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DAB radio signal using the rear screen antennas #1636815
14/11/2019 20:17
14/11/2019 20:17
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 127
Newbury
MIB Offline OP
Club Member 1579
MIB  Offline OP
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Newbury
I've found that it is possible to use the existing rear screen antenna to feed a DAB / FM radio signal to a head unit.
I disconnected all of the wiring from the existing antenna amplifier (apart from the ground feed to and from the heated rear screen of course).
The 12v feed from the head unit was used to power the a new amplifier (A4721.01 about £50 from www.co-star.co.uk).
I also purchsed some FAKRA Female Water Blue connectors from the same place so that the input and output signals could be connected to the amplifier.
I connected both rear screen antenna wires together before feeding them into the amplifier.
I used the existing FM/AM cable and I already had another SMB co-ax cable in place for the DAB signal from an earlier failed attempt using an E-bay amplifier that proved to be rubbish!
My head unit is a Pure Highway H260DBi and I'm getting 4 out of 4 bars DAB signal strength on many stations smile

Attached Files
Radio amplifier 4721_01.jpg (247 downloads)
4721.01

[Linked Image]
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Re: DAB radio signal using the rear screen antennas [Re: MIB] #1637356
06/12/2019 13:35
06/12/2019 13:35
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 681
Freedom
Master_Mariner Offline
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Freedom
Hats off to you,

That's a commitment to listening to "tunes" while your at the wheel. And looks to be a very good upgrade.

I'm still on the original stereo...now where are my mix tapes :-)

Regards

MM

Re: DAB radio signal using the rear screen antennas [Re: MIB] #1637360
06/12/2019 15:28
06/12/2019 15:28
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 11,663
Auld Reekie
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This is a very tempting mod - the internal aerials work up to a point but I haven't found them ultra-reliable


Thanks again, Photobucket.
BumbleBee under restoration, emerging from lockdown smile
Re: DAB radio signal using the rear screen antennas [Re: MIB] #1637370
06/12/2019 16:50
06/12/2019 16:50
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,408
Lightwater, Surrey, UK
DaveG Offline
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Lightwater, Surrey, UK
Agreed, I've been looking at it too, here's a link to the suggested amplifier https://www.co-star.co.uk/3669/dab-in-car-digital-radio-amplifier-a-4721-01/

I can't quite work out the wiring arrangement that is referred to however, perhaps MIB can give us a nice diagram? In particular, is there a DAB aerial anywhere? I was thinking of something like this https://www.co-star.co.uk/3839/dab-glass-mount-antenna-gmdab3l-5f/


1996 Portofino 20vt & 2000 Pearl White Plus
1985½ & 2016 2017 Fiat 124 Spider + XF Sportbrake
Re: DAB radio signal using the rear screen antennas [Re: MIB] #1637986
06/01/2020 18:59
06/01/2020 18:59
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 127
Newbury
MIB Offline OP
Club Member 1579
MIB  Offline OP
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Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 127
Newbury
Part of the reason for this mod is that I didn't want to use one of those ugly stick on DAB antennas smile
The heated screen elements are all the antennas needed. In fact DAB signals are horizontally polarised, so the rear screen antenna is ideal!
The reason that an amplifier was used in the first place is to boost the FM/AM signals, which are transmitted by vertical antennas, to make up for the inherent losses when trying to receive a signal with a cross polarised receive antenna.

If I was to do this mod from scratch, I would do the following:

For the AM/FM signal output from the new amplifier to the radio Google 'Female FAKRA to Male Din 5m cable'.

For the DAB signal output from the new amplifier to the radio Google 'Female FAKRA to SMB 5m cable'.

Run these two cables from the new amplifier down the nearside of the car behind the left rear speaker, under the carpet by the passenger door and over the footwell to the radio.

Google 'Female FAKRA cable repair kit'. This is FAKRA connector to a flying coax lead.
Solder the centre wire of this coax (make sure to not connect the coax outer screen to anything) to the ends of cables 2 and 3 in the attached picture. This connects together the two AM and FM antennas built into the rear screen and their received signals are now used as the input to the new radio amplifier.

I think that this is a far better way to do it than my bit of a bodge up!

Attached Files
Last edited by MIB; 06/01/2020 19:00.

[Linked Image]
Bog standard!
Re: DAB radio signal using the rear screen antennas [Re: MIB] #1641563
06/06/2020 16:55
06/06/2020 16:55
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 38
Leicestershire
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Leicestershire
I've just installed a Sony DAB head unit, and the supplied antenna is pretty naff, so I'm thinking of trying your mod. Looking at the original amplifier here http://www.bugone.co.uk/fiat/antenna_booster.htm it looks like the coax cable is connected by some sort of threaded socket. A better view here https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Amplifie...-00-Original-Code-46304204-/253473324132

Now, wouldn't it be possible to get a FAKRA adapter, something like this maybe https://www.co-star.co.uk/3754/sma-female-to-fakra-female-waterblue-antenna-adaptor-cff-smaj-neuj/ to save butchering and soldering the original cable? Just don't know type of socket it is.

Last edited by Haz_Hardcore; 06/06/2020 17:00.
Re: DAB radio signal using the rear screen antennas [Re: Haz_Hardcore] #1641617
09/06/2020 11:29
09/06/2020 11:29
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 127
Newbury
MIB Offline OP
Club Member 1579
MIB  Offline OP
Club Member 1579
On a journey

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 127
Newbury
Looks like that adapter is Fakra to SMA. The connector used on the original radio amplifier for the radio is not SMA so this is no good for you. I don't know what Fiat have used, but it doesn't look standard!
As you will need to run a female Fakra to SMB cable from the new amplifier to the radio for the DAB signal, I would also buy a female Fakra to male DIN for the FM signal at the same time.


[Linked Image]
Bog standard!
Re: DAB radio signal using the rear screen antennas [Re: MIB] #1641626
09/06/2020 18:53
09/06/2020 18:53
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 79
norwich
A
acc67 Offline
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norwich
I've got the same Pure dab radio in mine but using a stick-on film aerial on the front screen(from halfords) on the n/s, work OK and doesn't look bad. Didn't think of using the existing

Re: DAB radio signal using the rear screen antennas [Re: MIB] #1641646
10/06/2020 15:25
10/06/2020 15:25
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 11,663
Auld Reekie
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Would this be the right cable for DAB connection to the German radio amp suggested?

Fakra to SMB 5m


Thanks again, Photobucket.
BumbleBee under restoration, emerging from lockdown smile
Re: DAB radio signal using the rear screen antennas [Re: MIB] #1641719
13/06/2020 09:29
13/06/2020 09:29
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 11,663
Auld Reekie
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Originally Posted by MIB
In fact DAB signals are horizontally polarised, so the rear screen antenna is ideal!

The reason that an amplifier was used in the first place is to boost the FM/AM signals, which are transmitted by vertical antennas, to make up for the inherent losses when trying to receive a signal with a cross polarised receive antenna.



I'm in the process of investigating this mod, not only to dispense with the stick-on windscreen aerial but to improve reception.

Reading this very informative article posted by a retail establishment in Yorkshire it reckons that DAB transmissions are actually vertical, although if the coupe rear screen aerial does better than the adhesive one I'm fine with that! Indeed I was advised to align mine the same way after having originally located it horizontally - but tbh I didn't gain much difference.

A further website Jim's Aerials continues...

At the outset, DAB stations were allocated a high data rate giving excellent sound quality. More recently, this bandwidth has been reduced, with the sound quality suffering accordingly. The digital radio offered on satellite transmission currently has a better quality than DAB.


So I'm wondering whether the drop-off in reception on my stick-on aerial might have something to do with that...


Thanks again, Photobucket.
BumbleBee under restoration, emerging from lockdown smile
Re: DAB radio signal using the rear screen antennas [Re: Edinburgh] #1641731
13/06/2020 13:47
13/06/2020 13:47
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 38
Leicestershire
Haz_Hardcore Offline
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Leicestershire
Originally Posted by Edinburgh
Would this be the right cable for DAB connection to the German radio amp suggested?

Fakra to SMB 5m


Yes mate, that's the one, assuming the DAB input on the back of your head unit is an SMB male plug. After loads of searching, I've found this https://www.dabonwheels.co.uk/what-do-the-aerial-connectors-look-like/ It looks like the socket on the original amp in the coupe is a Hirschmann male plug, it seems to be a much less common version of the F connector with the thread on the outside rather than inside. As well as the FAKRA to SMB cable, I'll be ordering this https://www.dabonwheels.co.uk/product/dow-6-fakra-f-to-hirschmann-m/ to join the coax to the new amp/splitter. It's a bit of a punt, so fingers crossed it fits!

Re: DAB radio signal using the rear screen antennas [Re: MIB] #1641732
13/06/2020 14:09
13/06/2020 14:09
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 11,663
Auld Reekie
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I'll get Joe to have a quick look as I don't have mine at the moment!



shout Joe laugh


Thanks again, Photobucket.
BumbleBee under restoration, emerging from lockdown smile
Re: DAB radio signal using the rear screen antennas [Re: MIB] #1641736
13/06/2020 16:31
13/06/2020 16:31
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 11,663
Auld Reekie
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Well I've taken the plunge and ordered the DAB lead and the amp - someone has just given me a £25 voucher for Amazon which worked out the cheapest anyway, so I'm rockin' laugh


Thanks again, Photobucket.
BumbleBee under restoration, emerging from lockdown smile
Re: DAB radio signal using the rear screen antennas [Re: Edinburgh] #1642951
26/07/2020 20:06
26/07/2020 20:06
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 32,449
Hemel in the Hempstead
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Originally Posted by Edinburgh

So I'm wondering whether the drop-off in reception on my stick-on aerial might have something to do with that...


No. That doesn't affect the DAB broadcast signal strength - just the bandwidth (number of bits per second) allocated to each channel. The amount of data remains constant but it's shared between more audio channels, to the general unhappiness of listeners.

Neil


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