Sunday, June 13, 2004

Roady Review

Thought I'd add a review of the Roady, now that I've pounded down the road for some 600 miles with it. First of all, the sound is impressive - excellent clarity. I had thought my speakers were going out before I got this - now I realize it was just the trashy radio I have in the car. With the Roady, I can crank it up and the sound is great. I was also impressed with the no loss of signal, other than in tunnels or under heavy trees. I got a full 3 signal bars all the way to N. Indiana from Virginia. I was suprised to see it not bat an eye at incredible rain downpours, even where cars were pulling off. I know with satellite TV, you wouldn't have had any signal, so perhaps an engineer or someone can explain to me , how satellite radio differs from that.

The cons, which are minor, is that the unit is tiny, so the buttons are tiny and the descriptions written above the buttons are so miniscule they are almost impossible to read. One learns which buttons do what though, so that is nothing major. The method of anchoring it to your dash is not so good - it comes with some little pedestal that supposedly rotates to where you can read it, but it didn't rotate enough for my flat dash, so was basically worthless. Janet suggested we just put a small strip of velcro on the dash and one on the bottom of the unit and I think that is an outstanding idea. Much simpler. The unit also has a lot of wires coming out of it - one going to the cigarette lighter, one going to the cassette adapter and one going to the antenna (click on thumbnail to the left and you'll see a larger view). You can buy a $60 kit for installing it professionally, which would be the best alternative. I'm not bothered that much by the wires though, so probably won't bother.

Would be nice to have an extra antenna though, so that when you took the unit out of one car and placed it another, you wouldn't have to go through the hassle of removing the antenna. We found some clips that fastened on the outside of the windshield, through which we guided the antenna wire. Those worked well, otherwise you would have antenna wire just flying around.

Tons of stations - some 120 in all. So plenty of stuff to listen to. We spent a lot of time on the World Music channels, New Age, Classic Rock and Reggae channels. Many songs you would never hear on regular radio. It would be nice to be able to see the Album title as well rather than just Artist and Song Title - that would be helpful when you press the Memory button to save a song that you might later like to look up and purchase as a CD, although I'm sure a search of the Net with Artist and Song Name, would turn that up quickly. You can also buy a remote
for it - I'll have to check that out - that would be very handy vs leaning forward to punch buttons. Checking Ebay , I see you can get the Roady + free remote and wireless FM Adaptor (in case you don'th have a cassette deck in your car) for $112 + shipping - that's a good deal - wish I had seen that earlier.

For $10/month, hard to beat (no contracts either - quit whenever, of course if you sign up again, I'm sure they will hit you with the $10 activation fee again). I normally listen to my audio books in the car, but this gives me one more thing to listen to, when I tire of those.

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