Do you have adblock enabled?
 
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Tech Crunch)   FCC: "You need to activate the FM radio chips in your phones when there's a national emergency." Apple: "Um...you do know we don't have those in our phones, right?" FCC: *crickets*   ( techcrunch.com) divider line
    More: Facepalm, FM radio chips, Radio, Frequency modulation, Apple, iPhone radio chips, Satellite radio, FM broadcasting, iPhone 6s  
•       •       •

3921 clicks; posted to Geek » on 29 Sep 2017 at 9:50 AM (3 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

2017-09-29 08:52:43 AM  
19 votes:
Why *WOULDN'T* they have something like that?

Something like FM radio is a perfect way to transmit information about an emergency.  It doesn't rely on infrastructure as much as the cell network (which would probably go down in a national or widespread regional emergency).  All you really need is a generator at the transmission site to keep an FM transmitter on the air.

Plus, it saves bandwidth.  An unlimited number of people can listen to the 100 kHz signal of a radio station without interfering or slowing down anything.  If you've got everyone trying to stream audio at the same time over the cell system, it'll grind to a halt.
2017-09-29 09:06:07 AM  
13 votes:
Go$h why wouldn't the carrier$ want FM receiver$ in the phone$ u$ed on their network$?

/FM is the one thing I miss from using my HTC Thunderbolt
2017-09-29 10:44:31 AM  
12 votes:
dittybopper:The cellphone already has an antenna built into it.  From the standpoint of RF, you don't need to use the earphones as an antenna.  You can use the built-in antenna to receive FM, if they were built that way, but they don't do that because a couple of feet of earphone cord is actually a pretty good 1/4 wavelength antenna for that band:

234 (constant) / 100 MHz = 2.34 feet for a quarter wavelength.

Using the internal antenna that's also used for transmitting and receiving the cell and Wifi signals, along with receiving GPS and transmitting/receiving Bluetooth would absolutely work, it would just be a bit less efficient.


As you should well know, Ditty, they use different antennae for those 'cause the frequencies and bandwidths involved are so widely separated and transmit and receive efficiency are so important. And neither antenna is close to a good size for FM.
2017-09-29 09:24:51 AM  
8 votes:
1. Most phones I know of can't receive FM unless you use headphones as an antenna. So they are useless anyway.
2. FEMA recommends a battery powered FM radio as part of a kit. Which I imagine that most people don't even have...
2017-09-29 09:23:03 AM  
8 votes:

Unobtanium: Go$h why wouldn't the carrier$ want FM receiver$ in the phone$ u$ed on their network$?

/FM is the one thing I miss from using my HTC Thunderbolt


It doesn't actually cost them anything.  They use software defined radios anyway, so adding the code necessary to receive 87 MHz through 108 MHz isn't a significant cost.  It's all just software.

Well, that's not strictly true:  It might cut into their profits from iTunes, if people just listened to the radio instead of downloading (at a cost) every song they want to listen to.
2017-09-29 10:11:57 AM  
6 votes:
How they gonna charge their damn phones when 100% of the island has no power?
2017-09-29 10:59:30 AM  
5 votes:

dittybopper: Unobtanium: Go$h why wouldn't the carrier$ want FM receiver$ in the phone$ u$ed on their network$?

/FM is the one thing I miss from using my HTC Thunderbolt

It doesn't actually cost them anything.  They use software defined radios anyway, so adding the code necessary to receive 87 MHz through 108 MHz isn't a significant cost.  It's all just software.

Well, that's not strictly true:  It might cut into their profits from iTunes, if people just listened to the radio instead of downloading (at a cost) every song they want to listen to.


Yeah, the additional engineering effort to hook it up to an antenna is free, and so is the effort to make sure that antenna doesn't disturb any of the other antennas, and to find room for an internal antenna inside the cell phone, and the time writing an API so the developers can access it, and the extra developer support costs of another API, and the extra user support costs of an added feature...

All that, for something that basically nobody wants. When you talk to people who have had cell phones that could receive FM radio, the vast majority say something like "Yeah, I tried it once or twice to see if it worked, and never touched it again." The only person I've ever heard complain about their iPhone not having FM radio just wanted it for the TVs at the gym.

If people actually cared about this, then phones that had radios would gain sales from that. They haven't. I honestly couldn't tell you the last time I listened to FM radio in any context other than 'I'm driving and it's not worth pulling out my phone for this short a trip'. I've got 10 radio presets in the car, and there are times when literally every one of them is in commercial.
2017-09-29 10:16:53 AM  
5 votes:

dittybopper: Unobtanium: Go$h why wouldn't the carrier$ want FM receiver$ in the phone$ u$ed on their network$?

/FM is the one thing I miss from using my HTC Thunderbolt

It doesn't actually cost them anything.  They use software defined radios anyway, so adding the code necessary to receive 87 MHz through 108 MHz isn't a significant cost.  It's all just software.

Well, that's not strictly true:  It might cut into their profits from iTunes, if people just listened to the radio instead of downloading (at a cost) every song they want to listen to.


I work for Apple, everything the do is done in huge focus groups.  No one wanted an FM radio and the majority of cell phones purchased via the carriers have the radios disabled and no way to enable them.

Also, it is not just an issue of "connecting it to the wifi antennae".  It is a an extra hassle of interference added to the device.

Plus a hand held fm radio will last longer on double a batteries with no power(and you can change em out) then a smart one you cannot recharge.

And you do realize that Apple allows you to put music from anywhere on the phone as well as using any other streaming service that are non Apple.
2017-09-29 09:27:24 AM  
5 votes:

Merltech: 1. Most phones I know of can't receive FM unless you use headphones as an antenna. So they are useless anyway.


How would that work with EarPods, or whatever the hell they're called?
2017-09-29 10:55:14 AM  
4 votes:

dittybopper: Plus, it saves bandwidth.  An unlimited number of people can listen to the 100 kHz signal of a radio station without interfering or slowing down anything.  If you've got everyone trying to stream audio at the same time over the cell system, it'll grind to a halt.


This is one of the reasons why the internet standard defines a broadcast mode- you have one source of information that needs to be sent to many listeners. If you know about the situation and can prepare for it ahead of time then it can be done easily. In a broadcast situation every router in a network effectively becomes a multicast repeater, which allows any individual device to do a minimum amount of work while reaching a huge number of people.

Suppose the white house has a national emergency server that talks to 10 other devices, and each of those 10 devices passes the information along to another 10, etc. After 10 such generations you could reach 10^10 devices- more than the number of people on earth. And yet, each device only had to do ten separate actions. It gets even simpler when you talk about wifi or cellular data networks because the "last mile" hop is an actual RF signal, so the network actually RF broadcasts that data and every listening device receives it.

A reasonable alternative for the FCC would be to require smart phone makers support this scenario rather than installing FM radios in phones that don't have or want them.
2017-09-29 10:11:11 AM  
4 votes:

dittybopper: Why *WOULDN'T* they have something like that?

Something like FM radio is a perfect way to transmit information about an emergency.  It doesn't rely on infrastructure as much as the cell network (which would probably go down in a national or widespread regional emergency).  All you really need is a generator at the transmission site to keep an FM transmitter on the air.

Plus, it saves bandwidth.  An unlimited number of people can listen to the 100 kHz signal of a radio station without interfering or slowing down anything.  If you've got everyone trying to stream audio at the same time over the cell system, it'll grind to a halt.


No headphone jack so no antenna
2017-09-29 09:56:24 AM  
4 votes:

Merltech: BizarreMan: Merltech: 1. Most phones I know of can't receive FM unless you use headphones as an antenna. So they are useless anyway.

How would that work with EarPods, or whatever the hell they're called?

Here's an full explanation

An antennae is a metallic conductor. Headphones are insulated metal wire with a coil surrounding a magnet at one end and a thick metal jack at the other. It works as an antennae by picking up the energy in a radio wave, an oscillating electric current, and supplying it to a tuner.


The cellphone already has an antenna built into it.  From the standpoint of RF, you don't need to use the earphones as an antenna.  You can use the built-in antenna to receive FM, if they were built that way, but they don't do that because a couple of feet of earphone cord is actually a pretty good 1/4 wavelength antenna for that band:

234 (constant) / 100 MHz = 2.34 feet for a quarter wavelength.

Using the internal antenna that's also used for transmitting and receiving the cell and Wifi signals, along with receiving GPS and transmitting/receiving Bluetooth would absolutely work, it would just be a bit less efficient.
2017-09-29 09:33:27 AM  
4 votes:

BizarreMan: Merltech: 1. Most phones I know of can't receive FM unless you use headphones as an antenna. So they are useless anyway.

How would that work with EarPods, or whatever the hell they're called?


Here's an full explanation

An antennae is a metallic conductor. Headphones are insulated metal wire with a coil surrounding a magnet at one end and a thick metal jack at the other. It works as an antennae by picking up the energy in a radio wave, an oscillating electric current, and supplying it to a tuner.
2017-09-29 12:07:33 PM  
3 votes:

Professor Science: Theaetetus: As you should well know, Ditty, they use different antennae for those 'cause the frequencies and bandwidths involved are so widely separated and transmit and receive efficiency are so important. And neither antenna is close to a good size for FM.

kazrak: Yeah, the additional engineering effort to hook it up to an antenna is free, and so is the effort to make sure that antenna doesn't disturb any of the other antennas, and to find room for an internal antenna inside the cell phone, and the time writing an API so the developers can access it, and the extra developer support costs of another API, and the extra user support costs of an added feature...

At the hardware level, ditty's right about this one.  In urban environments, the FM broadcast spectrum is so noisy that antenna efficiency is essentially irrelevant (i.e. outside noise is so much stronger than the receiver's internal noise that a poor antenna, which weakens both the signal and outside noise, doesn't change the signal to noise ratio appreciably).  You can take the signal from a cellular antenna and receive FM broadcast just fine, unless they've done an unusual amount of bandpass filtering in hardware ahead of the receiver.  Performance will be only slightly worse than with a proper antenna, unless you're out in the sticks where the background noise isn't so horrible.

Software is another matter, but it's not exactly uncharted territory.


There *is* actually additional filtering that makes this impractical.  I mean, function is a question of degree, but read on and make your judgements. Only very very strong FM signals would get through because of the internal antenna inefficiency and the ESD filtering on the front end chips.  The phones using a discrete FM receiver path are different - like my Motorola G4.

The nuts and bolts of the filtering are this:  A typical chip requirement is to pass IEC-61000--4-2 ESD immunity.  The waveforms and testing details can be seen here:  https://www.edn.com/design/test-and-measurement/4368466/Understandin​g-​and-comparing-the-differences-in-ESD-testing
The way we pass this is by placing a high-pass filter at the antenna, with an inductor straight to ground as a path to bleed off the charge.  That IEC waveform has a peak spectral power at 300MHz.  Lowest cell bands are in the 600 MHz range.  We're already giving up a few tenths of a dB on those bands because of the ESD filtering.  At 100Mz, it's at least 40dB. Probably more.

Also of note:  We were told that each 1/10th of a cent that we shaved from the BOM or test time was worth a million bucks to my company, the RF chip maker.  You might guess that we didn't waste any effort on the FM band, except to be sure that it did not interfere with the cellular, GPS, WiFi, or Bluetooth radios already on board.
2017-09-29 10:58:22 AM  
3 votes:

GreenAdder: It was a bold, brave, courageous, fearless choice to strip basic features from a phone.


Yeah, they should really add cassette tape support to the next iPhone. I would also love for it to be able to connect to my horse and carriage's gramophone system.
2017-09-29 10:27:07 AM  
3 votes:

Walker: How they gonna charge their damn phones when 100% of the island has no power?


I have a little solar panel thingy that'll charge via USB, and the battery cradle for rechargeable AA/AAAs.

The battery cradle also functions as a powerbank, so I can charge my phone directly from the panel, or charge it from the batteries in the cradle.

/I also have ebooks of a bunch of field survival manuals and stuff on my phone
2017-09-29 08:24:32 AM  
3 votes:
any why don't you?
isn't technology grand?
You can't always get what you want.
But you sure can pay through the nose for what they will let you have.
2017-09-29 03:45:50 PM  
2 votes:
Got this on sale for 20 bucks.
www.londondrugs.com
2 AAs and you are all set.
2017-09-29 11:31:57 AM  
2 votes:

dittybopper: Why *WOULDN'T* they have something like that?


Because it's Apple.  They refuse to use a standard part if they can con their groupies into paying the freight to have the manufacturers crank out something proprietary.

Anyone remember the 'Lisa'?  With those weird 5-1/4" floppies with the *two* head slots, diametrically opposite the hub?  All the endless proprietary buses, which they abandon as soon as someone else adopts them?

I think the last off the shelf part they used was the Apple ]['s 6502, or maybe the Mac's 68000.
2017-09-29 10:48:10 AM  
2 votes:
It was a bold, brave, courageous, fearless choice to strip basic features from a phone.
2017-09-29 10:47:11 AM  
2 votes:
Oh, that shiatheel Ajit Paid being an idiot again, I see...
2017-09-29 10:04:05 AM  
2 votes:

dittybopper: Merltech: BizarreMan: Merltech: 1. Most phones I know of can't receive FM unless you use headphones as an antenna. So they are useless anyway.

How would that work with EarPods, or whatever the hell they're called?

Here's an full explanation

An antennae is a metallic conductor. Headphones are insulated metal wire with a coil surrounding a magnet at one end and a thick metal jack at the other. It works as an antennae by picking up the energy in a radio wave, an oscillating electric current, and supplying it to a tuner.

The cellphone already has an antenna built into it.  From the standpoint of RF, you don't need to use the earphones as an antenna.  You can use the built-in antenna to receive FM, if they were built that way, but they don't do that because a couple of feet of earphone cord is actually a pretty good 1/4 wavelength antenna for that band:

234 (constant) / 100 MHz = 2.34 feet for a quarter wavelength.

Using the internal antenna that's also used for transmitting and receiving the cell and Wifi signals, along with receiving GPS and transmitting/receiving Bluetooth would absolutely work, it would just be a bit less efficient.


Try using an app that's installed and it well tell you to use headphones.
2017-09-29 09:59:05 AM  
2 votes:
Apple hasn't even included FM radio chips in iPhones since the iPhone 6s.

So what about version 6 and earlier? I know some people who still have those - the model is just 5 years old and presumably some of the phones are newer than that.
2017-09-29 09:43:13 PM  
1 vote:

jjorsett: dittybopper: Why *WOULDN'T* they have something like that?

Something like FM radio is a perfect way to transmit information about an emergency.  It doesn't rely on infrastructure as much as the cell network (which would probably go down in a national or widespread regional emergency).  All you really need is a generator at the transmission site to keep an FM transmitter on the air.

One reason why not is that free radio might lessen demand for paid music from Apple.


Yeah, that's why they included FM radios in the iPod nano line for 8 years. You know, the ones that didn't have access to Spotify or any major competition to Apple's music offerings.

I don't work for Apple, and I don't read their minds. But I can only assume that if adding an FM radio would make people more willing to buy an iPhone, they'd do it.

Or do you honestly think that they'd jeopardize the $25 billion they made last quarter on iPhones to boost the $900 million they made on their subscription service?
2017-09-29 03:58:58 PM  
1 vote:

real_headhoncho: Got this on sale for 20 bucks.
[www.londondrugs.com image 556x556]
2 AAs and you are all set.


I think I grabbed one of these on sale for $13
img.fark.net

Charged via solar, hand crank, or USB. LED light, AM/FM/NOAA radio, and a USB port for charging portable devices.

There is no good reason to not have a simple weather radio for emergencies.
2017-09-29 03:11:55 PM  
1 vote:

Unobtanium: Go$h why wouldn't the carrier$ want FM receiver$ in the phone$ u$ed on their network$?

/FM is the one thing I miss from using my HTC Thunderbolt


This thread is over. Good work.
2017-09-29 01:44:58 PM  
1 vote:

Walker: How they gonna charge their damn phones when 100% of the island has no power?


img.fark.net
5-10 charges depending on cell battery size
2017-09-29 01:43:28 PM  
1 vote:

Arkanaut: Apple hasn't even included FM radio chips in iPhones since the iPhone 6s.

So what about version 6 and earlier? I know some people who still have those - the model is just 5 years old and presumably some of the phones are newer than that.


Earlier models have commodity chips that have a FM receiver in them, but it's not hooked up, nor is there any antenna.

This was in farking article, BTW.
2017-09-29 12:00:13 PM  
1 vote:

Professor Science: Theaetetus: As you should well know, Ditty, they use different antennae for those 'cause the frequencies and bandwidths involved are so widely separated and transmit and receive efficiency are so important. And neither antenna is close to a good size for FM.

kazrak: Yeah, the additional engineering effort to hook it up to an antenna is free, and so is the effort to make sure that antenna doesn't disturb any of the other antennas, and to find room for an internal antenna inside the cell phone, and the time writing an API so the developers can access it, and the extra developer support costs of another API, and the extra user support costs of an added feature...

At the hardware level, ditty's right about this one.  In urban environments, the FM broadcast spectrum is so noisy that antenna efficiency is essentially irrelevant (i.e. outside noise is so much stronger than the receiver's internal noise that a poor antenna, which weakens both the signal and outside noise, doesn't change the signal to noise ratio appreciably).  You can take the signal from a cellular antenna and receive FM broadcast just fine, unless they've done an unusual amount of bandpass filtering in hardware ahead of the receiver.  Performance will be only slightly worse than with a proper antenna, unless you're out in the sticks where the background noise isn't so horrible.

Software is another matter, but it's not exactly uncharted territory.


I beg to differ... The software is easy, since you're already dealing with SDR. And while there's a lot of RF humming around in urban areas, there's a lot of multipath RF and a lot of interference, and you need a decent signal to noise ratio to successfully demodulate. Downtown Boston is actually pretty terrible for radio and TV reception.

And they do have an unusual amount of bandpass filtering ahead of the receiver, primarily because these are combined receive/transmit antennae, and switching off the carrier amplifier gets expensive, so instead, there's a ton of filtering for carrier suppression and intermodulation suppression. The whole receive path is tuned to be as efficient as possible, since greater efficiency means less power to your receive amplifier means longer battery life means happier customers since that's the only part they notice.
2017-09-29 12:00:10 PM  
1 vote:

Nicholas D. Wolfwood: dittybopper: Why *WOULDN'T* they have something like that?

Because it's Apple.  They refuse to use a standard part if they can con their groupies into paying the freight to have the manufacturers crank out something proprietary.


Or, if you read the thread, we found out that hardly anybody wants this on their phones. But don't let reality interfere with your parroting of iHater propaganda.
2017-09-29 11:25:43 AM  
1 vote:

Theaetetus: As you should well know, Ditty, they use different antennae for those 'cause the frequencies and bandwidths involved are so widely separated and transmit and receive efficiency are so important. And neither antenna is close to a good size for FM.


kazrak: Yeah, the additional engineering effort to hook it up to an antenna is free, and so is the effort to make sure that antenna doesn't disturb any of the other antennas, and to find room for an internal antenna inside the cell phone, and the time writing an API so the developers can access it, and the extra developer support costs of another API, and the extra user support costs of an added feature...


At the hardware level, ditty's right about this one.  In urban environments, the FM broadcast spectrum is so noisy that antenna efficiency is essentially irrelevant (i.e. outside noise is so much stronger than the receiver's internal noise that a poor antenna, which weakens both the signal and outside noise, doesn't change the signal to noise ratio appreciably).  You can take the signal from a cellular antenna and receive FM broadcast just fine, unless they've done an unusual amount of bandpass filtering in hardware ahead of the receiver.  Performance will be only slightly worse than with a proper antenna, unless you're out in the sticks where the background noise isn't so horrible.

Software is another matter, but it's not exactly uncharted territory.
2017-09-29 11:25:30 AM  
1 vote:

dittybopper: Why *WOULDN'T* they have something like that?


Because they partner with networks who make money selling data plans?
2017-09-29 11:10:15 AM  
1 vote:

facepalm.jpg: dittybopper: Plus, it saves bandwidth.  An unlimited number of people can listen to the 100 kHz signal of a radio station without interfering or slowing down anything.  If you've got everyone trying to stream audio at the same time over the cell system, it'll grind to a halt.

This is one of the reasons why the internet standard defines a broadcast mode- you have one source of information that needs to be sent to many listeners. If you know about the situation and can prepare for it ahead of time then it can be done easily. In a broadcast situation every router in a network effectively becomes a multicast repeater, which allows any individual device to do a minimum amount of work while reaching a huge number of people.


Sending an emergency stream as either an IP broadcast or multicast does no good when the cell networks are down.
2017-09-29 10:48:28 AM  
1 vote:

dittybopper: Why *WOULDN'T* they have something like that?

Something like FM radio is a perfect way to transmit information about an emergency.  It doesn't rely on infrastructure as much as the cell network (which would probably go down in a national or widespread regional emergency).  All you really need is a generator at the transmission site to keep an FM transmitter on the air.

Plus, it saves bandwidth.  An unlimited number of people can listen to the 100 kHz signal of a radio station without interfering or slowing down anything.  If you've got everyone trying to stream audio at the same time over the cell system, it'll grind to a halt.


It's kind of a moot point, since the fact is they don't.
2017-09-29 10:22:38 AM  
1 vote:

theflatline: dittybopper: Unobtanium: Go$h why wouldn't the carrier$ want FM receiver$ in the phone$ u$ed on their network$?

/FM is the one thing I miss from using my HTC Thunderbolt

It doesn't actually cost them anything.  They use software defined radios anyway, so adding the code necessary to receive 87 MHz through 108 MHz isn't a significant cost.  It's all just software.

Well, that's not strictly true:  It might cut into their profits from iTunes, if people just listened to the radio instead of downloading (at a cost) every song they want to listen to.

I work for Apple,<snip>


So you're getting a kick out of these replies?
2017-09-29 10:21:36 AM  
1 vote:

Merltech: dittybopper: Merltech: BizarreMan: Merltech: 1. Most phones I know of can't receive FM unless you use headphones as an antenna. So they are useless anyway.

How would that work with EarPods, or whatever the hell they're called?

Here's an full explanation

An antennae is a metallic conductor. Headphones are insulated metal wire with a coil surrounding a magnet at one end and a thick metal jack at the other. It works as an antennae by picking up the energy in a radio wave, an oscillating electric current, and supplying it to a tuner.

The cellphone already has an antenna built into it.  From the standpoint of RF, you don't need to use the earphones as an antenna.  You can use the built-in antenna to receive FM, if they were built that way, but they don't do that because a couple of feet of earphone cord is actually a pretty good 1/4 wavelength antenna for that band:

234 (constant) / 100 MHz = 2.34 feet for a quarter wavelength.

Using the internal antenna that's also used for transmitting and receiving the cell and Wifi signals, along with receiving GPS and transmitting/receiving Bluetooth would absolutely work, it would just be a bit less efficient.

Try using an app that's installed and it well tell you to use headphones.


Try using a rooted phone to get around software limitations.

There are also FM apps on XDA that work w/o headphones or root trickery.
2017-09-29 10:01:42 AM  
1 vote:
My LG G3 has a built-in FM radio....only mine is the AT&T version so the FM antenna is soldered to the ground so it doesn't work.  A very skilled electronics technician could maybe make it work.

Almost everyone posting in this thread with a phone from AT&T & Verizon from 2013 to now is likely in the same situation as me.
 
Displayed 37 of 37 comments

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking

On Twitter





Top Commented
Javascript is required to view headlines in widget.
  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

Report