DAB Radio

Oct 20, 2022
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Looking to upgrade radio in van(fm) to a dab radio
Any recommendations or ones to avoid
Thanks in advance
 
Nov 16, 2015
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We had thought about it but just use a stand alone DAB one, as we can use it if we are sitting outside, rather than winding up the volume in the caravan.
 
Oct 8, 2006
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Pretty well any of the known makes will do - Pioneer, JVC, Sony - are all good.

BUT you said 'van'. Do you mean van as in four wheels and an engine, or do you mean caravan? If the latter then you would be well advised to stick to JVC or Pioneer. Caravan wiring does not provide a memory support supply that is permanently live, so using other makes may cause your radio to loose memories when the van is not in use. You will find that many caravan manufacturers use JVC or Pioneer as these two makes (usually) have non-volatile memory so whilst when power is off some may loose your audio settings (if you have made them different from default) these will retain station memories which is the 'otherwise nuisance.'

Remember you will also need a separate aerial for DAB. Assuming your existing radio is fed through the TV aerial there is no point in getting a replacement radio that has AM as the aerial amp will not pass the AM frequencies. If your existing aerial is one of those Vision Plus telescopic things on the side wall of the caravan behind the radio that will still work for AM and FM. In that situation you need to look at the TV aerial feed data as earlier versions do not pass the DAB frequencies. If the aerial amp is a VP3/4/5 then it will work with DAB: if the amp is just a simple box with one in and two outs for TV and radio it likely will not pass DAB. Also look at the aerial, whether it is a flying saucer or a directional, if it has orange or red lettering on it then it will work with DAB - again refer to the amp. If your caravan has a flying saucer type but NOT a Vision Plus then look up its specs on line as some (all?) of that type will only work with TV frequencies. If the TV/radio aerial meets all the criteria for working with DAB, you will need to fit an in-line splitter between the aerial amp and the radio as the radio has two different connectors for standard car radio and for DAB. This is one of those situations where Google is your friend!

Finally for the DAB section you can get a stick-on that goes on a nearby window and has an in-line amp but it may get shielded by the caravan body if the transmitter is in the 'wrong' direction. DAB aerials MUST be vertical. FM is 88-108MHz, DAB is around 205-230MHz, and TV in the UK is 470-796MHz at present but will be reduced to 470-700MHz in the future.
 
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Oct 20, 2022
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Hi
Thanks for your replys
I have a caravan with a pioneer car radio in powered by a vision plus telescopic amplified aerial.I thought you could change to dab head unit and use an adapter cable which uses the telescopic aerial.I have a vision plus directional aerial,which wouldn’t be a hard job to utilise.Thanks for advice regarding sticking to same make
 
Oct 8, 2006
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Pure used to do a stand alone DAB unit that would either connect to the car radio by a stereo coax lead 3.5mm jack on both ends, or it would radiate on a selected FM frequency (say below 88MHz so no interference.) I don't think they are made any more but something similar it is a thought.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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IF you are looking at DAB, I suggest you make sure it include DAB and DAB+. DAB+ a relatively new codec for the audio, and most new stations will be using and many of the older ones will most likely convert to it over the next few years. It offers better quality audio under poor reception conditions.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Pure used to do a stand alone DAB unit that would either connect to the car radio by a stereo coax lead 3.5mm jack on both ends, or it would radiate on a selected FM frequency (say below 88MHz so no interference.) I don't think they are made any more but something similar it is a thought.
My son fitted one to his Freelander and it worked very well. Quite discreet fitting too.
 
Nov 12, 2021
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The Pioneer headunit fitted to my Coachman always lost any settings as soon as I turned the "Master" off so, I ran a fused live wire from the battery to preserve the settings. I have since replaced that HU with a Kenwood DAB KMM-BT502DAB/DAB+ unit with Bluetooth. It's now a discontinued model but, does the job nicely. I bought a splitter cable from Amazon:
Which works perfectly with my Vision Plus Status 570 TV and DAB antenna.
A couple of things to note:
Most if not all new headunits don't have a CD slot so, it's worth checking if you want to play CD's.
DAB is brilliant in towns and cities but, can be non-existent out in the sticks. When this is the case though, I just stream my favourite radio station on a phone app over WiFi.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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We have a DAB radio in the caravan and the vehicle. On rural sites DAB often does not work very well.

In the car we found that going through dips, the signal disappeared so gave up on DAB and reverted back to FM, but the DAB signal may be better on motorways or flat areas.

Not yet had the opportunity to try it again on a long trip on the motorway however when I collected the car from Kent, on the M25 it worked brilliantly and there were numerous stations. Once off the M25 signal became a bit erractic so gave up on DAB.
 
Oct 8, 2006
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The main issue with DAB is that it is vertically polarised so the receiving aerial must also be vertical for best signal. This means that on a caravan there may be signal degradation if the aerial is horizontal for TV reception. If the aerial is vertical for TV then DAB will be good as the aerial, whilst directional for TV, is pretty well omni-directional for DAB and FM when vertical.
Bear in mind also that TV and DAB (and FM for that matter) are not always radiated from the same transmission site and DAB (for historical reasons) is often directional.
Per Prof's comment, agreed the purchaser should make sure the radio is DAB+ (most are now), but the quality improvement is largely due to the fact that DAB+ use AAC+ coding (developed by Sony) as against MP2 used on DAB and which will allow much lower data rates to be used. For instance to get the same coding on DAB at 160Kb (which is used by Classic and BBCR3 outside travel hours) needs only 128Kb (or less) on DAB+. On the continent pretty well all is DAB+ and mostly at higher rates - 256Kb is common - which equates to CD quality.
 
May 11, 2021
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I considered doing this a while back but in the end didn't bother. For one thing FM works OK still (for now) and one of the little joys of a caravan holiday has always been listening to the local radio station. But I also have a little Bluetooth receiver (see below) that I plug into the Aux socket of the stereo so that I can stream from a phone to the head unit. This apparently falls down though when I am streaming from my phone and then go away from the van.

1674550575734.png
 
Oct 20, 2022
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I have decided to keep the fm in the caravan,I have bought a Pure dab radio,it has dab+ fm,internet radio and Bluetooth,it can be powerred by mains,usb and battery.it has an alarm,sleep timer and date and time showing when not in use.can be connected to van radio aux in by 3.5mm lead if necessary.gets more than enough stations.
I listen to radio 2 95% of the time.
Ken Bruce leaving in March so need dab for Popmaster
Thanks everyone for your input
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Enjoy it.

It actually makes more sense to have a portable as your not limited to using it just in the caravan. I find there are some of the new DAB+ stations that I like to have on in the background when I'm doing other things. There are a number of stations differentiated by genre and dedicated to a decade.
 
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Jul 18, 2017
8,095
2,050
22,935
I have decided to keep the fm in the caravan,I have bought a Pure dab radio,it has dab+ fm,internet radio and Bluetooth,it can be powerred by mains,usb and battery.it has an alarm,sleep timer and date and time showing when not in use.can be connected to van radio aux in by 3.5mm lead if necessary.gets more than enough stations.
I listen to radio 2 95% of the time.
Ken Bruce leaving in March so need dab for Popmaster
Thanks everyone for your input
Yep another Radio 3 Popmaster fan. Not a Vine fan though! Never knew that Ken Bruce was leaving? Terry Wogan was one of the best!
 
Oct 8, 2006
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Kbrad, Lidl has a Dab + radio for sale , it might cover your needsView attachment 4262
Probably not suitable as it is designed to be fitted under cupboards above a work surface and has a downward facing speaker. It may also not be 12V operated: if it is 12V and the OP is want to use it on a 12V supply there will be a need for a 12V cable with a suitable connector which someone will have to make up as they cannot be bought ready made.
 
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