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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > Regional Forums > UK > DAB Radio - for those without it as standard



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      03-08-2009, 10:12 AM   #1
Ti Rich
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DAB Radio - for those without it as standard

Had a Pure Highway DAB unit for a few months now and i have been very impressed with it. Manged to fix it with velcrose into the ashtray unit (it hasn't moved yet in 3 months) and, in my opinion, it doesn't look too bad at all and matches the M-Sport interior quite well.




The unit plugs into ipod connector in the arm rest with the cable being run through the armrest so it's hidden. So just access AUX from the BMW radio and away you go. Power is obtained from the cigar lighter socket with the cable hidden behind the unit it'self.



The aerial is mounted at the top of the top of the windscreen (passenger side) for best reception.


Sound quality is very good with more detail (but less weight) than the BMW radio. Only lose reception now and again so quite pleased. An optional external magnetic aerial is available but i don't want to use this as i am sure it will scratch the paint! For around 60 this is great even if only to listen to Five live/Five Sport Xtra.
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      03-08-2009, 10:22 AM   #2
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i like the idea of that as i listen to a lot of radio - and i guess if i wanna use the ipod i just swap connecters round in the aux switch .. or get a Y connector and feed both in??
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      03-08-2009, 10:36 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by RCUK View Post
i like the idea of that as i listen to a lot of radio - and i guess if i wanna use the ipod i just swap connecters round in the aux switch .. or get a Y connector and feed both in??
I guess so yes. I have the USB option and just use a 16GB memory stick in place of the IPod so not a problem for me.
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      03-08-2009, 05:38 PM   #4
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The only thing missing in mine when I got it is the DAB and on Saturday I managed to let the guy in Comet let me take the unit out to the car and find somewhere suitable to mount it.

I thought it was a bit big to put anywhere on the dash and decided if I were to buy one I would have to fit it in the glovebox on the right side partition but that would mean pre-selecting the channel before I set off or changing channel when I came to a stop.
I would only listen to 5Live, 5extra or 6music or possibly some other other channels if there was nothing on FM so that wasn't too much of a problem.

I have a 2 into one 12v in the armrest and one part is connected to the Pogo Alert which is sat on the dashboard so I could connect the DAB to the other part and then the whole lot would be hidden and all I would have to do is select the aux for the DAB.
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      03-09-2009, 05:45 AM   #5
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that is pretty nifty!

might look into that myself!
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      03-09-2009, 06:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ti Rich View Post
For around 60 this is great even if only to listen to Five live/Five Sport Xtra.
Looks great mate, really does! Nice job. I was in a dealer on Saturday speccing out my new E90 330d, and I'd forgot how bad my reception is for Five Live/Talk Sport in my area, in my current 320, so I'm ordering DAB as an option.
I think its 300 ...
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      03-09-2009, 03:13 PM   #7
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I've got one as well - makes 5 Live sound like quality FM. DAB Coverage is generally very good along most motorway routes but can be patchy in very rural areas.

My windscreen cracked in the top LH corner 2 days after I fitted the aerial - nothing to do with the aerial but means I wil need to get a new one when I decide to replace the windscreen.

I paid about 50 for the Highway from Empire Direct - before they went t1ts up. Well worth it at that price.
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      03-21-2009, 02:17 PM   #8
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I bought a Highway DAB, went into Curry's and they said they would price match with the Co-op and got it for just under 65

Next I went to Maplin and bought a 1 metre length of co-axial to match the aerial lead (for .99p) which I spliced into the supplied lead because it's not long enough when you put the unit in the arm rest.

I have a 2 into 1 power lead extension because I run the Pogo alert from the armrest too. The lead from the unit to the Aux socket is about 1.8m long and I couldn't see much point in cutting it so coiled it up and tied it with a couple of cable ties.

I only listen to 4 DAB stations so it's not too difficult to change station using the presets.

I prefer to have stuff hidden away and for me solves the DAB problem
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      03-21-2009, 06:20 PM   #9
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I've got a DAB radio in the house a and to be honest can't really tell the difference in the quality of sound between the fancy digital thing and the regular every day radio.
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      03-21-2009, 07:51 PM   #10
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Sound quality there isn't much difference, well not that you would notice in the car but with DAB you get more stations you don't get on FM like R1extra, 6music, Radio7, Planet rock and the am stations like 5Live and Talksport which sound crap on the usual radio.
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      03-22-2009, 07:04 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve748 View Post
Sound quality there isn't much difference, well not that you would notice in the car but with DAB you get more stations you don't get on FM like R1extra, 6music, Radio7, Planet rock and the am stations like 5Live and Talksport which sound crap on the usual radio.
Do you think so ...i think Radio 5 Live is way different but it could be the area and allsorts but its definately different sounding.(factory fit DAB btw)
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      03-22-2009, 10:19 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Budgie View Post
Do you think so ...i think Radio 5 Live is way different but it could be the area and all sorts but its definitely different sounding.(factory fit DAB BTW)
5live is on AM and sounds crap to me while on DAB it's like listening to FM

My post was more about an alternative to to the OP placement rather than the ways, why-fores and benefit of DAB
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      03-22-2009, 11:26 AM   #13
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Yeah but i wondered if the aftermarket was signal wise better or worst?.

I mean i dont have a reception problem with mine but some have had murders with theres.

Anyway if ya happy thats all that counts

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      01-04-2011, 05:14 PM   #14
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I've just bought this unit and done exactly the same install into the ashtray. Still need to finalise the wire feed for the aerial, and haven't run the aux wire through the centre console (its on the floor on the passenger side of the armrest), but time for that later.
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      01-04-2011, 07:24 PM   #15
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Looks great.

I've been hearing recently about the analogue switch off, no date decided but it may not be a million miles off. This is going to be massive for units like this, they'll sell bucket loads!

When this happens, I wonder if BMW will offer cheap retro fit... I think that's what I'd wait for.
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      01-04-2011, 08:34 PM   #16
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Analogue radio is NOT being switched off, only TV, so this year, millions of car radios will still work.

Edit: Even if they do switch, the very earliest is 2015.
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      01-05-2011, 03:32 AM   #17
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Yeah, tv is happening soon, but 2015 isn't that far away and many of us will still have our current cars then :-)
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      01-05-2011, 06:15 AM   #18
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DAB radio is still a 325 extra (on the 3-series), the standard radio is analogue which will have a maximum life of around 4 years from now. I called the local BMW dealer to find out the cost of upgrading the standard radio to DAB, and they said there is no kit for this.

Maybe they will come out with an upgrade option in the next year or two, but it would be nice to have some sort of statement of intent from BMW. Around us the DAB signal is still rubbish, so we don't want to switch the car over to DAB until the sound quality is acceptable.
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      01-05-2011, 10:08 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicko44 View Post
DAB radio is still a 325 extra (on the 3-series), the standard radio is analogue which will have a maximum life of around 4 years from now. I called the local BMW dealer to find out the cost of upgrading the standard radio to DAB, and they said there is no kit for this.

Maybe they will come out with an upgrade option in the next year or two, but it would be nice to have some sort of statement of intent from BMW. Around us the DAB signal is still rubbish, so we don't want to switch the car over to DAB until the sound quality is acceptable.
I've looked into having this fitted by these guys.

http://www.navtvman.co.uk/Page_1.html

They were going to come back to me with a price but I heard no more.


IMHO the main problem with retro-fitting DAB is the aerial. Where I live in Dorset the stick on ones that come with the Pure Highway are not good enough. I've therefore got a magnetic external aerial that spends most of it's time stuck upside down to the boot lid. It works quite well depending on the weather but if the signal is poor I whip it out and stick it to the boot. Means that I can park in taxi bays as well

However if you are happy with the FM channels I don't think that you have to worry too much about them being switched off any time soon. DAB coverage just isn't good enough and the technology is already obsolete.
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      01-05-2011, 03:50 PM   #20
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I've had my first day out with my Pure Highway, and on the way in this morning I was thinking "what have I done?". I commute from Teesside to Sheffield every day, and the signal was dropping out. A lot.

Did a bit of reading on DAB radio reception and moved the antenna. I had done exactly the same position as seen in Ti Rich's photos at the top, with the amplifier at the top and the dipole antenna hanging down. I swapped it round with the aerial pointing up, and moved it a few centimetres from the side and top. I also switched out the mute on burble feature - its much too sensitive and was hushing the playback at the slightest bit of signal loss.

And? Planet Rock uninterrupted all the way home! Still not 100% happy with the positioning of the aerial, but as a unit that costs 60, it kicks arse!
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      01-05-2011, 04:49 PM   #21
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Hey so after 2 years i find out i have the aerial the wrong way round!!!

Can i have a picture please?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Rochdale Pioneers View Post
I've had my first day out with my Pure Highway, and on the way in this morning I was thinking "what have I done?". I commute from Teesside to Sheffield every day, and the signal was dropping out. A lot.

Did a bit of reading on DAB radio reception and moved the antenna. I had done exactly the same position as seen in Ti Rich's photos at the top, with the amplifier at the top and the dipole antenna hanging down. I swapped it round with the aerial pointing up, and moved it a few centimetres from the side and top. I also switched out the mute on burble feature - its much too sensitive and was hushing the playback at the slightest bit of signal loss.

And? Planet Rock uninterrupted all the way home! Still not 100% happy with the positioning of the aerial, but as a unit that costs 60, it kicks arse!
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      01-05-2011, 05:56 PM   #22
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Nobody will be killing off the FM band for a very long time.

It's of no real use for anything else, just like 27Mhz.
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