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Robotson

How to improve DAB reception?

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Hi all,

I have a 330Ci with an Erisin 6046B HU, and the DAB+ unit plugged into USB, with the aerial attached to the windscreen. But the DAB reception is so bad it's basically unusable unless you're on a road with no buildings anywhere near it. 

What's the best & cheapest way to improve it? Can you use the shark fin aerial on the roof or is that just for the car's original radio or GPS?

Or can you get some kind of powered DAB aerial fitted to these things? What about the big long TV-aerial-like aerials, could you maybe mount that under the rear parcel shelf or something?

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I'm having the same problem, got the same headunit and fitted a proper rood Ariel and the signal drops out, the longest its stopped on is 10 mins

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18 minutes ago, malachi said:

I'm having the same problem, got the same headunit and fitted a proper rood Ariel and the signal drops out, the longest its stopped on is 10 mins

What kind of aerial did you fit? Do you have a link to it, or a similar one?

But you're saying the reception is still very bad even with the new aerial? Does it crackle & make all those horrible noises when you're driving down a street?

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9 minutes ago, malachi said:

 

Wow that's quite big! Did you have to have a hole drilled in your roof then?

I'm thinking a big aerial in the boot might work! 

I don't have signal drop-out at all, just terrible reception. 

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Im sure a member on here had a loft aerial fitted in the back of their convertible, believe it worked.

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18 minutes ago, R11CH said:

Im sure a member on here had a loft aerial fitted in the back of their convertible, believe it worked.

Yeah I think I've seen that. I think it was mounted inside the rear bumper though IIRC. Sounds like too much of a faff compared to under the parcel shelf! 

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Aha, yes it was me with the loft aerial. With the windscreen aerials make sure they're earthed if they have a copper stip on them, either stick the strip over a piece of bare bodywork, or run a short wire to it if necessary. Earthing those aerials helps a bit with reception.

Here is the loft aerial  in all its glory, I think it looks alright:

5a31658a6b5e5_330Ciloftaerial.thumb.jpg.d117477bf700ddfdaa728873ce9ef8f9.jpg

It's tucked behind the rear seatback, close to the edge, only the upper half of the aerial is protruding above the seat. A tight fit to get the aerial connection box and cable in there and the seatback refitted, but it just about fits. I used an F-type to TV plug adaptor from EBay at the aerial end (e.g..http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/F-Type-Male-Plug-To-TV-Aerial-Female-Plug-Adapter-RF-Coaxial-Satellite-Converte/332257509446?hash=item4d5c174046:g:KDQAAOSw1~JZOm3G) then used a standard TV lead (5m I think), run under the trim to the front, the and then a TV aerial to SMA adaptor to connect to the DAB unit, as it has an SMA connection on it (e.g. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1x-Adapter-IEC-PAL-DVB-T-TV-female-jack-to-SMA-plug-male-connector-straight-JX/132244225898?epid=915998354&hash=item1eca5ebf6a:g:7jwAAOSwk1JWglUz)

I also used a bit of bubble wrap to stop the lower half of the aerial touching the bodywork, in case it reduces the signal strength.

Here's the type of aerial I'm using: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/High-Quality-DAB-Digital-Omni-Loft-Or-Outside-Aerial/182759016471?hash=item2a8d494817:g:-JQAAOSw67lZtruU

I needed to undo a few nuts and bolts, to remove the pole, then put it back together.

I was still disappointed in the signal overall, since moving further South to Gloucestershire, until recently. I replaced my Navall DAB+ USB box with one of these: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/USB2-0-Car-Digital-Radio-Receiver-DAB-DAB-Radio-Tuner-Stick-Antenna-for-Android/112622761524?hash=item1a38d6f634:g:V4sAAOSw8a1ZrP7x

The reception is almost perfect now, so in my case the loft aerial was fine but I needed a better DAB+ stick to get 99+% reception. I am using the zoulou DAB+ app. from XDA developers (https://forum.xda-developers.com/android-auto/android-head-units/dab-app-realzoulous-modded-version-com-t3609608), it occasionally loses the connection with the DAB stick, but a quick power off and on solves it. Other than that it's a decent app. for DAB radio. As the app. is being developed still this small bug might be sorted out soon. The app. also makes an annoying screeching noise when it loses signal, but the signal is so good now with the loft aerial, that this rarely happens.

It might be worth trying a loft aerial to start with, along with your Erisin DAB unit, you can always just secure it on the back seat vertically temporarily, to give you some idea of whether it gives the kind of signal strength you are looking for without having to strip any interior trim to hide the aerial.

You can just about make out the side view of the aerial in my sig. below. I could mount it lower down  it if I wanted, so it shouldn't stick up too far to fit in a coupe if you can put it behind the rear seatback/cushion.

Edited by Tim-Ci

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On 12/13/2017 at 17:56, Tim-Ci said:

Aha, yes it was me with the loft aerial. With the windscreen aerials make sure they're earthed if they have a copper stip on them, either stick the strip over a piece of bare bodywork, or run a short wire to it if necessary. Earthing those aerials helps a bit with reception.

Here is the loft aerial  in all its glory, I think it looks alright:

5a31658a6b5e5_330Ciloftaerial.thumb.jpg.d117477bf700ddfdaa728873ce9ef8f9.jpg

It's tucked behind the rear seatback, close to the edge, only the upper half of the aerial is protruding above the seat. A tight fit to get the aerial connection box and cable in there and the seatback refitted, but it just about fits. I used an F-type to TV plug adaptor from EBay at the aerial end (e.g..http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/F-Type-Male-Plug-To-TV-Aerial-Female-Plug-Adapter-RF-Coaxial-Satellite-Converte/332257509446?hash=item4d5c174046:g:KDQAAOSw1~JZOm3G) then used a standard TV lead (5m I think), run under the trim to the front, the and then a TV aerial to SMA adaptor to connect to the DAB unit, as it has an SMA connection on it (e.g. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1x-Adapter-IEC-PAL-DVB-T-TV-female-jack-to-SMA-plug-male-connector-straight-JX/132244225898?epid=915998354&hash=item1eca5ebf6a:g:7jwAAOSwk1JWglUz)

I also used a bit of bubble wrap to stop the lower half of the aerial touching the bodywork, in case it reduces the signal strength.

Here's the type of aerial I'm using: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/High-Quality-DAB-Digital-Omni-Loft-Or-Outside-Aerial/182759016471?hash=item2a8d494817:g:-JQAAOSw67lZtruU

I needed to undo a few nuts and bolts, to remove the pole, then put it back together.

I was still disappointed in the signal overall, since moving further South to Gloucestershire, until recently. I replaced my Navall DAB+ USB box with one of these: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/USB2-0-Car-Digital-Radio-Receiver-DAB-DAB-Radio-Tuner-Stick-Antenna-for-Android/112622761524?hash=item1a38d6f634:g:V4sAAOSw8a1ZrP7x

The reception is almost perfect now, so in my case the loft aerial was fine but I needed a better DAB+ stick to get 99+% reception. I am using the zoulou DAB+ app. from XDA developers (https://forum.xda-developers.com/android-auto/android-head-units/dab-app-realzoulous-modded-version-com-t3609608), it occasionally loses the connection with the DAB stick, but a quick power off and on solves it. Other than that it's a decent app. for DAB radio. As the app. is being developed still this small bug might be sorted out soon. The app. also makes an annoying screeching noise when it loses signal, but the signal is so good now with the loft aerial, that this rarely happens.

It might be worth trying a loft aerial to start with, along with your Erisin DAB unit, you can always just secure it on the back seat vertically temporarily, to give you some idea of whether it gives the kind of signal strength you are looking for without having to strip any interior trim to hide the aerial.

You can just about make out the side view of the aerial in my sig. below. I could mount it lower down  it if I wanted, so it shouldn't stick up too far to fit in a coupe if you can put it behind the rear seatback/cushion.

Hi Tim,

Just wanted to say a big thank you for the message above! I've been really busy recently so hadn't had any time to look at the car, but I decided to buy the DAB+ stick you mentioned above as it was only £20 - and that's solved the issue completely! Reception now seems to be perfect :) 

So for anyone else with dodgy DAB reception with their Android HU - I fully recommend Tim's advice below to buy one of those DAB+ sticks. 

Cheers! 

George

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16 minutes ago, Robotson said:

Hi Tim,

Just wanted to say a big thank you for the message above! I've been really busy recently so hadn't had any time to look at the car, but I decided to buy the DAB+ stick you mentioned above as it was only £20 - and that's solved the issue completely! Reception now seems to be perfect :) 

So for anyone else with dodgy DAB reception with their Android HU - I fully recommend Tim's advice below to buy one of those DAB+ sticks. 

Cheers! 

George

Where did you fit yours ?

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3 hours ago, Robotson said:

Hi Tim,

Just wanted to say a big thank you for the message above! I've been really busy recently so hadn't had any time to look at the car, but I decided to buy the DAB+ stick you mentioned above as it was only £20 - and that's solved the issue completely! Reception now seems to be perfect :) 

So for anyone else with dodgy DAB reception with their Android HU - I fully recommend Tim's advice below to buy one of those DAB+ sticks. 

Cheers! 

George

Hi George,

Glad my advice helped, I found it really frustrating having a weak DAB signal.

A few of extra things I've found with DAB reception, which might help some people:

1) My cheap EBay dash cam with a rear view camera was hurting the DAB signal, I was running the rear view camera cable next to the aerial cable. I've moved it and it's not causing any signal loss now. Presumably the dash cam wire wasn't very well shielded and this was affecting the signal travelling down the aerial lead.

2) My Eonon TV box, which is about 30cm from the DAB USB stick, was reducing DAB reception a lot. The TV box switches on with the ignition. I've fitted a rocker switch now so I can turn the TV box off when it is not needed.

3) My cheap dashcam 12V charger was also hurting the reception with (with the old Navall box I was using at the time). I got around this by wiring in a 12V  cigarette lighter multi socker adaptor with a USB output, and used the dash cam's USB lead instead of the cigarette lighter adaptor it came with.

So it seems some aftermarket  goodies can cause interference issues with the DAB reception and both of the DAB USB units I've used.

Also, be very careful with connecting the aerial to the USB stick you bough, shown in the link in my earlier post. I must have stressed mine too much and weakened the aerial connection on the circuit board. After a few days my signal dropped a lot - I had to solder the internal connecitons back on which was quite tricky. With the broken connections the signal went much worse but I could still get some channels, when I wiggled the aerial connection the signal strength changed so I knew it was an internal problem in the stick, as the aerial lead and adaptor looked fine.

To R11CH - if it helps, I fitted my USB stick behind the glovebox to the right hand side, tucked in the cavity behind the soft touch dash surface, connected to my head unit's USB extension lead, and then brought the aerial cable in across the plastic panel underneath the glovebox to connect to it. Be very careful that the cable is not stressing the connection on the USB stick though.

Tim

Edited by Tim-Ci

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16 hours ago, Tim-Ci said:

 

To R11CH - if it helps, I fitted my USB stick behind the glovebox to the right hand side, tucked in the cavity behind the soft touch dash surface, connected to my head unit's USB extension lead, and then brought the aerial cable in across the plastic panel underneath the glovebox to connect to it. Be very careful that the cable is not stressing the connection on the USB stick though.

Tim

My xtrons unit has a dab box that has a loom from the headunit to the dab box. Aerial cable plugs into that so shouldn't be a problem with stressing it out.

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8 hours ago, R11CH said:

My xtrons unit has a dab box that has a loom from the headunit to the dab box. Aerial cable plugs into that so shouldn't be a problem with stressing it out.

Fair enough R11CH, I hope you find a good spot for the DAB box.

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When you say connect the aerial to plain bodywork for earth, presumably the painted bodywork behind the pillar next to windshield aint enough?

 

My reception has been pretty bad to my xtrons unit, but i also have my gps unit and cigarette lighter to dashcam running through the glovebox too

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I found that using a bit of bare metal works best. You can sand a bit of paint off in a hidden area, unlikely to rust if it never gets wet.

Of course you could try disconnecting the dashcam charger to see if that helps , and the GPS too. By running my aerial lead under the centre console to the rear I have eliminated the interference from the dashcam now, but the original 12V cigarette charger did make things a lot worse all the time no matter where the cables were located, I am using a 12V-USB power adaptor now which doesn't cause any interference.

If all else fails then these seem to have decent reception: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/USB2-0-Car-Digital-Radio-Receiver-DAB-DAB-Radio-Tuner-Stick-Antenna-for-Android/112622761524?hash=item1a38d6f634:g:V4sAAOSw8a1ZrP7x&clk_rvr_id=1486708027731&afsrc=1&rmvSB=true

The most recent Zoulou DAB app from the XDA developers forum seems to have improved the reception  further. A decent aerial is still important though, the stick on windscreen ones can be fairly good in my experience but not great.

I don't get any dropouts on the way to work now, the signal strength does go down to 2 bars (out of 5) in places, but the sound still comes through fine. I am very happy with my DAB setup now.

Edited by Tim-Ci

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