DAB Digital Radios - facts and figures

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plastic penguin
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We're getting ever closer to the FM switch-off. I've heard digital radios for cars are available, so how do they work? Can you use existing aerials? or do you need a box of gizmos for the converstion?

Would like to know more about this...ahem...wonderful technology. How does sound quality compare to FM, cost of buying etc.

Thanks, pp 

GBt
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I dont know about DAB radios but understood digital wasnt exactly a roaring success. As the Sudbury Suffolk TV is due to turn off Terestrial TV tomorrow and I am full time carer for my 92 year old Mum, I'm really looking forward, not, to showing her how to operate, Freesat, a DVD recorder with Freeview, and through the old TV she likes-so 3 remotes to juggle . Actually I am going to reroute the cable for the Sat job up to my office bedsit, as I cannot get a decent signal on an indoor aerial and putting up with poor buffering and streaming on I Player etc is a pain sometimes.but a brilliant one on any ordinary radio being 4 flights up-we live on a hill, nearly over it in my case.

Now i iunderstand people buying new cars have for a while been told they need to upgrade to digi friendly-at of course extra expence, sound .My old Mondeo needs a code so how one gets over that too, goodness only knows, but there we go, someone like AlanSugar in his youf' will make a killing out of adapters aerials et al-

may i have a grant please...

plastic penguin
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GBt wrote:

I dont know about DAB radios but understood digital wasnt exactly a roaring success. As the Sudbury Suffolk TV is due to turn off Terestrial TV tomorrow and I am full time carer for my 92 year old Mum, I'm really looking forward, not, to showing her how to operate, Freesat, a DVD recorder with Freeview, and through the old TV she likes-so 3 remotes to juggle . Actually I am going to reroute the cable for the Sat job up to my office bedsit, as I cannot get a decent signal on an indoor aerial and putting up with poor buffering and streaming on I Player etc is a pain sometimes.but a brilliant one on any ordinary radio being 4 flights up-we live on a hill, nearly over it in my case.

Now i iunderstand people buying new cars have for a while been told they need to upgrade to digi friendly-at of course extra expence, sound .My old Mondeo needs a code so how one gets over that too, goodness only knows, but there we go, someone like AlanSugar in his youf' will make a killing out of adapters aerials et al-

may i have a grant please...

I am also a carer to my fiancee, a wheelchair user, and yet, like me, she has no idea about the influence of the digital switch-over.

As a hi-fi nut I'm facing the same problem at home but pretty much got it sussed (I think). Cars, on the other hand, is a different proposition.

b2hbm
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I thought all the FM switch-off had been touted as an idea and not passed into binding legislation yet ? 

Apart from the cost of making the change, which at the moment seems to be significantly more than the TV switch-over, there's still a debate about which version of DAB we'll end up with.   This page gives some info on what the current government has said, and it's also been reported in the press as well.

http://www.digitalradiotech.co.uk/dab/fm_switch-off.htm

Personally I wouldn't worry about it, until every new car coming off the line has DAB fitted and the power requirements of the system are lowered I can't see it happening for a few years. In fact it seems crazy when the government is banging on about green energy and a future electrical supply crisis looming that they would contemplate moving from an FM system to one which requires more electricity to power the receivers.

Brian

plastic penguin
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b2hbm wrote:

I thought all the FM switch-off had been touted as an idea and not passed into binding legislation yet ? 

Apart from the cost of making the change, which at the moment seems to be significantly more than the TV switch-over, there's still a debate about which version of DAB we'll end up with.   This page gives some info on what the current government has said, and it's also been reported in the press as well.

http://www.digitalradiotech.co.uk/dab/fm_switch-off.htm

Personally I wouldn't worry about it, until every new car coming off the line has DAB fitted and the power requirements of the system are lowered I can't see it happening for a few years. In fact it seems crazy when the government is banging on about green energy and a future electrical supply crisis looming that they would contemplate moving from an FM system to one which requires more electricity to power the receivers.

Brian

Cheers for the link. Personally I'd be happy if it never happened... taking the debate back to grass roots, DAB SQ is awful.

GBt
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As a keen sailor when I still had a cruiser down at Brightlingsea I used to rely on my old restricted ship to shore radio communications certificate circa 1970 I aquired at Grimsby Nautical and navigation College, with a handheld, that was FM band so officaially that finally became out of date, after nye on 30 years. A friend I'm going sailing with has an old boat and like me is a seat of the pants type, but we get invited to go on a retired Doctor friends luxury bavaria(he is the one with a TR6)he has a nav system that tells you the manifest of any passing vessel, where its bound for , its weight laden and ballasted and so on-trouble is I was US at Maths and was supposed to be an officer cadet but after the first term clearly wasnt gonna make the grade, hence the telecommunications thing. I tell you I could work out how to plot a course now, without any nav aids, because I have made myself have to-and being a bit of a less is more exponent, and people who set sail totally relying on modern aids may do so at their peril, especially if they leave batteries running overnight.

More on triumphs, to celebrate passing out, a guy at the Tech College in Grimsby I met when Rory Gallagher was playing the corn exchange, invited me and a couple of others to join him with a plan to got to The Shepton Mallet Rock and Blues Festival(a precurser to Glastonbury) right after Woodstock happenings, so we started out at Sparrows part, in his Herald 950?(it wasnt a 1200)stopped at another guys home in Ballsover-his dad had a 2 door pre twin carb MG1300 but had been downton tuned-I had a pucker MK2 later on, so after much gas was expended on that theme we arrived in Bath, 7 hours later. It took another 8 hours to get into the showground, and after 3 days and nights encamped in the mud despite some awful conditions-The Byrds and Jefferson Airplane did acustic sets and poor Donavan got pelted with cans when the Moody Blues decided not to stay and left in their chopper, the Angels not fortunately enmulating Altermont came amongs us and put paid to that nastiness, and I started liking Mr Donavan after that? Sunshine superman wasnt really apropriate however.

The headliners Led Zep who used to sing about Mordor well before the rings triogy was popular also had a number called rambling on so sorry i know I am again-must be the morphine, they were still reverberating in ones eardrums(tinititus whats that aye...)a whole lotta love yer, stairway to heaven wow fab far out gear. Anyway that little herald never missed a beat on our joyfull return to Grim town. it sang its little heart out too.

When at sea I had an old real to real Tape deck and a scaletrix transformer to convert from accumilated to Direct current and annoyed folk on board with impromptu Black sabboth and other Deep Purple and Floyd sessions.

BRM
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We have a Pure
Highway DAB radio, which transmits to the car radio on FM. It works acceptably
while on the motorway network, but once you get away from built up areas then
reception is unpredictable.   The limiting factor
is the quality of the aerial and a conventional FM aerial does not work, even with
a special adaptor the performance is very variable.    The special one
supplied with the Pure Highway sticks to the inside of the screen, and is Ok if
you are in an area with strong signal. The only way to improve the reception is
to get an external aerial such as one with a magnetic mount.   Have a look at this
site: www.dabonwheels.co.uk 
there is a lot of good info here.