The Car Radio Mystery

No, this is not an item about those old Radio Mystery programs, like “The Shadow” or others of that genre.  This is a mystery about my car radio.  For months I have been bothered by the fact that my car radio kept cutting out and going silent for a few seconds.  I assumed it must be a loose connection, maybe to the speakers, which I would be incapable to finding myself.  Or it could be a loose connection in the radio itself.  But, one characteristic of loose connections is that they usually are affected by the driving, by bumps in the road that cause the radio to turn off or crackle.  No crackling or response to bumps here, the radio just kept cutting out and turning back on. I also noticed that the on/off process seemed to be very regular, it happened at regular internals and for the same period each time.   I kept saying that I must take the car in to a car radio expert, but I never did.

Recently I decided to take my car in for some body-work, to repair the dents and scratches that I inflicted on my own car myself.  It wasn’t worth calling them “accidents” or using my car insurance.  I found a good small place down a narrow alley in the old industrial zone on a tip from a friend and indeed they did an excellent job at a reasonable price.  So now when I go to my car I am not reminded every time of the horrible condition it was in.  Yet, I was still reminded every day of the mystery problem with the radio.

Since it did not seem to be a loose connection, what else could it be?  I saw that there are many buttons on the side of the radio with obscure letters on them of unknown function, making this radio far more sophisticated than I need.  I tried pushing them, but it seemed to make no difference.  Then I noticed that each button when pressed produced a tiny connotation on the screen of the radio of the letters on the button.   Then I noticed after I had finished fiddling with the buttons that there remained a tiny notice with the letters “AF.”  I had no idea what AF meant, but I found its button and pressed it, and the letters disappeared, and guess what, the radio stopped turning off and on!   Quite by accident I had found the solution.

But, what does “AF” do?  I looked it up in the radio manual.  It does not say what AF means, but it allows you to search for another frequency of the same station in case there is one that is stronger and it would then automatically switch to that.  So when AF was pressed it kept searching for another frequency of greater intensity of the same station, and turned off while it was doing that.  Maybe AF means Alternate Frequency.  I have no idea how this got turned on in the first place.  But, it shows how simple a solution can be if you think about a problem first before assuming you can’t solve it.

 

 

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