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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 15-09-2016, 07:43 Thread Starter
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Upgrading to DAB

As most of us are fully aware the quality of the reception received on normal radio's in most Motorhome ranges from useless to downright pi** poor, I have tried putting a better quality head units in but this don't appear to have made any difference, it seems the only two channels that I can ever receive with any reasonable quality is either Radio 1 or Classic FM neither of which really floats my boat.


So the question is do DAB units work much better, my plan is to purchase a new Pioneer DAB head unit and a good quality windscreen mounted DAB Ariel, so over to my learned friends for your comments please.


M


PS I own a A class so no problems with any over hanging tops or obstructions
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 15-09-2016, 08:14
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I upgraded to DAB earlier this year and the results have been mixed. To be honest I wasn't that bothered about the DAB function on the new unit, I just wanted to replace the crap Renault head unit and cheap speakers with an up to date model that had a USB port. The Sony unit that I bought from Halfwords was a good deal and just happened to have DAB. Reviews of the 'stick-on' windscreen aerials are mixed but actually mine seems to work reasonably well and it's certainly a bonus to be able to listen football on radio 5 live in the evening without all that interference from foreign stations. DAB on the move has been less successful because my Sony unit automatically switches to FM when the DAB signal is weak. Sometimes this can happen every few minutes and it's very annoying to get the continual breaks while the radio searches for the FM signal so we usually just listen on FM anyway. Fitting the new head unit and running the new cables for the stick on aerial was surprisingly easy on my Renault Master.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 15-09-2016, 09:45
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I fitted a DAB unit last year and had a improvement on the number of stations I could receive, But
without doubt the way to get a good radio reception on DAB/FM is replacing your screen aerial with a good quality roof
aerial,
I won't bore you with all the trials and tribulations I went through to get a decent reception, but after 3 supposedly quality screen and 2 conventional aerials that still wouldn't get you a reception worth listened too,
went to Dabonwheels and picked up a kinetetic roof aerial that gave the best reception for my head unit (Sony) put it on the roof of my A class with extension leads to reach the dash, the reception was nothing short of a revelation!
I can pick up all the stations I like, magic/heart/radio12345/LBC/London with no problems practically anywhere in the UK,
the Bottom line is it doesn't matter how expensive your head unit is without a quality aerial ( FITTED PROPERLY) you may as well use a cheap Sanyo/goodwood radio with a rubber duck aerial hanging out the window, the reception would be very similar,
cabby, cabby, Revise and 1 others like this.

Now reitired thank god , looking forward to flying when the weather is good or motorhoming when itīs not, just like to get away from it all now I can take it easy.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 15-09-2016, 09:57
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I'm about to go down the same route but armed with information from a good friend who is also a motorhomer and has recently completed his upgrade to DAB, so he has done a lot of the groundwork for me.

The bottom line, in his opinion, is that you can spend as much as you like on the head unit but (as others have mentioned), if you don't have a decent external aerial then you may as well forget it.

He purchased his (final) aerial from here http://www.dabonwheels.co.uk/DAB_car_aerials.html They star rate their aerials and you will see that, in general, screen mounted aerials achieve around 2-3 stars. The external aerial that he ended up with is a 6 star rating and he is very pleased with it. His van is a C class but even with the lack of overhang on your A class I suspect that a screen mount will still be next to useless.

The type of aerial to go for may vary according to the head unit but his recommendation is to look for any 6 star aerial suitable for your setup.

Phil
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 15-09-2016, 09:58
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I noticed that Caulkhead is also using a Sony head unit, that it keeps switching back to FM from DAB is a sign of a poor aerial,
MY DAB works extremely well, I mostly listen to LBC and can do that practically anywhere in the country, West Country / Scotland is no problem, I have daughters living in both areas and frequently travel from London to them with great reception,

suggest you go to this link and buy a good aerial and have it fitted properly, of paramount importance is a ground plane for the bottom of the aerial,


http://www.dabonwheels.co.uk/uploade...ty%20chart.gif

Now reitired thank god , looking forward to flying when the weather is good or motorhoming when itīs not, just like to get away from it all now I can take it easy.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 15-09-2016, 10:59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyinghigh View Post
I noticed that Caulkhead is also using a Sony head unit, that it keeps switching back to FM from DAB is a sign of a poor aerial,
MY DAB works extremely well, I mostly listen to LBC and can do that practically anywhere in the country, West Country / Scotland is no problem, I have daughters living in both areas and frequently travel from London to them with great reception,

suggest you go to this link and buy a good aerial and have it fitted properly, of paramount importance is a ground plane for the bottom of the aerial,


http://www.dabonwheels.co.uk/uploade...ty%20chart.gif
I went with the screen aerial purely because it came with the head unit and I wasn't that bothered about the DAB function anyway. FM reception has always been good on our travels in the UK and in France you won't pick up UK stations anyway unless around the north coast. If FM disappeared tomorrow then I would definitely invest in a decent roof mounted aerial as life without the Archers would be simply intolerable

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 15-09-2016, 15:17 Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your inputs
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 15-09-2016, 18:33
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I have a Pure Highway DAB adaptor that I used in my last car as upgrading the Vauxhall head unit was going to be very expensive. The results in the car were excellent using the mag mount external aerial. I have used the adaptor in the van, not such good reception but I did have the aerial on the dash (A class). I have yet to try the aerial outside but will have to bond a metal plate to the roof & possibly an earth to get the best reception.

Dave.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 15-09-2016, 19:01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devonboy View Post
I have a Pure Highway DAB adaptor that I used in my last car as upgrading the Vauxhall head unit was going to be very expensive. The results in the car were excellent using the mag mount external aerial. I have used the adaptor in the van, not such good reception but I did have the aerial on the dash (A class). I have yet to try the aerial outside but will have to bond a metal plate to the roof & possibly an earth to get the best reception.
I didn't put any metal on the roof, I put a hole directly over my wardrobe through the fibreglass roof, clean back the insulation from the inside, then used copper tape that has adhesive on one side radiating out from the base of the aerial, with one strip going down the hack of the wardrobe terminating in a wire attached to the chassis through the back seat frame,
the copper tape is sold in garden centres to put around flower pots to stop snails and slugs snacking on your plants,
all my previous attempts with other aerials was just a waste of time and money,
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Now reitired thank god , looking forward to flying when the weather is good or motorhoming when itīs not, just like to get away from it all now I can take it easy.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 23-09-2016, 04:54
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I have a Kenwood DPX406 from Amazon, and it came with a windscreen aerial. The aerial comes highly recommended on the ICE websites / forums and I can confirm I get a good reception. Id recommend it.

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