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Thought I had done well to buy a hardly used Sony DAB with good spec---Dab and FM, USB and Aux ports, CD player. I carefully followed the forum advice and made up an aluminium plate bolted to the earth post on the passenger-side windscreen pillar. Aerial is also 12v powered. Now I have some questions as the reception is very poor and inconsistent, dropping out completely in many areas.

Background interference sounds like somebody drowning. I have 2 digital mains powered radios at home which are excellent.

---I have stuck the complete aerial onto the ally plate, including the film part

will this affect reception? Maybe the film part should be on glass or glass-

fibre.

---The radio at the rear gets quite hot, is this normal or have I been sold a

faulty set? My previous set barely got warm.

---Just had a thought, I left the excess length of aerial coiled, would this

make any difference?

Apart from the DAB all other funtions work fine with good speaker sound.

I am on the south coast near Brighton where dab coverage is supposedly good.

Any ideas? Thanks Roy.

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Interesting , I just bought a Kenwood DAB radio for the Esprit (Xmas Pressy).  Reading thru the installation guide, it just states that the earthing sheet must be adhered to the metal (front windscreen) frame.  Not sure about the aluminium plate though.  I would have gone with a more conductive material. I'm sure that's where the problem lies.  I suppose I'll find out next month when I install.

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Do you have to turn on the DAB antenna separately.  Reading my manual, I have to switch on the DAB antenna via the head unit. If the DAB antenna power is off it feeds info from the analog (old) antenna. Which is noisier, but is the only option when driving in remote areas away from DAB reception.

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Hi Simon thanks for your reply. I don't have to turn the DAB antenna on and the old analogue/FM aerial is disconnected at the moment.   I have made some enquiries including speaking to a very helpful chap in my local radio fitting workshop. It seems

that my aluminium earth plate should work OK but he thought that also sticking the film part of the DAB antenna to the plate might mask the signal.  I'll let you know how I get on. Roy. 

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Aluminium is not the best material for use as a ground plane. Ferrous metal is better.

If the actual antenna sections (the grey printed lines) are stuck over it then it will affect their ability to receive the radio frequency signal.

General rules for antenna are good grounding and no obstruction.

By sticking the whole antenna to the aluminium you have effectively masked the signal and altered the tuning of the antenna hence why it doesn't work properly.

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I think DAB is a bit dead in the water since they changed their minds about dropping FM. I think FM will stay as the main but if you want more channels I think internet radio via your mobile might work better?

 

Buddsy

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I would tend to agree with you Scott but at present the cost of 'unlimited' or near unlimited data for mobiles makes it a potentially expensive option to use Internet radio. Also the networks are not yet ready for mass audio streaming from potentially millions of cars.

At present DAB works well. I've had it in 2 cars for nearly 3 years and in the last 2 years it has proved stable and reliable with a good selection of additional stations not available on VHF Band 2 or FM as many incorrectly call it..

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Hi People, thanks for your input. Radio is fine now and this is what I did. With the cover off the A frame windscreen pillar (n/s). Well let's start there- a well documented pig job. With the rubber door seal off you can get a couple of thin levers in (take care not to damage any wiring) and prise. As you can see from the pics they need to be pushed horizontaly (ie towards the drivers door). Once popped out it is still stuck. I had to remove the dashboard speaker, drop the headling a bit and protect the dashboard leather from damage (an old plastic milk botle cut up is good)post-15056-0-73681700-1416428982.jpgpost-15056-0-05864200-1416428999.jpgpost-15056-0-36738200-1416429013.jpgpost-15056-0-28867900-1416429032.jpgpost-15056-0-52121200-1416429049.jpgpost-15056-0-09266100-1416429066.jpgpost-15056-0-28302100-1416429087.jpg, strong and quite slippery. I broke one of the springs but SJS Sports Cars in Crediton had them in stock. I ordered at 11am and they were on my doorstep next day at 8.30. Now that's what I call service. The only job worse than this is getting it back on again but now you know the system it is just peserverance and care. I then went to my 'it might be useful I'll keep it box'---covers most of the garage and found a sheet of copper to make up the earth plate. My use of aluminium was frowned on in previous posts but I'm not sure why as lots of car earths are bolted to alloy blocks/cylinder heads etc. This time I made sure the aerial film was supported by some thin plastic (another old piece of milkbottle) and not sheilded by the earth plate. Well all done and dusted. Plenty of stations to choose from--most of which aren't worth listening to. At least I can now listen to my own music without the stupid aerial coming up. It didn't really take me this long to fit a radio but I am a bit of an anorack and had to wait several days for dry roads so that I could try it and make sure it worked OK. You know what it's like wet roads=half a day cleaning and polishing again. Cheers Roy.

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Nice write up Roy and glad to hear you have it working well now.

I've got a spare DAB capable radio kicking around which I was thinking of putting in my Lotus. Your pictures and write up on how to remove the a pillar trim may galvanise me into action (once the current jobs are done)

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I have recently been in two modern cars with DAB radios and they worked really well. Looks like you have resolved the issues so thats all good progress!

 

I particularly enjoyed rocking out to bangra coming outta BBC Asian Network and on Asian Network Gold. I did have to turn it down abit while I was driving through Gtreat Yarmouth though...I was gettin some rare ole looks from some.

 

Buddsy

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The DAB radio which came with my Elise is very good. If the DAB signal is poor it almost seamlessly reverts to the normal signal until the DAB is back up to strength. You can tell as the volume changes slightly and the clarity an awful lot. Better than getting just interference when the DAB breaks up. 

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I managed to get as far as removing the clips, but after that my trim won't budge. Not even my full strength will move it....

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Lots to look forward to over Xmas when I install my Kenwood DAB.

 

It will be nice to have power/USB outlets again as I replaced the cig lighter with the start button back in 2003.

 

KDCX700DAB-3.jpg?1399911620

Edited by s4simon

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Looking at the A-pillar trim, I wonder if it's possible to get an extra long extended nose plier in there to squash the trim clips together?

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Whats all this talk about radios. If your engine is running correctly ie loud, thats the only radio your ever going to need.

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Mike, slightly off topic but where in West Sussex are you? Me and my '90 N/A are in Emsworth...

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The new Kenwood system went in with no issues.  So now I have digital radio (crystal clear and sooo many stations). Plus the benefit of Bluetooth and multiple USB outlets. 

 

Took me 2 hours to install the unit and another 2 hours to install the DAB antenna.

 

post-41-0-01307000-1419736275.jpg

 

 

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