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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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      01-06-2011, 12:21 PM   #23
Rochdale Pioneers
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Still wasn't 100% happy with the antenna placement on the windscreen both for looks and performance. DAB signals are modulated to be vertical, so the best orientation for the antenna is vertical. The difference between taping it to the side window and taping it to the windscreen was about 25%, enough to give a strong signal pretty much everywhere I am likely to drive.

So the obvious place to mount it is on a side window in the boot. Would need a 2.5mm extension lead (Maplin don't sell them, but found an online retailer selling a 2m one for less than 2), and its going to be a faff to install in a car that I'm only going to keep until August when the lease expires.

I drove out to a poor reception area and started waving the antenna around inside the car, attaching it to different places in different orientations. What was striking was the signal boost having it vertical, regardless of whether it was on a window or not. Sooooo, I've taped it to the side of the centre console next to my seat as an experiment. I'm going to Sheffield again in the morning, so we'll see how successful it is.

Ideally I would get the cable and mount it in the boot, but as I said I've only got 8 months left in the car and I'm not sure I can be bothered!
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      01-06-2011, 01:01 PM   #24
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If it helps, I installed my antenna vertically on my passenger rear window, and used the following to extend it:

http://www.kenable.co.uk/product_inf...oducts_id=3531

They do shorter ones also, but I wanted to tuck the cable away as much as I could.

I get mixed results though in terms of reception, at home its great (as are my other dab radios), but there are places ive found that it cuts out completley so not sure if its where Ive place the antenna or because dab isnt everywhere.

Would be interested to know how you get on.
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      01-07-2011, 08:48 AM   #25
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Reception was OK most of the way here this morning. Will be interesting to see how it performs on the way home later vs stuck vertically to the window last time I did the same trip. I'll let you know!
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      01-07-2011, 10:49 AM   #26
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The polarisation is indeed vertical.

The trouble with internal aerials will be the screening from the bodywork.

On the windscreen I doubt the slanting makes a huge attenuation, but if the source is aligned with the A pillars then it will be very well screened.
Hence the dropout rate being high.

Any vertical external vertical would be better.
Thes will also be attenuation, all be it quite small, from the glass and panels at 200Mhz.
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      01-07-2011, 02:47 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m1bjr View Post
The polarisation is indeed vertical.

The trouble with internal aerials will be the screening from the bodywork.

On the windscreen I doubt the slanting makes a huge attenuation, but if the source is aligned with the A pillars then it will be very well screened.
Hence the dropout rate being high.

Any vertical external vertical would be better.
Thes will also be attenuation, all be it quite small, from the glass and panels at 200Mhz.
I still don't understand how my magnetic aerial works so well when it is stuck upside down in the boot!!!!!! Well I say "well" but it still drops out far to often.

DabOnWheels have got an external window mount aerial that they say is very good.
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      01-07-2011, 03:39 PM   #28
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Having faffed with the aerial in various locations, its clear to me that the best reception possible from it is had by mounting it vertically on the side window. Its OK on the windscreen, but definitely better on the side.
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      01-16-2011, 02:34 PM   #29
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So I bought an extension lead from Kenable (thanks for the link!) and installed the antenna on the left hand door quarterlight, with the amp at the bottom. Wire runs round the door rubber, with a jump across onto the body by the hinge and then into the black plastic trim at the bottom of the door frame.

And? Its TERRIBLE! The worst reception I have experienced since I bought it, absolutely unlistenable for much of the trip to Rotherham and back this afternoon. SO now I want to know - is the aerial in the wrong place? Is the location of my extension wire picking up interference from the car? Is it just bad atmospherics? Remember that my experiment on the drivers side window on exactly the same route a few weeks back gave me the BEST reception.

Grrrrr, digital radio is frustrating. I know that the signal strength does fluctuate dependent on atmospherics, even at home the same radio in the same place with the aerial in the same position can pick up a station well some days and not well on others. SO maybe the problem will go away tomorrow when I drive to work?

Anyone got DAB built in? Poor signal quality some times when its OK normally?
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      01-19-2011, 04:29 PM   #30
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I'll stop talking about this now I promise!

Have got a set-up I am now happy with. The Aerial is now mounted centre windscreen behind the rear-view mirror, with the amp at the top and the dipole antenna vertically below. This gives much stronger signal consistently than any of the other locations I tried - perhaps having a clear screen all around it?

The wire runs around the trim at the top of the screen, then into the door pillar and down to the floor. My extension wire is currently curled up under the floor mat (a ripping-the-dash-out trip to the dealers next week stops me from tucking the wire away properly) but you can't see it.
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      01-19-2011, 04:37 PM   #31
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Is the extension lead required to mount it there?
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      01-19-2011, 05:12 PM   #32
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Yes, the lead doesn't reach beyond the bottom of the door if you run it around the edge of the windscreen into the trim.

I'll get pictures taken at some point!
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      01-20-2011, 05:18 AM   #33
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It's a very frustrating business trying to get a decent DAB signal with a retro-fit DAB radio and as you say the atmosphere does seem to be a major factor. The only way that I can get a consistently good signal is to mount the magnetic aerial on the boot lid. My local stealer has got a car with in built DAB and I am tempted to take it for a test drive to see just how good it is.
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      01-20-2011, 08:01 AM   #34
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A colleague has an A4 with built-in DAB and he describes reception as good, from an aerial "the size of a radiator" in his boot. but he still gets dropout on the Doncaster bypass in the same place I do, so clearly its not perfection.
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      01-28-2011, 03:07 PM   #35
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Grrrrr. Car has been at the dealers for two days to have the AC system stripped down. I removed my Pure Highway, and coiled the wire under the passenger floor mat.

Car comes back late this afternoon, and they have decided to rebuild my dash with the antenna wire AND extension buried behind! The wire runs from the aerial at the top of the screen as before, but they've tucked it under the roof lining, then down the A-pillar trim and behind the dash, with just the end of the extension lead hanging out into the passenger floor well.

Rang them up to play hell, and they were trying to rebook me in for 3 weeks time. A bit of "I'm not happy" and now its going back on Thursday.

Stratstone Chesterfield. Screwed up my service booking a couple of weeks ago, and now this. AND they gave it me back filthy and it took me asking the delivery driver why before I found out their wash is broken - he was happy to hand it over, say nothing and sod off.
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      03-01-2012, 08:02 PM   #36
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I know this is an old thread, but thought this was the best place to document an alternative way to fit a pure highway DAB. I wanted to fit this out of site and without any trailing wires. Before I did this, it was sat on/in the ashtray which made it easy to view but by installing up-top I can leave it up there - it can't easily be seen from outside and no trailing wires...

Quick rundown: power adaptor plugs into 12v flashlight adaptor in glovebox - 3.5mm jack extension fed under center console from aux to the glovebox. I modified a cat5 network coupler with a 3.5mm jack and dc power socket solder onto short cables on one side. That sits in the glovebox and the attached cat5 cable (carrying audio and 5v power) runs through back of glovebox, up the A-pillar behind the airbag and across to the light dome. From here there is another cat5 coupler (for ease of reversing the install) and a cat5 plug then splices into some flat ribbon cable that feeds through the gap at the rear of the dome light panel straight into the pure highway through the battery compartement. The ribbon cable is then soldered internally to the respective usb power & line out terminals. I'm using a Panorama GMDAB3L-5F window antenna on the rear screen fed under the trim to the front light dome, connected to the same ribbon cable - thit is soldered onto the antenna terminals. Finally, the radio is held by two flat round magnets on the underside of the rooftrim just above the light dome and another one on the back of the radio itself where it's original mount would have fitted.

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