Why the Sony XDR-F1HD is worth modding and upgrading
The XDR's ability to pull in difficult stations might be unsurpassed by any other tuner at any price. The video below demonstrates the XDR's superior reception of fringe signals.
There are no tricks involved in the demonstration. Both tuners were fed from the same outdoor antenna via a 2-way splitter. The audio from the tuners has not been tampered with in any way except to match the levels to make the test fair.
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Unmodified XDR (above)
Modified XDR (below)
Above: Batch of XDRs with tuner module covers removed, ready for alignment.
REPAIRS: If you have an XDR-F1HD that doesn't work, contact me. Please include a description of exactly what the symptom is ("Stuck on flashing WAIT message" for example). I can probably repair it. If the XDR is severely heat-stressed, the minimum recommended repair is to replace all the aluminum electrolytic capacitors, rebuild the power supply, and add 2 cooling fans. If the issue is a simple random component failure not related to overheating, sometimes a repair can be done very inexpensively. I don't charge anything to do a diagnosis.
Certain unique parts for these things are becoming hard to find. Replacement DSP & HD Tuner modules are no longer available except by cannibalizing parts from other tuners. The original Sony RMT-CF1A remote control is also now NLA as a separate part.
Comparison of fringe reception on a Sony XDR-F1HD & the new Sangean HDT-20 (use headphones if possible).
UPGRADES: If you're interested in upgrading your XDR-F1HD and extending its service life, contact me.
Email Address: email@example.com (Dave)
Mods are priced individually as shown, add $15 for return shipping. Or $275 for Items 1 thru 10 when done all at the same time, including return Priority shipping to a US address. Optional upgrades priced as noted.
Note about the tactile pushbutton switches: I've been running into increasing problems with flakey pushbuttons. For example you press "DISPLAY" but the tuner behaves like you pressed "HD SCAN". This is caused by the tactile switches developing high resistance across the contacts. I can now replace the switches with new exact replacements for $10. If you want to DIY the switches are Mouser p/n 611-PTS645SSM502. Note that the original switches may have felt pads on top that you will probably need to transfer over to the new switches in the same locations. Otherwise when the cover is installed the buttons may feel mushy or not work without pressing very hard. If you're going to replace any switches at all, consider doing all of them at the same time including the power button.