder work under?
Windows only. Win98SE, WinME, Win2K all reported okay. Win95, WinNT – no information;
Windows XP: mixed reports of success. Early users of XP SP2 (Beta in June 2004) who had the Wavefinder working on XP found that it did not work with SP2. This turned out to tbe the case with the official release of XP SP2. Possible good news is that some tests with the pre-release of XP SP3 (Jan 2008) show it works again.
If you have VMWare version 5 (i.e. spare money, memory and CPU power) then you may well be able to get it going by running one of the supported operating systems in VMWare.
This will not work with VMWare 4. Reason - VMWare 5 introduced support for isochronous USB transfers - as used by the Wavefinder.
The officially supported operating systems are: Win98, Win98SE, WinME & Win2000, though the WaveFinder web site does now say that "WaveFinder has been tested with Windows XP" - without commenting on how successful this was! There's a link from the WaveFinder main page to the advice on XP.
Windows Vista: it works (on 32-bit at least)!
Windows 7: it works there as well (on 32-bit at least)!

It won’t work on a Mac running MAC OS. Don’t think that because the unit has a USB plug or because some of the software is written in Java that it is cross-platform. At the heart of the software is a Windows/x86-based COM object.

My WaveFinder doesn't seem to work, what should I do?
If you are installing it for the first time, install all the supplied software and see if it works. If not, install it on another PC. If that works, it indicates there may be some problem or incompatibility with your PC, rather than a fault with the WaveFinder itself.

If it used to work fine and then for no obvious reason it seems to no longer find stations (and you haven't changed hardware, location, USB drivers etc) then you might have a burnt out component inside the Wavefinder. Try here.

If the initial installation has failed to detect the WaveFinder, go to the Device Manager (right click on My Computer, choose Properties) and click on USB Controllers (if Psion WaveFinder is not there, look at Other Devices). It's possible an unidentified USB device is there with a yellow question mark displayed. Click on the device driver tab and look for the driver on the WaveFinder CD. This will install the driver and, following a reboot, it should work.

If you've had it working and it now doesn't (this has happened to me couple of times), (1) try rebooting (2) try rescanning, (3) check all connections including the USB hub if any, (4) try a complete re-install (5) try it on another PC. If it stopped working just after you loaded some new software, that might be a clue. If it still doesn't work, take it back.

Sometimes it’s necessary to reboot your PC before it will work. Other times you have not only to reboot your PC, but to start up the original Psion software to get it going (assuming you’re using different software).

Failing all this, and assuming you're determined to use the Psion user interface, you might want to try (re-)installing the Java runtime, either Microsoft’s version:

http://www.microsoft.com/java

or Sun’s version:

http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.2/jre/index.html

Try Microsoft’s first.

There have been reports of USB problems with PCs that use VIA chipsets (Athlons & Durons?) - so might be worth a trip to your motherboard supplier's web-site and see if they have any usable patches.
As always - be careful when doing this sort of thing.

What are the recommended solutions to known WaveFinder problems(including problems when using Windows XP)?
Users have reported a number of inherent problems in getting the WaveFinder to work reliably (or work at all in some cases). Windows XP users have had particular difficulty. Note that some of the information in this section is expanded in other sections of this FAQ.

This long thread on the (now dead) WaveFinder forum documents the main problems and suggests a number of solutions. The two main problems are (1) poor design of the receiver front end, and (2) intermittent software problems and crashes. The thread says, in summary...

- there are issues with the amount of power drawn from the USB port, and with some USB chip sets; Intel chip sets have fewer issues; VIA chip sets (typically found on Athlon & Duron-based PCs) have known problems; you may want to use a USB hub or install a PCI USB card to overcome problems

- get a (good) external aerial and remove the WaveFinder's aerial daughter board (covered in detail later in this FAQ)

- if you don't want to remove the aerial daughter board an alternative is to disable the LEDs that provide the coloured light display, which are thought to consume the majority of the power and thus cause dropouts. There are two ways. Quick and easy is a software only solution from Simon Mansley (of WinDAB fame). This little application (wflights is included within complete WinDAB zip file.) fiddles with the underlying software from PSION to allow you to disable each of the lights individually. Just turning off the Blue might be enough.
Note - at the time of writing there are 2 versions of wflights - one for the "old" Radioscape software and one for the "new". If you are not sure what you have then try the "new" first because it checks to see if you have the new software installed.
If this doesn't work for you then next is surgery ... you do this by cutting the tracks on the printed circuit board (PCB). This site gives instructions on how to cut them (but note that once cut, restoring them would be fairly tricky). The site also gives some other useful WaveFinder information.

- XP problems (but not with XP SP2 installed) can be solved by using Windows 2000 drivers (there is a detailed description of how to force the Win2K drivers onto XP)
You might want to try a Windows patch for the USB drivers first from: http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=822603

- fitting additional cooling to your PC's motherboard may help and it has been suggested that the WaveFinder itself could be getting too hot

- using other applications can 'disturb' WaveFinder decoding; devoting a separate (networked) PC to it and streaming the data to your main PC is one possibility

- turn off your PC's power management (but it has been suggested that to disable it fully you may need first to turn it off in the BIOS and then reinstall the OS)

- disable screen savers

Note that you should normally position your WaveFinder vertically to get the best signal (the user manual does say this but it's easy to miss and some of the pictures give the impression that the 'foot' should be at the bottom - where feet usually are, I suppose). However, signal reflection may mean that positioning the WaveFinder other than vertically may be better in a few cases - trial and error is the only way to find out.

A problem has been reported on a few machines whereby if the WaveFinder has been used, the computer's COM (serial) ports stop working. They are detected correctly, but no data can be sent or received. The system requires a reboot before they start working again. The machines involved are Intel-based running Windows 2000 Pro. No solution has been proposed.

Most recently (April 2002) some users have suggested that original unregulated power supply provided with the WaveFinder is a significant cause of problems and that replacing it with a regulated supply can bring major improvements. The original supply is nominally 10 volts output but measures around 19 volts off load. One user reported excellent results from connecting a 12v IC regulated 600mA PSU which, by chance, measured only 10v unconnected. Of course, you do this at your own risk, but given the not inconsiderable number of reports of WaveFinders dying and questions about overheating (see elsewhere in this FAQ) some attention to the power supply would seem to be in order. Take care to check the polarity if you try this - it's highly unlikely that the WaveFinder circuitry includes protection against reverse polarity. You might want to consider cannibalising the power supply lead from the WaveFinder power supply and reusing it on the stabilised supply to be sure of getting the contacts exactly right. One user reported that using a regulated power supply also made noticeable changes to the behaviour of the lights, such that the WaveFinder no longer cycled between green and off (as mine currently does) but now cycled around all the colours.

A number of possible power supplies have been recommended. One is this one (the JC 92A - 12v 500mA) at £12.99 from Maplin. Another is this one (the UG01B), also from Maplin. Yet another is from A.R.D. Electronics, who offer a range of regulated desktop PSUs. Typical is Product Code: 300-00008 DESK TOP MAINS ADAPTOR, 1.2A, REGULATED 3/6/9/12 Volt with multi-output connectors, currently on offer at £6.99. You really need the paper catalogue to see full specifications, as the website isn't much more than a price listing. Various (regulated) fixed voltage models available from 1.5v/300mA to 18V/800mA (all with multi-connectors) and the most expensive is £7.30. Finally another is sold by Argos, product code 982/7538, at £9.99. Beware, however, of cheap power supplies that purport to be regulated but may not be quite as regulated as they should be - to be safe check the voltage with a suitable multimeter. There is some useful information on switched-mode power supplies here.

There are reports of success in taking a 12 volt feed from one of the Molex connectors in the PC to which the WaveFinder is connected. Of course, this supply is well-regulated, but check your PC's power supply has enough spare capacity to provide the required current. Molex connectors are the plastic connectors that supply power to disks, CD-ROM drives etc. They normally have a red, two blacks (both common ground), and a yellow wire. You should be able to determine the polarity by looking at the devices being supplied from a Molex connector. Alternatively use a multimeter. Remember, if you get it wrong your WaveFinder will probably be toast. You will need a suitable connector for the WaveFinder end, available from Maplin or similar outlets.

Another idea that has worked according to at least 2 people ... simply move the Wavefinder power-supply to a differnt mains outlet - one not shared with the PC.

Some people, including me have had their WaveFinder fail after months of use without big problems. In my case, the lights still flashed as expected when powering up and the software went through the process of trying to find the multiplexes and stations but it always failed ... following a brief red flash (no doubt indicating an error) before moving to next Mux and having same result. In my case I did detect a faint burning smell on the same day ... and opening up the inside of the Wavefinder showed that a component had blown (there was even a burn mark on the inside of the metal casing). I wasn't alone with this problem ... David Crawley had sufficient electronics knowledge, patience and the desire to find a solution. He replaced 2 components and I was up and running again. He has managed to fix at least two in this way. This does require good soldering skills to undertake - plus proper use of multimeter etc. and is covered with the usual caveats (no guarantee, it is possibly dangerous, it invalidates warranty etc.). Details are at: http://myspace.surefish.co.uk/~david.crawley/wf_repair.html

Will the WaveFinder work if plugged into a USB hub?
Yes, but it probably should be a powered hub (i.e. with its own power supply, not relying on drawing power from the host PC). In fact, using a hub may solve some problems, since the amount of power the WaveFinder draws is near the limit of the USB design specification.

If you want to run Windows XP with Windows 2000 drivers but you find the Win2K drivers are not compatible with your onboard USB chip set, you may want to consider fitting a separate USB PCI adapter, eg the USB 2.0 Generic PCI card made by EIO from Dabs.com (£15 +VAT Quicklynx 1639WS). This is reportedly a well-manufactured card with 5 USB ports, a chip set from NEC, and it automatically switches between USB1.1 and 2.0 standards.

What is the minimum CPU speed?
According to the user manual, it is "Intel Pentium II/III 333MHz or higher, or Intel Celeron 400 MHz or higher, or AMD K6-II/III 450 MHz or higher, or AMD K7 (Athlon) 500MHz or higher". But remember that decoding, including error correction when the signal fades, is done by the CPU, not by the WaveFinder unit, so you need a PC at least as powerful as the minimum spec. shown on the box and preferably a bit faster if you want to be doing anything else on it at the same time as using WaveFinder.

However the non-Psion software packages (Wavelite, DAB Bar, DAB Explorer) require far less resources. Wavelite claims to have been tested successfully on a machine as slow as a Pentium 166.

If you have two (networked) PCs you may want to consider commiting one exclusively to running WaveFinder. That way you will avoid other software interfering to cause audio breakups, and you could leave it running continuously if, for example, you regularly make use of the timed recording facility. If you use DAB Bar or WinDAB you can still stream the audio output to your main PC (see below) for listening.

Will it work outside the UK?
Simple answer is "Yes". However, the real answers is a bit more complicated.
First - remember that not all countries have DAB. However, you probably would not even be reading this if you did not have DAB in the country that you are considering.
There are reports of success with the Wavefinder from Spain and mixed results from Germany. However, some countries are making use of L-band for their broadcasts and different frequencies within Band III.
The Wavefinder should still be able to receive - but you might not be able to find out how to enable it from within the PSION software.
Easier way would be to use DABBar and configure it to scan all frequencies to see what it can find.
From DABBar GUI - Options/Frequency/Select All/Rebuild
See the software section below to find DABBar and other alternative software.

The following text was rescued from the old Wavefinder forums. It was posted long ago by jon00. Remember - this is not to be done if you have XP SP2 (or higher - now that such a version exists) installed.
The original URL was: http://wavefinder.co.uk/ubb/Forum3/HTML/000186.html

There are many so-called solutions for the XP problem including the purchase of an external hub, removal of the aerial daughter board etc. I would suggest that you try this procedure first BEFORE spending any other money on additional equipment. This costs nothing to do apart from your time and patience.

This information is provided in good faith. If you choose to carry out this procedure you do so at your own risk.

I recommend that you DO NOT carry out this procedure if you are using a USB keyboard. There is a chance that this may not function during the install. If possible, obtain a standard PS/2 model for this process.

The Windows 2000 files are obviously copyrighted by Microsoft and therefore cannot be distributed. If you cannot get hold of the drivers, I suggest you leave your e-mail on the forum and hope somebody emails them to you.

You will need to obtain the following Windows 2000 files:

USB.INF
OPENHCI.SYS
USBD.SYS
USBHUB.SYS
USBUI.DLL
UHCD.SYS

If you have access to a computer already loaded with Windows 2000 the these files can be found in the following directories:

\Winnt\inf USB.INF
\Winnt\System32 USBUI.DLL
\Winnt\System32\drivers OPENHCI.SYS
\Winnt\System32\drivers UHCD.SYS
\Winnt\System32\drivers USBD.SYS
\Winnt\System32\drivers USBHUB.SYS

If you only have a Windows 2000 CD then these files will need to be extracted:

Make a directory on your c-drive called ?W2K USB Drivers?

From the Windows 2000 CD copy EXPAND.EXE and USB.IN_ from the /I386 Folder to the new W2K USB Drivers folder.

Run the Command Prompt, which can normally be found under Start then accessories.

Within the command prompt, change the directory by typing CD^/d^C:\W2K USB Drivers [Return] where the ^ denotes a space.

Next type Expand^-r^*.* [Return] again where the ^ denotes a space. This will extract the USB.INF file to its full glory.

Close the command prompt down and then find using Explorer a file called DRIVER.CAB again in the \I386 folder on the CD.

Double click on this file and a CAB Viewer will appear. Find OPENHCI.SYS from the list, right click and extract the file to the W2K USB Drivers folder.

Repeat this with USBUI.DLL, UHCD.SYS, USBD.SYS & USBHUB.SYS.

You now have all the necessary W2K USB files to load into XP.

?LOADING THE WINDOWS 2000 DRIVERS INTO XP?

Windows XP maintains two sources for its drivers, which it resorts to in case of problems. The first can be found under \Windows\system32\dllcache and the second is \Windows\Driver Cache\i386\driver.cab

To prevent XP from finding these drivers, we first need to rename the i386 folder to i386temp.
Next look in the dllcache directory and rename every file, which has the identical file name as those extracted from the W2K disk. For example you should find USBHUB.SYS. Rename this to USBHUBXP.SYS. Repeat with every other file found on the list.

(Some users have noted that the dllcache directory does not exist on their system. This folder is actually hidden by default. To view all hidden files & folders, open explorer. From the tools menu, select folder options. Go to the view tab and look at the advanced settings. Select 'show hidden files & folders' button and press OK)

Unplug every USB device from the PC and boot into safe mode.
Go to Device Manager (Right click on My Computer, Properties, Hardware Tab, Device Manager).
At the bottom of the tree find ?Universal Serial Bus Controllers? and click on the + sign to the left of it.
Look for the USB host controller(s). These are named differently depending on the motherboard. Take special note if you have a VIA host controller.

Right click on the first (or only) USB host controller and choose Update driver. Choose ?Install from a list??..? and click next. Choose ?Don?t search, I will choose????.? And click next. Click on the ?Have disk? button and point to the W2K USB Drivers directory and the USB.INF file. Press OK. You will be warned that these drivers are not digitally signed. Continue anyway to load the drivers. You will be presented with 2 choices. If you have a VIA chipset then select ?VIA USB Open Host Controller?. All others choose ?Standard Universal PCI to USB Host Controllers?

(Feedback from users have indicated that the USB chipset of their motherboard is presented. If this is the case then choose that option from the list)

Once loaded repeat this procedure with any remaining USB host controllers on the device manager tree. Repeat the driver install procedure with all references to USB Root hub in device Manager again pointing to the W2K USB Drivers directory. It should only give one option ?USB Root Hub? for this device.

Reboot the PC back into Windows normal mode. Plug in the Wavefinder to a USB port. After a short while XP will ask to load the Wavefinder drivers. Point this to the root of the Wavefinder CD.

Once loaded you should be able to load/run your favourite Wavefinder software without problems.

If you have any external hubs, these should now be plugged in. XP will again ask for drivers and you should again point to the W2K USB Drivers folder. Next add any other USB devices you have one by one. If necessary you may need to re-install the drivers for these devices.

Once all your devices are installed, rename the i386temp folder back to i386.

Hopefully you should have a perfectly working Wavefinder!

?TROUBLESHOOTING & PROBLEMS?

If after the re-boot you get a blue screen of death (BSOD), then re-boot again and choose normal boot again. If it still gives a BSOD then unfortunately this procedure will not work for you and the W2K drivers are not compatible with your motherboard. After another re-boot, choose ?Last known working configuration? to get you back to where you were before the driver install. Rename back all files in the dllcache folder and also rename the i386temp folder back to i386.

If you are successful in re-booting to normal XP but your Wavefinder or USB devices do not work, go to device manager and see if any of the USB host Controllers has a yellow exclamation mark under them. If they do, right click on it, choose properties, driver tab and driver details button. If any of the drivers have a green tick against them then something has gone wrong and you have a mixture of both XP and W2K drivers installed. Do a driver update again on this and any other with the yellow exclamation mark again pointing to the Windows 2000 drivers.

If you are still having problems with USB devices or the Wavefinder, It is possible to re-install the XP drivers on the USB Root hub but keeping the W2K drivers on the USB host controller. This may be necessary with a few motherboards.

I have tried to describe this process so that even a complete novice can carry out this procedure. If you get lost or do something wrong, I suggest that you re-boot the PC, press F8 and choose ?Last known working configuration?. You can start again if you wish or put XP back as it was by re-naming the i386temp back to i386 and renaming the files back within the dllcache folder.

Good luck

Jon

Software

What application software can I / should I use?
Try the supplied Psion software first (you need it to load the drivers anyway) but you are unlikely to want to use it once you’ve seen the alternatives.

You will probably need to download the latest version (1.4) [UPDATE: PSION started selling a further updated version in early 2003 for around £15 including shipping - awaiting news on whether or not it improves things. It does claim support for the new EPG with integrated scheduled recording (but then so does DABBar and it is free, or similar functionality via DABBar/WinDAB in conjunction with DigiGuide (commercial product) and DABDig) but it does look to be from same stable as previous versions. One rumour is that, with this version, you can no longer stream multiple stations simultaneously from same mux using DABBar/WinDAB ... which, if true, would be a showstopper for many users. You can see more at http://store.europe.yahoo.com/psion-uk-shop/radio-scape.html This appears to be the version that is shipping with Wavefinders that are being sold currently. Be careful though because there are reports that the updated underlying interface from Radioscape means that some 3rd-party players do not work any more.]
from the Psion web site (the unit I bought came with version 1.2). There is an updated list of stations on the Psion web site, but it does not load succesfully simply by executing the .EXE (stationbrandingicons.exe). It is however possible to install these icons by treating the .EXE file as a ZIP archive (which clearly it is) and copying the extracted .GIF files to the relevant directory (\Program Files\Psion\Wavefinder\branding I think - I haven't tried it).

The alternatives are: DAB Bar, WinDAB. DAB Explorer, WaveLite and LoboDAB. All have their adherents. Their respective web sites have a lot of information. A few additional notes are included below that may not be on these sites, or that are not immediately obvious.

DABBar
DAB Bar is free. It supports timed recordings and streaming. There is a useful signal level on the left of the right hand box; hovering the mouse over the signal meter gives you the level percentage. The timer is slightly better (tick boxes for days as well as date setting and it has the best station list, with the ability to sort by genre and multiplex. As with WaveLite, it supports multiple concurrent recordings from the same multiplex. There was a report of a possible bug: if you are recording using DAB Bar and listening, and you mute the feed, recording carries on okay. Although it’s not obvious how to 'unmute' the feed, in fact you do this by reselecting the same channel. However it does not always work. There is good user documentation - (http://www.dabbar.co.uk/manual).

WinDAB
In February 2002 WinDAB, appeared. This is arguably the most visually attractive contender. The interface is well thought out, with support for skins, and there's evidence that the software is well written (the error trapping seems very comprehensive). Timed recordings are supported, and it can be interfaced to DigiGuide using Paul Webster's DABDig utility. Streaming is supported.

DAB Explorer
DAB Explorer was announced at the end of December 2001. A simple clean user interface, but no recording or streaming. It is freeware at present. Get it from http://www.fatattitude.com/software/dabexplorer.asp.

WAVELITE
WaveLite is 30 day shareware, then £25 to register if you want to keep using it. Wavelite can time "play" events. It has the lowest CPU overhead, with the ability to switch off the WaveFinder while waiting for timed events (and to use other WaveFinder software while waiting for an event). You can record multiple channels on the same multiplex at the same time (eg a Radio 3 programme at the same time as a Radio 4 programme). The Wavelite developer did hint at one point of possible integration to "DigiGuide" scheduling (but note that DAB Bar is now integrated with DigiGuide - details here). Wavelite also shows the bit rate if you hover over a station name.

LoboDAB
LoboDAB, by Leon Lobo, was announced in February 2003. it seems to take a different approach in the way that it is built - using LabView. The developer and some early users say that it works well on particular Windows XP machines where other players have failed. Time will tell. At the time of writing this piece, the software it limited to simply playing, so no recording or streaming etc.

Reports that neither WaveLite nor DAB Bar output correctly to older soundcards that only support 44.1K sampling (such as SB16, AWE). This may well also be true for the other players as well.

Whichever you choose, you must use the Psion CD to load the drivers. To do this, first connect the USB. Windows will say "Unknown device, search for drivers?" or somthing similar. Tell it you have a driver, and point it to the .ini file in the root directory of the Psion CD-ROM. That should be all that's necessary.

If for any reason you don't have the Psion CD-ROM, you will need to persuade someone to lend you one (or to send you, or make available for download, the relevant bits of software), or you might be able to purchase one separately, from Level 1 Marketing (where you can also find a number of other WaveFinder-related items on sale).
It might also still be on an old support site - try this Psion site
. This software is also currently available to download from the downloads page of http://www.uk-dab.info/

What do I lose by using these alternatives instead of the Psion-supplied software?
(a) no access to data services, which are very slow anyway (b) no graphical representation of the multiplexes. You are unlikely to miss the Data services (loading is very slow). Neither are you missing much by not having a graphical representation of the multiplexes. If you really want this I suggest you load up the Psion software, take a screen dump (ALT+PrintScrn), then use it as your desktop wallpaper (or save it as a graphic file that you can read using a browser).

You also won't miss a bug in the WaveFinder software that makes all timed recordings MP3 irrespective of the setting you choose.

Can I broadcast the audio stream over my LAN?
DAB Bar and WinDAB support this. It works like Shoutcast (Winamp's distributed streaming audio system). Set up your player on the server PC. To get the client PCs to receive the data stream simply select the "HTTP Server options" as shown in the manual or similar for WinDAB). Then just point a web browser at the server machine's IP address and use WinAmp or a similar client app to listen. Use the URL http://localhost:8080 (or http://127.0.0.1:8080) if you are running Winamp and your DAB player on the same machine. A list of stations is displayed in the browser - click on one. Winamp also shows the transmission bit rate.

In fact you can stream multiple channels (though they must be on the same multiplex), so different PCs on a network can be listening to different stations. The maximum seems to be 4 - 5 channels. Here's a Media UK forum thread explaining how to do it.

You may also want to try streaming to Winamp in order to take advantage of the better decoders that are available - in particular the MAD plugin, which is reportedly significantly better than the one used either by the original WaveFinder application or by DAB Bar. It may also be worth investigating this LineIn plugin for Winamp.

If you're having problems getting streaming to work, try disabling your firewall if you run one and check that any proxy you have defined is not interfering.

A Winamp Media Library plug-in has been developed by Will Fisher. This lets you view the station list from within winamp and then select and play.
Screenshot
Download

The possibility of connecting more than one WaveFinder to a single PC has been suggested, but no progress on this has been reported so far.

I want to write yet another WaveFinder control application. How do I begin?
Documentation is available from Radioscape (be prepared for an annoying Flash interface). Although it appears that you have to register, using the "Radioscape Login" button, then do a search for VIADAB, in fact you can go direct to the documentation at

http://www.radioscape.com/extranet/axDownloads/Viadab.pdf

and used to be able to get it from:

http://www.worlddab.org/professional/product_info

which is an interesting site anyway, although most of the pages are not very recent.

If you're happy with programming COM objects, then it’s straightforward enough. You hook into the viadabreceiver.dll object. Get the V1 spec, not the V2 spec. This contains an example VB program. You have to use the WithEvents (Connection points) interface. Do a SelectComponent() on the relevant data channel, and the data that comes back is in the MOT format. If you're using these callbacks, this seems to disable the radiotext info functions.

You may want to look at, or even join, the dabusb discussion on Yahoo! Groups where people are attempting to decode the Radioscape protocol in the hope of porting the WaveFinder to UNIX/Linux. David Crawley has the basics working but it needs some more developers to help improve it.

Will Psion continue to support the WaveFinder?
Although I wrote in January 2002 that it looked like it was close to the end of the line for the WaveFinder, with the price having dropped from £299 -> £199 -> £99 -> £49 -> £42, and now to £39.45, they still appear to have some stocks left. There was a rumour that Psion, or whoever they sell their Digital Radio business to, would bring out a PCI DAB card at around £50, but nothing has happened along that route. However, Radioscape has combined with Modular Technology to bring out such a device for around £100. because the underlying API is largely the same, some of the 3rd-party software writers have been able to add support for it.

As of 3rd May 2002, the WaveFinder still appears to be on sale at the Psion Online Store, priced at £79 and even a bit less if bought with an MP3 player, but see the note elsewhere in this FAQ on using coupon codes to reduce the price.

WaveFinder hardware

What does the WaveFinder unit comprise?
General consensus is that the unit itself is just a Band-III/L-Band tuner and COFDM decoder. The WaveFinder delivers a raw DAB transport stream for the entire multiplex down the USB to your PC, which then has to decode this, run the error checking/correction needed and finally extract the MP2 stream. That’s why even WaveLite needs a P166 to decode the signal.

NOTE: Don't try and set your watch by a time signal you hear on a radio channel if you want high accuracy - because of the decoding, buffering etc. what you hear can be up to a few seconds behind the corresponding 'analogue' signal.

What are the WaveFinder's power supply requirements?
Here is a picture of the back of the power supply. This shows the supply requirements (10 volts at 300ma) and the polarity.

See this section on the advisability of substituting a regulated power supply.

What do the lights on the Wavefinder mean?
WaveFinder’s user guide gives the following interpretation of the colour of the light (almost certainly 3 LEDs in fact) on the WaveFinder unit:

  • Red (steady): No reception
  • Blue to cyan: WaveFinder is initialising
  • Green (flashing): WaveFinder is tuning
  • All colours (cycling): WaveFinder is tuned to a station

Some users report that their WaveFinder cycles through all colours when tuned, others that it pulsates green (as does mine).

Reception

What affects reception quality?
Reception is affected primarily by (a) distance from the transmitter (b) type and position of aerial (c) weather conditions.

Bad reception might be temporary, and due to higher than normal atmospheric pressure (there's not much you can do about that except wait). Some URLs relating to weather conditions…

http://www.bbc.co.uk/reception/factsheets/docs/reception_weather.pdf

http://www.uk.research.att.com/cgi-bin/weathergauges-html-cgi (a real time weather station that archives weather data).

Note though that if the sound is dropping out periodically this may be because the CPU is not decoding the audio stream fast enough, rather than because of a problem with reception. Some users have reported that even when dropouts occur on the real time audio feed, a recorded copy of the same stream is free from these interruptions, indicating buffer under/overrun in the MP2 to audio decoding section of the chain. See also the section on minimum CPU speed.

Do I need an external aerial?
Quite possibly YES, unless you're in direct line of sight to a transmitter. This was an initial disappointment to me when I first got my WaveFinder. Somehow I expected to get perfect reception 'because it was digital' and I live in London where signal levels are strong. Of course the WaveFinder *is* the aerial, but even in areas relatively close to a DAB transmitter you may experience signal breakup. A loft or (even better) a roof-mounted aerial can make a big difference.

Remember, the higher you position the aerial, the better.

What kind of external aerial do I need?
Really you need an aerial specifically designed for DAB reception. DAB aerials are still relatively rare, and overpriced.

A TV aerial may work in high signal strength areas but will be tuned to receive signals on a difference waveband. A small DAB aerial should be adequate for high strength signal areas (eg London). A larger DAB aerial is needed where there are hills in the way or you are further from the nearest transmitter.

An aerial with a single element (rod) will be omnidirectional, whereas one with two or more elements is directional and should be positioned depending on the location of the nearest DAB transmitter. Better quality aerials will be fitted with a balun (BALanced to UNbalanced transformer) that matches the inherent balanced nature of a dipole aerial to the unbalanced co-axial cable used to connect the aerial to the receiver. In doing so it maximises the power transfer from aerial to cable (and the other way round if you're transmitting where its *very*important).

Here are some aerial supplier URLs to check:

Blake Aerials (http://www.blake-aerials.co.uk/) - no browser-based shopping interface, but there is a phone number so perhaps they take telephone orders. Prices start from around £20 + carriage.

Maplin Electronics (http://www.maplin.co.uk/) sell various DAB antennas, single-dipole, multi-element, etc. which you will need to erect yourself. But NOTE, I have tried 3 different MaxView aerial kits from them - all had parts missing, so you may want to check the contents of the box before you leave the shop. Maplin are now reputedly selling Yagi aerials marked as "DAB Compatible".

Antiference (http://www.antiference.co.uk/dab230.htm) sell two Band 3 DAB aerials, one is a di-pole, and one is a three or four element (£25); details are on their website but it looks like they sell only through distributors (and their list is still 'under construction).

Videologic sell both rod and 4 element aerials available at...

http://www.videologic.com/Products/SalesFrame.asp?Product=DigitalRadio

...along with some other bits and pieces.

or Do It Yourself - get an "FM" aerial and cut equal amounts from each end so the total length, tip to tip, is 65cm (but note that you can only realistically do this on straight vertically-oriented dipole aerials, not on 'circular' ones).

Be aware that if you use one aerial to feed 2 receivers (eg a WaveFinder and another DAB receiver) you are halving the output to each. Although there are not many Band III (DAB) RF preamplifiers (sometimes referred to as 'boosters') readily available on the market, Videologic offer one, which you can find on the Accessories page of their web site at http://www.videologicshop.com/cgi-bin/VideoLogic.storefront/ (the precise page, assuming the URL works, is here, though you may have to click on the 'Digital Radio' hyperlink). Because there is signal loss in the aerial downlead, a booster amplifier should be fitted as near to the aerial as possible, ie where the signal is strongest, to get the maximum signal to noise ratio. A 'masthead' preamplifier, ie one actually on the aerial itself, is best, though none seem to be available for DAB frequencies. Consider using a directional aerial and raising it as high as possible before you resort to using a preamplifier.

What is the external antenna sold by Psion?
It's a little black rubbery dipole on a plastic former with a moulded bracket that can be screwed to a wall or attached to a mast with cable ties. There is around 5m of integral 50ohm cable, and a BNC connector to around 3m of thinner cable terminating at the MCX plug that connects to the WaveFinder.

How do I attach an external aerial to the WaveFinder?
There is a small, easy-to-overlook socket on the WaveFinder itself, near its 'foot' (don’t try to plug the power socket in here!). This takes an MCX coax plug. Connect that via good quality coaxial cable (double-screened, low-loss coax - FT100 or FT125, eg from Maplin - to the external aerial. MCX plugs are not easily obtainable from retail outlets. They are quite small and generally require the cable to be crimped rather than soldered, for which you require a special crimping tool.

In fact 'quite small' is perhaps a little misleading. They are very small. See here for a picture illustrating their size in comparison to a one penny piece.

Note that the WaveFinder requires a female plug. It is not at all obvious (at least to me), even from the datasheets provided from the suppliers below, which plugs are male and which are female.

If in doubt, you will have to resign yourself to spending £15 (including purchase) to buy the 'official' cable, a 1.7 metre lead terminated with an MCX plug at one end and a BNC male plug at the other, from http://www.psion.com/wavefinder/. The relevant URL on the WaveFinder site actually points to...

http://www.level1.co.uk/acatalog/Online_Catalogue_WaveFinder_Accessories_14.html

but although it looks like it works ... I hear that this is not longer a functioning store!

The other (non MCX) end of this cable terminates with a male BNC plug (more details below); you will need to fit a corresponding plug to the inboard end of your aerial downlead. Technical note: the WaveFinder lead uses RG174 coax which has an impedance of 50 ohms, whereas normal aerial downlead is 75 ohms – although this is is theoretically undesirable, it doesn't seem to make any discernable difference; in fact the impedance is largely irrelevant if you have a decent signal coming into the aerial and proper connections made en route. 50 ohms and 75 ohms are really just for connector selection.

Here are some alternative (and substantially less expensive) sources of MCX plugs with cable. As per the advice above you should check that the sex of the plug is correct - a previous version of this FAQ inadvertently included a link to a male plug.

RS Components, at http://www.rswww.com/, sell a pre-wired (0.3m of RG316 cable) plug - search for "MCX". The total charge including delivery and VAT works out at about £12.50. You willl need to add a suitable (eg BNC) connector to the end. RS part number 326-8439 "MCX PLG ASSY 300MM" is reported as the one to get - it has a gold MCX connector at one end and no connector at the other end - making it possible to crimp onto a more standard connector for DAB aerials. RS Components used to be trade only with Electrospeed taking retail, but Electrospeed seems to have ceased in October 2002 - so you shoul dbe able to register and buy.

Farnell (http://uk.farnell.com/) sell a plug and lead (code 3545878) for £7.77 inc delivery and VAT; see

http://uk.farnell.com/jsp/catalog/viewproductdetails.jsp;jsessionid=?prodId=3545878

and they appear to sell to retail customers quite happily. Chris Rich advises that the barrel of the plug is a little too large to fit through the plastic casing of wavefinder. He had to ease it out a little with a quarter inch drill to allow the plug to fit. The farnell plug is fitted with a fairly stiff cable sleeve which means that the cable's comfortable bend radius take's it close to the foot of the wavefinder - the Farnell cable assembly with a right angle plug at one end (part no. 3545908 - £8.52+VAT) offers both choices and might be a better bet. Note also that there is a £20 minimum purchase for credit card sales, so you will have to buy something else from them at the same time.

I would be grateful for further information on MCX plugs (ie which ones are known to fit correctly) for inclusion in this FAQ.

Alternatively you might want to consider bypassing the MCX socket altogether and attaching a short length of coaxial cable directly to the WaveFinder's circuit board. You need to access the underside of the daughter board. After removing the four Torx screws, lever off the grey plastic base plate (start opposite where the cable enters), then straighten the cable where it goes through the back.
Unhook the PCB from the clips holding it in and push the USB cable from the back. You should now be able to attach the cable. But be aware that this is a somewhat risky strategy!

A third alternative, adopted by a user who now receives excellent signal levels some distance from the nearest transmitter, is to connect the external lead directly to the WaveFinder's antenna stubs, thus avoiding having to dismantle the WaveFinder itself. The following sequence of 5 pictures illustrate this:

First here's a picture of the 3-element MaxView aerial.

The signal conductor is connected to the top stub and the coax screen to the bottom stub, as shown in this photograph.

Here's detail of the top and bottom connections...

...and finally a picture of one of the 2cm long M3 brass spacers (male on one end, female on the other) added to fasten the the coax leads to the stubs, using M3 screws and washers.

How do I connect the WaveFinder adapter lead to a normal coaxial cable aerial lead?
The WaveFinder lead terminates with a male BNC connector like the one on the left in this picture.

Your aerial lead probably terminates in either an F type (as commonly used for digital/satellite/cable tv) or standard coax type. The easiest solution may be to replace that with an RCA phono plug (easily obtainable) and get a BNC male to RCA phono adaptor from a DIY store (these adaptors were included in most video connector kits in the '80s). A female BNC line socket (eg from Maplins - on the right in this picture) will do the job but they are more fiddly to solder than a phono plug.

Or make up a short lead with an RF aerial plug on one end and a BNC plug on the other, then link the two leads with a small female to female BNC adapter.

If I plug in an external antenna does it matter that I still have the internal antenna?
You may not get the full benefit of an external aerial unless you do something to disable the internal aerial on the WaveFinder unit. You can try unscrewing the metal rods from the WaveFinder unit, but the antenna printed circuit board has stubs several inches long even when the antenna rods are removed which may pick up some signal (possibly RF interference from your computer). The best solution is reputedly to open up the WaveFinder unit and unplug the antenna circuit board from the main receiver board (it is connected via a couple of headers). Your CPU usage may also drop if the processor now has to do less error correction.

To open up the WaveFinder you must unscrew 4 small 'star' type screws. They are Torx screws (Torx is the trade name, other manufacturers refer to star screws), size T6 (aka TX 06x50); it has been suggested that a T7 driver, though a tighter fit, will also do the job. Halfords sell a suitable bit for a socket set for £2.50 and Maplins sell a self-contained tool for around £6. It's advisable not to try using an ordinary flat-bladed screwdriver unless you want to damage the drive sockets irreparably, though someone reported success using a jeweller's screwdriver, the screws being somewhat loose already.

M99's page here offers Torx T6 drivers at £2.95 each including post and packing.

I seem to get good reception. Why does the sound quality still not seem as good as an expensive DAB hi-fi tuner?
The WaveFinder outputs exactly the same digital MP2 stream as a discrete hi-fi DAB tuner so assuming the audio stream is not breaking up the problem must be further down the reproduction chain. You may need to consider the quality of your sound card. Many sound cards are not hi-fi quality even though they may claim to be. Some cards have inadequate shielding from electrical interference. This usenet post suggests that cards with the CMI8738 chip set are worth considering. One such card is the Tsunami 4100. Don't forget you also need a high quality external amplifier and good loudspeakers.

You may want to try streaming the audio to Winamp and compare different decoders (see the section on streaming).

One user claimed a big improvement in quality by loading the latest DirectX drivers. These are available at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/directx/downloads/drx81.asp.

Recording

Can I get DigiGuide to set up a timed recording from WaveFinder?
DigiGuide is an inexpensive online Radio & TV guide with a number of useful features including a facility to write 'add-ins' to enhance functionality and the ability to launch and pass parameters to an external program. Using a small utility written by Paul Webster you can link DigiGuide to the timer function in DAB Bar or WinDAB. For DAB Bar this is done by writing to the comma-separated variable (CSV) file that stores details of timed recordings. WinDAB stores these details in the registry.

Download Paul Webster's utility DABDig. This lets you right click on a DigiGuide programme entry and add it to the DAB Bar or WinDAB timer list, selecting MP2 or MP3 encoding, or set up a timer entry from the Reminders dialogue.

If you use a timed recording facility you may also want to regularly synchronise your PC's clock with an accurate time source to ensure recording begins at the right time. You can download a utility such as this to adjust your internal clock periodically. Some ISPs (eg Demon Internet) already provide time synchronisation as part of their service.

Should I choose MP2 or MP3 for recordings?
You may hear various opinions expressed such as "MP2 gives better quality at higher bitrates, MP3 better quality at lower bitrates" Those arguments, even if true, only apply to recordings taken from an uncompressed sound source. DAB arrives already compressed in MP2 format. If you want to be absolutely sure that you are not losing anything, and you are not concerned about minimising disk space usage, or you do not have a particularly fast CPU, then record in MP2 format. Otherwise record in MP3 format. If you're worried about losing audio information or introducing audible artifacts in the MP2 to MP3 conversion, I suggest you record material in both formats for a while and see if you can tell any difference (BBC Radio 4 and BBC 7 have plenty of repeats for you to experiment with).
As to what kbps level is worth using if converting to MP3 ... there is usually no point in setting the level of the converted MP3 to be higher than that of the original recording - the only reason might be that the DAB broadcast was at a rate that is not supported by your MP3 playback hardware/software. For most purposes, transcoding to MP3 128kbps seems to suit most people especially if you are going to play back through basic PC speakers unless, possibly, unless you have very sensitive ears.

How do I edit and clean up recorded files?
For ‘topping and tailing’ recorded files some users have recommended MP3 Surgeon, shareware, at http://www.mp3surgeon.com/.

Personally I use the excellent Goldwave (shareware), available at http://www.goldwave.com/. This will record whatever is playing on your computer and allow you edit it, then save in a variety of formats including Ogg Vorbis and MP3.

Another user recommended "Total Recorder", at a cost of around $12 to register. It records internet radio streams to WAV or various other formats. With it you could, for instance, record a section from your mp2 merely by setting the mp2 going in WinAmp (or whatever) then start Total Recorder and grab the bit you want - no awkward time fiddling as is necessary with other file trimming programs.

Also recommended is the freeware utility mp3DirectCut that can be found at http://www.rz.uni-frankfurt.de/~pesch/. This is non-destructive, has a graphical display (though not of the waveform), and its window can be stretched to full screen for ease of viewing. Be sure to download the mpglib.dll file and copy it as instructed in the notes on the site.

How do I write recorded tracks onto a CD?
Of course, if you have an MP3 player, you can store recorded tracks as MP3 and save space (some MP3 players will also play MP2 files).

For making a standard 'native' format CD one simple solution is to use the full MP3-licenced version of Nero Burning Rom which allows you to drop a 48KHz MP3 onto a CD compilation for burning. When it comes to burn it, Nero will decode the 48K file, and resample it on the fly for burning to the CD audio track.

You may want to retain more control of resampling the 48k MP2 file to the 44.1k WAV file required by CD writing software, since this resampling is key to the audio quality of the final CD. A good solution is to use LAME (freeware). Here's a related link to TooLAME (MP2 encoder).

If you have Winamp (freeware) the Lame GUI will automatically run Winamp to create the .WAV file. Winamp writes the .WAV file from .MP2 or .MP3.

Someone recommended Acoustica MP3 to Wave software, though since Winamp does the job perfectly well and is free.

Another useful program is CoolEdit, at http://www.syntrillium.com/cooledit/.

Both Lame and CoolEdit have their supporters - there's probably not much to choose between them.

(For a list of LAME command line switches get a recent copy of the lame command line utility (>3.8) and run "lame --longhelp".)

Links

The main sources of information about the WaveFinder in this FAQ were the Psion WaveFinder website http://www.psion.com/wavefinder/ and the usenet group alt.radio.digital.

At http://www.radiolistenersguide.co.uk/ you can order a book covering all aspects of Radio broadcasting, including DAB.

See http://www.users.waitrose.com/~bdxc/lists/dig.html, which gives the transmitter locations, what muxes are being broadcast from it, the intended service area, and the powers are given for some of them, though it does not give the station names for each ensemble or Multiplex.

For FM try http://www.users.waitrose.com/~bdxc/lists/fm.html.

There's a small BBC digital radio transmitter map at http://www.bbc.co.uk/reception/radio_transmitters/digital_radio.shtml (though reportedly not the original more useful one).

The full list of ensembles (and much more) is at http://www.wohnort.demon.co.uk/DAB/.

BBC’s Digital Radio site is at http://www.bbc.co.uk/digitalradio/.

UK Digital Radio Forum - http://www.dab.org/ - may have some useful information.

World DAB Forum - http://www.worlddab.org/ - information about DAB around the world.

To check that you are in a Digital Radio reception area, see the DAB coverage map at the World DAB Forum: http://www.worlddab.org/dabworld/dabworld_frame.htm

UK Digital radio - http://www.ukdigitalradio.com/ - general information on DAB.

Radio and Telly - http://www.radioandtelly.co.uk/dab.html - UK Radio and TV info

NTL - http://www.ntl.com/locales/gb/en/guides/ - two guides, one for beginners and another for "anoraks".

Roke Manor - http://www.roke.co.uk/ - designers of the chip set used in the WaveFinder.

Lostwax - http://www.lostwax.com/ - authors of the WaveFinder user interface. Hmmm.

Some interesting MP3 interview recordings documenting the BBC's attitude to DAB on Dave Laine's Vintage Broadcasting site. On the Feedback MP3 Jenni Abramsky claims to get 'perfect reception' of Radio 4 DAB broadcasts as she drives around in her car.

A site covering various aspects of DAB in the UK is at http://www.uk-dab.info/

Here and here are a couple of reviews of the WaveFinder. The latter one appears to have been written when the WaveFinder was at its original price of £299).

http://www.digitalradiotech.co.uk/ has some information about DAB in the UK.

There is some useful information on fixing WaveFinder problems at URL http://www.malediction.co.uk/wavefinder.


CHANGE HISTORY

2nd January 2002- first published
3rd January - general tidy-up; removed material on multipath as this is not WaveFinder specific; added this change history section
3rd January - partially corrected problem with reference to file on a:\ drive (caused by editing file on my laptop on the way home!)
3rd January - added exact size of Torx screws (thanks to Graham Lyth and others for this info) ; added a couple of missing URLs
4th January - incorporated some additional material from Keith Chadwick
5th January - some presentation improvements; cleaned up HTML; introduced style sheet; added a bit more material
6th January - rearranged and partly rewrote the section on aerials; added hit counter
9th January - added further material (DigiGuide batch file, Nero Burning ROM, others); cleaned up a few typos
13th January - added a few links
14th January - modified the section on MCX plugs and removed some misleading information about the MCX plug from RS components
15th January - added reference to DABDig (allows DigiGuide directly to set up a DAB Bar timer entry)
18th January - added an index; added a section on choosing MP2 or MP3 ; from here on changes will have links from this change history or other means of identification
21st January - corrected part of section on minimum CPU requirements (Wavelite & DABBar require less than Psion software) ; slightly expanded section on opening up the WaveFinder
23rd January - small correction (Winamp .MPx->.WAV capability is in basic download, doesn't require additional plugin)
26th January - added link to update notification service, allowing you to set a watch for changes on this page; added more information on using Winamp and streaming audio; added instructions for accessing daughter board to bypass MCX socket; clarified dropouts due to poor reception vs buffer over/underrun
27th January - added a picture of the power supply showing voltage, amperage and polarity
31st January - added link to a picture illustrating the size of the MCX plug
5th February - added a reference to and comments about WinDAB; added link to downloadable Psion software on #ukdab
8th February - modified section on DABDig to include WinDAB interface, and updated WinDAB description to include latest information on DABDig
11th February -added link to pictures of disassembled WaveFinder; updated this section to indicate apparent continued availability of WaveFinder; added a couple of review links I found on the DigiGuide forums to the end of the Links section
21st February - rewrote the section on WaveFinder problems and solutions; expanded the section on USB hubs to include details of a USB PCI board
23rd February - fixed some typos from the 21st February update, added a link to the post that explains how to force Win2K drivers onto XP and clarified a couple of points (thanks to Jon Simmons for alerting me to these); removed the link to local copy of WinDAB as I've had no further problem downloading from the source site
1st March (am) - incorporated material from Andrew Hills on connecting external coax cable direct to WaveFinder's antenna stubs
1st March (pm) - added a link to freeware utility MP3DirectCut in the editing and cleaning up section
6th March - updated the section on broadcasting the audio stream with a link to a post detailing how to stream multiple channels using DAB Bar; updated the Where can I purchase a WaveFinder section to reflect recent purchasing information and to include the forthcoming £79 offer from 1215am.com
8th April- modified references to www.wavefinder.com to www.psion.com/wavefinder/ to reflect changes on the Psion web site (thanks to Jon Simmons for alerting me to this change)
13th April- got 8th April mods done properly this time, I hope (had been distracted by my WaveFinder continually cutting out during Farming Today); added a link to Torx drivers orderable online at £2.99 including post and packing; added details of WaveFinders being offered at £39.45 including post and packing; noted Psion web site advice on XP compatibility; added link to web site www.digitalradiotech.co.uk; added a note on use of a regulated power supply
3rd May - added reference to 'boosters' in addition to preamplifier in case this is used as a search term; small clarification of URL of Videologic RF amplifier; included caution about using a preamplifier; expanded section on streaming with reference to MAD plugin & LineIn plugin for Winamp and some faultfinding ideas; added note on upgrading to latest DirectX drivers as possible solution for sound quality problems; qualified paragraph about positioning WaveFinder vertically; added details of problem with COM ports being disabled by WaveFinder; mentioned dabusb Yahoo! Groups discussion forum; added a paragraph on commonly available regulated power supplies to the recently added section on power supplies, put in a caveat about voltage accuracy and added a link to more information on switched-mode power supplies; added link to Acoustica MP3 to Wave utility; removed reference and link to Manns MP3Edit, which appears to be no longer readily available; added a paragraph to this section on cutting LED power supply tracks; added link to Malediction in links section; added a note to this section on omnidirectional versus directional aerials and baluns; updated section on WaveFinder availability, including new coupon code (thanks to Hywel Phillips for this); updated the section on continuation of WaveFinder support.
24th September - final update; I no longer intend to maintain this site, except as a static resource; I bought the WaveFinder primarily to listen to BBC Radio 3, but programming on this station has deteriorated to the point at which although there is still some worthwhile material I can no longer be bothered to sort out what's worth listening to.
17th January 2003 - Paul Webster takes over the FAQ. Changed price details from PSION store. Small changes to text. Made nearly all links work and open new window. Added link to ChangeDetect because SpyOnIt is suspended. Added details of another MCX module (thanks to Gavin Hamill)
20th January - Modified references to www.uk-dab.info site.
21st January - Included references to wflights
25th January - Included reference to software update from PSION
2nd February - Yet another price from PSION near here
23rd March - Looks like new PSION software causing a few problems
6th April - Included report that the new PSION drivers prevent whole mulitplex decoding.
A report that the Level-1 on-line store no longer supplies some parts now included. I sent email to Level-1 sales requesting confirmation, but no reply.
8th April - Added reference to LoboDAB as another alternative player. Updated WinDAB entry to show that it does support streaming.
21st April - Included link to Expansys shop page and modified reference to DAB PCI card.
9th May - Included link to David Crawley's Wavefinder electronics repair page.
- Reference to Wavefinder and PC on same mains socket - because of this.
10th May - Add link to radioandtelly.co.uk
25th May - Modified WinDAB links to point to UK-DAB Info as Simon Mansley's old site has expired.
22nd June - Make reference to the two different versions of wflights.
23rd June - Changed Malediction URL
2nd December - Add some text about using the Wavefinder outside the UK
- My Wavefinder is fixed again - so updated repair text
- Finally removed SpyOnIt as service is not coming back and now the lack of logo was making loading slower
29th January 2004 - Updated links to Farnell site
1st February - Added reference to Will Fisher's Winamp plug-in
29th February - Modifed comments about MP2 to MP3 following suggestions from Ivan Hirsh
30th June - Add reference to XP SP2
7th July - Added reference to a Microsoft USB patch that might help XP users (KB822603)
3rd August - Incorporated comments from Chris Rich about sourcing and fitting the external aerial
22nd December - PSION Wavefinder "End of Life"
22nd April 2005 - Added Information about using XP SP2 via VMWare 5
5th July - Changed link to wflights as UK-DAB-Info does not have downloads at the moment
23rd July - Since UK-DAB-Info downloads still not available ... uploaded WinDAB to the same area as this FAQ. Since this zip file also contains WFLights - then changed the link to point to this download
7th February 2006 - Added link to a Psion support site that has some of the software for download
15th May - Added information about running on Windows Vista
5th June - Added in the old instructions from Jon about installing Win2K drivers in pre-SP2 versions of XP for users
18th June 2007 - Revised link to David Crawley's repair page
14th January 2008 - Report of Wavefinder working under XP SP3
8th February - Alpha version of OpenDAB under Linux made available
25th October 2009 - Added information about running on Windows 7