Choosing an external DAB aerial

reddwarf4ever

Novice Member
Hi
I have 3 micro HIFI`s
1> Has DAB and FM outlets
2> Has FM only
3> Has a COMBINED FM DAB `F` connector outlet.

Firstly I get very good DAB reception on the `1` with an internal aerial. `3` is anew panasonic which replaces the `1` model. It came with a DAB internal aerial, which I assume must also provide an FM signal. Bit confusing as the configuration of DAB and FM layout is different !! Also `3` is unable to pick up ANY DAB signals. Panasonic say they have had some problems with DAB reception with their new models and are to send me a FREE internal `high gain` aerial. If that doesn`t work I assume I have a faulty unit.
My questions are......
a> As `3` has a combined FM DAB outlet, what EXTERNAL aerial should I buy ? Would a
High Gain DAB Aerial

Triax 5 Element

be suitable for both DAB & FM ?
b> Don`t see why the NEW model panasonic `3` should be worse at DAB reception and require a HIGH GAIN internal aerial.........

Any comments would be appreciated
Thanks

P.S. Is it easy to align a DAB external aerial, hope to mount in my loft.
 

Harryo

Novice Member
In the past I used a DAB single dipole aerial situated in our loft which provided reasonable reception, it is fairly easy installing a loft aerial but to make reception 'fine tuning' easier if possible take the radio into the loft with you and connect a short temporary coaxial lead from the aerial to the radio.

My present aerial set-up is a 'FM half wave dipole' (vertical orientation) which is attached to our chimney stack and has a single coaxial downlead terminating at a 'Outdoor/Mast Head Triplexer - TV/FM/DAB' (which is situated near my tuner) which allows me to use two separate FM and DAB coaxial leads to the FM and DAB aerial inputs on my Onkyo T-4555 tuner. My main concern when deciding on the aerial was firstly FM reception but also wanted decent DAB reception, the people at ATV of Sheffield were very helpful in advising on what bits and pieces I needed, I see a previous poster has provided a link to ATV's website, there is a lot of useful information there.

Not having used DAB for sometime I have just rescanned the DAB channels on the tuner and the following gives some indication of the reception I'm obtaining with the aerial:-

Liverpool - Mux 11b - Quality 100%
Manchester - Mux 11c - Quality 94%
National - Mux 11d - Quality 96%

BBC DAB - Mux 12b - Quality 94%
North West - Mux 12c - Quality 100%
Stoke - Mux 12d - Quality 95%

For me the FM half wave dipole aerial is a good compromise as I was considering getting two aerials one for FM and another for DAB, here are a few links to websites relating to aerials and DAB reception:-

TV Aerials, Satellite Dishes, Aerial Boosters.
ukdigitalradio: Home
Improve Poor DAB Reception, Indoor DAB Aerials, UK DAB Coverage
 
Last edited:

luggsie

Novice Member
I also have a half wave FM-band folded-dipole in the loft as well as an external vertical DAB-frequency dipole on the other side of the house. As FM is horizontal and DAB vertical polarization from Maningtree (AIUI), many miles plus big hill in the way, I tilted the FM dipole to a 45 deg angle as a compromise. Both antennas now work much the same. On a bad day the DAB burbles a bit on both while FM is alwaysa bit noisy. The directors on the FM aerial were removed, just leaving the dipole, as they didn't help.

luggsie
 

Harryo

Novice Member
I am fortunate that I have a 'good line of sight' to all the transmitters my aerial is capable of picking up for FM/DAB services.

I purposely did not choose a directional aerial as the transmitters I use are situated at all degress of the compass in relation to my location! At least with the aerial I am using the reception on both FM/DAB is excellent.

Anyone having problems with bad DAB reception needs to seek the advice of a good local aerial specialist, although they can be hard to find.
 

Rodders53

Distinguished Member
Almost all FM transmitters are mixed polarisation (Horizontal and Vertical components) or Vertical only.

There are a very, very few Horizontal-only ones left for various odd reasons: e.g. Wharfedale (to minimise multipath issues) and West Runton Radio Norfolk on a 2kW beam towards Wells-next-the-Sea (frequency clearance issues for Vp, and a potential rebroadcast link to another repeater - found not to be needed).

DAB antennas should ideally be omni-directional and must be vertical, as the signals from adjacent transmitters and reflections should reinforce the received signal (for the same DAB multiplex. [Only use a multi-element directional when trying to receive from a specific transmitter that is, nominally out of area.]

Location (village/town) is important when considering an aerial for DAB. The aerialsandtv website gives some practical advice on choice. If the OP is in a difficult reception location any generalisations we make may not apply.
 

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