DAB Portables for DXing

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a2c39a
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Joined: 23 Dec 2014 07:02
Location: 4km NE of Tacolneston, Norfolk.

DAB Portables for DXing

Post by a2c39a » 14 Jan 2015 04:41

DAB/DAB+ Portable Receivers for DXing.
tmp_IMAG04451948147157.jpg
a2c39a, DAB Portable Receivers
Over a number of years, I have tried several portable DAB receivers and assessed their suitability for DXing.
This is just a small sample of what is (or has been) available so other peoples experiences will be most welcome.

Here is an overview and history of the DAB radios I have purchased. I will separately give individual details of each radio and comparison of good and bad points.

My first DAB radio was/is a Pure Evoke 1.
Not quite a portable but I have run it from one of my 12 volt batteries (10 Eneloop AA rechargeable cells in a Maplin 10 cell holder.), so that I can walk about with it.
I have received a Belgian MUX on channel 12A and several OOA UK MUXs using the Evoke 1.
Summary:
The Evoke 1 is quite a nice little receiver but not really portable and only DAB.
If you've got one, try it for Out Of Area DAB reception but not really suitable for DAB DXing.

Later, hoping to combine FM DXing with DAB DXing, I bought a Roberts Gemini 3 RD-3. I had repaired older Roberts radios for the Wireless for the Blind Society. They seemed sensitive and even able to handle Tacolneston reasonably well. Not so with this radio! Totally deaf on FM, in fact the telescopic whip aerial is only connected to the DAB input!! FM reception is purely by induced pickup and riddled with 'birdies' from the DAB section.
It does have a good point with it's DAB Manual Scan and I have heard a Belgian Channel 12A MUX on it.
Summary:
Only DAB, no longer available, not recommended for DXing.

Next I saw mention on German forums of the Microspot RA-318 DAB+ portable receiver. It was described as "Das DX Wundermaschine"......I had to have one!!
http://www.digicomparison.com/portablep ... #microspot
I soon found that it was only availabe in Switzerland and due to my poor German language skills and user unfriendly sites, my attempts to buy one failed.
Later on the Wohnort DAB website, I saw that there were other radios that were listed as the same as the RA-318. The Australian Wintal DAB10B was one of these.
http://www.digicomparison.com/portableplus.html#Wintal
I tried to import one of these but at that time the Australian companies I contacted were not able to ship one to me.

For some reason I liked the looks and write-ups on the Sangean DPR-65. I had seen a You-tube video of it's big brother the DPR-69, receiving UK DAB in Germany. The DPR-69 is quite big and I liked the smaller size of the 65 (similar size to the PL-310 but more rounded).
I convinced myself they probably used the same chip-set and would have similar performance. I bought one. I am very pleased with it and have received Belgium, Nederland, Germany, Denmark and Norway, using it's built-in telescopic whip.
Summary:
Receives DAB/DAB+, very convenient for DXing, recommended for DAB DXing.

I continued to look for a Microspot RA-318 on ebay but with no luck.

Next I spotted, in a UK store, a Sony XDR-S40DBP.
I think I was foolishly lured by the 'XDR' in it's type number into buying this radio, on impulse, while in the shop. It is not a bad DAB radio, just not a good radio for DXing.
Summary:
Receives DAB/DAB+ but not convenient for DXing, not recommended for DAB DXing.

The next time I checked ebay, I found that the Australian company were now exporting to the UK so I ordered a Wintal DAB10B.
It works adequately as a DAB DXing receiver. It is bigger and not quite so easy to use as the DPR-65. It may be just a teeny bit quicker at spotting a weak MUX signal on it's meter in Manual Tune than the DPR-65 but there are other points in favour of the 65 for DAB DXing.
Summary:
Receives DAB/DAB+, good for DAB DXing but not such useful features as the DPR-65.

DAB Reception Sensitivity (All Receivers):
I would have liked to compare sensitivity of these radios but with DAB this is difficult. When you cannot hear what is on the channel until it is strong enough to stream, then you can only rely on the signal level meter.
Co-channel signals will prevent decode of either signal and thus cause it to appear that no signal exists! One radio may deal better with co-channel signals than another.
The two that seem most sensitive are the DAB10B and DPR-65.

What I have found so far:
DAB10B can just indicate presence of a weaker signal on it's meter than the others with signal meters.
DPR-65 can Identify a MUX name with a very slightly weaker signal than the DAB10B.
DPR-65 can stream audio from a very slightly weaker signal than the DAB10B.

More detailed reviews of each radio are in the thread DAB Portables Review.

Here is a comparison table of the important features.
tmp_Screenshot_2015-01-16-16-27-13_1-1160597827.jpg
DAB Radio Comparison Table
Using the Sangean DPR-65 both at home and at my work location in Bowthorpe Norwich, with just it's telescopic whip antenna, I have heard:

Nederland
MUXs;
5B, MTVNL (no services found in this MUX!)
5C, MTVNL (Ditto!)
9C, MTVNL (Ditto!)
11C, DAB+ (this is the MUX name!)
12C, Publieke Omroep (old MUX name)
12C, NPO (new MUX name)

Belgie
MUX;
12A, VRT DAB

Germany
MUXs;
9D, SWR BW
6A, NDR NDS

Denmark
MUX;
8B, DR DAB2

Norway
MUX;
13F, Agder/Rogaland

Plus numerous UK MUXs of which the HBB & NorthHants (10D) MUX comes in most frequently.

Here is a list of Band III DAB Channels.
tmp_Screenshot_2015-01-18-16-39-38_11948147157.jpg
DAB/DAB+ Band III Frequencies
Best wishes, John.

Alex Cator
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Re: DAB Portables for DXing

Post by Alex Cator » 14 Jun 2015 21:21

MTVNL (Mobeil TV Nederland) is a DMB (Digital Multimedia Broadcasting) multiplex from the Netherlands. DMB is a standard that uses Band III (which is also used for Eureka-147/DAB and DAB+ digital radio), and it is for datacasting, television and radio broadcasting to mobile devices. DMB is primarily used for mobile television.
From your reports of MTVNL reception, it appears that DMB muxes can be received with a DAB/DAB+ radio, but free of any stations available. DAB+ muxes can be received with a standard DAB radio, and the mux names can be found and tuned to, but the muxes (if HE-AAC/DAB+) are silent, although some DAB+ muxes transmit one or more stations in the MP2/standard DAB format, which can be listened to with normal DAB radios, even though the DAB+ stations on the mux can't. In the spring of next year, a new mux called Sound Digital (on block 11A) will be launched, and that will have at least one DAB+ mux on it. I've always found it a pity that we never had DAB+ here in the UK, but we're finally making it.
Band 3 will get gradually more crowded here in the UK, especially when AM and FM die out in the 2020s, and DAB DX will be harder. I'm not sure about my plans for DAB DX in the future, I may even be in France, Spain or Italy because I like those countries! I don't know about my plans for the far-future because I'm only teenage!
Home: Sony ST-SB920 (modified), Sony XDR-S10HDiP, Onkyo T-4970, Ford 5000 RDS, horizontal Triax FM3
Mobile: Ford Fiesta (Style, 2013) and Ford Focus (2012) car radios
Portable: Tecsun PL-390, Grundig G5 (2 x 110kHz), Etón G8

Günter Lorenz
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Re: DAB Portables for DXing

Post by Günter Lorenz » 18 Jul 2015 15:10

Interesting review and comments! Here in Germany, portable devices branded Microspot have been quite popular, also for DXing, as they are pretty sensitive. One problem for DAB DXing is the bad selectivity, so if you have a strong local say on 10D, both 10C and 11A will be unusable, most rx only have 30 db suppression. Some people started using tunable trap filters to reduce strong signals.

FMLIST has a DABLIST section, which includes a logbook feature, and logs are also sent to DXMAPS which has a separate DAB tab.

And DABLIST would be happy to get some updates from the UK. While we have all the transmitter information from OFCOM, the MUX configuration is not always known but equally of interest. One simple way to provide data is by use of a USB receiver stick and a software called Andis DAB-Player.
This combo works also for DX .... if you happen to use it, here is how you could help DABLIST: http://www.fmlist.org/How-to-export-DAB ... ration.pdf

Good DAB DX!
Günter

Sniffingmoose
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Location: Burton on Trent

Re: DAB Portables for DXing

Post by Sniffingmoose » 18 Jul 2015 16:44

I use the Roberts sports DAB 2 for DX. You can manual tune easily. However I only use the headphone lead as an antenna so I combine my interest of hill walking and cliff-top walking with DXing.

Because of different MUX's using the same channel I find that by using a piece of sheet metal to shield the radio from the signal from an unwanted direction I can get different MUX's on some channels. Crude but it works. At home, for example I can shield out Stoke MUX and get Coventry MUX instead.

The not so good things about this receiver is that you can break the whip antenna easily as the antenna is so thin. Also to delete old stations you have to do a full factory reset.

At home I use the Acoustic Research SP10 tuner, its easy to manual tune but because its older the autotune function does not scan the whole band. The antenna is a 3 element vertical beam fixed outdoor to the south east.

Good DAB DX
Chris T
Burton on Trent
On a hill facing south west. Height 340 feet ASL
52.7992°N 1.612°W

Antference 4 Element Horizontal Beaming West high up up on the Chimney
Maplin DAB 4 element Beaming South West
Folded Dipole Vertical in the loft.

dxradiofan
Posts: 96
Joined: 10 Mar 2015 22:39

Re: DAB Portables for DXing

Post by dxradiofan » 27 Feb 2016 02:52

Has anyone got a Yamaha T-D500 ? I was wondering if this tuner is any good for DX ? It certainly doesn't seem as good as my old Acoustic Research SP110 tuner

The Arcam FMJ T32 is apparently very sensitive and so good for DX can anyone confirm ? Better than the Yamaha and SP110 maybe ?

Nick Gilly
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Location: Whitchurch, Hampshire, UK

Re: DAB Portables for DXing

Post by Nick Gilly » 27 Feb 2016 10:14

I don't know about DX performance but that Arcam is quite expensive with recent completed sales on eBay varying from £177-350.

It's probably similar to the Alpha 10 DAB tuner that I used to use, which did seem pretty sensitive.
Good DX.

Nick, Whitchurch, Hampshire.

BW Broadcast RBRX Encore, Kenwood L-1000T, Yamaha T-2, Denon TU-800L, Kenwood KT-1100SD (modified), Yamaha T-85, Sony XDR-F1HD tuners, horizontal Körner 9.2 beam (Antennenland version), Yaesu G-450C rotator

dxradiofan
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Re: DAB Portables for DXing

Post by dxradiofan » 28 Feb 2016 01:03

Hmm yes one at the moment on ebay is £190 currently, I am little disappointed with the Yamaha for DAB but I think my awful Televes 1065 7 element is to blame also, very poor performance, a really bad buy :(

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John Faulkner, Skegness
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Re: DAB Portables for DXing

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 28 Feb 2016 12:08

How about a "Roberts Sports DAB"? I think they are around £80 or £90. Chris sniffingmoose had one when we were DXing on Kenwick Top. It received four Norwegian DAB multiplexes under flat conditions. Here's the thread.

viewtopic.php?f=22&t=1497&p=6481#p6481

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pe1etr
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Re: DAB Portables for DXing

Post by pe1etr » 28 Feb 2016 13:16

John Faulkner wrote:How about a "Roberts Sports DAB"? I think they are around £80 or £90. Chris sniffingmoose had one when we were DXing on Kenwick Top. It received four Norwegian DAB multiplexes under flat conditions. Here's the thread.

viewtopic.php?f=22&t=1497&p=6481#p6481
As Chris said on that thread it doesn't decode DAB+ , it probably isn't a good buy for DX use.

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John Faulkner, Skegness
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Re: DAB Portables for DXing

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 28 Feb 2016 14:02

Thanks Peter. I didn't see that bit. Such a pity as it was really sensitive and would be great for plain DAB DX. I hope they do a DAB+ version.

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pe1etr
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Re: DAB Portables for DXing

Post by pe1etr » 28 Feb 2016 14:42

John Faulkner wrote:Thanks Peter. I didn't see that bit. Such a pity as it was really sensitive and would be great for plain DAB DX. I hope they do a DAB+ version.
Roberts portables are actually re-badged Sangean radios, and there are Sangean pocket DAB+ models, but seem to be difficult to obtain in the UK due to the Roberts "franchise".

Sniffingmoose
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Re: DAB Portables for DXing

Post by Sniffingmoose » 28 Feb 2016 19:14

My Roberts Sports DAB was very good when it lasted. I have used it so much that the jog wheel has worn out on it so I can no longer access the menu items such as scan or manual tune. Roberts want £35 to fix it and as it has now been back to Roberts 3 times for various faults so I thought I would buy a new one.

So I went to a local HIFI shop in Derby and purchased a VQ (Formerly View Quest) Blighty Portable Digital Radio (DAB/DAB+/FM) £49. Its again seems quite sensitive. Signal strength is measured in % and it decodes DAB+ No speaker headphones only. Charges via USB. The downsides are that I don't think the battery life is as good as the Roberts (but still OK) and the controls are a bit fiddly if you have fat fingers. But on the whole I am happy with it.
Chris T
Burton on Trent
On a hill facing south west. Height 340 feet ASL
52.7992°N 1.612°W

Antference 4 Element Horizontal Beaming West high up up on the Chimney
Maplin DAB 4 element Beaming South West
Folded Dipole Vertical in the loft.

dxradiofan
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Joined: 10 Mar 2015 22:39

Re: DAB Portables for DXing

Post by dxradiofan » 28 Feb 2016 23:36

pe1etr wrote:
John Faulkner wrote:How about a "Roberts Sports DAB"? I think they are around £80 or £90. Chris sniffingmoose had one when we were DXing on Kenwick Top. It received four Norwegian DAB multiplexes under flat conditions. Here's the thread.

viewtopic.php?f=22&t=1497&p=6481#p6481
As Chris said on that thread it doesn't decode DAB+ , it probably isn't a good buy for DX use.
But the newer sports DAB 2 does decode DAB+ which I bought recently along with the Sangean DPR 36 which records onto a micro SD card. I must say on both DAB and FM the Roberts wins for sensitivity and the antenna is 2 inches smaller than the Sangean, amazing !

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Patrick73
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Re: DAB Portables for DXing

Post by Patrick73 » 06 Feb 2017 08:13

Hello Group !

I own the tiny SONY XDR-P1DBP, FM, DAB and DAB+ receiver (12x6 cm, 170 gr)
It's easy to use, delivers good audio ("big sound" Sony states !) given its size (1.5W).
As regards sensitivity, I only have a Roberts 93i to compare with but it is at least as sensitive ; I would even say slightly better. Its whip antenna is pretty short (barely 40 cm, that is half the length of the one from the Roberts). 20 presets (10 FM + 10 DAB).

In short, a tiny but efficient radio you can fit inside a pocket (costs about €70 / £60 from Amazon).
Sony : https://www.sony.co.uk/electronics/dab-radios/xdr-p1dbp
Patrick
Main interests : NDB, MW & FM DX'ing
REU Editor http://www.classaxe.com/dx/ndb/reu

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eastangliauk
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Re: DAB Portables for DXing

Post by eastangliauk » 19 Feb 2017 14:07

here is my Sainsburys Blaupunkt BPR-3 DAB+ getting Kiss 100.0 here in Clacton and this is really hard to pick up as Dream 100.2 is the local station tuning to 999.5 works well to.
sorry its windy here

https://youtu.be/E-kEBZ-sxSk

here is LBC 97.3 if other lick is blocked as had music on
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6GOGSnIQ08
Radios Tecsun PL398MP + PL-600 & JVC KD-G632 - Blaupunkt BPR-3 DAB+ & Pure Evoke Flow

PascalD
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Re: DAB Portables for DXing

Post by PascalD » 19 Feb 2017 16:17

With this topic about best dx performance FM / DAB radios I decide for asking google for the best models available and find the below article. With the help of google translate i begin for understanding many points good for DAB DX but the article is not about best DAB DX radios but i assume for general listening. At the end of the article are comments from the readers and again thankyou google translate because i find the comments very amusing if not also helpful. Just like this informatif skywaves topic, thankyou.

Pascal

http://www.independent.co.uk/extras/ind ... 90686.html

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