By Alex Hollings

In the world of digital music, the mp3 is the most common audio format used. It is so well known that many people think that all digital audio is mp3. But not every music file is mp3. The mp3 is short for MPEG-2 Audio Layer-3 and was developed by the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG).

People use MP3s for digital music because music converted to that format creates smaller files than those created using CD-quality audio. This gives you the ability to store more mp3s on the same amount of space as a single CD quality file. Though settings can cause this to vary, generally speaking, an MP3 takes up about 10% of the space of a CD-quality audio file.

AAC, short for Advanced Audio Coding File, is a digital audio format that was the successor of the popular mp3. AAC offers higher quality sound compared to the mp3 and can use less memory space.

Many people think that AAC is an Apple audio format, however, it was actually developed by several different companies such as AT&T Bell Labs, Sony, Dolby, Sony and Nokia. Because of this AAC can be played on many different non-Apple devices including the Zune, Sony PlayStation 4, PS Vita, Wii U and Android platforms.

Similar to the Mp3, AAC is a lossy format meaning that to compress CD-quality audio into smaller files suitable for transmitting over the internet. However by doing this some data will be lost due to its compression process even though you can barely tell the difference. Both the MP3s and AAC measure their quality based on its bit rate, rendered in kbps. Just like the MP3, the most common bit rates for AAC files include 128 kbps, 192 kbps and 256 kbps.

The reasons why AAC files produce better sound than the MP3 may seem a little difficult to understand so I will explain some of them as simple as possible;

– AAC offers a broader frequency range from 8 to 96 kHz as opposed to the MP3s 16 to 48 kHz.
– AAC offers up to 48 channels including Dolby 5.1 as opposed to the MP3 only providing 2 channels you see in stereo audio.
– It offers much better handling of audio frequencies above 16 kHz
– And it gives you additional modules (tools) to increase compression efficiency. These tools include: TNS, Backwards Prediction, PNS etc…

In a nutshell, the AAC format grants the developers good flexibility to design codecs compared to the MP3 and corrects many of the design flaws made in the original MPEG-1. This increase in flexibility often leads to more concurrent encoding strategies and better compression.

This is the 5/8 FM antenna, one of our best products with over 15 years of sales. Over the years this antenna has had some small adjustments in its design but has retained it’s reliable quality made structure.

The materials we use to make this ultra reliable structure include Teflon, aluminium and brass. The Teflon carries the intense RF signal through the FM antenna without melting its base. This allows the 5/8 antenna to be used at high power, even a few KW with the 7-16 connector. Inside the aluminium tubes there are brass inserts that provide excellent conductivity between its connecting points.

In order to test the reliability of its build we gave this FM antenna some pretty tough tests. First we gave it a drop test and apart from a couple of scuff marks, the antenna was intact. After that we gave it a bend test to see how far it could bend before it snapped and our results were interesting. We managed to bend the antenna almost a full 30 degrees before we could see the metal begin to loose its structural integrity and then we bent it back and it worked perfectly again.

This year we made some major changes to the 5/8 antenna, the most significant change was providing the customer the facility to ajust the antenna between 88 and 108 MHz. We did this by making the main inductor at the base variable in steps, to put it simpler, this is an aluminium bar that can be moved over six different positions.

Aareff 5/8 FM Antenna

By changing the length and selecting the correct position it is possible to have an SWR of less than 1.1. Another change we made was that we added more telescopic sections to enable the FM antenna to be packed in a box only 60 cm in length. This allows us to send the antenna as a small packet through the postal system and therefore keep the antenna quality high, the delivery cost low and the overall price competitive and good value for money. DHL delivery is available for a small extra cost.

There are many advantages in using this antenna, however there are also a couple of disadvantages. These are shown below.

– Easy to install
– Sits on top of the tower
– True perfect omni-directional radiation pattern
– Light weight, low wind loading

– Not good for mounting on side of a tower.
– Narrow frequency range.(Only 2MHz)

To learn more about this antenna, click here: Aareff 5/8 antenna

By Alex Hollings