Fitting DAB help needed

Head units and speakers, MP3 and CD changers, GPS and SatNav, plus PDAs, mobile phones, Bluetooth, TalkAbouts...

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Z3 Mark
Joined: Wed 20 Nov, 2013 22:34
Posts: 101

  Z3 roadster 1.9

Fitting DAB help needed

Post by Z3 Mark » Tue 31 Dec, 2013 13:45

So I decided on a dab Radio and have it working well, but I don't have a DAB aerial, so it's fm only for now.

I bought a dab splitter from dab on wheels
http://www.dabonwheels.co.uk/Kinetic_DA ... itter.html as I am in a very strong dab area and figured it was worth a shot.

Plugging it all in though I'm getting nothing at all over DAB Image

After a bit of reading I think the culprit is that a dab aerial needs to be powered, so the red lead needs to be spliced in to the cars power supply.
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I'm a bit scared of doing this though and blowing something up, so if anyone can confirm that this is the correct course of action I'd be really greatful :)
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Gazza
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  M roadster S54
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Re: Fitting DAB help needed

Post by Gazza » Tue 31 Dec, 2013 13:56

I'm not an expert but is there a powered aerial lead in the wiring harness for the radio ?
Gazza

"Understeer is when you hit the wall with the front of the car, oversteer is when you hit the wall with the rear of the car. Horsepower is how fast you hit the wall and torque is how far you take the wall with you"

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Z3 Mark
Joined: Wed 20 Nov, 2013 22:34
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  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: Fitting DAB help needed

Post by Z3 Mark » Tue 31 Dec, 2013 14:05

Gazza wrote:I'm not an expert but is there a powered aerial lead in the wiring harness for the radio ?
I'm so NOT AN EXPERT that I'm not even sure what that means! :dunce:

I'm very much thinking splice red wire to red wire = power for aerial = DAB WORKING, but I'm not sure at all
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petecossie
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  M coupe S50
Location: Billingham

Re: Fitting DAB help needed

Post by petecossie » Tue 31 Dec, 2013 14:37

Funnily enough I've just added to your other thread, DAB vs. DVD.

Looking at my invoice I had the Kinetic DRA-6003 DAB/FM/AM bundle which included an aerial. From what I can remember it was a powered aerial but of course I didn't fit it. If you don't want to chance connecting the remaining wiring and maybe something going wrong try questioning a local auto electrician. The dabonwheels site has a list of local approved suppliers, have a look on the list.

Hope you are pleased with the end result when you finally get it sorted.
Pete C

2000 Z3M Coupe - Cosmos Black Metallic/Black Interior.
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Robert T
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  Z3 roadster 1.9
Location: Cheshire

Re: Fitting DAB help needed

Post by Robert T » Tue 31 Dec, 2013 14:57

Depends on the headunit, but there are two possibilities for powering it that don't involve major surgery to the car's wiring loom.

1) Aerial Remote - designed for operating a good old fashioned motorised aerial - switches on when the headunit is in radio mode.

2) Amp Remote - used to turn the front footwell amp on (or any in fact any other amp) - this is on whenever the headunit is on

On my headunit/wiring harness the Amp Remote was a loose bullet connector and all I had to do is mate it to the one already there. I see a couple of loose connectors in your photo - what are they labelled?

Cheers R.
Arctic Silver '99 Z3 1.9 & Black '59 Frogeye 1275cc
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Z3 Mark
Joined: Wed 20 Nov, 2013 22:34
Posts: 101

  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: Fitting DAB help needed

Post by Z3 Mark » Tue 31 Dec, 2013 17:16

Just about to go out for new year but if it's just power required to that lead I might just cut into the bmw adapter part between the car loom and the stereo, that way a bad cut can be easily replaced.

It's more a question really of am I going to blow the car wiring or stereo but splicing into the red wire on my car and putting the unknown red wire onto it from the splitter?

I've already sodded my standard aerial up as the iso connector is intermittent now and needs to be pressed in a wobbled about to make a good connection, so I've bought a new one and will be cutting down the aerial wire :head:
I get so little time to work on the car all of these relativly minor problems become big sodding headaches! I really have to learn to just pay people to do things in the future, but sadly it's just not in my nature and I ALWAYS try to do this sort of thing myself... with mixed results :D
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BladeRunner919
Joined: Fri 17 Feb, 2012 20:18
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  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: Fitting DAB help needed

Post by BladeRunner919 » Tue 31 Dec, 2013 19:26

The blue and white lead that is not connected to anything will output 12 volts when the stereo is on, but only gives 300ma so may not be enough. The red lead that goes into the back of the stereo is a switched live, so you can splice the power supply for the antenna to that if you wish.

Z3 Mark
Joined: Wed 20 Nov, 2013 22:34
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  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: Fitting DAB help needed

Post by Z3 Mark » Tue 31 Dec, 2013 21:49

BladeRunner919 wrote:The blue and white lead that is not connected to anything will output 12 volts when the stereo is on, but only gives 300ma so may not be enough. The red lead that goes into the back of the stereo is a switched live, so you can splice the power supply for the antenna to that if you wish.
In for a penny, ill give it a go i think! So long as i don't blow the car wiring!
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lebigmec
Joined: Sun 17 Oct, 2010 14:04
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  Z3 roadster 1.9i
Location: Downham Market, Norfolk.

Re: Fitting DAB help needed

Post by lebigmec » Tue 31 Dec, 2013 21:58

I don't want to worry you, but even if there is a lead for a power antenna coming from the radio, it most likely wouldn't supply enough current for the splitter. It needs at least 1amp. Use the main 12v supply.
Also, you need to check whether the splitter will work with an amplified aerial, as I believe that a Z3 aerial is amplified. (Maybe someone could verify this, please?). The splitters need to be connected to UNAMPLIFIED aerials for DAB to work properly. Hope this helps.
Personally, I am not a fan of digital radio in cars. There is so much drop out, but then I live in a rural area.. I guess it would be much improved if you're near some major conurbation.
That said, I don't think it is an ideal technology for mobile use. Analogue signals are much more forgiving of varying terrain. Also, I believe that the DAB system we use in the UK isn't compatible with the rest of Europe, so it's useless if you take your car abroad.
Good luck with your system though, it would be interesting to hear how it performs once the work is done.

Caledonian
Joined: Sun 31 Oct, 2004 15:26
Posts: 71

  Z3 roadster 3.0i
Location: Gourock

Re: Fitting DAB help needed

Post by Caledonian » Wed 01 Jan, 2014 09:50

You just need to connect the splitter to a +12V source. The easiest way is to just splice onto the live feed to the headunit either by soldering or even with a screw terminal block. I have a 2001 Z3 3.0 and used the same splitter with the standard aerial and it works perfectly well. The Z3 electrical diagrams suggest the standard aerial may be amplified but it still works, even though it says it shouldn't !

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Robert T
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  Z3 roadster 1.9
Location: Cheshire

Re: Fitting DAB help needed

Post by Robert T » Wed 01 Jan, 2014 14:55

In which case, a motorised retractable antenna must have a built in relay inside it, as it would draw far more than 300mA. You could also fit your own relay to switch the splitter on only when needed, but this is probably overkill. The amp remote is similarly a low power output designed for operating a relay to power up an amp when needed. My bad for not pointing this out. :oops:

Do be aware that there are two +12V supplies to the headunit - one is a low current permanent live to maintain the channel memories etc and the other is a switched supply which powers the headunit when the ignition is switched on - you want it on the switched one otherwise the splitter would drain the battery all the time.

There appear to be a good number of bullet connectors on your harness already, so with a bit of luck there will be one of those on the switched live that will allow you to take power off without having to cut anything. :)

Cheers R.
Arctic Silver '99 Z3 1.9 & Black '59 Frogeye 1275cc
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Z3 Mark
Joined: Wed 20 Nov, 2013 22:34
Posts: 101

  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: Fitting DAB help needed

Post by Z3 Mark » Sat 11 Jan, 2014 00:20

So I finally bit the bullet and just cut into the bloody wire to see what would happen... raining and in the dark at midnight... so my usual time to work on the car... perhaps I was thinking no one would see me cock it up? :D

anyway my results...

IT ONLY BLOODY WORKS!!!! :D :D :D :D

Spliced the red wire into the red wire going into the back of the stereo (mains that only comes on when ignition on i think) and hit the scan button... nothing... THEN POW!!! Loud and clear and a load of stations... I've yet to try it all going alone but all being well I OFFICIALLY have DAB radio for the first time in a car! :D

Thank you for all of your help everybody, got my first wave from another zed driver today...today was a good day :D
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Caledonian
Joined: Sun 31 Oct, 2004 15:26
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  Z3 roadster 3.0i
Location: Gourock

Re: Fitting DAB help needed

Post by Caledonian » Sat 11 Jan, 2014 08:55

Good news, I'm sure you'll enjoy having DAB. There is a function on my headunit to automatically switch to FM if the DAB signal is too weak, but I've had no problems so far. Considering I'm in the West of Scotland, which isn't exactly the centre of the universe, the coverage across the UK is maybe improving all the time.

Z3 Mark
Joined: Wed 20 Nov, 2013 22:34
Posts: 101

  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: Fitting DAB help needed

Post by Z3 Mark » Sat 17 Jan, 2015 22:55

So after running from the splitter for ages I finally couldn't put up with the poor signal any more and decided to do something about it.
I purchased a stick on windscreen mounted DAB aerial and popped it into the back of the head unit, one wire to the ignition and the main aerial earthed out on the body.
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The reception now is FANTASTIC, and I highly recommend this to anyone as it was a very simple DIY job. You could probably do better but I very much doubt you could do it that easily and for such little money £20 and I've since seem them cheaper!

Finally feel like I have a proper DAB radio now as the reception is better than the FM aerial I have :D
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MarkAP68
Joined: Sat 03 May, 2014 22:32
Posts: 42

  Z3 roadster 1.9
Location: Swadlincote

Re: Fitting DAB help needed

Post by MarkAP68 » Sun 18 Jan, 2015 10:42

I fitted the exact aerial a few months ago (put mine where the tax disc used to be) and it looks like the same Pioneer radio too. The pioneer radio puts the antenna power down the middle of the antenna wire so no need to connect to an external power supply

peter2b
Joined: Sat 01 Nov, 2014 18:47
Posts: 949

  Z3 roadster 2.2i
Location: cheshire

Re: Fitting DAB help needed

Post by peter2b » Sun 16 Aug, 2015 22:07

I've just fitted a Pure dab radio in my zed with a windscreen aerial as well ,with a Pure radio it has the aerial power feed built in so when you plug the aerial in its powered straight away, magic :) great sound , has a Bluetooth connection for hands free phone calls, ipod USB can charge your phone as well
peter2b

Washington
Joined: Sun 27 Dec, 2015 09:58
Posts: 2

  Z3 roadster 1.9i

Re: Fitting DAB help needed

Post by Washington » Tue 26 Jan, 2016 10:46

Hi all newbie to the forum . I have purchased 2001 roadster 1.9 & in process of upgrading radio. I have bought dab sitter & looking for power source for it. If I need to sick into harness , what colour lead is the switched live ? :rtm:

steve.storey
Joined: Wed 28 Jan, 2015 21:34
Posts: 45

  blank

Re: Fitting DAB help needed

Post by steve.storey » Wed 27 Jan, 2016 16:13

There is an easier way to get around all the hassle of finding power supplies and splicers. Buy the unit from Halfords they do all the fitting for about £20 while you just go for a wander around.

Washington
Joined: Sun 27 Dec, 2015 09:58
Posts: 2

  Z3 roadster 1.9i

Re: Fitting DAB help needed

Post by Washington » Fri 29 Jan, 2016 22:42

Unfortunately I have already purchased & halfords not keen to fit. :x

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