Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sharp Digital DJ DRW-V2 Ultralight Radio

I recently purchased this small radio from a seller for about $16 on eBay...




The specs are listed as follows:

# AM /FM Stereo Radio
# Digital Tuning for enhanced radio listening experience
# High Resolution Large Backlit LCD Screen
# Indigo LCD Backlit
# Built-in Speaker and audio jack for external headphones.
# 15AM/15FM User Presets
# Works with 2 AAA batteries, DC input power Jack. Allows to power unit with external power supply
# Functionality : Clock Timer , Alarm , Calendar , AM Receiver 560 - 1600 Khz , FM Receiver 87.5 - 108 ,Mhz STEREO
# Packages Include: Digital DJ , Manual (in English) , Stereo headphones , Mini Stand

What's neat about the radio is that it was developed as a data receiver for a radio service that is no longer in existence. It had the ability to receive stock quotes, traffic reports and news via an FM radio station's transmissions. It has a GUI interface that's similar to a PDA for setting up the radio, adding stocks to track, running the calendar, setting timers, etc. It originally had a list price of $200 plus a monthly fee for the service, but apparently the technology never caught on.


Searching on the web I found the press release that's at the end of this posting. Also, another Blogger posted his experience on this radio:
http://setxdxer.blogspot.com/2006/12/sharp-drw-v2-digital-dj.html


I think it's a great example of the nexus between radio and computers, albeit one that never succeeded in the marketplace. But we can learn from failures, too.

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Company Press Release
Source: Digital DJ Inc.
Digital DJ Inc. Brings Real Time Stock to the Corner Store
Real Time Stock Quotes and Customized Information Available on America's First Wireless High Speed Data Receiver & AM/FM Stereo Radio

SAN JOSE, Calif., Aug. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Digital DJ Inc. launched three subscription-based services available on the Digital DJ Wireless High Speed Data Receiver and AM/FM Stereo Radio developed by SHARP and Digital DJ Inc. Now the individual investor can purchase continuous real time stock quotes on America's first high-speed data receiver integrated with a high quality back-lit LCD AM/FM Stereo Radio. This marks the first time in the United States that real time stock quotes are available in retail stores. Wireless Wall Street(TM) is one of three subscription-based services that will be available on the Digital DJ receiver which will be sold at reputable cellular/audio retailers around the San Francisco Bay Area. Subscribers to this real time stock service can now access their portfolio as quickly and easily as making a cellular phone call.

The Digital DJ receiver is the first high speed data receiver and AM/FM stereo radio to be marketed in the United States. The receiver downloads data from radio station's FM Subcarriers and allows the subscriber to customize a real time stock portfolio, sports scores, as well as receive traffic information, news, weather, and local city information. Digital DJ provides a new value added service for radio stations to provide their listeners with information and keep them tuned in longer. The transmission of the data does not interrupt the audio reception. Digital DJ Information Providers Include: AP (Associated Press), UPI (United Press International), S&P Comstock (providing real time stock quotes from Nasdaq, Amex, and NYSE Exchanges), Sports Ticker, and Shadow Traffic. Three subscription Services include:

* Wireless Wall Street(TM) (Real Time Stock Quotes)
* Uptown Update(TM) (20 minute Delay Stock Quotes)
* SportFolio(TM) (Real Time Sport Scores)

Currently Digital DJ Inc.'s Wireless Information Network in the Bay Area includes six radio stations subcarrier frequencies for maximizing coverage in the bay area. The frequencies include 105.3 (KITS), 99.7 (KFRC), 106.1 (KMEL), 97.7 (KFFG), 103.7 (KKSF) and 104.5 will be added shortly. This local network allows the subscriber to receive data virtually anywhere in the bay area. Digital DJ plans to launch in Los Angeles and Atlanta in early September and services will be available in the top ten markets by June of 1998.

The Digital DJ receiver features: AM/FM Stereo Radio, Alarm Clock, Monthly Calendar, Low Battery Alert, Text and Graphic Capabilities, High Resolution LCD with Backlight, 15 AM and 15 FM station presets, simultaneous radio listening and reception of customized information, Multiple Channels of Information, and headphones with built in antenna and external speaker.

Price & Availability

Digital DJ's receiver and subscription based services are available for order on line at www.digitaldj.com or through select Bay Area retailers including Star Cellular, Cellular Link, and Monne'y Car Audio. For a limited time the receiver will sell at an introductory price of $199.00 (MSRP), which include registration and activation. As a special introductory offer subscription services are priced as follows: Wireless Wall Street, $49.95 per month (plus exchange fees); Uptown Update, $14.95 per month; and SportFolio, $4.95 per month. The unit alone may be purchased for $179(MSRP) and can receive free information including real time traffic reports and local, regional, and national news.

About Digital DJ Inc.

Digital DJ Inc. was established in 1991 and began research and development of advanced high speed FM subcarrier applications. In July 1993, Digital DJ and NHK Engineering Services, Inc. formed a Technical Alliance and jointly developed specifications for the FM Subcarrier High Speed Data Transmission System for the worldwide market. Digital DJ manufacturers include: OKI Electric Industry, Sanyo Semiconductor Corporation, Sony Corporation, Sharp, Shibasoku, and Nichimen Corporation. Digital DJ Inc. Investor Partners include: Nippon Enterprise Development, ORIX Capital, Daiwa Business Development, Sanwa Capital, Fujigin Capital, and National Enterprises (Panasonic Group).

2 comments:

marktaylor said...

I think it's a great example of the nexus between radio and computers, albeit one that never succeeded in the marketplace. But we can learn from failures, too.
IT Support Van Nuys

Mark Bias said...

The Sharp DRW-V2 has the most useful interactive design for an AM/FM pocket radio ever produced! Its predecessor (Sharp FV-L1) was sold only in Japan two years prior to Digital DJ's unsuccessful attempt at digital RDS subscription based service in the US. Each radio (I have both) had an internal FM antenna and AM ferrite rod antenna built into the device - which performed magnificently on FM, FM Stereo and Medium Wave (AM) broadcast bands. The FV-L1 (1995) was of course manufactured for 9 KHz steps,.. While the DRW-V2 (1997) was made using the standard 10 KHz tuning increments. Mark, KC9TSR.