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RX014 is a high quality tool intended to receive and analyze FM broadcasts which not only transmit audio but also carry R(B)DS and/or RDS2 data.

The Radio Data System (RDS) is a long proven technology to send data along with any transmission using analog FM technology. It has been used worldwide for over 30 years. In the United States, a slightly modified but fully compatible system is used called Radio Broadcast Data System (RBDS). For our purposes here, we use RDS and RBDS interchangably.

In June 2015, the RDS2 feature was added to the RDS specification. In short, RDS2 adds three (3) RDS carriers, giving the overall RDS system a much greater bandwidth, allowing transmission of graphic images such as album covers, station logos, advertisements and much more. Alarm and/or Emergency systems can benefit as well, because much more detailed information can be presented to the user in a much shorter amount of time.

NEW!  Now You Can Use the RX014 Without a Computer

Until now, using the RX014 required a PC to become operational. Users have clamored for a stand-alone solution for remote montitoring situations, so I have developed the DS016 docking station, which turns an RX014 into a sophisticated, self-contained data gathering tool---no PC needed! Read the details about this powerful accessory.

How the RX014 is Useful to You

Until recently, high quality test and diagnostic tools for receiving and analyzing RDS characteristics were expensive and unwieldy.
The RX014 is small, powerful, and very portable. It uses a world-class receiver chipset that meets the most demanding car radio requirements to extract detailed information for monitoring the reception conditions in real time. Not only is the Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) displayed, but also ultra-sonic noise (USN), multipath (also known as Wide band AM or WAM) and IF offset are shown in a clear graphical format.
To optimize reception of the R(B)DS/RDS2 data, a continuously variable bandwidth is used to prevent unwanted signals from entering the required reception path.

RX014 is ideally suited to be used as a reference receiver during road tests. An ultra-fast scanner is built in which will do a full band scan in 1 second on a 100 kHz grid to show a full RSSI picture of the entire FM band, so signal conditions can be monitored continuously. The locations of the alternative frequencies are shown simultaneously.

RX014 is a very powerful tool---if not the most powerful---for monitoring and fully decoding all broadcast R(B)DS/RDS2 data. The data is presented in an easy to understand way and also includes statistics on received data quality.

All received data can be stored in a file and played back later for further analysis.

More and more, the R(B)DS system is used to send information about imminent threats to life and property such as severe storms, flooding, tsunami, fire and other dangers. Systems sending this kind of information are categorized as Emergency Warning Systems (EWS). The RX014 performs full decoding of such data streams and RDS2 adds high density data transfer for these systems.

Besides all these features, the RX014 is ideally suited for ODA development for the new RDS2 system. Using the recording and playback functions, new ODAs can be fully tested without having to use live, on-air transmissions. To that end, the RX014 is build upon an open and freely available API, allowing software developers to design their own application programs to control and receive data from the RX014.
When used as a stand-alone your app will communicate using the HID USB protocol; when used in combination with the DS016, you only need to interpret and send serial data using the TCP/IP protocol.

I am proud of the RX014 and the new DS016. On behalf of MacBe bv, I invite you to have a look at the product specifications and its features on the following pages.

Joop Beunders
MacBe bv