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DAB reception

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DAB reception Empty DAB reception

Post by Skizzydo Sat May 29, 2021 8:14 pm

It’s been noticed that the “improved “ radio DAB  since its inception seems rather hit and miss and especially  if travelling on the A34 /A303  total cutout is  experienced  for quite long periods. 
Has anyone found away of rectifying the situation?   I am almost inclined to ripping out the media centre with its naff sat nav as well and fitting something that is user  friendly and plays CDs. Not everyone has a smart phone . 
Has anyone tried changing the antenna for the  radio for better  reception ? 
We have also had the usual problems  with the TV channels, as others seemed to have but then we occasionally enjoy a media free zone.
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DAB reception Empty Re: DAB reception

Post by Roopert Sun May 30, 2021 11:49 am

In my experience, DAB reception is extremely variable. If your van has the aerial in the door mirror or windscreen, it's always going to be a compromise, and you will almost certainly get better reception from a roof-mounted aerial. Some of the shark's fin types get good reviews, and they are very compact.

However... one important factor is to be sure that you aren't running a device in your van that is interfering with reception. The number one candidate here is a power supply (or several power supplies). Dashcam, satnav and USB charger/power supplies are all Chinese made these days and they make the maximum profit they can by taking out all of the components that suppress electrical noise, so they can easily interfere with radio reception.
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Post by Skizzydo Sun May 30, 2021 12:11 pm

Thanks for the heads up on the  DAB reception, another modern day ‘improvement’ that seems to be less than promised and makes things worse.
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Post by FreelanderUK Sun May 30, 2021 1:04 pm

I bough the DAB aerial from Halfords that sticks to the windscreenthere is a little tab that sticks to tha a pillar but you must make sure that the paint is removed to stick the tab on bare metal, I never had another drop out or poor reception with this fitted correctly

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Post by Paulmold Sun May 30, 2021 2:02 pm

I've got one of those stick on DAB aerials (it was already on when we bought it) and have never had lost signals,  although its rare we actually  use the radio.

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Post by v8oholic Sun May 30, 2021 2:11 pm

I’m sure it’s very dependent on where you live, but I find dropouts are almost unheard of in my normal travel area of about 100 mile radius. The only time I’ve really had a problem with DAB in a vehicle was when there was a fault with the aerial in one particular car, which needed warranty work to resolve.

I have retrofitted a Sony double DIN unit which includes DAB to one of my cars. That uses an aerial stuck on the inside of the glass, which seems every bit as good as the factory fitted solutions you tend to get.
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Post by Roopert Sun May 30, 2021 3:43 pm

I should have qualified my "DAB reception is very variable" comment by saying that I typically only listen to the radio when I'm away - often in more remote parts of the country. In that environment I think it's fair to say that it can be hit and miss.

But around populated parts it should be more consistent. My aerial is home-made, comprising a simple, specific length of unshielded wire, installed in the passenger side A pillar, so I never expect too much of it!
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Post by v8oholic Sun May 30, 2021 4:32 pm

Yes, a long way out in the sticks it might well be different, but it won’t necessarily just be DAB that’s affected. When I drive west down the A4 to visit a mate in Calne, which is a mostly rural journey, there is one stretch of 200-300 metres where there is occasionally no radio reception and no phone signal either, depending presumably on the weather!
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Post by Paulmold Sun May 30, 2021 5:16 pm

DAB switchover was all a bit  of a joke really.?..

"Analogue radio station licences will be extended for another 10 years, the UK government has said – entirely reversing plans to shut off FM and AM radio stations in favour of DAB digital radio."3 Jul 2020

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Post by roli Sun May 30, 2021 7:27 pm

I Transmit in four different digital modes and in  the main have found that aerials used for FM work ok on the digi modes. There is a but though, as some of you have found out you either have a digi signal or you don’t whereas with FM the signal fades prior to loss

An interesting case with DAB on a portable radio at home without the aerial being extended would receive Radio Merseyside no problem but n the last month the signal is still there but has deteriorated in a fashion I would have associated with FM.   I have carried out tests throughout the house and found nothing of concern 
All other DAB stations are ok
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Post by Skizzydo Sun May 30, 2021 8:24 pm

Living just east of Newbury, I have found the DAB reception very erratic, whether travelling west along the A4 , south (or North ) on the A34. Reading the excellent replies to my query, I suspect it might be the antenna / hardware problem.
As this motorhome has been re named  as the “Haunted Snail” ( for its history of erratic behaviour since we bought it in 2019 ), further investigation is now required.
I am still trying to figure whether the tuning is automatic or it can be done manually, as I have to do with the TV on each trip.
Many thanks to all who added their thoughts and answers to my enquiry.
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Post by v8oholic Sun May 30, 2021 8:46 pm

I'm not sure now if it matters so much with modern receivers, but certainly in the past when travelling long distances or changing areas, it was sometimes necessary to retune to pick up the different regional multiplexes. As you say, just like the TV!

If you're looking for a specialist to fit a new antenna (and/or a new head unit) then i can recommend John Kleis in the Basingstoke Road in Reading. I've used them loads of times over the years myself. This is one they fitted for me, and the little screen aerial it uses for radio.

DAB reception Img_7210
DAB reception Img_7310
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