Motoring Other Motoring Topics Car DAB Radios

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  • #14131

    blacklion1725
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    • @blacklion1725
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    Timing is good here as I have just bought one. Yep the double DIN is just the physical size. I’ve always ignored DAB for the car but having a courtesy car recently (after pranging mine on a bollard in a car park) I was very impressed with the DAB for (a) choice (b) signal compared to MW on the drive to my mum’s and (c) quality on talk channels.

    Having done a bit of research (haven’t fitted mine yet) – a few things to bear in mind are:

    •  quite likely you will need a new aerial. My new unit has separate antena connections for AM/FM and for DAB
    • New aerial if needed can be a full monty replacement (probably need a bigger hole drilled in your roof), a magnetic external antenna – or a windscreen “film” aerial (example) which is what I am going to try
    • probable you’ll need a wiring harness to suit your particula car (Halfords or ebay).

    I’ll let you know how it goes, have the stereo but not the aerial yet. Incidentally if you need to fill a double-DIN slot and find a suitable single-DIN unit there are nice adapters available that give you an extra cut-away storage space in the lower half of a double-DIN cavity with the single-DIN head-unit in the upper half.

    As Steve says the CD slot is pretty redundant, all my music is on a nano-USB and there is also aux-in and bluetooth. I’ve gone for this one which replaces a similar (Pioneer) non-DAB and hopefully will use the same wiring harness/adapter, the existing aerial for AM/FM and the windscreen antenna for DAB. HEre’s hoping….

    #14134

    Bob Williams
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    • @bullstuff2
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    Many years since I saw that sketch, still funny though.

    “If you think this Universe is bad, you should see some of the others.”
    ― Philip K. Dick, legendary SF writer.

    #14140

    Bob Williams
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    • @bullstuff2
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    Just spoke to my lad again. Apparently his present stereo is an old CD/radio and the cables will not fit a new head unit, so converter cables are needed from the Vauxhall leads to the new unit’s Multiplug. There is also a box bracket which goes behind the dash to support the new unit. Apparently there are two different sizes, dependent upon model: one is smaller. Son is checking that out on his Combo van, but beware of that if you need a box bracket, BL. Aerials we know about, going to see which one but please let me know how you go with yours.

    “If you think this Universe is bad, you should see some of the others.”
    ― Philip K. Dick, legendary SF writer.

    #14144

    blacklion1725
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    • @blacklion1725
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    Thanks Bob – I won’t need a support bracket – this one, the one it replaces and the original Skoda OEM are supported by 4 torx screws behind the trim. The Pioneer DAB is physically the same size as the outgoing Pioneer non-DAB and the back connections look the same aside from the extra DAB antenna connection (one of the reasons along with cost I picked the Pioneer). The hands free mic (wired behind the side trim and fixed above the mirror) from the non-DAB can stay hopefully.

    If the windscreen DAB aerial is no good (reviews of these seem generally positive)I’ll probably go the whole hog and get a proper one fitted (by someone who is more confident about drilling a hole in their car roof than me!).

    Planning to fit the stereo tomorrow, and the DAB aerial tomorrow or Friday depending on what time it turns up.

    BTW many of the Android systems that advertise as “DAB” are actually internet Radios which are only “digital” when they are online (via your phone or an in-car internet system). Not DAB at all really.

    #14145

    The Duke
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    • @sgb101
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    Yes BL when I was looking at radios for my BiL skoda, the “smart android” units, mostly said Dab supported, but when I read closer, you actually needed a second, relatively cheap module, and a compatible Arial.

    My car has dab/FM and signals to both are terrible, ever Vx car VC have given me, for services / insurance work /etc, viva, corsa, astra and Zafira*, all sure red the same weak signal as standard, and the fault they said they knew about in 2015,where if you charge your phone, it degrades the radio signal is still in 2017 (new model designs), and the issue where you charge via USB, and listen to your phone via aux in, you get a ground loop feed back through the car speakers, that squeals louder the faster your rpms rise, is also present*¹. It will be along time before I get another Vx.

    *i loved the old Zafira, a great family car, never lined the new, current, model. As it now has a bonet and looks bigger in general. That wad until Vx gave me a top of the line, full leather electric 180 bhp version, it was huge inside, (took it on a trip run, after all mine is a small coupé). Tho 180phb and 350+lb/ft was way to much for its chassis, a 130 deisel is what I’d go for personally.

    *¹ a simple £6 ground loop filter of amazon was all it needed to fix, it would be a 5pence resister for vx to solder in behind the dash! Though my BiL must have better high end ears than me, as he can’t listen to my radio, he saus there is still a high pitch tone. Though he is the only one that insists this. Maybe my years in the RM have taken the edge of my ears, but then again I think he may have the hearing of a dog. Given he is the only one to have this issue. But given I know it’s flawed from the factory, and the filer I have in place “fixes” the high frequency squeal, I believe him that some is still there. Thou as the wife kids and I can’t hear it, it’s fixed enough for me. BiL uses his headphones and phone when he borrows my car. Which he loves Btw except the radio. And his average mpg when I get it back shows he likes it a bit to much. Good job it’s a lease……. I wouldn’t want to be the guy to buy the car I’d leased before!

    #14147

    Richard
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    • @sawboman
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    Is DAB car radio better than it was?

    I understood a while back that it only existed in ‘pools of reception’ with dark, mushy or however else it goes, areas in between. A bit like mobile coverage was, and in may areas still is these days, (at home for example).

    The thought of changing out any of the present radios does not inspire me to touch them. With remote control buttons all over the place and power and USB sockets to also connect, I think I will leave well alone. Perhaps I am just getting too old and worn to take on such exercises. Fixing a petrol garden vacuum is taxing my capabilities at the moment, I have re-fixed the manifold screw, but now the darned thing has lost its carburettor priming capability. It is a lovely(?) messy job with a few years worth of mess stuck about the guts.

    #14148

    The Duke
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    • @sgb101
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    I find dab better than FM, solely be a use I don’t like music, and talk sport doesn’t seem to exist on FM (I could be wrong on that).

    Richard, most 3rd party radio do away with a load of buttons. Car oems are slowly catching up to the fact that all the buttons are just add clutter and confusion. Actually it was this reason my BiL wanted to replace the 05 (probably dated back to 98) radio/dash/middle of tje octavia, as if you removed the radio nosing and it’s mass of buttons, it would transform the interior by 10 years. It’s just the centre console that dates it. He still hasn’t got round to it, been put of till after Xmas.

    As to reception, both FM and dab are very poor in my car. Though dab is the more stable of the two. And much easier to find a station given, you hit tune, and you get a list of station, as you would on a TV set. Does away with the traditional pre set. Though I still have my main stations and the kids station on presets. With 3 empty, we’ll they had Spanish ones plugged in, but I think they wad FM. So I doubt they reach N. Wales coast.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by The Duke.
    #14152

    Richard
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    • @sawboman
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    I have a problem with touch screens. I rushed out on a rescue mission, the newest car had battery trouble, (11 months old and 2.7 volts….) With AA assistance it started so I hot footed it to the Kia dealer who was very good. I tried to send a text while waiting via a my Moto G4 touch phone but without my screen prodder. The first gibberish message went off without warning. A second try took ages. It ‘sort of worked’ only when I licked the finger.

    The call selector screen for that in car mobile and the radio use the same screen method. At least there is a functional channel change button on the steering wheel. I nominate the stations I like, ignore the so called music dross, then flick up or down to find what I want.

    I was talking about steering wheel mounted buttons for things like volume and channel change. Loose them loose the infotainment stuff complete and probably scrape the car. Even the speed limiter, cruise, phone answer and disconnect are mounted there. The USB power and sound system connections are remote from the integral sound and navigation system in the bottom of the console.

    I suspect my touch problem is caused by age. I have rubbish finger prints on several fingers. They have either been burnt off on hot glass tubing, (up to just off red, at first they smelt a bit), or on other abrasive activities. I guess now they don’t bother. I use a wand for the phone – provided I have it with me. Perhaps some sort of rubber finger cover like money counters used to use, but made with the right rubber would work on the car. Perhaps it is just one of the wonders of advancing age.

    #14153

    The Duke
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    • @sgb101
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    Fingerprints shouldn’t matter. All the screen does is register where the electronic input hot the screen. Your ‘prodder’ just conducts the electricity from your skin to the phone.

    Your issue will be your aim. When ever I get a new device, it takes a week or so for my muscle memory to zero in on the new size/different keyboard layout etc.

    Re cars, mine to has all the buttons I need on the wheel. Vol, channel select, cruse and limit control, plus horn. (I think that covers it). That means I don’t need the mess of buttons on the centre console.

    Though when you by a 3rd party head unit, you can use all these features with the new unit.

    One of the best cars out at the moment for UX design is the new pergeot 3008, it’s a work of art inside. They can’t build them quick enough, so atm the price is high. The only let down is the engine choice. Though I’ve not looked since it’s launched 6 months ago. I’d like a 140hp/340lb-ft deisel auto if it was me. Given the chassis, it doesn’t need to much power. (see the Zafira reference above 180bhp made me and the wife sea sick on our country lanes journt to the ozzy)

    Don’t bother looking at the top GT spec, the bang for buck is the mid tier GT line spec. A lovely car. Not my type of car at all, but I’d happily own one.

    It has a digital display, copied of audi, one of them called ‘digital cockpit’, where the pergeot beats the audi is in its minimalist, alloy turned toggle switch inspired switches. And fabric dash. Plus all the usual wheel mounted switches. It’s a fine bit of design.

    Unless it turns out they are a bad car, I can’t see it, I don’t even think many will come up second hand, as to ‘upgrade’ that interior to another car, you’ll be looking at spending a lot. So looking at it that way, it’s £25k price isn’t that high. You’d be looking at £40k to get a nicer interior. So why would anyone sell them at 3 years old.

    Well I suppose the lease market sales at 3 and 4 years will have a load on the market. Either way I reckon they will hold their price well. Even if it is a pergeot. Not known for holding price. But the 3008 and 5008 anrt your dads pergeot of old.

    I’d still rather  have something with a bit more oomph, and as I can’t afford an audi RS6, (£70k and up) I’ll probably be opting for the poor man’s version, the Octavia vrs (£27k or £20k if you don’t mind an ex demo)  It’s only down on power by about 400hp on the audi 😥😕

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