Author Topic: DAB versus FM Radio  (Read 284 times)

Kenneve

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DAB versus FM Radio
« on: June 20, 2018, 11:06:52 AM »
We are being told that in certain areas, FM radio will shortly be phased out, in favour of DAB, so have been experimenting with the radio in my MK3 Jazz.
I'm finding that DAB reception is very variable, in certain areas away from large towns.
On a recent trip from Solihull to Stratford-on avon with the radio tuned to Smooth Radio, the signal was initially coming from Birmingham, but switched to Coventry, around Henley-in-Arden which is really no different from FM reception, in fact there were some areas with no signal at all. On switching to FM in these dead areas, the signal returned albeit in a rather noisy fashion.
So, it would seem that there is no real advantage with DAB, I'm told that the signal quality, frequency and dynamic range, is not as good as FM, so why are we being pushed towards DAB.
The only slight advantage is the signal is either 'there' of 'not there' unlike FM which tends to fade into noisy oblivion.
Has anyone had similar experience with this problem and are the radios and/or aerial system in MK1 & MK2 Jazz cars any better?

Hobo

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Re: DAB versus FM Radio
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2018, 01:09:57 PM »
I think the only reason they are pushing for DAB is that they can fit far more stations onto the band, when I first got my Civic and found it had DAB I thought oh good, however like you I was not impressed with reception coverage and did not find the quality any improvement over FM.

Unless using a USB memory stick for music, when using the radio I now use FM all the time and very rarely bother with switching to DAB, talking to a couple of other people I know with cars capable of DAB I found they are of  similar opinions.

ColinS

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Re: DAB versus FM Radio
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2018, 01:31:07 PM »
I use DAB for Radio 4, World Service and 5 Live Sports Extra and I must say that the clarity of Radio 4 is better on DAB than on FM.

My local BBC radio is atrocious on DAB, marginally better on FM.

The only slight advantage is the signal is either 'there' of 'not there' unlike FM which tends to fade into noisy oblivion.

I see this as being a real advantage.  I remember when the digital TV switch was made, once UHF was dropped, they were able to boost the digital signal.  Maybe the same applies to radio.  Only guessing.

Kenneve

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Re: DAB versus FM Radio
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2018, 11:24:49 AM »
In order to try and improve reception FM or DAB, in the poor areas, has anyone tried using an aerial amplifier?
It would need to have a fairly wide frequency range since FM covers a range of 80-108 Mg/s, whereas DAB radio in in the 225 Mg/s band.
Given that such a device is available, how do I get access to the aerial socket on the head unit, in order to connect it?

This is thinking back to my ex RAF days when I was  Air Wireless Fitter working on Avro Vulcan's around 1960. In those days FM was very new to the scene and I remember at home using what was described as a 'birdcage' aerial, about 1 mtr cubed, which could be rotated to pick stations from any direction.
At the same time tiny blocks of plastic, called transistors, where beginning to replace valves.
Oh happy days!!!

Kenneve

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Re: DAB versus FM Radio
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2018, 09:36:11 AM »
Carrying on from my previous reply.
We were amazed that, on a Semiconductor course, we were shown a domestic radio, the size of a housebrick and a portable television with a 6" screen!! All this being the future of domestic electronics at that time,
As a young lad only a few years previously I had been playing around with a crystal set, how the electronics industry has move on in my lifetime, is absolutely amazing, Mobile phones, GPS etc, what's next??

Jocko

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Re: DAB versus FM Radio
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2018, 10:34:42 AM »
I worked on the inertial navigation system for the ELDO rocket system and we used one of the first digital voltmeters. Back then it cost the same as an E-Type Jag. Now you get a DVM for 8.99.

culzean

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Re: DAB versus FM Radio
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2018, 10:40:59 AM »
I had crystal set as well, amazing bit of kit really.  Thermionic valves still have their uses though - they do not get destroyed like a transistor does by magnetic pulse from a nuclear explosion or a solar eruption. Also some of the finest hi-fi is available with valves,  https://www.quora.com/Why-do-vacuum-tubes-sound-better-in-audio-devices

But they are not considered 'efficient' enough (they need heaters and stuff) by todays greenies.   I had a hybrid Phillips transistor / valve radio (valve detection stage with transistor output) given to me when I was at college and sorted it out and fitted it to my car, the sound was great - and I didn't need the heater on when radio was on LOL.

Our DAB in UK was the worst of all worlds https://www.techradar.com/news/car-tech/why-dab-radio-in-the-uk-is-broken-and-how-to-fix-it-1217586,  others started later with DAB+,  which we can get now from some stations,  but not all.
Some people will only consider you an expert if they agree with your point of view or advice,  when you give them advice they don't like they consider you an idiot

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