I'm faced with a sleeping dilemma regarding back and hip pain. I can't sleep on my stomach. Hurts like hell and doctors object to it anyway. I can't sleep on my back. Even with a pillow propped under my knees, my lower back begins to hurt (I have L5-S1 herniation). If I prop two pillows beneath my knees, the back feels okay but circulation under my knees becomes impeded and I suffer discomfort (damn, being me is a full-time job).
This leaves me with my side, my right side. That's the best. However, at around 4 in the morning I wake up and the nerves around my hip pointer are frazzled. The pain keeps me up.
I can't sleep on my left side. All that weight on my heart makes me worry I could crush my vital organ.
Mind you, I have a 3-inch memory foam topper over my Sealy mattress from Costco. It helps, but it's no cure-all.
So I've been considering a Tempur-pedic mattress, which would cost me $3,000 (California King) or so. A non-name brand would cost me about a third of that or a little less.
The problem is this: Sampling the mattress at the store is not the same as sleeping overnight. What I need is a Tempur-pedic Hotel to test-drive one of these things. This was my wife's idea. She said there's no way we're spending money on a new memory bed unless we can try it for an extended period.
Also I'd like to know if these less known brands use the same material as Tempur-pedic, as they claim.
Any suggestions? I can already hear the mockery on its way.
I don't know if you know what this is, but it's a Radio Teletype (RTTY) decoder for broadcast data. It works with various speeds and formats (ASCII, BAUDOT etc.), and it's like a 9600 baud modem, except it just dem's not mo's. (i.e. DEModulates, not MOdulates) and it works on broadcast signals rather than telephone line signals. The display unit is to see what's being broadcast. Others would operate directly into a modem or serial port in early computers. There are still RTTY transmissions on shortwave that can be decoded this way, but there are far more sophisticated solutions to the problem.
Yesterday I had lunch at a Chinese restaurant with my friend Kamal, a twenty-seven-year old college student (former student of mine). Half Moroccan and half British, Kamal is working on getting his black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and trying to get into USC. The purpose of our lunch was for me to give him advice as he tries to decide between his long-time girlfriend Jasmine (now working in India producing extravagant weddings for billionaires) and Leticia, a Columbian beauty who, in spite of an expired visa, is still enrolled in a local college.
I explained to Kamal that no matter what choice he made he was doomed to a life of misery. Why? Because he has the kind of looks that make beautiful women hopelessly attracted to him. “And don’t expect me to feel sorry for you either. I’m elbow-deep in poo diapers right now. Raising twins with my wife is like having two people in the back kitchen of an overcrowded diner. So if you thought you were going to get my pity, you’re mistaken. In fact, you disgust me.”
Kamal knows me well enough to know I was partly joking and he laughed.
I continued. “Your problem makes me recall an incident from over twenty years ago. I was at my Navy SEAL friend’s house in Buena Park. His name is Alex. He lived with his father at the time. His father Bob is a Marine with a huge USMC tattoo on his chest. One afternoon Alex got in this hellacious fight over the phone with his girlfriend in which he swore so loud he made all the neighbors’ dogs bark. Alex and I were both miserable. He was fighting with his girlfriend all the time and my girlfriend had just dumped me to get back with her ex-boyfriend, an alcoholic prison guard. All sweaty, Bob came in from the front yard after mowing the lawn. He was in cargo shorts, combat boots, shirtless, revealing his proud tattoo. He heard us lamenting our women woes, shook his head at us and called us pussies. He then said, “You want to get rid of all your problems, fully guaranteed? I’ll open my safe, give you one of my guns, and you guys can walk out into the back yard and just shoot them things off. Problem over. Otherwise, welcome to the jungle, baby.”
Kamal looked at me from his kung-pao chicken. His forlorn grimace had been replaced with a smile.
He paid the tab. A memory from my pathetic past got me a free lunch.
I recently bought an RF-1115 for less than you did, because it was being sold as-is for repair or parts. A little shot of DEoxiT into the band switch was all it needed.
I read and appreciate your review, but you missed one thing that jumped right out at me with my set. The sensitivity and selectivity on the FM band is second to very few. I also own an RF-2900, and on FM in a side to side comparison, the RF-1115 puts it's cousin to shame! Adjacent signal rejection is superb. There is a clean switchpoint from even a weak station to a strong station on the next or previous frequency step. I'm blown away by it's sensitivity! Also, mine was also missing the UHF loop antenna, but I made one using a old analog TV UHF back-of-set loop and a 3.5mm plug soldered to the connectors.
It even snaps onto the retainers on the back, but doesn't seem to offer any improvement over just using the more convenient telescopic whip.
Please forgive how brief this is but I have no internet and post from the library I have a love/hate relationship with the G8. AM is OK. FM has world class flat frequency response good enough for my stereo system and I hear stations as far away as 75 miles.
Shortwave is awful but under certain conditions it can be quite good. The front end is hot but way prone to overload. To fix this I took a plastic radio stand and taped aluminum foil to the inside being sure it cannot touch the radio. Attach antenna lead to the aluminum foil. Sometimes lift and otherwise move antenna. Or move the radio off the stand. Experiment as needed.
I've heard Tajikistan and All India Radio with this set up. I hear most broadcasts directed to North America. I'm in central Illinois. There are no bad radios; it's just that some are better than others.
The Sangean ATS909X is the updated successor to the AST909 which had a 15-year run. The silver version of the 909X was introduced a year ago and the black version the end of 2011. Sangean refers to the 909X as the flagship of the Sangean line of receivers. Some websites are uncertain about the 909X because of mixed reviews leaving readers to wonder if the 909X is the best or worst radio on the market. After using the 909X for a few weeks, I offer my impressions.
Appearance – to my eyes this is one of the best looking portables to hit the market in a long time. Available in silver and black versions. I have the black but think both look good.
Ergonomics – intuitive and laid out well. I find the rotary tuning wheel easier to use than a tuning knob.
Construction – solid, the build quality of the radio is excellent.
Audio – to my ears one of the better sounding portables in this class. Sounds good on FM, MW and SW.
Size – larger than other mid-size portables. 8.8" W x 5.3" H x 1.5" D / Weighs 1.5 lbs. Rear case contoured on each side to accommodate fingers. Larger size, construction and design feels good to my hands.
Squelch – push the button and turn the rotary wheel to the desired squelch level. Quick and easy to set. If you are not interested in using this function, push the button and turn the rotary wheel until off shows. Easy to use.
RF Gain (attenuator) – small wheel on the left side. Another feature I like, especially on MW. However, the small smooth wheel doesn’t provide much feedback (i.e., your finger cannot feel how much it moved).
Display & Backlight – large display with bright light. Easy to read and light will stay on. Button turns light on and off.
Case – nice storage pouch, faux leather. Quite rare as faux cows are becoming scarce. Earbuds and reel wire antenna are also included.
Wall-wort – you can actually run radio using wall-wort as it does not transmit noise to radio as many seem to do. Can also be used to charge batteries (4 AA) in the radio.
SSB – I have not tested; however, have read that it is stable. USB/LSB 40 Hz/ Step on fine tuning.
Filters – AM wide and narrow settings. FM mono and stereo.
Tone – 3 settings; News, Normal and Music
Volume – decent size knob on right side.
FM w/ RDS (Radio Data System) – FM reception is excellent. RDS displays the names of the songs you are pantomiming. Audio quality is very good.
MW - much more pleasurable to listen to on 909X because audio quality is much better than most portables. Reception is good.
Shortwave – reviews usually claim the radio is hot or deaf. I would describe SW as competent. I regularly listen to broadcasts from Romania, Netherlands, China, Russia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cuba, Germany, Canada, Japan, Russia, Taiwan, etc. on the 909X barefoot. Comparing performance of a SW scan on my PL660 to the 909X determined the 909X picked up all stations, the difference to my ears was the 909X sounded better on medium and strong signals, while the 660 sounded better on some of the weak stations. Lower background noise and a better speaker makes SW stations more listenable. I have not tried with an external antenna, however, have read the radio performs well when attached to one.
Price – at around $250 this is pricier than many current portables on the market. However, based on the durability of the original ATS909, features, audio and build quality the price does not seem exorbitant.
ATS – for LW, MW and FM…not SW. SW does permit selection of meter band by pressing SW button and the desired number button (e.g., 4 = 49m, 5 = 41m, 6 = 31m, etc.)
Tuning methods – direct entry, rotary wheel, scan tuning up/down, ATS and memory tuning. Direct entry requires pressing frequency button, entering the frequency, then pressing enter (similar process as 7600gr). Rotary wheel has fast/slow step button at its center. I like the wheel.
Clock – press of buttons lets you quickly select and display World (UTC), local and daylight times. Time displayed in 24 hour format and is constantly displayed. Easy to set. Enter UTC and then select you time zone city adjust to local time (e.g., east coast would select NYC for -5 hrs).
Memories – 406 presets allocated as follows: LW 9, FM 27, MW 18, SW 351, Priority 1. Labels by country displayed on screen. Many country names preloaded. You can edit to change names.
Priority Button – preset for your primary station. Simple as it is, I like this feature. If I can’t find anything on SW or MW, I hit the Priority button which brings me to NPR (my priority station).
Alarms – 3 alarms . Select radio or humane wake system buzzer. HWS alarm goes from soft to loud. Five minute snooze function. Also, has auto shut off feature starting at 90 minutes going down to 10 minutes.
Jacks – the left side panel contains jacks for AM antenna, Aux-in, Rec.Standby and button to turn on (for external recorder), line out audio, headphone jack, and AC 9V.
Description - PLL synthesized, dual conversion device for MW / LW / SW. The DSP comes as standard (Digital Signal Processing) with the unit & includes a number of features which can significantly enhance reception through improved interference rejection such as Digital Bandpass Filter (SSB/AM/FM Modes) Provides razor-sharp selectivity for reducing adjacent-frequency interference and for shaping of the incoming station’s audio frequency response. - - Excerpts from Sangean I believe DSP is limited to certain sections, such as, FM and not SW.
It is often written that no radio is perfect. However, in the back of your mind you know that there is a perfect radio out there that you have just not found. This gives you a reason to keep looking and trying new radios. Is the ATS909X perfect? The answer is YES! Strike that, I meant to type No! Although not perfect, 909X has qualities and features that may be of interest to some of you while you continue your search for that perfect radio.
At last look 76% of Amazon reviews of the 909X were positive (4 or 5 stars), 10% neutral (3 stars) and 14% negative (1 or 2 stars). 75% of the negative reviews were the result of receiving a defective unit and were not related to performance of the radio. Weighted average Amazon ratings were 4.2 / 5.0 while eHam.net reviews of the 909X averaged 4.3 / 5.0. Overall, it ratings are consistent and positive.
Sangean ATS909X is a well built, feature laden and attractive radio. Audio quality is better than others in this class and the low noise levels makes for good listening. The radio is larger than other mid-sized portables which may or may not fit your preferences and uses. I like the size. Build quality seems better than most on the market and it is reflected in the price. SW reception is good and audio quality improves the listening experience. FM is excellent. MW picks up all stations as other radios, however, the audio on the 909X is better. I did not try MW DXing. A good choice when you are only taking one radio, will be using MW, FM and SW, and are looking for good audio.